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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  1. One of Wikimedia Commons' basic principles is: "Only free content is allowed." Please do not ask why unfree material is not allowed at Wikimedia Commons or suggest that allowing it would be a good thing.
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no author photo[edit]

I found a picture without known author. What can I do for use in a article on Wikipedia?--Burn to you (talk) 17:17, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

@Burn to you: {{Author|unknown}} or {{Unknown|author}} can be used, if the image is otherwise verifiable to be under a free license per Commons:Licensing and other policies. If you want to link the image/source, I can attempt to tell if it's good for Commons. 17:39, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

You can see the picture in various sites here. Many Thanks.[1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Burn to you (talk • contribs) 20:12, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Your link just shows a general Google search with lots of possible results. Could you please link to one specific webpage where the image is shown? And please note also what the IP user wrote: as long as there is no clear free licence, even anonymous images are copyrighted and non-free in most cases. De728631 (talk) 21:17, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

The problem is that I do not know the primary source of the photo. It seems that there is none. So what link should give you? --Burn to you (talk) 23:35, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

U.N. Security Council resolutions[edit]

Hi! I'd like to ask if the United Nations Security Council resolutions deleted in the past (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) could be {{PD-UN-doc}}. If so, I'd later ask for a massive undeletion request.
They were deleted because they had an obsolete template ({{PD-UN}}) or a wrong one ({{PD-US-no notice-UN}}). I think those documents fit in {{PD-UN-doc}} (as well as someone stated in Commons:Village_pump/Copyright/Archive/2015/06#United_Nations_resolutions), and I believe that the files in question were neither a copyright violation nor outside the current project scope. Some of them are being used in broken books in es.source (e.g. s:es:Index:Resolución 1921 del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas (2010).pdf) and that's why I'm interested.
Some users have argued in the past that UN resolutions post-1987 are copyrighted. E.g. in Wikisource it was asked a massive deletion of UN resolutions post-1987, but it was later canceled because of the UN resolutions in the public domain. In fact, there are a lot in Category:PD-UN-doc and a lot more in Wikisources (e.g. s:Category:UN Security Council Resolutions).
Thanks for reading! -Aleator (talk) 14:25, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

  • From a copyright point of view I would reluctantly support an undeletion pending individual review of all involved files. I have checked a few documents each from the 2004, 2011 and 2013 deletion discussions and each of them had a UN document symbol which does make them {{PD-UN-doc}}. However, the question arises: do we need all those on Commons? IMHO such PDF documents should better be stored at Wikisource. De728631 (talk) 15:01, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
    • Usually the source PDFs are here, and the text transcriptions are at Wikisource. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:03, 16 September 2016 (UTC)
      • Ah, ok. Then we should restore the PDFs. De728631 (talk) 20:04, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support Fits the description of public domain documents. Create an undeletion request and look for the logo in each document. 23:05, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose The arguments above are based on the template {{PD-UN-doc}}, which says

"This text document published by the United Nations without a copyright notice, was left in the public domain in order to disseminate "as widely as possible the ideas (contained) in the United Nations Publications".

That would be fine before 1989, but after that, omitting the copyright notice does not put a document in the public domain. Created works are copyrighted immediately upon creation and in order for a work to be PD, the creator must take explicit action. The UN document cited and linked in the template has similar language,

" The following categories of material will, as at present, be left in the public domain,"

but, again, inaction on copyright does not make a work PD -- the creator must explicitly use CC-0 or another similar license.

It is entirely possible that we can find a different way to reach the conclusion that these works are the equivalent of CC-0, but relying on a law which went out in 1989 won't do it.

Also, if we do conclude that these works have a place here, I note that undeletion is a slow process. It would probably be faster if some interested person simply uploaded them again with same file names. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 23:20, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment OK. I think the best for all will be that I send a mail to the UN and get a very clear view about the exact license of those U.N.S.C. Resolutions. Please, archive the undeletion request. If I get a go-on permission, I willl OTRS it, and re-upload just the needed PDF files. Thanks for feedback! -Aleator (talk) 00:12, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Hello again. I've asked to UN about UNSCR available in UN webs, pre-1989 and post-1989, in English, Spanish or French, as raw text or as PDF; if comercial and/or derivative uses are allowed for each, or Public Domain apply for each of the casuistic. This is the answer (if OTRS validation of the mail is needed, just tell me, please):
Dear All,

Please note that the resolutions are copyright protected.

Depending on the intended use, permission has to be granted prior to reprint.

What do you understand? All of them are copyrighted?! Also {{PD-UN-doc}}? I'm so confused! What do we do next? A massive deletion request, instead of a massive undeletion request? A bit crazy, this... -Aleator (talk) 18:56, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support the note about the copyright notice is a red herring (that only really applies for pre-1989 works). s:Administrative Instruction ST/AI/189/Add.9/Rev.2 gives the policy going forward for post-1989 documents, which is why we have the separate tag, and is limited to certain types of documents. That has nothing to do with copyright notice. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:05, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
I disagree. A created work cannot "be left in the public domain" -- the creator must take an affirmative action to place it in the public domain. The cited text does not do that. It is also wishy-washy on the question of revocabliity. The language says, effectively, "we will do nothing about copyright now". Having done nothing, the UN may decide later to assert copyright. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 12:03, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
At the time, yes works could be "left in the public domain". Many many countries were not party to the Berne Convention (the U.S. was joining that year, but many countries were still UCC members only and often required notices, and many countries were neither). To me, that is plainly stating that they intend that category of work to be public domain, and could easily amount to en:abandonment (legal) -- there is an explicit statement of intentions (still in force). We should not reinterpret the explicit wording in light of the fact that most countries later became members of the Berne Convention -- the intent seems fairly clear there. Deletion seems to be copyright paranoia to me, getting into highly theoretical territory which realistically will never be resolved in a courtroom. If they rescind the statement, we can put a date on the tag. United Nations works have a very peculiar nature, different than a normal private copyright, and I don't think it helps anyone to delete works that the author has declared they intend to be public domain. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:51, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

User page image use inquiry[edit]

I own an image of myself as a child taken by one of my parents back in the 70's. It features the back of my head with the city of Segovia, Spain in the background. I would like to use it as a user page image at Wikisource. If uploaded to Commons, what licensing template do I apply, and do I need to submit consent for use from a parent (as photographer). Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks, Londonjackbooks (talk) 22:44, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Yes, if your parent is still alive. If not, you as a heir, can license the image under any free license. Ruslik (talk) 16:17, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Gibraltar political party logos[edit]

File:New GSD Logo.jpg and File:Gibraltar Conservatives logo.svg were uploaded as {{PD-textlogo}} and {{self}}. They appear to logos used by the political parties Gibraltar Social Democrats and Gibraltar Conservatives. Does Gibraltar follow the UK copyright law when it comes to images such as these and if it does would these be considered to be below the TOO for the UK, which tends to be much lower than, for example, the the TOO for the US? -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:33, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

I see no reason why Gibraltar should not follow the UK copyright law. As to the logos, the second one is just a text with the party's name. The first one is more complex, so I am not sure. Ruslik (talk) 14:34, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Gibraltar applies UK copyright law, with some modifications.[2] For things like threshold of originality, it's possible there is a separate court history in a territory, but it's been a UK territory long enough that that's unlikely. The first one is likely above the threshold, in the U.S. as well, and the second is likely below in both countries (though really should not be "self"). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:39, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Copyright violation: File:Elsie 13 Age.jpg[edit]

The attached picture appears to be copied from here: [3] and labeled up as "Own Work" by the uploader. It appears to be a copyrighted image. I only noticed it when someone posted a link to it on to enwiki. Nordic Nightfury (talk) 11:53, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for notifying us. I have deleted the image as an obvious copyright infringement. Next time you notice something similar you can go directly to the file page on Commons. In the tools menu on the left edge of the screen there is a link "Report copyright violation". If you click this you can fill in your reasoning why the file is suspicious and can then mark the file directly for speedy deletion. De728631 (talk) 14:03, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
I believe you need to enable the QuickDelete gadget here to get access to that. BMacZero (talk) 20:09, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Ah, yes, thank you BMacZero. I forgot this was part of the gadget. But template {{Copyvio |1= your reason here ... |source= url where found the image elsewhere on the web }} placed manually on the page will do the same job. De728631 (talk) 20:43, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
@De728631:: Did you keep hold of the uploader's username per chance? It may be linked to an account on enwiki, I wish to investigate. Can you message me here, as I don't watch this page. Thanks Nordic Nightfury (talk) 15:04, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
The uploader was ArcadeGo who doesn't have any contributions at the English WP. De728631 (talk) 15:12, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Movie trailer screen capture[edit]

I'd like to know the basic guideline about capturing movie trailer images. Assuming that no copyright notice is seen, and they're pre-1978, or pre-1989 w/o registration, is it OK to use them? A few examples I've seen are this one and this one. Thanks for any feedback.--Light show (talk) 00:51, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Yes, but be very diligent in your search. -- King of ♠ 00:34, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

FOP in the US[edit]

According to COM:FOP#United States, there is no freedom of paranoia for buildings in the United States. My question is whether a structure such as a watertower like en:File:Peachoid-gaffney.png could be considered a "building" and be acceptable to move to Commons. The file is currently uploaded locally to Wikipedia as a non-free image, but it's non-free use does not comply with en:WP:NFCC#1. If the file could be converted to public domain in some way, perhaps as {{FoP-US}} then it would not be subject to Wikipedia's non-free content policy. Any opinions on this would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance. -- Marchjuly (talk) 12:07, 20 September 2016 (UTC); [Post edited by Marchjuly to strike out "no" per below post. -- 22:54, 23 September 2016 (UTC)]

I believe the relevant criterion is "structures that are habitable by humans", I don't think a water tower qualifies. But I think there was a misunderstanding on enwiki: the photographer has released his rights into the public domain (per the NFUR on enwiki) - so I would think it should stay on enwiki as Fair Use - no freer replacement can be created because of the copyright of the structure itself. I think Rwxrwxrwx's dispute tag is correct, but Owen1962's is not. Some relevant DRs: Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Peachoid_water_tower_(Gaffney,_South_Carolina)_001.jpg, Commons:Deletion_requests/Files_in_Category:Prada_Marfa. Storkk (talk) 12:28, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for taking a look and the clarification Storkk. I think then a free license is needed, perhaps en:Template:Self, for the photo because it would seem to be a derivative work, but not sure. -- Marchjuly (talk) 12:55, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
You probably meant that there is freedom of paranoia for buildings in the United States, without no? Ruslik (talk) 20:22, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Interesting concept. -- Asclepias (talk) 22:15, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes. Thank you for pointing that out Ruslik0. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:54, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
There is FOP for buildings, not for sculpture. Things like bridges and water towers are probably not considered either, i.e. utilitarian and non-copyrightable. However... separable elements are always copyrightable. The paint job, the leaf, and other elements on that tower would qualify. But... I don't see how it fails NFCC#1. The photograph itself is licensed. There's nothing anyone can do about the copyright of the tower itself. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:23, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for the info Clindberg. The NFCC#1 issue has been resolved thanks to the people here and some others on English Wikipedia. I had incorrectly added the tag because I mistakenly assumed that the FoP applied to such structures. Liscensing has been tweaked a bit so that hopefully the same mistake will not be made by someone else in the future. I appreciate all the help. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:59, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Interpreting COM:TOYS for photographs taken by established Wikimedians[edit]

I would appreciate some views on how we can justify keeping the wording of COM:TOYS as:

When uploading a picture of a toy, you must show that the toy is in the public domain in both the United States and in the source country of the toy. In the United States, copyright is granted for toys even if the toy is ineligible for copyright in the source country.

This is not being enforced on Commons for detailed photographs of toys by established Wikimedians, when it is convenient to ignore it. Principally because any deletion request has a large majority of keep votes, rather than because of validating the photograph against copyright requirements or Commons policies. My experience of attempting a deletion request several months ago, was encountering a hostile presumption of bad faith; very discouraging for anyone wanting to raise legitimate questions of how we demonstrate a photograph is of a public domain toy.

We could either remove the requirement from Commons for the burden of proof to be on the uploader to prove a toy is public domain, or we could transfer these files in use by Wikimedia projects and Wikimedia affiliate promotional photographs, to those projects where there can be a weaker interpretation of copyright.

Examples include:

Thanks -- (talk) 13:18, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Just as a balance, I have used a quick Google search to track down similar images of stuffed toys currently hosted on Commons, and raised deletion requests for them in the last hour, based solely on the COM:TOYS requirement. I suspect that for images not in use by Wikimedians on other projects, the close decision should be fairly obvious. Whether 'in use' concerns do or should outweigh other concerns, is the main issue with the practical interpretation of COM:TOYS.

-- (talk) 14:55, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

My opinion remains the same as in Commons:Undeletion requests/Archive/2016-06#File:Petit_tigre_on_the_top_of_Manhattan.jpg. They are quite possibly legal via fair use, but commercial use would likely be a problem, unless copyright in the toys in question has expired. I see in Commons:Deletion requests/File:Capitole du libre 2012 - I IZ ON Wikimedia.jpg it was kept because of this ruling which stated that the toy was utilitarian and not subject to copyright. However, a little further searching would have found this second ruling, which was when that case was appealed to a circuit court, which reversed and vacated the decision, declaring that the toy in question was indeed copyrightable (and gives several references to other cases which did the same for other toys). For photos where the toys happened to be there in the photo, even if fairly prominent, they may be OK -- but photos were the toy is the focus or intentionally included, are likely derivative works. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:41, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Delete following Pivot Point International Inc. v. Charlene Products, the American copyright case over mannequin heads. One side argued that the heads were simple and utilitarian, while the other argued that they were copyrightable. The side for copyright won. These animals are much less utilitarian than a minimalistic plastic head for holding wigs. I agree with Fae - the images are being kept because some people think they are cute. The Wikimedia community has a grantmaking process. As a compromise, I would support funding going to the community development of a mascot animal and art if the demand is there. Otherwise, there needs to be stronger and more detailed arguments about why these images of toys are hosted contrary to the rules on Commons. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:52, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
    @Bluerasberry: The Pivot Point vs. Charlene Products case may add more heat than light. Though the mannequin head was copyrighted, the 1992 case declared it to be of utilitarian purpose because of its commercial use for beauty products. If we are to use legal cases, I suggest we use those specifically about toys, like the 1981 Gay Toys, Inc. v. Buddy L Corp. case. The Gay Toys case has been used to argue a generic position that all toys are utilitarian as they have utility as toys, and as bizarrely circular as that seems it has to be countered—noting that the Gay Toys case was vacated on appeal in 1983 as "toys do not even have an intrinsic function other than the portrayal of the real item". I am not experienced with U.S. law, but when using legal cases, there is often great difficulty in arguing the generic position from the specific unless there are higher level rulings that then set a standard interpretation of a legal act. If the community remains at odds in this area, we may benefit from asking for legal advice which may then cause us to change our guidelines. -- (talk) 02:26, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
    @: I've more or less completed User:Elcobbola/Stuffed Animals, which hopefully will have something more along the lines of what you are looking for. Эlcobbola talk 02:39, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. The essay could be usefully quoted if you would like to add your opinion to the exemplar deletion requests listed below. Though others may argue over conclusions or guidance, the summary of prior U.S. legal cases is a nice baseline to argue from. -- (talk) 02:46, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
@, Elcobbola: Thanks both of you. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:46, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Delete It's worth noting that these were all closed by the same admin--the one whose inappropriate closures, including related to models, contributed to the frustration and departure of editors and the removal of his tools. I wrote the models essay as a direct result, and subsequent DRs have generally been consistent and inline with copyright law. I'd started a similar essay on stuffed animals (soft sculptures), which contains certain of the cases above, and others. Perhaps I need to finish it. (The relevance of the preceding is that the erroneous closures may be isolated to one (or several) misguided individual(s), not a greater systematic issue requiring alternative hosting as mentioned in the OP.) In the US, where WMF servers are located, soft sculptures are copyrightable objects and not considered useful articles. (Per Gay Toys, for example: "[T]he statutory definition of 'useful article' suggests that toys are copyrightable. To be a 'useful article,' the item must have 'an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article.' And a toy airplane is merely a model which portrays a real airplane. To be sure, a toy airplane is to be played with and enjoyed, but a painting of an airplane, which is copyrightable, is to be looked at and enjoyed. Other than the portrayal of a real airplane, a toy airplane, like a painting, has no intrinsic utilitarian function.") Эlcobbola talk 15:15, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback. As test cases I have raised:

  1. Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Erminig.jpeg
  2. Commons:Deletion requests/File:Summit meeting between Wendy the Weasel and Percy Plush in Brussels (July 2014).JPG
  3. Commons:Deletion requests/File:Wikimania 2014 Day 1 (14912136731).jpg

I welcome your participation in those cases in order to establish new precedent or ensure current policies are applied equitably. Thanks -- (talk) 08:37, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

File:James Kerr-Lawson Lady-Paget.jpg[edit]

This is a painting whose maker died in 1939, and apparently in the public domain. It is from Canada (Commons:Copyright_rules_by_territory#Canada). However the image was uploaded from which tagged it with a noncommercial-only license, and it even says 'don't remove this tag'. Is it public domain or not? Ruff tuff cream puff (talk) 06:14, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

The website you linked above is not accessible. Do you remember to archive it? Since I can't access the website at the moment, I can't really based my comment on that but generally, the © Copyright xyz. All Rights Reserved notice on websites can not be used to determine the copyright status of a particular work since the websites host different contents with diffenrent cpyright status and expiration date. In Canada, all photograph taken before 1 January, 1949 are in the public domain. In addition, since the author of this work died in 1939, the copyright would have expired on 31 December 1989.Wikicology (talk) 10:53, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
Wikigallery is working for me. Although they have now put a public domain tag in the style of {{PD-old}} on the file page, the image itself is apparently just hotlinked from a commercial page. The painting, however, is in fact {{PD-Canada}} (the creator died more than 50 years ago) but we would have to check the publication history to determine whether it is copyrighted in the US. I suspect though it is {{PD-1996}}, and for the reproduction we could claim PD-art. De728631 (talk) 00:23, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you Ruff tuff cream puff (talk) 22:54, 22 September 2016 (UTC)


Photograph of a 3D-statue in the Philippines. I believe the photograph itself can be licensed as "own work", but not sure about the copyright status of the statue pictured. It's obvious that the statue is the focus of the photo so "de minimis" cannot be argued for it. Also, I don't believe there is any freedom of paranoia in the Philippines which would make the statue exempt from copyright protection as a piece of public art. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:39, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Nominated for deletion. De728631 (talk) 00:30, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for taking a look De728631. I would've never thought of the gun the statue was holding of being a way to approximate the age of the statue. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:42, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

1924 Austrian movie poster[edit]

Can someone offer an opinion about this movie poster? It's a for a 1924 Austrian film. I'm also curious about other 1920s posters from Europe w/o copyright notices, to see if they are considered PD. --Light show (talk) 06:53, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

In the European Union, works are copyrighted for the life of the author plus 70 years. If the author cannot be determined, then the copyright term is 70 years from the date of first publication. So there is no general rule for the copyright status in the country of origin if you are merely looking for the age of the poster, but you need to know the lifetime of the artist.
The posters would also have to be out of copyright in the US to upload them here. That is somewhat easier: anything published before 1923 in the US or elsewhere is not copyrighted in the US. For later publications I recommend checking the Commons:Hirtle chart, section "Works First Published Outside the U.S. ...".
The poster you linked above, however, is not the original Austrian film poster but the American release poster by Film Booking Offices of America. It seems to be a separate design for the US market as opposed to the original Austrian version, so it has to be treated as a US work. I'll have to dig further into it, but I think there is a good chance that this falls into {{PD-US-not renewed}}. De728631 (talk) 10:49, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
I searched the US copyright catalogs for 1952, 1953 and 1955 and couldn't find any renewal for this poster, so I'm going to upload it here as PD-US-not renewed. De728631 (talk) 14:11, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining and adding. --Light show (talk) 16:20, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Photocopies of ancient books[edit]

I would like to upload 808 volumns of Imperial Encyclopaedia (古今图书集成, 1700-1725). (e.g. [4]) They are the scan of photocopies of the original books by the Zhonghua Book Company in 1934. The only thing added in 1934 is the cover. (Except for the first book, where there is a page showing its time of photocopying. Are they in public domain and can I upload them?--維基小霸王 (talk) 10:32, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

I would say yes, according to Commons:Reuse_of_PD-Art_photographs for the US (since a scan of a book is basically a "photography that carefully reproduce a two-dimensional public domain work"), but check also the paragraph of your country. --Scoopfinder(d) 11:27, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
I can add that the correct template would probably be {{PD-Art|PD-old-100|country=XX}} where XX shoudl be replaced by the source country. --Scoopfinder(d) 11:29, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for advice. But is it possible that the cover is copyrighted? It is very simple (book title, press, basic content) and old (produced in 1934) though.--維基小霸王 (talk) 12:38, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
It might depend on the country, but if the cover is only made of text it might be ineligible for copyright and in public domain. See COM:TOO. --Scoopfinder(d) 14:13, 22 September 2016 (UTC)
A couple of countries have a "typographical arrangement" copyright -- but they are usually shorter. The UK is one such country but it lasts for just 25 years from publication. Seems unlikely that a version from 1934 would still be protected that way. I would only be concerned if they added any additional matter (forewords, annotations, etc.). And technically scans should use {{PD-scan}}, as {{PD-Art}} is more for versions made with regular cameras. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:42, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Oh, thank you Carl, I didn't know this template existed. --Scoopfinder(d) 07:43, 23 September 2016 (UTC)


File was uploaded as "own work", but it looks like the official logo of Qmusic. The question is whether this would be considered to be below the TOO for the Netherlands. COM:TOO#Netherlands says "[For a work] to be eligible for copyright, it is necessary that the work has an own original character and bears the personal mark of the maker (...)" among other things, and the logo seems to be fancy version of the letter "Q", so it doesn't seem to have its own "original character". Should the licensing be changed to {{PD-textlogo}} or should this be treated as fair use? -- Marchjuly (talk) 12:03, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Lil Dagover photo, 1930s[edit]

Could someone review this U.S. photo of Lil Dagover from the 1930s film I Spy? Thanks. --Light show (talk) 22:08, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Wish that showed better evidence that that copy was distributed. On the other hand, that is probably {{PD-US-not renewed}} either way, if you want to do the renewal searches. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:39, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Edward G. Robinson, Curtiz photo[edit]

Can someone review this 1937 candid photo which shows the reverse with newspaper clipping? Thanks. --Light show (talk) 22:14, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

That seems fine. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:39, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Old European photos[edit]

For old photos from Europe, such as before 1923, where the photographer isn't known, can they become PD? --Light show (talk) 00:58, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Only if they are first published in the United States, which would make that the country of origin. Otherwise they are required to be free in both the US and the country of origin, which is often life + 70 years. However, feel free to upload the pictures to the English Wikipedia under PD-1923, as the English Wikipedia does not care about any copyrights other than that of the US. -- King of ♠ 01:21, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the details. I'm still unable to upload anything there, so I'm forced to do it here when possible.--Light show (talk) 03:56, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
If you can show the photos were published anonymously, i.e. no human author name or initials on the original publication (front or back), and that the author did not become known in the next 70 years, then they may qualify for {{PD-anon-70-EU}}. Such photos from before 1926 can be OK (either PD-1923 or PD-1996). However, "anonymous" is not the same thing as "unknown" -- so if the publication history is lost, there is little that can be done. And if there is a name, it's not anonymous, and you have to find the life dates of the author. If those are unknown, then we cannot upload. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:32, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
It seems unfortunate that so many film or stage artists in Europe back then can't have their images used today. Those film studio photographers were not shooting photos as art to sell, but were treated and paid like all the other mostly nameless salaried employees, from wardrobe designers, makeup artists, lighting techs, cameramen, sound engineers, or musicians. All the marketing-related materials such as publicity stills or posters were given away gladly to the media; they would have dropped them from airplanes if they could have. The last thing a studio promoting their film would have wanted was to prevent free use of those photos. --Light show (talk) 17:32, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Copyright law is copyright law... can't get around it. That's part of why we want to be a free image repository -- a place where people can find images they can legally use in a broad array of circumstances, without counting on fair use. What we don't want is to host files that are not legally OK and have someone else pay the consequences when we are wrong, if we can help it. And copyright terms been getting extended -- photos will on average remain under copyright for probably 100-120 years or so going forward, if the author is known. The company owns the copyright in these situations (work for hire), though the term is based on the life of the human author. If they didn't bother to name the author, then they get a term of 70 years from publication. The problem for us is proving that... if the author was named originally, but then people copying it later omitted it through no fault of the original company... that's not evidence of being anonymous. The U.S. will be 95 years from publication in the same situation. Publicity stills are sort of the hardest situation -- they were implicitly made to be reused in educational or publicity contexts, but they do not qualify as a free license, since once you start using them outside their original intended context, photographers can potentially sue. That can frustrate uses such as Wikipedia pages where the use is within the implied license, but it's not really "free". Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:58, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
For some European countries, such as Finland and Sweden, non-creative photos have a much shorter copyright-like protection. If the photo is from such a country it may very well be free. I would also want to point out that procedures do not matter in the way they do in USA; whether the name was lost "through no fault" or by purpose is irrelevant. Once the name has been disclosed, it is not an anonymous work. On the other hand, I think one does not have to worry too much. If the photo was released without naming the photographer, and did not become famous, it is unlikely the name would have been published later. Even if it was, if you did your homework you should not face criminal charges, and damages for publishing a forgotten photo can hardly be huge. --LPfi (talk) 16:20, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes, some countries have "simple photo" terms -- but from what I can remember, posed studio portraits usually are considered works and get the full term. It is more snapshots which get the shorter terms, for countries which have them (and the EU directive has changed that line in some places like Germany). The EU directive does say that in work for hire countries (a minority, but some EU countries are) the author must be named on the initial publication or the term is 70 years from publication regardless if named later. And otherwise the author must be named within the first 70 years -- if not, copyright expires, and naming the author does not bring it back. And yes, if not named on the initial publications, that's usually enough for us. The problem is often finding those original publications -- photos found on the Internet usually don't have that provenance. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:40, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Post-1922 atlases at The New York Public Library[edit]

@Revent: The New York Public Library has four more Bromley Land Books of Manhattan (in edition to 1955–56, which is already on the Commons) that are labeled "Free to use without restriction". The only original registration I have been able to find is for Vol. 3 of the 1930 edition (the Land Book is a union of five volumes): <;view=1up;seq=471>, for which I found no renewal (A20286).

The library gives two issue dates for the 1921 edition: 1921 and 1923.

The 1921 and 1925 editions have no apparent copyright mark on them. The 1927 and the 1930 are marked copyright in their respective years.





I'd like (eventually) to upload them all. If I do, what copyright tag would be appropriate? Thank you for your advice. Vzeebjtf (talk) 03:24, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

For 1921: {{PD-1923}}. For 1925: {{PD-US-no notice}}. For the other two, {{PD-US-not renewed}}. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:35, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you very much! Vzeebjtf (talk) 17:34, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Looking at the internet archive scan (where it's also poorly printed) I think the 1930 registration is actually A20296. I'll look for a renewal under either. Reventtalk 06:06, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Bit odd to search for this, actually, as the 1930 registration was 'published' under class F (maps), but 'listed' as a class A (books). By the late 1950s, class F registrations & renewals were no longer printed in part 1 with the books, but instead in part 6. Checking the years 1957-1960, for both class A and class F shows no published renewal, while showing that the publisher was still active and filing new registrations at that time (so it clearly would have not been filed by a 'successor' to the rights, as they were still extant). 1930 is definitely 'no renewal'. Will look for 1927. Reventtalk 06:43, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
@Vzeebjtf: Ok, after some (tedious) searching, the kind of answer I hate to give. It appears that the 1927 maps were 'published' with a copyright notice, but that the copyright was not registered within five years... it would still have been a 'valid' copyright, but unenforcable without a registration (which the USCO would not have easily accepted) sometime later in the initial term, and that seems quite unlikely. I think 'no renewal' is almost certainly correct. Reventtalk 07:57, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you very much! Vzeebjtf (talk) 17:34, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
@Revent: You could register copyright any time in the first 28 years -- there would be no reason to reject it from the USCO. If you published with copyright notice, then it got federal protection -- you just got more if you registered (same as today). You do need to register in order to file a lawsuit, and you would be limited to actual monetary damages for copyright violations prior to registration (as opposed to automatic fine amounts), but they were still protected. You also did have to register in order to renew, but it was possible to send the registration along with the renewal 28 years after publication, if desired. The start date of the 28 years remains the date of original publication, of course. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:09, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
@Clindberg: I'm aware you could register at any time in the first term... what I was referring to was that a registration after the first five years was not considered 'prima facie' evidence as to the facts claimed in the registration, so the registration would be 'less useful', and the USCO would probably have been more likely to question it. I did look for a renewal of the 1927 maps at the appropriate time, and did not find one... I'm not inclined, personally, so search another 20+ years of records manually for a registration that was probably never filed, and doesn't appear to have been renewed even if it was. By 'unenforcable', I did not mean that it was not copyrighted, just that you could not actually 'enforce' the copyright without registering the work. Reventtalk 09:40, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
@Revent: Ah, OK. The five year thing is geared more towards judges rather than the USCO -- but I think that has only existed in the law since 1978. The 1909 Act (which the authors here would have been operating under) had no such limit for the prima facie clause (sections 55/56 when enacted, 17 usc 209/210 later on). But yes, no real reason to search -- it would need to show up in renewals either way. The NYPL obviously made the same determination as well. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:44, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Comrade X photo, 1940[edit]

Can someone review this photo w/o a notice on either side. Thanks.--Light show (talk) 09:01, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Someone else uploaded this to Commons back in February (here), with that tired boilerplate taken from the template on enwiki... the image has a 'made in usa' label, which would be used to establish that the work met the 'manufacturing requirement' for copyright, and written use restrictions on the back. It was probably copyrighted, and should probably go to DR. Reventtalk 09:45, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Just to make the point, more, that using that boilerplate is not acceptable here, half of the argument it makes is based on 'fair use'. Reventtalk 09:48, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
FWIW, thee scene from the movie is here... this is clearly not a film still, the pose is slightly different. Reventtalk 10:00, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Marx Brothers 1946[edit]

Can I get a review of this 1946 photo, showing front and back? Thanks. --Light show (talk) 09:07, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Getty also has a copy, via ullstein bild. I think copies from both Germany and Argentina, and the marks, are decent indications that this was published. Reventtalk 10:13, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Does that mean it's probably PD and OK to use? --Light show (talk) 17:15, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Hrm. Pretty clearly published at the time, and Getty likely thinks it's PD, though distribution in Argentina without copyright notice is not necessarily meaningful. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:25, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Is it OK to use? --Light show (talk) 16:22, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Michael Curtiz photo[edit]

Can I get an opinion about this photo? It includes a printed signature on the bottom right, which means it was printed in quantity for publicity to the media. It also uses his Anglicized spelling which he changed to after 1926 when he moved to Hollywood. I could try finding someplace the photo was printed, but it seems that since it was mass-produced in the U.S. that it would at least meet the Precautionary Principle guideline. His bio could use a better, and free, lead image. Thanks. --Light show (talk) 18:03, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

There are two parts to this -- publication of the photo overall, which needs to be shown in order to know the copyright clock started then, and distribution of this particular copy, to show that a copy was distributed without a copyright notice. If this was a private, undistributed copy, and other ones were distributed but with notice, it would be published with a copyright notice. In this case, the first one is probable, and the second part is unfortunately unknown unless you know where this copy came from. The odds are more than even it's OK, but there isn't much evidence here. Such evidence could be found in other copies, but based on this and this alone... not enough here. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:20, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
If you could find a year of publication, and who the owner was (probably the studio), you may have better results with a renewal search. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:11, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
The photo was printed in the Wisconsin Chronicle on Sept. 21, 1928. I saved the section with caption info. There's no photographer listed, just the newspaper. I can upload it with the photo. Let me know if that would work. --Light show (talk) 20:51, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
OK to use? --Light show (talk) 16:21, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
It was apparently used in a 1912 poster for a film, per IMDB. --Light show (talk) 22:07, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Copyright searches and renewals[edit]

To save time in the future, for an image like this one, that shows a copyright date, if I do a search for 28 years later and find there was no renewal of a U.S. photo, are they OK to upload? Or do I still need to get approval first? --Light show (talk) 18:22, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

If copyright was not renewed 28 years later, you can upload the image directly using {{PD-US-not-renewed}}. Please note though that this is only valid for images that were published between 1923 and 1963. Any later publications may have copyright terms up to 95 years from the date of first publication. De728631 (talk) 18:34, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Understood. Thanks.--Light show (talk) 18:43, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Copyright could be renewed anytime from the 27th anniversary of the date of publication to the 28th (and often December 31 of the 28th year). So you normally need to search at least two years of renewals -- 27 and 28 years out. It was even possible for renewals filed in December to not be published until the volumes of the next year. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:11, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
@Light show: Research is indeed required, and I have been informed that Light show had been placed under an unblock condition last year which requires that he asks for approval on his talk page before uploading any such images. My reply above was not meant to lift these conditions but after nine months I wouldn't mind if that was done either. While this is being discussed with Revent, I recommend that you either wait with uploading any images or keep announcing your uploads on your user page. De728631 (talk) 01:26, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
Will do. Thanks. --Light show (talk) 01:55, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
Light Show has been requesting people to look at them here, instead of his talk page, as a more visible location, which is actually 'better' IMO. Reventtalk 09:46, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Here are links for the U.S. Copyright Catalog for photographs from 1947 to 1978, (1978 to today is in a different website) including the Renewals sections. When I do a search or upload I can either add a link (which requires turning pages in the 3d viewer) or I can add a screenshot of the actual pages searched. There's even an alphabetical index of all names, so I can check by the subject or publisher's name. And there's now a full keyword search function. How best then to add those search results when I ask for approval?

They also include a totals summary for any given year, and the ratio of "renewals" to "current registrations" is 3.6%. The vast majority of the renewals I saw were for fine art, such as done by people like en:Maria Innocentia Hummel, or various other figurines, drawings, and lithographs, all of which were intended for sale. --Light show (talk) 20:48, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Another thing I discovered is that they have separate sections for "Published photographs" and "Unpublished photographs." So a photographer could copyright their photo even if it's not or never published. And those copyrights can also be searched. --Light show (talk) 20:57, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

There are more links at UPenn. Photographic copyrights can be hard to search for, because if they appeared in a book or other publication (by the same author or company) the same year, they could be renewed by being part of that publication -- so it's a good idea too to see if there are any such other publications which have a decent chance of containing it. I think links are enough, or at least the volumes/sections that you searched, and the names and/or titles you searched for. Doing this kind of thing is tedious and can take some practice. The OCR in some of those volumes is also pretty poor, so you often have to look at the actual pages. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:02, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
About other books including a photo, I've seen many books which are compilations of old Hollywood photos and they always credit the photo source to somewhere else, such as Getty, Korbel Collection, private collectors, or the studios. I've come across only a few recent biographies where the author attributed a photo to their own collection, but those books weren't compilations. Examples: Hollywood Glamor Portraits: 145 Photos of Stars, 1926-1949 (1976); Hollywood Portraits: Hot-Light Techniques for Professional Photographers (2012). --Light show (talk) 21:21, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
Those aren't quite the same thing -- an author (or their agent) had to be the one to renew their own works. So it would probably be books etc. by the same copyright owner as the photograph, and in the same year (or at least within the 28-year limit of the photograph). Obviously, the fact a photo was in a book which only got renewed after the photograph's copyright expired would not count. But there have been e.g. annual compilations of AP photos which could muddy the waters for their photos taken in such years. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:07, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Movie copyrights vs. photo copyrights[edit]

The UPenn link is also nice because it shows more clearly that there are different copyrights used for films and for photos promoting the films. I've had many photos deleted when someone found that the movie was copyrighted. It led to some disputes which I assume contributed to me getting banned from uploads. --Light show (talk) 21:38, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Only actual stills from the movie would be covered by the movie's copyright. Publicity photos taken separately have their own, unrelated copyright. Full movies can be complicated -- they can be derivative of an earlier novel or even the characters (if they existed in a previous work), so even if the movie was not renewed, it still may not be OK. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:07, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Olivia de Havilland, 1939[edit]

Can I get a review of this image, which shows both sides? Thanks. --Light show (talk) 19:02, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

That's a foreign language on the back... was that distributed in the United States? Many other countries did not have the notice requirements so I'm not so sure on this one. All the notice stuff is for works which were obviously distributed in the United States. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:13, 23 September 2016 (UTC)


This file's original upload revision displays non-free parts of a Windows product in violation of Commons:Screenshots guideline. Could someone hide the initial revision per Commons:Project scope/Precautionary principle? I'm not so much worried about the Aero theme, but the Internet Explorer logo and the whole work as combined. 15:42, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

@ ✓ Done FYI, the template {{non-free frame revdel}} can be used for such requests... it's actually intended for photos of 'PD-Art', but it's quite clear what's being asked for. Reventtalk 18:51, 24 September 2016 (UTC)
Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. 14:07, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Old Los Angeles Times[edit]

I checked renewals for the 1927 L.A. Times period and found none. Is it OK to upload any images that apparently are taken by the paper? --Light show (talk) 22:44, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

If they were taken by newspaper staff, then yes. I think it was only some New York newspapers which renewed anything prior to 1945. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:38, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Olivia de Havilland photo, 1937[edit]

I did a search for 1965 and 1966 and found nothing renewed for this photo. --Light show (talk) 02:43, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Need to search for 1964 too... Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:26, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Michael Curtiz Original 1952 On Set[edit]

This is a photo of Michael Curtiz from 1952. I searched and found nothing around 1980 for a renewal. --Light show (talk) 04:17, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Renewal could have been in 1979 or 1980. However, renewals for both those years should be online at, so a single search would cover it. Which names did you search for? Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:36, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Checked both persons and the studio name for 1978-1982. No renewals were filed. I can't add a link since it times out after a few minutes. --Light show (talk) 21:59, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

File from Algeria[edit]

Hello how are you?. Is it possibile to upload files from here, and here.

The files are from Algeria, The file here citted Two Christian sisters. Kabylie, Algeria. ca. 1905 - 1920 || Vintage postcard; publisher Mission of the White Fathers, the other file do not mention the year is only mention Famille chrétienne de Grande Kabylie, but the picture is very old more than 70 year. It might be {{PD-Algeria-photo-except}}?.--Jobas (talk) 06:16, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Yes, if they were published in Algeria that long ago, they would qualify for {{PD-Algeria}} (or the one you mention) and {{PD-1996}}. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:37, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

File:Royal Military College of Canada Rush Bagot Agreement.jpg[edit]

The photo comes from I was about to mark it as copyvio, when I found out that it is licenced under a free licence – on the author states My photos are freely available to whoever wishes to download them. I do ask that the words "Source:" be located under or near the photos. Which of our licence templates fits best to the author's statement? Is {{Attribution}} all right? --jdx Re: 06:58, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Yes, I think so. Ruslik (talk) 19:43, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. --jdx Re: 20:24, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. jdx Re: 20:24, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Question regarding licensing and rights[edit]

Can I upload some images that I found in a book, but yet the book claims that the images are the property of N.Y Eastern District Attorney? In such a case, who does the picture belong to; the book that the picture is in or the judicial system? An example of a similar picture would be a picture of Jimmy Coonan, which can be found in the link below: The picture that is used in that page is a public picture of Coonan that can be easily found via google search, yet it is listed as the author's "Own work", and I doubt that author was the person who toke the mugshot of Coonan. The picture in fact can be found in the book "The Westies". As such, seeing as that is allowed, I was wondering if I could upload similar photos, which are in nearly identical circumstance to that. Thank you in response TTTAssasinator (talk) 07:37, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Actually, the image w:File:James Coonan.jpg is likely a non-free image, which are not allowed on the commons but sometimes allowed on the enwiki and, thanks to you pointing it out, it has been put up for discussion or deletion. Just because other stuff exists does not mean it is always correct or a justification for you to follow suit. You need to see when and who the book was published by and if there are any attributions for the photos, only then can we really offer you some better advise. Ww2censor (talk) 08:35, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Response: The photos in the book have also been used in other materials on the web, such as youtube videos and from a pdf file published by the New Jersey judicial government. In the book, the book attributes the pictures as being the "property" of the N.Y Eastern District Attorney office, and since the photos are likely from N.Y newspaper clippings, I don't believe that the photos belong specifically to the author either. In other words, I believe that since the book itself states the photos are the properties of the N.Y Attorney office, and that some of the same photos have been published by different sources such as government files and newspapers, I am not entirely sure as to who owns the photos. Thanks in response TTTAssasinator (talk) 16:50, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Errol Flynn 1950s[edit]

Can I get a review of an Errol Flynn photo from the 1950s? It was used for his obituary in some S. American paper. A search for any photos of him after 1978 came up blank.

BTW, this is from the same collector above for de Haviland's 1939 photo which was also reprinted in S. America. That seller collected old photos that were provided in press kits that studios sent out to Europe and S. America. The Flynn one at least shows all the U.S. info on the front. --Light show (talk) 08:21, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Distributing outside the United States does not mean anything (other than it was published). Copyright on that would still exist in some countries, even if it was an anonymous photographer. There is a clear copyright notice, but no year. If it was not renewed, it is OK. When was it first published? Carl Lindberg (talk) 09:13, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
I only searched renewals since 1978, and the listing says it's from the 1950s.--Light show (talk) 15:49, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
But found this one from 1944, with better information. I searched 1971-1973 for renewals, (ie. sample search page) with nothing found. --Light show (talk) 16:02, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
If it was published in 1950, then it could have been renewed in 1977. You are searching under "Warner Brothers" right? The listings go by the copyright owner name (or sometimes work title). Your link is not to that page. That's why you should list the names that you looked for. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:09, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Since the 1944 one has more details, and is probably a better photo, I just checked 1971-1973 under Warner Brothers and found only a single unrelated item. --Light show (talk) 16:59, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Threshold of originality of File:Foobar2000 v1.3.12 on Windows 10, with LibriVox audio books in playlist, "visualization + album art + tabs" view.png[edit]

There is a deletion request for this file about threshold of originality. I'm bringing this up here at village pump for more attention, as it is not an usual regular/non-controversial deletion request. Discussion at deletion request. WubTheCaptain (talk) 17:30, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Audie Murphy, 1951[edit]

Came across a still of Audie Murphy from a 1951 film. The renewal should have been registered by 1979. I checked 1978-1980 under the studio name, his name, and the film name. Nothing showed up. --Light show (talk) 17:33, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Is that a still from the film, or a separate photo? If the former, the film's renewal would cover it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:09, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
It was presumably a separate photo. This was from MGM. --Light show (talk) 16:12, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Ann Bancroft, 1952[edit]

This still of Ann Bancroft is from a 1952 film. I checked 1981-1983 for her name, the film's name, and the studio's name. (example). No renewals of anything were found. --Light show (talk) 17:59, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Imperial War Museum license[edit]

What is the current consensus on the non-commercial license under which the Imperial War Museum (in London, UK) releases its images? I have read this previous discussion from 2013, but am unsure whether it is OK to use images from the IWM collections or not (as opposed to the ones they released on Flickr)? Examples would be this and this. From what I can tell, the portraits in the collections are quite often ones that were purchased by the IWM at a later date from portrait photographers (i.e. commercial studios taking portraits of soldiers). I guess the copyright status of those is unclear. But what about something like this (by a Major A. J. Wadman) where the IWM don't give the licensing option and say "All Rights Reserved" - clearly there are restrictions in place there. Or what about this by a Lieutenant Ernest Brooks (presumably en:Ernest Brooks (photographer) and see also Category:Photographs by Ernest Brooks), or this by an Ivan L. Bawtree? Bawtree was born in 1894 and died in 1979, but was employed by the British Army Graves Registration Unit and this is what his photos cover (see description here) - it would be great if we could use these. Carcharoth (talk) 19:52, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

The IWM routinely claims rights over public domain images. Their claims are highly unreliable and are not of themselves a reason to either avoid uploading the images to Commons or a reason to delete images from Commons. It is essential for the uploader to make their own assessment of copyright. I have corresponded with the IWM but there has been no change as a result. -- (talk) 20:11, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. Do you have any views on the examples I linked above? Carcharoth (talk) 20:16, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
  1. HU 127013 - taken during or before 1915, the photograph has no named photographer so is public domain. Even if relatives passed this to the IWM, they would need to justify their claim of copyright with some evidence. They could try arguing they have publication rights, but that's not been claimed on their site. I suggest {{PD-UK-Unknown}}.
  2. HU 124417 - as above.
  3. Q 61497 - The IWM claim of ARR is unexplained. The photograph was either taken by Wadman or collected by Wadman and donated to the war archives in 1922.[5] This photograph was part of Major Wadman documenting his service, they are not personal photographs taken while on holiday. Before the end of WW1 these would have been considered sensitive information, and property of the Ministry of Information, and could not have been published without government permission. I cannot determine the date of death for Wadman, presumably after 1922, however the photographs taken during active service of battlefield events can be argued to have been Crown property, so {{PD-UKGov}} may apply, if challenged then there would have to be much more information supplied by the IWM to justify their claims. Publication rights cannot exist for these photographs, they were made available to the public as part of the original donation in 1922; presumably the letters of donation can be examined and with some research Wadman's date of death could be discovered.
Other photographs mentioned that are titled "official visits" or were taken for the War Graves Commission, are part of reports that were Crown property. {{PD-UKGov}} applies for all that are over 50 years since creation. The IWM does not have any special rights over these photographs. -- (talk) 21:01, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
The first two have the names of the commercial studios the portraits were purchased from by the IWM (you have to click through to the images of the back of the prints). Messrs Speaight Ltd and Messrs H. Walter Barnett Ltd respectively. I agree about the Ernest Brooks one and will upload that. No idea why the ARR restriction is on the Wadman collection, nothing out there about him that seems special. The link you provide doesn't definitively say that the collection was acquired by the IWM in 1922. But they should give more information, I agree. Will have a look through the Bawtree collection - the British Army Graves Registration Unit is part of what preceded the IWGC (now CWGC), which was formally created in 1917. Hmm. "Showing 1 - 10 of 600 results". This will take a while! Carcharoth (talk) 21:38, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
If there is only the name of the photography company, then the 70 year rule applies, so {{PD-old-70-1996}} should be sufficient. -- (talk) 21:49, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
If we think the original photograph is PD in the UK (assuming that's the country of origin) and the US, we would accept it. May be best to use to the {{PD-scan}} or {{PD-Art}} tags. The IWM may be claiming copyright on the digitization itself... while that is unlikely for a scan, there have been opinions that the UK may allow copyright on photographic reproductions (i.e. when using a camera to make a copy, like of a painting). That is the PD-Art tag. If that is true, and you are a UK citizen, you could be liable in the UK even if they are accepted by admins here -- the risk is yours to take. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:14, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Clindberg, however if you do upload IWM images from the UK and you are worried, then either raise a request on the Village Pump for the uploads to be done by someone outside of the UK, or write to the IWM in the same way as I have previously at User:Fæ/email/IWM. I am uploading from the UK, however as my email to them offered "If you believe I am in any way unlawfully misrepresenting any claim of copyright or other rights the IWM may have on these images, chosen based on my understanding of Crown Copyright, I would be only too happy to either adapt the permission text on any image I have uploaded, or immediately raise any problematic image(s) up for deletion review by the Wikimedia Commons community based on your stated requirements." then I believe if the IWM attempted to take any legal action, I can easily demonstrate that I made every reasonable effort to comply with copyright law, including offering to stop uploading if they just contacted me.
The fact is that the IWM would be foolish to set a precedent for "sweat of the brow", as it could end up being an important case that would undermine their long term misuse of unsupportable copyright claims for public domain images, especially when most of the most important photographs have copies freely available in other archives. -- (talk) 15:49, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Belgian jurisdiction on threshold of originality[edit]

I want to upload this image, which was released in Belgium. Does anyone know how Belgian law works? --George Ho (talk) 02:22, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

According to this essay it is very low requiring only that the work be an "own intellectual creation of the author". But usually this album cover should be {{PD-textlogo}}. De728631 (talk) 21:27, 26 September 2016 (UTC)


While SpaceX has released images on their Flickr page as Public Domain, I do not think that Elon Musk's Twitter images are in PD. So I guess File:Raptor-test-9-25-2016.jpg does not belong here until it is released with real licence. -- 06:57, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

But Musk was specifically asked to release these two images under a free license? Ruslik (talk) 19:17, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

File:Burning Man 2013 Feet of Truth is Beauty (10227019446).jpg[edit]

Would this still count as de-minimis? The statue was made by Marco Cochrane so it is still copyrighted and there is no FOP in the United States. I'm not so worried about the portion of this larger statue shown here but I'm wondering about the grid pattern on the statue that seems to be an intentional part of the artwork. De728631 (talk) 13:04, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

I don't think it's de minimis. I'm not really worried about the framework, but that's a large substantial part of the statue; e.g. w:Statue of Liberty Forever stamp only included the face, but was still a matter of a major lawsuit.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:50, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
Ok, thank you. Nominated for deletion. De728631 (talk) 00:06, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Curtiz and Dagover, 1932[edit]

I'd like a review of this image from 1932 copyrighted 1932 by First National Pictures. That studio closed in 1936. I did a renewal search for the persons and studio. The film itself is free online and apparently PD, FWIW. --Light show (talk) 22:18, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

First National was taken over by Warner Brothers, which would administer all of the rights after that. Copyrights rarely just go away; when companies go out of business typically another company buys up any property like that, and would be the copyright owner going forward. While it likely was, there is no information there that that photo was published in 1932 (may have been 1931 as well, if distributed as publicity before the film, etc.). But if you can show it was, then do a renewal search for the appropriate years under Warner Brothers. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:16, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
No renewals of anything by WB from 1959-1961. Sample 1960 page. --Light show (talk) 23:35, 26 September 2016 (UTC)

Curtiz photo by Hurrell, 1943[edit]

Did a search for surrounding renewal years of this photo by Hurrell, from 1943. I also searched for MPTV, a stock house which, like Getty, claims copyright over everything, regardless. --Light show (talk) 00:26, 27 September 2016 (UTC)