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 may be archived; for old discussions, see the archives.

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Indianapolis Museum of Art appears to be giving carte-blanche permission to download and freely use images marked as "public domain"[edit]

The Indianapolis Museum of Art has made a number of really beautiful images available via its website, marked as "Public Domain" where appropriate, and on their Image Resources page, they say "Many images of public domain works are available for free download from the IMA’s Collections page. Simply look for the download icon to access a high resolution JPG file and begin using the image for any purpose." Further down the page, it also says "Public domain collection images downloaded from the IMA collection pages should be credited: “Image courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.”" and also "There are no restrictions or conditions for the use of downloadable public domain images."

Many of the images are wonderful and I was wondering whether this permits appropriately marked PD images from their database to be uploaded, in a similar way that LACMA public domain images are permitted? Any thoughts? Mabalu (talk) 13:25, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Mabalu Public domain content, with or without anyone inviting others to redistribute it, can be hosted in Wikimedia Commons. A notice indicating public domain status from the expert staff at this museum meets Commons' requirement that diligent research be done to confirm that content uploaded here is actually compatible with Commons' copyright policy. Even much less than that is often permissible here.
Despite what they say, there is no requirement on Commons to credit the museum as owners of the art or as the providers of public domain images. However, there is a community tradition here to note these things in the file page on Commons when possible, even without being requested. Wikimedia Commons does not propagate notices that imply a requirement that users must give credit when reusing public domain content, so if the files are brought here, those notices should be weakened or omitted. Blue Rasberry (talk) 23:46, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
They should be credited. It is a matter of simple human decency to do so, and include the request to reusers. We even have a template {{Licensed-PD-Art}}, disproving your claim that the Commons does not propagate such notices.
Giving people credit for what they did is cheap and shouldn't be begrudged.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:31, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Prosfilaes It is good to give credit here on Commons. I am much less willing to copy a notice to Commons that says if these public domain images are reused off-Commons, then still the attribution is required. I want to give credit, but most museums and archives assert copyright or reuse restrictions over their public domain holdings and I am not eager to spread that idea. Blue Rasberry (talk) 10:39, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't see a problem with noting that the Museum would appreciate crediting, but as they do concede on their page, there are no restrictions - it's really just a request that if reusing, it "should be" rather than "must be." Mabalu (talk) 13:35, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Absolutely agree here. Blue Rasberry I just wanted to double-check, because these are modern photographs of 3D objects, and I know that can be tricky. So it's OK to use these images? Mabalu (talk) 09:23, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
If we have the Museum's permission to treat the modern photographs as PD, and we seem to, then they're fine.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:57, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
Those (pictures of 3-D works) would indeed need a license. It sounds like their terms are basically like {{CopyrightedFreeUse}}, or maybe {{Attribution}}. We may want a specific tag if there are going to be lots of images. For images of PD 2-D works, then it's a PD-Art situation instead. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:34, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
Is this something where a collaboration with the Museum might be possible? I don't know how the LACMA agreement worked out - one day, you were fine to upload individual pictures from their website as long as there was a certain note on the page; the next day suddenly EVERYTHING that had clearance had been uploaded with LACMA's blessing. Mabalu (talk) 09:23, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi, I uploaded 3 files: File:Woman's shirt from Kutch, Gujarat, India, IMA 55114.jpg, File:Woman's shirt from Kutch, Gujarat, India, IMA 55114, 2.jpg, File:Woman's trousers from Kutch, Gujarat, India, IMA 53793.jpg. Indeed, high quality pictures of interesting items. I think it would be good to have a category for files copied from their website. Suggestions? Opinions? Regards, Yann (talk) 16:42, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Yann I also have wondered about this and would like for there to be a standard practice. Perhaps a hidden category called "media provided by the Indianpolis Museum of Art", which is a subcategory of Category:Indianapolis Museum of Art and Category:Media provided by museums. I do think that it is worthwhile to differentiate content provided by an institution versus other media relating to that institution, but I have not seen this kind of categorization consistently managed. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:43, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
I will do that tomorrow unless there is any opposition. Better to be right the first time, rather that do it twice. Regards, Yann (talk) 20:51, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Hi, I created Category:Images from the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which is a subcategory of Category:Images from museums. BTW do we need license review for these images? Regards, Yann (talk) 10:54, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
I noticed that in some cases (e.g. [1]), the whole item is only displayed in a medium resolution, and some parts in high resolution. It would be nice to have the whole item in HR. They also have high resolution TIFF files available on request. So I wrote them. We will see what comes out... Regards, Yann (talk) 23:26, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
Hi, I got an answer. The Indianapolis Museum of Art confirms that the images are in the public domain, but they won't give any TIFF. Regards, Yann (talk) 11:43, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

UK coat of arms[edit]

Hi, What is the copyright status of the UK coat of arms, which is used on UK passports? See the following pages for related discussions. This page from the UK government says (section 2.2): Use of the Royal Arms without permission is a breach of Crown copyright which is a criminal offence. So? Yann (talk) 17:31, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

That sounds more like a trademark issue than copyright. I'm pretty sure our stance is still Commons:Coats of arms. The design is not really copyrighted, but individual representations can be. I'm sure the official representation is Crown Copyright. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:47, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
OK, thanks for your message. So practically, what does it mean? Can the CoA (i.e. File:British biometric passport.jpg) be used for something unrelated to passports, say a T-shirt? If yes, then I think we are good. If no, then we have a problem. Regards, Yann (talk) 17:19, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
The UK coat of arms are protected by §99 of the "Trade Marks Act 1994" (a non-copyright restriction). Images of the arms known to have been created by the UK Government prior to 1965 can be tagged with {{PD-UKGov}} and {{Insignia}}. Whether or not we can keep particular images in which the arms are not de minimis will presumably require determining if the particular rendition of the arms is pre-1965. I don't know if the rendition of the arms on a modern UK passport was created prior to 1965. It may well be (a note at File:Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg says the current style of the arms was adopted in 1953). Presumably a UK business couldn't use even a pre-1965 rendition of the arms without permission on a T-shirt without running afoul of §99, but a US business could (although even a US business could not trademark a logo prominently featuring the UK arms as the U.S. is a signatory to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of 1883, which prohibits the trademark registration of State emblems of the signatories). —RP88 (talk) 18:06, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the current design of UK passport was made in 1953, see File:Stone royal coat of arms.JPG. Yann (talk) 19:16, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
Buckingham Palace - Wappen am Gittertor.jpg
Please note, that similar rules should probably apply to such documents and even maybe to such photos:
Ankry (talk) 17:57, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
The photo File:Buckingham Palace - Wappen am Gittertor.jpg is fine. In the UK it is not copyright infringement to take a photo of a sculpture permanently located in a public place. See Commons:Freedom of panorama#United Kingdom and {{FoP-UK}} for more information. —RP88 (talk) 18:13, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

Muddled. The T-shirt would likely violate insignia laws anyways. I don't think they have an issue copying the arms if they are an integral part of an official document being copied most of the time -- see their guidance on publishing birth, marriage, and death certificates. In that view, cropping out just the arms would not be OK, nor would adding them if they were not there already, but copying the document as a whole is OK (provided personal data is protected)... it would basically be analogous to a photo of the Louvre square which contains the copyrighted pyramid, which is OK, but photos focusing on the pyramid are not. The cover of the passport is much more dominated by the arms though (and might qualify as an official symbol itself)... their guidance for that is here. The primary concerns seem to be that 1) much of the data of an actual passport is personal, and thus is not covered by the {{OGL}}, 2) there are security features on the inside pages of the passport that they do not want disseminated, and 3) the arms are also outside the scope of the OGL and they are probably worried that some uses which just contain the cover of the passport might be reasonably assumed to be associated with the government (i.e. it would be a trademark or insignia violation). Their guidance on the cover specifically says:
3.3 Restrictions on reproduction
The image of the cover of the Passport including the Royal Arms, or the details pages of the Passport may not be used:
  • as the main focus of the cover of a work, for example, the dust jacket or cover of a publication
  • in advertising
  • in facsimile form for use as a passport holder or cover
So it seems as though there are certain situations where it is not OK to copy, but they would probably also be situations which would be fraudulent uses of the arms per other insignia laws, and the UK may also be using Crown Copyright to additionally protect those same uses, but seem OK with many other reproductions (of the cover anyways) as long as it is obvious that it is not associated with the UK government in any way. Whether that amounts to "non-free" is a harder question. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:31, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
The issue is not the inside of the passport, just the cover. Recent passports have a complex inside design which is certainly under a copyright. Regards, Yann (talk) 19:20, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
I've dropped them an email about this to try to get it clarified. --Mdann52talk to me! 20:10, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Old works from Korea prior to the end of the WWII (1945)[edit]

I ve found this file, picture taken in 1930, but tagged by Krdbot because lacks of a valid license... but, ¿what license we should apply?

Currently, we have {{PD-China}}, that covers the works of China before its splitting. But, I don't found any PD tag or prior discussion in the Village Pump concerning about Korea.

¿Is actually necessary a PD template for Korea in the same way as China? Considering that the Copyright laws of the both current Koreas is quite different, I open this thread to discuss this. --Amitie 10g (talk) 17:05, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

That is another messy situation. At the time, Korea was part of Japan (at least de facto; the de jure question is based on the legality of the w:Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910 but most of the world accepted it). That territory became two different countries... you could argue it was simultaneously published in both (and perhaps Japan as well), and in that case Berne says the country of origin is the country among those with the shortest term. It most likely expired a long time ago in all three; the question would be if any of the Korean laws would have retroactively restored it (I don't think so, but I haven't looked to be sure). The "source country" for the URAA would probably be South Korea (that would be the country with the "greatest contacts to the work", and the photo was most likely taken in Seoul). But, most any way you look at it, it should be PD -- so just pick a tag that makes sense. Nothing wrong with putting both North and South Korean PD tags on there, either, as they should both be true. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:25, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
  • I've created this template (notice that it uses Autotranslate!). Is OK, or the copyright statuses in the Korea-1910-1945 is too complicated? --Amitie 10g (talk) 05:43, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I'll propose the creation of the license tag in the COM:VPP. This thread may still be opened for copyright-related discussions. --Amitie 10g (talk) 03:21, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Not sure that a North Korean work would necessarily qualify for the tag, if they are purely 50pma. On the other hand, we wouldn't require all tags to be true either -- it is technically just one of the three, and probably both Japan and South Korea would qualify. (No idea what North Korean copyright rules were before the 2001 law... or if they cared at all. It might be a formality law which is ignored in practice.) It might be easiest to just use the South Korean tag for all such photos, really, but I could also see a special tag just to separate them out. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:33, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
I ran into this problem about 18 months ago when trying correctly to mark some missionary photographs taken in Korea over this period. It can be confusing to explain to others as it is a complex area of copyright law, hand-in-hand with a lack of legal cases. Thanks for looking at it and making a more explicit template. -- (talk) 05:51, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

New copyright tag proposal[edit]

I think it would make sense to have a tag specific for advertisements in collective works 1923-1977, where there is no copyright notice for the advertisement. There are a lot of images like this on Commons, and it would be helpful to have a specific template that legitimizes them and tracks them. A suggestion is here: User:Calliopejen1/Ad no notice. Thoughts? Calliopejen1 (talk) 05:50, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

NOTE This tag would be specific to the United States (not Europe) -- it covers the case where there is a notice in the work as a whole, but the ad lacks notice. This would eliminate requests for deletion like Commons:Deletion requests/File:Pat Buttram Billboard 2.jpg that are based on a misunderstanding of US copyright law. Calliopejen1 (talk) 16:22, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose We already have too many similar license tags. I would merge {{Anonymous-EU}} with {{PD-anon-70}}. I don't see the point to have a specific tag for Europe. Anyway, which Europe? The Euro zone? The European Union? Why not other European countries which have similar laws (Serbia, etc.)? Regards, Yann (talk) 08:14, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
in favor of such tag Ad no notice as it cleans a whole area for discussion. Only if there are no other similar tags. --Hannolans (talk) 08:48, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
There is {{PD-US no notice}}, that's the point. Yann (talk) 10:20, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Could this be an additional parameter for PD-US no notice then? That would be another option. There is confusion created by the fact that such advertisements are taken from magazines (or similar works) with notice but the ads themselves lack notice. I think there are many users here that misunderstand the treatment of advertisements in collective works. Calliopejen1 (talk) 16:22, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
It is a specific case of PD-US-no_notice, one which not everyone may be aware of, where there is a copyright notice on the magazine but not one on the advertisement. It is a specific exception. It was based on a couple of court cases and then codified into 17 USC 404. A separate tag would point out that specific circumstance, as people may question the PD-US-no_notice tag when there is in fact a notice present on the collective work. On the other hand, yes, it does sort of duplicate the PD-US-no_notice and the PD-US-1978-89 tags. The tag should point out that advertisements where the author is the same as the collective work are covered by the notice; i.e. a magazine advertising itself or sister magazines or something like that are not PD. The wording in the law is advertisements inserted on behalf of persons other than the owner of copyright in the collective work, which we should make clear. Second, the tag explicitly stops at 1977, but it could cover up to 1989, with the extra caveat of registering within 5 years. If we have a tag for this specific purpose, I think it should go up to March 1, 1989. This may well be one of the biggest sources of material not under copyright for those years, actually. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:14, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
yes, either new custom license, or modification to PD-US-no_notice. but getting the europeans to stop deleting US public domain material (from lack of formalities), is a forlorn hope. maybe we need a notice board for some sustained undeletions. Slowking4Farmbrough's revenge 17:37, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Anonymous license tag[edit]

I would merge {{Anonymous-EU}} with {{PD-anon-70}}. I don't see the point to have a specific tag for Europe. Anyway, which Europe? The Euro zone? The European Union? Why not other European countries which have similar laws (Serbia, etc.)? Regards, Yann (talk) 08:14, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Anonymous-EU is based on European Law (, and is implemented in national law in all countries who are member of the European Union. Eurozone are members with the Euro as valuta, I see no link with valuta systems to copyright. --Hannolans (talk) 08:45, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
So what? {{PD-anon-70}} offers exactly the same functionality, so I don't see the point to have a separate tag. Regards, Yann (talk) 10:20, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Maybe I misunderstand, but PD-EU-anonymous declares that it is at least according to the European law guaranteed PD, and PD-anon-70 is declaring that it is at least in the US law guaranteed PD. While it can have a 99% overlap, I m not sure if it is a 100%, and if the assumptions are the same about 'publication' and amount of research that should be done. --Hannolans (talk) 13:53, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Edit: I see that PD-anon-70 is not specific for any country, and PD-EU-anonymous is more specific. --Hannolans (talk) 13:56, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, I don't see the point to have a specific tag. If needed, we can add that PD-anon-70 apply in the EU, like we have for PD-old-70. Regards, Yann (talk) 16:24, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
There are some specific issues like unpublished anonymous works in the EU-law. Note that there is also PD-EU-no_author_disclosure template. What you proposed on does make sense, keep PD-anon-70 and combine the two EU-tags to one. --Hannolans (talk) 20:47, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Right. So we have 3 license tags which apply to the same kind of copyright situation. QED. Regards, Yann (talk) 21:28, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
The EU directive does have a slightly different situation for countries where a corporation is the direct copyright owner -- in those cases, it matters if the author was named on the initial publication. If not, corporations are not supposed to be able to extend to 70pma by naming the author down the road, whereas that can happen with human-authored copyrights. That has been one possible distinction between the EU anon tags. There are often tiny differences in the laws -- what constitutes "publication", for example -- that can be hard to capture in a single PD-anon-70 tag. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:57, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Sure, the law is slightly different from one country to another. But practically, I don't think we can or should make than difference in the template. I think, we should have a page Commons:Copyright for anonymous works, which gives the details, and the template should refer to that. Regards, Yann (talk) 09:12, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Let's first try to merge {{Anonymous-EU}} and {{PD-EU-no author disclosure}} and let's see if that is possible and what kind of specific EU-law is involved. I think it is important that tags refer to specific law for disputes. --Hannolans (talk) 09:56, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
There is some discussion at Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-EU-no author disclosure. Currently, they are basically the same tag. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:24, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
PD-anon-70 is not US; US works published by 1978 follow those rules, and for recently published works, the US is PD-anon-120.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:56, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Montage pictures, sources with different CC licenses[edit]

I found this file. I reviewed and passed the license, but I have a doubt, Is allowed the mixing of works licensed under the CC-BY and CC-BY-SA licenses? and then, What license should we use for these kind of works? --Amitie 10g (talk) 21:30, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi, If it is the same version, no issue. The license of the montage should be the most restrictive, i.e. CC-BY-SA. Yann (talk) 21:50, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Creative Commons licenses are designed to be adaptable to the situation of combining Creative Commons licensed works (where possible). A compilation can either be multi-licensed such that all licenses must be honored (if none are incompatible share-alike licenses),, or, in many cases it is possible to release the compilation under a single-license with the most restrictive license. CC has a chart and we have some notes at Commons:Collages#Combining_different_Creative_Commons_versions (which also discusses the rules about license version) and Commons:Multi-licensing. The collage File:London Montage E.jpg was correctly single-licensed, it wasn't necessary for you to add caveats to its license section. —RP88 (talk) 21:57, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) /me misses COM:derivativeFX. Josve05a (talk) 22:00, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
 :-) —RP88 (talk) 22:02, 26 August 2015 (UTC) Josve05a (talk) 22:05, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

Louvre - FOP issue[edit]

Shouldn't Template:FoP-France be on File:Paris July 2011-27a.jpg like it is on File:Louvre Museum Wikimedia Commons.jpg?

It is quite possible that it should. Ruslik (talk) 14:24, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
So, can I go ahead and add it? -- Nirinsanity (talk) 17:10, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, you can go ahead and add it. Ruslik (talk) 21:46, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Likely copy-vio[edit]

I have my suspicions about this image, there are a number of red flags. For a start, it looks incredibly professional and likely an image taken by a club photographer rather than a spectator. Also, there is no metadata. A reverse image search shows that it exists on other websites. It appears on this Uruguayan website in 2013, but with no details on its copyright status. The Almightey Drill (talk) 19:19, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Indeed, it is quite obviously not User:Sol2y's own work. You should nominate the image for deletion. You can follow Help:NDTL should you need help regarding that. -- Nirinsanity (talk) 10:36, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
✓ Done Right. Copyvio, deleted. Yann (talk) 10:46, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

De minimis?[edit]

GT2 - Flickr - CarSpotter.jpg
The image shown on the left argues that the Batman poster in it is too small to be an issue of copyright infringement. However, doesn't the fact that the image is used both on the English and the Arabic articles of the film The Dark Knight contradict De minimis? - Nirinsanity (talk) 10:23, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
This seems to be clearly de-minimis to me. The poster is not at all recognizable at the thumbnail size, for example. The focus is the car and the street scene. That said, the use of the image in said articles might be a copyright violation. --Sebari (talk) 15:13, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
I've removed the image from the English article. - Nirinsanity (talk) 18:01, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

PD-Art, broken process[edit]

Hi, Looking at Category:PD-Art (PD-old default), which now contains 136,605 files, I have to say that our process is broken. This is to be compared with Category:PD Art, which contains approximately 610,000 files. It means that about 22% of PD-Art files have a incomplete license. Correcting that many files manually is a huge work. Any idea how to fix this? Regards, Yann (talk) 10:59, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

I did about 20 for fun yesterday and at that rate, this could be finished somewhere around 2025. I did find that there are several large series which might be able to be handled by batching. The major problem that I see is there is no way to keep new ones from being allowed to be put with incomplete license. Ellin Beltz (talk) 15:52, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
I guess it comes down to an interpretation of "incomplete license" -- the uploader may have well intended PD-old since that is the default. If we don't want to allow a default, then probably convert all existing ones to have an explicit PD-old license (maybe in a special category to still be able to identify them) and then remove the default, instead marking it to be deleted unless a parameter is supplied. That might require some coordination with changing upload tools. I'm not really sure the ones without a parameter are really all that different from the ones that have one -- if the sub-license (PD-old if not explicitly supplied) is incorrect, then a DR should be started, regardless if a parameter was supplied or not, if a correct sub-license cannot be determined. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:21, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the first step is to fix the upload process, then we can discuss how to tackle the backlog. When choosing PD-Art, there should be a field where the artist's date of death needs to be provided, and a script computes the correct license. Regards, Yann (talk) 18:25, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
We could add a parameter to {{PD-Art}} called suppressdelete. If the default license is used, and suppressdelete=1 is not set, then {{PD-Art}} will show add a {{Speedydelete|PD-Art template requires a license parameter specifying why the underlying work is public domain in both the source country and the United States}} notice. Before enabling the deletion notice, have a bot sweep Category:PD-Art (PD-old default) changing any existing bare {{PD-Art}} into {{PD-Art|suppressdelete=1}}. This would have the result that old uses of a bare {{PD-Art}} will continue to show the default PD-old and the red usage note saying that an explicit license parameter is required, while all future bare uploads of {{PD-Art}} will have a speedy delete notice.

However, I did a test and it appears that Special:UploadWizard uses a bare {{PD-Art}} tag as the license if you tell it you are uploading a non-self-taken photo of a public domain painting. So, before doing anything else, I think the first step would have to be adding improved PD-Art handling to mw:Extension:UploadWizard. —RP88 (talk) 19:43, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

I think you are making a problem instead of a solution. I didn't mean that these images should be deleted, and certainly not speedy deleted. I think the majority of images tagged with the PD-Art default are not copyright violations, it is just that the license needs to be fixed. Some have been with an incomplete template for years, so there is also no urgency. But we need to 1. fix the upload process to have a complete license most of the time, 2. fix the backlog. Regards, Yann (talk) 20:11, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Please reread what I wrote, I wasn't proposing deleting the existing bare uses of PD-Art. I was proposing that new files uploaded with bare {{PD-Art}} templates be speedied after the upload tools are fixed to not generate bare PD-Art. With regards to the backlog of bare PD-Art tags, I see them and fix them whenever I edit a file for some other reason. Commons volunteers have manually added {{Information}} to hundreds of thousands of files as part of the File metadata cleanup drive, so the number of files to be fixed manually is not beyond the reach of a coordinated campaign. —RP88 (talk) 20:28, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Actually, now that I look a project Commons:WikiProject Public Domain/PD-Art review was started in 2012 to address the very thing we are discussing, including identifying the deficiencies in the upload tools and the need to address the backlog. —RP88 (talk) 20:49, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, we didn't advance much. :( Yann (talk) 21:20, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Are all chemical structures public domain regardless of where they came from?[edit]

I uploaded a (2D) PNG of the chemical structure of a new anticancer drug - I did not render the image myself - I downloaded it off of ChemSpider - What lic do I set the file as? Public Domain? Mfernflower (talk) 08:11, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Assuming you're talking about File:Pacritinib-fixed.png, I don't think it comes within the threshold of originality. Therefore you can add Template:PD-ineligible, which automatically puts it in the public domain. - Nirinsanity (talk) 10:46, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
There’s a more specific {{PD-chem}}.—Odysseus1479 (talk) 20:45, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Sperm whale weather vane image[edit]

what is the copyright status for File:Nantucket historical association whaling museum weather vane.jpg? Image is on the right. I appreciate your efforts. Dunkleosteus77 (talk) 16:40, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Nantucket historical association whaling museum weather vane.jpg
Depends. How old is the weather vane? I assume(!) that the vane is pretty recent and therefore still protected under copyright. There's no FOP for 3D objects in the USA. I don't think one could argue that this is a utilitarian object w/o copyright protection. My best guess: Copyright violation. --Hedwig in Washington (mail?) 17:08, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
According to NHA the museum was founded in 1929. It is probably not a free sculpture yet, because it is absolutely feasible that the creator is still alive, or lived way beyond 1929. --Hedwig in Washington (mail?) 17:12, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Odds are rather likely that it was published without notice. Not sure what a visible notice would have to be on something like that ;-) but if there was no copyright notice on it, and it was put there before 1978, then it is PD. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:44, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Carl! I sometimes forget about this loophole. :-) --Hedwig in Washington (mail?) 18:14, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
I've sent an inquiry to the Nantucket Historical Association to see if they can provide details about the weathervane over the entrance to their museum, in particular when it was installed and who created it. —RP88 (talk) 18:18, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Enquiry about appropriate copyright tag[edit]

I have been uploading some images taken at the Fashion Museum, Bath. At the entrance of the Museum is a notice that reads "Photography is permitted throughout the Fashion Museum. Please do share your photographs and thoughts about your visit via Facebook and Twitter (with links to the Museum's handles on both sites)". My interpretation of this is that it pretty explicitly gives permission to take photographs and do what you like with them, and the conditions in the Museum do mean that it is pretty impossible to take a best-quality photograph (due to highly reflective glass cases, low light levels, etc - I had to throw away a lot of pictures or concede defeat with getting a decent enough image of some items due to these conditions.)

My question is, what kind of license should be appended to these files? I put Own work on, which was automatically added to all, but I wonder whether there is a better license to use for such files, as I have a number of similar files from other museum exhibitions (where photography was explicitly permitted). I certainly don't want people assuming I am claiming authorship of the dresses. Mabalu (talk) 22:58, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Own work would cover your photography, you'd still need the proper license for the object being photographed. Is this in the UK? Are the items on temporary or permanent display? any additional information you can provide will help the folks here with your answer. Cheers! Ellin Beltz (talk) 23:52, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
I believe that clothing is one of those things that cannot be easily copyrighted, particularly if it was originally designed to be mass-produced or manufactured in multiples. For example, with File:Green Versace dress of Jennifer Lopez 3.jpg, at least five duplicates of the dress are known to have been made (two for museums, three worn by celebrities), and it was made for Versace's ready-to-wear collection which indicates that others were made. Even a "couture" dress is not designed to be a one-off - it may be made for multiple individual clients on demand, unless it is explicitly stated to be a custom model for one specific client alone (say, a Royal wedding dress or ceremonial gown). I do not believe that a photograph of a garment constitutes copyright infringement of the designer's work, as clothing - designed to be worn, modified, customised, altered - is generally not considered to be in the same league as a sculpture or other work of art unless there is a particularly compelling reason to consider it as more work of art than functional garment. Mabalu (talk) 00:21, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Also I'd note that if we declare clothing copyrightable, then taking this to its logical extent, we would need to hyper-cautiously delete every single image showing a person wearing a garment that might possibly be identifiable as a designer's work - wiping out literally hundreds of thousands of images of people on Wikipedia. Mabalu (talk) 00:25, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Under United States copyright law (have no idea about British law) in the great majority of cases clothing is "functional" or "utilitarian" and uncopyrightable as such. That's why ready-to-wear knockoffs of couture designs are allowed... AnonMoos (talk) 00:10, 1 September 2015 (UTC)


This was uploaded as "own work" and licensed as "CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication". Can this be licensed as such? Is OTRS verification needed or is the image fine as is? The reason I am asking is because the non-free en:File:Icpsymbol.PNG is being used in en: Iraqi Communist Party. Since the "free version" is being used in multiple articles to identify the same organization, this NFCR discussion is trying to determine if the non-free one can be replaced with the .svg one. - Marchjuly (talk) 06:15, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

File:SFP logo variation.png and threshold of originality[edit]

I'd like some input on whether this is beyond threshold of originality and thus eligible for copyright or too simple? My thoughts are that it is not eligible for copyright. On en.wikipedia the image is tagged as non-free, but here as free "own work" (which is invalid, but beside the point right now). Thoughts? --Hammersoft (talk) 15:13, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

This is a tricky questions. Nobody exactly knows where the threshold of originally actually is, especially in Singapore. Ruslik (talk) 17:40, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

File:Joseph F. Smith family.png[edit]

I have tried a number of times since 13 November 2013 to get this images Copyright statues ether correct or deleted. However, Admin User:Yann User:Fastily decided to undelete (without any discussionnotification to me). Then Admin User:Yann keep the image, despite the obviousness of the issues. While I admit I am no expert, I have uploaded several hundred images of the same nature as this image. I know that the Copyright licensing for this image is totally incorrect. Additionally I still feel that the image is a copyright violation. It is tagged with {{PD-US}} and {{PD-old}}

  1. {{PD-US}} - per Commons:Licensing and Help:Public domain Creation is NOT Publication i.e. {{PD-US}} requires not simply creation before 1923, but actual publication. If it was there would be no need for {{PD-US-unpublished}}. Therefore the fact that this image is from 1904 doesn't mean {{PD-US}} applies as was published in 2005 per the Source information. It may well have been published before, but that information has never been give. Tagging it as {{PD-US}} i.e. was Published in 1904 is blatantly false given the lack of a publican source.
  1. {{PD-old}} doesn't apply. First you cannot use {{PD-old}} when the date of death of the Author is unknown. Tagging it as {{PD-old}} is blatantly false if you don't know who the author is. Second as this image is part of the Widtsoe Collection which is still copyrighted "John A. Widtsoe" died in 1952, making it only 54 years since Authors Death.

Since this image has no source sited as to a publication date prior to 1923 and the author is Author is unknown, Help:Public_domain:Anonymous Unpublished works would apply so this image must have been created at 120+ years ago or before 1895, NOT 1904.

However, since Admin User:Yann decided that there was "No serious doubt that it is in the public domain." despite my "serious doubts" and User:Lx 121 (the user who requested it be undeleted and kept) have never addressed the issues, I have decuded to bring it here. Again I admit I am no expert, but I have seen enough images deleted for these very issues to know that there is a problem. If someone can fix them then I will be happy to have the image here, but until then it really needs to be deleted, but I don't think I'm allowed to renominate an image for deletion a third time.

So can someone help fix this?--ARTEST4ECHO talk 20:03, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

  • I concur with your analysis. Since we are in doubt as to its copyright status, there seems to be no question that it should be deleted. That it was created in 1904 is immaterial. What matters, as you note, is when it was published and/or when the author died. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:27, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Hi, For the completeness of this case, you need to add that Carl L. and Jim agree that this file is OK, and they are certainly more knowledgeable than you about copyright. And I didn't undelete this file, it was done by Fastily. Get the facts right before arguing about anything. Thanks, Yann (talk) 20:33, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
You are correct, I thought that page was the original deletion request. I apologize for my the mistake.
However, even if I didn't "facts right" that doesn't make my analysis of the files issues incorrect. Even though Carl L. and Jim "Leaned towards support" agree that the issue isn't clear. "The question is nowhere near as clear as LX121's tone suggests." per Jim . They both say that {{PD-US}} (called PD-1923 back then) requires evidence of publication. Therefore my analysis, both during the original deletion and my second request and here is still correct. I have seen hundreds of files deleted for this very same reason. It should have been deleted or fixed a long time ago, but you (Yann) and Lx 121 refused to discuses the issue (File talk:Joseph F. Smith family.png). Per the Commons:Precautionary principle it should never have been undelted or kept.--ARTEST4ECHO talk 20:45, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Just a point, {{PD-US}} and {{PD-1923}} are not equivalent. The first is for works published in the USA, the second for works published elsewhere. Regards, Yann (talk) 20:51, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
They both say the same thing, "This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1923." I don't see a difference. However, this is irrelevant and not why I came here. The files used {{PD-US}}.
Ultimately, I didn't want to get in trouble for putting it up a third time, but I know this licenes is wrong. My goal coming here was to get help "Fixing the issue" or getting a valid explanation why the current licences apples, not re-debating deleting it.
It come down to the fact, as it says at Wikipedia:Reviewing free images:Common misconceptions, "Creation is not publication: Sources often only provide the date a work was created. Creation is quite different from publication.....For PD claims based on the date of first publication, the source needs to indicate the actual publication date." Therefore {{PD-US}} is not correct. Additionally you cannot use {{PD-old}} when the date of death of the Author is unknown.
Therefore this files is incorrectly licenced as {{PD-US}} and {{PD-old}} do not apply. If you can fix it, by all means fix it. If someone else can fix it, please do. Otherwise Yann, @Clindberg:, @Jameslwoodward:, @Hammersoft: or someone else tell me what I'm supposed to do when a file is not licenced correctly, but has been kept? Or explain to me how a 2008 publication date on the source qualifies for {{PD-US}} or an unknown Author can qualify for {{pd-old}}--ARTEST4ECHO talk 21:04, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Basically, we do not always require absolute proof of publication. Most works are created to be published, and are published reasonably soon after creation. The precautionary principle is if there is a significant doubt, not simply that there is a theoretical doubt (or possible but unlikely doubt, etc.). There are some indications it was published back at the time, and yes, we make presumptions like that all the time. Deletion can often get ridiculous if we don't. For something that old, for deletion I think there would need to be indications or a likelihood that it was never published until at least 1989. If it came from private family photos or something, that would be such an indication, but we have no such information, and we have some indications to the contrary. The vast majority of works from that era are public domain today; I think there should be some concrete indication as to why this would be an exception before we delete it. True, it is not 100% clear, but we are never 100% sure on most works here (we assume good faith on uploads even though we have no proof whatsoever the uploader has the rights to the images they are uploading and licensing; we shouldn't hold very old works to a higher standard). If the copyright term was purely based on death date it would indeed be murkier, but given the U.S. copyright realities, it is not likely at all that this work is still under copyright. The belief is that it was published before 1923 or at least published before 1989 without following formalities; do you have any information that contradicts that, or is this just because we haven't found concrete proof of a publication? With a modern image which is uploaded, if someone can come up with evidence that contradicts the uploaded license (such as being taken from somewhere on the web) then that changes the assumption of good faith. Likewise here, if someone can come up with evidence that the image was not published before 1923 (or 1989), then that would be reason to discuss it more, and see what the most likely status is (publication 1923 and later probably still means it's PD, but we could change the tag.) PD-US is sometimes used when it's a bit more ambiguous -- probably either PD-1923 or PD-US-not_renewed though it's not really sure which one best applies, but it's extremely likely that at least one of them applies. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:59, 1 September 2015 (UTC)