Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2011/08

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Norwegian Public Domain Policies?

I would like to upload the photo of Anders Behring Breivik arriving at his arraignment hearing (the close-up with Breivik in a red shirt) as seen at the top of this page (sorry, could not get a direct link on account of the page formatting):

But I'm having trouble determining whether this photo meets commons licensing standards. It certainly qualifies for fair use, but of course that's not sufficient. Can anyone make a case for it being public domain under U.S. or Norwegian standards? Either would work as the photo was taken in Norway.

Failing that, is there any other valid licensing under which I can upload the image? We have a few free-use images of Breivik already, but they are not really appropriate to the tone of the articles we need them for. Thanks in advance. Snow (talk) 13:47, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

IMO, there is no rationale at all why this image, which is credited "Photo: JEFF GILBERT", should be under a free license or even PD. But you may ask the commercial photographer[1] for permission. --Túrelio (talk) 06:46, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Country of origin

Hi, this question should be obvious because it's a common situation :

I'm german. I have a Shetland pony. I take a photo of a landscape in japan. I go back to germany and upload it on commons : what is the country of origin (country of first publication) ?

Might it be Germany, because it's from where i upload it, or is it USA (WMF+servers) because it's where the photo is technically first made available to the public ? --Lilyu (talk) 22:04, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Hi, The U.S. -- Asclepias (talk) 00:03, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
That's what i'm thinking too, it's just that i had never really considered that all my creations were americans... --Lilyu (talk) 00:42, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Not completely sure about that; may be Germany, as that is where you were when it got sent to Commons (which may be the act of publishing, rather than Commons making it visible to others) as Commons is not really under the user's control). But it's almost a non-issue in the real world -- copyright terms would be the same, and even if not, it'd be many decades before there was a difference. I find it hard to believe that it wouldn't be the user's physical location, but who knows. Maybe someday it will come up in a court case for some reason and a judge will have to decide, though you may get different answers in different countries if they define "publication" a bit differently ;-) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Clindberg (talk • contribs)
The more important question is: what's the significance of the Shetland pony? :D — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:00, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
May have to ask Majikthise and Vroomfondel ;) Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:22, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
As far as German legal opinion is concerned, it is indeed mostly assumed that the country of origin is the country where the servers are located. —Pill (talk) 13:08, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
What in a case where the servers are distributed across several countries and the uploaders don't know the location of the particular server hosting their images? Are all Commons servers located in the U.S., by the way? The Wikipedia servers are partly in Amsterdam, AFAIK. Gestumblindi (talk) 18:22, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
And what if the moment of publication is the distribution from the user's "server" (in one country) to the Wikimedia servers (mainly U.S.)? One of the definitions per U.S. law is "the offering to distribute copies or phonorecords to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display, constitutes publication." So, simply offering to upload a photo to Commons can cause it to be technically published, before the actual upload, it would seem. But, you could also look at this as similar to sending a photo to a U.S. magazine for publication or something, meaning first publication could be the U.S. Yet on the other hand, coming from a more common-sense point of view, I find it hard to believe that the country of origin would be something other than their location or residence, when all acts required to publish it were made directly by them. It's an interesting (theoretical) question for sure, though I'd personally lean towards where the person lives. But I'm not sure it matters too much; virtually any image getting published here for the first time will be under copyright for many decades to come, so they would all need to be licensed, and the country of origin is usually not relevant for that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:22, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
If you send something into a magazine, and the magazine publishes it in the US, the country of origin is in the US. And uploading a photo to commons is not distributing it to a group of persons; it's distributing it to one server.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:23, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Agreed on the first one. I'm just not sure on the second. Even the Copyright Office basically bails on the question:[2] The definition of “publication” in the U. S. copyright law does not specifically address online transmission. As has been the long-standing practice, the Copyright Office asks the applicant, who knows the facts surrounding distribution of copies of a work, to determine whether the work is published or not. Publication technically requires the deposit of two copies to the Copyright Office, so many may just say "unpublished" (though that circular is mainly about registration of online works, and one would send copies as part of that anyways). It's a thorny question, and indeed the U.S. concept of publication may be different than the Berne Convention meaning, not sure. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:20, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Country of origin matters, because despite international agreements, there's a wide variety of copyright laws, and commoners are quite well aware of it. Differences can be either duration of protection, type of protection (exceptions), definitions of what is a work of art (what can be protected or not). Some countries have special protections like "moral rights" of the author, or rights of the performers (Related rights). Differences can also apply on how the copyright laws handle the particular case of work of art published anonymously or under a pseudonymous, which is a common case on Commons and Wikipedia.

Can we consider that work of art published for the first time through Commons, are first protected by USA's copyright laws, than other countries provide protection according to their copyright agreements with USA and the way they adjust their laws to foreigner materials ? This is so much at the core of Commons, that i thought this topic had a well known answer... --Lilyu (talk) 01:48, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

As the question is raised, there's at least one thing that i'm 100% sure of : WMF (Wikimedia Commons) is just a host, it's the uploader (and other authors editing the file) that is publishing the material (considered as editor). WMF only provide a service.

So the publisher IS the uploader... could that makes it (the work of art first published through upload on commons) originating in the country from where the author is uploading ? --Lilyu (talk) 01:48, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Country of origin matters mostly for Commons policy, not actual legal stuff. For a photograph you take, it's usually 50-100 years before copyright duration will really matter. In the real world, protections are given by the law of whatever country you are using the work in -- if something is not eligible for copyright in one country, but it is eligible by U.S. rules, than the author has a valid copyright inside U.S. borders regardless of what the situation is in the country of origin. Moral rights, likewise, generally exist in those countries which have them (per law). Sometimes countries will not allow foreigners to invoke certain rights unless the foreigner's country has similar rights, but I'm not sure that is true of moral rights -- I think someone from the U.S. could sue in Europe if their moral rights were violated (even if they could not in the U.S.). Provided that the country of use and first publication are both members of the Berne Convention, then protections are similar, but the country of origin is meaningless for most situations, as protections are based on the country where the work is actually used. For example, a photo of a painting in the UK may be copyrightable there, but it is not inside the U.S., so American users can make use of it at will. Something which is "fair use" in the United States may not be in Germany, even if it is an American work. And so on. Country of origin really just comes into play for copyright duration in countries which observe either the rule of the shorter term, or the rule of the longer term. I suppose if you first publish in a country which has, say, a 25-year-from-publication term for photographs, yes that could have an effect in some other countries. As for Commons, it is just a matter of policy, not law. We could really just make the policy for uploaders to just use the laws of the country they are from (which anyways is what I think we generally do), but really since all modern works must be licensed rather than have their copyright expire, country of origin is moot for most of that stuff too.
As for Commons, it is a collaborative project. When you upload, you are adding the work to the project. You have no right to delete the work after that (since deletion is subject to project rules), so it's not really the same thing as a host or a service. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:23, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
"We could really just make the policy for uploaders to just use the laws of the country they are from" - well, for Switzerland this would mean they could upload nearly every Swiss press photo (by other creators) freely as {{PD-Switzerland-photo}} according to the high standards of originality a photo needs to meet in Switzerland to be protectable (see en:Swiss_copyright_law#Lack_of_originality resp. en:File:Christoph Meili 1997.jpg, a photo wich is not protected by copyright in Switzerland according to the Federal Supreme Court, due to lack of originality). Gestumblindi (talk) 19:37, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I was assuming the uploader is the author in my posts above. If the uploader is not the author, those works have typically already been published, so it is the details of that previous publication that matter. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:34, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Photographs by Henry Miller

I added Henry Miller as author of the Graf Zeppelin photograph at File:Bundesarchiv Bild 102-08203, Küche an Bord des "Graf Zeppelin".jpg, but I could not find any biographical details. The license template had "Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-08203 / Unknown / CC-BY-SA license", but as it is now partly known, what should we do? Popular Mechanics Nov 1929 as scanned by Google here has pages with annotations that might be concerning the permissions of each photograph and text piece. Page 738 has what might be "3373 Henry Miller News Pictures Service, Inc." with 3373 used up to page 751. Google finds some 1924 Boys' Life pages and a 1910 Charlie Chaplin image crediting the same. -84user (talk) 23:37, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Well, probably there are no big effects. The Bundesarchiv asserts that it owns sufficient rights to be able to grant a CC-BY-SA license for the images they donated, so I assume that they acquired the rights from the owner in this case, too, even if they didn't know the original creator. Then the question left is only whether this photographer Henry Miller (if it's indeed a photograph by him and not only distributed by the "Henry Miller News Pictures Service"?) maybe died more then 70 years ago, then the photo would even be in the public domain in Germany - otherwise, it remains licensed CC-BY-SA. Gestumblindi (talk) 01:17, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

License missing in list offerend during upload process

I could not find the correct license for these files uploaded by me though I am certain that they have to be usable here. Both are screenshots form Wikipedia main pages. Details are to be found on the respective description pages at the moment, see File:Ksh-wp-mp-L7P0.png File:WiKoelsch-Houpsick-110731-EDITED-opera-9.80-ubuntu-9.10-e240613eb74eb4b916076c47dd8b6e10.png Please add the correct license(S) there. --Purodha Blissenbach (talk) 01:52, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

PD-old tags updated

The tags {{PD-old}}, {{PD-old-70}}, {{PD-old-75}}, and {{PD-old-80}} have been updated to read: "You must also include a United States public domain tag to indicate why this work is in the public domain in the United States." This is necessary to comply with Commons:Licensing, which requires works to be public domain in the United States (the current copyright terms of the US are PD-old-70, but this only applies to 1978 or later works and no such works have fallen out of copyright yet or will until 2048). Typical tags are {{PD-1923}} and {{PD-1996}}. Needless to say, there is an enormous backlog of images that are not in compliance with this requirement, and I'm pretty sure the Upload Wizard and old upload forms are also incorrectly placing PD-old tags by themselves. I did not update PD-old-100 because, except in a few places like Mexico, the vast majority of these images are PD-1996. A related template is {{PD-Art-two}}. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:14, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Thank you! The clearer this is, the better. Hekerui (talk) 21:07, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
I think the text is while but the link is not: {{PD-1996}} tag is mentioned in this section. --Jarekt (talk) 13:51, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
You have the ability to select multiple licenses in the Upload Wizard. You can select {{PD-old-100}}, {{PD-old-70}}, {{PD-Art}} (using the default PD-old-70 rather than any other PD template), or {{PD-US}}. You can select more than one. But you don't have the option to select {{PD-1923}} or {{PD-1996}} for a file that is PD-old. I seem to get the idea that {{PD-US}} is for US-published items published before 1923 and {{PD-1923}} for those published outside the US before 1923 from your wording, but that's not clear on the templates and frankly they should be merged because I don't see a difference and they both go to the same category. And frankly we ought to have a warning to not even bother uploading anything published after 1923, because good luck to the common person in trying to figure out Commons:Hirtle chart. But you can see that the developers/staff don't care about the tidbit of Commons policy you cite above. PD-old-70 in source country? Good to go. – Adrignola talk 21:04, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
I think a starting solution here is a sort of "public domain wizard" that asks a bunch of questions and figures out whether the work is public domain in the US and the source country, recommending a choice of license tags and whether it should be uploaded here on to enwiki. Such a wizard could, eventually, be integrated into the Upload Wizard. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:54, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
PD-US is sort of a catch-all for US expiration, be it {{PD-1923}}, {{PD-US-not_renewed}}, {{PD-US-no_notice}}, or {{PD-US-1978-89}}. It's an older tag, and there are cases where it is virtually certain that either no_notice or not_renewed applies, but it's not certain which. There is also a {{PD/1923}} tag which is a variant. It's preferable to use the more specific ones but the old one is in wide use and not too easy to deprecate. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:14, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Is it NASA PD?

"Data: NASA/APL-Johns Hopkins University, Mapping: P. J. Stooke" - is it public domain? Bulwersator (talk) 20:53, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

I would say we can't be sure. Powers (talk) 13:17, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
So mapping may be or may not be copyrighted work? Bulwersator (talk) 08:29, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, so I will upload it Bulwersator (talk) 21:46, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Russian Oficial Documents

Hi Guys, i want to upload a scans of some oficial documents issued by russian federation car register (car ownership proove), and the real estate registar (real estate ownership proove). Can i do that ? Thanks in advance: Sheepdog85 (talk) 16:33, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

See {{PD-RU-exempt}}. If this is not applicable, there is no way, I think. -- RE rillke questions? 16:46, 4 August 2011 (UTC)


This image is from the Central Bank of Cyprus website. The licensing tag is {{PD-self}} at the moment which is obviously incorrect, but would the site's terms of use make this suitable for {{Attribution}}? January (talk) 12:48, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Maybe {{Copyrighted free use provided that|all the conditions}}. -- RE rillke questions? 16:24, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
But I would feel more comfortable if someone can confirm this, too. Thanks -- RE rillke questions? 16:41, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
The wording of the terms of use of the website of the Central Bank of Cyprus is almost identical to that of the website of the European Central Bank, the images of which are considered not free for Commons. See Commons:Deletion requests/Template:Eurocoins and, for example, Commons:Deletion requests/File:2008.Chypre.euro.piece10c.jpg. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:14, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
What nonsense. (-this decision in my opinion) but feel free to file a DR. -- RE rillke questions? 17:19, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Copyright status error


My image has been flagged up has not having sufficient copyright information.

"This media file does not have sufficient information on its copyright status. Unless the copyright status is provided, the file will be deleted seven days after this template was added: (4 August 2011)."

I took the photo myself in March 2011 in the UK. Which type of license is the most appropriate and what tags do I need to insert? I currently have it listed as Public Domain Non-US works and Free Creative Commons License but the error message still comes up.

Many thanks, Charlotte

The file was uploaded with no copyright notice listed, thus it got tagged. If you wish to license it CC-BY-SA, then that is the only tag you need (the non-US one can not apply here anyways; that tag should be removed). Anyways, to fix the "no license" tag, simply remove it from the page now that you have the correct license put in. I just did that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:49, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Images of coins from National Bank of Kazakhstan website

On my talk page User:Mheidegger proposed uploading images of Kazakhstani currency from the National Bank of Kazakhstan website. Although Kazakhstani currency designs are in the public domain by {{PD-KZ-exempt}}, I don't know whether these photographs are public domain. If not, it may be necessary to obtain the coins in order to take our own photographs of them. Dcoetzee (talk) 19:54, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

generational copyright issues

Pardon my ignorance,but as a new user it occured to me that although an image of a painting by a long-dead author/painter might now be copyright free, the photograph of the painting might not be, having been taken recently. I would like to use a detail of Daniel Maclise 'Death of Nelson' posted on Wikimedia, in a book, but do not know who the photographer is.Any ideas? Curlycee — Preceding unsigned comment added by Windsor1 (talk • contribs) 13:39, 4. August 2011 (UTC)

See {{PD-art}} -- RE rillke questions? 16:19, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Finding the name of the photographer is only one part of the problem. If you plan to use that photo in a country where it is copyrighted, for example in the United Kingdom, and unless the photographer or other copyright owner has offered it under a free license, then you will need to contact him and obtain his permission to use his photo. See the help page Commons:Reuse of PD-Art photographs for a list of some countries where you can or can not use such photos without permission. You do not tell what file you wanted to use, but assuming that it is File:The Death of Nelson - detail.jpg, the source webpage does not seem to provide specific information about the photo but the webpage has a copyright notice in the name of a company. I guess you would have to contact them and ask the information about the photo. But there doesn't seem to be contact information on that website. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:03, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Note that the issue of whether photographic reproductions are copyrightable in the UK is unsettled. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:35, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Statue in the US by unknown sculptor

Can "en:File:Threegraces lh ima 2010.jpg" be moved to the Commons? Located in Indianapolis, it's by an unknown sculptor and was created before c. 1925: see "The Three Graces (Indianapolis)" for details. What are the rules concerning the copyright status of artworks by unidentified artists in the US? — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:21, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

It should qualify for {{PD-US-no notice}}, unknown artist so obviously no copyright notice on the statue and created well before 1977. MKFI (talk) 13:29, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah, great. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:49, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Copyright for flags and perhaps logos of International Organizations

Organizations such as NATO, UN, INTERPOL, African Union, European Union, World Trade Organization, Olympics Committee should enjoy freely licensed (PD?) flags and perhaps logos as well. Some of these organizations have "copyrighted" flags though why it is copyrighted escapes me. I feel they shouldn't be copyright-able.

For starters w:Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works covers copyright between signatory countries. International bodies such as the ones listed above exist at a level above individual countries in a manner that no countries local law interferes with another. Because the works are created in international territory a copyright cannot really apply. To put it in more simplistic argument, which court would World Trade Organization apply to enforce its copyright? Which countries copyright even apply? The answer to me is no single country hence none.

I wanted to start a discussion to this end hence the post. I could come up with more arguments but I feel this is a good start.

-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 00:42, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Such emblems are not usually "created in international territory" (and in fact there's very little which could be usefully called "international territory" outside of certain U.N. headquarters buildings). Commons actually seems to have a de facto policy of hosting all national flags of sovereign countries despite any individual national copyright concerns, and I guess it depends whether this is extended to international flags... AnonMoos (talk) 08:35, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
There are simple flags, there are old flags and there are flags that are free because of special exceptions (government work etcetera). Most flag images seem to be declared "own work" (so nobody seems to have worried). Do we really host flags the designs of which are non-free? What recent national flags have designs complicated enough for this to be a problem? --LPfi (talk) 17:38, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
The flag of Turkmenistan leaps to mind... AnonMoos (talk) 22:36, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
The copyright of the work is typically handled in a manner as if it was created on that international territory to avoid restrictions from copyright. As in it is either assumed to be created there or the copyright holder is asked to completely release control before use (something close to a free license but it is more of an agreement between the individual and the organization initially and rights are "extended" later on if needed). The end result is even if WTO logo was created in Singapore, it isn't Singaporean copyright law that applies to the logo. The end result of the "copyright" makes Berne inapplicable since it in the end is owned by an international organization not bound by any local IP law.
I do not know if coat of arms is as "freely" available. I can list probably a hundred countries whoes flag would be problematic otherwise but only did 12 for all of our sanity. The flags are so detailed you cannot see the detail without clicking on them.
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 00:13, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Vatican City may be PD-old Bulwersator (talk) 10:41, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Many of the examples have quite a simple composition. The symbols may be detailed, but often they are standard heraldic figures or something very old. If these can be replaced by something from a PD source, then I am not sure the flags are eligible for copyright. E.g. the Mexican flag is based on an old design (and exempted from copyright anyway). --LPfi (talk) 12:55, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
I do not seek to get them deleted. I seek to get international organizations such as world trade organization to have their flags and logos on commons over the same reasons country and province flags are allowed.
Also: "The flag of Vatican City was adopted on June 7, 1929, the year Pope Pius XI signed the Lateran Treaty with Italy" which is 82 years ago. If the author lived 3 more years after creating the flag, theoretically we could argue about copyright. But I do not want to discuss the copyright status of country flags. I seek the special de facto policy of hosting all national flags of sovereign countries to be extended to international organizations.
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 14:35, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
In many/most cases, the copyright belongs to the person who *draws* the flag image, not the country. Flags are generally specified in law, and (at least) the U.S. would not recognize any copyright in that. Any interpretation beyond the law lies with the artist, not the country. This is why taking flag images from countries' websites (or sites like is discouraged, but drawing our own is not. See the descriptions at Commons:Coats of Arms; the issues are often similar. Making an image from a written description can basically never be a derivative work. International organizations are a bit different matter... some of the above may still apply, but they are still private organizations, so they can own copyright like any other corporation or individual. The bits about being part of the law, and the symbols having a legal status, usually do not apply to them. Several countries have an explicit copyright term for international organizations, distinct from individuals or corporations, so they can be *somewhat* different. A lot of the time, a self-drawn image may well be OK, but we do generally treat those organizations as being able to hold copyright just like anyone else, so we should be careful to not host specific expression attributable to those organizations without a license. As with all copyright though, making our own expression of one of their ideas is OK. Flags are unfortunately one area where those concepts can be blurred a bit and it's a bit of a contentious issue sometimes. Many of those symbols have special legal status (such as the Olympics or Red Cross) which goes beyond even normal trademark; while not related to copyright we do need to be careful not to violate those laws. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:16, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
My opinion is that there are two types of international flags. Some flags like those the Red Cross and possibly NATO are simple and can be drawn correctly from a description, similar to a heraldic coat of arms. Others, like those of UN, ICAO, ITU etc, contain a logotype, which, unlike a heraldic seal, must be drawn accurately, and at the same time complicated logos are protected by copyright. I believe that flags of the second type cannot be uploaded here, unless there is some additional evidence about their copyright status. SV1XV (talk) 19:39, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
There is no way an international organization or a country will use a flag whose copyright is owned by some random individual. With international organizations I do not see how the logos or flags can be copyrighted for the reasons I mentioned above. Complex designs exist on some flags as demonstrated on this very page. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 01:09, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
The organization itself can own copyright though. The UN I think has made its "parliamentary" type stuff (similar to laws of countries) public domain, and that organization in particular may be closer to countries rather than private organizations when it comes to copyright. The U.S. explicitly allows them copyright (17 U.S.C. 104(b)(5)); other organizations would be similar I'd think. Carl Lindberg (talk)
An international organization maintaining intellectual property is a strange concept. My question is how? To own copyright you must be based somewhere. For instance if you draw a piece of art on a ship in international waters, the copyright would go to which ever country the ship is registered to. But what if you draw it while you are swimming in said international waters - then you'd not be able to talk about copyright. International Organizations exist in such international territory which makes copyright inapplicable. In international organizations special care is given to practically everything not to give superiority to any countries law. How would WTO even attempt to sue the foundation? Tampa district court? Based on what? Berne? WTO isn't a signatory country! 17 U.S.C. 104(b)(5) covers a national origin. WTO has no such thing. If WTO uses a corporate/organization copyright by using Singaporean Copyright Law as a starting point to use Berne, it would imply if not outright mean that the WTO is a Singaporean based organization. There is a reason why International organizations aren't registered in some country like NGOs. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 02:33, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Not strange at all. Why do you think you need to be based somewhere? The "country of origin" (which is not necessary to establish copyright, but just has a potential effect on the copyright term) is country of first publication, not creation. The author gets a copyright no matter where he is, at least inside the borders of any Berne Convention country. The UN would not have any copyright inside Afghanistan for example, since they don't have a copyright law so those rights don't exist for anyone. But they exist inside the U.S. under the terms of their copyright law, inside the UK under the terms of the UK copyright law, etc., etc. Several countries give an explicit term for international organizations' copyright -- as with anything else, the term then expires at different times in different countries. I'm not exactly sure what the "country of origin" should be for Commons policy purposes, perhaps where the headquarters are, but we can't pretend that copyright doesn't exist. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:30, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Specific written specifications can make things just as uncopyrightable, in my opinion -- a visual representation should not be able to be derivative of that. That is a quintessential example of separate expressions of the same idea, to me. In some cases you may be right though. NATO is nowhere near copyrightable to me (the compass rose is a common symbol); the UN has a written spec and only the wreaths, at most, are copyrightable; ICAO is borderline to me. Also, the U.S. status for this stuff could well be ambiguous -- I'm not sure they would qualify for URAA restorations or not (kinda doubt it, particularly in the UN's case), and if not, then lots of these organizations almost certainly published copies of the emblems without a copyright notice before 1989 at some point. They would still likely be protected by trademark of course, the usual mechanism they would use to govern the use, but that is a different topic. For materials directly taken from the organization's materials, I would be careful, but quite often self-drawn images are not nearly so clear. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:07, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Also is there a single case where an international organization claimed copyright in a court? -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 03:07, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

edit point 1

とある白い猫 -- You seem to have rather strange ideas about how copyright law interacts with international organizational status. Why shouldn't an international organization be able to copyright a logo or flag under the laws of the country where it's based?? The question of the copyright status of a design sketched by a drowning man tossed overboard from Radio Caroline may make a clever law-school conundrum, but it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with whether the emblems or flags of international organizations are copyrighted...

Clindberg -- In the case of "blazons" in traditional European and European-derived heraldry, the existence of a written specification very specifically does NOT mean that artistic renderings based on the written textual blazon are copyright violations... AnonMoos (talk) 04:46, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

My analogy was intended to demonstrate an extreme example where copyright law would still manage to stand and you have managed to completely miss that very point. Let me give a different example. Which country would a work created in an embassy belong to? The local country or the country the Embassy belong to? Think about it! It is possible to snap a legal photo of the Eiffel Tower at night from a US embassy as US copyright law would apply not the French/EU one. Why SHOULD the copyright law of there they are based apply? These organizations are not based IN those countries. Even if the organization has a building on some country's soil its activity isn't susceptible to any/most of the local laws including intellectual property law or EVEN criminal law. This is called extraterritoriality and examples include NATO headquarters in Brussels, the UN's headquarters is in New York, European Central Bank in Frankfurt. List goes on... All are instead effectively on international territory enjoying extraterritoriality. US federal law and New York State law along with US intellectual property/copyright law have no jurisdiction within the UN building because of how extraterritoriality makes these places exempt from all/most such laws.For instance NYPD cannot storm (or even walk through the doors) without prior permission. Also such organizations have buildings littered throughout the world. There is a reason why these are called "international organizations".
The reason why copyright works the way it does on commons is due to the Berne convention which is signed between countries. Something copyrighted in Japan would automatically be considered copyrighted in the United States as a result. However if the owner of the copyright can not reside in a Berne signatory country the entire premise fails.
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 05:47, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
You have a misconception that a copyright "belongs" to a country. It belongs to an author. That author gets whatever rights each country grants it for any use inside that country. The Berne Convention ties most countries together, to the point that a country will give a foreign author the same rights it gives to native authors. That's about it. Perhaps this article will help. If a French native takes a photograph, they get rights over that photograph in France for their lifetime plus 70 years. However if they wait 30 years, then take that same photograph to a country which gives photos a term of 25 years from creation, then they no longer own a copyright inside the borders of that other country -- it has expired there. That does not affect the situation inside France. For something taken by a embassy, the author would be the embassy (i.e. a governmental entity). The Berne "country of origin" is where the work is first published, but that does not affect copyright ownership or its existence. An Afghan citizen can cause one of their works to first be published in, say, India, and that work will then be considered copyrighted in all Berne Convention countries, even though Afghanistan itself has no copyright law, and the author has no copyright in his own country. And as for the UN being exempt from all U.S. laws... you are incorrect. It is subject to most of them, and is inside U.S. jurisdiction. The UN can override some laws if needed for their operation, but by default the headquarters is still under U.S. jurisdiction (see here, section 7). If you find a regulation that they have repudiated U.S. intellectual property laws, point it out. I don't think they have; I don't think that would be necessary for their operation. And even then, it would just affect the applicability of copyright on UN HQ grounds... once off there, authors (UN or otherwise) get whatever rights exist for them in U.S. law (which, as noted, explicitly grants the UN copyright over their works), or the laws of other countries, if being used outside the U.S. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:54, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Copyright only works if the intellectual property is created on a Berne signatory country, ships of said countries, or the embassy of said countries and etc. You cannot for instance create intellectual property in a non Berne signatory and claim copyright infringement if someone publishes your work (that you created in a non Berne signatory) in the United States before you. Territory is critical in establishing which copyright applies. That is the first thing any intellectual property lawyer will look into.
wikisource:United States Headquarters Agreement does not contradict what I said. It was even a big deal to get UN HQ to enact an order to ban smoking indoors in the UN HQ. Who is the copyright holder for the UN logo? The United Nations or Donal McLaughlin? If the individual retains copyright... Donal McLaughlin died in 2009 so we need to wait until 2079 until the UN logo is in the Public Domain as the next of kin owns copyright. With same argument UN cannot use the UN logo. Nor can any organization use logos of any kind until 70 years pass till the authors death. When the piece of work is created for a company or organization, that work becomes the property of the organization. This is written in the individuals contract to prevent such conflicts. So any copyright for the United Nations logo should reside with the United Nations. This is the second thing an intellectual property lawyer will look into.
I retain that international organizations cannot maintain copyright because they act in multiple countries and with extraterritorial rights which in essence voids them of Berne protection UNLESS they specifically agree with a country to make works made by the organization copyright-able under some Berne signatories' own copyright law. In the case of the United Nations this exists: wikisource:Administrative Instruction ST/AI/189/Add.9/Rev.2 but for others unless quoted does not exist. In essence logos, flags, and perhaps even other works should be PD unless there is a reason to contradict this. In fact if you think about it, why is it that it was necessary to write in United Nations into US copyright law had such a copyright association happen automatically?
Your claim is that extraterritoriality has no impact on copyright I believe. Is this correct?
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 08:30, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
On a related note w:Universal Copyright Convention is obsolete if that is what you are confusing. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 08:49, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Too say this in a few words flags and logos of organizations of African Union, INTERPOL, and WTO should be allowed on commons. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 10:30, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Copyright only works if the intellectual property is created on a Berne signatory country False. It does not matter at all where the work was created, it may matter where the author is a citizen, and it can matter a lot where the work first gets published. The U.S. will recognize copyright in works by U.S. citizens no matter where it is made or published, and most countries are the same for their own nationals. Berne Convention countries are also bound to recognize copyright in anything first published in a Berne Convention country; it again does not matter where it is made. Please see Article 5. Territory is critical in establishing which copyright applies. That makes no sense at all, and indicates you continue to misunderstand the nature of copyright. The law of each country will determine how far copyright extends inside the borders of that country. Each country will have rules about how they protect foreign works, which should follow Berne Convention norms. If an author wishes to enforce copyright in a country, they must follow the laws of that country. Whatever rights they possess can change as they cross borders. They do not get to apply their own country's law across the world. Who is the copyright holder for the UN logo? The United Nations or Donal McLaughlin? I'll get to the logo in a minute, but normal works (graphical or written) would be considered a work for hire, and the copyright would be owned by the United Nations. In the U.S., they would get a term of 95 years from publication, no matter how long the author lives, but (for pre-1989 works) would also require that a copyright notice be present on each copy, and (for pre-1964 works) it would have to be renewed with the U.S. Copyright Office after 28 years. Many countries have an explicit term for works by international organizations, say 50 or 70 years from publication regardless of the author, so that is what the UN would get in those countries. The U.S. explicitly gives them normal U.S. terms; Here is the UK provision, for example (50 years from creation). If there is no separate term mentioned, then they would get whatever term is given for corporate works -- if an individual author is known, then yes the UN could own copyright in those countries until 70 years after that author dies, otherwise it would be an anonymous work (expiring some years after publication). Now, some of those countries employ the "rule of the shorter term", which means the term is the shorter of their own term, or the term in the "country of origin" -- that is the one place which get get murky with the extraterritoriality, but I'm guessing that stuff published in the HQ would have the U.S. as the "country of origin" for that case, as noted from the Agreement. Stuff they initially publish in other countries could have a different "country of origin" I guess. Copyright is automatic under Berne; you don't have to "agree" with a country to get it, but any country may of course treat such works specially in their laws if they so choose. The document you cite is where the UN is disclaiming any copyright protection for certain types of their works, i.e. placing those in the public domain. For other types, they intend to claim copyright to the extent that a country's legislation allows. Any author can do that.
As for the UN logo in particular, it has a very explicit written description -- anyone making a version based on that description could own copyright in that, even though they would all look quite similar. While a separate copyright, they would still be subject to the UN's trademark on it of course. The concentric circles and the world outline are probably really not copyrightable; the particular representation of the wreaths on the other hand could be, and most versions probably do copy those. However... in many countries the copyright has expired no matter what, for the U.S. in particular my guess is that it was published at some point without a copyright notice (which would likely affect all "shorter term" countries), and lastly the definition may well have been published as one of the types of documents they release to the public domain (which used to be most of them, but in later years they have more exceptions, but this logo has been there from the beginning). I think it's a stretch to think the UN logo itself is copyrighted, at least when it comes to a user-made version -- extracting the logo from actual UN materials could still be an issue. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:42, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
I am sorry a US citizen taking the photo of the Eiffel tower at night would not generate an independent US copyright as long as its snapped in France. It is you who does not grasp anything at this point. Anyways clearly you will not allow international organisation logos or flags by bombarding with pointless text. I am tired of arguing my valid point with you but you will keep completely ignoring everything about extraterritorial rights (my argument) as you have no grasp of it. We should mass delete flags while we are at it. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 16:25, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
The copyright in a photograph taken by a US citizen is owned by that person. If they wish to use it in France, it is possible that it would be determined to be derivative of the lighting, and thus that person does not have rights to copy or distribute it (in France). If that same person wanted to use it in the U.S., then the "derivative work" determination would be done based on U.S. law, not French law -- if it is still deemed derivative and not fair use, then that same person would also not have the rights to distribute it in the U.S. either as the French lighting copyright would then control those rights. If on the other hand U.S. law differs a little bit, and it is not deemed derivative, then that person can indeed distribute it inside the U.S. even if they can't in France. Copyright laws are similar, but not identical, and there are subtle differences across borders. Do you think differently in the above situation? Extraterritoriality is basically irrelevant in this case, as far as I can tell, unless possibly you are talking about usage on the physical grounds of the UN headquarters itself -- Commons is still subject to U.S. law, which explicitly grants normal copyright protection to UN and OAS works. And even if not, if a work is simply first published in a Berne country, they are bound to recognize that copyright (within the boundaries of normal U.S. copyright law). Most organizations will use a publisher in a Berne country. For example, here is a 1952 UN publication from New York (containing the logo, BTW, and without a copyright notice). Please read 17 U.S.C. 104; if a work meets any of those conditions then it gets copyright protection in the U.S. I will grant that "country of origin" becomes pretty difficult to determine when it comes to logos and that sort of thing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:26, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
AnonMoos -- a graphical work can not be derivative of a literary work. They are separate expressions of the same idea. I've never run across anything which indicates otherwise. If you have a precise written definition of a design, and someone takes that and makes a graphical work... I think that is a separate copyright. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:54, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Even if you draw coca cola logo without looking at it by only using the description you would still violate copyright. What are you talking about? -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 08:30, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
What does that mean? The Coca-cola logo is very clearly out of copyright according to the laws of the United States... AnonMoos (talk) 12:04, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
If you are drawing a graphical work from memory, sure that can be an issue if your memory is good and the resulting expression comes too close to the original. If you are drawing something based on a written description, no, that is a separate expression of the same idea. See en:Idea–expression divide. The Coke logo is a particularly bad one since it is a) PD-textlogo, and b) public domain by age in countries which would recognize copyright in it in the first place. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:42, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Personal letters

Are personal letters by notable people to fans copyrighted? A user has uploaded many many such letters (or parts of them) -- phone photos of such letters, many could be deleted as out of scope because of image quality itself, but I'd like some clarity on copyright status of such letters. e.g. File:ZubairRizwi AutographedLetter.jpg. cheers. SpacemanSpiff (talk) 08:06, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Under traditional Common Law the answer was yes -- not sure about any specific legal rulings... AnonMoos (talk) 08:26, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I know of no exception for personal letters. If they are "litterary or artistic works" the author would indeed have the copyright (at least over here). On the other hand they may be unpublished, which means the rules are different than for published works (the 70 years post mortem does apply however, plus a shorter time for the publisher).
The example image is not of the letter itself though. Whether the publishing is allowed does probably depend on the jurisdiction(s) in question.
--LPfi (talk) 17:55, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
There was a big court case a couple decades ago when an Salinger sued and won over a book that paraphrased his personal letters. [3] A court rules that fair use did apply to unpublished letters[4], but the law still protects them pretty tightly.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:56, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

I think that a personal letter may not be copyrighted in many European jurisdictions due to lack of originality if it only contains a few lines in the manner of "Will arrive in Xyz-town tomorrow at nine o'clock. Could you meet us at the train station? Mary sends her best regards. Love, Frank." If it's more, then it will be copyrighted. And I think that e.g. in Britain even a very simple letter may be copyrighted anyway, as the threshold of originality is lower there. The example given here seems tricky to me. Only parts of the letter are visible, and I have no idea what the content is (can't read the language). Furthermore, I have no idea who Zubair Rizwi is. Gestumblindi (talk) 19:18, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

On having looked through quite a few more, I'll say that the country of origin of the letters varies. Some of them are standard "response to write to a celebrity asking for an autograph" letters while some of them are personal letters. I don't believe any of them have been published per se, but there are a lot of them, and they are all phone photos of parts of these letters. e.g. File:RKLaxman_SignedPostcard.jpg, File:SachinTendulkar_AutographedLetter.jpg (response to requests) and File:VasudevanNair letter.jpg (a personal letter). These examples are from India. cheers. SpacemanSpiff (talk) 07:17, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
sv:Karolina Ramqvist published in a book an angry letter to her by en:Ulf Lundell; the court judged that this infringed on Lundell's copyright. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 09:19, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
When properly cropped like File:SachinTendulkar_AutographedLetter.jpg there is little issue (a small amount of text isn't copyrightable, particularly stripped of its semantic context). I remain uncertain about File:VasudevanNair letter.jpg - it may or may not be copyrightable. See also my essay Commons:Images containing text. Dcoetzee (talk) 19:01, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Photos from ITTF

We have many photos from ITTF since it's gallery on the website contains a kind of permission statement: ("You are free to use ...."). I notice that there was a template which was deleted (Commons:Deletion requests/Template:ITTF) - however - I do not know if this deleted template did rely on the website's permission statement. Before the DR there was a discussion Commons_talk:Licensing/Archive_12#Template:ITTF. The user who deleted the files from the DR did not answer as of now.

Question: is this website's permission statement not sufficient for COM:L? Then we should try to check our content more regularly for uploads from ITTF and delete all of them. Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 16:29, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

I'd say no. Generally, statements like "you are free to use" are not clear enough for our purposes, because they do not specify explicitly enough that derivative works may be created or that commercial use is allowed. I'd suggest you contact the ITTF and ask for clarification. If they say that "free to use" in this case includes modification and commercial use, then we can archive this permission with OTRS for the future. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:23, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Jack, I will write them an email. Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 01:43, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

USFWS Mountain Prairie on flickr

Hello, I've uploaded some photos posted by this flickr account: . The Fish and Wildlife Service is an agency of the United States federal government, so as far as I know, the photos are in the public domain. The problem is that its flickr pages say "All Rights Reserved", so the review bot is denying the images:

File:Pagosa skyrocket 1.jpg File:Pagosa skyrocket 2.jpg, File:Pagosa skyrocket 3.jpg, File:Pagosa skyrocket habitat 1.jpg, File:Pagosa skyrocket habitat 2.jpg, File:Pagosa skyrocket habitat 3.jpg

What should I do now? Melchoir (talk) 05:31, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Email them and tell them they are in violation of the federal law :D. You could make them fix it maybe. I do not believe flickr allows public domain tag and US Gov probably cannot use Creative Commons because the work is already in the public domain. OTRS is the way to go I would suggest. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 05:58, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Flickr does have a "US Government Work" but that presumably needs assistance from Flickr to set up. We do have a {{PD-USGov-FWS}} tag you could use. As for the Flickr part, it should hopefully be handled by the person doing the Flickr manual review, seeing that it is a USGov author -- really it needs a human review, not bot review. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:33, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, for now I've added the {{PD-USGov-FWS}} tag. Hopefully a human reviewer will take it from there.
Contacting the FWS directly seems like a lot of work. :-) According to [5] they could either mark their photos as "United States Government Work" or "No Known Copyright Restriction". There's a list of flickr accounts at, and it seems their offices are using a few different standards at the moment. I don't think OTRS is really the best solution, since ideally they would publically change the license tag on all of their photos. If anyone wants to go ahead and contact them, you'll have my gratitude! Melchoir (talk) 22:33, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

I notice that photographs taken from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress are uploaded here as PD-USGov; as it seems, assuming that this applies to all photographs there. However, their Copyright Information page says: "Images on this site are provided as a contribution to education and scholarship. Not all images are in the public domain; some images may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Do not duplicate without permission from copyright holder." It seems to me that the images got uploaded here, like File:Lester Johnson.jpg (I came across this one because of this question), without individual review or seeking for permission. Gestumblindi (talk) 14:13, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, and for that reason the PD-USGov-Congress-Bio tag got deprecated (see Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-USGov-Congress-Bio). However, modern photos there are almost certainly the official photos and therefore PD-USGov. Older photos such as the one above are the usual problems, though they usually do note external sources (see Commons:Deletion requests/File:Nixon while in US Congress.jpg). In this case, it is explicitly sourced as Photo from ”Four New Congressmen Take Oath” (detail), 1954, Collection of U.S. House of Representatives so PD-USGov would indeed seem to apply to that one, as a work of the House of Representatives. You are right that works from that site should not automatically be considered PD-USGov, but in most cases they actually are, so look at whatever other source information is provided to make a determination. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:49, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, is a photo from the Collection of U.S. House of Representatives guarenteed to be a work of the House of Representatives? Couldn't they have photos in the collection where others have the copyright? But maybe I'm suffering from "copyright paranoia" now... and thanks for your answer; good to know! Gestumblindi (talk) 15:03, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

pd-shape: de:Kategorie:Datei:UIAA Toposymbol

which of the files listed in de:Kategorie:Datei:UIAA Toposymbol meet the criteria of {{PD-shape}} and which doesn't? (see also Category:UIAA Topo-symbols) --Akkakk (talk) 18:03, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Public domain Papyrus?


I think this file must be PD because of age. It shows a papyrus from 1550 bC. What do you think? --Marinelli (talk) 20:45, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

The writing on the papyrus is not really the main potential problem -- it's whether or not the papyrus as a whole is truly a 2D object, or really has more characteristics of 3D... AnonMoos (talk) 22:02, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
I understand. If it is more a 3D- there is no PD available? It is a papyrus written on it on both sides. --Marinelli (talk) 07:11, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Looks pretty flat and two-dimensional to me. However, I don't think the current {{cc-by-2.0}} licence is correct (according to the source, it was originally licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA-2.5, which is not a licence we can use). In my view the correct licence should be {{PD-Art-100}}. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:39, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Updated the license. Dcoetzee (talk) 07:01, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Company logo / car parked in the street / Ireland


I took some time ago a photo of a car probably used for advertising, parked in a residential area, public place, showing the Nurofen Express logo.

Can this picture be uploaded to commons and used in articles related to the product?

--Cqui (talk) 10:39, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

If the logo looks like this, I'd say no. It is too complex for {{PD-textlogo}}, and so you will need the permission of the copyright holder. — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:50, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Cqui (talk) Well, it's this logo but on a car instead of a box... --12:30, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
You might try uploading the photograph to the English Wikipedia and using it under a fair-use justification, but be prepared for objections. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:33, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
If the photo is not of the car, but of a public place that happens to have such a car in it, then it's probably de minimis. But I don't think this was your intention, especially in light of your intended use. The fact that a car is a functional object is irrelevant, because the logo printed/painted on it is separable. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:13, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
In that case we might want to delete all the photos of lorries, trains and buses we have. -mattbuck (Talk) 00:33, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
It's quite a different matter when the photo illustrates the car, etc. and the ad is incidental, rather than when the photo is focused on the ad or being used specifically to illustrate the ad. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:39, 12 August 2011 (UTC) Well, I understand that if the photo was illustrating the neighbourhood or a race in which the car is in, or the car model itself, it would be ok. --08:47, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Suitable release?

Is this Facebook post a sufficient release for File:Kekal2004germany.jpg (taken from here)? Thanks, cmadler (talk) 03:20, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Almost certainly not. "Free to use" does not imply irrevocability, or that it's okay for commercial use, etc. And the language saying "for use on Wikipedia" suggests perhaps he means "only for use on Wikipedia", which is definitely not okay. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:04, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
I do wish to note that the band also said "not copyrighted," and with regard to Wikipedia actually said "You can freely use those on Wikipedia," not "for use on Wikipedia." I don't know if those distinctions effect the usability this post as a release, but I thought I would clarify.--3family6 (talk) 13:07, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
It's difficult... I don't know whether calling something "not copyrighted" is a release of the work into the public domain, or simply an erroneous statement. In many countries there's no legal way to release a work into the public domain, and a separate statement is needed to release rights (which is why we have the small text on the {{PD-self}} tag). Clarification is needed here. Dcoetzee (talk) 07:00, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments; I've requested additional clarification on that Facebook thread. cmadler (talk) 09:53, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

State symbols of Ethiopia - PD or not?

Are these files - File:People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia coat.png and File:Derg emblem.png - in public domain or not? I found similar files uploaded in local WPs as fair-use, but on commons they are wrongly licensed by user as Cc-zero. I think, they can be only PD or only FU, but not Cc-zero or something like that. Dmitry89 (talk) 20:31, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

CC-zero is the same as public domain. Ethiopia looks like it makes the content of laws fully PD, but not necessarily emblems (unless the emblem was included as part of the law, but that would likely just be that representation). As with most emblems of this type then... the copyright would generally reside with the artist who draws a particular version. Therefore, some versions would be licensed freely, some could be PD, and others could be copyrighted, even though they are all the same general design. In these cases, the graphics look like they were simply copied from another website, and that generally means we don't have evidence for the license. I don't see any indication of a license on the source website (and, really, that looks to be a google ads trap type of website, and probably copied the graphics from elsewhere -- maybe even Wikipedia). I would nominate these two for deletion. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:15, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
I see problem firstly in a template CC-zero, which says "I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following license...", but uploader is not author, and there are no any permission of a real author for publishing under CC-zero license. Dmitry89 (talk) 06:21, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Help with USAF website

I uploaded three USAF photos of Rosario Dawson while filming "Eagle Eye", all of them {{PD-USGov-Military-Air Force}}:

Unfortunately I have the image URLs but I could not locate a permanent description page on the USAF website. Currently the descriptions and photographer identity are available on [6]. Could someone who is familiar with the USAF website locate the original story page ? Thank you. SV1XV (talk) 14:21, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Here is the original story, on OSI's particular sub-website. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:32, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
OK, thank you very much. I shall update the image source info fields. SV1XV (talk) 17:39, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Museum policy on photographs


I'm currently visiting museums (in a German city) and all of them allow photographs for personnal use but forbide professional-grade photographs and/or photographs that I'd eventually resell (thus preventing me to upload them here). I'd know how to deal with that? Should I contact the people in charge of these museums and enquire an OTRS tickets? Verbal approval would it suffice? Best regards, Tachymètre (talk) 17:23, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

This is not a copyright restriction, so it does not concern Wikimedia Commons. Anyway professional-grade photographs is a very ambiguous definition. Yann (talk) 17:45, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
You may find "Commons:Image casebook#Museum and interior photography" and the Wikiversity article "Museum photography" useful. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:29, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
Thank for the information. I'm planning to get in touch with a museum director soon. I'd like to now one other thing: through using a CC-BY picture, the author of a work is forced to credit the original photographer. Is it also mandatory to credit the name of the museum through this license? I think that, from a museum perspective, giving away free pictures or allowing me to take photographs is a mean to make publicity, and I think that they'll ask me to do so. Tachymètre (talk) 17:08, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
No. Since you, the photographer, own the copyrights in your photographs and are licensing those copyrights, the only acknowledgement that the CC-BY licence requires is your name. However, I think it should be possible for you to request, as a term of the licence, that you require both your name and the museum's name to be acknowledged when the photographs are reused. You can do this using the {{cc-by-3.0}} tag, like this: "{{cc-by-3.0|Tachymètre and the XYZ-Museum}}". — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:06, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
If the items you're photographing are in the public domain, see above. If they're still in copyright, you need permission not from the museum, but from the copyright holder (usually, the artist). Dcoetzee (talk) 20:47, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Not if the jurisdiction in which the photography occurs has freedom of panorama, though. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:52, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
You do not need to acknowledged museum in your license, but you should add an Institution template to the file description and possibly add it to a Institution related category. --Jarekt (talk) 21:26, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Allright, thanks for these clarifications. I'm getting in touch with a museum director right now. Tachymètre (talk) 17:16, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Polish freedom of panorama

Polish law states that FOP works if "the propagation is not for the same use". So in my opinion it's fine when you take a picture of a building because the picture is on free licence, not a project of building. You can use the picture in any way you want, you just can't build same building - like with every FOP, I guess. But what about File:Kamień tablica.jpg? It's a printed 2D picture. I can't print it and put it on my house because it will be "same use". Probably I can't even print that at all. So if there's no way to reuse it in some ways then it's not compatible with Commons policy. I think we should delete those images as soon as possible and add information about it on FOP page. Maybe for a start billboards and sings like that. Keep in mind that many will be left because they are trivial (e.g. only text) or they are PD by other laws (e.g. government work). Herr Kriss (talk) 11:15, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

In my opinion, this interpretation is too restrictive. The law means that you are not allowed to recreate the same object, but publishing photographs is allowed because the photograph is not the object which is photographed. Yann (talk) 17:22, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Yann. Polish law appears to prevent a person from copying the design of a building and constructing a similar building, or creating a three-dimensional replica of a sculpture and selling the replica as an artwork. However, taking a photograph of a sculpture and publishing the photograph does not amount to disseminating a reproduction of the sculpture for the same purpose as the original sculpture. Similarly, I would say that publishing a photograph of a two-dimensional sign does not amount to disseminating the copyrighted content of the sign for the same purpose as the original work (i.e., use as signage). — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:57, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, but what if I want to use it as a sign? Then I can't and that's agianst commons policy. Herr Kriss (talk) 19:54, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Forbidding that is against Commons policy, but we allow a lot of similar restrictions, e.g. some images cannot be cropped so that certain details become the main subject of the image. "For any use" is usually about licensing, not about legal status. --LPfi (talk) 12:55, 16 August 2011 (UTC)


File:IEEE12010.png - an organization logo supposedly CC-By-SA. This doesn't seem right. Rd232 (talk) 00:37, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Tag it with {{No permission since}} as there isn't enough information to show that the uploader was authorized by the copyright holder to license the logo, and it's too complex for {{PD-textlogo}}. — Cheers, JackLee talk 06:33, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Done. Rd232 (talk) 09:27, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Similar question: File:Logotipo do banco BPI.jpg - is that really simple enough for {{PD-textlogo}}? The flower design looks too complex to me. Rd232 (talk) 15:27, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree that it's too complex. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:09, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Rd232 (talk) 21:43, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Another issue: File:MagneticaFM.jpg is a panorama which contains a PD-text-logo (on the side of the building). Is there a standard way to deal with this? {{PD-text-logo}} applies only to the entire image. Rd232 (talk) 23:22, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

It's de minimis anyway, so I don't think any template is needed. You may want to add {{trademark}}, though. Powers (talk) 01:30, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it's Commons:De minimis. As I understand it, a key part of "de minimis" for copyright is generally incidental inclusion, and here the inclusion of the logo seems a deliberate choice by the photographer to clearly identify the subject. Rd232 (talk) 09:25, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Rd232 here. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:13, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Would it make sense to adapt {{PD-textlogo}} to give it an optional parameter to cover this case? The parameter would just cause a slight wording tweak ("this image includes a logo which...") and prevent the categorisation as PD ineligible. Similarly, would it make sense to have a {{De minimis}} marker template, to indicate "yes, there is something in this image which may be subject to copyright, but it's believed to be de minimis". It could include a warning, for example, that the specified "something" can't be cropped out and made into its own image (Commons:De_minimis#Crops_of_de_minimis_images). Rd232 (talk) 16:49, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

WLM 2011 Logo, correct license and usage?

LUSITANA WLM 2011 d.svg

Sorry gals & guys, if this is nonsense, but I'm a bit insecure about the WLM 2011 logo. Currently it is dual licensed as cc-by-sa-3.0|GFDL.

  • Thus this (derivative) usage at an official partner site (which makes it delicate) is not correct. They even claim copyright for themself!
  • IMHO this usage at de:WP is also not correct. According to rules stated here (German, sorry), linking to something else than the image page containing the license information, is only allowed for PD images or image below Threshold of originality. The user, who re-inserted the direct link again, stated that, independent from what is written on commons, this image is as a logo below Threshold of originality. Now I didn't find any corresponding license template here, {{PD-textlogo}}, or {{PD-shape}} hardly match. But if so, the logo could be used and changed outside WP as well and we are not in control any more.

So I think, there is something wrong. Maybe the license should be changed to {{CopyrightByWikimedia}} as for File:Wikilovesmonuments logo.svg.

Wikilovesmonuments logo.svg

Thoughts? --Herzi Pinki (talk) 17:10, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Germany's threshold of originality is actually noticeably higher than in the U.S., but that's no excuse for obscuring the attribution. Powers (talk) 01:26, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Posting Works Produced By Others

If I paid for a photographer to take photos, and that photographer does not mind if I upload a photo to Wikipedia Commons using the Creative Commons Attribution CC-BYSA 3.0 license, will that suffice? In other words, is that allowed? How explicit does the permission from the photographer need to be? Ldhendri (talk) 23:24, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

If the contract with the photographer specified that you own the copyright, then obviously no permission is needed, as you would hold the rights. Otherwise... see COM:OTRS. We usually like to be pretty careful with works of others, to make sure they are aware what is being licensed -- many times they think they are licensing a work just for Wikipedia to use, which is not the case, and that sort of thing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:05, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
In short, if you are not the copyright holder by contract, then no, you must get explicit written permission, and submit it via the COM:OTRS process. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:14, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
I've understood that being the rights' owner isn't sufficient either: if the work is professional or by somebody else you have to go through OTRS anyway. That is mainly because nobody knows you are you, unless you confirm it by e-mail (with amateur photos by the uploader we trust good faith, unless there are reasons to doubt it). --LPfi (talk) 13:22, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
If the work has been published elsewhere first, then yes we generally require OTRS regardless of who owns the rights. But for something which has never been published, there is usually no way the uploader could have obtained it except via permission or if they were the rightsholder -- those are similar to people uploading their own photos, where we assume good faith. If they are professional photos, I'd guess we probably tend to err on the side of caution, but I don't think it's a hard and fast rule. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:23, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Independent views on possible copyright problem with some old New Mexico postcards

Hi, I have uploaded a sample of 5 (here) from a prospective batch upload of 180 images of postcards that Boston Public Library have released on a free CC license. I believe these might be suitable to batch upload on a claim of no known copyright but I am concerned (slightly) about the date uncertainty. BPL have left it as a range and I am not sure there is any way of refining this estimate. If BPL had gone for Flickr's 'no known copyright' option we could upload the lot with a clear conscience, but without that we have to take their CC claim which seems rather more doubtful considering the copyright was held by Tichnor Bros; they do however say that there are "no known restrictions". Opinions? Cheers -- (talk) 21:50, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

If they were published in the US before 1978 without a proper copyright notice, which would give the year of publication, then they would fall into the public domain. If we can clearly date them before that, they're clearly PD.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:05, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, that's very helpful as according to BPL, the latest these would date from would be 1945 and as the BPL have clearly stated "No known restrictions" then it is safe to assume that there is no formal statement anywhere on the postcards. I'll return to batch upload the rest next week. -- (talk) 03:33, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
My Faebot has been uploading some more to this category, but rather than the CC-BY used on Flickr, is there a well suited (non) copyright template to apply? -- (talk) 15:09, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
It's {{PD-US-no notice}}.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:21, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
Done on 180+ images. I'm inordinately pleased with the outcome and glad to see this noticeboard is effective. Cheers -- (talk) 08:27, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Dutch National Archive

Can someone tell me which copyright status the Dutch National Archive has (non-flickr files)? It says on their website the following (translated): [7]

The material on this website may be used, if unchanged and with the addition of the source name, for personal noncommercial usage and for noncommercial use for educational or research purposes. Prints of the images in low resolution may be made for personal, noncommercial use. For any other usage permission needs to be granted.

Does this make it usuable for commons (with the addition of the sources name)? A number of photos are already used on Commons. If not, perhaps on Thanks. Machinarium (talk) 16:52, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

We don't allow noncommercial-only and no-derivative-works-allowed images on the Commons, because they are not considered "free" enough. Can you link to an image you described used on If it's not used with a non-free use rationale it could be a copyright issue. Regards Hekerui (talk) 18:36, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
There's a category for the images [8] though they may all have been released through flickr. Can the images (non-flickr) not be used on either? Other than fair-use of course? Machinarium (talk) 19:01, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
If the photographs are old enough to have entered the public domain, they may be uploaded here in spite of any copyright claim that the Dutch National Archives makes over them. See {{PD-Netherlands}} and {{PD-NL-Gov}}. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:32, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
The ones we already have are {{Flickr-no known copyright restrictions}} from the looks of it. So, the institution believes they are PD in the Netherlands (or have released the rights if they owned any). I would not upload anything directly from their website, unless a separate analysis could be done indicating a PD status. In general it's entirely possible the Dutch National Archive does not own the copyrights -- they seem to hold works from lots of non-government organizations and individuals, in which case the rights are not necessarily theirs to license. En-wiki goes by U.S. law, so if the photos are from before 1923, they may be useable there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:37, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Hi, I'm working on a vector image of the video game logo for Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (image) and wondering if I can upload it here on Commons, using {{PD-textlogo}}, without breaking any copyright laws. // WikiPhoenix (Talk) 18:07, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

The logo consists entirely of fonts. I'd say it qualifies for {{PD-textlogo}}. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:33, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Wow, thanks for replying so fast! What do you think about Naughty Dog's logo (image)? Can I upload a SVG version of it (which I have made on my own) with {{PD-textlogo}}? // WikiPhoenix (Talk) 18:54, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Questionable. The paw is probably copyrightable. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:08, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree. Naw to the paw. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:00, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Ok, thanks guys! // WikiPhoenix (Talk) 12:41, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Is this logo really PD-textlogo?

File:VFOlogo.png looks like a bit more complex than I would have thought the PD-textlogo would cover. Any comments? --Slashme (talk) 16:39, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

I understand that under US copyright law fonts are not copyrightable. This logo consists entirely of fonts. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:06, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Technically "typeface as typeface" is not copyrightable (actual computer font files are protectable as computer programs). But yes, this is "typeface as typeface", to me. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:41, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Polar bear license plates

The Government of Nunavut is currently running a competition to replace their license plates because they claim the current ones are copyrighted by the Government of the Northwest Territories. Does this mean that the images at Category:License plates of Nunavut and Category:License plates of the Northwest Territories are not free files? Also looking at rule 2 I take that the new design would also not be suitable for Commons? CambridgeBayWeather Talk 04:36, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Looking at Why has the NWT decided to redesign the current NWT Licence Plate? I get the impression that the issue is slightly different than presented on the Nunavut contest page, and that in fact the issue is about {{Copydesign}} and not copyright, so my initial thought is that the images may stay. --Henrik (heb: Talk · Contributions · E-mail) 06:08, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
I think it might also be argued that since a licence plate is a utilitarian object, the principles mentioned in "Commons:Image casebook#Utility objects" are applicable. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:59, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
To the contrary, I think the design printed on a license plate is fully separable from its function as a license plate, like the design painted on a China plate, and so copyrightable. Whether these are copyrighted is another matter. Dcoetzee (talk) 14:19, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, I defer to those more familiar with US copyright law. — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:41, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the link to the GNWT page and the other replies. I have sent them an email asking to clarify the copyright status on both the old and new plates. If I get a reply I will report back. CambridgeBayWeather Talk 17:22, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Re-reading your posting, Dcoetzee, I notice you spoke about a "design printed on a license plate". However, the licence plates in question here do not have any designs printed on them. Rather, they are shaped like polar bears. Does this make any difference to your view? — Cheers, JackLee talk 20:08, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Now that I look I'm uncertain. The shape of the polar bear is obviously not part of what allows it to function as a license plate (that comes more from it being flat and having numbers on it) so the utilitarian claim still won't apply here, but I'm uncertain whether the design is too simple to qualify for copyright protection, since it is a (relatively simple) shape with no embellishments. Dcoetzee (talk) 05:24, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah. I wasn't aware that the test is whether the shape dictates the function. However, I would say that a polar bear shape probably lies on the "not simple" side of {{PD-textlogo}}. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:34, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

FP's licensing status

I wanted to reuse File:Dorflinde Haselbach, 2.jpg but I can't find a licensing tag. It's a featured picture, have I missed something? Grandiose (talk) 19:49, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Don't think you are missing something. Should ask the author to correct that; looks like he prefers to be contacted on de-wiki. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:54, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Isn't "has a licence" a prerequisite for FP? Tagged as such. -mattbuck (Talk) 20:04, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Whoops, one that slipped through the cracks. — Cheers, JackLee talk 20:10, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Shouldn't happen for FPs. I had a look in the history - also no license in the version version (i.e. no vandalism). The author is contacted at his talk in COM and dewp → done here. --Saibo (Δ) 14:24, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
The matter has been resolved – the uploader licensed it under {{cc-zero}}. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:43, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

book portraits

User Julio Grillo has uploaded several book covers and I'm not sure whether these portraits are copyrighted or not. Any help? chanchicto 08:35, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Unless the book covers are in the public domain, I think that all except "File:¿qué es la Matemática - Courant - Robbins.jpg" are copyrightable and too complex for {{PD-textlogo}}. — Cheers, JackLee, 15:01, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
I tag some of them as copyvio. IMO, File:Teoría intuitiva de los conjuntos - Paul R. Halmos.jpg can also be {{PD-shape}}, but I'm sure about File:Fundamentos de la teoría de los números - I. Vinogradov.jpg and File:Álgebra Moderna - Birkhoff y MacLane.jpg: are these publisher logos copyrighted? Giro720 (talk) 19:25, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
You'll have to do a bit of research and find out when these publishers were established and when they adopted their logos. Alternatively, if the logos are small, I wonder if they can be regarded as de minimis? — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:39, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

File:Genthe nude.jpg

Can someone review the copyright status of File:Genthe nude.jpg, please? The library of Congress may have adquired the work, but this has nothing to do with copyright (if you buy a painting, you will not own its copyright). Moreover, I don't the know USA copyright law about PD of artworks. Giro720 (talk) 19:12, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

It seems copyright was transferred to the Library of Congress as well, or at least they think so (they do own many of the negatives). See here for the rights page for that specific collection (and here for more general information on the collection). If the Library of Congress page says "No known copyright restrictions", that means they have done a copyright analysis and deemed it public domain (and they generally have better resources and knowledge than we do). The only issues in those situations would be works first published in another country -- they may be PD in the US but Commons may also need to take into account the laws of that other country. But, that's not an issue here. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:29, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

File:Ggkharitonov.jpg licensed under CC0 1.0?

File:Ggkharitonov.jpg is supposedly licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. However, checking the link provided, a Facebook link, I don't see anything there that shows that this image is under that license. How could I make sure? Jfgslo (talk) 22:56, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

The person with the Facebook account needs to add in the description of the image that they are the copyright holder and release it under CC0. Alternatively, they need to provide permission by OTRS. Otherwise the image will be deleted, since previously published images are not accepted without evidence. Dcoetzee (talk) 05:21, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Does File:Yavlogo.jpg fall under PD-text? I'm pretty sure it doesn't fall under CC-by-SA as is claimed. Either it's the copyright of the presbyterian church, or it's ineligible. --Slashme (talk) 07:31, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

It consists entirely of a typeface, so I'd say {{PD-textlogo}} is OK. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:40, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

File:Signature of Louis XV in 1753 at the wedding of the Prince of Condé and Charlotte de Rohan.png

After reading COM:SIG, it seems that this could be {{PD-signature}} due to France being a civil law country (though France isn't specifically mentioned). Am I understanding this correctly? Killiondude (talk) 18:05, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Although, in this instance I suppose it'd be PD due to how old it is, too. Killiondude (talk) 18:09, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
If you have any specific references from French jurisprudence, that would help. Otherwise I think their standard for protection is "creation of the mind". Personally I don't think signatures meet that standard -- it's something you write without thinking -- but who knows for sure. I don't think we've been deleting any. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:41, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Photo Permissions Email

I asked this on the main Commons Help desk first, but then realised this might be a more appropriate location.

I've recently uploaded a photograph to the commons. It was not taken by me, but I have the photographer's permission to release it under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 license. I understand that I need to email permissions-commons@wikimedia DOT org. Can I forward an email from him to this address, or does it have to come directly from him? Nullinfinity667 (talk) 12:04, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

It's fine to forward an e-mail. Do make sure the e-mail explicitly releases the photograph under the licence you mentioned. (Statements like "you can use the photograph freely" or "you can use the photograph on Wikipedia" are not clear enough.) — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:45, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. And don't worry - "Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0" and the URL of the photo will be explicitly quoted in the photographer's email. Nullinfinity667 (talk) 14:56, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I suppose also the "Received:" lines in the beginning of the message (mostly not shown and usually stripped when forwarding) are important to include. Those (and the "Message-ID:" line) are probably the only parts that can give some real proof as to the authenticity of the message. --LPfi (talk) 11:22, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Uploading photos of Products

I want to upload some additional photos of the Nikon D100 camera, to improve it's Wikipedia page. I intend to take them myself. However, do I have to obtain some kind of release from Nikon if their product is clearly visible in it? Nullinfinity667 (talk) 18:38, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

No. See Commons:Casebook#Utility_objects. The appearance of the Nikon D100 is driven by its functional purpose as a camera. You only have to be wary of designs or logos printed on the surface on the camera (I don't believe the Nikon D100 has any that aren't just text). Dcoetzee (talk) 00:06, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
... and even designs on the camera should be fine for photos. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:01, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the help Nullinfinity667 (talk) 09:41, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Attribution under Creative Commons license for graphics

The FAQ did not explicitly answer this question. After an image licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License is properly uploaded and annotated with attribution at wiki commons, does the thumbnail appearing in wikipedia pages require attribution also? Or is it enough that some subset of readers will click the thumbnail to see the attribution info?


Source image: [[9]]

Wiki commons: File:Ratio_of_publishing_climate_scientists_who_believe_humans_are_warming_the_planet.jpg

Wikipedia article (the one where there is a lot of polite talk page discussion): [[10]]

Thanks for comments. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 02:56, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

This is really a question for the local project using the image, not for Commons. However, generally you can use the image without additional attribution, though there's no reason you can't provide the attribution if wanted. (See, for example,'s use of File:Flickr_Obama_Springfield_01.jpg at en:Barack Obama.) If you want to be sure of the policies on, though, you can ask the folks over at en:Wikipedia:Media copyright questions for an answer. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 03:15, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I will. As for examples of non-attribution on other wikis, examples abound. That doesn't mean they are correctly adhering to the licensing rules. Is there an attorney serving as resource person regarding the Creative Commons license as used in the various parts of the wiki media foundation? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 03:55, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
You will find resistance to requiring all image captions to provide attribution. Including from myself. As for the legal team, they serve the Wikimedia Foundation, not its volunteers. They refrain from involvement in nearly everything on-wiki to prevent liability. – Adrignola talk 04:13, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
The position is that providing attribution on the image page itself is "reasonable" enough to conform to the license -- it is just one click away. Wikinews does make a practice of attributing on the article pages though. The Creative Commons license does not mandate providing the attribution directly on the same page (think, for example, an image credits page in a book, which is pretty common -- the credits are nowhere near the actual photos). Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:25, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Images - Philippine Air Force Insignias.

I am posting images of various squadrons and insignias of the Philippine Air Force. For posting of various articles of the concerned squadrons and wings.

The Philippines - Works by the government of the Philippines are not protected by copyright. However, prior approval of the government agency or office wherein the work was created is necessary for exploitation of such works for profit. (sec 171.11 and 176) (Republic Act 8293) Commons:Licensing#The_Philippines

Under what licence can I fill this in? I have put a 'rationale' clause on the images in question for reference.

Assuming that these insignia are in the public domain (I am not familiar with Philippine law), and because there is no special copyright tag for works of Philippines Government, you may use for now {{PD-Philippines}} and explain the situation in the "Permission" field. Also you should add tag {{Insignia}} to cover the non-copyright restrictions. SV1XV (talk) 17:00, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Image from

I'm trying to determine the copyright status of File:Carlos de Gales (2011).jpg. It's tagged as PD based on the legal notice from the source here (here is the official English translation). That doesn't sound PD to me, but I thought I'd ask for further opinion. Quadell (talk) 18:16, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

1903 book of uncertain copyright status

I have a book published in France in 1903 that I would like to upload. I found life dates for the second author Paul Guadet (1873–1931), and found the birth year for the first author, but not the year of death: Charles-Henri Prudent (1868–?). The most recent listing I found for for a publication by Prudent was 1933, which I suppose could have been published posthumously, but there is no indication that it was. Should I upload a copy of this 1903 book to the English Wikipedia or to Wikimedia Commons? --Robert.Allen (talk) 06:12, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

For me, it is OK. Yann (talk) 17:22, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

music copyright after release by netlabel

Not sure if this is the place to ask this question but...

After contacting a netlabel to release my music, then submitting it with the a message on the cover stating 'Copyright 2010 / myname' , it was then released by the netlabel under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) licence. As I understood it, this licence meant that I (as the creator) would retain the copyright and teh netlabel would be allowed to distribute it as it was.

I have since found out that on several sites (e.g. Amazon) the music is for sale with the netlabel stating that they own the copyright. Is this right? I was under the impression that they could distribute it but I would hold the copyright.

Some music labels require you to sign over the rights to your music to them before they will publish it. Others do not. It's possible that the record label might have given you a contract to sign that required you to release the music under this license, even though you would still retain the copyright. Since I don't know the terms of the contract you signed, I can't say for sure. It's also possible that they stated incorrectly that you license it under the cc-by-ncnd-3.0 license. I don't know.
If you're willing to release your music under this license, then it really doesn't matter either way. If not, you should contact the label's legal department. All the best, Quadell (talk) 12:09, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Hi, This page here is for the discussion of copyright matters related to Wikimedia. it does not provide legal advice to the general public about matters unrelated to Wikimedia. You might be confusing the Wikimedia Commons website (here) with the unrelated organization Creative Commons (not here), which is the organization that writes the Creative Commons licenses. (Yes, the confusion would be understandable because one word exists in the name of this website and in the name of the other organization, and because Wikimedia makes some use of the licenses written by Creative Commons.) Note that Creative Commons does not provide individual legal advice either. You might find their FAQ helpful as an introduction to their licenses. But that will not tell you anything about what previous contract you had signed with the label and what rights you had already given or sold to them by that contract in the first place. Since your question is unrelated to Wikimedia, the only thing we can say is what Quadell said above : read the contract to which you have agreed with the label and see what it says about the rights you gave or sold to them. if you need legal advice, contact a lawyer. -- Asclepias (talk) 14:51, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Two different Copyrights?

So I was looking to find pictures for some hockey articles and came across to use this picture As you can see on that page it would be a fine image to use. Now if you click on where it says Flickr towards the top of the picture you will notice that on Flickr it says All Rights Reserved. Which do you follow? Detredwings1139 (talk) 19:22, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

It appears as though the same person uploaded it to both Flickr and Fotopedia, and it's entirely possibly that he used different image licences, or that he changed the licensing on one. This does sometimes happen, and it appears to me that we can accept the image using Fotopedia as the source. cmadler (talk) 19:36, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Okay, thanks for the help. Detredwings1139 (talk) 19:42, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

New templates?

Would it make sense to adapt {{PD-textlogo}} and/or {{PD-text}} to give it an optional parameter to cover the case of an image containing such text? The parameter would just cause a slight wording tweak ("this image includes a logo which...") and prevent the categorisation as PD ineligible. Or perhaps it would be better to make a new template? Similarly, would it make sense to have a {{De minimis}} marker template, to indicate "yes, there is something in this image which may be subject to copyright, but it's believed to be de minimis". It could include a warning, for example, that the specified "something" can't be cropped out and made into its own image (Commons:De_minimis#Crops_of_de_minimis_images). Rd232 (talk) 23:21, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Generally the details of the copyright status of components of an image are addressed only in deletion requests, if and when the image is nominated. I think this is an okay approach - we don't need a detailed copyright analysis on the file description page, just the requirements the content reuser needs to follow. This proposal would clutter it. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:04, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
The content reuser may very well be dependant on the mentioned details, e.g. when finding a photo of a park with statue and not knowing whether he is allowed to crop it to show the statue only. In cases where some elements are shown in enough detail to be interesting on their own, information on their copyright status should be easy to find. Not necessarily as big template boxes, though.
("Own work" is often used ambiguously about derivative works, which is a big related problem, as the copyright status of the original work can be significant for reusers.)
--LPfi (talk) 11:34, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
This is true. I don't think there's any problem with adding a note to the comments field reading, "This image may not be cropped to focus on X." or something along those lines. And a template could be helpful with translating these messages. But let's keep it compact. Dcoetzee (talk) 15:37, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Uploading photo images

The upload wizard explains the copyright rules quite well, but I have a question concerning photos.

If a member of your family took a photo of an important person or thing many years ago and the photo was left to you when they died, could you legitimately upload it?

If so how should you classify the copyright, assuming you were happy for the image to be used freely? My query concerns images taken in the United Kingdom.

--Johnny Cyprus (talk) 08:35, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

The first thing to check is if the image is old enough for the copyright in it to have expired. If so, then the image is in the public domain and can be uploaded without any issues. However, if it is potentially not yet in the public domain, then legally speaking only the descendants to whom the copyright has passed can license the image (in which case {{PD-heirs}} should be used). Who the relevant descendants are depends on the copyright holder's will, or, if none was made, the laws relating to intestacy in the jurisdiction concerned. — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:05, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Jack. The images are my own scans of photos taken before 1911 and left to me by my late mother. What do you think?

--Johnny Cyprus (talk) 13:16, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

If you are in the US, the photos are in the public domain as they predate 1923 (see {{PD-1923}}). The Upload Wizard has an option for this. If you're not in the US, and you are her sole heir, you can release it into the public domain using {{PD-heirs}}. If you're not the sole heir (e.g. if you have siblings or other people the work may have been left to in a joint fashion) that's more complicated and depends on local laws - would need to know your country. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:20, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
1923 only matters if they were published. If they've never been published, then they have protection for 70 years from the death of the author, or 120 years from creation if that's unknown.[11]--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:09, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
My mistake, you're right of course. If the work is unpublished and the author died before Jan 1, 1941, use: {{PD-US-unpublished}}. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:09, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

"simple geometric shapes"


de:File:Zweikomponentensystem.jpg is a derivative work of [12] from the publication [13]. I made an SVG-Version of this. Is it suitable for upload to commons using pd-textlogo? I found the documentation a bit curious, as it exclusively focuses on logos, not on simple schemes as this, even in the rather extensive Commons:Image_casebook (nor the article Threshold_of_originality. Thanks, Iridos (talk) 11:13, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Looks all right to me. In my view, any shapes that appear in the diagram are simple shapes, and the text is so short as not to amount to a literary work. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:29, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, thats what I thought. Can I add a paragraph "Simple schematic graphs" or the like to Commons:Image_casebook, that pd-textlogo does not only apply to logos, but also to simple drawings? Some examples, what is still considered "simple" and what is not would be really helpful. After all, if you have enough simple shapes, you have them arranged to show pretty much anything... so obviously this rule also only applies to small numbers of shapes. Iridos (talk) 09:51, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Better wait for a few more editors' views, I think. I suggest you draft some suggested wording for the proposed update to the image casebook and post it here for comments first. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:33, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I can draft a text, but of course I'm lacking examples to add that have been judged on in courts. (Text follows) Thanks, Iridos (talk) 12:01, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Sakae Sushi, logo, Jul 07.jpg

Is this logo simple enough for {{PD-textlogo}}? — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:29, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

I wouldn't say so; that frog is pretty complex for PD-textlogo.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:56, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
That's what I think too. Just seeing if there is a consensus that the photograph should be nominated for deletion. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:37, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
While I have no real idea about Singapore... I'd have to guess that is easily copyrightable. In the U.S., the frog is well over the line, to me. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:22, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
In Singapore we generally follow British precedents. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:31, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Oh, they use the skill, labour, and originality test? Even lower line then, I think. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:45, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Is this PD-text?

Moved from Commons:Village pump

This image at consists of letters and punctuation. Is it basic enough to be PD-text, or does the arrangement of these letters make it a work of authorship and copyrightable? w:File:PHLF logo.jpg. I only ask because if it's PD-text, I'll copy it to commons.--GrapedApe (talk) 12:06, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

File:Eurovision Song Contest 2011 logo.svg (see also) was kept other files were deleted. I don't know. -- RE rillke questions? 15:47, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I'd say no, but I've always had a low threshold. -mattbuck (Talk) 00:30, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I'd say yes, it's PD-text; it's just five letters in a typographical arrangement.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:12, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I was originally going to say no, that the ampersand goes beyond a typeface into artistry, but after reading the US Copyright Office finding and legal finding linked from Fastily's talk page I've changed my mind. I think this does fall under PD-text. cmadler (talk) 15:46, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
The ampersand is still an ampersand, a common symbol. The only chance to me is if the choices of which sections to appear above vs below the other letters could amount to a copyright... pretty weak there though. I'd lean towards it being OK. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:23, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
The first link I gave above, the US Copyright Office finding regarding the Best Western logo, pretty clearly says that an arrangement of non-copyrightable components is still non-copyrightable. There has to be some copyrightable element in there for the whole to be copyrightable. cmadler (talk) 11:52, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
It's a nice phrase, but Harry Potter is an arrangement of non-copyrightable letters, and a png is an arrangement of non-copyrightable pixel colors. I have no idea how to use that rule in a practical matter.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:40, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
No, it doesn't say that. A selection/arrangement can definitely be copyrightable by itself, even if it is made up of only non-copyrightable objects. The Copyright Office guidelines state that explicitly, even in the document you cite (I've read it before) -- look at section III(A)(3) in that document again. However, the Best Western logo does not have a creative arrangement -- it's all simply centered. Simplistic arrangements like that are also below the threshold of originality. I kinda doubt this one rises to a copyrightable level either, but just throwing it out there, as the only aspect which could come close to me is the underlap/overlap of the ampersand bits (the position of the ampersand is simplistic). Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:11, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
I stand corrected; it does clearly say that "all copyrightable works must contain elements which are copyrightable in and of themselves or with respect to their particular selection, coordination, and arrangement." (my emphasis). I think I originally misread III(A)(3) because every example given was found to be non-copyrightable. cmadler (talk) 03:13, 26 August 2011 (UTC)


Is the poster de minimis?

Unfortunately, this photograph contains a non-free derivative of the photograph on the poster. I listed the photograph for editing (either to blur the non-free poster or to do a partial crop of the photograph) at "Commons:Graphic Lab/Photography workshop#Dr-Tan-Cheng-Bock-at-home-on-Nomination-Day-1.png", but it has been suggested to me that the poster is already de minimis. I'm doubtful about this. What do you think? — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:44, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

It does not look de minimis to me. Quadell (talk) 20:53, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I re-read the examples of de minimis and it does cover precisely this kind of photograph so I agree it is not de minimis. Substantial crop would be required and may be better just to crop the poster out completely and focus on Dr. Tan Cheng Bock. Warfieldian (talk) 21:23, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I wonder how a partial crop that removed half of the candidate's face (but retaining the words "Singaporeans First") on the poster would look? — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:22, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
That would be possibly de minimis, but to be sure I'd crop the whole face on the poster out, or paint it out with a clone brush or content-based fill. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:22, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

I did a crop as I suggested and uploaded it. I look forward to comments as to whether that is sufficient to make the poster de minimis. In any case, could an administrator please delete the original photograph from the file history? (I have downloaded a copy of the original photograph in case we need it for further manipulation.) — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:14, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

I'm sure that this isn't the hoped-for answer, but why not crop out the poster altogether? Better safe than sorry.--GrapedApe (talk) 12:13, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Text-only logo?

File:Asus Corporate Logo.svg is tagged as copyrighted (CC BY-SA 3.0), but it's the same logo as File:ASUS Logo.svg which is tagged as PD-textlogo. Is the logo too simple for copyright? January (talk) 19:20, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, in the U.S. certainly (though Asus is not a US company). Interesting that it seems to have been uploaded by the company itself. The license in theory could provide extra assurance in jurisdictions where the line is not as clear, but we can (and should) put {{PD-textlogo}} on it in addition (and remove the no-permission tag). The {{trademarked}} tag should be added as well. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:49, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Can the CC BY-SA 3.0 tag remain on it without an OTRS confirmation - is the username of the uploader (Asuscorporate) by itself accepted as evidence of permission? January (talk) 06:51, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
No. Proof that ASUS uploaded the file, with permission sent in from an ASUS address is needed. Ticket 2011081110004314 for editing by ASUS at Wikipedia was for en:User:Jyadao. – Adrignola talk 14:48, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Postage stamps - Public domain or not?

These comments concern the deletion nomination of twelve scanned images of postage stamps that I uploaded, namely:

I know this subject has probably been rehashed several times in the past, and by now I'm well aware of the current official Wikimedia stance on postage stamps, but I can't help feeling that something was missed somewhere. I've had a look at the copyright laws of Namibia and South Africa and I can find no particular reference to a postage stamp anywhere. Documents, yes. Photographs and scans and such, yes. Drawings, yes. But postage stamps, nothing. In the case of Namibia, for example:

"artistic work" means, irrespective of its artistic quality-
(a) a painting, sculpture, drawing, engraving or photograph;
(b) a work of architecture, being either a building or a model of a building; or
(c) a work of craftsmanship not falling within either a model of a building.

My contention is that a postage stamp is none of the above. It is a postage stamp, which is an object that has an image depicted on it which can be of anything, including a painting, sculpture, drawing, engraving, photograph or a work of architecture and more. But it is still a utility object, not an artistic work. Furthermore, it is an object of which often millions were produced and sold to the broad public as tokens to indicate prepayment of postage. How much more "PD" can anything be?

What I've uploaded are therefore photographs of objects of which I am the legal owner. In my image descriptions I gave full details of exactly what they are, for example:

Description: South West African postage stamp
Catalog number: SACC 459
Theme: Commemorative stamp issue, Narrow Gauge Locomotives, 1 of 4 (12c)
Depicting: Class Zwillinge 2A & 2B (0-6-0T)
Date of issue: 2 August 1985.

In other words, a full description of the subject of the photograph that I created, including details of who created/issued/sold the subject of the photograph and when. Exactly the same as a photograph of my left thumb or my cat or my neighbour's dog or the President's car or the stamp on the envelope of the dear John letter from my ex girlfriend. I see no copyright infringement in this.

Now, for an example of how I used one of these stamp scans in an article on the subject depicted on the stamp - South African Class NG Zwillinge 0-6-0T, under the sub-heading "Commemoration":

A postage stamp depicting the Zwillinge was one of a set of four commemorative South West African postage stamps that were issued on 2 August 1985 to commemorate the narrow gauge locomotives that pioneered railways in the territory. The stamp design was by the noted stamp designer and artist Koos van Ellinckhuijzen.[1][2]
The particular locomotives depicted are the second DSWA pair, numbered 2A and 2B. The name of the station on the name board on the stamp, written in Fraktur script, is Otjimukoka. This station was renamed in 1903 to Johann Albrechtshöhe in honour of Duke John Albert of Mecklenburg, and again changed later to the shortened Albrechts. A head-on outline of an Illinge was used by the SWA postal authorities as a commemorative cancellation for Swakopmund on the date of issue. The stamp, the postmark and another painting of the Zwillinge appeared on the first day cover that marked the release of the four stamps.[3][4]

I used a scan of an object in an article about the subject depicted on the object or stamp, while also including all the details about the object in the article, including who issued it and when (including references to the relevant bulletins issued by the philatelic bureau concerned). It's stated clearly that the stamp was issued to commemorate the subject of the article, and it's also clear enough that this part of the article deals with the stamp commemoration of the subject of the article. Again, I see no copyright infringment.

In my opinion, therefore, postage stamps are public domain utility objects, not copyright protected artistic works.


André Kritzinger (talk) 22:45, 30 August 2011 (UTC)


It's irrelevant how many of them were sold. They're reproductions of drawings or photographs and protected as such. The picture is fully separable from the utility nature of the stamp.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:55, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
My understanding matches what Prosfilaes wrote. Someone created each image that was used on a postage stamp, and except in cases like PD-text, that creator (or a person/entity to whom ownership was transferred) owns copyright on the images. What you have here, in fact, probably falls under the en:Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. situation; because you have created a "slavish copy" there is no new copyright (at least in the US) in your derivative work, and the only copyright is the original. cmadler (talk) 02:39, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I would agree with Cmadler, they are copyright protected artistic works. Your research on the work of Koos van Ellinckhuijzen is excellent, but I think you need to go a little deeper to understand the contractual relationship he must have with the RSA postal authority by contacting them directly. By coincidence, there is a court case documented regarding this artist and one of his clients who attempted to sell on his work in the form of framed posters [14]. I would suggest to you that you might be making a similar mistake of assuming that you have the (undefined) right to reproduce the artist's work without his permission, albeit unwittingly.--Gavin Collins (talk) 10:17, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

question on cropping

If I crop an image that is in the public domain, is it still considered to be in the public domain? Or do I now have to get permission from the source...for example, an image of a painting of Lincoln that is part of the White House art collection. Also, even though the White House site claims that permission must be required to use the image, if I found the image on wikimedia commons can I just tag it as PD-art? The image would be used on a cover of a free publication of a non-profit --Synghem (talk) 04:27, 31 August 2011 (UTC) Synghem (talk) 04:27, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

The only case where cropping affects copyright is if something which is de minimis were to be elevated to non-de minimis... AnonMoos (talk) 06:34, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
What about the issue of moral rights? Do moral rights cease when works enter the public domain? Do we take moral rights into account here at the Commons? — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:02, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Moral rights sometimes expire, sometimes are infinite -- depends on the country. We would take moral rights into account if the author was not named, or wished to not be named, and that sort of thing, but it's not cause for deletion. If an author thought something was damaging to their reputation, they could bring it up as a special case. In the United States, the rights are mostly limited to slander/defamation, misappropriation (someone else claiming credit), and similar common-law rights. The U.S. does have the w:Visual Artists Rights Act for certain limited works, which does provide traditional moral rights on those works, but that was a 1990 law and any covered works are likely to be under copyright for a long time still. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:17, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking along the lines of an author objecting to the cropping of a work on the ground that it affected the integrity of the work and thus his or her moral rights over the work. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:18, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Other than maybe VARA, that right doesn't exist in the U.S. If an artist specifically objected, it could be brought up as a special case, but we won't automatically delete due to morals rights. In some jurisdictions, usage elsewhere could be an issue, but even that seems a stretch for a crop of a painting in most cases. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:17, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
We work mainly on copyright law here only (and have a disclaimer even then, as we could always be wrong). If there are any other rights, that is up to you to determine. I'm not sure how the White House site could claim that permission was needed, as all works by federal government employees do not have copyright protection, and copyright should have expired on old works like such paintings (I'm not sure which one you are talking about, but if we host it, presumably copyright has expired). PD-Art is also a U.S. court ruling which indicates there is no additional copyright for a photograph which basically amounts to a digitization of a painting; if the painting is public domain, then there should doubly be no way that copyright protection could be claimed. Obviously, Commons would have no problem with you doing this, but Commons also has no rights over the photo in the first place so there is no permission to give, and you have just as much right to use it as we do. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:17, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Is OTRS needed for this?

As part of an outside (totally unrelated to anything WMF) project, I've arranged with a photographer to take pictures for my website. One of the terms of our agreement is that I will select a certain number of his photos to be released under CC BY-SA 3.0. I will be uploading the selected photos to Commons myself. I've never done anything like this, but I'm guessing I'll need to put this on OTRS? If so, can I use a single OTRS ticket for the entire (ongoing) project, or will it need a new ticket for each file (or each batch upload)? Anything else I should address in advance to ensure there are no problems? Thanks, cmadler (talk) 14:38, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

If commons is the first publication, often OTRS is not needed, though it would definitely be helpful to clarify the situation. You could also simply note the license of the photos on the website. You can use a single OTRS message for the entire project -- just be specific in the scope (e.g. photos uploaded by User:cmadler authored by <the particular photographer> in conjunction with <the particular project>, or something along those lines), and add that OTRS ticket to all the uploads. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:57, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
OK, thanks. cmadler (talk) 15:09, 31 August 2011 (UTC)