Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2011/10

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Using images in scientific journal articles

I wonder which licenses of images allow usage in scientific journal articles (e.g. Elsevier or ACS). The result of my litte investigation:

  • OK:
    • Public Domain: PD old, PD ineligible, PD US Government ...)
    • Creative Commons: CC-Zero, CC-BY
  • Not OK:
    • Creative Commons: CC-SA, CC-NC (share alike and non-commercial probably not possible because journal will own copyright of article)
    • GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL)

Is this correct? 15:15, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Are you talking about images from here used in scientific journals, or images from scientific journals which have a particular license mentioned? For usage in journals, authors have no rights to make any transfers of copyright on the images, so the journals would have to be OK using the images or other media under the given licenses. The journal article is not a "derivative work" of the images (rather it is a "collective work" containing the images and article text, which can all have different copyright statuses and authors) and so a license like CC-BY-SA should not cause unusual problems; they just have to note that the image in particular is licensed that way, and credit the author. GFDL will probably give them practical problems as they would also have to print the entire text of the GFDL license. CC-NC would likely make things unusable by them since it is probably a commercial use (and we don't accept that license either, unless it's added on to other "free" licenses). I have no idea if they would have a problem with CC-BY or CC-BY-SA material as a matter of principle (since they cannot own the copyright in such materials unless they get a separate license, though of course can use them like anyone else under the license terms). If you mean uploading images *from* journals which are licensed that way (not sure the journals would ever do that, but maybe), then CC-NC and CC-ND are not OK; the others listed would be OK. Again, the Wikipedia article is not "derivative" of the images used in there, so there would be no problem using images with that type of license in Wikipedia articles (and Wikipedia articles are already licensed CC-BY-SA and GFDL anyways). I do note that the ACS agreement seems to imply that authors still own copyright on "Supporting Information", perhaps that includes graphics used, and if so the authors (and not just the journal) retains rights to license those as they wish. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:39, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
Then I do not understand the SA condition. I thought that it was supposed to be "viral", that every publication where the image was used would automatically become CC. Or at least, that only CC publications could use it, so that it would promote the free-content movement in that way. (In practice, the "SA" condition seems to be pretty meaningless.) /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 16:32, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
Derivative works must use the same license. Say you take the image and alter it a little... that would be a derivative work. A translation of a novel is a derivative work. They are subsequent works based on the actual expression in the photo. See the CC-BY-SA legal code for their definitions (which really come from copyright laws, which generally give authors rights over derivative works but makes clear the copyright in a collective work is completely separate). They explicitly note that collective works are not derivative works, and section 4b (the one mandating the further use of the CC-BY-SA license) only applies to derivative works. Basically, trying to limit journals etc. that way goes beyond the rights that copyright law normally gives copyright owners. It's not really possible to license rights that you don't have, though it possibly could be a condition for giving up derivative rights, but it is a lot more legally aggressive. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:52, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I understand the SA condition or collective works, but just from reading the definition of a collective work given in the CC-BY-SA-3.0-US license linked above, I wouldn't have thought that journal articles would always qualify as collective works. Situations where the text refers to an illustration would seem particularly problematic, as the text is then clearly not a "separate and independent work" from the illustration. Even captions beside the image might be a problem. Of course, IANAL, and I don't know much about copyright law, but that is how the license reads to me. --Avenue (talk) 14:57, 19 September 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for these fast replies. To answer Carl's question in the first sentence: I am talking about using images from Commons or from other sources like Flickr for using in an article that is submitted to a journal. 16:37, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

In short, any media on Commons can be used in a journal article (or article of any other sort), without releasing the article itself (much less the entire journal) under a free license. The technical reason is that the article is not a derivative work but a collective work. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:00, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Why do you believe the article would be a collective work? According to the Historical and Revision Notes for 17 USC Sec. 201 (House Report No. 94-1476): 'Examples of "collective works" would ordinarily include periodical issues, anthologies, symposia, and collections of the discrete writings of the same authors, but not cases, such as a composition consisting of words and music, a work published with illustrations or front matter, or three one-act plays, where relatively few separate elements have been brought together.' [Emphasis added.] Based on this, and the "separate and independent" requirement in the statute, I think any article that integrates images within itself would not form a collective work. This includes Wikipedia articles. --Avenue (talk) 16:02, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Images in articles are separable from the surrounding text. That means they're "collected" into a new work, not "derived". Powers (talk) 17:29, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
You're getting very loose with these terms. "Collected" is not defined in the statute; I think the nearest thing is "compilation". Collective works are one kind of compilation, but some compilations are not collective works.
Please look again at the quote in my previous post. It specifically says that "a work published with illustrations or front matter" is not a collective work. I don't believe it makes any difference if we think the component works are potentially "separable" or not. What matters is whether the compilation simply collates discrete, separate and independent works, or whether it integrates the component works somehow. --Avenue (talk) 18:40, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
But it's not the U.S. Code that matters, it's the text of the Creative Commons licenses. And it's pretty clear that they define collective and derivative works as described above. If your contention is that the law requires us to consider Wikipedia articles as derivative works of the images included therein, you're challenging a foundational concept and this is not the best place to discuss such a potentially enormous issue. Powers (talk) 19:17, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
The text of the U.S. code does matter, at least to Wikimedia, since it is subject to U.S. law. The text of the CC license also matters, true, and its definitions of an "Adaptation" and "Collection" are fairly similar to the statute's definitions of a "derivative work" and "collective work" respectively. One difference is that the license's definition of an Adaptation explicitly excludes Collections, and the law does not do that for its terms.
I suppose I'm at least challenging the lack of clarity around the implications of these issues. If a license billed as "Share Alike" does not live up to that promise in important ways (which is still unclear to me), then I think we should be clear about that to our contributors. If there's a better page for such a discussion, let's move there. --Avenue (talk) 13:48, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
A clarification: my comments about the text of the CC license refer to the unported CC-BY-SA-3.0 license (which is the default license presented to me by our Upload Wizard). The corresponding US CC license uses the terms "Collective Work" and "Derivative Work" instead of "Collection" and "Adaptation", and its wording is much closer to the US federal statute. The main exceptions are that the US CC definitions still include an explicit proviso that their "Derivative Works" exclude "Collective Works", and their definition of a "Derivative Work" completely omits the following sentence present in the statute: 'A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a "derivative work".' It seems that they have made a conscious choice to narrow the usual definition of derivative work in this way, and correspondingly expand the definition of collective work. --Avenue (talk) 00:55, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Might want to try meta:Meta:Babel. Meta-wiki is the place for Foundation-wide discussions. Powers (talk) 15:57, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
You are mistaken; the law quite clearly distinguishes collective works (or compilations) from derivative works. There is no crossover; the copyright in a compilation is based on the selection and arrangement of several independent elements (the distinction seems to be that a "collective work" is made up of other copyrightable works; the more general "compilation" is a similar concept but which may include solely uncopyrightable elements like data). I suppose a compilation could be a derivative work of another compilation, but by definition it is not derivative of any of the contained works. A derivative work must be based on the specific expression in the underlying work; a compilation by definition does not do that. That the text may refer to the graphic is immaterial; it is not using the underlying expression, i.e. is not based on the underlying work, and is therefore not a derivative work. See w:Idea-expression divide. If you have permission to copy a graphic, then you are free to use that graphic in a compilation/collective work. Similar concepts are in most copyright laws. For more particulars, see 17 USC 201(c). There are times when the lines do get blurred, such as a collage -- is that a new graphical work, derivative of its elements, or a compilation of them? In one case, courts ruled that a series of collage-type ads were derivative (as they transformed the original works, and fused them with others), and not collective. But again, that is an example of using the exact expression -- in an article, the graphic is standalone and a straight copy of the original. If the article author needs to make changes to a CC-BY-SA graphic, or redo it in some way, that is also fine, but the result must also be licensed CC-BY-SA in that case, as that is what the license requires. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:14, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I agree that compilations that include only uncopyrightable elements are not collective works. But that is not the whole story; compilations that publish the component works "with editorial revisions or annotations" are also not collective works. Some captions would seem to qualify as annotations, such as that for the satellite image shown here, which explains which aspects of the image are relevant to the surrounding text. (That may not be the best example, since the image is public domain, not CC-licensed, but it illustrates my point.) The component parts of a collective work should also "remain unintegrated and disparate", not "merge into a unified whole". It seems to me that images within articles often form part of a unified whole, so I'd see those articles as compilations that are not collective works. (All these quotes are taken from the House Report I referenced earlier.) I think your argument confuses the article (comprising the text and images combined) with the article's text, which I agree cannot a derivative work of the images.
You may be right about there being a firm division between collective and derivative works, and I may have been wrong to have believed otherwise (although I think my point about the CC license being more explicit about this than the statute remains true). This seems like a side issue though. The main point is whether an articles including images would be a "Collection" for the purpose of the CC license. I think many are not collective works, as explained above, but perhaps this is also a side issue. The CC definition of collections does not seem to require that the contributions remain unintegrated, cannot form a unified whole, or cannot have annotations. The only requirement is that they remain unmodified. So I conclude that you are correct, that including unmodified CC-BY-SA images in an article does not require that the article must be licensed as CC-BY-SA, although my reasons for concluding this are slightly different from yours. --Avenue (talk) 18:52, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
The main issue is that the "share-alike" provisions on licenses are limited to derivative works, using the rights explicitly given to them in copyright laws. The article text cannot be one of those. A copyright on a collective work or compilation is about the creativity in selecting and arranging the elements; this is unrelated to the copyright in the elements themselves. I think you're getting hung up on what is creative enough to support a copyright or not -- the examples you have been citing are examples where the arrangement is simply not creative enough to support a copyright, not anything that could be in any way remotely considered a derivative work. That is made pretty clear by the legislative notes that you reference -- an article with illustrations is a situation where relatively few separate elements have been brought together, i.e., that is not enough elements to support a selection and arrangement copyright. The notes go on to distinguish a "joint work", which is where there is a single work with multiple authors (say two people writing/editing the text), and a collective work, with separately-copyrightable works by multiple authors collected together. An article with a few illustrations is still a collection, except there is usually not enough elements to support an actual copyright (so it's not a "work"), that's all. Wikipedia has always worked on that basis -- that was the rationale behind being able to use CC-BY-SA images in GFDL-text articles (the situation for many years, as those licenses are not compatible with each other), and vice versa. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:05, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I acknowledged already that I misinterpreted the "works published with illustrations" quote - perhaps not clearly enough. You've convinced me that you're correct on this point, that it was given as an example of insufficient creativity to attract a copyright. The rest of your post I agree with, as far as it goes, but you have missed another major point -- that a compilation may also fail to be a collective work if if it incorporates annotations on the component works. The legislative notes say: "Unlike the contents of other types of "compilations," each of the contributions incorporated in a "collective work" must itself constitute a "separate and independent" work, therefore ruling out compilations of information or other uncopyrightable material and works published with editorial revisions or annotations." (Emphasis added.) --Avenue (talk) 00:55, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Right, editorial revisions and annotations are derivative works of the text (the literary work). Illustrations are still independent. An image caption, in rare circumstances, may be considered a part of a derivative work including the illustration, if it causes the illustration to be viewed in a fundamentally different way -- a famous one is w:L.H.O.O.Q., where the caption was specifically chosen to have the work looked at in an entirely different manner -- it was transformative. But in general, a descriptive caption is still a separate work, if it is long enough to qualify for copyright.
And I'll disagree with that. A work published with illustrations may be a collective work -- but if a very simple arrangement, i.e. there is not enough creativity involved in making the selection and arrangement, then it is ineligible for copyright. Simply adding front matter to a work would probably not be enough to qualify to register a copyright to a collective work; that is the obvious arrangement and is therefore not copyrightable separately. And that may well be true of articles with illustrations too. The main point though is that they are not derivative works. By definition, a literary work cannot be derivative of an artistic work and vice versa -- at most, text describing an image would be a separate expression of the same idea. An illustration is a work unto itself, and the article text is a work unto itself. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:53, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, on second reading I agree you've identified a flaw in my understanding of that quote. But as I say above, I think the illustration and article text being separate works is a red herring. We are interested in the status of the article comprising text and illustrations combined, not the article text alone. --Avenue (talk) 18:52, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
It's not a red herring -- the article is still a collection, albeit probably with not enough creativity to quality for a copyright on its own -- not a derivative work. The original work must be modified, recast, or transformed in some way to be derivative -- not simply included without change. This is particularly the case when the illustrations were previously created, and simply used in an article. Books are the same way -- you notice that illustrators are often identified separately, as the copyrights are distinct. You can find more discussion elsewhere on the web... such as this book, or this one, or here. For another example, a photographer whose photograph is used in a newspaper article does *not* gain derivative rights over the entire article; those are still owned by the newspaper. But the newspaper may need to negotiate separate rights to republish the photograph online, if that right was not specifically negotiated up-front. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:05, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the links. Fishman's The Copyright Handbook has an even more relevant chapter titled "Adaptations and Compilations". For instance, it says (on p. 155) that a compilation of only 3 items is viewed as clearly a de minimis compilation, and thus not eligible for copyright protection. While it devotes a lot of space to what makes a compilation protectable, it does not otherwise try to directly distinguish collective works from other compilations. However it does confirm (on p. 146) that annotated works are derivative works.
I would be interested in your opinion about the example I gave earlier of a caption that annotates the satellite image shown here, explaining which aspects of the image are relevant to the surrounding text. For the sake of argument, pretend the image was licensed CC-BY-SA, not PD, and that several of the images in the article had such interpretative captions. In light of the legislative history passage saying that annotated compilations are not collective works, would you agree that the illustrated article as a whole (not its text in isolation) would then be a derivative work? (Just to be clear, I mean a derivative work as defined in U.S. law, not a Derivative Work as defined by the U.S CC license.) --Avenue (talk) 00:55, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
A description of the image is still separate expression -- even if it completely describes the image, it is still a separate expression of the same idea. See the w:L.H.O.O.Q. (which I just mentioned above) as a case where the caption itself was an essential part of making a derivative work; something which fundamentally changes the perception (in a way not intended by the author of the original) can be a different case; it is part of the work at that point. A derivative work must transform, adapt or recast the actual expression in the underlying work -- a written description does not use any of the underlying expression (rather only the ideas) and cannot be derivative by itself. As for the question of "compilation" vs "collective work", it appears to be that "collective works" refer to compilations of other copyrightable works in particular. The distinction seems to be there so that other parts of the law are more specific when dealing with the differences -- a creative compilation is always copyrightable, but when there are other copyrights involved (the "collective work" situation) then a few sections of law need to carefully mark the boundaries, such as 201(c), or the really complex situation regarding copyright notice requirements on the collective vs individual pieces in section 404 -- I guess they don't want to imply that non-copyrightable elements of a compilation gain copyrightability just by being part of the compilation, as those sections of law are not really relevant to compilations of data or other non-copyrightable works. The term "collective work" does not get used much in the law, not as much as "compilation", and the difference seems highly technical. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:26, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
That's a very nice example of a transformative caption. I agree the hypothetical article I described does not transform, adapt or recast the included images. My argument that it could be a derivative work relies instead on the second sentence in the law's definition of a derivative work: 'A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”.' This is the sense that has been omitted from the CC-BY-SA-3.0 license's definition of a "Derivative Work" or "Adaptation" (for the US and unported versions respectively). Significantly, however, this sense has not been added to the CC license's definition of a "Collective Work" or "Collection". Indeed, the "separate and independent works" phrase in that definition seems to rule this sense out.
I now believe that this omission leaves a grey area of works that are neither Derivative Works/Adaptations nor Collective Works/Collections according to the CC license definitions. I think this grey area could also include some compilations that incorporate annotations which are not original enough to attract copyright, but still serve to integrate the component works and leave them less than independent. It seems to me that some Wikipedia articles could fall into this area (those with image captions that help relate the images to the article's text, or to each other), and so could some journal articles. Of course, I have no expertise in this subject, and I agree it seems highly technical. I could easily be completely wrong. But if I'm correct, I think these licenses would not give authors of such "grey area" works any rights to include CC-BY-SA licensed images. I don't find this a comfortable conclusion. --Avenue (talk) 12:04, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Not to my mind. They are not integrated, really. A derivative work must contain the actual expression of the underlying work -- a written description does not contain any of the outlines of a drawing, or the pixels of a photograph, by definition -- they cannot be derivative works. There are some more abstract copyrights given to the specific plot of say a book, or a specific character (back story, small details) of a book or comic, and that kind of thing -- authors wishing to make use of such a plot or character needs to get permission as those would be derivative works. But not a written description versus a graphic work, it's just not possible. Adding image captions to such a work is simply adding more independent works to the compilation (unless the wording of the annotation is using the same wording as some other bit of text -- that is the only way it could be derivative of something else). The resulting compilation with the added elements is derivative of the original compilation, since presumably it still contains all or many of the same elements it used to. If there are changes to the body of the previous text, that would be a derivative work, yes -- it still contains a lot of the original text, but has been changed, and if there is enough new material to support a copyright, then it would be a derivative work. The expression of a literary work is in the choice of words, and a derivative then must have many of those actual words. Copyright does not protect ideas or concepts but rather the specific ways those ideas are expressed; items that are only conceptually linked are not derivative. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:24, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
We are discussing three quite different kinds of work here: the images used as illustrations, the article text, and the illustrated article. Your response focuses primarily on the article text. I'd happily agree that the article text (including captions, but excluding the images) is not a derivative work of the images in itself, and publishing the article text alone would not infringe on the images' copyright. But the illustrated article is different. Now, it isn't critical to my argument whether the illustrated article is a derivative work of the images or not. The critical issue is whether its elements are "separate and independent works". But the captions clearly are not independent of the images they refer to. This means that the illustrated article doesn't seem to qualify as a collective work under U.S. law, nor as a "Collection" or "Collective Work" as defined in the unported and U.S. CC-BY-SA licenses. It also does not seem to fall within the licenses' definitions of an "Adaptation" or "Derivative Work" (which are narrower than the U.S. legal definition). That is why I conclude that the illustrated article is not covered by the CC-BY-SA licenses. --Avenue (talk) 03:58, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
The image is by one author, and the caption is a work by another author which does not use any expression of the first. They are independent works, in a copyright context. Neither author has any rights of the other's work. "Independent" in this context really means "not derivative"; i.e. their expression is independent of each other. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:52, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I think understand your reading of "independent" (i.e. that "separate and independent" only relates to the copyright status of the component works viewed in isolation). I'd agree that if we accept your interpretation of that phrase, my concern goes away. There is a passage in the legislative history that seems to conflict with your interpretation, however:
'Unlike the contents of other types of “compilations,” each of the contributions incorporated in a “collective work” must itself constitute a “separate and independent” work, therefore ruling out compilations of information or other uncopyrightable material and works published with editorial revisions or annotations. Moreover, as noted above, there is a basic distinction between a “joint work,” where the separate elements merge into a unified whole, and a “collective work,” where they remain unintegrated and disparate.'
The first sentence of this quote could perhaps be read either way, but the second sentence says the separate elements in a collective work "remain unintegrated and disparate". So it seems that the relationship of the works within the compilation does affect whether it can be viewed as a collective work, and the phrase "separate and independent works" must refer to their treatment within the compilation.
I don't believe our illustrated articles usually form a joint work in the legal sense, because the required intent is missing, but in terms of how their elements relate, many seem more like joint works than collective works. I expect most illustrated journal articles would have this flavour as well. --Avenue (talk) 07:13, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
That section appears to be on what defines the subset of "collective works" inside of the more general compilations -- it is basically when the contained elements have their own copyright. Something like a collage, where multiple visual works are incorporated into a larger visual work, begins to blur the lines. It is definitely possible for that type of thing to be derivative (or a joint work, if authors were actually working in collaboration). A straight tiling of images, not sure, but if you jumble them, rotate them, place them overtop of each other, it's meant to be a single, merged work and it becomes derivative. But it is always easy to separately identify an image versus a written caption, and they would have to be identified separately for correct authorship attribution anyways. You really need a situation like w:L.H.O.O.Q, where looking at the image without the caption has a completely different meaning, for something to be considered "merged" I'd think. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:22, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Is there any chance to provide a summary conclusion of the discussion for the poor IP? ;-)
BTW: A user recently noticed me that his image is used in a journal article. It is not used as is, but altered a little. The additions, however, are below the threshold of originality. Would the case be different, when more extensive/complex changes are made to an image? --Leyo 13:33, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure if the first part of your comment is serious or not, but just in case: the IP received the answer to his question in the first replies by Clindberg and Dcoetzee. The rest of the section is a digression. The second part of your comment touches the notion of a non copyrightable modification on a CC-licensed image. The CC licenses specify that a reuser must mention it when he made any modifications to the original work. (The journal article you linked above does mention that the image is "Adapted from..." the original image.) The modified work is a derivative work per the definition of the CC licenses, even when the modifications are not copyrightable. If the modifications are not copyrightable, the modificator does not acquire the status of author. His name does not need to be added to the list of authors credited by subsequent reusers. The result is a derivative work (per the license definition), with no additional author, but the modification must still be mentioned (per the license requirement). If the image was modified by a Commons user, this user, besides mentioning the modification he made, will normally specify if he considers his modification copyrightable by adding his name explicitely as one of the authors. In practice, subsequent reusers may have difficulty determining if a modification is copyrightable or not, so they might use some noncommital wording such as "Image under CC-blah-blah license. Original image by John Doe, available at [url]. Black lines added by Jane Smith." Btw, note that the use of the image by the journal has the apparent look of a copyvio, unless they obtained a special permission privately from the original image's author, because the original image on Commons is offered under CC-by-sa, but the journal article offers it under CC-by. (It would be surprising that the authors of the article published in 2011 grabbed the image on Commons during the two minutes during which it was offered under CC-by in 2010 before the image's author corrected his mistake to CC-by-sa. It is possible that they got private permission, but that is not what the credit wording suggests.) -- Asclepias (talk) 18:24, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

File:Dossier Osvaldo Sabino.pdf

Could someone with better Spanish than mine take a look at this. It looks like a compilation of published writings, and I doubt they individually are appropriately licensed. Dankarl (talk) 01:56, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

I have nominated it for deletion here. 84user (talk) 00:16, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Copyright of re-publication

Please see this file. Malayalam text in this file was written in Ninth century by some unknown person. However the present file is scanned copy of a 1959 edition.

  1. Can we use this?
  2. If not, can we use this by removing title page, prologue etc.?

--Vssun (talk) 01:09, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

There is no question the prologue and other new text must be removed. There's also footnotes in the text that would probably have to be removed. Even after all that is done, it's hard to say; some European countries explicitly protect new editions for a shorter period then normal copyrights. I don't know about any US cases, and I'm not at all familiar with Indian copyright law. In virtually all Latin-script cases, reconstructing a medieval text requires at least some creative work expanding abbreviations (probably not copyrightable) and in some cases editors have filled in lacuna creatively (definitely copyrightable). I don't know how much transformative work was done to the original manuscript here; it doesn't look like the editor combined multiple sources or filled in lacuna, so it may be okay if all the new parts (including the footnotes) are removed.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:26, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
Malaysia seems to have a "published editions" copyright which lasts 50 years, so that has expired now -- that is a right owned by the publishers, not the authors. Is there a named author for the new material? If so, they would probably own copyright in new material. Do we know when they died? Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:03, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
Wrong country; University of Kerala is in India. And 1959 @ life + 60 years is at least 2019, so best scenario is that the copyright runs out in India at the end of the decade.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:44, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
If that is true, then yes, it is still under copyright in India, and is a clear-cut case. I think they did away with the typographical copyright but obviously the forward would still have a copyright. Slightly odd they would publish a Malay text only in India, and if it was simultaneously published in Malaysia, then country of origin is probably Malaysia though. Without being able to actually read the Malay it's rather hard to tell. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:24, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Thank you Prosfilaes. @Carl Lindberg - Kindly distinguish between Malay & Malayalam. --Vssun (talk) 12:23, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Whoops, sorry ;-) My mistake. Yeah, this would still be copyrighted, though if the modern material was removed, I think it'd be OK -- I think India did away with any typographical arrangement copyright, so the scans of those old-text pages are probably OK if there is no modern content. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:33, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
There are a few footnotes I saw on flipping through.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:53, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Possibly unfree images

(Apologies if this is the wrong place to report this; commons is not my regular venue.) Can someone please take a look at the three images uploaded by User:Razorbelle? They claim the images are copyright-free but I see no evidence supporting those claims. In fact, all three images link back to the website from which they were taken and there doesn't seem to be anything there releasing the images from copyright protection. Am I missing or overlooking something? If not, what is the standard practice for dealing with this? ElKevbo (talk) 19:17, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Decidedly unfree - see [1] tagged with copyvio template Dankarl (talk) 20:52, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

I am seeking an opinion on whether this logo may be uploaded to Commons, with license tag {{PD-FLGov}}.

The source website belongs to the Florida Department of State, and appears to have no copyright notice. This is presumably because works of a government unit of the state of Florida are in the public domain, as discussed at w:en:Copyright status of work by the Florida government, and the template referenced above. However, on downloading the file, the following message is displayed: "This trademarked logo is for use on official event literature, such as posters, brochures and tickets. Please refer to the principles and goals of the initiative to help plan your official events. Commercial use of the trademarked logo is prohibited without written consent from the Florida Department of State. The logo may not be used to promote activities that are inconsistent with the Viva Florida 500 message." Commons:Licensing states "Wikimedia Commons generally only enforces copyright restrictions ...", which appears to imply that there is no impediment to uploading a trademarked logo whose copyright status is Public Domain.

Have I understood correctly? If so, are there any guidelines about tagging a trademarked image? Thanks. – Wdchk (talk) 02:40, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Trademark is a separate concept for copyright, and correct, being trademarked is not a reason for deletion (but use the {{trademarked}} tag). In this case... if memory serves, the Florida court interpretation allowed the legislature to specify certain works or departments which would be allowed to have a valid copyright, and I believe the Florida Department of State was one of those (see this document, page 4, second column). The website you mention is done by the Florida Department of State. My feel in that one is that it should not be uploaded. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:59, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. Agreed that Florida law allows some departments to be exempt from having their work considered Public Domain. This is tricky though, because it seems the list may have changed over time. I was relying on the fact that {{PD-FLGov}} does not mention the Department of State as an exemption. We may be able to get clarification by simply asking State. Also agreed that we should not upload the file unless the copyright status is certain. – Wdchk (talk) 11:58, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that list does change over time, as I think they have to keep re-stating the permission, and the link I gave is older -- I have not kept up with what the current exemption list is. "Department of State" is in my mind as one of the exceptions, from those old discussions, so unless we can find evidence that they allowed that exemption to sunset, I would be cautious with their material. I don't see a copyright notice on that website actually, which may be a little interesting, though meaningless legally -- if they are allowed to hold copyright, it would still be copyrighted without a notice. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:24, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Editing a photo record to add proper licensing information

Hello all, I uploaded a photo to the Commons and inadvertantly saved it as my own work. I've since received the proper permission from the owner and would like to edit the photo record, but I'm having trouble figuring out what to do.

Suggestions are much appreciated.

Regards, Michael

It looks like you already found how to edit the description page. However, you need the authorization from the author/copyright holder of the photo, not from the owner of the object. Please have the author/copyright holder (that would be Gabi Laron, according to your information) send a declaration of free license following the procedure described at Commons:OTRS. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:12, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Editing a photo record to add proper licensing information

Hello all, I uploaded a photo to the Commons and inadvertantly saved it as my own work. I've since received the proper permission from the owner and would like to edit the photo record, but I'm having trouble figuring out what to do.

Suggestions are much appreciated.

Regards, Michael

Please see the section above. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:12, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Image status question

I recently uploaded File:Richard Tucker Rigoletto Metropolitan Opera 1971.JPG and the source for it is the Metropolitan Opera with their photographer being Louis Milanconi. I see there is another Richard Tucker image, File:Richard Tucker Ricardo.gif, that is attributed to Decca/Polygram Klassik. Even though the image is small, it looks like the photographer's name is the same as the one sourced from the Met: Louis Milanconi. Based on that, I think the smaller photo is likely to have come from the Metropolitan Opera, but have no idea whether it is under copyright or not. We hope (talk) 18:07, 4 October 2011 (UTC)

Cisco icons

These icons, found at Cisco's website, are quite widely used in network topology diagrams, even those that don't specifically involve Cisco products. Thanks in part to, we have numerous image containing them. Now here's the bombshell: they are under an ND license. We may now have to delete or alter hundreds of images that use this icon set, as it is a clear violation of our community policies. Anyone have any bright ideas?--Ipatrol (talk) 01:25, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

It's worse than that: the "you may use them freely" message doesn't really amount to a clear licensing statement, explicitly allowing commercial use, etc. Some may be {{PD-ineligible}} if they're very simple. For the rest, the only hope is to talk the copyright holder into selecting a different license, or perhaps multilicensing. Dcoetzee (talk) 04:17, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Asking Cisco to change their copyright? You must be joking -- aren't you? Cisco is notoriously unfriendly to the entire libre community, their lawyers will probably laugh at you. "You may use them freely" implies that they may be used and copied without permission, but "you may not alter them" falls clearly afoul of our prohibition on ND licenses. I see no choice but to replace these with free network icons and add a text label if a Cisco® product is in fact the subject. These icons serve no purpose here and therefore must be excised for our own good.--Ipatrol (talk) 14:26, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

That appears to be the case, yes, at least for the ones that aren't ineligible (most of them aren't). It's unfortunate though that Cisco is so controlling of property that has fallen into universal use. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:43, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but it's really unfortunate that we keep massively re-using icons without checking the license terms. I can't even count the number of derivative images we have of GPL icons + CC-by-sa images (which are not compatible AFAIK). Requests for new icons can be made at en:Wikipedia:Graphic_Lab/Illustration_workshop (ask for them to be PD if you can). Kaldari (talk) 00:34, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Well, the GFDL and CC-BY-SA are not compatible by themselves, but because the work is dual-licensed, there is no conflict. It's as if the creator released two copies of the same work, each under a different license. Anyway, I do agree that we need to replace these with better free images such as ones from free software projects. We could start by turning a bunch of them into Dia shapes. Just be aware that the default converter scrubs the fill color so the user can set it instead, that will have to be corrected either by writing an XSLT or by hand.--Ipatrol (talk) 21:44, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Ok, so this is where this discussion goes. We really can't have images here that not only fail to meet our licensing policy, but where most of their uses are actively violating that license. These icons have an ND license because they constitute advertising for Cisco. Given how many times they have attempted to undermine the very system of free sharing that we so rely on, I suggest that furthermore we don't provide them that advertising space.--Ipatrol (talk) 01:12, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

You appear to have copy/pasted in this conversation without actually saying what icons you're talking about... -mattbuck (Talk) 01:33, 6 October 2011 (UTC)


Hi. :) On the English language Wikipedia, it was recently discovered that these images were falsely uploaded as own work, when they are actually taken from this website. (see 4th listing down) I am unsure that these images are creative enough to warrant copyright protection (unless the map itself is protected). But since these images are on Commons, I wanted to bring them by for you guys to evaluate. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 17:57, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Maps are normally considered to have copyright protection. These images should be deleted. Powers (talk) 23:13, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Maps are explicitly listed as items given copyright protection; the UK threshold of originality is also very low. These should be recreated I think, preferably using a different color scheme, unless those are more-or-less standard colors for the various political factions. I note that the uploaded images don't bother including a legend to denote which colors are which party... odd. But yes, I think they should be nominated for deletion. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:59, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Nommed at Commons:Deletion requests/UK Election Maps by Mwhite148. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:19, 8 October 2011 (UTC)


I'm wondering what's correct to list as licence for File:EU2004-2007.svg. It used to have {{PD-self}} but when I looked at the source, I saw that the source mentioned a Creative Commons licence. I take it that the one who first uploaded the image took a Creative Commons-licensed image and edited it, marking his own edits as "public domain". But wouldn't the image have to stay under Creative Commons (except possibly for some of the edits)? I listed all current licensing information in the "licence" section, but it would be nice to sort out what the correct copyright status for this image is. (Stefan4 (talk) 11:39, 7 October 2011 (UTC))

Indeed, based on the information in the metadata, it seems that the source map used is File:Blank map of Europe.svg, which is under the CC-by-sa-2.5 license. A cropped and colored derivative map of a CC-by-sa map cannot be PD. It would be a copyright violation. Also, the name of the author (User:maix) of that source map is found only in the extended details of the metadata of the derivative map but is not credited as author in the information template. (To complicate the matter further, File:Blank map of Europe.svg is itself based on File:Europe countries.svg, which is under CC-by-sa-3.0. A derivative of a work under a CC-by-sa license may pass from an older version (2.5) to a more recent version (3.0) of the license, but it cannot pass from the more recent version (3.0) to an older version (2.5).) -- Asclepias (talk) 16:59, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
What a wonderful mess this is. Can we just change everything into 3.0 or do we need to seek permission from the original editors first? I suspect that "Blank map" is used all over the place as a base for other maps. Not sure what implications this has... (Stefan4 (talk) 18:51, 7 October 2011 (UTC))
The easiest way to fix the discrepancy in the CC-by-sa license versions might be to ask the original author of File:Europe countries.svg (User:Tintazul, who had been the only contributor to this file up to the time when File:Blank map of Europe.svg was uploaded) if he agrees to specify (perhaps on the description page of File:Blank map of Europe.svg or on the associated discussion page) that, by special exception, he allows the derivative File:Blank map of Europe.svg, and its own derivatives, to be licensed under the version CC-by-sa-2.5-generic instead of the version CC-by-sa-3.0-unported. User:Tintazul seems to be still active episodically on three Wikimedia projects (currently, his last contribution is from 4 October 2011 on en.wikipedia), so it should be possible to ask him what he thinks about this. I'm guessing that he may not have a problem to make the clarification, seeing that he apparently did not complain about the version discrepancy, or he may just never have noticed it. (If there had not been ulterior contributors to File:Europe countries.svg, he could have simply edited its licensing status, by adding the CC-by-sa-2.5-generic tag to the CC-by-sa-3.0-unported tag (and specifying that that also validates the CC-by-sa-2.5-generic license that was mistakenly placed on the already existing derivatives), but the ulterior modifications of that file makes that solution complex, as it would require either the additional agreement of the modificators or a note to the effect that the 2.5 version of the license is available only for the first version of the file.)
The problem with File:EU2004-2007.svg is different and I don't know what is the best way to fix it. If it is indeed a derivative of File:Blank map of Europe.svg and, through it, of File:Europe countries.svg, then File:EU2004-2007.svg can't be offered under a PD-tag. We could delete it for copyright violation, but of course we can try to find another solution. I'm tempted to suggest to add the names of the authors of the two source maps and to replace the PD tag by the CC-by-sa-2.5-generic tag (assuming the validation of the 2.5 version, as discussed above) but I'm not sure. We could interpret that its uploader and its ulterior modificators placed their own modifications in the public domain (or considered that their own modifications were not copyrightable). So one could do whatever he wants with their modifications if he reused them, but can we retrospectively tag their modifications as being under a CC license when they themselves did not? -- Asclepias (talk) 22:04, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't think you meant "ulterior" ;-) I think that is the appropriate solution though, to change the license on this file to CC-BY-SA-3.0 and add the authors of the other two maps. I thought the outlines were the same but File:Blank map of Europe.svg did add a couple outlines. The authors of this map clearly licensed their own changes as PD, which are the only parts they had rights over, and the expression on the previous maps forces a CC-BY-SA-3.0 license anyways -- we are just fixing the license to the required one per the previous authors. There is no content which should require deletion. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:42, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Japanese help needed

Could someone who reads Japanese please take a look at the source for File:76103 1170514.jpg and see if it is properly licensed? If so, it also needs description and an informative name. Thanks, Dankarl (talk) 14:00, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Seems to be properly licensed, except maybe for crediting the original photographer.
Note that the uploader to Wikimedia is called User:Jyunnn while the uploader to Photozō is called Last Frontier (らすとふろんてぃあ Rasuto Furontia). I believe that the licence requires crediting this alias, probably using the Japanese characters.
There is a licence section to the right on the Photozō page (search for "ライセンス" = licence). Text: "クリエイティブ・コモンズ(表示)に基づいて公開されています" = "published based on Creative Commons (view)". The "Creative Commons (view)" part is a clickable link which points to the Japanese version of "CC by 2.1"[2] which looks like a free licence.
Description: all I can find is that it is an "evening view without people" somewhere in Alaska during summer 2006. (Stefan4 (talk) 14:52, 7 October 2011 (UTC))
Hm, one thing: Wikimedia claims "CC by 2.0" while the original source claims "CC by 2.1". I assume that the version number needs a fix. (Stefan4 (talk) 14:54, 7 October 2011 (UTC))
We do not seem to have a template for Cc by 2.1; there is a Cc-by-sa-2.1-jp; I put the author and date in, and added a description. Please take a further look at the license to see if we can use an existing template. Dankarl (talk) 22:01, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
There is no cc-by-2.1 Unported, and the source links 2.1 Japan, so I've corrected the description. —innotata 23:36, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Guy Fournet - 1976.jpg

Hi, I tagged "File:Guy Fournet - 1976.jpg" with {{No permission}}. The uploader Claude PIARD ( has uploaded other images from the archives of the Fédération sportive et culturelle de France and may be associated with the organization in some way. However, I think we will need OTRS verification for her his uploads. She He has e-mailed me as follows, but I do not speak French. Could a French speaker please explain to her him what is required? Thanks.

“Désolé de patauger un peu pour mes débuts d'illustrateur. Mais ces documents, propriété de la fédération sportive et culturelle de France m'ayant été confiés par celle-ci à fin d'illustrer les articles la concernant, j'ai naïvement cru que je pouvais opérer comme je l'ai fait. Les rectifications opérées sur le dossier de la photo de Maître Guy Fournet sont-elles satisfaisantes ? Merci de votre réponse.”

— Cheers, JackLee talk 16:03, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

(NB: He's "him", not "her".) -- Asclepias (talk) 17:23, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Whoops! — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:05, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Ummm, so, has any French speaker dealt with this matter? — Cheers, JackLee talk 09:05, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Conundrum with a statue

Babe's Dream is a statue erected in 1996 in the United States. As such, it is automatically copyrighted and permission must be obtained for derivatives of it to be used for commercial purposes. Supposedly, one photograph, File:Babe Ruth statue.jpg, obtained such permission. I spotted another photograph, File:The Babe.jpg. Does the permission for the first extend to the second? Does the permission for the first constitute a general license for all photographs? Please comment at Commons:OTRS/Noticeboard#Babe's Dream on this issue for a resolution. Jappalang (talk) 00:48, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Portrait with Copyright Info in EXIF Data

File:Frances Howard Duchess of Richmond Compton Verney.jpg has copyright info in the EXIF data and claims to have an invisible watermark. Do we need to remove this image and upload it another way? - PKM (talk) 08:15, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

I would reupload the image with the bogus copyright claim removed. Yann (talk) 15:14, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
It may not be bogus in the UK, where the image is from. The EXIF notice could be helpful for people in certain jurisdictions to steer clear. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:40, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Is the watermark an issue for us? - PKM (talk) 17:38, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Only if it prevents issues in articles (i.e. visible watermarks). We have chosen to use exclusively U.S. law on this particular issue (head-on photos of PD paintings; {{PD-Art}}) so we will keep the image if you want. We shouldn't be trying to disguise sources though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:38, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Agree, I would avoid removing source info from the EXIF. If the EXIF claims copyright though, feel free to amend it to indicate that that claim is suspect and/or does not apply in all jurisdictions. Commons:Watermarks policy is only intended to address visible watermarks (I would personally discourage invisible watermarks, since they degrade image quality slightly, but some authors may feel more secure against noncompliant use with them). Dcoetzee (talk) 19:45, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, all. - PKM (talk) 02:04, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Images from 1874

Hello, I have 2 images from a book published in 1874 depicting events from John C. Colt's life. The book is available as a free download from Google Books and is classified Antiquarian. Which license would I choose to upload these 169 year-old images? Thanks.--Mike Searson (talk) 21:00, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

If published in the US, you only need {{PD-1923}}. If published in what is now the EU, you need another tag in addition, probably {{PD-old}}; it helps to know when the author died, or at least when he or she was born. This one is not old enough to presume the rule (70 years after death) is satisfied without hard data (If author was 25 when published, and lived to 85, it does not quite make it). Dankarl (talk) 22:35, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Actually, the original drawings were published first in 1842, and were reprinted in this book in 1874. Do I follow the artist's date or the copyright of the book published in 1894? The author of the book in 1874, Charles Sutton, died in 1894.--Mike Searson (talk) 23:49, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Actually, in your example, 60 years after 1874 is 1934, which is more than 70 years ago ;-) [Original entry here may have said 1884... just realized that.] The U.S. has a standard of 120 years after creation for unpublished works of an unknown author (or 95 years from publication, whichever comes first), so that may be one common-sense level to use -- 1874 gets into arguable territory at least. Anyways, for this one, if the illustrations are from 1842 that is a clear case of {{PD-old}}. Copyright would be based on the lifetime of the artist (not the book author unless they are the same person), and a reprinting does not alter the term either. Anyways, it seems as though the book in question was a U.S. publication, so all the above doesn't really matter -- it was published before 1923, so it is indisputably public domain, and you can upload the images. Do note the source, and the 1842 publication if you can, and if there is an artist listed that would be good to add too. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:28, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

UN portraits donated by Iran

I ran across File:Ban Ki-moon and other portraits.jpg, which is a photo of several portraits of the Secretaries-General of the United Nations, donated to the UN by Iran. The photo has the appropriate release for itself, but it seems to me that the portraits wouldn't count as de minimimis, and we would therefore need to know the copyright status of the portraits. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to figure out who has the copyright (the original artist? the government of Iran? the United Nations?), let alone whether there's a copyright release for the image. Some help? I've tagged the photo with {{nld}} in the meantime. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 16:30, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

I don't see any way they could be PD; they're modern paintings. We might be able to weasel something about Iranian copyright in the US, but it would be inconsistent with how we've interpreted our rules before.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:45, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree, and barring any confirmation of a license or PD-release, they will have to go as a copyright violation. My primary question was whether there was any reason to believe that the copyright holder had released them (I'm assuming the Commons uploader and/or the flickr uploader knew what they were doing - not always a safe assumption, to be sure), which would require first determining who the copyright holder was. It was to that end that I placed {{nld}} on the image and brought it up here. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 17:51, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Huang Zijou.jpg, Lai Tek.jpg and Steven Yong.jpg

Jcb and I disagree on his decision to keep the above files which I nominated for deletion. The discussion turns on the interpretation of section 96 of Singapore' Copyright Act, which states: "Copyright subsisting in a published edition of a work or works by virtue of this Part shall continue to subsist until the expiration of 25 years after the expiration of the calendar year in which the edition was first published." [Emphasis added.] I reproduce the discussion on Jcb's talk page here for other editors to weigh in on the issue. Singapore law is based on British law. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:57, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

“Hi. Can you please reconsider your "keep" of "File:Huang Zijou.jpg", "File:Lai Tek.jpg" and "File:Steven Yong.jpg"? You appear to have missed the point that {{PD-SG-edition}} per se is the wrong licence, so the fact that the photographs were taken before 1987 is irrelevant. {{PD-SG-edition}} only applies to editions of works, not individual photographs. For such works, only {{PD-SG-photo}} applies, and that requires 70 years to have passed since the end of the calendar year in which the photograph was taken (that is, it was first taken before or in 1940). Where is the evidence for this? The uploader appears to have been freely taking photographs from off the Internet. I am about to nominate the rest of this user's uploads for deletion. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:29, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't believe these pictures were only published as bare pictures. Jcb (talk) 21:23, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
Yup, they probably appeared in some publication or another. But {{PD-SG-edition}} only applies to the "typographical format of published editions of works". "The copyright of a publisher in the typographical format is separate and distinct from the copyright in the work recorded. For example, Joe Bloggs writes a book on copyright. The book is published by Rex Ltd. If the book is photocopied without permission, two separate copyrights might be infringed: the copyright in the literary work and the entrepreneurial copyright in the typographical format.": para 2.40 of George Wei () The Law of Copyright in Singapore, Singapore: Singapore National Printers ISBN: 981-00-0856-2. Thus, {{PD-SG-edition}} applies to the typographical format of the published edition, which has now expired. The copyright of individual aspects of the work, such as the text and images, are separate and other licences such as {{PD-SG-lifetimepub}} or {{PD-SG-photo}} must be applicable, otherwise they are still under copyright (or, at least, the copyright status is uncertain in which case we must not host these images under our precautionary principle). — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:56, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
My dictionary don't invent such a comprehensive story around the bare word edition. The law text we refer to doesn't either. Jcb (talk) 11:18, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
With respect, I'd say that the interpretation given by the writer of a textbook on Singapore copyright law is to be given more weight than a dictionary definition. Which law text are you referring to? In any case, I will repost this discussion at the copyright village pump for other editors to comment on it. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:52, 10 October 2011 (UTC)”
The law does indeed define "published edition". The relevant sections of Singapore law involving "published editions" are based on Aust. 1968 (plainly stated in the Statutes). The Australian courts have defined "published editions" as "'the presentation embodied in the edition', and includes things like the typographical layout, and the 'juxtaposition of text and photographs and use of headlines'".[3] In short, the copyrights of "published editions" refer to the arrangement of items in a work (like what Jacklee said above). The photographs concerned in this thread should have been deleted. I would also propose deleting {{PD-SG-edition}} as I do not see any possible use of it on Commons. Jappalang (talk) 00:54, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Commons is a repository for Wikisource, and PD-SG-edition could be useful for books we want to upload for Wikisource.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:34, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
It is very much likely the text and photographs in such books would still be copyrighted, and if we are talking about reprinted material that had already fallen into the public domain (but whose reprinted edition is copyrighted for 25 years), why is the original public domain material not uploaded in the first place? Jappalang (talk) 03:51, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Two reasons: we may have a copy of the new edition, instead of the possibly much rarer original. If the original is a medieval manuscript or merely printed in hard to read (or even just hard to OCR) fonts, the new edition may be a lot easier to use. A handwritten original would combine the two; a rare, possibly completely inaccessible original that would be very hard to use even if we could get ahold of it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:00, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
That is a fair point, I had not thought of that (but still... Singapore has very little medieval manuscript or such to print; although there are a few printing presses here that publishes for external countries). Jappalang (talk) 08:29, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
This does sound like a continuation of the UK typographical arrangement copyright (valid for 25 years), typically given to publishers and not authors (well I guess publishers are the authors of the typographical arrangement). This is an additional right on top of the copyright of the material, and is pretty common in laws derived from the UK legislation (the U.S. does not recognize such rights). If that is the case, even if that part has expired, economic rights can still be in effect on the actual material (such as photos), I would think. Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:18, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't see any express definition of published edition in the Singapore Copyright Act, but do not see any reason to disagree with George Wei, the acknowledged expert on Singapore copyright law. I agree that {{PD-SG-edition}} should be retained for the reasons mentioned by Prosfilaes, with a note explaining when it is applicable. Should I renominate the photographs for deletion? — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:26, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Jcb states on his talk page that he would undo or correct his decisions if mistakes are pointed out. You could notify him of the result here and see what happens next. Jappalang (talk) 08:29, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your input, this talk convinced me that PD-SG-edition doesn't apply. I deleted the files. Jcb (talk) 20:41, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

File:Bittorrent 7.2.1 screen.jpg

Hi, please excuse if I'm in the wrong section as I rarely come to Commons.

This image is a concern to me as it is released under a free licence when it is a screenshot of propriatry software. Doesn't sound right does it? Maybe someone else knows something I don't?


Thompson.matthew (talk) 09:21, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

I've been bold and added the tag myself. Sorry if it is wrong ;-) Thompson.matthew (talk) 09:57, 12 October 2011 (UTC)


Would it be allowable to upldoad this map image? The reason I ask is that Wikisource does not have a copy of the map to accompany the text of the Sykes-Picot Agreement. --Gavin Collins (talk) 15:22, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Hm, that's interesting. I believe it is marked "London: Edward Stanford". He was a well known mapmaker, and lived from 1827 to 1904, and his son of the same name took over the firm in 1882, as far as I can tell. Not sure when his son died. It's also possible this only means it was just done by the firm, and may be anonymous... although copyright in that case would last from 70 years after publication, and this is marked "Secret" at the top left, so no idea when it was actually published. There is some small writing at the bottom right I can't read, which may or may not be a credit to a particular person. It's also possible this would be Crown Copyright under their 1911 Copyright Act... yeah, almost definitely would, as it would have been prepared under direction of the government. Still, I think that was 50 years after publication, and not sure when that was. Not sure on this one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:27, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
I can't be certain, but having searched around, I believe this is the map that was used as an appendicies to the agreement, which is why I think it would be a valuable addtion to commons. I believe it to be in the public domain, so I think it would be reasonable to upload it, unless anyone knows better. --Gavin Collins (talk) 08:21, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
You say that you believe it's in the public domain? But the key question is why? Unless you can say affirmatively when it was published and the author's death (or that it was Crown Copyright), saying you believe it's in the public domain doesn't help us much.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:52, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
According a reliable source (Cartographic constructions of the Middle East By Karen Culcasi), the map is held in the archive of UK Foreign Office (ref FO 609/96/9), although I can't find an online version in their archive. I am saying I have reason to believe it's in the public domain, but without having seen the document myself, I am not certain. --Gavin Collins (talk) 10:02, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
Doubt it was the actual map of the agreement; not sure the Italy portions would be there, and it mentions "agreements" as though there are multiple treaties and they happened in the past, and there is a date in a modern inscription which says 1918. There is another version on Flickr, with more readable inscriptions; does not look like any other individuals are named. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:09, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree, it is not the one, but your suggestion is it either, and in any case, it is a compostite image. Karen Culcasi does say in her dissertation that the map on page 104 is the one signed by Sykes and Picot and held in the Maps and Plans archive at Kew (MPK 1/426), so I guess it must be the one, but alas I can't find a version of it online. My earlier suggestion looks like to be a map that may have been used in negociations that took place when WWI ended, but there is no point in uploading at this this time becasue it was not used as an appendix to the original agreement. --Gavin Collins (talk) 10:38, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
It clearly was used in some official capacity by the British Government. There are apparently is more general (and secret) "Agreements of 1916" which was done after consultations with Italian and Russian diplomats (as mentioned in the book you just referenced) and incorporating Sykes-Picot; this one would seem like a map made at that time. I think the agreements were exposed by the Russians in 1918 after their revolution, but no idea if this map is part of that. The copyright notice is from Cambridge Archive Editions I would think, who make copies of government documents and other primary sources, so it was obviously released to the public at some point -- the question is when. It's clearly in scope, and a very interesting map, but the question is when would the government have made it available to the public to inspect. It's quite possible it's PD, and it could certainly be used as an informational source to make a different map, but the PD determination seems likely to be based on publication date, which we don't know. Maybe, possibly, if Archive Editions has the ability to make copies without keeping the Crown Copyright notice, it may be an indication that Crown Copyright has expired. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:53, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
I think uploading a scan whose provenance is questionable would not be a good idea. I will research further to see if the image held at the Maps and Plans archive at Kew can be obtained by fair means.
The National Archive might be prepared to provide an non-commercial quality image of MPK 1/426, so would there be any reasons that might prevent me from uploading it? My understanding is that since the map was first published 1916 (in secret), then it is in the public domain. However, one signatory to the map (Picot) died less than 70 years ago. Do you think there is a problem? --Gavin Collins (talk) 10:32, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
The Copyright Act 1911 defined publication as "the issue of copies of the work to the public"; not sure a secret work would qualify. It became public at some point, but not sure when, which is the original issue -- if 1916 was deemed the publication, it would be an easy call. You could ask the National Archives if it is still considered Crown Copyright, perhaps under the Open Government License ({{OGL}}), or if Crown Copyright has expired. I don't think there is an issue with private copyright and 70 pma terms; I think that is uncontroversially Crown Copyright. Unless the base map was pre-existing, but *that* would have been published. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:38, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
When I asked the National Archive about the map's copyright status, they were a bit vague, other than saying that copyright rules would be the same as that of Foreign Office archive FO 371 , from which the map originates (FO 371/2777). Since it came from a cache of public records that released to the public under the Thirty year rule, then the publication date can be inferred to be 1947 at the latest. Since Crown copyright expires 50-years after publication, then I have reasonable evidence that an image of the map is in the public domain. --Gavin Collins (talk) 16:15, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Per the thirty-year rule link, that rule came into force in 1958... but OK. It seems to me that most likely it would be PD by now per the above. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:31, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
For your information, I have uploaded the File:MPK1-426 Sykes Picot Agreement Map signed 8 May 1916.jpg. Let me know if there is any amendment required to the licence information. --Gavin Collins (talk) 07:07, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
The current statement implies that the National Archives have been dead since at least 1910. -- Asclepias (talk) 12:45, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Then maybe {{PD-UKGov}} applies. Any other suggestions? --Gavin Collins (talk) 16:36, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
That's probably enough. The base map was made by the Royal Geographical Society in 1910 (with a note that railroads were added in 1915) but with no individual named; that part would be {{PD-UK-unknown}}. The Sykes and Picot additions would be {{PD-UKGov}}, yes. Very cool map, BTW. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:53, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
I think maybe {{PD-UK-EdictGov}} is better, because the map forms part of a public record, and the older copyright of the Royal Geographical Society has expired. I am impressed by the map too, the signatures Sykes and Picot add weight to its historical importance. I will investigate nominating it for Featured picture candidate. --Gavin Collins (talk) 17:15, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
In its current form, it looks like a strangely worded template and I would hesitate to use it. I think I would use a combination of PD-UK-unknown and PD-1923 to specify the copyright status of the 1910-1915 map (which, after all, is by far the major part of the work) and PD-UKGov to specify the copyright status of the drawings of the zones, like you and Clindberg suggested above. -- Asclepias (talk) 18:44, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Didn't even know that template existed. I don't like it much; FOIA requests do allow people to see the material, but does not really change the copyright status -- plenty of third-party-copyrighted material becomes public records (different than public domain); while access and maybe copying is OK in many contexts, the right to create derivative works and commercial use is not implied by public record status. UK Government-created stuff does tend to use the Open Government License, but we already have the {{OGL}} tag for that. This appears to be a specialized synonym for certain OGL works, but really, it should not be used on non-Crown material, which it seems to imply -- we've had discussion on FOIA material before and disallowed them unless public domain via another means. At any rate, that tag would only be used for stuff where Crown Copyright has not yet expired, which we think this has, so PD-UKGov is still preferable in my opinion. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:09, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
I was not sure if this was the path to follow, because I would not class a public record as an "artistic work" as described in {{PD-UKGov}}. However, if you take the view that it is, i.e. the map is a type of "engraving" and the subsequent scribbles of Sykes and Picot are either an "engraving" or a "painting", then the template applies, so I shall amended the licencing accordingly. --Gavin Collins (talk) 22:16, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Maps, usually by definition in copyright law, are considered artistic works in general -- they are usually mentioned specifically. This is true for the UK; see their definitions, which defines a map as a "graphic work", and a graphic work as part of "artistic works". Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:36, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Today's Media of the Day

Is there any issue with today's Media of the Day File:Times Square percu.ogg containing a recording of a street performer's performance? I saw no indication that his permission had been obtained.--agr (talk) 21:07, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. I've nommed it for deletion. Powers (talk) 00:26, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

File:Akbank MINGUS 2011-10-10 105344.png

What happens if a major company violates the creative commons license of a file originally published on commons, by not following two simple rules. Failing in attribution and reserving the rights to company? This is a new kind of problem I encounter frequently. What are our rights if CC is violated.--Nevit Dilmen (talk) 08:32, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

It would be up to the copyright holder (usually the author) to address the situation. The steps taken can vary depending on the jurisdictions involved. Powers (talk) 12:39, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
BTW the screenshots you show may be violations on your part, not helping your case and violating policy. They are also out of scope. You can take them down with a speedy|uploader request. See Commons:Speedy deletion Dankarl (talk) 22:42, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
The file is just the tip of the iceberg in what is going on outside commons. I did not bring here any or every instance of copyright violations of my work. But this is a commonplace form of violation that affects many of the commons contributors who release their works with a license that require attribution. I could not hear a voice of "community" from comments above. But just wanted to warn that this form of violation when reached a certain threshold would prevent contributors from contributing their work. Since CC license is perceived as no license in outer world.
About the screenshot above, if you look it enlarged the text and icons are unreadably pixelated, the photos are masked, so that just the url, my photo and Bank logo and claim of ownership by Bank are visible. More parts can be masked if necessary. It was uploaded to be a reference for this discussion, so I do not think it bee as out of scope.
Just for interest follow this link and see what percent of the users of this file are obedient to Attribution requirement of CC license. This not the only example. You can create a link for one of your own uploads and see what is going out.
I want to hear the voice of "community", what can be done to reduce the volume of this kind of violation. --Nevit Dilmen (talk) 10:13, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Threshold of originality

Does this meet the threshold of originality required for copyright? It's fancy text, but text nevertheless and my understanding is that text alone is PD-ineligible. Techtri (talk) 15:29, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Looks like {{PD-textlogo}} to me. The BBC logo certainly is, and I see no reason the rest of it wouldn't be. Powers (talk) 01:01, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it's copyrightable in the U.S., but the UK has a particularly low threshold; here is some of their guidance, where they indicate that lettering-only logos may be copyrightable there if they are arranged in some way to give an "artistic" impression. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:33, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Photograph from 1909, Australia

Hello, I found the linked photograph from The Australian National Library, which is described there as "Out of copyright". So, can I upload it here to Commons with the correct description and information from there, and include it in en:George Augustine Taylor? --Enyavar (talk) 15:23, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes, use {{PD-Australia}}. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:18, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice. It's okay like this? File:George A Taylor Narrabeen.jpg? --Enyavar (talk) 21:42, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

BFF logo eligible?

Hi, I would like to ask if the logo of Bicycle Film Festival (only the part on the top left and not the complete graphic) [4] is eligible for upload to commons. I think it consists only of simple geometric shapes and is therefore acceptable. Thank you --Singlespeedfahrer (talk) 21:35, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

The portion in the top left looks {{PD-text}} to me. Warfieldian (talk) 13:12, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I would say not, unless it is just the portion with the words "Bicycle Film Festival". The graphic of the bicycle I think is copyrightable. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:25, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
If in doubt, you may want to upload it to the project you intend to use it for under 'fair use' to be on the safe side. Warfieldian (talk) 15:05, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

That logo seems far less complex than File:Croton Dam Muskegon River Dscn1100 cropped.jpg, which was deemed uncopyrightable. Powers (talk) 15:26, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Centre Pompidou

I noticed that Commons has a few photos of en:Centre Georges Pompidou, e.g. used on French Wikipedia:

Are these compatible with the copyright rules for Commons? English Wikipedia has two photos of the building and they are both stored on English Wikipedia (because of incompatibility with Commons copyright rules I suppose) with a big warning that the building on the photo is copyrighted:

I don't really see what's so different between the English Wikipedia photos and the Commons photos. (Stefan4 (talk) 14:41, 18 October 2011 (UTC))

Pre-1908 photo, but date of photog death unkown

Hi, question has been raised about the photographer and his death date for File:Henri Moissan.jpg at an en-Wiki FAC. Help? 21:19, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Bump. (Does this image need to deleted or is there just some change in permission labeling that serves when the photo is old and the photog unknown?) 18:35, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
If we can find when it was first published, {{Anonymous-EU}} may likely apply, unless there is a named photographer somewhere. I did look some in old books, and found several portraits, some of which may have even been taken at the same sitting as he looks similar and wearing the same clothes (no photographers ever mentioned), but not this one in particular yet. The only credit I have seen is "Nobel Foundation" in more modern books. The only way they could still own copyright is if a) the photographs were taken by their organization, and b) they were published less than 70 years ago. Also, if they were first published in Sweden, the term may be even shorter ({{PD-Sweden-photo}}; bit unsure if this is a photographic work or just a photographic picture). Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:45, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

It was published in 1908 in Les Prix Nobeles: [5]. You can see it is on the plate between page 70 and 71. Is it legit? And if so, can you please fix the rationale on file page (and let the FACers know?) Actually the photog is noted, but I can't read it on the Google scan. I guess if one went to the Library, one could read it in person. Do we need that though or could we just use some permissions related to it being pre 1923 or the like? 09:38, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Very nice searching, thank you :-) Very legitimate. The photographer listed appears to be "Gen. Stab. Lit. Anst.", or sv:Generalstabens litografiska anstalt, a company or actually NGO and not a person, so it's effectively anonymous. If that was a person's name though, we would have needed to determine the death date if this was considered a "photographic work" (and not a "photographic picture" in Sweden, but I think that's a moot point. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:07, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I've uploaded a few other of the portraits I ran across in Category:Henri Moissan. But that image should be fine (and is the only one I've found with a photograph credit). Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:05, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. You are a stud. Great to have you engage with FAC. 07:15, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Collage picture

What's the procedure for collage pictures where their "archive versions" has some copyvio? For instance, the last version of File:Montagem Belo Horizonte.jpg and File:Pau dos ferros city.jpg seems ok, but the old versions have pictures wich were removed due copyright infringement. Should these old versions be removed? Giro720 (talk) 22:40, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

I think so. This has recently been the case with File:NE_forgesu.jpg, for instance (see Commons:Deletion requests/File:NE forgesu.jpg). Marek BLAHUŠ (talk) 22:46, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, if they include a copyvio they should be removed. I suppose you could use one of the speedy deletion tags, specify the version(s) to be deleted and link to the deletion decision of the included work. Or tag for regular deletion request with the same informations. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:38, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Giro720 (talk) 01:01, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

No FOP in Brussels/Belgium vs. current pictures of (EU) buildings in Commons

I have recently started a traineeship with the European Commission in Brussels and am daily guest to EU buildings in the city (including access to interesting viewss from some of them), plus I am also getting to know the city. I would really love to help contribute to Commons by taking useful pictures during my traineeship, but as Belgium is a country with no freedom of panorama, I feel like if my hands were tied. What else interesting can I actually photo in the city if not buildings and other public places, in virtualy all of which there is some "work of art" - a building whose architect has not been dead for more than 70 years so far? I was surprised there was only a vague photo of the Madou Plaza Tower, but when I had taken and wanted to upload a much better one of mine, I realized that it would probably not get accepted because of FOP restrictions. Still, the ugly photo stays in Commons, and it even survived a deletion request, based on somebody's stating it is a de minimis case - yet the photo is currently being used four times across the Wikipedia, and nowhere it is being presented as "an office block as seen from the Brussel Park" - of course everywhere it is described as a view of the Madou tower... (and it is eventually even named "Tour Madou Brussels"!) I think such a use is against the spirit of de minimis (although the picture itself may still consist a de minimis inclusion of the tower - but then the question is whether a view of office buildings from a park is notable for Commons...).

I am not content about the current solution which either abuses de minimis and the like, or in many cases it profits from ignorance of the community and/or repetitive uploads that have not yet been moderated. Just one click form the Madou tower picture is the article nl:Lijst van hoogste gebouwen van België (Dutch for List of the highest buildings of Belgium) which also features many dubious cases, and even explicitly states the completion years (often quite recent) for all the buildings. When one explores in the history of those pictures, some of them have survived deletion requests (de minimis, no copyrightable feature etc.) while others have never been judged at all. nl:Brussel en de Europese Unie is a similar case: Berlaymont has in its own articles been cheated by showing only a part of it and declaring it is the flags in the foreground that are the main object of the photo, but explicit views of other prominent buildings whose designs definitely bear some marks of originality, such as File:Charlemagne building.jpg, File:Justus Lipsius Building enterance.jpg, or File:2007 07 16 parlament europejski bruksela 66.JPG, have even never been challenged at all and these pictures are overtly displayed in our projects and deemed free.

As I am disappointed by me not being able to contribute even if I would really love to, I am being tempted to "help" instead by issuing deletion requests for all those dubious pictures of recent buildings in Belgium that have somehow made it into Commons and have stayed here so far. However, before doing that, I would like to hear opinions of other people and perhaps even get some more general rule formulated, because even merely having here a Category:EU in Brussels feels, under the current strict interpretation of Belgian copyright law, somewhat hypocritical (with the improbable exception that only people, equipment etc. and no building exteriors or interiors were meant by this). Marek BLAHUŠ (talk) 21:55, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

I think it's a sad truth: the images in Category:Charlemagne building as well as in Category:Justus Lipsius building and Category:Delors Building, Brussels, and lots more under Category:EU in Brussels, should be deleted, as there's no FOP in Belgium. Same case as the Atomium etc. Gestumblindi (talk) 21:40, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

United States political boundary maps

Are maps such as the ones on this page covered by copyright? The two I'm most interested in (this one and this one) and their previous iterations are just the state and county boundaries overlaid with the legislative (Senate and House, respectively) boundaries. Obviously, the boundaries are designated by law (the legislative boundaries are found here) and are not copyrightable. So, can I just upload them or do I have to worry about something here? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 08:36, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

To partly answer my own question, I think the answer is that they are {{PD-ineligible}}. But I saw the comments at #Maps, above, so I thought I'd get a second opinion. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 12:03, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Maps are considered copyrightable, even if they show factual data like legislative boundaries. (The boundaries themselves may not be copyrightable, but the underlying map on which they are displayed, is.) Powers (talk) 01:04, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Yep, agreed. I would not use those maps, but of course there is nothing stopping someone from plotting the boundaries (defined in law) on their own maps. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:25, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
*sigh* I was afraid that might be the case. There's a good reason I don't want to plot the boundaries myself - they're so convoluted at places that I'm not aware of a PD map that they could be plotted on top of! (It would require a combination of state-wide and city maps and would be a long time a-drawing.) I suppose the next step is to ask the Legislative Services Agency is if they'd officially release them. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 09:11, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Does that same objection apply to the KMZ files? They are just listings of coordinates. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 02:57, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
Interesting question. If they are the coordinates of the exact boundaries as defined in law, each and every leg, I'd guess not. Those should be fair game to create maps with (but don't make a screenshot of Google Earth). Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:30, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Help me figure out this copyright issue

I originally uploaded the file given to me by the copyright holder. It was flagged and I was told to find a free image or it would be removed. In the description, it said you could take your own picture of the picture and use that- so I tried that. Long story short the photo was taken by Paul Smith- but the copyright is held by Curt Mega who give me the file to use via How do I need to code this so the image is not removed? Mozartchic01 (talk) 02:16, 21 October 2011 (UTC)Mozartchic01

I assume you mean File:Personalcurt.png. Not quite the same photo as this, but the same shoot, and the same info is there -- Paul Smith is the photographer but Curt Mega claims copyright. At any rate, for photos like this, we typically need permission right from the copyright holder, to make sure they are aware what they are licensing -- the permission cannot be for Wikipedia only. See COM:OTRS for the address to send it to, and example contents. Alternatively, if the copyright owner indicates a particular copyright license on the source website, that can work as well. The general upshot is that the copyright owner must be the one to license it. Taking your own picture of another picture is not OK -- copyright is still controlled by the original copyright owner, as the secondary photo is either a copy or a derivative work. At the moment, there is no indication I can see about where the claimed copyright license is specified, so the image is liable to be deleted. If the permission came in a private email, forwarding that permission may help but it is far preferable to have the email sent directly, if possible. If kept, adding the {{personality rights}} template is a good idea. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:45, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Portraits with model release

I was looking for suitable portrait photos with full model release, without personality rights warning in order to use in a derivative work. I recognized that there is not such a category, template or classification system; at least to my knowledge. A workaround is needed imho. --Nevit Dilmen (talk) 22:00, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Essentially what we need here is a template that states that the model has agreed to a model release, and the release should be kept on file with OTRS. If the model is the uploader, applying the template themselves should be enough of a release, provided it links to a complete and reasonable release document. However we are forced to innovate here, because Creative Commons does not offer a model release. Most non-promotional types of commercial use are not restricted by personality rights, but I think it is useful to keep track of which works are free of such concerns. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:36, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Paintings on curved surfaces

Some paintings like File:Charles Le Brun - Le Roi gouverne par lui-même, 1661 - Google Art Project.jpg painted on curved surfaces. Does PD-art apply here ? The opinion expressed in Commons_talk:Licensing was that it was okay, when the image was "deskewed" as is the case of File:John Vanderlyn - Panoramic View of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles - Google Art Project.jpg. However in this case the surface has not been deskewed (and the painter made use of 3D ceiling to suggest depth), so we may need additional guidance.--Zolo (talk) 07:29, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Questions about several data center photos containing non-free works

Hi all, I'm planning to upload several photos I took at the NERSC data center in Oakland, California, but I'm uncertain about several which prominently contain non-free works. These include:

I'm more paranoid than most about this, so I'd like to hear a voice of reason. Thanks! Dcoetzee (talk) 09:18, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

I'd say that "Front of Hopper Cray XE6, viewed from left (3)" and friends contain non-free works. "Kathy Yelick in front of Hopper Cray XE6 looking forward" is probably fine, if we have a need for a picture of Kathy Yelick. "Front of StorageTek tape libraries at NERSC" is pretty clearly de minimis to me. The rest of them, you ask hard questions.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:28, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
* (ec) You don't make them easy questions, do you ;-) I think the first four photos are really based on the photo of Grace Hopper; it is nowhere near incidental in my opinion, and adds materially to your photos. If you can find that the Hopper photo itself is PD, it would be a lot more arguable, though in a couple of those the additional background design also may be a focus of your photos (and not the machine as a whole). There is another use of the photo here but no source information. Base photo here; credited elsewhere to the Computer History Museum. This one, where the emphasis is shifted, is fine to me.
Thanks to everyone. Your interpretations are roughly consistent with my own. :-) Dcoetzee (talk) 04:22, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

I have created an exact duplicate of the logo of the Ruxton Automobile, which went defunct in 1930. I'd like to add it to the article on the car. I created entirely through my own efforts and did not copy anyone else's work. The company has been gone for 81 years. According to every bit of copyright law I can find this logo was in the public domain a long time ago. Can anyone see any problems with this?


Should be no problems. In the United States, that logo was almost assuredly public domain due to lack of copyright notice at some point. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:34, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Old newspaper photos

I recently read this article on a collection of over 13,000 photographs from the first four decades of the 20th century that was donated to the local library. The library has made mid-resolution scans available online (this link should show the online collection).

There are a few problems, however. First, the images were largely originally published in the local newspapers. The library staff painstakingly searched microfilm for original publication dates but may have erred in some cases; other images may have been taken at the same time as published photos but not actually published themselves at the time (for example this one was not published but this one, of the same two animals, was). Second, images that were published before 1923 are in the public domain, but images that were published after 1923 may or may not be, depending on whether copyright was renewed. Is there any way to determine that for newspapers? Third, there are 13,000 images and not all of them are of educational interest, especially given the low resolution.

Any thoughts?

-- Powers (talk) 20:22, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

  • Note: I've uploaded a photo from the collection here: File:William Cox 1922 by Albert Stone.jpg; I'd appreciate a double-check to make sure all the links work and that I got the licensing and file info correct. Powers (talk) 20:52, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
According to John Ockerbloom, no daily newspaper outside New York renewed issues before the end of WWII.[6][7].--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:23, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the papers in question were in Rochester, New York. Powers (talk) 02:29, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Copied from my talk page:
Could be quite a find.
None of your photo links work. It would be good to find a way to give fixed addresses to these.
You need to find and add Stone's death date if you want to use the 70-year template. Dankarl (talk) 22:03, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I was afraid of that for the links; the links to the images are permanent but I haven't found a way to permanently reference the archive data pages. Stone died in 1936; what's the best way to specify that on the image description page? Powers (talk) 02:26, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
End copied content
Remaining questions: 1) How to specify Stone's death date on the image description page? 2) How to permanently reference the archive data pages? 3) Is there an easy way to search for copyright renewals for the papers in question?
-- Powers (talk) 02:29, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
* Stone's death date is of no consequence to its U.S. copyright, but to make it known you could just put "Albert R. Stone (1866-1934)" as the author. There is also a synonym for the PD-1923 tag using a slash, which takes an argument of the death year so that countries which do not use the rule of the shorter term can have an idea -- in this case, it would be {{PD/1923|1934}}. (The first few links online says he died in 1934, not 1936.)
* I always thought Ockerbloom meant New York City by that reference, but I suppose it's a little ambiguous. Anyways, the full list of periodical renewals is here; look for the paper you are interested in. If not there, they did not renew anything before 1978 (and you can look online at for post-1978 renewals, which would be needed for 1950 periodical issues and later).
* Other renewals can be found here; you need to look in the years both 27 and 28 years after publication. Searching for photographs can be pretty indefinite since if it was included in a book or periodical which got renewed, those would typically be enough.
* Yeah, that's not the best software as it seems to rely on the session a lot, and they don't provide a permanent URL. One way may be to use the photo ID (scm07258 in this case) as the search term, and just use the search URL, like this. I would also include the direct URL to the image, particularly since that is the only permanent URL given. So maybe a source like:
Rochester Museum & Science Center, Albert R. Stone Negative Collection, image scm07258 (direct image URL [8])
* or something like that. If there are going to be thousands of these, a source template may be in order (which can hardcode most of the search URL). If any of these photos were first published between 1978 and 2002, they are still under copyright almost certainly. If any of Albert R Stone's photographs were still unpublished as of 2003, they are now public domain (70 pma term). Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:46, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
At least one of the images in the collection shows a completed bridge that was not opened until 1935, and a fair number of the photos were first published in 1936, so I'm tempted to believe the Democrat and Chronicle article linked at the top of this thread which says 1936. I believe the distinction is irrelevant for copyright purposes right now, however. Powers (talk) 15:03, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
I think I saw that the collection may contain some photos made by Stone's son Daniel, trained by Albert, who was also working there. Doing a Google search on albert stone 1866 1934 turns up lots of hits. And actually, the article specifies her father's death in 1936 -- that would be Daniel, not Albert, as she was Albert's granddaughter. The death dates would only matter when it comes to unpublished photos, but if they died in 1934 and 1936, the unpublished aspect is fine too. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:31, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
You're right; I misread the article. Oi. Sadly, only five images in the collection mention Daniel Stone. Four do so because he's actually in the picture; the remaining picture indicates that he was the photographer, even though Albert is still listed in the "Photographer" field (as he is for all 13000+ images). As I mentioned, there's at least one photo that was definitively taken in 1935 or 36, and Daniel Stone bears no mention in that record. Chances are, there was no way to tell by looking at the negatives whether it was father or son who took any given photo, and we all know newspapers rarely gave photographers bylines in those days, so they were just all put down as Albert. This does complicate things a bit, attribution-wise, though I suppose the coincidence of their death years is fortuitous as far as copyright goes. Thoughts? Powers (talk) 15:40, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

I hate to bump this, but I would appreciate any advice on whether it's okay that we don't know which of two people took a particular picture -- and how to show that on the description page. Powers (talk) 14:09, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

U.S. copyright was based on date of publication; usually doesn't matter who the author is. If the collection is credited, if there is a guess as to author maybe put "probably XXX", or if really not known, put "Either Albert Stone (1866-1934) or Daniel Stone (XXXX-1936)", or something like that -- just put what is known. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:37, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Cazare Bacau

I need the help of a speaker of Romanian... This website, Cazare Bacau, contains at least four images which are also present in our Category:Bacău. They were all uploaded here in 2008, mostly (but not exclusively) by one user. Cazare Bacau claims copyright on the images.

Who is the copyright violator? I'd like to know when Cazare Bacau first published the images, but I don't write Romanian. Or can we just assume that our images are copyvio's? Fransvannes (talk) 18:21, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Two of the examples were uploaded by an account on Commons, the two other were uploaded by an account on Wikipedia. Most of the 2008 uploads by the Commons account have been deleted for copyvio (log), so that does not look good for him. In particular, a file that was likely another version of File:Universitatea George Bacovia edited.jpg was deleted for copyvio. You might talk with one or both sysops (Martin H., Nagy) who were involved and ask their advice and if they remember the verifications they made then and the difference between the files that were deleted and the few that were not. -- Asclepias (talk) 19:14, 23 October 2011 (UTC)
Regarding File:Universitatea George Bacovia edited - Copia edited.jpg, most likely the uploader picked the wrong file from his pc, that was an album cover of en:Tokio Hotel and nothing related to Bacovia universtiy. For the moment, I will have a second look in Category:Bacău later. --Martin H. (talk) 14:23, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Deletion request for the Commons uploader started, Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Andrei Lilian. --Martin H. (talk) 17:18, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
Thank you both. But what to do with image number one, which was uploaded by someone else (to the English Wikipedia), whose track record has been impeccable to date? Fransvannes (talk) 22:09, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
I would not call en:User talk:Babyblue8 as evidence of an impeccable track record... If he was the author of the image, why would he do this (upload a digital enlargement of the image)? Jappalang (talk) 01:31, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Did anyone spot that Cazare Bacau uses images from this project (the above images on their site are linked to direct image links here)? Regardless, I remain firm in my view on Andrei Lilian's uploads (most likely taken from somewhere else). Jappalang (talk) 06:48, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Cazare Bacau is reusing Wikimedia content without license compliance. In searching AL's upload i excluded them. I not found anything that speaks against babyblue. The bad upscaling can be a sign of bad image editing skills or bad uploads, I assume the first. The tracks on babyblues en.wp talkpage are only forgotten licenses, I see no problems with this user. --Martin H. (talk) 20:23, 25 October 2011 (UTC)


I'm aware of Commons policy but not used to judging the relvancy of works on Flikr. Can this image of en:Charles Clarke be transferred to Commons? Grandiose (talk) 19:20, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

We call that flickrwashing. Image is ©2006 Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images.[9] Used here and this crop was on the BBChome page on 2006-05-05 between 14:30 and 14:40 GMT.[10] So, no, you must not transfer this to the Commons. Lupo 19:41, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
flickrvio. Flickrwashing implies that the Commons uploader setted up the license laundering account on flickr himself, flickrvio only means that the flickr uploader is bad. --Martin H. (talk) 20:00, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Copyright of Croatian government

Given that we have {{PD-CroatiaGov}}, which states:

The subject matter of copyright shall not include:

(1) discoveries, official texts in the domain of legislation, administration, judiciary (acts, regulations, decisions, reports, minutes, judgments, standards, and the like) and other official works and their collections, disclosed for the purpose of officially informing the public;

(2) news of the day and other news, having the character of mere items of press information.

Why are the websites for the government and the military claiming copyright for their contents? Do they not qualify for "official works and their collections, disclosed for the purpose of officially informing the public"? If not, what exactly are the claims for (graphics, etc)? Jappalang (talk) 01:49, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

The difference maybe is the legal obligation of the information. Informing about recent activities has no effect on the people, no official character, and therefore no public interest in exempting the author from copyright. --Martin H. (talk) 20:07, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
Plainly, what does that mean? Does the Croatian government have a valid copyright to certain works? If yes, what sort of works? Can the government copyright images and graphical works not found in statutory documents, gazettes, or reports; i.e. photographs taken by their workers and published on their websites? What about insignias of military units and various government branches? Jappalang (talk) 00:14, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
1) Much website software has a fill-in field to generate a copyright notice; quite often entities just put in the name and the notice is there by default, so they may not be consciously adding them; 2) "official works and their collections, disclosed for the purpose of officially informing the public" is a bit ambiguous to me -- hard to say what the full scope of that is. This guidance page almost repeats the same line, although the wording is slightly different: official texts in the domain of legislation, administration, and judiciary, as well as, their collections, which are disclosed for the purpose of officially informing the public. That makes it seem as though "official texts in the domain of legislation, administration, and judiciary" are really the only materials which come under that, plus collections of those works in particular, such as an official gazette of laws (in many countries, laws do not take effect until they are published in those gazettes, etc.). There may not be a good basis for graphical claims of general items. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:37, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
This came about because of File:Osrh.jpg and another file mentioned in a FAC discussion. I'll repeat what I said there - the official emblems of the armed forces of Croatia are defined by the law:
Zakon o obrani
10. Zastave, znak i oznake u Oružanim snagama
Članak 115.
Postrojbe Oružanih snaga imaju svoje zastave.
Zastave postrojba Oružanih snaga propisuje vrhovni zapovjednik na prijedlog ministra obrane.
Članak 116.
Znak Oružanih snaga sadrži grb i naziv Republike Hrvatske.
Izgled znaka Oružanih snaga, oznaka činova, dužnosti i pripadnosti granama, rodovima, službama i strukama, oznaka zapovjedništava, postrojba i ustanova te izgled vojnih odora propisuje ministar obrane.
So the law literally prescribes that the top-ranked government officials define how the emblems look like - I fail to see how that would let the minister of defence claim copyright on them, instead these institutions are simply tasked with the work by the Parliament, while it remains clear that all they do is based in this law. Whatever else they publish on their websites doesn't matter and copyright can be claimed I guess.
The point above about using generic lets-smack-a-copyright-notice-into-all-footers software is also most pertinent IMO.
--Joy (talk) 07:37, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
I think the second point raised by Carl is that only text is covered by the exemption. While the definition of the insignias would be in the public domain, the graphical representations might be another matter (there is lots of ways to draw a rifle, an animal, or the various poses of the creature). The funny thing I see though is that Croatian law inserts "official works" inside "as well as, their collections" (i.e. "as well as, official works and their collections"). I am not sure how that plays out; maybe it is worth considering why they did it. Jappalang (talk) 10:54, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
The copyright on graphic representations is separate from a written description; each drawing of a design can have its own copyright. Drawings made by third parties and licensed appropriately could be uploaded, but drawings made by governments may have their copyright, so copying graphics from government websites is often a bad idea. See Commons:Coats of Arms. If graphics are actually included in the law, agreed that those specific representations would be PD per the copyright law. The above quote seems to just give general guidelines and requires a couple of elements in the designs, but delegates responsibility for the actual design to others. It is likely that regulations issued by those others would also come under the copyright exemption, so if there are graphic versions there, that could also help. But if those regulations just include a written description, then the government may have a copyright over the particular graphic representations they produce, and it would be better for someone else to draw a version based on the description I think. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:47, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
The link you used is broken? In any case, yes, we're 100% sure only that the original authoritative textual description by the minister would definitely be PD, and it's possible that the ministry of defence holds copyright on the specific images, and in fact the folks at the Croatian Wikipedia hr:Wikipedija:Dopuštenja_za_korištenje_sadržaja/Ustanove#Ministarstvo_obrane_RH explicitly asked them for permission to copy their specific images, to which they assented, but nobody asked them about the original license of the work (not any specific JPEGs, but instead the authoritative image).
But, to cut the long story short, I also looked up the phrasing in the original law and Article 8 says "Nisu predmetom autorskog prava: otkrića, službeni tekstovi [...] i druga službena djela [...] koja su objavljena radi službenog informiranja javnosti" - this Croatian sentence is a list of three items - discoveries, official texts, and other official works published for official informing of the public. I don't see how it would imply that only law texts are covered! An example from case law saying the contrary would be required for it to be reasonable to contradict this simple Croatian language interpretation. --Joy (talk) 14:30, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Use of Photo that is in the public domain in the US but might not be in other countries


I want to use a photo of Sojourner Truth and a couple of others that are in the public domain in the US, but possibly not in other countries. I want to use these photos for a regular book (not an ebook). Do I have to say anything about it not being in the public domain (possibly) in other countries? I'm still not clear about this after reading everything.

Thanks for any help as soon as possible.

Madeline -- 22:02, 26 October 2011‎ User:MaddyG1

If the photograph originated in the United States, then there's no problem for Wikimedia Commons itself, but there might be a problem if you attempt to reuse the photograph in a country where it's still under copyright. However, Sojourner Truth died in 1883, so it seems unlikely that photographs of her would still be under copyright (if a photographer was 20 years old when taking a photograph in 1880, he would have had to live to be at least 80 years old in order to have died less than 70 years ago -- it's theoretically possible, but unlikely...). AnonMoos (talk) 23:50, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
public domain in US but possibly not in other countries

I want to use some photos that are in pd in US but not necessarily in other countries. How do I label this? do I need to? these photos are to go in a book. Thank you -- 01:59, 27 October 2011‎ User:MaddyG1

if a photo is in the public domain in US

Do I have to label the photos at all with anything? photos for a book... -- 02:01, 27 October 2011‎ User:MaddyG1

Yes, you have to label it with a template indicating the reason the photos are in the public domain in the US. Usually this is {{PD-1923}}, if the work was first published in the US before 1923, but see Commons:Copyright_tags#United_States for others. If you're unsure which applies, tell us everything you know about the photos and we'll try to figure it out. Dcoetzee (talk) 04:18, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Dcoetzee -- That advice applies to someone who wants to upload an image to Commons, but she seems to be saying that she wants to take images from Commons and publish them... AnonMoos (talk) 06:12, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
If you are taking a public domain image from Commons to re-use, you should at least credit the photographer, though crediting Commons and the uploader would be good as well. But whether you have to credit them for a PD image? I suspect that is more likely to depend on your local norms defining plagarism than on copyright law. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 08:15, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Oops I didn't read that closely enough! Dcoetzee (talk) 04:15, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

turtle sculpture image?

UMD Testudo Statue.JPG

Is this image OK for en-Wiki? (not fair use). I am pretty sure the sculpture is a copy of a sculpture done in 1933. 02:39, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

No, not unless you can demonstrate the copyright of the original sculpture was either not registered or not renewed (or that it had no copyright notice). Since the original sculpture is not even in this photograph, there's no way to tell. There is no freedom of panorama in the United States. Dcoetzee (talk) 04:16, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Strictly speaking, the image isn't OK for the Commons either unless the above can be shown. Original sculpture by Aristide B. Cianfarani, unveiled 1933-05-23; not in SIRIS. Lupo 06:17, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

I think the "copy" issue is easily proven to reasonable doubt. You can find on the web descriptions of this statue and pictures of the original. It's the same design, but copies located at the stadium and also on campus. How about the key issue of the 1933 statue? Yes, I'm aware FOP does not cover us. What about the "registered or not" aspect? 00:01, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

P.s. If you really think this is non-legit, please put into AFD. 00:01, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Done, please comment at Commons:Deletion requests/File:UMD Testudo Statue.JPG. Apologies for not thinking of that sooner. Dcoetzee (talk) 03:35, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Family pictures

My grandmother took a picture of my grandfather at a wedding in 1960, and I'd like to use it in Wikipedia. Problem is, both are now deceased, and I don't know if I'm entitled to use this picture. Do I need to ask their three children for their explicit permission, or am I allowed to upload it? Jzu (talk) 09:38, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

In many countries the copyright of "ordinary" photos expires after 50 years (often earlier for old photos). If the photo is to be regarded as a work of art, then the ordinary copyright term, usually 70 year after death of the author, applies. In some countries all or nearly all photos are regarded as works of art, in others nearly all photos are regarded as ordinary.
So the answer depends critically on what countries are involved. If the copyright has not expired, you have to ask for permission. It might be possible that permission from one of the heirs is enough, also depending on the jurisdiction and possibly on the intended licence.
--LPfi (talk) 20:39, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
If this is in the US, you will need to get a license statement from the heirs. To be safe, I would get a license statement from all heirs by e-mail and forward them all to OTRS. It's a pain, but while you're at it you might get blanket permission in case any of her other photographs are of educational value. Dcoetzee (talk) 03:38, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
Normally in the U.S., permission from any one of the heirs would be enough, per the usual treatment when the copyright is owned by multiple people. There was a single court case a few years back which sort of went the other way (indicating that permission from *all* owners was needed for a copyright transfer), but I'm not sure that is definitive on the matter. I don't think we should be requiring that for upload here, though if some other heir objects to it, maybe we'd delete it. If the uploader is one of the copyright owners, I think normally they should be able to give permission. Other countries may be a bit different though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:47, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Вопросы о правовом статусе фотографий

Вопрос такой, есть вот эта веб-страничка с портфолио с фотографиями, например, с вот этой По идее, поскольку это МинОбороны США, то все фотографии, сделанные их сотрудниками во время исполнения своих обязанностей (служебные произведения) считаюся ОД и могут быть коммерчески использованы. Вопрос - применимо ли подобное допущение к данным фотографиям?-- 14:51, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

На сколько я знаю это зависит от того как они были оформлены, если они сотрудники Мин Обороны, то да, если контрактники, то тут не всё так гладко. Иногда правительство США пытается обойти собственные законы как раз нанимая людей или организации для какой-то работы, и таким образом копирайт остаётся в силе. Beta M (talk) 08:01, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Australian governemntal copyrights

Just stumbled upon this statement
Will it count as a confirmed permission to grab any image or media labeled as copyright by Australian government and then post it here under CC-BY? -- 06:30, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

No, but it means that the government agencies will identify much of their material under CC-by, and when a specific material is actually identified under CC-by, then you can use it under CC-by. Like the linked page says, if you are unsure about the status of a specific material, contact the agency that produced it. -- Asclepias (talk) 12:24, 31 October 2011 (UTC)