Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2011/11

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Archive This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.

NOAA picture question

Hello, I want to add this picture to Wikimedia Commons, however I do not know if there is any copyright associated with it. It says work from the Federal Government is in the public domain, however I want to be sure, thanks. -- Luke Talk 16:19, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Most likely public domain, but can i request to see the page that links to that image. There maybe something there which will help to determine for sure. Beta M (talk) 16:44, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I didn't upload it to Wikimedia yet. -- Luke Talk 16:50, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Beta M means the page on the NOAA's website.  ■ MMXX  talk 16:52, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I think User:Lukep913's image is from this NOAA page. On that page they say the image was captured by the NASA Terra satellite using it's MODIS sensor. It's almost certainly {{PD-USGov-NASA}}. A higher resolution version is available here. Similar MODIS imagery can be seen here at the NASA MODIS site. —RP88 17:00, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks guys for clearing it up. -- Luke Talk 17:05, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Some licensing confusion

There are a bunch of photos, like
While the photos themselves are surely of great quality and all my due respect to the author - they seem to be licensed under contradictive licenses, one of which is obviously non-free (I mean the CC-NC-ND one, of course). So - if anyone would mind reusing these photos - what license term he should consider it to be released under? --RussianTrooper (talk) 10:30, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

A reuser can consider the image to be available under whichever of the licenses he is willing to accommodate. If he doesn't plan to make commercial derivative works, he can use the CC-NC-ND; otherwise he'll have to comport with the terms of one of the other licenses. (That said, I'm a little uncomfortable with our own use of a file that is only available under an old version of the GFDL or the Free Art License.) Powers (talk) 14:34, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
The Free Art License doesn't bother me at all. Conceptually similar to CC-BY-SA (though not compatible). Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:09, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Work done for hire during free time

When i was studying in the United States some time ago i came across an interesting legal rule there, and i'm unsure if it's still the case, so please let me know if it isn't, i'll apologise and go away. Let's say i study in the University for the Computer Science degree, i write a piece of software, and the university is able to claim copyright on that. The reason it was argued, was that i could be using University facilities and faculty to help me. In fact i remember reading reports about people who were employed writing software or books and then their employer would sue them for the copyright and win, the fact that those were created during the time off work and were sometimes even in the different field than the person's job (a book about photography written by a computer programmer or somesuch) made no difference. So the question is, is this still the case, and if so what is Commons's position on that if any? Beta M (talk) 03:48, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

As a general rule, in the absence of a formal agreement to the contrary, anything you do in your free time without using your employer's facilities is not subject to any claim by your employer. It is mostly common sense:
  • If you are hired to write software, then the software written for the employer is a work for hire and will belong to the employer, even without an agreement.
  • Similarly, if you are working as a photographer for the New York Times, then the Times will own the copyright in photographs you take during your employment.
  • On the other hand, if you are hired to write payroll processing software and you write game software in your spare time, it does not belong to your employer.
  • The case of the news photographer's spare time photos is a little less clear and is usually covered by a formal agreement.
Most formal employee IP agreements clearly set forth the subject matters which belong to the employer, so an employer successfully claiming copyright in a book about photography written by a computer programmer is urban legend.
As a general rule, a university will not have any copyright interest in student work of any sort, but that generality is often modified by agreement in specific cases, particularly where the student is getting paid for research.
Commons position is simple -- we want to know that whoever holds the copyright has properly licensed it for general use as described at Commons:Licensing. It is up to you and your school or employer to figure out who that is if necessary.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 13:24, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I was once a lowly homework grader for an introductory math class at a public university, and was struck by the fact that the papers I had to sign went on a length about how if any of the work I did led to a patent being filed(!), the patent rights would have to be assigned to the university... Nothing about copyright (as far as I can remember), but of course I wasn't being employed to write or code stuff... AnonMoos (talk) 22:32, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
The policy depends very much on the university. Jim's notes above are good, but you should get in touch with the copyright office at your university. At my university, for example, all classwork by undergraduates remains property of them, while all work done by graduate student researchers is work for hire and copyright belongs to the university, but the student is also authorized as an agent of the university to release their work under a free license. Generally speaking, they can't touch anything you do in your free time without use of their resources, but it's best to get that in writing if you're really concerned. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:52, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Bertlmann's socks drawing

This is about the Jonh Bell drawing for his "Bertlmann's socks and the nature of reality" reading for Fondation Hugot back in 1980. The original paper is in CERN archives, item 142461, see here at the end for the drawing itself (a beard guy coming from behind the wall with a few French hand inscriptions around).

The paper was never published in a book, it was used for the reading and demonstration in Fondation Hugot.

John Bell died 1990.

I assume that the original author paper is property of the author. So the drawing remained the property of Bell, and after his death became the property of his heirs. So would it be OK to get a CC-BY-SA permission from them? Any other ways to use it in Commons? --Neolexx (talk) 16:12, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

I believe you are correct. I don't see this as a "work for hire", so Bell would retain copyright to the contents. Delivering the address would constitute publishing. The only other way to use it in Commons would be to wait until January 1, 2061, when it will enter the public domain (presuming first publication in either France (where the address was given) or Switzerland (where Bell worked); both countries extend copyright for 70 years postmortem). Powers (talk) 20:56, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Delivering the speech doesn't constitute publishing, at least in the US. [1] gives a list of cases on the topic.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:01, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Except that my impression was that this was a visual aid given out at the same time as the oral address. That would constitute publishing, yes? If these were private notes that were not distributed, then I stand corrected. Powers (talk) 13:49, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
The U.S. is also 70pma for anything published by an individual in 1978 or later. The distinction of published or not doesn't matter much in this case (though I'm sure it would be via the CERN publication). Anyways, yes, I think we'd need permission from the heirs. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:07, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Freedom of panorama in the Vatican City

I assume that the law of the Vatican City is distinct from Italian law? Does anyone know if freedom of panorama exists in the Vatican City, and whether it extends to two-dimensional works? I am wondering if the photograph on the right is properly licensed. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:52, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

The Vatican copyright law can be downloaded here, but it's in Italian. Gestumblindi (talk) 21:11, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
The current state of Commons' understanding of FOP issues in the Vatican can be found at COM:FOP#Vatican City (Holy See). Powers (talk) 13:10, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Funny, I missed that entirely! — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:29, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
The Vatican applies Italian copyright law explicitly, but with some additional elements or regulations. In general, I think they try to protect the Pope's writings (and maybe images of him) quite a bit. I had not seen this latest law though (thanks for the pointer), but the first two paragraphs at least explicitly apply Italian law and any alterations Italy may make to it later, unless it conflicts with some of the other articles in the Vatican laws. From what Google Translate seems to say, most of the provisions are strong moral rights in regards to the Pope's image or voice (i.e. if it could negatively affect his prestige), as well as personality rights when it comes to commercial use (unless connected with events or ceremonies which took place in public, or something like that, and unless justified by its use -- I guess allowing news reporting and similar things). They also have some cultural heritage provisions, i.e. photos of cultural heritage are protected for 70 years, subject to the permission of whoever owns the artifacts (this is in Italian law as well I'm pretty sure). When it comes to actual copyright (i.e. economic rights), they claim copyright ownership to any work published under their name or done on their behalf, and also explicitly the writings and speeches of the Pope. It looks like the term is 70 years from publication, or 70 pma, whichever is specified (so it appears they are no longer claiming infinite copyright on the Pope's writings). Anyways, nothing special that I see in regards to freedom of panorama type stuff, so presumably Italy's law applies. I do wonder if that contained photo would come under the 20-year protection for simple photos (i.e. photos which do not qualify as works) under Italian law. But without knowing when that was published, it may be a hard thing to know. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:45, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Suggestion: ask Vatican City? -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 16:16, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Some Flickr images relating to computer history

I'd like another opinion on some Flickr images relating to computer history that I'd like to upload. They have appropriate licenses on Flickr, but I'm not sure that's enough.

Thanks for any help on these.--agr (talk) 21:37, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

The first two I think are OK. The third... not sure the museum actually owns any copyright in that, since they just have a print made by a Roger Dudley in 1962. There is no copyright notice that I can see, but they don't show the back. You'd think a copyright notice would be on the front (near the photographer's name), but the resolution is a little low to tell for sure it's not there. The third one, COM:PEOPLE is the main guideline, and (provided photos are taken in public like that one) there should be no issues (unless maybe the caption is derogatory in some way). Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:21, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
The IBM 1620 photo is from the Museum of History & Industry, Seattle WA. Roger Dudley is (was) a commercial photographer and his name and address is on the back of the picture. It doesn't say when it was first published. [2]
  • Stamped on verso: Roger Dudley, Commercial Photographer, PH. MA 2-8878 - Rm. 64 - Cobb Building, Seattle 1, Washington.
  • Ordering Information To order a reproduction or to inquire about permissions contact or phone us at 206-324-1126. Please refer to the Image Number and provide a brief description of the photograph.
  • Credit Line Museum of History & Industry, Seattle; All Rights Reserved
--Swtpc6800 (talk) 01:31, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Okay, so no indication of a copyright notice. Thanks for the note on the verso -- I had missed that. I still fail to see how the museum could have any copyright interest in that, unless it was transferred by the photographer -- that is just a scan of a print. The World Fair was in 1962, so that would presumably be when it was published (as that would be the best chance at a market you'd think), though the Image Number does seem to indicate a 1965 date when the museum put it in their collection. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:30, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the responses. I'm still not clear about the 1620 photo. Does the lack of a copyright notice mean it's ok to use here?--agr (talk) 13:00, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I won't need the 1620 photo; I found a different picture of the 1627 plotter with no apparent issues. Again, thanks.--agr (talk) 23:36, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

File:4.28.11TimesSquareSignsByLuigiNovi2.jpg - Photos of non-permanent posters from a public place as the main-subject - USA

I'd like to get some input about whether this kind of files are permitted or not. I can't see any FoP exemption here since it is neither a building nor permanent and certainly not de-minis. Is there another exemption, I should take into consideration? Thanks for your reply. -- RE rillke questions? 17:44, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Can't think of one. Little too focused on Conan to me -- can't call that incidental I don't think. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:30, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
I concur. Powers (talk) 15:52, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. Deletion-request started. -- RE rillke questions? 14:02, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

1962 US campaign flyer

Would I be correct that something like this from the US from 1962 (or at any other time 1977 or earlier), lacking a copyright notice, would be public domain? - Jmabel ! talk 04:25, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

  • My gut says 'yes', but you have to make darn sure there was no copyright notice, or that it wasn't renewed. Powers (talk) 15:51, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
    • FWIW (and I speak from being old enough to remember), pretty much no one copyrighted this sort of ephemera at the time in the US. - Jmabel ! talk 15:54, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
      • True, but I am mainly concerned that it might have been part of a larger work that did bear a copyright notice. Powers (talk) 18:07, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
        • No, it's not. It's a flyer. Thanks, I'll know I can upload these as PD-no-notice. - Jmabel ! talk 16:07, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Template:PD-USGov-POTUS and others

These PD templates do not discuss the exact copyright reasons as they should. Also do we really need multiple PD-USGov templates? I can understand the point of categorizing the sources but that can be achieved with the exact same PD-Gov text, why is it different? I can offer smart parameters and unify all PD-USGov templates to one if no one objects. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 16:15, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Parameterized templates are harder for non-expert editors to understand. In addition, having them hard-coded makes it easier to discuss individual use cases and whatever specific idiosyncrasies might apply. Powers (talk) 20:26, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
I also prefer separate templates for similar reasons; there are many times when some specific restrictions or situations where it is good to have some custom text. This template links to w:Work of the United States Government which pretty much lays out the PD reasons. Many agencies have their own copyright pages which can sometimes point out exceptions, and that kind of thing. I don't think the extra complexity would buy anything, and could hurt. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:44, 7 November 2011 (UTC)


While googling I came across this page which is extensively illustrated- the text is CC-BY-SA but I have failed to find any copyright statement on the images, many of which would be useful to us if the copyright is compatible. Has anyone come across it before? Have we tried to get permission to do a mass upload- or to cooperate? Curious. --ClemRutter (talk) 16:30, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Not that I know of. Regarding these paintings: if the painter was Pierre Adolphe Valette, who was French and who died 1942, then these paintings will go out of copyright in France not before January 1, 2013. He seems to have lived for quite a while in England, but also under Britsh copyright law, his works will be copyrighted until then. Lupo 17:03, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
There seems to be a lot of useful material on the site-and if it is clean it could be very useful to us. As to 1.1.2013-- with the backlog I have got, the timing sounds perfect-- :)--ClemRutter (talk) 17:31, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Copyright status of a sound file ?

I wish to upload a file of a folk song to illustrate an article with it, but I am not sure of the copyright rules regarding this case. The sample is of a Bulgarian folk song, and according to PD-BulgarianGov, "the following documents "shall not be considered objects of copyright":

  • normative and individual acts of government bodies and official translations thereof;
  • ideas and concepts;
  • works of folklore;
  • news, facts, information and data."

Does this mean a sample of the work can be uploaded regardless of who the performer is ? - Tourbillon 19:58, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't think a modern recording of a song would be free of copyright just because the underlying work is a work of folklore.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:34, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
If you made the recording yourself, and it is a performance of the traditional work and not a modern arrangement of it, it is fine. The performers do not have a copyright (they may have a performers right in the EU). You cannot upload recordings made by others, as the person making the recording has a creative contribution (in choice of how to record, mixing, etc.) which is protected. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:26, 8 November 2011 (UTC)


This image has "move to Commons" on English Wikipedia and "don't move to Commons" on German Wikipedia. What should I do?

Stefan4 (talk) 15:17, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

I think it should be all right to move. I'm not a German speaker, but the uploader appears to have indicated on the file description page that the author of the photograph is unknown. The article "en:Hubert Salentin" claims that the photograph was taken c. 1865, and in any case it must have been taken no later than Salentin's death date of 7 July 1910. Thus, on the reasonable assumption that the photograph was taken and made public in Salentin's home country of Germany, {{Anonymous-EU}} applies. Since 70 years have passed since the last possible year when the photograph was taken, I think we can take it that it is more likely than not in the public domain. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:37, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
I also had some problems with the German text. The image has been uploaded to Commons and marked as available on Commons at German and English Wikipedia. I had to log in at three places for this because of my incomplete SUL. Sigh. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:22, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Image from de.wikipedia

Hi, can this image transfered to commons because there are some logos in the background? wikipedia:de:Datei:Krupp-Roller.jpg --Singlespeedfahrer (talk) 13:22, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Yes, you can transfer this file to commons. The logos are very simple and are not the focus of the photo. Powers (talk) 15:42, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
O.k. thank you for your response. --Singlespeedfahrer (talk) 15:52, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Is this photo flat enough to be PD-Art?

I can crop it or black out shadows if need be... Shii (talk) 13:18, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm going to say no. It's a photograph of a painting on a rock face, so I think there is definitely some creativity involved in the selection of lighting and the best angle. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:52, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
I'd disagree, the choice of lighting and the angle here clearly intended to reproduce the flat image to the best of the ability of the photographer, and it is clear that the photographer tried not to add any of one's own creativity to the image (i.e. attempted to preserve the original). The fact that some 3D rock got into the photo is definitely de minimis, as it is not what was intended to be photographed. All the surface that was think is 2d is actually 3 dimensional, the flattest piece of paper will have small imperfections, and the canvas when painted with oil will have much more texture than the actual painting part of this. Beta M (talk) 19:42, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Based on this lack of consensus I uploaded a cropped version at File:Wall paintings06.jpg Shii (talk) 10:55, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
I think it might be a good idea to hear some views from editors more experienced with copyright law. Also, can I suggest that you give a more accurate name to the file? "Wall paintings" is really quite vague. You can request for the file to be renamed by tagging it with {{rename}} (click on the link for instructions). — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:15, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
I would not be comfortable citing PD-Art for this image; there is too much texture to the underlying surface. Powers (talk) 18:25, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
"Based on this lack of consensus" consequently means: Do not upload. I started a deletion request on your upload. --Martin H. (talk) 18:22, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Non-photographic reproductions of old 2D artwork

I understand that I can upload photographs/scans of old 2D artwork to commons with the PD-Art license. How about non-photographic reproductions? I am particularly interested in these images which are woodblock print reproductions of an old (13th century) 2D artwork. The age of the reproductions is not known (I'd guess late 19th century), but that should be irrelevant for this discussion. Can these ukiyoe reproductions be uploaded to commons (if yes, under what license)? For comparison, scans/photographs of the original 13th century artwork are found in Category:Murasaki Shikibu Diary Emaki (Gotoh edition) and Category:Murasaki Shikibu Diary Emaki (Hinohara edition). bamse (talk) 11:24, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

I think this is OK for Commons. First it is quite old, and there was probably no copyright in the first place. Yann (talk) 12:01, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Not sure I understand. What do you mean by "quite old"? Wouldn't the year of the death of the ukiyoe artist count? If the book is indeed from the late 19th century, the artist could have lived well into the second half of the 20th century. bamse (talk) 12:37, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
The template PD-Art would apply to faithful photographic reproductions of the woodblock print "reproductions" (or derivatives) of the original artworks. The template does not apply to the woodblock prints. The template is based on the Corel case and it should not be extended outside of its explicit scope. It is for faithful photographic reproductions. To determine the copyright status of the Japanese woodblock prints, one must first determine if they are creative works. Aren't they derivative works more than mere identical reproductions? On that aspect, isn't their situation somewhat similar to that of European prints from engravings? If you conclude that they are copyrightable, then you should apply the usual policy of Commons. As 19th century publications, the prints are in the public domain in the U.S., which leaves you the question of determining their copyright status in Japan (i.e. identifyng the author and finding if he has been dead for over 50 years). If you determine that they are in the public domain, the applicable templates might be PD-1923 and PD-Japan for the woodblock prints, and you will decide if you can apply the template PD-Art to cropped versions of the photos of the book. -- Asclepias (talk) 15:00, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
(ec) The reproductions may have enough originality to create their own copyright, if they had to be re-carved in wood block (for example, in one U.S. case a w:mezzotint version of a PD original was deemed to have its own copyright). But if those are old enough to be PD as well, that wouldn't matter either. I would not upload those photos directly, but probably cropping to just the woodblock artwork would conform to the PD-Art policy. In that case, use the PD-Art template, with the parameter being the other copyright template of why the woodblocks themselves are out of copyright (say PD-Japan). So, something like {{PD-Art|PD-Japan}}. As a side note, there is a {{PD-Scan}} which is separate from PD-Art (as PD-Art is specifically for photographs taken at a distance, applicable here). Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:05, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the replies. I guess I am out of luck then, since neither publication date nor the artist/publisher of the book is known and because the woodcarving appears to be copy-rightable. bamse (talk) 18:39, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

As a follow-up question, unrelated to the initial question. Woodblock printing is essentially a three-step process: (i) design of the print on paper, (ii) carving of the wood block, (iii) printing (can be repeated over many years). Which date of these three is relevant for copyright? bamse (talk) 18:44, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

In most cases, first publication. In cases where we're counting from creation, it'd be the carving of the wood block (if done manually); automatic reproduction doesn't count.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:42, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Copyrights in various pseudo-entities

We have five images of money from Western Sahara:


I am curious if these should be marked for deletion or if there is a statute indicating they are public domain. Magog the Ogre (talk) 15:17, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Most (all?) former Soviet republics (including Moldova) typically state in their law that currency is not subject to copyright; presumably Transnistria would be similar. Some of the images cite a regulation #289, I guess on that basis. File:CelestiaCoin.jpg is not Western Sahara, but some supposed entity by a U.S. resident, so that would follow U.S. copyright law, and seems fine (published in 1959 without a notice). Western Sahara... no idea whatsoever. SADR has presumably been making laws for some time, but no idea if a copyright law is among them, and they certainly aren't party to any WIPO treaty or the Berne Convention. Fuzzy situation there, for sure. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:02, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

UK Govt. copyrights

Will it be OK to upload photos, which are claimed as copyrighted by UK government (UK Crown Copyright) and put them under OpenGovernment License? Namely the images from British Army website claimed as Crown Copyright.--RussianTrooper (talk) 14:32, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

According to it requires a clear statement that the information is published under the OGL. --Martin H. (talk) 14:41, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
If you read the fine print you'll see that most works by the Ministry of Defence can not be under the OGL (there might be some particular types of works but the list of types includes photos, documents, and audiovisuals; core Ministry works might be under the OGL since their website says they are under a license now superseded by the OGL and you would need to contact the ministry itself to find out what these are). On the other hand, there doesn't need to be a clear statement of permission at the source page for many works. (See the the controller of HMSO's offer and User talk:Tom Morris.) —innotata 20:37, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Well - and what about here

Looks like clear statement of licensing under OGL --RussianTrooper (talk) 06:01, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

I would be careful making that assumption. The headline of the Downloadable Images section may claim one thing ("You may use and re-use the information featured in this section free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence."), but all the images I've been able to find claim - on their preview page - "Copyright String: Crown Copyright" (or similar), and the copyright statement is pretty clear: "The material featured on this website is protected by Crown copyright unless otherwise indicated. This material may be reproduced for the purposes of non-commercial research or private study and for the purposes of reporting current events only." It could be interpreted (though that would be a bit odd), that only the small thumbnails in that section may be used on OGL... --Henrik (heb: Talk · Contributions · E-mail) 17:05, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Is the fact that logo is displayed enough to merit copyvio status

I've uploads File:MakMaster FontError.jpeg a while ago. But now i'm thinking, is the fact that there is a logo on that image enough to consider it a copyvio, since the company's logo is copyrighted. Or is it de minimis, since there's no way to photograph the error without photographing the logo, and it is clear from the context that it was the error that was being photographed, not anything else. Beta M (talk) 17:59, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

De minimis to me. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:03, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Powers (talk) 19:54, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Subject of the work is the text on the label. not the logo, so I'd agree that it's de minimis. Dcoetzee (talk) 13:59, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Signature - copyrightable in Philippines

Does the Philippines consider a signature to be copyrightable? Unless we know it does not, File:Aguinaldo Sig.png may still be under copyright. That is, unless it is considered applied art, in which case it is out or copyright. Help please. Magog the Ogre (talk) 18:18, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Doubt it, as their law is based on the U.S. one (granted, with some significant departures). Their law says works must be "original intellectual creations". Not entirely sure without a court case, but I'd guess they are not copyrightable there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:04, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Public domain

I have two questions concerning images published as public domain:

  1. Do you have to credit the "source" for public domain images, for example in the case of File:Leonardo self.jpg or the The Yorck Project for File:Hans Holbein d. J. 047.jpg?
  2. This old painting is licensed under GNU Free Documentation License even though it is clearly public domain (its painter, C.A. Jensen died 141 years ago). Can I change the license to public domain without consulting the uploader and/or the source respectively can I change it even if met by opposition from them? Gun Powder Ma (talk) 09:28, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
  1. No. You can use public domain works without any copyright-related conditions or restrictions whatsoever (they may still be affected by non-copyright restrictions, but not in the above cases).
  2. In cases where a photograph of a painting was released under a free license, we like to keep track of that using {{Licensed-PD-Art}}. This matters because in some nations, a photograph of a public domain painting may be entitled to its own independent copyright or at least neighboring rights. In this case, however, it seems more likely that the original uploader simply found the image on the web and slapped GFDL on it at random. I would substitute {{PD-Art}}, since we have no idea who the real photographer is (see Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag).
Hope this helps. Dcoetzee (talk) 09:58, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. Concerning #1, so I don't have to add anything at all in the way of source or author to the image, I can just reproduce it with no additional license, comment or remark at all? Gun Powder Ma (talk) 10:12, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
As far as copyright is concerned, yes. Though in some countries, moral rights, and in particular the right to attribution, never expire.
As far as the Commons is concerned: no. We still should have a source for verifiability reasons. Without source and author, there's no way the license could be verified (especially important for not-so-old-yet-pd works, less important for the Mona Lisa). Also, a source helps verify that work X was indeed done by artist Y, as claimed on the file description page (again, especially important for not-well-known works, less important for the Mona Lisa). Having author and source also helps in categorizing the image, which in turn helps finding the image. Putting author, work title, and other remarks on the file description page also helps finding the image through text searches.
HTH, Lupo 10:37, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you too. I changed the license tag now. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 11:24, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Is this template really valid?

I just stumbled upon this template: {{Piratpartiet}} Is the template really valid? As far as I've understood, Swedish copyright law states that copyright is not optional, meaning that you can't release any of your work to the public domain. This would imply that the items with this tag still are under copyright in the source country. Unlike {{PD-self}}, the Pirate Party web site doesn't seem to contain a statement saying that you permit usage for any purpose in countries where the stuff can't be released to the public domain. Thus, I would interpret the stuff as being not free in the source country. --Stefan4 (talk) 10:55, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Isn't this excessively bureaucratic parsing of informal statements by a political-social movement whose basic founding principle is not believing in copyright? -- AnonMoos (talk) 18:35, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
We can't rule out the possibility that someone who releases a work later decides they wish they hadn't, perhaps because the work is used in a way they find offensive. If a legal loophole remains for them to legitimately claim they can still control the work, they're quite liable to try and abuse it, even if it goes against their formerly proclaimed principles. This is why licenses written in precise legal language are so vital. Dcoetzee (talk) 11:29, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I think that's overthinking quite a bit. We are only hesitant with somewhat ambiguous statements because the intent is not always clear; not the case here. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:29, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

British Govt. copyright again

Am I putting this under Open-Govt. License correctly or this would be a copyvio and as so must be deleted? --RussianTrooper (talk) 15:25, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

The author part of the inserted {{Information}} says it is Crown Copyright. If that is indeed the case, it is a copyvio per much aspoken of HMSO mail. --Henrik (heb: Talk · Contributions · E-mail) 16:44, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Further to the above, take a look at {{CrownCopyright}}, Template talk:CrownCopyright and the copyright statement on --Henrik (heb: Talk · Contributions · E-mail) 16:53, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, but in the part, labeled "contact information" there is a statement "Before contacting us to request high resolution images, click here to view our "downloadable section". These images are available to download and may be re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence." Also - the same statement goes in the section itself "You may use and re-use the information featured in this section free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence." Isn't this an explicit release of works under OGL terms? --RussianTrooper (talk) 19:14, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
The fact that something is Crown Copyright does not preclude that copyright from being licensed under the OGL. Their contact page does say that any image in their "downloadable section" are "available to download and may be re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence." (despite the text on their copyright page). A small version of this image is in that downloadable section. I'm just not sure the OGL clause also applies to the high-resolution versions -- I don't see a way to get those from the interface. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:56, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Well - if you press the download button anywhere in the downloadable section - you will get a high-res image. Why you are not sure? The OGL-dedication state that any and all images are in the "downloadable" section are OGL-licensed, period - it comes from using plain logic. What I don't get - is the paranoid approach to this question - even if something is uploaded mistakenly - the worst Wikipedia operators could probably expect is a takedown notice for the copyvio or something like that.... ;) --RussianTrooper (talk) 21:40, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
We're paranoid because we may get more folks in trouble if we're wrong -- images get re-used from here. I don't see a download button exactly -- interesting. I see a "Download Comping Image" link on a preview page (the only link below the thumbnails on the search results), which takes me to a page which gives me "Low Resolution Download" options. But now I'm trying a third time, and all of a sudden there are download links on the thumbnails page. Weird. Hm, I think I see now. If I use the link on the contact page, I just get previews (when starting with a new session after logout), but if I then use the "Downloadable Images" link at the top of the page, I get thumbnails with download links of high-res versions. And once you click on that, above the images is "You may use and re-use the information featured in this section free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence." So yes, I think it's fine. I just didn't see that before. I wanted to be careful about using only what is specifically labeled as OGL, since the Ministry of Defence has an exception to the generic OGL offer -- things must be specifically marked it they come from them. But that is pretty plain, now. I guess I just had to select the correct archive, as images not in that section are not available under the OGL. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:06, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
The three latest images in the Downloadable Images section (ID's 45153321, 45150348 and 45153198) all have the following or similar EXIF-data embedded (extracted using `exiftool -a -G1 -j´) in the high-res versions downloadable from that section (this one from 45150348):
"IPTC:OriginalTransmissionReference": "MOD Crown Copyright",
"IPTC:Credit": "Crown Copyright",
"IPTC:CopyrightNotice": "Crown Copyright",
"XMP-dc:Rights": "Crown Copyright",
"XMP-photoshop:Instructions": "Images are Crown copyright",
"XMP-photoshop:TransmissionReference": "MOD Crown Copyright",
"XMP-photoshop:Credit": "Crown Copyright",
It may be boilplate-insertions, but I can't imagine any legal department, saying that embedded information in the high-res version, doesn't value higher than the section from which it was downloadable. As I wrote in the above section, this could (legally) be interpreted as, only the small thumbnails in that section or the water-marked previews on each preview-page (which doesn't include these EXIF-information) may be used under OGL. --Henrik (heb: Talk · Contributions · E-mail) 09:51, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Of course the information on the page is more relevant -- that can happen after the EXIF tags are embedded, and the page text is very explicit. And I'm not sure why you think the tags are inconsistent -- the images are OGL-licensed MOD Crown Copyright. They are not public domain (which is the only condition where copyright does not exist). Just as copyright notices with CC-BY images are also perfectly correct. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:55, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Specifically, photographs by any part of the Ministry of Defence can not be under the OGL unless specifically stated to be (owing to the delegation of authority by the crown) [3]. This seems pretty clear, and this is the only way the image could be free to use. —innotata 17:21, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Correct, I mentioned that above (maybe not as well), which is why I was being careful. However, in the main body of the web page, it has this note: "You may use and re-use the information featured in this section free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence." So, these are indeed specifically stated to be licensed that way. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:31, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
My personal view is slightly different, given that I think that OGL should be included somewhere in the EXIF-information as well, for it to be released under OGL, and since it's not, it's not unambiguously released under OGL. However I think this is more a matter of "taste"/interpretation, and my interpretation might as well be wrong. I have no doubt what the intentions of the Defence Image Database is with their Downloadable Images section; I just don't like their implementation of it, as I find it a bit ambiguous and the "specifically statement" to be not very specific. Looking at OP's File:Browninghighpower21.jpg, it further suffers from an invalid source link (which unfortunately is not that uncommon on Commons), so it's kind of hard to verify, if it is in fact in that section in the first place (after a bit of searching I found it there though - source), which in my view adds more ambiguousness to the whole thing :( --Henrik (heb: Talk · Contributions · E-mail) 07:52, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Crown copyright, New Zealand

What's going on with crown copyright at File:WM39-45rev.jpg? The uploader indicated it's from (ignore the PD-user-en, as that was for an earlier version of the image). See, which states "The Crown copyright protected material may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission." but Template:PD-New Zealand says works must be dated 1944 or earlier. Huh?

PS. It's a 3D work so {{PD-art}} doesn't apply. Magog the Ogre (talk) 01:24, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

It is under Crown Copyright (pre-1944 is public domain). However, that particular site does appear to be giving permission (i.e. licensing) that copyright to an extent. New Zealand has a similar effort to the UK's Open Government Licence underway (see NZGOAL), but I'm not sure this is really an example of that. The license page also says: This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not being used in a derogatory manner or in a misleading context. Where the material is being published or issued to others, the source and copyright status must be acknowledged. The "reproduced accurately" part may mean that derivative works are not allowed, which would be the main problem. The derogatory manner stuff is more moral rights, so may be OK (i.e. free), but some may argue otherwise. The license tag on the file is completely incorrect though; if kept (and I'm not sure it should be) then it needs to make clear it is still under Crown Copyright, but with a licensing statement. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:00, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
It seems legit to me; same thing as the flags we keep on here which can't be used in a derogatory sense, or money which can't be reproduced at certain height/widths. Not allowing derivatives except in limited circumstances isn't allowed; allowing derivatives except in limited circumstances generally is allowed (notice the difference). But the statement seems to be directly at odds with actual law concerning the crown copyright, or at least what we've interpreted so far. And the site is available under crown copyright, not its own license, so we need to treat its images as we would crown copyright, not as if the license had been given just for that site. Magog the Ogre (talk) 02:54, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Why is it at odds? Crown Copyright is still copyright; the copyright owners can choose to license it if they wish. Copyright still exists on something licensed CC-BY or CC-BY-SA, too. For example, here is the general statement under the NZ government website -- they say to look at each site's copyright pages to see if items can be used under permission. That's what the above statement is. We don't have a tag for it of course, and we have to note that the file is Crown Copyrighted, but the above permission is a license. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:26, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
"Derogatory" is one thing (that might fall under moral rights) but "misleading context" is an extremely broad license condition that I would characterize as paramount to no-derivatives. I would not compare it to counterfeiting law or flag desecration laws, which are non-copyright restrictions, because the restrictions in this case are being advanced as terms of the license by the licensor, not by a law beyond the licensor's control. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:37, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Misleading context is pure moral rights to me -- that can harm the author's reputation by making a viewer presume something about the (presumably attributed) work which is not true, or maybe making other material appear it was also authored by the same person when it was not. w:Misrepresentation (including w:Misrepresentation#Distortion_of_Fact) can be a legal problem in the U.S., and defamation, things like that. The restrictions above are fairly strong, but even CC-BY requires that you must not distort, mutilate, modify or take other derogatory action in relation to the Work which would be prejudicial to the Original Author's honor or reputation (granted, it also tries to waive such requirements as much as possible by law, which this does not, in the case of derivative works). The Open Government License (which we allow) also requires that a re-user ensure that you do not mislead others or misrepresent the Information or its source. I could see opinions both ways -- part of the fun when people come up with their own permission statements, is that we have to decide each time if it's "free" or not. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:39, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Civil Air Patrol grade insignia

Hello, could I get some eyes on Category:Grades of the Civil Air Patrol to help determine copyright status of the various insignia? As {{PD-USGov-Military-Air Force Auxiliary}} has been determined as invalid, I've been going through all the various CAP images to see what can stay and what can't, but I'm uncertain about this category's images. I feel that the circle, diamond, and blue bar insignia could be PD-shape or simply PD-ineligible (though I could be wrong), but the red, white, and blue shield insignias are probably outside that scope. Any help is appreciated, so I can finally complete this assessment. Huntster (t @ c) 04:00, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

If they are taken from the CAP website, it may be a good idea to remove them, but otherwise I think I'd leave them. The SVGs are probably enough to be self-authored, and the shield is a general U.S. device anyways. The basic CAP emblem is almost certainly out of copyright, if it ever really was copyrightable to begin with (say something like this without a renewal or copyright notice would probably be enough, though that particular one was PD-USGov). And actually, from 1941 through 1946 it was part of the federal government, and not a private organization, so anything dating to that time (such as the basic insignia) is PD anyways. Carl Lindberg (talk) 08:46, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, I've ensured the SVG grades have been fixed. Most everything attached to that template should be good for deleting now, though File:Airfoil.svg and File:Vleugelprofiel.svg may be simple enough to warrant PD-shape or -ineligible. Thoughts? Huntster (t @ c) 08:01, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Oof. Those are a fun case. The source bitmap actually came from, not the Civil Air Patrol directly. But, the page does give "credit" to the Civil Air Patrol. Those pages seem to give credits for wherever they got the work, without it necessarily being related to copyright (see for example here or here or many others). They don't give credits on this similar graphic or this. They do seem to explicitly note the copyright in at least some cases, like [4] (dubious as that claim is). Not sure really. It seems like a very, very extreme case to delete, but I guess the rationale would have to be something like PD-shape, or that the Civil Air Patrol allowed it to become PD for use on that site, or something like that. You wouldn't have to alter the graphic much to remove all doubt for keeping (the amount of originality there, if any, is really low). Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:56, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
I recall seeing that same airfoil image in a CAP/USAF-produced textbook once upon a time, so I suspect it is a CAP work. I went ahead and called them PD-simple/shape, since the only thing besides words and straight arrows is the airfoil shape, which is simple itself and is almost certainly derived from the NACA studies on airfoil designs. Thanks for your help on this Carl; with that, I've passed it on to the C:AN crowd, since my mop doesn't work here. :) Huntster (t @ c) 01:30, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Questionable uploads by User:Pepperdine24

Apologies if this is the wrong venue. I've tagged several images uploaded by User:Pepperdine24 as blatant copyright violations; I doubt he or she owns the copyrights to the official seals of multiple colleges and universities. It seems very likely that every image that he or she has uploaded is a copyright violation. It would be quicker for an administrator to run through all of his or her uploads and deleting them all than for me to continue tagging each one individually. ElKevbo (talk) 00:32, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Indeed, even their photos appear to be taken from the web. I will kill them all. Dcoetzee (talk) 04:26, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
✓ Done and user warned. One image was (by sheer coincidence) okay. Dcoetzee (talk) 04:42, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks so much! ElKevbo (talk) 05:30, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Canadian signs

en:List of heritage buildings in Vancouver has a lot of photos of heritage buildings in Canada and you can also see photos of signs confirming that they are heritage buildings. I checked the first few images of the signs and noticed that they were listed as distributed under GNU and/or Creative Commons licences. Am I in interpreting Commons:Freedom of panorama#Canada in that the signs are copyrighted 2D items and that the photos of the signs need en:Template:Wrong licence on English Wikipedia? --Stefan4 (talk) 14:27, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

There are two questions. The first question is about the status of such plaques under the Canadian Copyright Act. Our C:FOP#Canada section does not offer specific guidance about such plaques. Those plaques are affixed to buildings, they are permanently situated there, and they have at least some aspect of 3-D. Basically, it depends if you consider that those plaques are included in at least one of the following types of works, the reproduction of which is allowed under section 2 and section 32.2(1)(b) of the Act : "building", "structure", "sculpture" or "work of artistic craftsmanship". Your interpretation is as good as mine. I'm inclined to believe that when an element is permanently affixed to a building, it is part of that building and it would not be reasonable or practical to consider it as if it were separate from the building. As such, they might be included as being a part of the "building". But even if considered separately from the building of which it is part, a plaque, on its own, might be a "work of artistic craftsmanship". I don't know if there were discussions about plaques in Canada. You might find of some ideas in a discussion about a plaque in the United Kingdom, although it could have some 2-D aspect more than the heritage plaques in Vancouver, which have more of a 3-D aspect. The second question is about how the policy of the English-language Wikipedia deals with the hosting or with the display of a photograph of a work that can be freely reproduced on a photograph published in the country where it is situated but that may or may not be freely reproduced on a photograph published in the United States (depending if, under the U.S. Copyright Act, you would consider the plaque distinct from the rest of the building). I am not familiar with the policy of en.WP. This question would probably find a better answer on the discussion pages of the English-language Wikipedia. -- Asclepias (talk) 16:12, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
OK, this is way too complex for me. Earlier today, I copied many house photos in that article to Commons, and I wasn't sure if I should also copy the signs. I think that the simplest decision for me is to leave everything as it is. Someone else should make that judgement instead. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:32, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
You might want to raise it at en:Wikipedia:MCQ - I'm not sure where they stand on en - they are in "all free media" and that category has been tagged as move to commons by Fbot - so best to find out now before someone moves them.  Ronhjones  (Talk) 19:34, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
One of them has now been copied to Commons by someone: Commons:Deletion requests/File:St. Andrew's-Wesley Church plaque.JPG. Before that, I brought it up on English Wikipedia: en:Wikipedia:Media copyright questions#Canadian signs. --Stefan4 (talk) 09:26, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Pictures removed

Hi, I uploaded 4 pics that were then deleted, I think because I used the wrong copyright (I used the wizard). They are my pics. I've tried to reload them again but keep getting errors. Please can you tell me if the pics are still in the Commons library? If yes, how do I change the copyright (assuming that is the reason they were deleted)? If no, how do I upload them again without the constant errors? Message was - (Removing "Westlife_The_Love_Tour.jpg", it has been deleted from Commons by Courcelles because: In category [[commons::category:Media missing permission as of 31 October 2011|Media missing permission as of 31 October 201...) and same message for the other 3 pics - Live_8_2005.jpg, McLaren_F1_launch.jpg, Laureus_World_Sports_Awards_2011.jpg Page is Peter Barnes (lighting designer) Thank you Siztrust (talk) 17:43, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

have all been deleted for lacking a license a week after upload. Re-uploading should work, though you will get warnings, which you can ignore if you have licensed them this time (or maybe the wizard does not allows uploads with warnings? not sure on that). Otherwise, these could be temporarily undeleted for you to add a license to them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:34, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi, I managed to re-upload 3 of them but can't upload this one: Live 8 2005.jpg, I keep getting the message that it was previously deleted. I have tried changing the file name and also the description but system still recognises the file. Any suggestions please what to do next? Siztrust (talk) 23:44, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Is there no option to ignore the warning and save anyways? That option should be there at least on the upload form (or really old-school version). Not sure about the wizard. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:04, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Not in the wizard. --Martin H. (talk) 00:10, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

And, assuming Siztrust uploaded to the same name, it looks like they've been deleted again. - Jmabel ! talk 00:18, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

No, reuploaded under different names, see contribs. UW prevents reupload of same file, filename doesnt matter. --Martin H. (talk) 00:22, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
No, they are now at File:Westlife2007.JPG, File:McLaren2007.JPG, and File:Laureus World Sports Awards 2011.JPG . We could undelete the last one, and just let them edit the description to add the license. I can't do that though since I'm not an admin. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:22, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

If an admin could undelete File:Live_8_2005.jpg, that would be great as I have tried re-uploading it a few times and can't. Siztrust (talk) 18:26, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

File:Live 8 2005.jpg now undeleted. - Jmabel ! talk 05:09, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Jmabel for undeleting File:Live 8 2005.jpg. You say I've got to sort out the copyright issue but I've just looked and can't figure out how to. Should I just delete this version and re-upload again with the correct licence? Or can you give me a quick idiots guide to how to change the copyright on the photo? Siztrust (talk) 19:47, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Go to the image page, and click Edit at the top. In the licensing area, you can use {{self|cc-by-sa-3.0}} (which is what you used on your other uploads). I think I now see why these were deleted though; the image did in fact have a license but also had a separate source indicated, with no evidence of the claimed license at that source. We don't know the difference between someone taking the images from those sites and uploading them here, or the actual author doing that -- we would prefer an explicit permissions email (see COM:OTRS) coming from the domain. Alternatively, the license could be indicated on the source page. If you did not actually take the photos in question though, you may not be the copyright owner. I am noticing the uploads are all from different cameras. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:00, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

I see what you mean Carl Lindberg about the different source, I hadn't noticed that. This is my photo and I had given a copy to various people who were involved in the technical side of these big events including Peter Barnes (lighting designer) and a couple of technical companies involved (who have put them on their websites). I'd lost a load of them on my computer and then asked for some of them back from various sources, so think that's why there was a different source on File:Live 8 2005.jpg. I've now edited the licence, source and categories on File:Live 8 2005.jpg, do I need to do anything else now? Thanks for your help. This is a steep learning curve! Siztrust (talk) 19:07, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

MY picture was deleted and I own it. Why did this happen?

A picture I own was removed by someone who claims that I do not own the rights to the picture. How can I resolve this issue? — Preceding unsigned comment added by SemperLoveMusic (talk • contribs)

Assuming you're referring to File:Richyinstudio2010.jpg, I restored it. It was improperly marked as no-permission although you indicated it was your own work. However, if you did not take this photograph yourself, please let me know, because additional action will be necessary. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:09, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
I've re-deleted this image, as another user pointed out this photograph was in use at Richy Pena's Facebook page. We don't accept pre-published photographs without OTRS permission. If you did in fact take this photograph, you will have to send e-mail as described at Commons:OTRS releasing it under a free license and providing some evidence that you are in fact the original photographer. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:31, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Dcoetzee, this all seems a bit odd. Unless I'm missing something, the image was uploaded at a much higher resolution than the FaceBook image, so it is almost certainly OK. That said, SemperLoveMusic, it probably would be best to go through Commons:OTRS just to clarify the matter. Most of the time when people who are not frequent contributors to Commons upload images that are to be found elsewhere on the web, they are not uploading their own work. I fully believe that you are the photographer, but we'd do well to have the "paperwork" on file, or the issue will keep coming up as people stumble across the image not knowing the history. - Jmabel ! talk 01:03, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm a little suspicious because SemperLoveMusic's other upload was almost certainly a copyvio, and they may have obtained this one from a source we don't know about (e.g. people who are Facebook friends with Richy probably have access to a higher res version). The upload was also not the full-resolution version and had no EXIF data. So I really would like to see at least a clear explanation that they are the photographer. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:35, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
The upload size was 720px at the longer size. 720px is unlikely an imagesize selected by the uploader because its such a perfect filesize, it simply is the usual thumbnail gallerysize of facebook photos and the largest size you often can download from there. Maybe a private profile photo folder only accessible for the 4332 friends, and one downloaded it from there. Thats at least how it works with my own facebook profile photo. The 720px size is downscaled by facebook, a photographer will not need to download self-created photos from facebook before uploading here. --Martin H. (talk) 01:37, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Artworks in the US National Archives and Records Administration

I have been categorising pictures of artworks donated by the Harmon Foundation to the US National Archives and Records Administration ("NARA") that have been uploaded as part of as part of the NARA cooperation project, but I am having some doubts about the copyright status of these works, most of which relate to artists who either created the works or who were alive after 1923.

Other editors, such as Calliopejen1 have also raised this same issue (see How are these images public domain?) elswhere. There may well be a widely held assumption that the images of artworks from Harmon Collection are public copyright because they are held by NARA, but in fact, there is no hard evidence to suggest that they public copyright. In fact, I would suggest that these images are still subject to copyright of the artists (or their estates).

From my research, my understanding is that the images were acquired by NARA from the Harmon Foundation in order to save them for the nation when the foundation was wound up due to lack of funding in 1967, at which time the images could have been lost. As such, they are not photographic images that were created by the US government or its agencies itself (unlike the art works created under the "New Deal", for example), but rather, the images were created and kept as part of the Foundation's efforts to promote the work of African and African-American artists in the 1950's and 1960's.

My guess is that the images were commissioned by the Harmon Foundation for promotional purposes, such as for use on posters, in exhibition catalogues and possibly in press releases to raise awareness of the artists' work. At the time they were commissioned, there may have been an informal understanding between the artists and the Foundation that these pictures were taken for this purpose, but I doubt if any formal contract or written agreement regarding the precise copyright status of these images exists.

In the meantime, NARA's policy has been to state that these works may still be in copyright. A good example is the File:"Ascent of Ethiopia" - NARA - 559088.tif by Lois Mailou Jones, a notable picture that has been written about in Wikipedia, the original of which sits in the Milwaukee Art Museum. The copyright information that NARA provides says "NARA has no information on rights artists' might hold on reproductions of their paintings". Another example might be the works of Ibrahim El-Salahi, a living artist whose work is also in the archive.

My understanding is that a formal waiver of copyright is needed, such as a copyright release under the Open-source Ticket Request System. Whilst, I recognise the value of this image collection, I am concerned that my efforts to date will amount to nothing if these images are withdrawn, and I think it is important that the copyright status of these images be determined formally and without doubt for the sake of good governance. --Gavin Collins (talk) 10:47, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Taking your example, {{PD-USGov}} is clearly incorrect, as this painting was obviously not created by the Federal government. What were the original grounds for claiming these images to be in the public domain? This seems a particularly egregious error. Powers (talk) 12:53, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
The grounds for assuming it was in the public domain is the NARA catalogue entry, which describes the image as having an "Unrestricted" use restriction, but the catalogue entry for the series that it is part of is labelled as "Restricted - Possibly Copyright". Essentially there is discepancy between the series and the individual entries within it. --Gavin Collins (talk) 13:31, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Yeah. There are 1000s of third-party work in the NARA collection, and I also would like to know what is the rationale for being in the public domain. See also Albert Einstein's Letters, photos from Nazi Germany which are not in public domain in Germany, etc. Yann (talk) 14:21, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
This came up once before that I remember, at Commons:Undeletion requests/Archive/2009-10#Painting_by_Jacob_Lawrence. In that particular case, it appeared the painting was done while the painter was an employee of the Federal Art Project, but agreed that I can't figure a reason to keep others. It's always possible that something was published without a copyright notice, but I don't think the NARA photos are evidence of anything like that -- they weren't necessarily used in publications, or that sort of thing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:16, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Regarding that discrepancy, there is actually no contradiction; series-level descriptions get marked as "possibly" in copyright when any one of their items are copyrighted. This doesn't mean that the ones marked "unrestricted" are necessarily mistakes, but that there are others in the series that are marked restricted. My comment on Calliopejen1's talk page is still true. There have been several copyright questions raised about various images from the NARA holdings, and I am working on meeting with the institution's copyright lawyer, especially since the discussion about Disney characters. Keep in mind that the real world, and especially the government, doesn't work at the same pace as us. ;-) If anyone has any specific comments or questions I should raise other than the series mentioned here, let me know.

My opinion about NARA's copyright evaluations is this: nearly all of the records are indeed public domain US government records, and most of the rest are properly marked, but these descriptions are written by archivists and not necessarily vetted individually by legal staff and we can be sure they are not always neurotic about some copyright issues as us. For example, if there is a series of photographs created by government workers in which one of the photographs is of a public statue, I wouldn't assume that the NARA archivist considered freedom of panorama before marking it public domain along with all other federal works. (Note that this is a different issue from the copyright of seized Nazi works copyrighted in Germany, which are correctly marked public domain and will never be "fixed". The US National Archives is the federal records-keeping agency of the United States government and only follows its national laws; that doesn't make it wrong, just different from our attitude.) At the same time, as we've seen, many records that are marked copyrighted or are non-federal works, even post-1923, often turn out to be in the public domain anyway due to issues like copyright notices and renewals. So, I welcome any well-intentioned extra scrutiny on these, and I think past discussions like Commons:Deletion requests/File:ROCKEFELLER CENTER-6TH AVENUE SIDE - NARA - 551645.jpg, Commons:Deletion requests/File:"Appreciate America. Come On Gang. All Out for Uncle Sam" (Mickey Mouse)" - NARA - 513869.tif, and Commons:Deletion requests/File:Freiherr Rittmeister von Richtofen. Baron Captain Manfred von Richtofen, circa 1917., ca. 1946 - ca. 1946 - NARA - 540163.tif have been very productive and useful. When we're talking about the rationale behind the copyright status for a whole series of images as we are here, though, I think it would be good to see what the institution has to say. Dominic (talk) 15:41, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

I personally was not convinced by the arguements put forward in the "Painting by Jacob Lawrence" case for the file's restoration, because there is no concrete evidence that the painting was commissioned by Federal Art Project, or even if it was commissioned at all; just because an artist was in the army, civil service or even if he worked for the Federal Art Project, this does mean that all of his work is owned by the government, and even it it was, that is not proof that an artist's work is in the public domain. My suspicion is that the NARA catalogue entries are not an infallible source of information about the copyright status of these works; in some cases, details of the authorship are actually missing from the record. In the absence of hard evidence, I would also be unlikely to take what an institution has to say about their status as well, for without an OTRS ticket, we cannot judge an artwork to be "Unrestricted" on the basis of hearsay, no matter how senior a particular employee of that institution is or claims to be.
My conclusion is that whilst NARA is an invaluable source of public domain images that were work of government agencies or its contractors, it is incorrect to assume that works by third parties (such as those aquired from the Harmon Foundation) are in the public domain. Only third party works created prior to 1923 should have been uploaded, as there is no licence covering more recent work. As for NARA itself, it seems to me that they may have had a reckless disregard for the copyrights of third parties, or that they are protected from copyright claims by statute. From what Dominic has said, I assume he is seeking a definitive answer to this question and he will be reporting back to us. --Gavin Collins (talk) 08:53, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, and I'd prefer not to have to point them to a discussion in which someone is accusing the institution we are trying to work with of having a "reckless disregard for the copyrights of third parties". That's uncalled for, and very ill-considered even if it were true. Dominic (talk) 00:20, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Dominic, I think you have been aware of this situation for months[5], yet you have continued to upload copyrighted files. If that is not recklessness, I don't know what is. I am afraid the criticism is valid: you have uploaded images for which there was no valid licence for them, and rather than bring this issue here for discussion, kept quiet. I think you need to put your own house in order, rather than trying to trying to shift blame on me. I am the messenger of this criticism, not the source of this problem. --Gavin Collins (talk) 09:48, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
He runs a bot, and the records there have been marked as "unrestricted" for one reason or another, and have been available on NARA for years without apparent issue. Copyright is very complicated, and it's not a good idea to accuse them of being "reckless" for such things (particularly Domonic, who is just using NARA's previous guidance). Commons likely has far, far more copyright problems than NARA does. Many, many works from that era became public domain via lack of copyright notice or renewal; there may have been evidence enough to satisfy some NARA folks at some point but perhaps not enough evidence for us (or they had access to information which we don't). That's not the same thing as being reckless. Yes, works done by third parties does need a rationale other than PD-USGov, but just because we can't figure one at the moment (and perhaps should delete them due to that) does not mean that NARA is definitely wrong. They may be -- everyone can make mistakes -- but it's also possible we're wrong too. Indeed, there do not seem to be copyright notices on many of these -- so it comes down to if these were published or not -- an extremely murky area of copyright in the U.S. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:34, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, if he has not been reckless, then he has certainly stumbled into this copyright problem with his eyes closed. The fact that he uses a bot or that he is working in partnership with NARA does not exempt him from checking the copyright status of images before they are uploaded to Commons - basically the buck stops with him. Having said that, and in fairness to Dominic, it has taken me a while to recognise the problem as well. Many of the works featured in the photographs of the Harmon Foundation have been the subject of cataloguing and categorisation projects before (such as NARA and the University of Maryland), but copyright issues did not surface during previous archiving projects, and I think it is fair to say that they have not been seriously considered until now.
The scale of the problem we now face can been seen by having a quick look at such categories as 20th-century oil paintings. Other than images from the Harmon Foundation, there are very few works in this category, and my guess is that most of those probably do not have valid PD licences, unless they had been uploaded by the actual artists who created them. If you take the view that 20th-century oil paintings is category which is problematical from a copyright perspective, and that images from the Harmon Foundation form the greatest number of these works, then potentially we have a very large number of deletion candidates.
The quickest solution to this problem is for NARA to issue Commons with a blanket OTRS ticket for all of these images, otherwise we will spend months agonising over the copyright status of these images if we have to go through them individually. --Gavin Collins (talk) 11:11, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
If we come up with a decision on them, we could perhaps do a mass deletion (or keep). However, this involves questions of publication, copyright notice (not visible on any of them that I've seen), and renewal. Those are not simple questions, and could actually deviate per painting. NARA would have had to consider this at some point, when they put "Unrestricted" on there -- I don't think that is done in a completely unthinking manner. They may be wrong -- everyone can make mistakes -- but it may be correct as well. The slight difference with these is that we do have photographs made in the 1940s (does that constitute publication?) and so we may have a better chance of making the determinations here than we do with other paintings. And actually, I bet we have lots of other 20th century paintings on Commons, but they simply have not been categorized there yet, whereas the Harmon ones systematically were. I know of a few. Anyways, this is a discussion we should be having -- I just wouldn't characterize anyone's actions as reckless, nor assume there was no thought put into the Unrestricted tag. I don't think we should rely on that 100%, but we should start looking at the facts some -- the most important question being that of publication. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:07, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I think that we need to tag all the NARA images of 3rd party works created after 1923 to identify items of indeterminate copyright status in the first instance. Until we can get final determination on this issue, I think we need to be proactive by trying to guage the scale of the problem. Is there a suitable template that could be used for tagging, or used as a model for such a template? --Gavin Collins (talk) 11:08, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Images of copyrighted circuit boards

There seem to be many such, as at Category:Arcade printed circuit boards for instance. Is there guidance somewhere on license tagging for these? They seem to be non-creative imaging of creative subjects, and as such I'd think they would require permission from the owner of the PCB copyright, not the photographer. LeadSongDog (talk) 17:05, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Circuit boards would almost certainly be utilitarian, and so not copyrightable (their form is driven primarily by their function, like a fork), with the possible exception of prominent logos or designs printed on the surface (which are usually small enough to be de minimis). You can argue they involve some degree of creative expression, but we also allow photos of e.g. cars which are similar. Dcoetzee (talk) 17:14, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
Here is a discussion where several people claim to be or have consulted US attorneys, and they concur that the circuit layout (pattern of traces) is utilitarian and not creative, and therefore not copyrightable. However, it could have other protections, such as patent, and there could be art involved in other things printed on the board. DMacks (talk) 17:42, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
On the boards themselves are usually copyright markings, though of course this doesn't prove the copyright to be valid. While distinct from the protection of integrated circuit layouts under the Rome Convention and the Treaty on Intellectual Property in Respect of Integrated Circuits, they actually represent quite considerable creative expression, though it is not artistic in the normal sense. Designers may trade off between cost, performance, ease of assembly, reliability and other factors in choosing locations and shapes of features. LeadSongDog (talk) 18:45, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
The protection is generally against producing identical or similar boards, but not photographs of them. Full schematic diagrams may be an issue. But "mask work" protection, at least in the U.S., is completely different than copyright, and does not include stuff like the typical derivative work rights, so photos of them are almost never a concern. But anyways, yes, designers are trading off many utilitarian aspects when designing those, and would thus be utilitarian to me when it comes to straight copyright. If normal copyright applied to them they would not have needed the additional "mask work" or integrated circuit protection. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:01, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

I have a Sansa Fuze+ image I made myself

thumb added by Saibo (Δ) 23:19, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

First off, sorry if this is the wrong place or if this question has been asked before, I'm new to Wikimedia. If you know of a relevant answer, please give me the link.

As the title says, I took the image myself, but I'm not sure about copyright. The Fuze+ includes the Sansa logo on the front. Should I upload it? If so, what concerns are there?

This image would be primarily for Wikipedia, as the Sansa Fuze+ has no image in its arctile section, and I'd like to add one. I was directed to the Commons from the upload page, and I read the nice little image. So, I'm asking here before I break a rule or something.

--RyanHoots (talk) 15:33, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi, welcome to Commons and thanks for reading the instructions and asking! :-)
Do you mean this player? The sansa logo is purely text and would be allowed by {{PD-textlogo}} if uploaded here as a logo. The play/home symbols are {{PD-shape}} /{{PD-ineligible}} or/also DM. So that is no problem. Also the overall design/shape of the product is no problem - that is a utilitarian design - nothing special - no "sculpture". What would probably be a problem is the screen content - either make a photo while having the screen off or only showing some text and simple geometric shapes (e.g. while playing a mp3 and showing the playtime) - no photo.
Technical: Usually it is best to use a white background for such photos. Give it a nice lighting without too much reflection. Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 16:25, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the welcome, Saibo.
The player is not the one in the image you linked to, but similar. The logo is text only, and the only other markings can't be copyrighted (play/pause button, back button). The image's background is wood, and I'm not good enough in GIMP to do a white background while keeping the shadow.
I'll admit, the image isn't the best quality, but hopefully it will at least motivate someone to get a better one.
I'm uploading. --RyanHoots (talk) 20:41, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
The first file version was really no good quality - but would have also been better than nothing in my opinion. The second file version is fine. Photography is no easy task and it gets better with every photo. Thanks! --Saibo (Δ) 23:19, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
I wonder what I can take a picture of next that Wikimedia Commons doesn't have... thanks again for you help. --RyanHoots (talk) 23:55, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
You could look at Commons:Picture requests for inspiration. Rd232 (talk) 18:45, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Celebrity photos

Hi, I am currently working on my website. It’s not a ‘blog’ perse but it is a website about ‘makeup tips’. I want to use celebrity photos in my website to illustrate celebrity makeup tips for e.g. 'jessica simpson makeup tips', I want to have a photo of her face beside my ‘text’. Is this allowed if the photo is in " Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND" on flickr or anywhere else?

I also want to ‘edit’ the photo on photoshop (e.g. change her lip colour to demonstrate lipstick colours, change her eyeshadow colours,etc). Is this allowed on this license?

Also, does photographer own the 'copyrights' to this photo or the celebrity? I will be having google ads and affiliate marketing on my website so I say it 'is' for commercial use. I heard that celebrites have privacy rights for people using their face to promote their website or raise website traffic. How does this work? If i include celebrity photos on my website with Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND license only and ask photographer for permission and use it on my website to illustrate celebrity makeup tips and have google ads and afilliate marketing on that web page; can the celebrity sue me?? or am i protected legally?

Also, what happens if the photographer one day changes his 'license' to non-commercial use....would I have to delete the photo?

Thank you! I hope to hear a reply soon! =)

Kind regards, katherine

Why are you asking us? You won't find any BY-ND photos here. All of our photos can be reused and modified without restriction (although there may be some personality-rights concerns with photos of celebrities). If you pull a BY-ND photo from Flickr, you can't make any changes to it. The Creative Commons licenses are irrevocable, however, so you don't have to worry about the photographer changing the license. Powers (talk) 17:19, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
Powers, I presume she's asking us, because there are few places to ask this sort of question.
We aren't lawyers. Given that qualification: what Powers says is all correct, as far as I know, but let me add something else. It sounds like you are doing something that could definitely get you in trouble on grounds other than photo copyrights. If you claim to have 'Jessica Simpson makeup tips' and your tips are not coming from Jessica Simpson, she could sue on a personality rights basis. On the other hand, if the tips do come from Jessica Simpson and you don't have rights to them, then you are violating her copyrights.
Also, if you are using any CC license, remember that to comply you have to overtly indicate the license and at least link to the terms. - Jmabel ! talk 18:26, 25 November 2011 (UTC)