Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2011/12

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Chinese language help?

Can someone take a look at File:24 201011062036001Q55z thumb.jpg? I think it is just sourced to a Baidu image search result, but given the fact that it's listed with a specific Commons license ({{cc-zero}}), I thought I should ask here before nominating it for deletion. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:16, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

The usual Internet image crap (also I cannot see the image at the "source" link). Tagged - not deleted directly as I would probably usually do (maybe not in this case as the baidu page seems not to work correctly for me). --Saibo (Δ) 16:01, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 10:33, 1 December 2011 (UTC)


Hi. :) We have a "contributor copyright investigation" request on English Wikipedia to look into the images of this uploader. His page is almost as littered with image vio notices on en Wiki (en:User talk:Kos93) as it is here. He evidently has a history of falsely claiming that images are his own or that they are PD government works when they are not. He has even falsified OTRS permission. See the CCI request (second down) for more details. I've just discovered that he was also brought up at the AN here in October.

Ordinarily, I would open a mass deletion request for his images based on the evidence that so many have been fraudulently licensed, but he's got quite a lot and I think some probably are clear ([1], for instance - leaving aside all the insignia, which I assume to be good). Is there anyone here with a good eye who could glance over his vast upload list to see if anything jumps out as potentially problematic? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:46, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

What to do?


If I find an image on Commons from a copyrighted site, I assume it should not be there. Should I use the {{Copyvio}} or is there another procedure ? Pierre cb (talk) 17:19, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes, if it's clearly a copyright violation, then tag it with {{copyvio}} and add a link to the website. If it's not so clear, nominate the file for deletion using the "Nominate for deletion" link on the left side of the screen. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:45, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
And keep in mind that the copyrighted site may have gotten the photo from us. Powers (talk) 21:30, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, in that case I suggested for deletion this image File:Meteostation.JPG. So if anyone has comments, please make them at the related discussion page. Pierre cb (talk) 00:07, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Problematic uploads by User:Strongbad1982

At least two of the images uploaded by User:Strongbad1982 - File:Cheekwoodwinter.jpg and File:WramblinWreck.jpg - are blatant copyright violations. Both were taken from Flickr and Strongbad1982 (a) falsely claimed ownership in both cases and (b) incorrectly claimed that one was CC-licensed. This makes me very suspicious of his or her other uploaded images. Although a quick TinEye search didn't turn up anything, the egregious dishonesty of the two uploads mentioned above makes me very suspicious. Someone else might want to look into this. ElKevbo (talk) 03:51, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

German PD help

I wanted to get some feedback on a prospective upload. The image in question is here, also found here (fourth image down the page). Both listings date the image to 1913, and by Adolph Friedländer. Friedländer's printing firm was continued by his sons after his death and he died in 1904--see de:Adolph Friedländer. Seeing the problem I am? Either the date is wrong, or the attribution is wrong but it's most likely that it's by his sons. The image can't be from 1904 because I'm writing the article on en:Hadji Ali, the subject depicted in the image, and he was not yet known in 1904.

My reading of German copyright law relevant here is that it's life of the author plus 70 years (is that correct?) So since I know the stated author is not the author, given this indeterminacy is that where the inquiry ends: It's no a no go for upload? Or am I missing something?--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:52, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Drukker isn't author, but publisher. sугсго 07:58, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
I have further information now. The actual artist could be multiple different people at Freidlander's press but all works were simply published by the press as a monolith. No individual artists were given credit. Again is there anything in German Copyright law that covers this, or is it assumed copyrighted and one would have to wait for the last possible age of an unknown author after 1913 and then add 70 years to that?--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:47, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Unless the author made him/herself known before 1984, presuming this was published in 1913, then it's basically anonymous (since the individual author was not named) and copyright expires 70 years after publication. Use {{Anonymous-EU}} or {{PD-EU-no_author_disclosure}}. You do need to be careful that the author did not sign the work anywhere or leave an identifying monogram, but I don't see one offhand. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:21, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Ah, thank you! Searching blindly; an answer at last. I have uploaded and this will make my featured article nomination much smoother. Can I ask you for your opinion on another image? Please see This is from 1936 in England and is a street poster and quite anonymous. Could this take the same anonymous license?--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 06:46, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Is File:OouthzW.gif simple enough for {{PD-textlogo}}? January (talk) 17:40, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Text clearly is, i don't think that the symbol is. VolodyA! V Anarhist (converse) 18:31, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
Very doubtful whether this is copyrightable in the U.S. (have no idea about the U.K.). However, the source field is particularly preposterous! AnonMoos (talk) 04:08, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

License review Am I putting the permission right for this file from this source? Source website clearly states "images are in public domain"....

Looks OK... AnonMoos (talk) 04:10, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Translated copyright templates

I am still working on creating and completing country-specific copyright templates, which should replace in long term the PD-old-50 or PD-old-70 ones. In case there are translated version, this situation causes some problems. What should happen with the translation after updating the english version? Requests for updating those translations in various wikipedias are not answered. What should I do?

  • Delete the old translation? Not a really good solution, acceptable if there is only one or two translation. Some Admins do not like that, and restore the old versions.
  • Keep the old translations as they are? English is the main ("official"?) language on Commons, and only the english version the authoritative version?
  • Not updating them? Cannot be the best solution...

Opinions?--Antemister (talk) 17:12, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

English is the main language on Commons only in some contexts, such as policy discussions, not regarding interaction with uploaders or reusers, where Commons is supposed to be multilingual. So deleting translations seems to be a bad option. I think one could keep the translation, with a note about it not necessarily being correct for the media in question. If the new template is replacing an old one, the old text would still be as relevant as ever, only the new English text is more precise. --LPfi (talk) 20:00, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

SHAEF public domain?

I have an image of a document written in the UK by a SHAEF Major in 1944. I believe this means it falls either under British crown copyright OR the work of the US military - and therefore in both cases probably is public domain. But I am unsure, a little guidance would be helpful :) --ErrantX (talk) 22:01, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

It's a bit tricky, as even though the UK had signed the the Berne Convention, much of it wasn't infact not in effect until 1988 and US didn't sign it until 1989. Further I don't know exactly what status the SHAEF HQ had (or where the document was written), but I would assume it was British soil (the Vienna Convention didn't come into effect until 1961), so from a more practical viewpoint, my take is that since SHAEF was an joint US/UK organisation, then if the person writing the document was/is a employee of the US DoD, then in my perception it's {{PD-USGov-Military}}, no matter where it was written (similarly we host i.e. Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark welcome George W. Bush and Laura Bush.jpg which is {{PD-USGov-Military}} but taken in Denmark, and Danish Military Police.JPG which is taken in Germany, even though these are after the Berne Convention/Universal Copyright Convention). On the other hand, if it was made by i.e. an UK Major, being an augmentee in SHAEF or a UK liaison to the SHAEF staff, it would be "a work is made by Her Majesty or by an officer or servant of the Crown in the course of his duties" and then {{PD-UKGov}} (artistic work other than a photograph or engraving (e.g. a painting) which was created by the United Kingdom Government prior to 1961.). --Henrik (heb: Talk · Contributions · E-mail) 10:26, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks - that was my reading/view also :) After much research I am fairly sure he was a US major (and, yes, it was written in the UK) - but to be on the safe side I mentioned both options in the upload :) Thx again. --ErrantX (talk) 20:20, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

free license for low resolution, copyrighted higher res?

Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Day_12_Occupy_Wall_Street_September_28_2011_Shankbone_31.JPG The photographer of the girl's photo wants to license the version as it is in the photo freely (CC-by) but retain full copyrights on the higher res versions. Is that possible? Does someone have a link to something trustworthy / legal comment? I think it is possible - but do not have a reference. Thanks! --Saibo (Δ) 03:10, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

I don't see anything wrong with that. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:37, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Sure. They can just specify the X by Y version is licensed freely, and higher resolutions are not (though it's always possible to expand the smaller-resolution file; the license can't prevent that). In the above case, if it is considered a derivative work, the author of the underlying work can give permission for this particular derivative but not others. Borderline question to me on that one; I would tend towards it being incidental and not truly based on that photograph, but it's a close decision and if permission can be given to remove all doubt that'd be better. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:14, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments! A reason of doubt could be that one: if we assume (which isn't true for e.g. Germany) that photographs are copyrighted due to the creativity / originality embedded in them and needed to create them one could think that even a low res copy of the photo embeds most of the creativity. So a higher res does add significantly more creativity and - by this thought - could be used under the same license as the small version. --Saibo (Δ) 20:58, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
The author owns the copyright and can divide that any way they like, to me. The image would be copyrighted and they can decide their terms. Using the higher-resolution version would violate their specific license (presumably) and be a problem. If you need to comply with terms of a license to use it at all, that license becomes the primary terms; getting cute with the language of copyright law won't help. If the license has a specific condition, there is no getting around that condition. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:26, 6 December 2011 (UTC)


I'd like some guidance regarding the image File:EdwinRushton.jpg — specifically, whether it qualifies for {{PD-US}} or not. It's a photo clearly taken prior to 1904 (the year the subject died), and it appears to have been in the possession of the subject's family and uploaded to Commons by one of his descendants. The photographer is unknown (and probably unknowable), and there is most likely no way to know when or whether the photo was ever published or registered for copyright in the US (though if the photo stayed in the family, an educated guess is that the photographer never did any of these things). Thus, I'm unsure of whether the photo is in the public domain because any copyright it might have had has lapsed — or whether we must assume it's still copyrighted because the unknown photographer might possibly have died less than 70 years ago. Comments? Richwales (talk · contribs) 05:06, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

US Copyright Act specifically put the threshold, set in 01.01.1923 - all works published prior to such date are in the PD within US. If the image was first published in United States - then it is safe to put in in the PD worldwide. --RussianTrooper (talk) 05:28, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I understand this — but what if the photo was never "published" at all? Does the 1923 rule still apply, because the photo was taken before 1923, even if it was never included in any book before 1923? Richwales (talk · contribs) 05:54, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Well as I far as it is stated on Wikipedia article on copyright terms all works prior to 1923 is believed to be expired. --RussianTrooper (talk) 08:12, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Death of the author is irrelevant in the US if it was published between 1923 and 1978, and it's still copyrighted no matter when the death of the author if it was published between 1978 and 2002. Only after 2002 is it really life+70. There is no PD-US-anonymous, though there are some legal protections if a work is 120 years and the author or author's death date can't be found after due diligence.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:37, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
So, Prosfilaes, in your opinion, is this particular image definitely PD-US? Definitely not PD-US? What questions (if any) need to be asked and answered before we can be sure? If no more info can ever be had, and we must assume (worst case?) that the photo was taken in 1904 by a forever-unknowable photographer (no way to even start trying to find out who took the picture) and never appeared in any printed work (other than a single copy kept privately by family members), what licensing status do we assign it, and can it stay on Commons or not? Richwales (talk · contribs) 15:30, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Worst case is actually that it was published between 1978 and 2002. We need to know when it was first published (and in which country) in order to definitely determine its copyright status. If it was first published between 1923 and 2002, it might still be copyrighted; if first published after 2002 it might well be in the public domain (depending on when the author died). Powers (talk) 19:54, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I've posted something at the uploader's Wikipedia talk page, asking for more information. If he has no more information (or if I can't get him to reply), the best assumptions are probably that the photo was created in the US, no later than 1904, and it was never published, and it was never copyrighted, and the creator (photographer) is unknown. As I read Commons:Licensing, the relevant classification would appear to be "anonymous works created but not published before January 1, 1978", in which case the photo would be protected for 95 years from the year of creation (i.e., until no later than 1999) — and this would mean the image is PD-US. Or am I still misunderstanding something here? Richwales (talk · contribs) 23:10, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
120 years from creation. The sentence to which I think you refer in Commons:Licensing is worded in a somewhat confusing manner. Preferably, you can use the summary table or, even better, the Hirtle chart. That said, how old do you think the man looks on this photo? If he was not more than 65, then the photo was created before 1891 and 120 years have passed since then. -- Asclepias (talk) 00:01, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, he could be 64, or even in his fifties, but also 66, 67... hard to say. Given the research above, I would say that it is very, very likely that this image is PD-US, but we can't be entirely sure. Gestumblindi (talk) 01:00, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
The uploader responded to my inquiry just now as follows:
"The specific photograph is in the form of a small (about an inch wide by an inch and a half high) photographic print, glued among several others to a sort of a photographic pedigree chart, prepared a very long time ago by my paternal grandmother. I can only assume that she had this picture, and probably the negative thereof, because this was of one of her own ancestors, in this case, her maternal grandfather. (I believe she produced similar pages for several of my cousins around the same time, so I presume she had access then to the negative from which to have as many prints made as she needed of this and other photographs that she used for this purpose.) She's been dead now, for more than twenty years, so I cannot very well ask her where she got this picture.... Edwin Rushton died in 1904—more than a hundred years ago—at the age of about eighty years, and this photograph appears to be of him at a considerably younger age than that."
So I guess this is probably the most info we mere mortals can ever hope to have. Based on this, do we want to go with "very, very likely"? Or do we still need to err if necessary on the side of ultra-hyper-cautiousness and remove the image because we cannot be absolutely sure that no one could possibly come along at this point and assert their rights to it? I'm not trying to push for a decision either way; I just want the decision (whatever it ends up being) to be fully informed and in keeping with the accepted Commons norms. Richwales (talk · contribs) 02:32, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
There are other versions on the web, such as here and here, so we may be able to assume publication at some point long ago (as clearly this book is not the only source of the photo, and it was probably published by the time it was put into the book). I could support a PD-US license on this one, though of course would prefer to see the photo in a pre-1923 publication for certainty. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:38, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Carl, as best I can tell, the photos in the two sites you cited are not in fact the same photo as the one under discussion — note, for example, that he's wearing a different tie / ascot / whatever. So I tend to think they're not relevant to the question of whether this photo of Rushton was ever published anywhere.

Based on all the above, I'm going to go ahead and assert a PD-US licence for this image, as an unpublished anonymous work that was most likely created more than 120 years ago. If anyone can find more information — or if anyone decides they're not happy with even the tiny likelihood that someone might assert a copyright claim (and be able to prove it) — then, of course, the matter can be revisited at that time. I'll copy this discussion to the image's talk page to preserve an easily findable record thereof. Richwales (talk · contribs) 01:58, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

You're right, sorry -- they are different photos. So yes, if this has been unpublished til now, it would need to be 120 years from creation to be PD, which it probably is. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:34, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Ruby shooting Oswald – really PD-USGov?

Hi! Is this license correct? Although the image was used in a federal report, it was not created by the federal government. --Polarlys (talk) 11:10, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

You're right. There's no way that license is correct. I suggest nominating it for deletion. Powers (talk) 20:06, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Nope, wrong license. But, if that was published at the time... it may be {{PD-US-not renewed}}, as the Dallas Morning News does not show up on the periodical renewal list. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:17, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
So we should replace the template? --Polarlys (talk) 22:49, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Only if you can verify when the photo was published. Otherwise, please nominate it for deletion so that others can weigh in on this topic. Powers (talk) 21:53, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
I changed the license. It was used on the front page of the newspaper the next day.[2] A competing photographer with more lucky timing took the more famous Pulitzer-winning photo. I could not find any renewals from the Dallas Morning News, which from 1963 should be online at (They did start registering copyright at some point, though not til much later, and I don't see renewals at all - Jan 1 1964 and later would still be copyrighted, but not 1963 I don't think.) I see one registration from Jack Beers, the photographer, but that seems to be a Kennedy motorcade photo first published in 1983. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:36, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Tarzan by Charlton Comics

the first book in the Tarzan series, "Tarzan of the Apes" by Edgar Rice Burroughs entered the public domain in 2001. in 1964, Charlton Comics published a comic series called "Jungle Tales of Tarzan", the publisher thought that with the death of Burroughs Tarzan was in the public domain, except that Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. claimed the rights to Tarzan and sued Charlton, if this material was not renewed, is in the public domain? Hyju (talk) 01:53, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

According to the page Commons:Licensing, original material published with a copyright notice in 1964 in the United States did not need renewal to remain copyrighted in the U.S. until 2060. Material published with a notice in 1963 and not renewed would be in the public domain. Missed by one year. -- Asclepias (talk) 02:34, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
Yup. The original book was published in 1912 from the sounds of it, so it should have entered the public domain on January 1, 1988 (the term was 75 years from publication, provided the book was renewed properly). Given later copyright laws, only works published 1963 and before needed renewal; works published from 1964 until 1978 automatically get a term of 95 years from publication, so it sounds like the Charlton works would not expire in the U.S. until 2060 or 2061 (as it sounds like those five books were published in 1964 and 1965). The term in other countries would be different... sounds like they were published under a pseudonym, so unless that author has been identified, those works may become PD in 50pma countries like Canada in a few years. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:43, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
even if the publication has been made ​​without the permission of Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc.?Hyju (talk) 15:55, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
If the Edgar Rice Burroughs copyright has expired, permission from them would no longer be necessary. That may depend on if the books used copyrightable elements of the Tarzan character introduced 1923 or later though -- Burroughs Inc. may still own the copyright on those aspects of the character still, if they exist. There could also be trademark issues with the name; those are unrelated to copyright. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:10, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
Not sure what part of the preceding paragraph your question is about, but I'll assume it's about the fact that the original material from 1964 is still under copyright in the U.S. Then yes, the 1964 material would probably be copyrighted anyway. Perhaps one could consider that whatever new elements of originality the 1964 material included were deliberately published with their author's consent, even if the publication as a whole was not validly published because it also integrated the copyrighted Burroughs material. If not, what is the alternative? If one considers that even the original elements of the 1964 material were never validly published at all, then, as unpublished material, they would be copyrighted until 2085. So, any way one looks at it, it is still copyrighted. The difference being the question if that copyright ends in 2060-2061 or in 2085-2086. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:19, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
my question is whether the work was not authorized to whom it belongs to the heirs of Burroughs or DC Comics, Charlton Comics who bought or is in the public domain.Hyju (talk) 00:58, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Charlton Comics would own the copyright in the additional material they authored. I'd have to think that would be considered published in 1964/1965, and presumably with a copyright notice. It is just that they were not allowed to distribute those works since they were derivative of an existing work owned by someone else (or would need to obtain permission from those other owners); it sounds like that was the situation until at least 1988. Once all of the underlying works become public domain, then Charlton (or whoever owns the rights now) should be able to distribute them without infringing copyright, since they are no longer derivative of a work still under copyright. Trademark does not expire though, and it looks as though the Burroughs heirs have maintained trademarks on the "Tarzan" name, so that would be an additional hurdle. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:54, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

moved from

Hello, I would like to use english wikipedia article en:Nineteen Eighty-Four's file en:File:1984first.jpg on german wikipedia. The license of that file says due to:

"(a) to illustrate an article discussing the book in question

(b)on the English-language Wikipedia, hosted on servers in the United States by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation"


"qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law. Other use of this image, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, might be copyright infringement."

So, as point (a) would also apply to german/etc. wikipedia, it of course is not so with point (b)'s language (although I cannot think of the language could have anything to do with a law regarding this law), while the server hosting location would stay the same for a file based at commons. But as I don't think (maybe I'm wrong?) there's a similar "fair use" thing in german law, it will not help. But when you look at the picture of the file, the book cover, then for me it seems quite obvious, that it clearly lacks the originality to claim copyright, because of Threshold of originality Threshold of originality says "that the design of a typeface cannot be protected under U.S. law."). (german version would be de:Schöpfungshöhe / de:Schöpfungshöhe#USA, Großbritannien und Kanada) Also the therein named "sweat of the bow" doctrine en:Threshold of originality#The "sweat of the brow" doctrine is not fulfilled, because just simply putting not-protectable typefaces together on a book cover does not meet these standard. Thus, it must can be classified with the same license as it is with other typeface-only book covers' license:

Template:PD-textlogo: "This image only consists of simple geometric shapes and/or text. It does not meet the threshold of originality needed for copyright protection, and is therefore in the public domain. Although it is free of copyright restrictions, this image may still be subject to other restrictions. See WP:PD#Fonts or Template talk:PD-textlogo for more information." (taken from e.g. en:File:The Assault on Reason.jpg)

In addition, as it is with the other "fair use"-files, the discussed file's picture is not in full resolution, thus it cannot be used for product piracy copies, etc., of course.

So, the PD-textlogo license would not only make the file also available for use in german wikipedia, but in all other wikipedias it still could have not used at, because it seems to apply global/all countries.

So can that be possible? 23:10, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

I took the liberty of changing some of what you wrote to use more comprehensible links.
The German Wikipedia has a policy against any use of non-free images. Really, you'd have to take that up with people on the German Wikipedia, not here on Commons, whether they believe this would qualify. I'd say it's right on the borderline. Yes, the design consists entirely of words, but it seems to me that there is enough complexity of layout that it might reach the level of being copyrightable.Someone with more expertise might want to weigh in. - Jmabel ! talk 07:42, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
@Jmabel: For upload in dewp he should ask there - right - but if a upload in Commons would be possible it would be far better.
@IP: It is from UK so, yes, as you write sweat of the brow copyright protection needs to be considered. I'd like to hand this not easy case off to COM:VPC - please move it to there. You could upload it to dewp with de:template:Schutzlandprinzip and de:template:Bild-PD-Schöpfungshöhe - under usual TOO assumed in dewp it is probably okay. Viele Grüße --Saibo (Δ) 13:46, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
@Jmabel: Thank you for making the text more readable, I did not know the kind you did it as I see it now. As you point it out, I think it could be uneasier to try to get the file rated "free" (through e.g. the PD-textlogo tag) at the german wikipedia than trying this the same at commons, also because of if the file would be tagged that at commons, I think german wikipedia would rather accept that enduringly than if it would be tagged so only there so that every minute someone can come and delete/re-tag it there, just because it "stands alone" and is not "protected" by the "higher institution" commons, so that's what Saibo also mentions.
@Saibo: Thank you, so I can use that templates/tags on a german wiki try if the commons attempt would fail; so I will first post the text at COM:VPC as you suggested. By the way, I'm a little bit confused about how/whether the country of origin of a work does mean in our terms here, as you suggested, as it would be here what would UK law have to do with a file on german wiki, I mean, on one hand, many wikis does not apply to one specific country, because they are referring to language and not a country as it is with the english[-language-]wiki, german-, french-, etc.-language-wiki (that's why I don't know what the reference in the text to "(a) use on english wiki [only]" does refer to), and on the other hand I always thought and that what I cited above is that commons says that the files there are hosted in the U.S. and that's what means the place of law to apply, I thought - that's why someone from Germany can access a wiki page even if its content would violate german law, because no state has jurisdication over the internet, but only if the servers are hosted at its territory, which is not the case with commons, and thus it can not be executed?
If a file is not anymore copyrighted in the UK, but still copyrighted in the US, how it is decided to have or not have it on en:wiki, as clearly both countries use that same wiki version and commons servers are in the US? Did you mean that the question of sweat of the brow would also apply if the file would be on german wiki only, or, rather regarding commons? Because I cannot think of that for the german one only, because, wouldn't that be the same like if a work has different year spans it is copyrighted in the different wiki language-countries laws? OK, sorry for all that text, I don't really want you to be damned to answer to this, it's just what I'm asking to myself, and maybe it doesn't matter at all, e.g. if at COM:VPC PD-textlogo is granted, than this automatically/logically would mean that it cannot have the sweat of the brow tag at the same time, right? OK, I'll see. As said, thank you. 20:06, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
It may not follow absolutely strict logic, but en.wikipedia is primarily concerned with the copyright laws of the United States and Florida, while Commons insists on freely-licensed or copyright-free status in both the United States and the image's country of origin (if different)... AnonMoos (talk) 00:48, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't think the text or the layout would qualify for copyright in the U.S.; however my question is the background -- was the original book a solid green, with the textures there just being the wear on the book scanned, or were the textures part of the original cover? If the textures were there in the original the U.S. may well give that a copyright, and (via restoration if nothing else) that copyright would still be valid. But if that was just a solid green cover, no I don't think it reaches the U.S. threshold of originality. The UK, less sure -- it would at least have the typographical arrangement copyright, but that lasts 25 years, I assume long since passed. The question then is if there is a UK artistic copyright. I would have some doubts it if the background is a solid color, but I'm not entirely sure -- the UK can give copyrights to some pretty seemingly simple things (several people claim that people's own signatures are copyrightable there). However, the UK law does seem to say that typeface alone is not enough to cause something to be a derivative work (unless you are creating another font or typeface). This guidance does say that logos of just letters *may* be copyrightable if they are arranged in a way to give an artistic impression. Germany does have a higher threshold of originality for logos, and this may run into that area -- you'd probably be able to use it there, even if not allowed on Commons. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:34, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
I would consider this {{PD-textlogo}} without reservation, under our usual standards. Powers (talk) 16:17, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
@Carl Lindberg: Interesting thoughts. Hm, I don't know if I understood the sentence right, but if you discussed if there is a difference in the cover of the pure book and the cover the same book's dustjacket (I assume that's what "wear" means(?)) - I simply don't know if there's a difference, and the file's data give no information about it (I never would have get the idea putting such information on files at wiki-files, but as you're saying it now, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have that information included in book-cover-uploads on wiki in the future). [I own not-so-new books by myself which have a nearly blank cover with the book title & author only written on the book's side, but as in the past books sometimes didn't have a dustjacket, it's a bit curious because I just don't know if that books just have that appearance in original or if there once have been an illustrated dustjacket different from the book's pure blank cover - or not...] However, I would assume that if one would know that a book's cover is not the dustjacket cover one's or would would doubt if it's the original packaging cover, than maybe it would be included in the wiki file data - as we do not know that about this file here, I think it must be assumed that it's the original cover, whether it was on dustjacket if existing or on the book itself with no dustjacket existing. (Regarding the US law what you said about the dustjacket-cover-/non-dustjacket-cover-difference, I would panic (:-)), because if we would say that would apply to this one here, than my request for the additional wikis uploading for the file would not only fail but result in deleting the original file from en:wiki (according to what have been said that en:wiki is based on US law)! So please just don't let's follow that "dangerous thinking" ;-) [and isn't that what Orwell was about?], ok please?)
@all: So, after all what all persons here have said, for me it sounds it's common sense that uploading on german wiki as PD-text would be allowed, right? (As it was pointed out, Germany has a higher treshold of originality, and I also would really feel for like in this country here it does not reach it, plus the file is neither used commercially nor in original resolution on wiki.)
Independently from this, as I said, I would need this file for on german wiki, so this would be fine for me per se, but I also thought that maybe some other language-wikis could also want to use that file, and if there would be such a request in the future, I thought that maybe it would be better/easier do try to do it by now, as we still have had this discussion at the moment, rather to have the same discussion for use on commons thus re-appear in the future...
So I personally would like to see a try on commons - and if it ever would happen that someone comes claiming holding UK sweat of the brow/typeface copyright, than it still could be put down. (I'm doubting this could happen, just because the english-language wiki is still using it, just because as it was said that en:wiki applys to US law but not to UK law.)
I see that there are doubts concerning commons, but as I came here to get it decided, could you all please opt for either a definitive "yes" or a definitive "no" for uploading on commons, because if no one forms the doubts into a screaming "NO! DON'T DO IT!!!", I feel for I could get weak in not trying to give it a try on commons... ;-) So please let's specify: does someone would held the doubts strong enough to not give it a try on commons as PD-textlogo (until it would be flagged by someone)? 01:31, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
It must be a definative "No": this image is not in the public domain. The dust cover forms part of the publication itself, and it is disingenuous to describe it as mere packaging. Copies of this come up for sale on eBay from time to time (e.g. this item), where you can see a complete image of the dust cover here. Note that the dust cover includes the publishers notes ("flap copy"), while assertion of copyright is clearly present on the books spine ("Secker & Warburg"). Copyright for book cover, the notes and even the advertisement on the back still applies, as the publication date is after 1923. --Gavin Collins (talk) 12:08, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Cropping out something non-copyrightable is still fine even if there are other copyrightable works. Correct, we could not have an image of the dust jacket text and that sort of thing, but a non-copyrightable work does not suddenly get a copyright by attaching it to another copyrightable work. My question is about the variation in the shades of green seen in this photo; if the book started as a solid green and that is just the wear of that copy, then I think this is fine; if that variation in color was there on the original then it is a sort of painting to begin with, and almost certainly copyrightable. Doesn't matter whether it is the dustjacket or base cover; the question would be the same. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:29, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Carl, I am not sure what you mean, and think your analysis of the works copyright status is too vague. Although the text is by Orwell, and the dust cover designed by Michael Kennard, the whole edition (dust cover and all) are all copyright of Secker & Warburg. Clearly this is a non-free image of artwork, and cannot be uploaded into Commons because no part of it is in the public domain, as it was published after 1923.--Gavin Collins (talk) 17:11, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
The copyright on typographical arrangement of published editions lasts 25 years and has expired. The image in question is *only* of the cover itself; the title and author (short phrases not subject to copyright) on a green background (solid colors are not copyrightable either). The image does not show any other copyrightable works, so there is nothing else to consider here. The question is if the title and author on a green background is enough to qualify as a copyrightable work. Provided the background is just a solid color, the answer would be no for the United States. I'm not as sure for the UK; whether this type of thing is more the 25-year protection for typographical arrangement or would this by itself be fully-copyrightable artwork with a 70 pma term. One of the UK's guidance pages indicates that text-only logos often do not qualify for copyright there (though more often than in the U.S.), but it's possible this might. If the background is not a pure solid green but some intentionally-created textures, then that would remove all doubt really as that would be copyrightable. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:35, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
It looks like to me that the variation of color in the picture is a factor of age and a not entirely flat surface.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:04, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Again, I am finding this thinking to be a bit vague. Whether or not it is "design", or a "typographical arrangement" is a matter of opinion: if the dust cover actually says that it was designed by someone, then it is an artwork, regardless of merit. If you have a look at the exhibition notes to this George Orwell Exhibition (item 29a), you can see that the artwork has been the subject of serious study. Lets be absolutely clear, an OTRS ticket from the publisher is needed before this image can be classed as being in the public domain. --Gavin Collins (talk) 11:02, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Let us be absolutely clear, Commons has no need of an OTRS ticket from the publisher or anyone else before we can host a public domain image.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:08, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
This is not a public domain image, so I am not clear how your statement is relevant to the discussion. --Gavin Collins (talk) 13:39, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
There is such thing as threshold of originality. In other words, there are some designs which do not rise to the level of copyrightability, and yes we can host those here, because they would not be copyright violations no matter how they are used. It does not matter if they claim copyright on the entire dust cover; if one element is below the threshold of originality, then by itself it cannot hold a copyright, and we can host just that element. And yes, people will often claim copyright thinking that a copyright should exist, even though it wouldn't be granted, and we do not automatically respect those. For example, see here for a list of cases that the U.S. Copyright Board of Appeals cases. Many of those were rejected (at that stage it means items were rejected three times); File:Best Western logo.svg is one such design which was below the threshold (see the United States section on the threshold page for more examples). I'm fairly confident that the cover image in question could not be copyrighted in the U.S. (provided the color variation is just wear on that copy); the question to me is the different threshold the UK has. You don't appear to be considering that aspect. The UK has allowed copyright on some pretty simple things I believe, though on the other hand they ruled a Star Wars stormtroopers helmet not copyrightable (rather it was a work of industrial design protectable for 25 years). I'm not sure on this one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:23, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
It certainly is public domain in the US, and I believe we're still discussing whether it's public domain in the UK.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:50, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Again, I must object to the reasonable but nonetheless misleading advice that is being proffered, as it is based on opinion, not evidence. The dust cover asserts that the artwork was designed by Michal Kennard, published by Secker & Warburg: this is key evidence on which this discussion should be based. Copyright status is based on external evidence, not by the opinions generated internally by Commons editors, otherwise we end up relying on self-referencing judgements based on what is basically speculation and hearsay. I can assert that this is a non-free image not suitable for upload to Commons by reference to the evdience, since the dust cover clearly shows who designed it and who published it. Unless there is specific external evidence relating to directly to this cover, such as a court proceedings in which this particular cover was the subject, then there is no evidence to lead us to believe this image in the public domain.
"All we know are the facts, ma'am", and the facts in this case are based on the evidence.--Gavin Collins (talk) 10:18, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
The dust cover says nothing about artwork; the dust cover says "Jacket design by Michael Kennard". You do your case no service by claiming to be based on facts and misquoting them. I'm not familiar with any court case putting the Mona Lisa in the public domain, are you? You're welcome to propose our copies of the Mona Lisa for deletion, but until them I think it clear that Commons does permit us to read the law and interpret copyright status in light of that.--Prosfilaes (talk) 14:31, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Of course the dust cover says nothing about artwork, nor would you expect it to say "This is Art". Although argument about threshold of originality has merit and is interesting, it is not relevant in the this case. What is one man's art or design maybe below another person's threshold of orginality: its all a matter of taste. The problem is, regardless of merit of this artwork, we still have to acknowledge the copyright of the designer. You mention the Mona Lisa, but if you look at Duchamp's version, you will see that it is copyright in France, and so cannot be uploaded into Commons. By default, we can't upload a designer's work unless they grant permission for anyone to use it. --Gavin Collins (talk) 18:24, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Threshold of originality is not a matter of taste; it is a matter of law (and of course it's relevant). Getting some guidance on that law is really the best thing to do. If items are generally considered below the threshold of originality, yes we should host them. "Designed by" is not even a copyright claim, and a copyright does not necessarily exist which we need to respect. You are suggesting to never apply the standard at all, but rather assume everything is copyrighted no matter how simple. I would prefer to follow the law, and and protect the public domain with equal force to that which we respect copyright. If we could find some court guidance on that level, particularly when dealing with 2-D graphic works, that would be more helpful. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:12, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
If it does not say "artwork", then stop calling it artwork! If you call upon fact, not opinion, then serve fact, not opinion.--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:00, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
I am not sure specific legal precedent can be used to turn generally accepted principles ("By default, you cannot upload someone else's work") on its head in the way you suggest: we must remember that our opinions are just that, and if they were subject to external peer review, they might be found lacking. If this book cover is considered below the threshold of originality, such a claim would be supported by external evidence, such as a ruling from an external agency, as was the case with the Best Western logo.
However, no external person or agency has gone on the record to say that this book cover has been judged to be below this threshold, so there is no verifiable evidence to suggest this rule applies to this case, especially when you consider that this book cover and the Best Western Logo are like chalk and cheese in terms of context (one is a trade mark, the other a decoration). The only evidence we do have about the copyright status of the book cover is that it was thought to be sufficiently original enough by publishers to attribute its creation to a particular designer. In the absence of any other evidence, I think we have to respect this explicit statement of attribution and treat it as a non-free image. Any editor here can voice their opinion and say "This is not an artwork", "This is not a design" or "This falls beneath the threshold of originality", but until they stick their neck out and publish this opinion outside of Commons, these opinions are just hearsay, and carry no weight in the real world. As I stated earlier, what evidence there is (the exhibition notes) suggest that this book cover has been the subject of serious study, so I think giving attribution to its designer is only fair.
The conclusion is that this is a non-free image. We can't enforce a generally accepted rule such as "By default, you cannot upload someone else's work" if on the other hand you believe that "Yes you can, based on hearsay" or "Yes you can, if we ignore its creator". We as Commons editors just can't take accept our own opinions as truth, we should rely verifiable evidence to form a judgement.--Gavin Collins (talk) 23:28, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, some people get very angry, like the BOUML guy; still, there is no reason to believe that File:Bouml titre.jpg would not be free. The 1984 book cover is free in the US, the background is plain in other copies, this is just a year and a name. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 00:05, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
We've used the Best Western logo as basis for ruling on other objects, and that "By default, you cannot upload someone else's work" has a crazy number of exceptions; I bet most of our files have been uploaded in violation of that, from Flikr, from US government sources, from public domain works, and yes, {{PD-text}} and {{PD-textlogo}} materials. You want fact, you haven't shown one outside source that says this is copyrighted. You've inferred from general rules to this specific case, just like the people you're discussing this with.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:11, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Despite what you say, we can't ignore the general rule that copyright on original artistic works such as a graphic design (e.g. this book cover) arises automatically when it was created by the designer, and the work itself does not have to say that it is copyright or marked with © to qualify. Since we know who the designer is and when the work was published, we must respect the rights of the copyright holder, even though we might think that not think that this is a particularly original work or has any particular merit.
This is the general rule, but we can't create exceptions to the rule by incorrectly applying a threshold of originality relating used with trademarks (such as the Best Western logo) to artistic works. Comparing chalk with cheese, or trying to fit square pegs into round holes is not the right approach. --Gavin Collins (talk) 10:04, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Using the word "incorrectly" vitiates your case that we should be working on facts, not opinions. You claim that it's "applying a threshold of originality relating used with trademarks"; this is wrong, and would obviously be so if you had read File:Best Western Logo.pdf. It repeatedly refers to the Best Western Logo as graphic design, and on page 9 states "The Board agrees with you that a work's use as a trademark (e.g. a logo) is irrelevant to the evaluation of the work's copyrightability. [...] The trademark status of the subject graphic design has had no bearing on the Board's analysis and determination set forth herein." There is no question in my mind that no reasonable, informed person could defend short text on a plain green background as copyrightable in the United States. The questions pertain to this cover's status under UK law, a issue your arguments have shed no light on.--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:00, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
You are mistaken in applying the Best Western Logo to this case, simply because the threshold of originality relating to trademarks is always going to be much higher, as they are subjected to review before they are entitled to the special copyright protection given to trademarks, and the Best Western Logo failed this process. Lets be clear, this cover is not a trademark, nor is it entitled to the special copyright protection given to trademarks, so this case is just not relevant to design that are not subject to review and registration. It is simply afforded the ordinary copyright protection that is given to all artworks, and we must respect that. I am sure you know better than me that book covers are non-free images in the US and UK, and that is why it is not a good idea to upload them unless they are PD-old. --Gavin Collins (talk) 15:31, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
The first sentence is not fact, is not opinion, it's a lie, as demonstrated by the post you claimed to be responding to. As that is the level of your argumentation, I don't care about your opinion, and wish you would stop wasting our time.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:55, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Gavin Collins, I doubt your kind of discussion type - I don't want to re-adress all the arguments above, but pointing to the law in the copyright point while ignoring the law when pointing to the originality of treshold, what's double standard in my eyes, is ridiculous and uncredible (just my personal opinion; I hope you believe me when I say I don't mean all the things here personally).
In the beginning you didn't get the point that it just doesn't matter if the publishing house and/or claims to have copyright of a thing if we would say the thing is below the originality of treshold for which that copyright claims would not apply to thus and therefore would have just no meaning.
The point is just that everybody can claim to have had work in done anything and that it's copyrightable, but that doesn't mean it's legitime/legal under the law, it does not mean anything per se, so I think that was the point what exaggerated others here a bit, as it is for me.
Furthermore, you e.g. claim that because something published outside wikipedia discusses the style of artwork of the cover, it strongly would suggest that the cover IS artwork/something substancely definitively - while discussing something by someone does not mean that the adressed thing (here: artwork) even exists. I can also discuss a painting which consist of one colour only - maybe the doer spent a year in preparing the thing out of little dots or whatsoever, but I mean a personal opinion does not override the pure human reason thinking that it is probably not...
On one hand you're saying that our pure human reason thinking regarding the originality of threshold law would be just our personal opinion and thus meaningless, while at the same time your claim that it's copyrightable obviously is not just your opinion also? Come on.
In addition, you hint that because no court has ruled regarding this file's originality of treshold in our favor, our claim is wrong, but on the other hand you're not saying that no court has ruled in favor of your law interpretation, too.
I think that our opinion is not just opinion as you say it is, because the text of the orig.of.tres.-law makes it able to judge about the cover by human reason, we know it is the case just like one does have to see an apple touch the ground after having seen falling it from the tree to know what will happen to it, it's just clear thinking. (With all that here I don't want to hint you would be dumb or stupid or so, I'm just trying to describe how in my personal thinking your arguments just doesn't catch, ok?)
As you tag that as "original research" (curiously, here on wiki that seems to be a really bad and evil thing - while on the same time wiki often accepts for an article sources which are just based on that same article, and so just accepting a thing because it is not of wikipedia itself, which is much nonsense & a little shizophrenic, of course), but accepting an extern cover study as pure truth, maybe we should all put up our own personal websites all publishing different studies why the cover is clearly not artwork... The often heard wiki claim that an info is only existent, if some mass/minor media have find it interesting enough to write about it what the article regarding it said before the infos there got deleted until the media re-published them is just ridiculous, as is the wiki source handling itself. Currently, an info/fact becomes only true - or, if it is doubted: truer - , if the said thing/procedure happens to it; and I feel for that anyone now must be reminded of Orwell's other opus magnum Animal Farm, containing the made-up-claim that all are "equal" - but that there are some that are "more equal" (equall(i)er)... So what's the english expression regarding this? To come to a full circle... (I really, really don't no why, but somehow I feel for that Orwell would have found that discussion here a bit ridiculous [independently from the fact having a discussion instead of not having to is clearly a positive thing...]) ;-)
Also, I'm not sure if you had read the discussion before joining it (excuse me if I'm wrong) because the first discussed things have been adressed already in the beginning of this discussion, just like telling of copyright law only without even mentioning the originality of threshold, not only being a law also, and a law which "overrides" the copyright law it would be a concurring law to, but in my eyes just making the copyright law not applying to a thing. So speaking of copyright regarding a thing which in this way would have nothing to do with copyright would be senseless, but if someone says that it would be a copyrightable thing that would change the point of view, of course, and that's here the case.
Regardless before joining, the main point was the UK law doubts, as adressed, so as commons depends on both US & UK law in this case, if the UK law thing wouldn't be pretty doubtless, it was menaingless whether the US law thing would have been re-challenged or not, as you did, Gavin Collins, so although you had the all the right to tell that point of view, it was not necessary at all in my eyes, as pointed out (if we would have had no more doubts regarding UK law you could have adressed again doubts - but this time regarding US law... ;-) ). If I would sound like would have want to not hear arguments against my position, please excuse, I mean, the UK law doubts would have stayed there even without your US law arguments, but having a discussion not leading what one has hoped of is always better than have something go through without a discussion at all if nobody cares of a thing or if there's no such thing like a "discussion culture" - but please can you next time adress your thoughts maybe a little bit earlier, so that we're not again having to begin making hopes? ;-)
However, the last point Gavin Collins mentioned was what have come to my mind in the last days, too: Even if this discussion here may have come to an dead end more or less (that doesn't mean I want to interrupt/stop ongoing discussion, because you're all here so encouraged, no matter of what opinion or what I agreed or disagreed to and that's why I found it so interesting reading the discussion over the last few days not wanting to interrupt it before maybe all relevant positions may have been exchanged/shared), I think it cannot come to an end just like this, so I think that even if we could agree that actually there are too many doubts in the legacy of uploading it on commons (while it's mainly UK law doubts [which I don't see so, but as having no knowledge how it is handled there and in respecting the resarch done on that here, I'm trusting and respecting the one's position here, no matter if the law itself makes sense or not], Gavin Collins as only one also challenged US law doubts [for which in my eyes there's absolutely no reason], but in the end both things come out as the same), to have a discussion this file regarding again: can we please specify in which year under both US law & UK law it would be allowed to be here on commons? As Gavin Collins mentioned it, I think, probably it would be regarding a PD-old license - I think, in the US law it would be earlier public domain than in UK law, but it's with that "free use after 70 years of the death of the creator of the thing", right? So even if I or others are disagreeing with the claim of originality of threshold for the cover work by Michael Kennard and due to the UK law doubts: for Gosh's sake - when would it be able to have the file on commons that way, in which year died Michael Kennard and so when will the 70 years be over and PD-old possible?
On the other hand, as said, I'll now try to get the file under the german other handled originality of treshold law through at german wiki so that I at least can use it on german wiki articles.
Nonetheless I want to thank Gavin Collins for putting the information of Michael Kennard up - please believe me that I did not know before that there was someone claiming/to be adressed to be the designer/earning the credit for it, because I regarded the file as below the originality of threshold, I just assumed that the publishing house just made the cover itself and that there wasn't an extra real designer who may or may not have had a sweat of the brow for this... And although I personnaly doubt that the cover "design" even could be called as "designed", as something which took art work to do, I think he earns credit if he really did the cover and even if his "work" in my and other eyes is below the SOB as said...
(By the way, in Germany in books there is quite always given a publishing house credit to the book's cover by its "cover artist/designer/doer/maker", even if the cover is the same one as in the original book in another language country, or if the cover only consist of a photo from an international photo database, which was selected and a type form was selected for the book title, so the tag "designed by"... sometimes does not mean something at at all...)
So I'm going to add the "Cover artist: Michael Kennard" info to the english 1984 article info box (just like the mentioning of cover artist in the info box of ), I mean, if that info would have been there, I maybe would have not come just that fast to the conclusion the cover being non-copyright...
Thus I'm also going to put the Michael Kennard credit info also to the file itself, where it is still missing (and I'm wondering why the uploader or at least the original source/maker of the cover photo has not put that information to it, but however...), maybe adding a hint on the file's page or talk-page to the result of this discussion here, so that the same discussion is not arised on another place later, and thus also the info when it will be PD-old possible on commons, when this info will be found out here...
[I want to thank everyone for discussing here, especially those who tried to make it possible to have the file on commons, but as the main point is the UK law doubt which did stay, that point is there regardless if the thinking about US law reagarding this differs between the most of us and Gavin Collins, whose opinion I nevertheless respect, regardless I'm totally disagreeing with it of course, but, as said, that thing doesn't matter and is of no influence due to the UK law thing. If someone of you wanted to go on in discussion before I wrote now: I didn't want to backstab you while you were encouraging for "my" thing, but I can't see how to dematerialize the UK law doubt, while on the other hand the opposite opionions here were escalating and at a point at which, as Prosfilaes pointed it out, is at a dead end and going on probably would only be a waste of all our time while not contributing to the problem anything substancely anymore...)] 01:45, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Outdent because the indenting was getting crazy. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:48, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

OMFG, I tried to upload the file on de:wiki, but somehow I slipped into the upload form of commons (maybe because wikipedia main page box on the left in contrary to commons doesn't have an own "upload"-link), which I didn't noticed, because when I once uploaded a file for use on german wiki, it was able with commons and so I just thought in that moment "oh, that must be right form, because that's the same like the one for the other pic now on de:wiki", and maybe I had also something in my mind like the standard speaking of "wiki is for text, commons is for media", plus I never before had seen the upload form for wiki (instead of commons) and in this search as said somehow I was at commons without noticing it... I'm sorry, that was NOT my intention/what I wanted to do... however, the result was:,_front_cover_of_first_edition).JPG

I don't have the admin ability or so to delete it by myself, so only thing I can do regarding this is to ask one of you to do it somehow for me; again: I'm very sorry.

However, after I had discovered , which I think now would be the REAL right form, stupid wikipedia told me what it didn't told me some days ago when registring at commons: that the stupid user name and its password I always forget is even used by others on other wiki projects, so it cannot apply to this and I had to create a new stupid user name with a password I cannot remember, by just tipping random keys at the board (if some other frustrated one once had done this and now again has the same name, I'm going nuts! ;-)) - but then wiki stupidily told me that for uploading - contrary to commons - , an account has to be some days old, so in conclusion all I can say is that everything is stupid, and although that's obviously original research, I think it's just the truth...

As said, I added "Cover artist: Michael Kennard" to the info box of the en:wiki 1984 article, and also added that info at the original 1984 cover file also, but although it's in that page's "code", it is not displayed in the normal appearance of the file's page, however that might be... 05:33, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

There is still a major problem with what you have just done: when you upload an image into Commons, it must be considered "free", such the license must permit both commercial reuse and derivative works. If the dust cover says was designed by Michael Kennard who must have been alive in 1949, how could this book cover be reproduced for free without his express permission? You may as well strike out his name altogether, and start printing t-shirts and coffee mugs using his design. This upload also sets a bad precedent: now its open season when it comes to copying book covers: any editor or group of editors can argue that it is possible to upload non-free images because they are "not original" enough. What you have done is just not right. No matter what you say, 2 + 2 does not equal 5: this is a non-free image and saying otherwise does not change this reality. --Gavin Collins (talk) 15:40, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
The Mona Lisa upload also sets a bad precedent: now its open season when it comes to copying paintings: any editor or group of editors can argue that it is possible to upload non-free images because they are "too old".--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:25, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

@ Gavin Collins: Why are you telling me it was wrong what I did, if I have just written just right that and had deeply apologized for it and asked myself for its just deletion??? Again: I didn't want to upload it on commons, but on german wiki - it was accidental, not intentional, really! I'm really doubting if you really read something before commenting on it. Sorry, but for me it seems that you here only either tell things we've gone through already, or tell things, which are just wrong: I understand if somebody on the first view could be wondering if something which is credited as designed by a specific person like in this case is given a non-copyright-tag - but the point is that you would have followed and read the whole discussion here, where it was said since the very beginning, and what I had repeated above (have you even read that?), that it may be that there is a designer of it, which would, as you said it, create somewhat like a copyrighting, BUT THAT THAT JUST DOESN'T MATTER, BECAUSE HERE IT JUST DOES NOT APPLY DUE TO THE SWEAT OF THE BROW / ORIGINALITY OF TRESHOLD LAW, as stated dozens of times above. It's just like you hearing always repeating claiming apple-laws regarding strawberry-rules. As said, I don't think it's really the same as to say that the SOTB/OOT-laws "override" the concurring copyright laws, because it's more of a subsidationing nature, but if you want to have it easy, ok, I would say, the SOTB/OOT-laws are "senior" to the copyright law. I mean, that isn't so complicated: the SOTB/OOT-laws wouldn't exist, if they would have not the effect you seem to still doubt - what would they influence/touch if not the copyright law? Again, I don't want to get personal, ok? It's just, I don't understand it, because it's so logical - it wouldn't make any sense if it would be like you're saying. As said, I'm really willing to give Michael Kennard the designer credit he deserves, but I'm just meaning that because the publishing house has credited him so and that's ok. But the pure tag "designed by" for me does not necessarily mean that that design does reach the SOTB/OOT, do you understand me? If a book's cover or a painting, as said, would consist of e.g. only one colour, all black or whatever, and if that thing would be credited as "designed by..." and if it would sell for a trillion at Sotheby's - than I'm of course willing to give the artist the credit for making it, as he's the one who created it: but that just does not mean that a pure black picture/book cover (or a book cover with just simple arranged text) could be copyrightable/would reach the SOB/OOT. In summary, not every product which claims a copyright is able to get it (what would Orwell say if someone would claim copyright for every word and letter in the world you would according to your thinking grant me, and than that someone would forbid you to use them anymore, damn you into silence for forever? - you see copyright has its limits, as you don't wanna see), and even if some thing is copyrighted, than that does not mean that this fact could not be overriden/made unimportant by the SOTB/OOT-laws, do you understand this? However, as I said even two posts ago, that although I don't like it I am conclusive that due to the UK law doubts, doesn't matter your US law doubts, it CANNOT be uploaded on commons by now (that's why I also asked there when the cover will be able to get PD-old in both US & UK - for the far future use someday on commons), and that's why I tried, as stated from the very first beginning, to upload it on german wiki, which, as said, got accidental, and, ok, that was my fault - but now please stop trying to throw at my face things which I noticed by myself long before you have even read them - IF you even read them, what I'm doubting... So I don't understand why you're still complaining. I asked if the file can be put on commons, the conclusion was due to the doubts a "no" (which I accepted), just like you wanted it - so independently from my unintentional accident which I flagged by myself after I saw and adressed it as a mistake immediately and gets deleted (if I could have done it by myself it would have been no more than five minutes on commons), you get all you wanted, so what? As said, to come to a little more postive end before ending this senseless because already decided discussion, I only want to pin down when the file will be able for commons via PD-old in both US and UK (so that there won't be the very same discussion by others in the future again), so can we please clear up that question in the end for the far future, and so that this here can be finally over... 03:27, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

I understand your "mistake", but the problem is that you have used three PD-templates (PD-ineligible, PD-textlogo and PD-text), even though you know it is treated as non-free image in Wikipedia. To correct your mistake, place the {{fair use}} template on the image and it will be removed, and all shall be forgiven. --Gavin Collins (talk) 04:00, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Oh, now I got confused for a short time: I thought why I would have to put a template on a file which gets deleted - I didn't just get it that the template itself is a deletion request; I didn't think of that because I thought the file has been deleted since days since I admitted that it has to be deleted - I just thought some of you here have admin-ability or so to just remove it right now then and that I didn't extra have to add such a template - sorry; ok: I put it now on the file, that it gets removed from commons, finally.

The other thing you addressed, my use of that templates although I would "know [the file] is treated as non-free image in Wikipedia" has just an obvious reason, as was said in the beginning of the discussion above: While the file is treated in english/american (language) Wikipedia as non-free image in a fair use / public domain way, I very probably cannot use that license on german (language) wikipedia, just because in Germany/german law there's not really a same thing, public domain handling is unknown/not practiced. So, as the reason for the non-use on commons was mainly the UK law doubts, and although I respect your US law doubts, the majority here (not that a majority vote does mean a qualitative reason instead of only a quantitative one) thought that it could be used according to U.S. SOTB/OOT law's, thus on american/english (language) wikipedia - which is the case (although the en:wiki-file's templates does cite another reason, I believe to remember). So as that, as said, would probably not qualify for german (language) wiki, I tried to upload it on de:wiki (accidentally slipped into commons) with that said templates, because as stated in the discussion above, while Germany does not really have such a public domain law/handling practice, the SOTB/OOT laws here are in comparison to the UK/US ones even less restrictive, meaning that to be not touched by that laws, there must be a bit higher SOTB/OOT. So although you are right that due to the UK (and US) laws, that templates' use on en:wiki for that file might be inappropriate, for de:wiki it is another thing (as said in the first posting of that discussion here, I believe); of course it still might be that when the file will be put up on de:wiki that it gets deleted nonetheless, if they there would see it more as a piece of art than just a simple arrangement of text elements, as I do...

Have you further info about Michael Kennard, I mean his life-dates or what it would be called... his year of death, to calculate the year of US/UK-PD-old for future commons? 12:05, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

I could not find any other information about Michael Kennard. You could always use a public domain image to illustrate the article instead. Have a look at Category:Nineteen Eighty-Four--Gavin Collins (talk) 15:33, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Oh, okay; that thing with Michael Kennard is a pity, thus it seems that because we don't know his life dates, even in the future it might be never on commons, as applying a PD-old tag will be impossible, as no one could be sure that he doesn't celebrates his 1000th birthday... ;-) Well, before this here, I never thought the file question would turn into that ending finally, but it wasn't uninteresting, I'd guess. So I think all things are said, so that this here could slip over into the archive, not longer lengthening this page... ;-) Nonetheless, thanks to all of you encouraging and contributing to this here. Maybe it was at least a lesson in how many different laws there are reagrding such things here and how to deal with similar cases in the future here, so maybe it wasn't without a sense at all in the end, at least it has clarified this specific file. 09:42, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

The easiest way to get around this problem is to ask the publisher for an OTRS ticket which would provide you with permission that you need to get the book cover into the public domain. For titles published under the impirnt Secker & Warburg, you should contact the rights and reproductions department at Random House. --Gavin Collins (talk) 16:03, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

3D artwork in a public place != publication ?

OK, so we've had a lot of discussions about 3D artwork that is in public locations. IIRC, in most discussions, it was decided that the artwork fit the definition of "published" because of an international copyright agreement. Can anyone point me to that agreement? This is important, because our Wikipedia entry directly contradicts this for several countries, especially the US (w:publication):

In Germany, [the law] additionally considers works of the visual arts (such as sculptures) "published" if they have been made permanently accessible by the general public (i.e., erecting a sculpture on public grounds is publication in Germany). Australia and the UK (as the U.S.) do not have this exception and generally require the distribution of copies necessary for publication. In the case of sculptures, the copies must be even three-dimensional.

Magog the Ogre (talk) 10:14, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

In the US, the law was revised--in 1978, IIRC. Before then, if it was in a semi-public place and the owners took no effort to prevent photography, that was considered publication.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:57, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
For the U.S., the difference between the pre- and post- 1978 situation on this point is mentioned in the section Commons:FoP#United States, in particular in the associated footnote. Many countries make a clear distinction between the notion of divulgation of a work and the notion of publication of a work. The international agreement you are looking for may be article 3(3) of the Berne convention (although it says the opposite of what you say people are saying): "[...] the exhibition of a work of art and the construction of a work of architecture shall not constitute publication". -- Asclepias (talk) 13:49, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
The U.S. definition of "published" may differ from other countries; it was a central concept to copyright but had no definition under the 1909 Act (and earlier ones), meaning the courts had to define it. Since it could result in losing one's copyright if the copyright notice was missing or had certain errors, courts were somewhat conservative about concluding when that act had actually taken place. This resulted in the doctrine of "limited publication" (copies distributed to a limited set of people for a limited purpose) vs "general publication" (also sometimes called investive publication and divestive publication). All of that changed in 1978 when the 1976 Copyright Act went into effect, as it contained a definition for the term. This circular, based on the 1978-and-later situation, has the following quote: A statue erected in a public place is not necessarily published. For a more in-depth look at the history of the term, there is this paper by Thomas Cotter. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:54, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
This is complicated enough that we might even consider asking the Foundation lawyer. The implication of COM:FOP#United States was: "the law kind of might have said it wasn't publication, but it depended on which judge you ask." That's not very reassuring. Sometimes I wish Mr. Godwin were more accessible (I have a few other questions I'd like to ask him). Magog the Ogre (talk) 17:22, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't think Mike Godwin is working for the Foundation any more, and I think they will typically avoid making any "rulings" anyways as that could increase potential liability for the Foundation. And really, just about every question along these lines can be answered differently depending on which judge you ask -- there is no such thing as a definitive answer. It's always possible for a new case to interpret things in a different way -- the U.S. is a w:common law country and that aspect is inherent in the legal system. There is really nothing to do but look at previous court case decisions and make the best determination based on that guidance. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:42, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I think you mean Mr. Brigham. You might try to post comments on his user talk page here on Commons, but he might not like it if people make a habit of it, and he probably doesn't look at it often. -- Asclepias (talk) 18:42, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Christmas Light Displays

What is the copyright status of light displays in the US (and elsewhere) on public or private property. In Chicago, there are some really wonderful displays, espcially Lincoln Park Zoo's Lights and in the neighbourhood of Sauganash Heights-Lincolnwood (known locally as Candy-Cane Lane). It is my understanding that some holiday or other light displays may be copyrighted. Is this information accurate? -- 21:05, 12 December 2011‎ User:Circa24

My intuition is this: utilitarian lighting (designed to light an area) is not protected, while complex decorative lighting (going beyond simple shapes/text) would be protected. The only case law I'm aware of: in France, the Eiffel Tower is in the public domain, but a company claims copyright on photos of the Eiffel Tower taken at night, due to the lighting display they installed on it. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:15, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
United States is a bit different situation -- that normally requires a fixation, i.e. the work to be fixed in tangible form for protection.[3] I'm sure there are places that will claim protection though, even if it is untested in court cases, and some displays may make use of items which are effectively sculpture. If you could point out places that claim it, maybe that would help. I'm not aware of any U.S. court cases which would back up such claims though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:39, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
I have some great shots of the Lincoln Park Zoo Lighting Display that I took in a night photography class, and I am planning to spend some time in Indianapolis, also known for their great lighting displays. I'd love to share them, but I'm afraid of running afowl of someone's copyrights. Is there any place on Wikimedia to post a photo where more knowledgable users could check them first? User:circa2403:39, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

File:CC_some_rights_reserved.svg PD-*?

Hi, do you consider this top-100 image Public Domain (ineligible or text, or others)?

I've discussed it some on this user's talk page.

And what I want to ask additionally, is there any specific Commons-wide project and/or place besides this general one to assess these terms for images? Cheers 15:53, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Maybe. The standards of copyrightability vary significantly by country; even if it would be considered PD in one country there may well be another where it would be considered copyrighted. Since the CC licenses apply worldwide, and remove all doubt, we tend to just leave those licenses in place either way. Commons:Threshold of originality is one place we try to show border cases which have come up in court cases or similar in a few countries, though it's hard to show the other side of the line (simpler stuff which was granted a copyright). Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:37, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
{{Licensed-PD-Art}} was created for images that are in the public domain in some jurisdictions but possibly not in others. I think a more general {{Licensed-PD}} tag could be useful, and could be paired with tags like {{PD-text}}, {{PD-text-logo}}, and {{PD-ineligible}}. It would say something like this: "This image is released under the following license: (license) In some jurisdictions, the image may be in the public domain due to the following: (PD tag) In these jurisdictions the terms of the license are not compulsory." Thoughts? Dcoetzee (talk) 17:29, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
The defendability of the CC-licenses tailored to the specific jurisdictions/language will be up to the knowledge and ability of the lawyers who made them, some local courts may still challenge CC license made for their jurisdiction/language. Ah I think I'll let this issue rest... but seriously! I haven't seen one wiki in the wild linking or referencing the image properly! And just another thought couldn't you avoid the issue by referencing the original image and license in the meta/rdf tags of the file? This one doesn't. It would also add some bytes to the image size, which may be significant as it's a top-100 image. ;) And some more questions, does the Wikimedia Foundation hire any lawyers? Are they contactable by the community? ... heh sorry for the rambling. Greets 17:48, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Frankly, CC damn well oughtta be releasing this sort of image under CC0. The burden of compliance with CC-BY is simply too large for a logo that you want to plaster on every page. And as you say, in practice, no one does. It sends the wrong message when you disregard widespread noncompliance with your own licenses. I wonder if they would be amenable to this. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:48, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, copyrighting symbols that depict copyright licenses is ridiculous. 19:02, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Except that these images are not by CC, but rather individual Wikipedia contributors -- I think they were created due to license ambiguity on the images actually provided by Creative Commons themselves (since made more clear). CC controls the use of their icons by a trademark policy (which is appropriate), and I think their images are CC-BY, but I think the situation was much less well-defined when these were created. As far as attribution, clicking through to the image page is generally considered enough. I somewhat doubt this file would get copyright protection in the U.S. (it would depend on the gradient in back), but other countries are a completely different matter (Australia once granted a copyright on this, for example). Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:11, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Hi, with slightly different IP again (they're nearly closing the IPv4 gap...). As an argument for making this file public domain, there are some vector files with gradients on Wikicommons that are maybe even more nuanced than this one, as an example: File:Adobe_Photoshop_logo.svg and they are considered not to be copyrightable. Greets. 19:20, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Generic questions, using Kroger as an example

Hi. I'm coming from English-language WP, and I'm trying to wrap my brain around free, non-free, fair use, public domain, threshold of originality, copyrightability and the like. I sort of get the concepts, but I'm not sure just where the parameters lie. So I'd like to start off with this example from U.S. grocery chain Kroger.

Would this image, [4] be {{PD-textlogo}}? Thanks. --Chaswmsday (talk) 20:12, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

  • Probably. Just text & geometric shapes. Pushes the limits because of the extremely stylized "K", and of course it is trademarked, but I'd guess it's not copyrightable. - Jmabel ! talk 01:52, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
  • "Free" is a set of rights, typically governed by copyright law, which everyone must have on a work. If copyright does not exist or has expired, we consider that to be "public domain", and therefore obviously everyone has those rights (though our definition does ignore other potential rights which can restrict use, such as trademark or publicity rights for individuals). If something is copyrighted (the usual case for modern works), then that copyright must be liberally licensed so that others have those rights. The term is defined here, and had its roots in the free software movement. "Threshold of originality" and "copyrightability" are similar concepts -- the copyright law of each country define which types of things can be copyrighted (in general, ideas and facts cannot be copyrighted, but only specific expressions of those ideas -- e.g. the particular wording of a paragraph, but not the idea conveyed by those words). Even when a type of work is copyrightable, laws also generally require that works be "original", with varying definitions. This area can differ between countries quite a bit, and is difficult to get a real handle on. Commons:Threshold of originality tries to give a few examples; for the U.S. this page lists many appeals decisions of the U.S. Copyright Office; those often get into the threshold of originality boundary and can be helpful to understand it (but are quite dense to read). This page summarizes a number of court cases which treated this area, and this page goes over some other types of copyright boundaries. Not surprisingly, this type of thing can be hard to answer definitively. As for your Kroger example, I think the U.S. would not consider that copyrightable, as that is lettering plus common, simple shapes in a simple arrangement. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:31, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the info/opinions! Based on what I've found in Commons:Threshold of originality for the Best Western logo (where the U.S. Copyright Office denied copyright, and stated it didn't matter if the top "symbol" is a stylized crown or a stylized "W"), it didn't seem like the stylized "K" in "Kroger" would be an issue.
I've got another Kroger-related followup logo; but it might help me first to ask about a logo on the Threshold page. There is a shiny, 3D, real-life Ford logo marked "may not be eligible for copyright protection". Because the heading talks about "the logos in these images", I assume they're not talking about the image, as I understand that you can take and upload a photograph of a copyrighted logo, without encountering any copyright problems.
Could you please tell me a bit about why the Ford logo is in question? I notice that the image is used on several WPs as the identifying logo for "Ford Motor Company", while the apparently different(?) logo used in en.WP is either somewhat 3D, or 2D with a color gradient. Thanks again. --Chaswmsday (talk) 10:42, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Copyright problem

Hi, I'm new here and I really don't know what to do now... I started to write about character from anime series Naruto (On Serbian). I uploaded a lot of pictures on Wikipedia, and they didn't removed them yesterday. Right now, at this moment they removed ALL pictures that I uploaded and now I don't have picture for my article! I really need these pictures, so if someone can tell me what to do? What should I write in the description of the picture? Should I write: I DO NOT OWN NARUTO! Naruto (c) Masashi Kishimoto and Studio Pierrot? If someone knows, then help me. Please. OoQuiet.SnowOo (talk) 17:07, 14 December 2011 (UTC)OoQuiet.SnowOo

Commons cannot accept fair-use pictures at all, so they would be deleted from here very quickly. You may be able to upload them directly to the Serbian Wikipedia, provided they are allowed there under their guidelines. So, follow the guidance at that link. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:15, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
I see that you uploaded three more fair use pictures which I have now tagged as copyright violations. Please don't post any fair use images on Commons. If the Serbian Wikipedia fair use rules allow them to be hosted locally, you can upload them at sr:Special:Upload. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:32, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

How to delete an image uploaded by mistake

A first time user Musicfanz1 uploaded a high resolution photograph that was likely taken by a professional photographer. This new user clearly does not know all of the byzantine rules here. The photo was uploaded on November 5 then nominated for deletion on November 11 [5] then the uploader emailed permission to OTRS on November 13. Another new user Pikks tried to upload a reduced resolution image on December 12. This was discussed on Wikipedia:Media copyright questions [6] These users are trying to correct their error but don't know how.
It is possible to specify a low resolution image in the OTRS permission. I did that for the Ed Roberts photo. "Spencer Smith of Smith's Studio, 5417 Main Street, Eastman, GA 31023 releases this low resolution copy (232 by 300 pixels) under a Creative Commons - Attribution 3.0 license."
The US copyright law allows for correction of mistakes under certain conditions and these new users are making a timely request. We should encourage professional photographers to contribute to the Commons and still allow them to make a living. A typical Wikipedia/Commons reply is that that licensing is absolute, perpetual and invariable. This viewpoint reinforces the outside world's view of Wikipedia, a hostile place for newcomers. I assume these new users should figure out how to request a deletion at Commons:Deletion_requests. We should have a short explanation and procedure on how to delete images uploaded by mistake. Maybe it is already there. I didn't see one at Commons:Deletion policy -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 03:11, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

So we have a large resolution photo licensed CC-BY-SA, and a smaller resolution version licensed CC-BY? That seems fine; we would keep both under different filenames. We would delete the smaller one if it's an exact scaled-down version with equal or more restrictive licensing. Or did the photographer not intend to give the CC-BY-SA license for the larger version? Ah OK, that seems to be the situation. If the high-resolution version was not intended to be released under a free license, and it has just been a month, then we'd probably respect a request to delete, particularly if there was miscommunication involving OTRS. They would be nominated for regular deletion though. In normal circumstances, don't upload a smaller-resolution file on top of a higher-resolution one. You could either upload the lower-resolution one as a separate file, and send OTRS permission that makes clear it is a lower-resolution version only, and then nominate the other one for deletion explaining the mistake (they didn't realize it was the high-resolution version being licensed). Or, nominate the current file, again explaining the mistake, and explain very carefully in the DR that only the high resolution revisions should be deleted, while leaving the overall file itself (admins can sometimes make mistakes processing that kind of DR though). You would follow the instructions at Commons:Deletion_policy#Regular_deletion. It would be best if a separate OTRS is sent to clarify the resolution being given permission though; if the original OTRS is for a different filename or is not clear, it could cause confusion later at some point. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:04, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
I have nominated the hi-res image for deletion. [7] -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 05:12, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

"Applied art"

Would a coat of arms/flag count as "applied art"? I've never been clear on the explanation. I ask because File:Sri Lanka Army First Logo.jpg credits the work as British government, for which I'm skeptical, and there is no proof this is an anonymous work. But if it's "applied" art, it is free per {{PD-Sri Lanka}}. Magog the Ogre (talk) 13:23, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Still not solved: Vectorization of PD-works: Copyrighted or not?

Already discussedin september, but still not solved:

In the last weeks, I did some housekeeping in some flag and coat of arms categories, usually removing the various PD-self and CC-licence plates und replacing them by PD-ineligible or PD-country tags, because a CC-licence for a flag with free stripes is surely a copyfraud. I also replaced some CC-licences plates from several state emblems (which are not classic, european-style coat of arms, where an artistic rendition is of course copyrighted), an action which for which I received some criticism, because it was claimed that the vectorization of such emblems might be copyrighted, altough the (raster) basic image is PD. The question concerns graphics like File:State emblem of Mongolia.svg. Those images are an exact vectorized copy of a PD-image (without any alterations or "improvements"). Perhaps influenced by my german background, I believe that the vectorization is also PD, because no new artwork was created. Are there other opinions on this question? If there are, two questions have to be answered:

  • How should we tag a "basic image PD, vectorization CC" image?
  • Where is the "treshold of orginality" in such cases?

--Antemister (talk) 20:17, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

A SVG file is completely analogous to a TrueType or Type1 font file, which have been ruled by courts to be copyrightable as computer programs, even if the fonts they draw are not copyrightable.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:39, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
I'd disagree with that analogy though -- the Copyright Office considered the kerning and other font information the primarily points that made it copyrightable, and not the outlines -- but not sure that courts have followed that logic. An SVG of a circle is still PD-ineligible to me. That said, if somebody hand-edits the SVG file, that could be considered copyrightable, a completely separate work from a different SVG coded another way but which results in the exact same image. If drawn in a GUI editor though, I think only the resulting shapes are what could be copyrightable, and they wouldn't be given much different status than a bitmap I don't think. Still, there could often be small copyrightable details in a vector, especially in cases of complicated images like coats of arms -- those will almost always have a copyrightable component. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:29, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Though I should also say that some countries, such as the UK, still allow a sweat-of-the-brow copyright, meaning an SVG is almost always copyrightable there, and existing CC tags should be left alone if for no other reason -- they can ease usage in those countries. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:54, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Please, please do NOT remove CC tags from such works. The threshold of originality can differ considerably by country, and there is always some uncertainty with it. If the shape is PD-ineligible by our standards (which usually follow U.S. standards), by all means add that tag but please keep the existing CC tags, as they could be critical for use in some other countries. It is *not* certainly copyfraud; the aboriginal flag was actually ruled copyrightable in Australia since they use the rather different UK-based interpretation of "original". And modern renditions of coats of arms would almost never be PD-ineligible -- each different rendition gets its own copyright, so SVG or recent bitmap drawings would all be copyrightable most likely. See Commons:Coats of Arms. It has nothing to do with when the design was introduced and everything to do with when the artist drew it, and who that artist was. So PD-country tags are usually inappropriate for those, and even if they are exempt from copyright in some countries, they will be copyrightable in others so again, please don't remove CC tags supplied by the authors if they are there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:29, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Antemister -- I am not a lawyer (and don't even play one on TV), but your personal concept of "exact vectorized copy"[sic] seems to me to be factually and legally quite problematic (except in some simple cases where the emblem/flag has an exact geometric specification), as I tried to explain on your user talk page... AnonMoos (talk) 10:34, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
In case of the threshold of originality, it is in fact not possible to be compliant with any copyright law, that's why it was decided to use US copyright law. The design of the aboriginal flag may be an extreme exception, such a simple creation is not copyrighted in most countries. The Well, let's come back to the two questions above, are there any suggestions for them?--Antemister (talk) 21:19, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

The current situation of the coat of arms images is unbearable. Exact reproductions of emblems (not coat of arms) are CC-licenced like own artworks (imagine the situation that government official wants to use such an emblem - he will have to mention the "unknown wikigraphist" on his document...) In case such SVGs are protected in some countries and we want to keep the CC-tags, there has to be labeling that only the (vector) rendition is protected, and not the basic image. Just having a CC and a PD-tag together is not enough. I had suggested a new template. Coments, please.--Antemister (talk) 11:58, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

I don't see why it's unbearable. Someone adding their own expression to a PD work does get their own copyright. It should be pretty apparent that they don't own the emblem. An SVG is never going to be an "exact" reproduction of a bitmap -- the question is how much did the vectorizer add. If it was the simple result of a trace program (something like can often do a good job), then no, there is no additional copyright. If they did significant further cleanup work, maybe, and if they added some of their own touches, then yes. If drawn by hand looking at a bitmap, almost always there will be their own copyright. An SVG of a circle is just as PD-ineligible as a bitmap though; it's just that most emblems and coats of arms will allow enough variation to allow for copyright. If there is a specification of an emblem which gives precise dimensions and that sort of thing, then there probably wouldn't be. It's possible if someone hand-edits an SVG they could get a copyright as a computer program... for example, someone comes up with an inventive way of implementing the American flag in SVG, they may theoretically be able to copyright their SVG text, even if the visual output is identical to other SVGs (and not protectable as a visual work). I'm not sure the Mongolia one is a good example -- the SVG is clearly not an "exact copy" but has many of its own slight variations, be it in the way the border area was done, or how the "hill" background was done, the lotus at the bottom, the wheel and how the scarf hangs off -- you can easily tell when one or the other is being copied. Vector-images has their own distinct version, different than ours. The Mongolian emblem also has a textual description to start with, part of their constitution (article 12). I actually wasn't able to find an "official" graphic version with a quick search, though there may be one out there. In short, if an author wants to claim a copyright on a vectorization, I'd allow it -- most of the time they are probably right. The main exceptions would be in places where the *exact* outlines are already dictated, and the SVG was not hand-edited. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:49, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
For File:Coat of arms of Cameroon old.svg, I found your personal "exact vectorized copy"[sic] rationale for removing self copyright declarations to be quite strange, since while I was doing my best with the information available to me, and within the limits of my artistic abilities, this SVG has a number of deviations from any "exact" government of Cameroon specification (such as the scrolls being changed to horizontal, the shape of the map outline, the map outline not extending close to the top of the red area, etc.). AnonMoos (talk) 14:54, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
There's no need for both a PD and a CC tag; the CC tag always extinguishes the PD tag.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:25, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

@Clindberg & AnonMoos: You both point out that only the personal rendition of the emblem is copyrighted, which are, in fact, a deriavative work of a PD image. If you use the same licensing for such a deriavative work as you use for a totally self-created work like a self-taken photo like File:GroßglStr.jpg, then the license is not really correct. In case of AnonMoos Cameroon Coa, he has to write a text like: "The basic image of this file is PD-Cameroon. I, the copyright holder of personal rendition, releases it in the public domain." In (the few) cases the arms is not PD, then no personal rendition can uploaded. In order to have a standard phrase for that, a template schould be created--Antemister (talk) 15:24, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

According to which Commons policy do I "have to" do this? AnonMoos (talk) 17:17, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
You are still thinking there is something which needs to be specified on the basic design; I would disagree. National coats of arms and the like are really not copyrighted; the general design is common property and that should be obvious (which doesn't stop some misguided DRs, and obviously there are insignia laws which prevent misuse of such symbols). Do remember that many countries deem the contents of laws (from anywhere) to not be protected by copyright; that would go for any COA or emblem designated by law. Each rendition of course can be copyrighted, so if there is substantial similarity in the details to previous versions (even if PD), yes it is good to mention those so people can figure out exactly what is the new material, but only the CC tag is actually required (or whatever the author wants for the new material). It becomes an issue only if it could be considered derivative of a copyrighted original -- but even if the original is CC-BY, the derivative is allowed to only have a CC-BY-SA license on it (though not the other way around), with the only requirement that both authors are listed. We don't require people to point out, given your example photograph, that the bridge is not copyrighted and not the photographer's property, same for the mountains, nor require them to mention that other people can take a similar photo from the same spot and have it be OK -- all that should be obvious. If there is a specific PD representation used to make a new version, mentioning that is a good idea. But if the new version is an original take on all the elements, such that there is no real expression taken from an existing representation, then there is no real source other than the basic design, which doesn't need a tag at all. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:38, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Not every CoA is PD, an example is the Canadian one. That is the main point of the work I did (and do) on Commons for the last weeks. I read the national copyright laws and check if government documents (especially laws) are PD (this is the case in practically all countries). In case laws are not PD (usually in some former british colonies), it seems near impossible to upload the coat of arms here (perhaps panorama freedom may help). That's why I believe that any state arms needa a copyright tag which declares that the arms is PD. Perhaps influenced by my german background, where the treshold of originality is higher than in the US, I do not believe that most renditions of coat of arms have enough originality to be eligible for copyright protection--Antemister (talk) 19:19, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

If someone did a version following the (1921) description, sure it would be. However it seems as though that particular SVG followed very closely a Crown Copyright drawing, so that one in particular is different. SVGs can be derivative of bitmaps, if they follow a lot of the small details, most certainly. That does not prevent someone else from making their own, original realization of it. Some countries declare their laws to not be PD, true, but unless a drawing was actually part of the law, that doesn't matter much (and would be deemed PD in much of the world; the U.S. for example would not recognize copyright in the actual body of the law in any event). A graphical work is never derivative of a written description; those are always their own copyrights. If laws are PD, then that can help if there is a drawing in the law itself, as that becomes a PD version we can potentially vectorize, but if there is no actual drawing in there, then it doesn't matter much. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:29, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

US treshold of originality seems to be unbelievable low compared to that in Germany: Practically any drawing of an arms is below the treshold there. Anyway, in fact the vast majority of those arms on commons are deriavative ones of official one (which is desired, of course, as we want to have rendition similar to those the government uses). It seems (?) to be generaly accepted on Commons that an official version of an arms from a government document can be tagged with a PD-country-tag, in case laws are PD in this country. If someone creates a deriavative SVG of such an arms, this graphist has to add an information on description that 1) the basic file is PD and the graphist is allowed to create such deriavative, and 2) the licence under which he publishes his rendition.

Yes, Germany has a much higher threshold than the U.S. The UK and Australia and probably New Zealand, in turn, have a much lower threshold than the U.S. does. Unless it is very simple design (and even then UK/Australia might give a copyright), just presume that all renditions have a copyright (unless expired, or part of PD law, etc.). They are not necessarily derivatives in the copyright sense; the basic design as defined in law is an idea, and the rendering is the expression with its own copyright. If one graphic version follows the small copyrightable details of another, then yes those can be derivative. I think I've pointed to Commons:Coats of Arms before, which goes over this. If an uploaded version is based closely on another graphic version, then yes the copyrights of that source version should be pointed out, but if just following the basic design of a seal, then no -- that is an original work and the author can put whatever license on it they like, just like any other drawing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:04, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Same opinion. File:Full Ornamented Coat of Arms of Charles I of Spain (1520-1530).svg is an artwork of its own, correctly licenced File:Coat of Arms of the People's Republic of Congo.svg was created perfectly according the official version. No artwork und thus no copyright of its own. Most coat of arms are between those extreme cases, the majority of them tend to exact copys of official version, as most graphists on the WPs don't see themselves as artists. The questions if they are deriavative works depends on the treshold of originality defined in national copyright laws. From the german view, those CC-licenses are mostly copyfraud, from the perspective of the US they are OK. German admins refuse to delete graphics stored locally on the german WP if the version on commons are only CC-licenced, and they start deletion request on such files (today, for example, Commons:Deletion requests/File:NTC LR.png, an exact copy licenced CC, this should be copyfraud everywhere in the world). That's we need to explain this situation every file description page.--Antemister (talk) 21:15, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
I partially reverted the licensing of File:Coat of Arms of the People's Republic of Congo.svg. Even something like that will typically attract its own copyright, probably in the U.S. and definitely in the UK and similar countries. The artistic choices needed in vectorization (bezier curves, etc.) are different than those in bitmaps, and while not always copyrightable, I'm guessing they often will. The "country of origin" of these representations is also where the author lives (i.e. publishes it); using a Congo license tag makes no sense and is incorrect, since that particular SVG is not included in their laws, and none of the expression is subject to their laws. It could be derivative of the source book; no idea on that one. It's never a good idea to delete licenses just because they wouldn't be valid in Germany -- keep them since they are almost certainly valid in some countries of the world, and removing the licenses then creates uncertainty for use in those countries. If an author has put a CC license on things, leave it. In some countries, yes, it would seem as though the copyright law would prevent copyright on basically *all* representations, but that is not true everywhere, so if some of the content is CC licensed as well, that can greatly aid in other cases. Copyright follows the graphic representations; using the "PD laws" types of tags is entirely incorrect unless there is a graphic version in the law itself -- otherwise the copyright is independent of the content of those laws and the tags should reflect that. Keep in mind, Australia even gave a copyright to the aboriginal flag -- the U.S. would never do that, let alone Germany. But we try to make our content as usable as possible in *all* countries, and CC tags can often have definite relevance, and we should not be removing them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:40, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
That's more or less what I was previously trying to explain on User talk:Antemister... AnonMoos (talk) 12:18, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Well, if Commons wants to take care about those really strange australien copyright law, it should even try to to do so with the german one, where such CC-licences just cause a smile. It should be mentioned that the CC-licences only apply in country where the image is above treshold of originality. Isn't a work first published on Commons a work first publisched in the US, because Commons is a US institution?--Antemister (talk) 20:51, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Mentioning that CC licenses (or any copyright licenses) only apply in cases where the work exceeds the threshold of originality is true of any work, and should be obvious -- not sure why we need to mention that. I understand that such licenses may seem very silly in certain countries, but thresholds of originality do not apply worldwide, whereas CC licenses do -- if there is any doubt for a re-user (and there often is with threshold of originality cases), the CC license does provide a way to use such images without doubt. I think we would particularly pay attention to UK/Australia copyright if the uploader is from those countries, but such a license from any user may have value in some situations. As for country of origin with electronic publication... that is a very thorny question. I suspect that publication occurs when the user distributes the work to Commons (not when Commons makes it further available), meaning the country of origin is wherever the user is when they upload, but I'm sure it's arguable. There was some discussion during a WIPO treaty in 1996 (see here, Article 3), which proposed that the country of origin be the Contracting Party where the necessary arrangements have been made for availability of these works to members of the public -- that seems to concentrate on the actions of the copyright holder and where those took place. That definition was not specifically adopted but my guess is that something like it would be the situation. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:54, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
My problem with that is that it doesn't analogize well with what's gone before. If a British author mailed a manuscript to an American publisher and the publisher made copies in the US, that would be publication in the US. Even with the definition from WIPO, the place where the arrangements have been made for a work uploaded to Commons to be made available is the US; the US foundation pays money to a US company to host servers in the US that make the file available.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:05, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
That situation is different to me -- the author had specific discussions and made arrangements with a U.S. publisher in that case; to me that would be where the arrangements are made. In the case of Commons, that doesn't really exist -- the photo is prepared for upload and actually uploaded by someone in another country, under their full control, with no material involvement of someone in the U.S. itself -- I fail to see how that could be considered a U.S. work. That actually does have ramifications; if infringement occurs an author of a U.S. work must obtain a registration before they can sue, but that is not true of a foreign work -- I would be surprised if that was required of a foreign uploader to Commons (or Flickr, or other U.S. hosting service, etc.). In your example, actions by people in the U.S. would be required to make the work actually available to the public, and not so for a simple upload to Commons -- the person in the foreign country has caused it to be available by themselves. The issue will I'm sure come up someday, and it will be interesting to see how it goes ;-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:06, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
So if an author had a discussion with a publisher in London, and they sent the files over to a printer in Boston and ran up a thousand copies in the US, that would be publication in the UK? I simply see Commons as the publisher. (I'm not sure the WIPO definition clarified anything.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:25, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
The arrangements for actual publication were made in the U.S. in that case. Not really the last place the author had contact with, but really the last people to really control the work before distribution, to me. In many cases, the distribution reach (or location) of a publisher makes it pretty obvious which country it gets published in, when there are physical copies, but on the Internet and its worldwide reach with electronic copies, I think that notion breaks down, and I just don't think such uploads can (or should) be considered U.S. works just because that happens to be where the storage is. Are works considered simultaneously published in many countries of the world then, because the work gets located on squid caches around the world, which is really from where it gets distributed locally? Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:37, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Really, there seems to be some progress in that long discussion, at least one part of the question seems to be solved, but there is the second: Most coat of arms and at practically all state emblem are deriavative version the official one. The question is not whether the deriavative ones have enough originality for being eligible for copyright protection. If the basic file is under copyright protection, those deriavatves are copyright violations and cannot be hosted here. Opinions?--Antemister (talk) 20:33, 14 November 2011 (UTC) PS: An example of a really good licenced image is File:Afghan presidential election, 2009 poster 4.jpg.--Antemister (talk) 20:33, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

No, all versions are not necessarily derivative of the official one (rather almost always that is not the case). That is a common misunderstanding -- re-read Commons:Coat of Arms. The basic design is an idea (often written out in blazon); any drawing based on that idea/blazon is not a derivative work (it is not possible for a graphic work to be derivative of a literary work), but rather has its own, 100% independent copyright. So yes, contributors can draw their own versions, and license them however they wish. Also note that the content of actual law is often not protected -- for example, even if the source country claims copyright on their laws, the U.S. will not recognize that claim (see {{PD-EdictGov}}) so uploading even official ones (if the drawing is in the law) is not a violation in the U.S. Per policy, we generally do respect those claims, but that distinct from legality. Now, it is certainly possible for a vectorization to be derivative of another, pre-existing graphic depiction. In those cases, you are looking for the small details -- are the leaves drawn the same way, things like that. To delete on that basis though, we really need to look at the source (graphic) version and see if it is derivative. A vectorization by definition does not make a straightforward copy of the expression, and almost always adds its own expression, but can conceivably contain the expression of a source bitmap (such is the case with en:File:Coat of arms of Canada.svg -- it contains all the tiny details on the Bursey-Sabourin version, which distinguish that from earlier graphic depictions of the arms). The fact of when a country adopts an emblem (or changes it) is usually of no consequence -- copyright derives from the actual expression seen in individual representations. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:18, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
But, in fact, practically all arms, emblems and seals that kind of deriiavatives as you write. Most graphists here draw the arms exactly according to the official one you find in flag books or government websites, and only few really create an own artwork by using only the blazon. The question is: Can we expect that the grapic version you find on official documents is in the PD in case the copyright law declares such documents as PD? If yes, we can upload an image taken from there, if not, we need an image which is not a deriavative of the official version.--Antemister (talk) 22:28, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
Antemister -- that's partially true for official government emblems (which you seem to be almost exclusively interested in), but it's really NOT true (and in fact either somewhat ignorant or somewhat insulting) with respect to coat of arms images in general on Commons... AnonMoos (talk) 01:29, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Not the only issue I am interested in, but currently the most important one on Commons. The copyright situation of many CoA is unclear, which lead (and leads) to several deletion requests and deletions. As such files are used very often, such action cause annoying and much work in reuploadiing them on the local wikipedias. Most of our state emblems here (most raster and some vector ones) are copied from official documents, government websites or flags books. Are they PD? Most of the vector files are deriavatives of those? The vectorizer claim copyright oon their rendition, OK, but are their rendition copyvio-deriavatives of the source files?--Antemister (talk) 17:02, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

You only seem to know or care about national governmental emblems, but the great majority of heraldic work on Wikimedia Commons is NOT in fact concerned with national governmental emblems, and you will embarrass yourself less in future if you don't make hasty broad sweeping generalizations in an area concerning which you appear to have little interest or knowledge... AnonMoos (talk) 23:37, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

This issue is connected with the broader problem of uploaders usually not mentioning the copyright status of works depicted or used as bases (here "based on blazon only" would be great, "FoP", "original PD-Finland50" or similar in many other cases). This should be solved in the upload interface and in the upload instructions. --LPfi (talk) 08:05, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Obviously, it's only in a minority of cases that a Commons image author has never seen any artistic rendering of a coat of arms at all, but is going by pure textual blazon only. However, if the Commons image author doesn't copy any artistic/ornamental details of a heraldic visual depiction he/she has seen, beyond what is necessary to satisfy the blazon, then it's very difficult to see how any real "derivative status" copyright dependency has been created. When I was making File:Trinidad-Anglican-Episcopal-Coat-of-Arms.svg (or rather, its original PostScript source -- the PostScript came first, then the PNG, then the SVG), I based it on information in A Complete Guide to Heraldry by A.C. Fox-Davies and J.P. Brook-Little (1969 edition). The book gave both the textual blazon, and also a small sketchy black-and-white-only line diagram. The line sketch gave some clues as to how the surmounting was done that might not be obvious from the textual blazon, but I did not copy any purely ornamental/artistic details from it, and any attempt to tag the Commons image as a copyright derivative of the Fox-Davies and Brook-Little book would be rather unfortunate, and turn out not to be a very constructive or productive thing to do... AnonMoos (talk) 14:20, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

@AnonMoos: Yes, I contribute practically only on the topic of state emblem. In case of the arms you mentioned the CC-licence is OK, as you created this image only according to the blazon and so this file is your private artwork. That is not the case for the vast majority of state arms, as those are usually copied from or drawn after flag books or similar sources, and self-drawn renditions mostly copy every single detail. We should not mix up those two different situations. @LPfi, I had suggested that above.--Antemister (talk) 21:25, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Actually, it has a PD-self license (I rarely use CC licenses on images which I make from scratch, or which are derived from other PD images). AnonMoos (talk) 01:27, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

I haven't read all of the text, but I think that it is always useful if an image is free in as many countries as possible. Whenever I come across any {{PD-old-70}}, and I see that the author died long ago, I always update them to {{PD-old-75}}, {{PD-old-80}} or whatever the highest allowed number is, since it tells that the image is free in more countries. If a vector image does not meet the threshold of originality in the United States and the country in which it was made, then {{PD-ineligible}} (or similar) is enough according to Commons rules, but it causes problems for users in countries where it does meet the threshold of originality. You can't decide upon any licences for the countries in which it doesn't meet the threshold (it's in the public domain so people may use it in any way in other countries), but it would be very convenient to have a {{cc-by-sa}} (or whatever) for other countries. Even if the file description page lists {{cc-by-sa}} as the sole licence, people in Germany and similar countries wouldn't have to care about the licence, but if you are concerned that people might not be aware of this, you could create a more detailed licence statement, for example "It is believed that this image is in the public domain in many countries in the world because it doesn't meet the threshold of originality in those countries. In countries where it does meet the threshold of originality: {{cc-by-sa}}." --Stefan4 (talk) 20:52, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes, that was my suggestion.--Antemister (talk) 20:59, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
However, your practice involves removing license tags for what have seemed to some other people to be arbitrary or capricious reasons. AnonMoos (talk) 14:17, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

File:WLA brooklynmuseum View of Brooklyn Bridge.jpg

Painted in the 1920s (year unknown), artist died in 1930, but according to the Brooklyn Museum, it is under copyright. Can it be so ?--Zolo (talk) 17:47, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

It is copyrighted in Mexico because the artist died less than 75 years before 2003 and less than 100 years before 2011. It is copyrighted in the United States if, and only if, it was first published at some point between 1923 and 2002 and any relevant formalities were followed (details here). It is copyrighted in the Ivory Coast if either a) it is copyrighted in the United States and the earliest publication of the image was in the United States, or b) the earliest publication was in either Mexico or the Ivory Coast. It is in the public domain everywhere else in the world. By the way, if you click on the copyright statement on that page, it says that the museum in fact does not know whether it is in the public domain or not. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:25, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Oh yes thanks, I had forgotten about that 95 years thing. I suppose it means the file should be nominated for deletion ? --Zolo (talk) 19:19, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I suppose that this applies to everything in Category:Samuel Halpert. I am not happy with the 95 years rule; it basically says that anything, first published between 1923 and 2002, and, where applicable, with copyright statements, late registrations and renewals, are copyrighted in the United States even if the items were produced millennia ago. How are we supposed to know whether a random ancient item was published, and if so, when it was published? --Stefan4 (talk) 20:25, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I seriously doubt it is still copyrighted in Mexico ;-) Their 75pma law wasn't retroactive. That is a different debate though. But yes, it might still be copyrighted in the U.S. The question is when it was published. If it is still considered "unpublished" (as exhibition does not necessarily imply publication), then it is actually PD in the U.S. (70 pma). It could also be PD if it was published without a copyright notice before 1989 (I don't see a notice on the painting itself), or it was published before 1964 and the copyright was not renewed. There was a book about him in 2001; that may have published works if that did not happen before, and would trigger a clause which extends copyright until 2047, though only if that was the first publication. But there also a book from the 1920s that sounds like it might have some pictures in it; perhaps many were published then. The Brooklyn Museum probably isn't sure and is going to err on the side of caution. It may be a candidate for a DR, as the publication question is a difficult one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:57, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Right, my mistake about Mexican copyrights. I only listed the conditions under which it would be copyrighted in the US (first published between 1923 and 2002 and in compliance with any applicable formalities). If unpublished, or first published before or after the specified dates, it is in the public domain. The 2001 book is problematic: if it was published there, and no one can dig up an earlier publication, I think that we have to assume that it will be copyrighted in the United States until the end of 2047. This page lists a lot of books which may contain this painting, but it may be hard to find them in order to check. Some of the book titles, and especially those containing the words "America" or "American", sound interesting. [8] (from 1932) seems to have paintings by him, but it's not clear which ones. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:45, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
It's on the cover of this 2002 book, so that is the absolute outside limit. Looks like it is in this 1986 book too. It is in this 2003 book, and that gives dates of the painting as being from 1915-1919, which brings up pre-1923 possibilities. Searching could be complicated in that Halpert did a different painting of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1913 (see here). This 1967 book has a Halpert painting of the bridge, not sure which one. Per this, the estate sounds a bit ugly -- Halpert divorced about a week before he died, and his family apparently took over the estate (somewhat forcefully). This painting apparently was donated by Benjamin Halpert, a brother, and the estate was sold off to others. There are several volumes relating to exhibitions, but no idea if they included images of the works, or the one in question: 1922, 1924, 1926, 1927, possibly this one from 1927, 1935. Really not sure. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:39, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
The link to the page about the 1986 book is wrong (it shows the cover of several random books and magazines). --Stefan4 (talk) 01:20, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Whoops, thanks, fixed. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:09, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Public Domain Comic books

some titles that already is in the public domain already hosted on the Commons and on sites like Digital Comic Museum Golde Age Comics , Public Domain Superheroes, but on Wikipedia in English, some covers of these titles are published in fair use, how to explain it? Hyju (talk) 13:53, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

  • Sometimes WP-users simply don't care, and upload free pictures under a fair use template, without any analysis on their copyright status. Sometimes there is an error on our side, sometimes external PD sites are not prudent enough for Commons. Could provide some examples? Trycatch (talk) 14:36, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
en:File:Sheena18.jpg, en:File:RulahZoot7.jpg, en:File:Blue Beetle 04.jpg, en:File:ZagoJunglePrince1.jpg, en:File:WonderworldComics3.jpg, en:File:BlackHood.jpg
I thought of making a template for these sites as we {{PD-OpenClipart}}.Hyju (talk) 15:13, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
w:Sheena, Queen of the Jungle -- I think it's not free enough for Commons, it debuted in a British magazine, so it's country of origin is the UK with its death of the author + 70 years of copyright policy. w:Rulah, Jungle Goddess looks fine -- "She first appeared in Zoot Comics #7 (June 1947)". Copyright on Zoot Comics wasn't renewed (see, and looks like Zoot Comics was an American magazine. Other pictures look fine as well -- first publications in the American magazines, copyrights on these magazines were not renewed. Sometimes the copyright on character can be separately registered, so it's not a bad idea to check renewals at (>=1978 renewals) or (<=1978 renewals). Trycatch (talk) 15:56, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't think "characters" can be registered separately -- they are embodied in the book, movie, comic, etc. which defines the character. The character copyright expires as those works expire. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:43, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
For example, it's possible to register sketches with characters. E.g.: "DAV; character whose body construction is made of the letters D-A-V, with facial expression and arms. By Walt Disney. © 26Sep45; G46230. Walt Disney Productions (PWH); 2Oct72; R536708." Trycatch (talk) 16:51, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Sure, individual graphic works outside of the comics. Usually you need more than one drawing to establish a "character" though. Otherwise it's just a graphic work (with the usual derivative rights). Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:15, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
posted on WikiProject Comics on this issue, there are cases like Tarzan and John Carter who despite his original tales are public domain, the heirs of Burroughs still have rights to some aspects of the works in the case of Sheena, should be even the Phantom by Lee Falk, published in Australia whose covers are hosted on the Commons and the character has not entered into the public domain.Hyju (talk) 23:34, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
One thing I've always thought of, what is the state of newspaper comics? Let's say that a newspaper comic strip was published before 1964 in a hundred newspapers and that 99 newspapers renewed the newspaper copyright but that one newspaper failed to do so, can I then upload a scan of the comic strip from that newspaper? en:Google News Archive is useful for looking at old newspapers, but since the removal of the search function, it is hard to find new newspapers unless you know the URL to it beforehand. --Stefan4 (talk) 01:14, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I always thought that the renewal falls to the syndicate and not the newspaper.Hyju (talk) 01:23, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I have no idea. But considering that there still are prints of pre-1964 newspaper comics which claim copyrights, I guess you're right. Otherwise, it would always be possible to find some eligible newspaper. But how was en:The Uncensored Mouse possible? Did King Features Syndicate fail to renew copyrights or were they in the public domain for some other reason? The only information I can find in the preface and copyright notices of the first issue is that the publisher planned to publish all newspaper and Sunday strips up until the end of 1936, so I guess that's where the public domain stuff ends. In the recent Fantagraphics books, not all strips have a copyright notice, but the notices might have been edited out by Fantagraphics. --Stefan4 (talk) 01:26, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
You only need to renew a copyrighted work once, and a lot of newspaper comics were renewed separately. (Unfortunately, prints which claim copyrights don't mean much.) For a work simultaneously printed in many newspapers, I don't know how copyright law would work; I think it likely the lack of an individual renewal would cause it to go into the public domain.--Prosfilaes (talk) 12:29, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
moved some of these covers the Commons before that posted the WikiProject Comics.Hyju (talk) 01:32, 18 December 2011 (UTC)


What is the status of these images on Commons? I added the tag to a few of images in Category:René Lelong (first published in 1930). Should they now be removed, or are URAA pictures somehow accepted here? I'm also wondering about the status of File:René Lelong - Joys of Spring.jpg: should it have {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} too? It was made "ca. 1890-1900", but there is no mention of any date of publication and it is only the date of publication which is relevant for the US copyright. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:38, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

It's been more or less decided to provisionally leave them in place until the U.S. Supreme Court makes a final decision in en:Golan v. Holder... AnonMoos (talk) 01:01, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes. See Commons:Licensing#URAA. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:15, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Question on derived works

User:Faris knight uploaded File:لقاء جامعة عين شمس 17 ديسمبر 2011.png which contains a Wikimedia globe, copyrighted by Wikimedia, under a Creative Commons licence. I added {{Copyright by Wikimedia}}, but maybe I should also remove the Creative Commons licence? Or does the guy who made the changes own the copyright to his changes, allowing him to use any licence he so wishes for them? --Stefan4 (talk) 00:26, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

I routinely remove free licenses from works containing parts copyrighted by Wikimedia. I believe attaching free license tags to such works is misleading. Even if it's only intended to apply to the added contribution by the photographer/uploader, and even if it's explicitly labelled as such, I can guarantee 90% of uploaders won't notice that and will think the free license applies to the work as a whole. Of those who do notice, very few will have a conceivable use for the portion not including the logo. Besides, the uploader had no legal right to create and distribute a derivative work in the first place without a license from WMF, so they can't really complain about the license removal. Dcoetzee (talk) 03:55, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
OK, licence tag gone. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:31, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
What about File:Treffen Göttingen 12.JPG? I'm not sure if one could argue that the logo only is de minimis... --Stefan4 (talk) 20:39, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Multiple photos shown together

Some images, such as File:Montage Marrakech.jpg, show many photos. Wouldn't they need links to all of the individual photos and a list of all applicable licences in order to confirm the copyright status? This image has no such list, which also means that it fails attribution requirements if the photos were taken by someone other than the uploader under a licence requiring attribution. --Stefan4 (talk) 01:29, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Essentially, yes. I note that five of the images are currently linked. Perhaps ask the uploader? Powers (talk) 01:35, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Question about rights

I'm about to upload a picture on The Dance Party's wiki page. The photo I'm about to upload is a photo I have taken at the 2011 Warped Tour at Blossom Music Center during their performance. The photo has my photography tag in it. The question I have is, will I still have full rights to that tag if I upload it or will the rights be handed over to Wikipedia and Wikimedia? --unsigned by User:Nitro95024

What you do is that you publish the image under a free licence. Basically, it means that anyone may use your photo for more or less anything, with few limitations. You can still do whatever you want with the image yourself, except that you can't repeal the licence. --Stefan4 (talk) 17:37, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

GFDL license migration

I've just come across an image tagged with {{Cc-by-nc-sa-2.0-dual}}, and... find it very odd indeed. The template originally dual-licensed under GFDL and cc-by-nc-sa, but post-migration it's GFDL + {{Cc-by-sa-3.0-migrated}} + cc-by-nc-sa. I can see this was discussed on the template talk page, and must have been discussed to death during the license migration, but the result seems very odd. The migration seems to have nullified the original cc-by-nc-sa licensing, yet left it in place as a token gesture. But since there's nothing that can be done under {{Cc-by-sa-3.0-migrated}} which can be done under cc-by-nc-sa, surely the latter is redundant and confusing and should be removed? (Personally, I'm not convinced that these files should have been eligible for migration, but that boat seems to have sailed long ago.) Rd232 (talk) 17:47, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

It's harmless to redundantly offer an extra license. - Jmabel ! talk 18:27, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
Not if the redundancy is confusing to potential reusers - which I think it is. Rd232 (talk) 18:41, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
If the image uploaders didn't want their images to go to Cc-by-sa-3.0-migrated, then they needed to opt out each image before the license migration period was complete. Since the "nc" restriction is now meaningless, the question is whether we want to keep a prominent public record of the original uploader's original intentions or not... AnonMoos (talk) 18:30, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
A compromise might be to change it so that there is a record of the original license ("was originally licensed under" sort of thing), whilst removing the license template. That would clarify things for reusers. Rd232 (talk) 18:41, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
At the time when Wikipedia copyright was GFDL people were often given the advice that images can be safely licensed under GFDL, as putting the licence verbatim on products is too cumbersome. The cited dual licence shows clearly that the rights' owner did not want to license the work under cc-by-sa. I think we should treat those images as had there been an opt-out, at least if the uploader was not active anymore at the time of the migration. That is hardly legally binding when done now (anybody can use the earlier version, the migration of which was as legal as that of any image), but the best we can do. --LPfi (talk) 15:26, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
It's not in our best interest to appease users who are willing to put restrictions on their works, which obstruct commercial reuse. The opt-out feature was a compromise for some users who are still active and participated in the discussion. Now adding restrictions to even more images, while we are not obliged to do this, is IMHO against our mission. We are not here to help people obstruct commercial reuse. Regards, --ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 23:14, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
"It's not in our best interest to appease users ..." it is in our best interest to respect users' wishes, or there is a risk of appearing capricious and unreliable and putting people off contributing. That said, whilst I would have argued strongly against relicensing these files at the time, I think that boat has sailed, and there's not much point talking about that now (unless the users reappear to complain, I suppose). All I'm concerned with in this thread (I guess the title didn't help, my bad) is the confusion of having two contradictory CC licenses. I suggested above converting the original CC template into a historical "was originally licensed under" note, and I've yet to hear a better suggestion (or reason why that's not possible). Rd232 (talk) 13:29, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
If you quote me, please quote the complete expression: I said, it was not in our best interest to appease users whose goals are different from ours. Honestly, I don't see much harm in putting those people off from contributing. Just like you don't let Republicans distribute their flyers in your Democrat headquarters. Furthermore, I don't think anyone is being put off from contributing by us not reverting the license migration on these files (which we legally cannot do anyway). The license migration offered people who felt strongly about it (and who are in danger of being put off from contributing) the possibility to opt-out their files. Some users took that possibility, others didn't. The ones who didn't either don't care or are long gone anyway. I can't see how reverting the migration on this template would increase contribution from anyone. Regards, --ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 10:06, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, yes, the quote taken in isolation sounds ridiculous! I meant it as a referent for what you said just above, not to be read in isolation, but should have quoted the whole sentence to avoid confusion. As for the substance: I'm not arguing for undoing the license migration on these files now; that wouldn't make much difference. Whatever damage has been done by seeming to treat uploaders' licensing with disrespect (which is what it might easily feel like), has been done. You focus on the users whose goals (NC restriction) are not compatible with Commons'; but I would say that other users might look at this behaviour and say "if they think they can do that, what's to stop them relicensing my work in some bizarre way in the future? No thanks." But, as I said, the damage (whatever damage there is) is done. I'm now concerned only with having two contradictory CC licenses on a given file page, which must be confusing to reusers. So, again, is it possible to convert the original CC template into a historical "was originally licensed under" note? it seems to me that in effect this is unfinished business from the license migration. Rd232 (talk) 12:54, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Just my 2 cents. Suppose somebody is publishing a pamphlet that they want distributed under NC licence (why? i don't know), they cannot use any CC licence except CC0, CC-PD, or CC-NC-*, thus removing this licence does remove the possibility of reuse by at least that person. VolodyA! V Anarhist (converse) 18:00, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Symbol keep vote.svg Keep any NC licence statements. They allow people to limit derivative works to non-commercial usage. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:59, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
So... the seemingly contradictory licenses can co-exist, and re-users can choose which to use? ... well if that's the case, we should leave things as they are. I rather thought the new CC license would override the old, but if the old one is still valid, fine. Confusing, though. Rd232 (talk) 21:16, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it has relevance to derivative works. Let's say that you have two images and you wish to make a collage out of them. The collage is a derivative work of both images, so the licence of the collage must match that of both images. Some examples:
Licence (image 1) Licence (image 2) Licence (collage)
CC-BY-SA CC-BY-NC-SA Copyvio (the collage must be published under a licence which allows commercial usage while at the same time it mustn't be published under a licence which allows commercial usage)
CC-BY-NC-SA CC-BY-NC-SA (image 2 requires a non-commercial licence while image 1 allows both commercial and non-commercial licences)
CC-BY-SA (image 1 requires a commercial licence while image 2 allows both commercial and non-commercial licences)
Thus, dual licensing CC-BY-SA+CC-BY-NC-SA gives more freedom than just CC-BY-SA, so it is better to keep any NC licences. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:47, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, that is very clear. An explanation like this ought to be available on some relevant Commons page. Commons:Licensing#Multi-licensing is perhaps the place; the textual description currently there is not as easily understandable as your explanation/table (though it is perfectly correct, and fine if you already understand...). Rd232 (talk) 20:33, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Question on derived works

User:Faris knight uploaded File:لقاء جامعة عين شمس 17 ديسمبر 2011.png which contains a Wikimedia globe, copyrighted by Wikimedia, under a Creative Commons licence. I added {{Copyright by Wikimedia}}, but maybe I should also remove the Creative Commons licence? Or does the guy who made the changes own the copyright to his changes, allowing him to use any licence he so wishes for them? --Stefan4 (talk) 00:26, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

I routinely remove free licenses from works containing parts copyrighted by Wikimedia. I believe attaching free license tags to such works is misleading. Even if it's only intended to apply to the added contribution by the photographer/uploader, and even if it's explicitly labelled as such, I can guarantee 90% of uploaders won't notice that and will think the free license applies to the work as a whole. Of those who do notice, very few will have a conceivable use for the portion not including the logo. Besides, the uploader had no legal right to create and distribute a derivative work in the first place without a license from WMF, so they can't really complain about the license removal. Dcoetzee (talk) 03:55, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
OK, licence tag gone. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:31, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
What about File:Treffen Göttingen 12.JPG? I'm not sure if one could argue that the logo only is de minimis... --Stefan4 (talk) 20:39, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Multiple photos shown together

Some images, such as File:Montage Marrakech.jpg, show many photos. Wouldn't they need links to all of the individual photos and a list of all applicable licences in order to confirm the copyright status? This image has no such list, which also means that it fails attribution requirements if the photos were taken by someone other than the uploader under a licence requiring attribution. --Stefan4 (talk) 01:29, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Essentially, yes. I note that five of the images are currently linked. Perhaps ask the uploader? Powers (talk) 01:35, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Question about rights

I'm about to upload a picture on The Dance Party's wiki page. The photo I'm about to upload is a photo I have taken at the 2011 Warped Tour at Blossom Music Center during their performance. The photo has my photography tag in it. The question I have is, will I still have full rights to that tag if I upload it or will the rights be handed over to Wikipedia and Wikimedia? --unsigned by User:Nitro95024

What you do is that you publish the image under a free licence. Basically, it means that anyone may use your photo for more or less anything, with few limitations. You can still do whatever you want with the image yourself, except that you can't repeal the licence. --Stefan4 (talk) 17:37, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Copyright notice on sculptures

I'm a bit confused about {{PD-US-no notice}}. I see what a copyright notice looks like on a book, but how is it supposed to look like on a statue? Is the © symbol or the mention of the word 'copyright' mandatory? Jastrow (Λέγετε) 19:15, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes, or the abbreviation "copr.". The old law on the matter is at s:United_States_Code/Title_17/1976-10-18/Chapter_1/Sections_19_to_21; note that the year could be omitted on sculptures, and a monogram would also suffice for the name, provided the real name is on the pedestal or nearby somewhere. Also see the Copyright Compendium for further guidance; they mention that misspellings and variants where the intention is clear is OK. The pre-1976 compendium (section 4, large PDF, see here) has other examples of acceptable variants (and non-acceptable variants). Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:50, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Also note that there is a separate {{FoP-US-no notice}} for statues. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:55, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks to you both. So the copyright notice would appear in databases such as SIRIS, wouldn't it? In this case for instance, may I conclude there is no copyright notice, and use {{FoP-US-no notice}}? Jastrow (Λέγετε) 20:00, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
If SIRIS documents all the inscriptions, and does not mention a copyright notice, then yes we tend to take that as evidence for lack of notice. SIRIS doesn't always document the inscriptions, but it seems they usually do. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:44, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. A copyright notice was never needed in my own legislation for a work to be protected, so it's still a bit alien to me. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 23:30, 20 December 2011 (UTC)


Hello, im not sure if im on the right page, but i was wondering if anyone could help. ive taken a picture and want to upload it to wikicommons, if i do that and provide details of the image for permissions via an email, do i have to write it myself as i dont know how to word it, or is there a template available for me to fill in. thanksGouldtime1 (talk) 12:03, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Please do not send an email permission unless there is some reason why your authorship of the image might be questioned, for example, if the image was already published on the internet. Please see Commons:OTRS for the details about when an email permission can be required or useful and for examples of how to write it, if you conclude that you should send one. If you refer to File:Daisies in kent.jpg, it is indeed published on some websites since several years, in a larger size than your Commons file. But you say that you took the photo and that the date is 19 December 2011. So, yes, in a case like this, a permission is required. You will probably need to provide some clear evidence to show that you are the author. Sending a permission from an email address directly associated with the original publication might be required. For more details, you can ask at Commons:OTRS/Noticeboard. -- Asclepias (talk) 16:05, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Minecraft screenshots

I'm wondering if the Minecraft terms are free enough for Commons. I learnt about those terms in a deletion request (which ended with delete per COM:SCOPE) and I saw a recent discussion at User talk:EugeneZelenko#File:Minecraft avatar chopping tree with axe.png. I have some concerns about a few formulations in the terms:

“You're free to do whatever you want with screenshots and videos of the game”

Does this only extend to the one who takes the screenshot and not to other people? If the one who takes the screenshot can do anything, I assume that this person can release the individual screenshots as e.g. {{CC-BY-SA}}, but {{Minecraft}} alone might not be enough.

“but don't just rip art resources and pass them around, that's no fun.”

Is there a limitation here in that you can't create certain derivative works which are defined as being no fun? Commons generally requires that it be possible to create any derivative works of your choice. It also seems unclear exactly when something is no fun.

“Any tools you write for the game from scratch belongs to you. [...] Plugins for the game also belong to you and you can do whatever you want with them, including selling them for money. We reserve the final say regarding what constitutes a tool/plugin and what doesn't.”

The game company can obviously not require that tool and plugin developers allow any use of any screenshot, so the "you're free to do whatever you want" statement obviously doesn't apply to tools and plugins, so we can't have any screenshots of tools and plugins unless we receive permissions from the individual developers. I don't know whether they can affect the graphics in any way, though.

What do you think, are Minecraft screenshots free enough for Commons? There are plenty of them in Category:Minecraft (and subcategories). --Stefan4 (talk) 17:14, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

See also Commons:Village pump/Archive/2011/10#Minecraft images. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:29, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
See also Commons:Deletion requests/File:Enderman.png --Guillaume2303 (talk) 11:34, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
To me these are well within scope. The statement that you cannot rip the art out of the images is the same as the limitation that you can't crop the de-minimis artwork out of the freely licenced photo and claim that it's under that free licence. VolodyA! V Anarhist (converse) 05:26, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Arcade machine

Is File:Taiko no Tatsujin 12 arcade machine.jpg really allowed here? It shows lots of artwork which COM:FOP#Japan seems to disallow. Besides, it is not located outdoors which is another requirement for freedom of panorama in Japan. Japanese Wikipedia tags trains and other vehicles (e.g. ja:ファイル:JNR EC Tc103-840.jpg) as fair use because of the artwork. Apart from that, the image has been moved to Commons improperly (upload history missing, thumbnail uploaded instead of the full resolution image, cf. ja:ファイル:Taiko12.jpg). --Stefan4 (talk) 00:42, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Question on Image Tag

Hi, I was wondering if it is OK to use the {{PD-Art}} for File:Michelangelo - Sistine Chapel ceiling - Lunette "Hezekiah - Manasseh - Amon".jpg. Thanks, (if you let me know that you responded on my en.wikipedia talk-page that would be great) Magister Scienta (talk) 06:04, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

is it 100% 2d? --VolodyA! V Anarhist (converse) 11:19, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
If there are only 2D things there, it's probably fine, but it looks as if the photo might show some 3D architecture placed next to the painting. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:26, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
If that is in fact the case, what do you think would be the most appropriate tag for this picture? Thanks. Magister Scienta (talk) 16:03, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Isn't it just PD-old? VolodyA! V Anarhist (converse) 19:14, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
If the photo shows any 3D art, permission from the photographer is also needed. I think it looks as if some 3D architecture is shown, so I'd say that we need permission from the photographer. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:35, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
So is there anyway to keep this image? It seems like your saying that it should be deleted if there isn't permission from the photographer. Magister Scienta (talk) 01:21, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Could anybody here maybe send a request to the copyright holder of the image asking if they would allow for the image to be used here (and be released with CC license). Cheers, Magister Scienta (talk) 03:21, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Freedom of Panarama in the US and copyright material in images

moved from Commons talk:Village pump - Rd232 (talk) 09:33, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

This has always baffled me. We have a specific policy in regards to this.[9] Yet I sometimes see what I feel are clear violations such as this [10] File:Day 12 Occupy Wall Street September 28 2011 Shankbone 31.JPG. The image depicts a copy protected poster with a number of trade marked logos. It is being used on Wikipedia but when a discussion began as to whether it complied with copyright policy at wikipedia an editor requested it be closed and the admin there (Gwen Gale) closed the discussion with this:This CC image is at Commons. Any worries as to whether this image captured any copyright infringement outside the bounds of fair use which carries through to the image itself, should be taken up at Commons. As to whether the image should be carried in this en.WP article, that's an editorial matter to be driven only by editorial consensus pending the outcome of any copyright/fair use discussions at Commons. As an aside, the copyright policies of en.WP and Commons are the same. However, Commons does not carry "fair use" images.

Where would be the proper place to carry out this discussion? Is this image within the guidelines of Wikimedia Commons? If I feel strongly that this image is has been uploaded without the consent of the copyright owners and trademark owners against Commons policy, where do I take this for discussion.--Amadscientist (talk) 22:31, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

It depicts a protester holding the poster -- it is not necessarily a derivative work by copyright law. A photo focusing on the poster would be a problem, yes -- read the policy closely; the issue is what expression the photo is really based on -- if other elements are incidental to the overall scene, I'm not sure that it would be considered "based on" enough to cause a derivative work. Trademark is also irrelevant, as I don't see how that could be considered a trademark violation (trademark owners do not get at all the same protections as copyright owners), and trademark is not relevant to whether something is "free" or not (see Commons:Non-copyright restrictions). All the logos are also incidental to me, so no copyright issue either. Definitely not a straightforward question, but mere inclusion does not always mean it's a derivative work subject to someone else's copyright. Commons:Village pump/Copyright is probably a better forum, but you can read the Ets-Hokin v Skyy Spirits decision (see the paragraph starting "We need not, however, decide whether the label is copyrightable") and Latimer v Roaring Toyz, the section on derivative works -- that case was about photos of a motorcycle with a copyrightable design on it; the lower court used logic which I'm not sure really holds, but the circuit court there arrived at a similar decision to the lower court but with different logic, though skirting actually making a ruling on derivative works (rather implied license) while strongly hinting that the broad lower court ruling was not valid, but they still would not consider those specific photos derivative. Those both describe the other elements as incidental to the primary subject of the photo, and would not cause it to be a derivative work. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:20, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the detailed explanation. I understand part of this is interpretation and that I myself may be taking a more strict interpretation. My main problem with the image is the focus on the trademarks and copy protected poster and the way it is used on Wikipedia for that exact reason. It appears to be undue weight to illustrate this since it is only a single line in the section and it is the consensus of editors that it is "Ancient history" because it happened in the first week of the protests and feel that inclusion in the lead is not worthy of mention. When looking at the summary on the image page, it appears that the it makes no mention of the image or what it is supposed to be. That made me a little suspicious as to the legitimacy of the image itself. I will take your advise though and bring this up at the copyright village pump as well as look into all the information you left for me. Well...I'll read through all that first as it looks like these may be even better information to help my understanding. Very big thank you Mr. Lindberg. I very much appreciate your civil answer. As an artist and a photographer I know that to question the work of another tends to lead to very heated posts. You have been very helpful.--Amadscientist (talk) 13:40, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I personally believe, as I stated on Shankbone's talk page, that the logos are not incidental here - they may be small, but they are a major part of the picture. -mattbuck (Talk) 14:01, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
It's not a de minimis thing exactly, but it's not really focusing on the expression in the logos themselves, so those (to me) really aren't an underlying work. It's more interesting to see which logos were chosen to be on there, rather than really making use of the artistic expression of any of the logos themselves -- you have to make that argument for a derivative work (and even that only if you are arguing that the photo is focusing on the poster -- maybe, but it was just part of the scene being photographed). The photo of the girl would be a bigger part before any of the logos. Many of the logos aren't copyrightable to begin with, either, and almost all the rest were almost certainly published without a copyright notice before 1989 at some point (most companies didn't bother with copyright protection on logos, as trademark protection is usually more appropriate). Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:21, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Carl, I think it is de minimis, but not in the sense that expression is most commonly used on Commons. Fundamentally, each individual logo is reproduced so small and as such a small portion of the overall composition that the presence of the logos would qualify as fair use even in a commercial context. Now, before someone jumps down my throat, I know that we say "we don't accept fair use as a justification on Commons" but all de minimis arguments are ultimately fair use arguments. This is a case where Commons vocabulary has drifted a little from actual legal vocabulary, using each of these terms as a shorthand for the context in which it most often comes up. I don't think there is any problem with hosting this image. Carl, I'd be interested to know if you disagree with any of what I'm saying about the vocabulary. - Jmabel ! talk 09:14, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
As a technicality, de minimis can be different than fair use I think, though they can be intertwined as well. It is all fairly subjective. See the page here, which notes a case regarding the Se7en movie where the judge ruled de minimis without bothering to do a fair use analysis (i.e. go through the four fair use factors, which is required if such a defense is considered). The en:de minimis article does note the usage outside of fair use (and also notes a usage which is involved with fair use). You may have a point if there are free photos of a situation where the subject is making fair use of another work -- i.e. the fair use is inherently embedded in the photo itself. Parody is another example where (I think) we allow fair use items, as that has been shown to even allow commercial use, and is commonly allowed by other countries too (in the U.S., parody is a fair use defense). But that may also be better reasoned like the cases I mentioned above, where they would pick only the objects the photo was really "based on", and other works which happen to unavoidably appear are incidental (and also do not seem to be subject to a fair use analysis since they do not rise to derivative work status). The logos in File:Day 12 Occupy Wall Street September 28 2011 Shankbone 31.JPG in particular I don't think are an issue -- there is little actual expression in them to begin with; people may react to their symbolic value but that is not an aspect protected by copyright. The photo of the girl was the most problematic issue to me, though I thought it was still OK (and the photographer of the girl apparently agreed in a later communication). A lot of this is very subjective though; it wouldn't surprise me if some judges do use fair use arguments in seemingly similar situations. I suspect that defendants would often bring up both de minimis and fair use as defenses (and anything else which might apply, like "not a derivative work"), making the judge consider all possible arguments. I'd think fair use is normally only considered if all those other arguments fail. Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:26, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Problems with User:Equivocus uploads

I'm concerned by recent contributions that have been done by Equivocus (talk · contributions · Move log · block log · uploadsblock user, who has been uploading a series of unequivocally copyrighted images. Looking at his overall contributions I think this may have been going on for a while. The images uploaded on 26 December all certainly need to be speedily deleted and I recommend reviewing his previous uploads as well. His comments at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Poplars-melkonian.jpg suggest that he doesn't understand the basics of image licensing. I'd be grateful if someone more conversant with current Commons licensing policy than I could give him some advice. Prioryman (talk) 18:35, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

UK-centric: does the subject of File:Creighton memorial Peterborough Cathedral.jpg qualify as a work of artistic craftsmanship?

File:Creighton memorial Peterborough Cathedral.jpg depicts a memorial slab of Mandell Creighton in Peterborough Cathedral. It is a replica of the one designed by Henry Harris Brown (1864–1949);[11][12] the original lies over Creighton's grave in St Paul's. Since Brown died in 1949, the slab would still be copyrighted until 2020 in the UK.

UK's freedom of panorama extends only to works of artistic craftsmanship installed in public display. This means 2D art are typically excluded, but exceptions include stained glass and hand-painted tiles. Would this slab be considered a work of artistic craftsmanship and why? Jappalang (talk) 01:47, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

What about Category:Information boards in the United Kingdom? This category has lots of stuff that might not be allowed here under British 2D art rules. --Stefan4 (talk) 10:34, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
I think this qualifies as a work of artistic craftsmanship. It appears to consist of an inlay of coloured stone. Thus, I would not regard it as a "painting, drawing, diagram, map, chart or plan, any engraving, etching, lithograph, woodcut or similar work": "Commons:Freedom of panorama#United Kingdom". — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:07, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Hungarian stamps

Hello. Should not we delete nearly all the files in Category:Stamps of Hungary? According to this thread, standard 70 years copyright applies for Hungarian stamps. BrightRaven (talk) 13:09, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Some of them (e.g. File:1795 Painting 60.jpg) show very old paintings and look fine to me (copyright would expire 70 years after the painter died, and anyone who made a painting in 1795 would have been dead for more than 70 years). Some stamps (e.g. File:Stamps1871.jpg) are very old and there is a possibility that the creator might have been dead for at least 70 years. Also note that copyrights of anonymous creators expire earlier than copyrights of creators who have revealed their identity (but it might be hard to prove that someone really is anonymous). The discussion you mentioned suggests that some of the other stamps might need to be deleted. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:22, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
So I would suggest to delete at least all the stamps published before 1941 (2011 - 70), except 2D reproduction of work of art in the public domain. BrightRaven (talk) 10:53, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Do you mean "after 1941"? -- AnonMoos (talk) 05:50, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes of course. BrightRaven (talk) 10:03, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Logo modifications

IUST logo has been introduced at least 42 years ago. Since IUST is a governmental university, according to Iranian copyright law, its logo is in public domain (if a work belongs to a legal personality, it falls into public domain after 30 years from the date of publication or public presentation). But there is a small problem! The logo has been slightly changed since then. Here is the old logo and here is the newer version of the same logo (official website). I have created a new version of the logo using Inkscape that is far better than existing one (on enwp). Can I upload it here, on Commons? I have no idea about the date of introduction of the new logo (slightly modified). Any help would be appreciated. AMERICOPHILE 09:59, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

The new logo is in the public domain in the United States (there is no US copyright for Iranian works because no applicable international treaty applies), so it is maybe not necessary to list a fair use rationale on English Wikipedia. In order to be used here, the logo additionally needs to be free in Iran, which is less likely. If the changes are so simple that they do not meet the threshold of originality, the new logo can be added here. I don't know what the Iranian threshold is, but the wheel and the flame both look very different to old logo, so I'd guess that it meets the threshold and thus can't be here. --Stefan4 (talk) 17:31, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I uploaded my work on EN:WP (here). AMERICOPHILE 04:02, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

NASA images

I would like to bring your attention to a copyright problem, which I have met at English Wikipedia, but which is connected to many Commons pictures too. There is a picture (en:File:Pluto map.jpg), which was licenced as a public domain picture, because it was created by NASA. It was also tagged as a candidate to be moved to Commons. However, besides NASA there are more parties claiming credit for it (ESA, M. Buie). So I have asked at NASA, whether this image is in public domain, because it is their work, and received the following answer:

In this instance, you must seek the permission of the European Space Agency, or ESA, and M. Bule. Only images that are credited solely to NASA are copyright free. Even in that instance, certain restrictions apply.
Please see NASA's image use guidelines at for more information.
The NASA Web Team

I think that this applies also to many Commons pictures, such as File:Pluto-map-hs-2010-06-a-faces.jpg and therefore the problem should be handled somehow. Jan.Kamenicek (talk) 13:53, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

We already know this, and the template {{PD-NASA}} warns of such copyright material, including that by the ESA and Russian space agency. —innotata 17:00, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

So does it mean that Commons accepts copyrighted material? If it does, the template should be changed, because the first sentence stating that "This file is in the public domain" is misleading. Nasa confirmed me that it is not in the public domain. Jan.Kamenicek (talk) 17:19, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

They also clearly stated that permission of ESA and/or other parties has to be obtained, before the picture is used. But we use it without it. Jan.Kamenicek (talk) 17:24, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

No, I meant the template already warns of this. —innotata 17:33, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Also, the template mentions that media made by or for the ESA from Hubble are public domain or free use. In these cases, these presumably are in copyright because of the contributions by Marc Buie, and the ESA contributions would not be an issue. —innotata 17:39, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I see. Thank you for the explanation. Jan.Kamenicek (talk) 18:23, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Hubble was built by NASA, not ESA. I assume ESA is credited because members of ESA use the Hubble. Marc's website use to give permission for use of his images. Maybe he has changed his Southwest Research Institute website. I think Marc made the Hubble images based on his prior work contracts with the Space Telescope Science Institute. -- Kheider (talk) 18:35, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Any web pages, publications, or any other published use of these maps should provide a legible credit line consistent with the medium that states: "Images are courtesy of Marc W. Buie, Southwest Research Institute" -- Kheider (talk) 18:54, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
We need permission for modifications, commercial use, etc; the Hubble websites say works must specifically said to be made by the STScI for NASA and/or the ESA to be free use, as I understand it. —innotata 19:00, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
So, what is the conclusion? The File:Pluto-map-hs-2010-06-a-faces.jpg is a candidate to be moved to the Commons, and one of the reasons I am so concerned about it is that I need it to use at the Czech Wikipedia, which uses only pictures from Commons. Is it possible to move it here? And what sort of licence would be most appropriate? Thank you very much. Jan.Kamenicek (talk) 23:25, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
It looks like images made by NASA with others (apart from some with the ESA) are all copyright, as the template already stated, so the images you linked are nominated for deletion. —innotata 00:20, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Comment. Individuals and institutions other than AURA/STScI and grantees of STScI whose work was funded by NASA are requested to state at the time they contribute materials for distribution on STScI websites whether they wish to claim any copyright restrictions. If they do not do so it will be assumed that no copyright restriction is claimed. Of course, such individuals and institutions will be given appropriate credit for their contributions. If they do claim copyright restrictions, an appropriate notice will be added to that particular material, and users who wish to down-load that material and distribute it further will have to obtain permission from the source of that material. (see [13]) There is not any copyright notice apart from the credit line. The image was contributed after 1 January 2008. So it is assumed that no copyright restriction is claimed. Ruslik (talk) 07:32, 31 December 2011 (UTC)