Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2012/03

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


Advice needed - Reuters stole my photo

I know the title is not the most diplomatic way of putting it, but this is really low. In the news piece about the Costa Allegra cruiser fire, I noticed that Reuters is happily using one of my photos of the ship - compare image on top with File:Costa Allegra Korcula.jpg. Aside from cropping and levels adjustment, it is the same picture - same background, all the angles are identical plus the smoke and the anchor line are in the same position. You will notice that not only they aren't giving credit and fulfilling the rest of licensing requirements, they had the audacity to fake the credits (it says Cretit: Reuters/Stringer) and invent the lack of date which is clearly given on the image description page.

Is there somebody who could help me enforce my rights as the author? I vaguely remember one case of media violating terms of use of material on Commons in which the author was compensated, but I can't find it. I fully intend to try to achieve this, because not only the image was used on Reuters' own news, they made financial gain by selling it to other media as well - see for example this news piece which is how I noticed the whole thing. Any advice would be much appreciated. — Yerpo Eh? 07:39, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Looks like the image is attributed to George Thande there. It might be him who stole your picture. Can you try putting a comment for the article of a possible copyright infringement? --Sreejith K (talk) 08:17, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
No, George Thande wrote the article, the image is "Credit: Reuters/Stringer". They have an address for DMCA complaints listed (here), but I wouldn't know how to write a legally sound letter of complaint. — Yerpo Eh? 08:27, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't think you need to use legalese to write a complaint. Just point out in your e-mail that you believe the photograph that Reuters used on its website and attributed it to itself and a stringer is really a derivative work of a photograph that you are the copyright owner of (provide a link to the Commons). Then state that you licensed the photograph for use under the GFDL and CC-BY-SA licences, so either they comply with the terms of the licence by attributing you as the author and providing the necessary links to the licences, or that they remove the photograph from their website and their records immediately. (If they take no action after, say, a week, you could do what another editor once suggested, which is to send an invoice for a large sum of money to their office requesting for payment for the use of the photograph. :) ) — SMUconlaw (talk) 10:30, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
I'll try that, thanks. But there's still the problem of (probably) dozens of other news outlets they've syndicated the image to. Would it be reasonable to request they notify all their customers, too? — Yerpo Eh? 10:56, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
IMO yes, it's very reasonable. Apparently, they removed the photo from the page you linked above, but they have it in their other page [1] that you linked on the your image talk page and in their image files [2] and it can be seen in many mass media who reuse it and credit it to Reuters, for example europe1, francetv, nouvelobs, pressafrik,, parismatch, etc. (If I were you, I would not hesitate to hire a lawyer and demand a large sum of money.) -- Asclepias (talk) 16:49, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Get a lawyer and have him write them an invoice. --Rosenzweig τ 13:22, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Conclusion of the story: I sent them a modified Standard license violation letter asking to comply with license requirements or remove the photo and notify their customers. They handled the issue gracefully; a day later, I got an e-mail stating that they weren't convinced by their Italian freelancer's explanation (the "stringer", I presume, who tried to take a shortcut), so they removed my photo and issued a "picture kill" to their customers. An acquaintance working at one of the newspapers that published the photo confirmed that they got the message. So as far as I'm concerned, this thing is settled. SMUconlaw, thanks again for the advice. — Yerpo Eh? 20:52, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

You're welcome. I didn't know we had a "standard license violation letter". That's good to know. — SMUconlaw (talk) 18:19, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

GFDL question – Must Commons host the original in order to host the derivative?

Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Sukumizu_Girl.jpg – Must Commons host the original image licensed under the GFDL in order to host any derivatives of it? Can't the original be hosted elsewhere? --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:07, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

short answer: Yes. See [3] and search for: "4. MODIFICATIONS" or look at the GFDL which is linked from every page here on commons. --Paddy (talk) 23:29, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
No, Commons does not need to host the original. It does need to host a copy of the GFDL license itself, and the authorship of the original must be documented on the image page of the derivative (not just a link to the original, for cases like this where the original is removed). Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:40, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
I read a lot of bullshit and rubbish in the reply. You just say something or can you support it? Are you a lawyer? --Paddy (talk) 00:14, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Argue the point, not the person.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:18, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Of course the original can be hosted elsewhere, and the section about listing the changes in a history section says nothing to the contrary.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:18, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
First of all I do not know any open source/open content project that hosts different parts of the history on different servers regardless of the fact if it can be done or not. I will not go into details why this would also be stupid and utterly absurd. Second the GFDL requires the entire history in case of text this would be also the diff otherwise you could not tell "five of the principal authors" etc. which are also required by the title page. So in case of binary you would need to also provide all binary versions because a diff would not work. That is why the GFDL is considered to be more "viral" than other licenses. Keeping the derivative work but deleting the original on commons and putting the original somewhere else would not only violate the fact the history is not preserved but it would put the whole purpose of the wikimedia commons in question. --Paddy (talk) 21:31, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
The GFDL does not require diffs. The history is based off the same feature in the GNU GPL, and no one has ever argued that the GNU GPL requires keeping old version around. "History" here means a changelog, not every copy of every version put out. If you check out the GNU FTP site (and the other page on their site), you'll notice that the FSF didn't bother keeping the first version of the C compiler, and many intermediate versions are also missing.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:16, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Japanese outdoors artworks

According to COM:FOP#Japan, photos of outdoors artworks in Japan are restricted to non-commercial usage. However, Takabeg made an interesting point in a deletion request (Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Statue of William S. Clark (Hitsujigaoka observation hill)) suggesting that the non-commercial restriction only applies if the unique purpose of taking a photo of the artwork is to sell the photo. If someone uploads a photo to Commons, there might be other purposes (for example to illustrate a Wikipedia article), and it seems as if those photos might be exempt from the non-commercial restriction. This is an interesting observation which could lead to a change in policy. It would be nice to hear the opinion of other people in the deletion request. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:24, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Non-commercial restriction applies to use, not to the author's motivation (which is impossible to find out, anyway). If an artwork is non-free, then it can be uploaded locally for the purpose of illustrating the subject. This observation has been made many times and it is (IMO) useless for any serious discussion about copyleft. Commons itself may be exempt from the non-commercial clause (because Wikipedia is a non-commercial project), however, the purpose of this project is not to host "pictures for Wikipedias", but material that can be re-used freely without restrictions. What you propose is to change the core goal of this project which I don't think will happen (and shouldn't happen). See also my reply at the deletion request page. — Yerpo Eh? 13:25, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
This issue is not so simple. Do you know this precedent ? The defendant (publisher) used the photograph of a fine art on public bus that was drawn by the plaintiff. The court permitted the commercial use by defendant. And, at present, the concept of De minimis (僅少ルール) is not applied in practice. This concept (rule) had been discussed in a subcommittee of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, but it didn't be introduced to the rules regulated by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Anyway, Commons:Project scope/Precautionary principle is important in any case. Takabeg (talk) 01:35, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
What do you think of them ? Now following DRs related with Article 45 & 46 are not closed. I believe that we have to decide by common criteria. The double standards must not be applied to them.

Takabeg (talk) 07:18, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

File:POP LOGO.jpg

Is this logo eligible for copyrights in Slovenia? --George Ho (talk) 20:29, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

There is no entry for Slovenia at COM:TOO, so it could probably be assumed that no one knows. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:57, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

The concept of "Threshold of originality" is not present in Slovene copyright law. — Yerpo Eh? 13:28, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Does it imply: threshold of originality is very low enough to be copyrighted? --George Ho (talk) 19:28, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
The Berne Convention says that copyright protection only is required for literary and artistic works. The copyright laws of most if not all countries mirror that by only providing protection for such works, although "literary and artistic works" may be defined differently in different countries. It can almost certainly be assumed that there is some threshold of originality in all countries, including Slovenia, under which a work isn't considered to be an "artistic or literary work," but without any references to real court cases, it wouldn't be possible to know what the threshold is. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:36, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Now this logo is nominated for deletion in Commons:Deletion requests/Logos of Slovenia. --George Ho (talk) 04:22, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

File:Gesio giew2.jpg

Can anyone verify for me if this is or isn't a legitimate license on this page? Declaring something a "national heritage" doesn't mean it's public domain. However if it was first published in Poland without a copyright notice, then it is indeed free. But we must prove that by means of where it was first published with consent of the heirs (I don't know how Polish law works if it is published outside of their consent). Magog the Ogre (talk) 04:43, 2 March 2012 (UTC)


File:Canal+.svg (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs)

Is this logo eligible for copyrights in France? --George Ho (talk) 09:33, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

There is no entry for France at COM:TOO, so it could probably be assumed that no one knows. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:59, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Copyright restored in Ukraine? Please, help

This deletion request questions validity of {{PD-Ukraine}} at least for some works covered by this. Please help resolve that issue. A.J. (talk) 20:58, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

That looks to have been deleted in error, unless it was a work published posthumously. The Ukraine extended their terms from 50pma to 70pma in 2001, however, it was not retroactive, per section IV(4): It shall be established that as from the day on which this Law enters into force, the terms of copyright protection, stipulated in Article 28 of this Law and parts 1 and 2 of Article 44 of this Law, shall apply in all cases where the 50-year period of copyright validity after the author's death or the period of validity of related rights has not expired prior to the date of entry into force of this Law. So, the nominator was not aware of the full scope of the law, and {{PD-Ukraine}} looks to be correct. Since the author died before 1946, there should be no URAA issues either. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:57, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Small correction. The Final Provisions belong to Section VI (6, on page 41), not Section IV (4). I read it. It's worth noting also that Article 28.-7. covers the following exception. "Copyright in a work that was first published within 30 years of the author's death shall remain in effect for 70 years after the date of lawful publication of the work." So therefore, it is important to know where the published image originated from in order to use it. But please, type into your search box the phase "Soviet" as mentioned in the {{PD-Ukraine}}. Not a single instance could be found in the entire document. A. Kupicki (talk) 02:32, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Section IV(6) is noting similar non-retroactivity for foreign works inside Ukraine; Section IV(4) seems to be for Ukrainian works in particular and makes reference to the terms in article 28. Going by this copy of the 2001 law, anyways. If the copyright had expired by 2001, its copyright was not restored. Yes, there are potential complications with posthumous works (as noted by {{PD-Ukraine}}, but the term would likely be limited at 50 years, not the 70 indicated in the new law. So, the important part would be to see the terms in the earlier law, as the ones you quote above are only applicable if the work was still under copyright under the old law in 2001. I think the Ukrainian version of the older law is here, which I *think* says 50 years from publication if published within 30 years of the author's death. Otherwise (published > 30, or before death) the terms were 50 pma. So, if works by this author were first published in 1950, they would still have expired by 2001 and would not be restored (though that particular situation would be a U.S. issue with the URAA). Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:48, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
As for Soviet, that gets into a tangled issue. The Ukrainian law does claim works made by citizens or permanent residents of the Ukraine -- obviously, the Ukraine was part of the USSR at one time, and thus Ukrainian copyright will include works made during the Soviet era. Additionally, there is some question about USSR works being "simultaneously published" in all the SSRs when looked at from today's perspective, which can affect some treatment of works by foreign countries under the Berne Convention or the U.S. URAA "source country" definitions. In other words, for the URAA, some Soviet works will be determined to be the Ukraine as the country with the "greatest contacts" with the work, thus making the Ukraine the "source country" for URAA purposes per U.S. law. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:55, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Wait a minute, are you saying that a Soviet work might be determined as having been published concurrently in all SSRs? This makes s:Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works/Articles 1 to 21#Article 5 4a very interesting: "in the case of works published simultaneously in several countries of the Union which grant different terms of protection, the country whose legislation grants the shortest term of protection". How does the URAA determine the copyright status in the source country if two Soviet republics have the same copyright term? Let's say that a Soviet works entered the public domain on 1 January 1998 in PD-old-50 countries and it is determined as concurrently published in Belarus (URAA date: 12 December 1997) and Azerbaijan (URAA date: 4 June 1999). Would such a work be protected in the United States under the URAA? --Stefan4 (talk) 09:54, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
The possibility has been brought up before. It is one way to look at things when a country breaks up in multiple countries, and items had been considered published in the entire original country prior to that. Although, each SSR was their own republic, and they did each have their own copyright law (which had to conform to the general USSR one) -- not sure if they would have been considered separate countries. It would come up when a country would have to determine the country of origin when applying the rule of the shorter term -- I'm not aware of a test case, so it remains theoretical. The URAA does not use that definition though; in a "simultaneous publication" situation they use the country with the "greatest contacts with the work". More of a common-sense thing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:13, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
I still don't understand on what grounds, our own Template:PD-Ukraine speaks of "Soviet work", whereas the Ukrainian copyright law does not speak it once. I'm sure the lawmakers did not forget their own Soviet history and did not make that omission by accident. It was intentional. Therefore, in our template the "Soviet" should be replaced with the "Soviet-Ukrainian" at the least, not to be confused with the "Soviet-Russian". It was a Republic after all, separate in many respects but one. A. Kupicki (talk) 05:01, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Sure, that'd be fine, or "Ukrainian SSR". I think it was just to clarify it covered old works as well, not just works created in the Ukraine since independence. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:05, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your support on this, Carl Lindberg. I think, "Ukrainian SSR" sounds more professional. I like that. Now, we can go back to the original issue of my Deletion requests for File:Бой_Максима_Кривоноса_с_Иеремией_Вишневецким.jpg. The Article 28.-7 of Ukraine Law on Copyright and Related Rights states: "Copyright in a work that was first published within 30 years of the author's death shall remain in effect for 70 years after the date of lawful publication of the work." Mykola Samokysh (Николай Самокиш) died in 1944. His painting mentioned above was published several times within 30 years of his death. It appeared in Большая Советская Энциклопедия (БСЭ). Here's the link to all of editions during his lifetime and well beyond. Quoted dates include 1926–1947, 1950–1958, and 1969–1978: "Первое издание было выпущено с 1926 по 1947 гг. Второе издание Большой Советской Энциклопедии было выпущено с 1950 по 1958 гг. Третье издание БСЭ, представленное на данном сайте было выпущено с 1969 по 1978 годы." The painting by Samokysh copyrighted and featured in the Soviet Encyclopedia is described in detail at Илюстрация "Самокиш Н. С. «Бой Максима Кривоноса с Иеремией Вишневецким»" в Большой Советской Энциклопедии with the following caption: "Н. С. Самокиш. «Бой Максима Кривоноса с Иеремией Вишневецким». 1934. Музей украинского искусства УССР. Киев." By all means, it is still protected by Ukraine copyright law extending all the way to "Ukrainian SSR". A. Kupicki (talk) 06:59, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
*First* published. That clause does not apply if a work was published during the author's lifetime -- it's the first publication which is the critical one. The idea is to give some protection for works only published posthumously. Since it was published during his lifetime, the copyright therefore expired on January 1, 1995 and was not restored when the terms were extended in 2001. And like I said earlier, even if the first publication occurred in 1950, the earlier law just said *50* years from publication, if first published in the 30 years following death, and that would have expired on January 1, 2001, and would also have remained public domain despite the law change later in 2001. Only copyrights which still subsisted during the year in 2001 got extended. So, if this author had a work which was first published in 1951, then it would have still been copyrighted through 2001, and so would have gotten extended to the 70 years, and its copyright would then expire on January 1, 2022. But again, that is only if the *first* publication occurred in that year; if first published during the author's lifetime (by far the most common situation), the term was a straight 50pma, and only authors who died in 1951 and later got such works extended to 70pma. Carl Lindberg (talk) 09:40, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Clarification. I said, Samokysh copyrighted painting appeared in Большая Советская Энциклопедия (БСЭ) which was published during his lifetime and beyond. I didn't actually say that the Soviet Encyclopedia published his painting during his lifetime simply because the source (above) does not specify that. I don't know when the Encyclopedia featured his painting for the first time. It might have been in its 1950–1958 edition, or perhaps in its 1969–1978 edition, both published after his death. My feeling is that the 1926–1947 edition probably didn't include his work yet. Would you please help me search for the correct answer? A. Kupicki (talk) 15:26, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough, but it seems pretty unlikely that someone who was given an award by Stalin would not have had it published, one way or another, at the time. I'm afraid I'm not great at searching Ukrainian or Russian language stuff, and there is probably relatively little available on Google Books (particularly stuff which is visible). Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:17, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Anyhow, the painting "Бой Максима Кривоноса" was produced in 1934. The artwork didn't exist until eight years after the launch of the Soviet Encyclopedia, printed volume by volume for the next twenty years. It is fair to assume it is copyright protected, based on Article 28.-7 of Ukraine Law on Copyright. We have concrete proof that it was published there after the author's death (link). A. Kupicki (talk) 16:55, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
  • How did you come to this conclusion? The painting is oil on canvas, and it belongs to the State Museum of Ukrainian Art in Kiev (and is attributed as such in GSE). Since Samokish was a pretty famous artist in thew 1930s, it is more logical to assume that the painting was bought by/given to the museum right after it was created.--Ymblanter (talk) 18:00, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't think it's fair to assume that at all. I think it's fair to assume it was published in his lifetime (he lived 10 years beyond that, not sure why he would make the painting then keep it private), in which case copyright expired in 1995. More technically, it probably expired a lot earlier, got restored in 1993 when the Ukraine enacted their law, and expired again in 1995. It does not matter in the least if it was published after the author's death, provided it was published before that. Is there *any* indication that the author kept this painting private, such that it was only make public many years after his death, i.e. only after 1950? Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:07, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I said, we have a concrete proof that the work was published in the Soviet Encyclopedia within 30 years after the author's death (see Article 28.-7 from above). Everything else is crystal-balling. A. Kupicki (talk) 01:58, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • We do not have any proof it was the first publication, and most likely it was not.--Ymblanter (talk) 08:38, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oh, and did I mention the crystal-balling? A. Kupicki (talk) 12:02, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • There is no way the encyclopedia was the first publication. It would have to be a well-known work for it to be put there in the first place. Honestly... there is rarely 100% certainty, and sometimes we do make reasonable assumptions. If you can find any reference that it was only published posthumously, that would change things, certainly. In this case though, it seems a virtual certainty that it was published during the author's lifetime. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:17, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Does not first public exhibition make a "publication" of oil painting? Do you actually need to create a printed reproduction of painting to consider it "published" in terms of Ukraine law? A.J. (talk) 14:54, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Exhibits are irrelevant here. The copyright concerns the reproductions of paintings and the legal and moral right to benefit from their distribution. The artwork came into being during the darkest days of Stalinist terror in the Soviet Union, and only one year after the famine-genocide in Ukraine resulting in near collapse of its economy. To assert that it might have been published before the author's death shows little understanding for what went on during the Great Purge economically. The painting is copyright protected based on facts available to us at this time. However, it might not be, if additional facts are presented to us at a later time. A. Kupicki (talk) 01:11, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
According to his Wiki article, the author received the Stalin Prize in 1941. Whatever the overall situation, it would seem that this particular artist had Stalin's favor at the time. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:34, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Pictogram-voting-question.svg  Question . Did his anti-Polish war painting contribute to Samokysh receiving the Stalin Prize in 1941 following the 1939 invasion of Poland and the German Operation Barbarossa? I'd say, substantially. But was it commissioned by the Encyclopedia around 1934 considering its highly politicized character? We don't know that. Please keep in mind also the mind boggling scope of Polish operation of the NKVD in 1937 extended mostly to Ukraine? Needless to say, these scenarios have no actual bearing on the Ukraine copyright law of today. A. Kupicki (talk) 16:23, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
This is not a question of Soviet history, the question is what we consider «publication of a painting». This painting was acquired by the Museum of Ukrainian Art between 1935 and 1937 (see museum website). Can we consider a painting in a museum collection «published» or it has to be published in printed/electronic form? (Ukrainian law explicitly states «published / опублікований» and not «promulgated / оприлюднений») I don't have any exact information but this painting was bought after national exhibition (most likely one held in 1935, as one held in 1937 was dedicated to Socialist Ukraine), thus it is likely to be published in some exhibiton catalogue, but it will be very difficult to find this catalogue now — NickK (talk) 16:36, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
The Ukrainian law of 1993 does contain a definition of publication. I believe it includes works given to an archive, where anyone can come and examine it, and make copies. So if the museum allowed photography, yes, that would probably be publication. The painting was certainly not kept private. And yes, particularly given that it was in the museum, the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of it being published prior to 1951. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:06, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Please give us some facts, or this discussion will never end. Within 30 years of the author's death in 1944, the 1934 painting was published in the Soviet Encyclopedia. There's no proof of an earlier commercial print in compliance with Article 28.-7 of Ukraine Law on Copyright. The image appears to be lifted from a webpage in breach of our basic licensing policy. And, why exactly did you mention the year of 1951? A. Kupicki (talk) 19:14, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg 


Please archive this discuccion to PD-Ukraine's template talk as soon as it's finished. A.J. (talk) 09:55, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

I think if it was hanging on a wall in public at the exhibition in 1935 and later in the museum from 1937 on, this is publication. (Though indeed the photo could have been additionally published in a catalogue - but we can not require the publication of a photo, otherwise, for instance, nothing was published before the 1840 in this sense).--Ymblanter (talk) 17:15, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Books containing art were published since the Guttenberg; and sold, because books are published in order to be sold. However, the main concern of modern copyright law is only the exclusive right to commercial distribution of their contemporary photo-reproductions. No uploads of copyright protected art are allowed in Commons. A. Kupicki (talk) 19:14, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
It's not since Guttenberg that books with art were published. There was no mean to reproduce art before the middle of XIX century, it eas impossible to print a book with images of paintings in some museum. It is pretty difficult to verify the work of museum administration in the 1930s and 1940s. We can't know if the museum sold any reproductions or catalogues. We can't control if the museum allowed photography and if any photograph made a photo and published it. We have no idea if any newspaper of the world used a photo of this painting to illustrate an article about national exhibition. Of course, you can check it if you want. Look for newspaper archives of the 1930s and 1940s and check all newspapers, check all the photo archives to find out if any photgraph deposed his photo of this painting, look in the National Library if this museum published any catalogues. Probably in a few months you will have a result. Congratulations, you have undeleted one painting of one artist. You have still thousands of similar cases to prove.
This is just to prove that if a public display is not enough to be considered «published», we have a new perfect argument for copyright trolls. Even if it's a perfect PD (author died, say, in 1930s) you still can delete almost any image. It is especially perfect for architecture and sculpture: you don't even need FOP issues, you can just ask to give the date when a building was published. If not, you can state that you suppose the worst case and the building is still copyrighted as it was published 29,9 years by your uncle's father-in-law, and so you can delete almost every non-literary work by authors dead between 1916 and 1946 ((2001-URAA=1996)-50 years-30 years).
I don't think we need this kind of trolling. We are sure this painting was already publicly displayed before author's death, and this clause is to protect posthumously published works which were unknown before author's death and not to search publications of the buildings... — NickK (talk) 23:23, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Exactly, and the same situation is with buildings: this sort of copyright trolling would require finding out when a photo of the building was published, not when the building was constructed in a public place.--Ymblanter (talk) 06:32, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Compliance with the copyright law is the reason why we can have the Battle of Grunwald along with the whole gallery of paintings by Matejko in Commons, but we don't have a single artwork by the immensely prolific Lempicka from the 1930s. As of now, Samokysh has only a small stub in English, because this discusion is not about him. It is about the portrayal of history exemplified by his 1934 painting used in some Wikis for POV pushing. Please don't forget, Commons is a public institution, not a personal website. A. Kupicki (talk) 16:23, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for giving an explicit motivation of this discussion. Now I see that the reason for this discussion was not some problems with copyright in Ukraine, but your attitude to this painting. Of course, the vision of a painter is almost always a POV, and you don't like Samokysh's POV, preferring Lempicka's vision. As Lempicka's works are copyrighted, you want to delete Samokysh's works as well. No one can make you use some particular image, if you don't like some image, just don't use it in your article. If you are the only one who dislikes this image, probably it's your personal problem — NickK (talk) 13:39, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

А может стоит обсуждать советское авторское право на русском? Во-первых не будет трудностей перевода, во вторых больше участников поучаствуют в дискуссии.--Anatoliy (talk) 22:30, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

I think the problem is that most participants in this discussion don't speak Russian, so that would cause problems for other people instead. For example, I had to use Google Translate in order to decipher your message. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:52, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
If someone can only participate in Russian, please do so -- we can use Google Translate, or perhaps someone who knows both languages can translate certain sections if they are critical. I think the earlier version of the Ukraine law is here (in Ukrainian). Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:34, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Male (Mars) symbol

File:Male.svg (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs)

Is this eligible or ineligible, regardless of how common this symbol is? --George Ho (talk) 09:56, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

A particular fancy ornamental elaboration of the symbol could be copyrighted, but I don't see how the basic traditional geometric symbol can be copyrighted... AnonMoos (talk) 10:07, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
P.S. I thought it was evident that the "07:21, 20 June 2011" version of File:How-to-get-your-ex-back-tips.gif was such a fancy ornamental elaboration (and only uploaded that version because I thought that the file was going to be deleted), but others insisted that it was uncopyrightable... AnonMoos (talk) 10:14, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
What about derivatives: File:Gay male flag.png (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs) and File:Gay Male.png (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs)? --George Ho (talk) 10:31, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Why would that make a difference? If something is PD, so is a copy. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:30, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Now they are both tagged with "PD-ineligible". --George Ho (talk) 22:31, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
That was probably appropriate in this case (at least the first one), but... just because something makes use of PD elements does not necessarily make the result PD. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:43, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
In other words, anything with PD elements may or may not be copyrighted; nevertheless, both do not pass threshold of originality, do they? Was I wrong to tag the second one? --George Ho (talk) 23:09, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Something which takes PD elements and adds something copyrightable to them would be copyrightable on the basis of those additions -- does not change the status of the original, of course. There is also something called a "selection and arrangement" copyright; even if made up of purely PD elements, if they are arranged in a creative manner, that can also give rise to a copyright. In these two cases, there's really no arrangement (usually it would take arranging of several elements -- for example, the order of songs on an album), and I suspect you are probably right when it comes to these, but some countries might recognize some copyright in the way the second one was combined (perhaps the exact way the shadow was done, or something like that).
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Clindberg (talk • contribs) 2012-03-03T23:19:45 (UTC)
A simple example of how a combination of PD items becomes non-PD: a 1x1 pixel image in any colour is {{PD-ineligible}}. A photo uploaded to Commons in JPEG format is a collage of thousands or millions of such public domain 1x1 pixel images in different colours. Obviously, the final product usually isn't in the public domain, so something in the arrangement of the PD things makes it copyrighted. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:26, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

A little off-topic, but do both flags qualify for {{insignia}}? --George Ho (talk) 00:15, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

{{Insignia}} is not a licence but tag which adds extra restrictions, similar to {{trademarked}} and {{Nazi symbol}}. There is as far as I know no entity which uses the homosexuality flag as its official flag or coat of arms (although homosexual people frequently use the flag informally) so I don't see why {{insignia}} would be appropriate. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:21, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

File:Foreign Correspondent trailer 16 McCrea crop.jpg

File:Foreign Correspondent trailer 16 McCrea crop.jpg (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs)

I'm not sure if I must call the trailer a PD work, even if the copyright notice is absent. It is a trailer, a mere derivative work by the film studio or distributor, of then-unpublished movie, subject to state or common laws before w:Copyright Act of 1976. Were or are still they part of copyright? For example, an image from that trailer may or may not be free. --George Ho (talk) 23:20, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

It's not true, as the image's info page says, that all trailers are necessarily PD. But if there was no copyright notice, or the trailer was not renewed, then it is PD. You can't be a derivative work of an unpublished work, at least not pre-1976. If the trailer was out first, it was an independent work.--Prosfilaes (talk) 06:33, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Totem pole: possible copyright issue?

This weekend a major totem pole was erected in Seattle (see, for example, I took several hundred photos at the event; I'd like to upload 300 or so to Commons. It's quite a good collection, including many Northwest Natives in full regalia, people pulling on ropes to raise a totem pole, prominent people who attended the event, etc.

Would there be a copyright concern with the fact that in some of the photos - especially those around the actual raising - the pole itself is inevitably visible, comparably to the photo in the article I linked above. It would seem to me a pity to have to omit the actual raising of the pole in a photo set around the raising, but I understand that Commons extremely strict precautionary principle may make that inevitable. - Jmabel ! talk 06:42, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Currently uploading to a Flickr set so these can be looked at and discussed. - Jmabel ! talk 16:02, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

A good example of the sort of image on which I'd like a call. - Jmabel ! talk 16:11, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
In my opinion, it is a 3-D object, therefore its photographic reproduction falls under freedom of panorama. Plus, on a wide enough shot, you could also argue that it's de minimis. — Yerpo Eh? 16:55, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Freedom of panorama in the US only covers buildings, not statues, sculptures, and other works of art. Since it's a new work, it's copyrighted by the creator, and can only be included if it's de minimis. cmadler (talk) 17:08, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Here's an an example (just uploaded) of what would pretty much maximally raise the issue. Yerpo: as I understand it, there is no general freedom of panorama for sculptures in the U.S. The fact that it is 3-D is irrelevant. It would be a question (I think) of whether the photo is seen as mainly a depiction of the artwork or of the event. Also, with totem poles, always some question of level of copyrightability: this incorporates three major totem symbols, the newest of which is over a century old, but of course the artists work their own variations on those. - Jmabel ! talk 17:06, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Cmadler: Right. And I don't feel qualified to decide whether these are de minimis or not. I'm looking for someone else's judgment on that. - Jmabel ! talk 01:13, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Can we agree that these are de minimis?

Do people agree that this one would be de minimis? I really want to give at least one shot of people raising the pole. And maybe this to show it in position without showing too much copyrighted artwork? - Jmabel ! talk 07:39, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

If Commons:De minimis#An example is correct, I think the inclusion of the totem pole in your photos is probably not de minimis. cmadler (talk) 14:27, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
It looks as if the main purpose of taking that photo was to take a photo of the totem pole, so I would say that it is not de minimis. However, COM:TOO#United States, and in particular the first two examples, looks interesting. Is this a faithful reproduction of an ancient totem pole without any originality in the reproduction? In that case, it may be {{PD-US}} combined with {{PD-ineligible}}. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:35, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
My understanding is that it is not a faithful reproduction of any other totem pole, and therefore there is a copyright in the new creation. cmadler (talk) 15:04, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Definitely not a reproduction. The middle totem of the three major totems in the pole is specific to the Williams family.
Sounds like we can't use this. Really too bad. I'm a little surprised that's the verdict on the one showing it just starting to be raised: the picture is mainly about what the people are doing, and little more is visible there than would be in an image with a Gaussian blur on an art object. - Jmabel ! talk 16:01, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Someone other than me should probably take a look at what I've done at Category:John T. Williams Memorial Totem Pole. I believe I've stayed entirely within Commons's scope. There are a few shots where very small portions of the totem pole itself are visible. I believe the largest portions visible are in File:Raising John T. Williams Memorial Totem Pole 032.jpg and File:Raising John T. Williams Memorial Totem Pole 013.jpg, which seem to me to be clearly de minimis. - Jmabel ! talk 03:07, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Can "old" book pages use PD-art?

In a FAC discussion related to an article which uses File:St Cuthbert Gospel - f.1.jpg, I was confused if using PD-art is the right tag for such a file. Should simply PD be used OR are such cases regarded PD at all? --Redtigerxyz (talk) 16:13, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

I think that the picture shows too many 3D things. I'd say that {{PD-art}} applies if you cut it so that only the page with the text is contained in the picture. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:33, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it matters much here. What is not "flat" is de minimis anyway. There could be different cases obviously. Yann (talk) 17:07, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
A 3D frame of a painting is not considered to be de minimis according to {{non-free frame}} and this would appear to be an identical situation. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:50, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
How identical? The only 3-D elements are damage and the edges of a page or two behind, which are only there as the book is too fragile to open fully. This is pretty common on imagers of manuscript pages and is usually disregarded as far as I'm aware. That's very different from a frame which is obviously 3-D and intended to be seen round the image. Johnbod (talk) 10:24, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
There is nothing non-essential and decorative in that image and any such disclaimers and tags should be removed. This is clearly PD-art. De728631 (talk) 21:22, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

French copyright concerns

I'm guiding a group of French students in France to create French commune articles for Simple English Wikipedia. I plan to have them photograph distinctive features in their communes, usually churches, and include old black and white postcards. The postcards are mostly made before the the 20th century but rarely have a date. One French teacher warned me about a law protecting images of national monuments. Everything I have found here at this site indicates that this rule doesn't apply for what we've planned. The postcards are another issue but the older cards are long past any forbidden dates that I have read here. Am I understanding it all correctly? If so, how should I donate the postcards? They are not my work of course. Thanks,

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Mlane78212 (talk • contribs)
Bonjour, Effectivement, le droit d'auteur en France est très restrictif pour les oeuvres architecturales. Il faut que l'architecte soit mort depuis plus de 70 ans pour qu'un bâtiment soit dans le domaine public. Il n'y a pas non plus d'exceptions pour les photos prises dans le domaine public, comme c'est le cas dans d'autres pays européens. De plus, Commons applique le principe de précaution, et n'accepte les images que si toutes les informations sont connues, ce qui pose souvent un problème pour les cartes postales anciennes. Cordialement, Yann (talk) 14:48, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
- Merci - Mlane (talk) 13:25, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Pbuh.png

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Pbuh.png This file is currently is an issue in an EnWiki content discussion, any thoughts on whether this file is proper? Thanks. Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:45, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Insignia licensing

I notice that insignia such as File:Escudo-UdeA.svg (University of Antioquia seal) and File:Flag of New York.svg (NYS flag) are hosted on Commons. Does that mean that other old university seals (like w:File:Cornell Seal.svg) can be hosted here as well? —Eustress talk 09:51, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

The flag of New York and coat of arms of Universidad de Antioquia are both public domain based on their age. If the Cornell emblem (file seems to be misnamed, see also en:File:Cornell emblem.png) is also public domain, it can be hosted on Commons. However, the current licensing information on Wikipedia indicates that the emblem is copyrighted. According to the university, the emblem was "developed in 1910 and refined in 1930" [4], so you would need to check for copyright registration (and if initially registered, for renewal) on the 1930 version, and ensure that it hasn't been further changed since then. cmadler (talk) 17:21, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Additionally, each drawing of a seal like that could have its own copyright, depending on who drew it. I'm a little suspicious of the Antioquia seal, as the vectorization may have its own copyright, but the New York flag was released to the public domain by its author (the person who drew it), so that is fine. Particularly for the U.S., the odds that logos and seals of that type were published without a copyright notice prior to 1989 are very high, so most likely it is PD -- but it helps to actually find evidence of that. And even if it is, it's probably best to not take a modern version off of someone else's website, or someone else's vectorization. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:20, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

International publishing

As we all know, US copyright terms depend heavily on whether something was published. What happens if something first appeared outside the United States and the local definition of "publication" differs from the US definition? For example, I seem to understand that the Berne Convention states that erecting a statue does not constitute publication, but under US law, a statue erected before 1978 would generally be published. Due to Berne Convention rules, I would assume that a statue erected in France or Japan wouldn't be seen as published in the source country. Would such a statue still be treated as a published statue in the United States? --Stefan4 (talk) 12:51, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

File:Taylor, Elizabeth posed.jpg

Why was this photo awarded a Featured Picture and Valued Image? Dr. Macro page did not specify what year this photo was taken, and Visitor Agreement did not specify whether a non-profit purpose is allowed. No evidence that this photo was taken before 1964. --George Ho (talk) 08:37, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

It is not a Featured Picture on Commons. Yann (talk) 10:58, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Comes from the same photo shoot as this photo on Getty's site, which is identified as a studio shot from about 1955. I think it is rather safe to think the photo was from before 1964 -- should be pretty apparent from just looking at it and comparing with other photos of her -- and the Macro site owner does not own any of the copyright (they made a scan and uploaded it), so I'm not sure their site terms have any real effect (and Commons is not a commercial use anyways). Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:36, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Created before 1964? Obviously. Published before 1964? Likely, but not that obvious. First published in the US? Not obvious at all. The license template in the description is a pure guesswork. I don't understand why standard of proof that is generally so high on Commons is so low for these "publicity photos". Trycatch (talk) 15:57, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
I believe the site in question scans copies of actual publicity photos they have. Unfortunately, the site doesn't tend to show the entire item they have, to show lack of copyright notice, and that kind of thing, from what I see. The odds that it remained unpublished, or was first published outside the U.S., are pretty remote. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:59, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Can I nominate it for deletion? --George Ho (talk) 21:58, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
I suppose you could nominate anything for deletion. I'd vote keep on it though, based on what we know about it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:50, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
✓  Done --George Ho (talk) 23:02, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Logo license question

Greetings. I am trying to use the upload wizard to add a company logo, which I understand should be possible if I use "non-free logo" and give appropriate non-free use rationale, and keep the image low-res. A logo for the company already exists on its article, but needs updating as they have recently re-designed it. However, the wizard does not let me get past the license step as it's a says I have a used a non-free use license. Can anyone help me? Thanks. --Gilgongo (talk) 23:43, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

You are on Wikimedia Commons, which is a shared repository used by many projects, and non-free works are not allowed here at all, which is why you can't proceed any further. Such images must be uploaded on the specific project where they are used, such as the English Wikipedia -- their upload link is at w:Wikipedia:Upload. You can also locate the image page, then use the "Upload a new version of this file" link near the bottom. If it's a completely different logo, it may be best to upload under a new filename, and change the links in the article. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:04, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Ah OK, thanks. --Gilgongo (talk) 11:43, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

File:Da 01 sml.jpg

Can someone more experienced with licensing please check out the above image. The manually written limitation to promotional use appears to conflict with the licensing tag allowing the image to be used for any purpose. ClaretAsh (talk) 23:30, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Now proposed for deletion here. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:54, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Template:PD-EU-no author disclosure and war time images of nazis

Template:PD-EU-no author disclosure can be used in images with no author in EU and older than 70 years as in File:Eichmann, Adolf.jpg. Can this template be used also in other old images ex. en:File:Müller, Heinrich.jpg and transfer them to commons?--RicHard-59 (talk) 11:05, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

It is possible that the mentioned Heinrich Müller file may qualify as {{PD-EU-no author disclosure}}, but that doesn't automatically eligible for Commons because those images usually are copyrighted in the United States. If you wish to move a {{PD-EU-no author disclosure}} file to Commons, you must confirm that the file's United States copyright was administered by the Alien Property Custodian during World War II and that the copyright holder after World War II would be some government. If this is not the case, the image is copyrighted in the United States and can't be moved here. I assume that the Adolf Eichmann photo should be deleted from Commons unless you have some additional information about its origin. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:42, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
en:File:Eichmann, Adolf.jpg was tagged with "Transfer to Commons"-tag, when I used "Move-to-commons assistant" it added that "PD-EU-no author disclosure" on it. I have no other info about file, just transfered it to commons.--RicHard-59 (talk) 13:49, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Those images can be used in country-wikis here in Europe with template mentioned?--RicHard-59 (talk) 14:43, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
A "move to Commons" tag on English Wikipedia does not necessarily mean that the image is compatible with Commons. Bots have placed those tags on all images unless they have tags stating that the image is incompatible with Commons. In many cases, it turns out that the claimed copyright information simply is wrong, and it is always necessary to check the information before moving something here. I understand that copyright laws may be complex, confusing and difficult to understand, and it is sometimes hard to know if a file really is compatible with Commons. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:38, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Its also possible that the claim of unknown authorship is simply not true. Or not even established, as for File:Eichmann, Adolf.jpg. The uploader copied the image from a website. The website credits no author. Is that enough to claim {{PD-EU-Anonymous}} or {{PD-EU-no author disclosure}}? No. Who scanned the photo and from what publication this photo came to the internet? Can this person confirm that at the print version not contains any author information? That would be the very first question to ask. The photo wasnt published first online, so refering only to some online publication cant be enough to verify that the author never disclosed identity in conection with a publication of this photo.
Or for this photo simply see Bavarian State Library (Bild: hoff-895) crediting Heinrich Hoffman as the author... --Martin H. (talk) 17:26, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Batch uploading/

Could someone please comment on the licensing questions related to raster and vector versions? --Leyo 16:00, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Best status tag for this photo?

The uploader of this photograph apparently interpreted the author's permission as a release to the public domain, but it looks more like a free license. What status tag do you think is best? I changed the tag to "Copyrighted free use provided that". But do not hesitate to change it back to public domain if you think it is or to change it to something else if there is a bettter solution. -- Asclepias (talk) 01:00, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Is the licence free enough? It would appear that any Wikipedia article would need a link to that web site in its image caption, but images normally don't get attribution this way. --Stefan4 (talk) 01:02, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Interesting. I don't think it can really be called PD; they are asking for credit. The wording may be problematic. Maybe it would be best to contact to clarify whether the image-page credit is enough to satisfy their requirement, or maybe even if changing their licensing to be CC-BY (while requiring that URL) would be possible, to remove all doubt. I'd say "copyrighted free use provided that" is probably the most appropriate tag at the moment. Obviously, licenses would also depend on the copyright of the coins and banknotes themselves as well, but a lot of that stuff looks to be rather old, so that's not a concern with this image in particular. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:43, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Ah, I see that the situation touches some other files too and someone (you?) had started discussions about them on en.wikipedia when the files were hosted there. And User:Pyvanet on en.wp said he is the author [5]. So, assuming User:Pyvanet on en.WP was telling the truth, and assuming User:Pyvanet on Commons is the same person, and assuming his statement holds also for the files he uploaded to Commons, then if the author himself placed the PD tag on Commons, it's fine. Now that I look at the upload date and time on the source website and on Commons, it is plausible that the uploader and the author is the same person, although the way the uploader worded the source field leaves the impression that they are different persons. It would be easier for us if he made the whole thing clear on his website or through an OTRS e-mail. Anyway, for now, I'll assume that it's okay and I'll self-revert my edit and leave the original tag. -- Asclepias (talk) 01:50, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Ah -- that makes a bit of a difference ;-) Seems like they are fine. Given the number of images which are available at that site, we may want a custom tag for that, including the link to the author's statement. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:10, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
As to attribution on each page, I remembered a similar case where the author requests mentioning their website everywhere the image is displayed: File:Ruger-lcp-1.jpg. Actually that works quite fine on WP by using a footnote in the image caption. De728631 (talk) 15:26, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Apparently (by their comment) the author is fine with the typical Wikipedia attribution; the wording is more a result of not being all that familiar with copyright idiosyncrasies. That other one you mention is more problematic to me -- what is the permission for non-Wikipedia sites? Did that go through OTRS? Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:47, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

License regarding File:EpidermisPainted.svg

File:EpidermisPainted.svg appears to have a wrong license. The description says that it is a derivative work based on w:en:File:EpidermisPainted.jpg. The image is GFDL/CC dual licensed, but the Commons image is PD. If it is a derivative image, how could this be PD? Shouldn't it be GFDL and/or CC? CC clearly says that you cannot make a derivative image PD, it must be CC or similar. 04:51, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

It should, but that user is no longer active, so deletion may be the only option. The other possibility is that the original work is {{PD-ineligible}} due to being simple, so that its license does not apply, and the license of the new work is valid. We'll see which view prevails in the deletion request. Dcoetzee (talk) 04:54, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

{{PD-Ottoman Empire}}

Isn't the modern Turkish state the legal successor of the Ottoman Empire (unlike the case with Russia)? If so, on what legal basis are Ottoman works in the PD? -- Liliana-60 (talk) 20:55, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

If the Ottoman empire had no copyright protections, then Turkey signing copyright treaties can't retroactively impose them, as far as I can tell... AnonMoos (talk) 01:14, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Why can't it? From what I understand, the en:Treaty of Lausanne made the Republic of Turkey the legal successor of the Ottoman Empire, thus they inherit all the Ottoman works. A later copyright treaty would then, in turn, retroactively protect the Ottoman works too, unless something else was specified in the copyright law (but that would surprise me). -- Liliana-60 (talk) 02:21, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Now at DR: Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-Ottoman Empire -- Liliana-60 (talk) 23:42, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

File:Robert (Bob) Barker - South Dakota's Indian Census Roll; April 1, 1930.jpg

This census document dates back in 1930 and collects data of South Dakota Indian tribe. Is the license accurate? --George Ho (talk) 09:46, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes, as would be {{PD-USGov-DOC-Census}}, and probably {{PD-ineligible}}. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:39, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

License problem ?

Dear Wikipedia's staff, I need to know why the license of the pictures which I uploaded is not good. I putted the license as "OTRS pending". Do I need to put the license in the description also as "OTRS pending" ? I already uploaded 7 pictures to Wikipedia in the same way and they were fully approved (with license and everything), so I don't understand what was wrong this time. I was told that "It has been found that you've added in the image's description only a Template that's not a license and although it provides useful information about the image, it's not a valid license." - doesn't "OTRS pending" a valid license ? I'm waiting for the OTRS team to approve the permission which I sent to their email, so this is the only license I can put.(the files aren't mine, so I sent the author's permission to the OTRS permissions email). Link to one of the files: File:Lady of the Flies Corinne Whitaker.jpg. Please give me a clue what can I do, Guy.e (talk) 18:18, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

The "OTRS pending" sticker is not a license by itself, it is just a note that the author may have sent an email to Wikimedia to confirm any free license given to the images. Please see Commons:Copyright tags for a broad range of possible licenses. Please note also that it is the authors who have to agree with a free license used on Commons, not the uploader. So if you didn't create the images yourself please be sure that we get permission from the original artists. De728631 (talk) 18:48, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for the answer, but how can I tell the OTRS team that I sent them the permission by Email if I won't write the "OTRS pending" license ? The permission which I sent by Email from the artist is Attribution-Sharealike 3.0. I understood from what you have said, that I should change the license to Attribution-Sharealike 3.0. But won't it be deleted until the OTRS team approve the license from my email ? Thank you very much for your support, Guy.e (talk) 07:27, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

You need to list both {{cc-by-sa-3.0}} and {{OTRS pending}}. However, only the former is a licence. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:00, 10 March 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. I did it, I hope the bot will check them and will not delete them now. Guy.e (talk) 11:11, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry for the double post, but can any wikipedia staff remove the deletion tag from my pictures? File:UrnEst_(imaste)_Corinne_Whitaker.jpg File:Metastasis_Corinne_Whitaker.jpg File:Ogre_Corinne_Whitaker.jpg File:CaughtFlatfooted_Corinne_Whitaker.jpg .Thanks Guy.e (talk) 15:59, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Possible copyright problems for works created between 1892 and 1923


Looking through [6], I see a problem that might apply to many files created between 1892 and 1923. Any work created before 1892 definitely in the public domain; however, works created before 1923 are only public domain if they were published before 1923. For books a publication date is fairly straightforward; however, for artistic works (whether they be photographs, paintings, etc.) it seems more complicated. From what I gather, publication as it applies to an artistic work is when the work was "when copies of the first authorized edition were placed on sale, sold, or publicly distributed by the proprietor of the copyright or under his authority". I would think that for most works the date would be hard to ascertain, and many were probably never published in this way. This would seem to indicate, then, that works should be assumed to be copyrighted if:

  • The work was created after 1892
  • The author died after 1942 (or the author's death date it is unknown)
  • There is no evidence that the work was published before 1923
  • If published outside the US, the work was not in the public domain before 1996 (URAA date) in its source country

Not only does this apply to US works, but all foreign works that were not public domain before 1996, since we have to comply with US copyright.

I think this could be a problem for many works on Commons; for example, File:Sholem Aleichem 1907.jpg. Any thoughts? InverseHypercube 00:37, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

What you are writing is not entirely correct since earlier works also may be copyrighted. Take this example: a work was created in the 15th century and remained unpublished until 1 January 2000 when it was published. Such a work would be copyrighted in the United States until the end of 2047 (and in the United Kingdom until the end of 2070). The important thing to consider is that no unpublished works were in the public domain in the United States before 2003. Many old paintings might not have been published until the 20th century and might for that reason be copyrighted even if they are ancient.
Also, unpublished works by someone who died after 1941 are copyrighted regardless of when they were made. Some early ones might have been made before 1892. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:49, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I refuse to stress about 15th century works. Pragmatically, I don't think it will ever be an issue. Theoretically, illegal publication doesn't count and rarely if ever does the publisher of a 15th century work license the copyright from the owner, whoever that might be.--Prosfilaes (talk) 06:52, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree that there is some point back in time where no one will be able to tell who the present copyright holder is, so really old works would never be published with approval by the copyright holder. I just tried to point out that this may be an issue for really old works too (if the copyright holder is identified so that the copyright holder has been able to approve the publication) by using the 15th century case as an example. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:46, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
What you say is largely true, but it's something we've always been aware of. The details are also a lot more complicated -- for example, the term "published" was not defined in the 1909 law; the definition you use is only valid for actions done in 1978 or later. Under 1909, the courts had something similar, but it was more a common-sense meaning. Secondly, 1892 is not a sure thing either -- if something was truly unpublished, it had an infinite copyright, and could still have copyright depending on when it was published. Works created before 1892 are fine if they are published 2003 or later true, unless it was by an individual in which case the terms are 70 pma and 1892 doesn't matter either way. Works first published between 1978 and 2002 are still copyrighted no matter what (unless, of course, they were published before 1989 without a copyright notice). Foreign works are further complicated by the URAA -- for example, if published much later in say 1955, but without a copyright notice, its copyright would lost, and the URAA would then determine if the copyright got restored or not (depends on the laws of the foreign country). U.S. works only published later were still subject to copyright notice and renewal requirements, as well. For the photo you mention... the inscription at the bottom right may well indicate publication at the time. But if there are works you suspect were not published until later, a DR may be appropriate, yes. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:03, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Wow, I didn't realize it was that complicated. Thanks. InverseHypercube 02:13, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
With regard to the example photo of Sholem Aleichem from 1907, I think it highly unlikely that it remained unpublished until 1923. It looks like a publicity photo intended for dissemination and I think it's safe to assume that it was published in the sense of "publicly distributed by the proprietor of the copyright or under his authority" shortly after creation. I think that in such cases, that's the assumption we should make, unless there is some tangible indication of later publication (a very clear case would be a photo taken from a book saying "previously unpublished!", of course). Gestumblindi (talk) 02:21, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, you're probably right. I'm glad I don't have to nominate it for deletion, it's a very nice photo. InverseHypercube 04:18, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Police patches

Hi, can we use these images of Canadian and US police patches? If yes, which license I must to use when uploading them? Kobac (talk) 00:24, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

"Patches - USA (Fed/Nat)": use {{PD-USGov-FBI}} I suppose
"PD-USGov-FBI": I assume that {{PD-CAGov}} and {{PD-FLGov}} would work for patches from California and Florida. Patches from other states would probably only work if they are old enough.
Canada: If the patch was first used in 1945 or earlier, {{PD-Canada-Crown}}+{{PD-1996}} presumably works. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:37, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Sergio Franchi images

I am just uploading my first images and am thoroughly confused! Have read tons of stuff (You say it's Easy, be Bold). I have followed the upload instructions and thought I had completed posting correctly. I have received Bot messages stating I have not given license info, only used a template. I don't find any info in the Bot message helpful. Can someone please help me, because I need these images for three Sergio Franchi articles I am creating on Wikipedia. Thanks, CatherineCathlec (talk) 03:01, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

I got help with the above question on live help. New Question: Can I remove the Bot notice once I have added proper license?Cathlec (talk) 20:47, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, you can remove the bot notice. However, for example in File:Sergio Franchi at MGM Grand Hotel, 1974.jpg, the mentions you had initially included, "Self-scan of photograph in 1974 Souvenir Brochure" and "No author listed", if they are correct, are certainly proper and very useful. Why did you change them? -- Asclepias (talk) 00:15, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

File:Bud Spencer Puffin.jpg

I can´t find the picture on the given source page. --Uwe W. (talk) 09:09, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

The image is posted in numerous places: given the article title in the url it seems unlikely the linked source was the original publication, so its loss has little bearing on anything. Dankarl (talk) 12:41, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
There is a video there but I can't see it. From the description, it is a frame from a 1981 movie or documentary -- I think en:A Friend Is a Treasure. If so, the tags are likely accurate -- PD in Italy (as a frame; the movie itself is not), and copyrighted in the U.S., probably until 2077 (if Corbucci is the copyright owner, then maybe just 2061). I don't see a U.S. registration for it, but if it was a non-U.S. work, then that wouldn't matter. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:54, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Copyright help

Is this image is possible to free use. Because the home website of this image does not show any copyrighted information. --Yjenith (talk) 12:53, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

No. Copyright protection is automatic; it does not have to be declared (the U.S. used to be different, but only before 1989). So, if there is no information on copyright at all, then it's probably fully copyrighted, and we would assume that. We need the author to explicitly give a license. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:22, 16 March 2012 (UTC)


Hi can you please let me know the below two Flickr videos are free to upload in commons?

[7]. The audio is coming from (Swan lee Tomorrow Never Dies)

[8]. Seems no copyrighted audio? so we can upload?

--Yjenith (talk) 17:28, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

The first one... music problematic, and by its description it uses material from , so I'd steer clear. The second one... seems OK maybe unless maybe performer's rights gets in there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:35, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
You'll have to wait until Swan Lee has been dead for at least 70 years. Not sure where the music from the other film comes from or if it is copyrightable.
Not clear where the 3D art comes from. Some game or film? If so, not OK. The video of the other film can maybe be uploaded, no idea about the audio. Not sure if COM:IDENT would be an issue here. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:42, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
It says the 3D art comes from . No clue about their license. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:10, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

Diana Ross film still

item photo front photo back

Just checking on this because it has everything except a date. The film premiered in 1972 and this looks to be part of the pre-promotion publicity for it. Thanks, We hope (talk) 02:06, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

Have to admit, sure looks OK. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:30, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Will be uploading it shortly, then. Thanks! We hope (talk) 18:35, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Wait a minute. These film stills have copyright notices. There is the law from 1909 Act that could make corrections to notice omissions in case of accidental omissions. --George Ho (talk) 21:28, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, someone could have cropped out the bottom and the copyright notice from that copy. See same photo with the notice. -- Asclepias (talk) 21:42, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Now we hope have done it: File:Diana Ross as Billie Holiday Lady Sings the Blues 1972.JPG. --George Ho (talk) 21:46, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Very good catch. Missed that other version. Definitely has a copyright notice on those. Sorry about the reply earlier... I think we need to remove it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:47, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Nominated for deletion: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Diana Ross as Billie Holiday Lady Sings the Blues 1972.JPG. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:41, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Deleted per discussion and uploader's request. --Rosenzweig τ 10:37, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

File:Robert Bales.jpg

Hi. The source of this file lists "AP Photo/DVIDS, Spc. Ryan Hallock". I guess I'm wondering if the PD-USGov thing applies. I did find that DVIDS stands for Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System. Killiondude (talk) 04:34, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it must be public domain. Pictures taken by U.S. military personnel on duty are ineligible for copyright, unless the photographer successfully claims that the photographs were not taken as part of his or her official duties, as put at Template:AbuGhraibPic—Abu Ghraib photos are public domain. —innotata 13:59, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Question re: re-issued photo

The photo shown here originally dates circa 1941-1944 when Skelton and the Nelsons worked together on his first radio show. The re-issue by CBS is from 1967 and knowing the ages of these people, they didn't look like this in 1967. CBS issued the copy of the photo for an appearance the couple made on Skelton's television program in that year. Can this be used as PD-pre 1978 here? Thanks, We hope (talk) 20:25, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Using pictures of others - how to declare their consent

To a biography page, I want to add:

  1. photos. The photos are not mine but the owners agree with my publishing them.
  2. schemes from scientific articles, provided that the authors granted me permission for such an action.

What should I do when uploading the pictures for them not to be questioned later (in terms of copyright)? --Galapah (talk) 11:01, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

See "Commons:OTRS", and feel free to ask more questions here if you are unsure of anything. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:12, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Splendid! Thank you. I'll consider adding this link to some visible spot. I was unable to find this information.--Galapah (talk) 11:17, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Threshold of originality for logos in Switzerland

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Eurovision Song Contest 2012 logo.svg was closed with unanswered question about copyright law in Switzerland. It was established that the logo did not pass the threshold of originality in the United States, as the font was copyrightable, the heart was a simple geometric shape, and the flag within the heart was the PD flag of Azerbaijan. However, the country of origin was determined to be Switzerland, as that is where the European Broadcasting Union is based, and the threshold of originality for logos in this country is unclear. Is anyone knowledgeable of Swiss copyright law available to give some guidance, please?

  • Other similar logos can be found at Category:Logos of Eurovision Contests (which will also face deletion on grounds of uncertainty if this isn't sorted)
  • An actual copy of the logo deleted can be found on the EBU website (note that the logo on Commons only had the text and heart - no fire. The version with the fire was already considered too complex to be public domain)

CT Cooper · talk 21:11, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

It's not very different from the German law and any work requires a minimal threshold of originality to be copyrighted. This threshold is rather high. To give you a comparison, this logos wouldn't be protected by copyright, neither in Germany, Austria or Switzerland. The German Wikipedia itself accepts only images which are free under DACH law (DACH = Germany+Austria+Switzerland), so it would be a good hint to look at this categories and to compare them against other logos. -- /人 ‿‿ 人\ 苦情処理係 23:50, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
Isn't there a risk that the German Wikipedia sometimes makes an incorrect decision about the copyright status of a logo? --Stefan4 (talk) 00:04, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Well sure, but no different than us. If Switzerland does follow the German principle that normal logos are not covered by copyright since trademark protection is more appropriate, which sounds like they do, then we could follow similar rules for their stuff. I think the German copyright level, for logos, is something above the normal level of artwork for logos. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:21, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
The logos in the category linked seem to have only been uploaded with trademark warnings, plus a warning to be careful when transferring them to Commons. The issue for the German Wikipedia seems to be that they will accept logos under the DACH threshold of originality, but don't seem to be concerned with the lower threshold that the US has. Therefore, it looks favorable that this logo will be restored as it is fine in the US, and will be fine in Switzerland too if they have higher standards. CT Cooper · talk 14:53, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
  • The following two decisions by the Supreme Court of Switzerland seem to be relevant here: BGE 113 II 190 (Urheberrecht an Werken der angewandten Kunst) (tangentially relevant because it says that designs can be copyrighted if the designer had enough freedom of choice such that his design is an original creation; the case was about furniture designed by Le Corbusier), and BGE 134 III 547 (Markenschutz für Stuhldesign) (Trademark protection of a chair; relevant because of BGE 134 III 547 S. 550, which says that basically the different IP rights (copyright, design rights, trademarks) are independent and protection under one law does not preclude additional protection under another law, provided that seeking protection under a second law does not undercut the limits of the protection granted by the first law). I have not found a case about the precise question of copyright on a logo; the Swiss appear to be not that litigious, and thus many edge cases that we like to consider here are, as far as I can see, simply not firmly settled in Swiss jurisprudence. Lupo 16:10, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Thank you for your effort in research. On court cases, I had a feeling that there wouldn't be any, since I did a search for information on logos and Swiss copyright case law and found nothing. The lack of court cases means one could argue that it shouldn't be uploaded on grounds of the precautionary principle. The main counter-argument to that being the precedence of DACH - the same logo has already having been uploaded to the German Wikipedia. CT Cooper · talk 19:43, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
    • Pictogram voting comment.svg  Comment How does Commons define the country of origin? It is likely that all of the logos were published concurrently (i.e. within 30 days) in all European countries, and then the Berne Convention would define the country of origin as the country with the shortest term. If Commons uses the same definition of "country of origin" as the Berne Convention, and all of those were published concurrently in all European countries, the country with the shortest term would likely be Germany since the German term presumably is creation+0 years. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:04, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
      • I dimly remember some previous discussion regarding this matter (in the German Wikipedia, I think) which left the question of whether "not eligible for copyright protection at all" is really equal to "shortest term", or whether "shortest term" implies that there has to be a term of copyright protection, so a country which grants no protection for a work from creation wouldn't count. - Anyway, the so-called "DACH" approach in the German Wikipedia is not much more than a false front nowadays, I think, respectively an attempt to cling to an outdated practice which in reality is not valid any longer, as it has been shown with court decisions that even simple text logos are copyrightable in Austria. The situation in the German Wikipedia is now that they claim to adhere to "DACH" law with regard to logos, but in reality it's "DCH" law without the A at the most, if not even just "D" law. But somehow they can't explicitly resolve the discrepancy - on the one hand, they don't want to say outright "we ignore Austrian law" (which is a German-speaking country), but on the other hand it seems it's impossible to get them to delete all logos as a consequence, because they are copyrightable in Austria. The possible third solution, a "fair use" policy, is also blocked, as the German Wikipedia doesn't tolerate any "fair use". See this discussion started in 2010 and still unresolved (the relevant court decisions are mentioned there) as well as this informal survey of editor opinions which also didn't lead to a really helpful result... Gestumblindi (talk) 21:21, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
        • The German text is not easy to read. Does it say that this and this are copyrighted in Austria? It is always a good idea to document some cases of too complex logos so that we know that files uploaded to Commons are less complex than logos ruled as copyrightable. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:39, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, both those logos are protected by Austrian copyright according to the highest regular Austrian court (the Oberster Gerichtshof). --Rosenzweig τ 22:41, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
OK. I have updated the threshold of originality page with a section about this: COM:TOO#Austria. I didn't wish to put it at the top among the logos which are OK since it would be confusing. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:59, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
  • The country of origin was considered to be Switzerland as that is where the EBU, the author of the logo, is based. Clearly the DACH issue is not as simple as it first appears, which raises further uncertainty here. What should be done then? Is the legal situation on this logo too uncertain for Commons? CT Cooper · talk 10:30, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I think I have no real choice but to say that the copyright of these logos has too much legal uncertainty, and nominate them all for deletion. I intend to place them all at DR shortly unless anyone suggests otherwise. I plan for the DR only to cover logos with a combination of text and heart; those with just the heart are less likely to be copyrighted and probably should be dealt with separately. CT Cooper · talk 16:39, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I have started a mass nomination at Commons:Deletion requests/File:142151-esc2008logo-RESIZE-s925-s450-fit.jpg. CT Cooper · talk 01:00, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Can you change the photographer?

A friend of mine did upload a picture where he thought he was the photographer. After some discussions it seems clear another person pushed the button. Is it possible to change the attribution? All the same the picture can remain in the public domain. It is only to put on the correct label. Winnie Summer (talk) 22:51, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

In such a case, because the photographer was not the one who uploaded it and we need to have clear permission from the photographer, you would need to send e-mail from the photographer releasing the work into the public domain (ideally I would release it under the Creative Commons Zero Waiver) and send it to the e-mail listed at Commons:OTRS. Then go ahead and change the author on the page and add the tag {{OTRS-pending}} to the page as well. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:42, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
Instead of {{OTRS-pending}}, please use {{subst:OP}} as explained in the template documentation. --Stefan4 (talk) 01:54, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Thank you very much, we will proceed in this way Winnie Summer (talk) 06:43, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Files from

Yesterday I uploaded this File:Broadbase tunicate (Cnemidocarpa finmarkiensis) - ANB Harbor - Sitka, Alaska - 21 Dec. 2010.jpg from Contents from this web site are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Is it enough to upload this file (and others) on Commons? Did I make a mistake? Thanks, Jacopo Werther (talk) 14:21, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Where is that license stated? Dankarl (talk) 15:24, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
The general overall site license. I don't see any specific licenses attached to the images. I added the photographer's full name, not just the username. Looks like there are relatively few contributors to that site... at least one image had a different "Copyright" line than the uploader, so not sure how much attention they are paying to sourcing and copyright, though they don't look like they were taken from the net or anything like that. The Paul Norwood photos (such as the one mentioned above) do look like that person is the author. Hardly any content on talk pages... maybe all the contributors know each other. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:38, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi. What do you think of the copyright situation of images taken from ? This website states, images are copyrighted and can be used under some condition.. These images seem to be considerably old. But I don't know whether these images are published or not. In this case, which tag is appropriate ? Takabeg (talk) 03:46, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

If there is sufficient evidence to prove that particular images are old enough to be in the public domain, those can be uploaded. However, if there is insufficient evidence, we can't have them in the Commons. The Google translation of the website you referred to says images on the Lost Bulgaria site can only be used for "non-commercial purpose" [sic] and "[t]he author does not allow printing of images for any purpose whatsoever, without any prior consultation with him". These are conditions that are too restrictive for us. Furthermore, the author says he or she is "not responsible for the origin of the photographs sent to him (anonymously) by email", which means that the copyright status of the photographs has not been investigated at all. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:16, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Merci. Takabeg (talk) 01:21, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Soviet Space Program

Are there any provisions on copyright for images taken during Soviet spaceflights? --[chinneeb|talk] 01:29, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Australian Aboriginal flag

Hi everyone. We need some copyright experts at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Austr.Aborig.png. A flag design has been specifically designated copyrighted under local law, but the design is very simple. A previous discussion over the same design had another version of the image removed from Commons. I need some experienced users with a good insight into this kind of thing to deliberate whether the image complies with both U.S. and local copyright laws. Thanks, Osiris (temp) (talk) 12:52, 22 March 2012 (UTC)


I've just come across {{PD-CERN-CMS}}:

Public domain This file is in the public domain because it is from the homepage of CMS detector of CERN. All photos and movies are completely free to use, but they do request that if you find something useful (or if you have any suggestions as to how something could be improved), please send an email to

This was discussed at Commons_talk:Licensing/Archive_28#Template:PD-CERN-CMS_still_valid.3F in 2010. Surely we can't leave this in limbo indefinitely. Any suggestions what to do? Rd232 (talk) 11:40, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

I was involved in the earlier discussion. The problem is, we don't know when CERN changed the copyright notice on its website. I tried contacting them in 2010 and the person I e-mailed said CERN was looking into the matter, then there was no further response (and I'm afraid I didn't follow up on the matter). I suppose someone could try e-mailing CERN again. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:10, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
From that discussion, apparently the last communication we received from them was : "... We are currently reviewing our copyright policy. For the moment please do not delete anything from the commons. As soon as I have some information I will let you know." (signed: Dave Barney, CMS Education and Outreach Coordinator). Maybe someone can contact that person and remind him that we're still waiting to hear from him. It's annoying that they did not even confirm if their pre-2008 policy released the images to the public domain or not. The "please do not delete" part of the letter protects us, but it sounds too much like a Wikimedia-only and temporary permission, if no public trace of the older wording of their website notice remains and if there is no way to prove if the files were free. If we still haven't heard from them one month after a reminder, I suggest we delete all those files. -- Asclepias (talk) 13:58, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Adding a Company Logo - Duplicate and Copyright Issues


I recently attempted to add a logo to the WC and it has been removed, I believe due to copyright restrictions or more properly, that I failed to include the correct copyright and {{non-free logo}} tags.

I've taken quite a bit of time fo read up on the use of company logos, etc. and finding out the copyright status and tags to use - but am still not able to reupload the image. When I do so, I get the "Encore-capital-group.png Unknown warning: "duplicate-archive"." message. Can this be rectified?

If at all possible, I'd love some instruction on how to upload this file, what rights should be associated with it. I've read all of the descriptions for the use of a logo like this here: Commons:Copyright tags and cannot find a clear description of what this logo should have. Could you advise?

This logo is a copyrighted but should be available on the commons for fair use. Please help.

Thank you,


— Preceding unsigned comment added by Lukepilon (talk • contribs) 2012-03-23T00:41:43 (UTC)
If the logo is very simple, use {{PD-textlogo}}. To find out what is very simple, check COM:TOO, and keep in mind that different countries use different definitions of the term "simple". For example, almost no British logos are allowed here. If not simple, the logo can usually not be uploaded here. --Stefan4 (talk) 02:03, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Category:Information boards in the United Kingdom

These are not covered by {{FoP-UK}}, right? --Stefan4 (talk) 16:16, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

No, unless what is on the information boards is in the public domain (e.g., old photographs); de minimis; or the board is not merely printed but carved or inscribed such that it amounts to a work of artistic craftsmanship. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:19, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Keep in mind also that the UK has an extremely low threshold for copyrightability, based on the "sweat of the brow" principle rather than creative originality. cmadler (talk) 16:29, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
OK, no FOP, so I'll start some deletion requests soon. I didn't check whether any of them were PD-ineligible or PD-old or have expired typographic copyright or anything – I only asked about FOP. --Stefan4 (talk) 17:32, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Numerous deletion requests started. Search for "information board" at Commons:Deletion requests/2012/03/23. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:12, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Cultural Heritage Protection Act: Slovenia

Hi, I wonder what does the Article 44 of the Cultural Heritage Protection Act of Slovenia[10] mean for Commons: "No person may use an image and name of a monument without the owner’s consent." (it is meant the owner of the monument, not copyright - this is evident from the original Slovene source: "lastnika spomenika") Can images of art works, like File:Anton Ažbe 1888 portrait of a girl.jpg be uploaded here without the consent of the National Gallery of Slovenia (the current owner) or not? What about images of objects on public places, like File:Slovenian Philharmonic.jpg? The building is a cultural monument and property of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra. There are also some monuments that the owner is not known (at least not to me) but is presumed to be e.g. a municipality, like this? If the name cannot be used, then it is even not firmly excluded that Commons would not violate law in Slovenia with the titles of categories like Category:Aljažev stolp and similar, if we would not ask for permission first. In regard to photos, the owners actually know and are very strict about this, as attested on a Slovene photographic forum.[11] --Eleassar (t/p) 07:50, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Two thoughts:
  1. What does "use" mean? Is there any Slovenian law that explains what "use" is? Is uploading a photograph of a monument on to a website a "use" of it?
  2. Is this a non-copyright restriction that we generally do not take notice of? In other words, as a matter of copyright a photographer can license his or her photograph of a monument under a free licence and upload it here, but anyone who then wants to download and use the photograph for some other purpose (e.g., to publish it in a book) would be responsible for ensuring that Slovenian law is complied with.
— Cheers, JackLee talk 09:56, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Ad 1: Per article 3 of the act (item 36): "„use“ shall mean permanent or periodic activities carried out on heritage, beside heritage, or in any other connection with heritage, influencing heritage or using its cultural values and social significance" (»uporaba« so stalne ali občasne dejavnosti, ki se opravljajo v dediščini, ob njej ali v kakršni koli drugi povezavi z dediščino, pri tem pa vplivajo nanjo ali uporabljajo njene kulturne vrednote in družbeni pomen). Uploading a photograph of a monument does count as "use" in copyright law, I have not found a reference for cultural heritage.
Ad 2: This is a non-copyright restriction and has not yet been taken notice of. As far as I understand, a photographer would need a permission in the first place to post his or her photograph of a monument here, per the cultural heritage act. See also: commons:Freedom of panorama#Slovenia. Thanks. --Eleassar (t/p) 10:51, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Here is an article about the topic with some information. Its payable and I don't have access right now, but will have later today or tomorrow.[12] --Eleassar (t/p) 11:16, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Italy has something similar, see {{Soprintendenza}}. I don't think we consider it a restriction of copyright. -- Liliana-60 (talk) 16:32, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out. --Eleassar (t/p) 18:51, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
The salient point from the article mentioned above (the word exploitation was used instead of use in the previous version of the act): ""The exploitation does not mean that tourists are not allowed to take a picture of themselves in front of a building or that a tourism society is not allowed to promote their place with a prospect that includes a cultural monument. However, if the photo is on a postcard, it is different, because the trademark of a castle is sold for commercial purposes," the Ministry of Culture told us" (Finance, 58/2003) --Eleassar (t/p) 20:44, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
Several countries have something like this. I think we simply consider them Commons:Non-copyright restrictions. The restrictions are inside the borders of the country only -- postcards sold in other countries would be beyond reach of that law. Obviously, anyone living in the country should be aware of whatever laws would apply to them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:07, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
I think a similar template as {{Soprintendenza}} should be designed in Commons for the monuments of Slovenia and the Slovene Wikipedia should use local files and follow EDP provisions here. What do you think? --Eleassar (t/p) 19:31, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
No problem with creating a template -- it's always good to inform users -- but Commons does not have any EDP provisions (not allowed to), and we would continue to host such images without changing current practice. What the Slovene Wikipedia wants to do with them is up to them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:20, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I understand. I've created the Template:Spomenik, which you may review and correct. --Eleassar (t/p) 06:38, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Cropping a PD image = new license?

  1. File:Eubalaena japonica drawing.jpg/2006 is public domain (used here in logo)
  2. File:Eubalaena japonica3.jpg/2011 is a crop of the above and has CC-BY-SA 3.0 license

How can they have two different licenses when there is no real difference between the two? 02:11, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

They can't. I'll change it. InverseHypercube 04:13, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Should the summary be changed also? 06:33, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Attribution requirements

I've encountered a bit of a complication with trying to merge mapping data from a set of sources. The problem is with the attribution clauses both sources require, I'm hoping this isn't the start of BSD-style complications.

The specific datasets are Ordnance Survey OpenData and GIS datasets from the Countryside Council for Wales, which are licensed under {{OS OpenData}} and {{OGL}} respectively. The required attribution statements are:

  • OS OpenData requires: "Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right".
  • The relevant CCW data requires: "© Countryside Council for Wales. All rights reserved. Contains Ordnance Survey Data. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100019741. Crown Copyright and Database Right (2011)"

I could just use the CCW attribution statement (as it encapsulates the OS one), but if I do so am I complying with the OpenData licence? I'd prefer to avoid having to include both (for reasons that should be obvious).--Nilfanion (talk) 11:55, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

How international copyright works

  • There is a self-made photo of copyrighted building in France, therefore photo is copyrighted, as there is no FOP in France
  • In Poland there is a FOP
  • So lets say that I am from Poland and I made this photo
  • "The Berne Convention requires its signatories to recognize the copyright of works of authors from other signatory countries (known as members of the Berne Union) in the same way as it recognizes the copyright of its own nationals."
  • So - what is wrong with my interpretation that this image may be released as PD or CC in Poland?

Bulwersator (talk) 18:24, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

You're basically thinking about it backwards. Since there is no FOP in France, copyright on a building extends to all derivative works. The Berne Convention requires other countries to recognize that copyright, even if the other countries have FOP. I think. cmadler (talk) 19:09, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Also see en:Template:FoP-USonly and de:Vorlage:Schutzlandprinzip which state the opposite to what Cmadler wrote. See en:Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. for an example of a case where a court has ignored copyright claims in the country of origin. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:59, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Not necessarily. Countries make up their own copyright laws; I think they are fully allowed to make that different. For example, the above photo would almost certainly be fine in the U.S. I think -- U.S. law does not consider photos of buildings to be derivative works, and I seriously doubt that the law gives foreign architects more rights than domestic architects. There are hardly any test cases of this sort in the courts, but there was one in Germany -- a photo of an Austrian building was OK in Austria, but it was ruled an infringement in Germany when it went to court there, because the German FOP law required that the photo be taken from a public place, whereas Austrian FOP does not. So, Germany applied their own law to the photo since it was marketed in Germany, despite the fact that the building was in Austria. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:06, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
What people do in Poland is ruled by the law of Poland. If the law of Poland allows free publication in Poland of photos of buildings, then photos of buildings can be freely published in Poland. The internal law of France rules what people do in France, not what people do in Poland. (However, some people on Commons seem to believe in some complex reasoning that apparently goes somewhat like this: The fact that you publish your photo in Poland tends to retrospectively imply that your action of saving the photo in the memory card of your camera, while you were in France, constituted, under French law, the action of copying a copyrighted work (the building) with an intention other than for your personal use, thus making that action (of having saved the photo for a reason other than personal use) illegal in France. Therefore, the architect of the building could complain that your action of saving the photo in France violated his copyright in France. Then, in the event that the reasoning would even hold to that point, the architect might perhaps go on and argue that the publication of the photo, made possible only because of an illegal act comitted in a foreign country, should be considered illegal in Poland under a law of Poland. Now, I think that is splitting hair and that the reasoning is shaky. But you never know.) -- Asclepias (talk) 00:48, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
Cmadler's right; nobody is disputing your copyright. What's being disputed is whether it's a derivative work, and also subject to the copyright of the building. Reading 17 USC 120(a) (US FoP) "(a) Pictorial Representations Permitted.—The copyright in an architectural work that has been constructed does not include the right to prevent the making, distributing, or public display of pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations of the work, if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place." would lead me to presume that it would apply in the US to any photo, no matter where it was taken or published or the nationality of the author.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:23, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure that was what was implied by Cmadler's comment. I read his comment as implying the opposite conclusion. Anyway, I think we all, including the questioner, agree that the architectural work, embodied into the building located in France, is copyrighted in Poland (and in the U.S.). The law of Poland (and the law of the U.S.) says so. That is consistent with the Berne convention. The location of the building doesn't matter. Just as the location in Belgium of a canvass on which a painted work is embodied doesn't matter for that painted work to be copyrighted in Germany. That said, the fact that an architectural work is copyrighted in Poland (and in the U.S.), because the law of Poland (and the law of the U.S.) says so, does not prevent the publication in Poland (or in the U.S.) of photographs of the building in which that architectural work is embodied (provided that the building is located in a public space), because the law of Poland (and the law of the U.S.) also says so. (The respective laws of Poland and of the U.S. differ on the details, but apparently the result is the same, at least in that the photo can be published.) That is also perfectly consistent with the Berne convention. In Poland (and in the U.S), the architectural work embodied in the building that is located in France is given exactly the same protection as the protection given to an architectural work embodied in a building located in Poland (or in the U.S.). No less, no more. Poland (and the U.S.) does not give to the architect of the building located in France a privilege not enjoyed by the architects of buildings located in Poland (or in the U.S.). The only remaining question is: is there any reason why the law of France should prevent the publication of the photo in Poland (and in the U.S.)? -- Asclepias (talk) 14:01, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
Naturally the law of France has no effect in Poland or US (the US has specifically said that the Berne Convention is not self-executing in the US.) But the question in my mind is how do we deal with this on Commons? Commons:Licensing#Interaction of United States copyright law and non-US copyright law implies that it's only "both the U.S. and the country of origin of the work", but then starts talking about the country of the uploader. Is France the country of origin of the work (and which works count?) for us?--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:02, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
I think we have generally tried to respect the copyright of the underlying work, and not allow circumvention of the copyright by finding a country where the work has expired or is ineligible and having that be the country of origin of the derivative work, except in cases like freedom of panorama where the law in the location of the underlying work itself (which should be at least somewhat under control of the original author) essentially gives some explicit permission. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:13, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I discovered that File:Pompidou center.jpg on enwiki requires "Non-free media information and use rationale" as "Although this image can be freely copied in the United States, and in countries with similar laws (generally referred to as Freedom of panorama), it can not be freely copied in the country in which it was made and is therefore not classified as free content under the definition used by the Wikimedia Foundation." - what confirmed opinions above. Bulwersator (talk) 10:21, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
English Wikipedia has two different templates which both serve the same purpose: en:Template:Non-free architectural work (FUR needed) and en:Template:FoP-USonly (FUR not used). I assume that one of the templates should be deleted. en:Template:FoP-USonly is more in line with other templates such as en:Template:PD-US-1923-abroad and en:Template:PD-ineligible-USonly, so I guess that is the template which should be kept. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:36, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Does this actually mean then that the images tagged with {{Soprintendenza}} or {{Spomenik}} are not allowed in Commons because they do not meet the wikimedia:Resolution:Licensing, which itself references Definition (includes 'No other restrictions or limitations')? See also the discussion above (#Cultural Heritage Protection Act: Slovenia). --Eleassar (t/p) 11:22, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Is that some restriction which completely illegalises their use or is it something less strict such as {{Trademarked}} or {{Nazi symbol}}? --Stefan4 (talk) 11:36, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Ok, if it does not completely illegalise their use, it is permitted? The definition states: "There must also not be any limit on who can copy the information or on where the information can be copied." As far as I can see, per commons:Licensing: "Wikimedia Commons accepts only media that are explicitly freely licensed, or that are in the public domain in at least the United States and in the source country of the work. --Eleassar (t/p) 11:56, 26 March 2012 (UTC) Ok, I see at Commons:Non-copyright restrictions: "Non-copyright related restrictions are not considered relevant to the freedom requirements of Commons or by Wikimedia,[1] and the licensing policies are accordingly limited to regulating copyright related obligations." Thanks anyway. --Eleassar (t/p) 12:19, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I think Asclepias's "hair-splitting" comment is actually the most important point. The creation of the derivative work occurs when a photograph is taken, not when it is published; this is obvious if you think about the existence of unpublished works. So, if you take a photo of a recent (still copyrighted) building in France, you have created an unauthorised (probably illegal) derivative work. If this is then first published (whatever that means in the internet age) in Poland, I think we must consider both France (original copyrighted work) and Poland (publication of derivative work) as source countries. cmadler (talk) 12:59, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, it seems that under the provisions of the Berne Convention (article 5), the country of origin of the unpublished architectural work is France, the country of origin of the unpublished photograph is Poland (i.e. the country of which the photographer is a national, Poland per the questioner's hypothesis) and, after the photograph is first published in Poland, the source country of the photograph is Poland, unless it is simultaneously published in another Berne member country with a shorter term of protection, in which case the country of origin is the latter. Also per article 5, the works (the architectural work; the photograph while unpublished; the published photograph) are to be treated according exclusively to the law of the country where the protection is claimed (Schutzlandprinzip, for short), i.e. Poland, per the questioner's hypothesis. Therefore, there is no obstacle in the copyright law of Poland to the publication of the photo in Poland by the photographer. And there is no obstacle in the Copyright Act of the United States to the publication of the photo in the United States by the photographer. If we take the notion of "source country" of the internal policy of Commons as having the same meaning as country of origin in the Berne Convention, there is no obstacle, in the internal policy, to the hosting on Commons of such a freely licensed photograph whose country of origin is Poland, as that work (the photograph) is free both in the United States and in its country of origin. Unless we stretch the interpretation of the internal policy to make it say that the work must be free not only in the U.S. and in its own source country, but also in all the source countries of every other work pictured on the work. Do we want to do that, and why? It remains that the photo can't be published in France and that, if one holds the reasoning alluded to earlier, the action of taking the photo with the retrospectively deduced intention of publishing it in a country where such publication is legal might nevertheless be illicit in France. Therefore, the possible obstacle to the publication of the photo in Poland would be if something was found in a non-copyright law of Poland that would take precedence over the copyright law and that would say that the fact that the taking of the photo was illegal in a foreign country (France) would somehow make the law of that foreign country prevail in Poland even if the copyright law of Poland says that the publication of this photo is perfectly legal in Poland. (Same thing in the United States, mutadis mutandis.) It still sounds like a stretch. Even if that hypothetical objection stood, it may not be an objection to the hosting of Commons, if non-copyright provisions can be excluded, unless it is an obligation of a U.S. non-copyright law. -- Asclepias (talk) 16:27, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Ignoring for now the issue of the nature of country of publication vis-a-vie the internet, which appears to be unresolved, are you suggesting that all we (Commons) have to do to publish a copyrighted work is to publish a derivative work in a country that doesn't recognize the original as copyrightable? Since Germany has such broad Panoramafreiheit, perhaps we should just dispatch German Commonsists to any non-FOP nations (France, Belgium, etc.)? And since the US seems to have a relatively high threshold of originality, perhaps Americans should create "derivative" works of British (e.g. EDGE logo) and Australian (e.g. Aboriginal flag) logos, which are often uncopyrightable (PD-shape, PD-text, etc.) in the USA? Then the new derivative works will be free in the "source" country, and we can ignore the laws of countries without FOP, with low thresholds of originality, etc. cmadler (talk) 18:33, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

File:MilanKundera TheUnberableLightnessOfBeing.jpeg

This is my first time posting here, so forgive me if this is the wrong place for this question; I found nothing in the FAQs or anywhere else that seemed relevant.

This image is described as being the cover of a novel, which means that it almost certainly is the property of the publisher. The image's page says nothing about who the copyright holder is; if that information is on that page, maybe someone will show me how to find it.

Thanks. --Jim10701 (talk) 01:31, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

The author (the artist who created the cover image) is often assumed to be the copyright holder. However, knowledge of the contractual situation between the artist and the publisher may be necessary to know who holds or exercices the copyright. The uploader credited a person (in the author field). If the uploader is consistent with his license statement, the uploader implies that that person is the copyright holder. Anyway, if you ask the question with the idea of reusing this image, please note that the uploader did not provide any source to support his statement that the copyright holder (whoever that is) allowed free use of this image. Commons does not generally consider this sufficient. The image will probably not be kept, and should not be freely used, without a confirmation from the author or the publisher. -- Asclepias (talk) 02:09, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Permission question

Help! I'm so confused and overwhelmed. We have written permission from the Photographer to post a picture in a Wikipedia article. Can you walk me through in a simple way what we/photographer need to do to get the right license? Kmbgm469 (talk) 23:19, 28 March 2012 (UTC)kmbgm469

See COM:OTRS#Declaration of consent for all enquiries or w:WP:CONSENT. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:26, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Possibly unfree files

Could I ask someone to take a look at the uploads of this user? The person has uploaded 2 files here which were marked as not meeting NFCC at en WP and I've nominated them for deletion here. However, the individual has also uploaded other files which don't appear to have been taken by this user either. I don't want to be wikihounding the person, but it looks to me as if none of the uploaded files are really in the PD. Thanks, We hope (talk) 03:08, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Those are obviously unfree files, originally published with copyright restrictions (as apparent from the source pages). I don't think it's hounding to point out to a user that there is a problem with all of his/her uploads. Some people genuinly fail to understand copyright, attribution etc. Those warning boxes do seem intimidating, though, so perhaps a more personal approach is better when a person's actions appear to be done in good faith. I left that user a message. — Yerpo Eh? 12:14, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Sorry-had a discussion with the user at en WP regarding two of the files and why they couldn't be used there and thought he/she understood what was wrong after doing that. There have been recent claims from other users re: "wikihounding" here and at en WP; didn't want to get into a mess like that. ;-) We hope (talk) 15:21, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

EU court rejects Sweat of the Brow in Britain

Well this is an interesting call. It applies to databases/factual data, but who knows. It probably doesn't matter much to us, but still a rather good argument.

"unless the procedures for creating the lists concerned as described by the national court are supplemented by elements reflecting originality in the selection or arrangement of the data contained in those lists, they do not suffice for those lists to be protected by the copyright laid down in the directive"

ViperSnake151 (talk) 14:06, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

That is kind of interesting. The EU directive may override the normal UK "skill and labour" precedents. Some info on the 1959 UK ruling that this seems to overrule is here. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:33, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
But wouldn't things such as the Edge logo still be copyrighted? Unlike a data sheet, one could argue that the Edge logo does have some originality, although not much. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:59, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
However, the whole basis of the Edge case is the sweat of the brow principle, which says that artistic originality is defined by effort or skill (From the Edge case: "What is required for artistic originality is the expenditure of more than negligible or trivial effort or relevant skill in the creation of the work"). This seems to strike directly at the heart of that principle, although it may take time and several more EU cases before it is made to apply to other forms of work than databases. cmadler (talk) 19:10, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
One could still argue that there are artistic aspects in the Edge logo. For example, the artist decided upon the angles of the mid line in the E and decided how far the line would extend to the left. However, I agree that the EU rules might change things, although it is not entirely clear for the moment. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:16, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
This is pretty much the standard of list copyright in the US (see en:User:Moonriddengirl/Copyright_in_lists), but I'm excited to see a UK court applying that standard as well. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:00, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
It would be interesting if this also makes {{PD-Art}} ineligible for copyright in EU countries. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:53, 31 March 2012 (UTC)


I haven't been able to find any discussion of this. I'd like to be able to tag files {{PD-Art|CC-0}} to indicate that a painting is in the public domain and that the reproduction has been released as CC-0, and is therefore public domain worldwide. Is there a reason we don't have this option? I've been using just CC-0 since that's the license on the source page, but it feels like it ought to also have PD-Art. Either way, I think Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag should give instructions for how to tag images of public domain works that are released as CC-0, even if the answer is CC-0 trumps PD-Art. Thanks! - PKM (talk) 02:36, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Try {{Licensed-PD-Art|PD-old-70|cc-zero}}? -- Asclepias (talk) 02:49, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
I think it actually goes the other way. Unless I misunderstand your question, the answer is that "WMF's position has always been that faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain". If someone else took it, just use PD-Art; if you took it, use either PD-old or PD-old-100. Adding a CC-0 release is duplicative and unnecessary, and potentially harmful, because it contradicts the position that there's no new copyright in this sort of faithful reproduction. cmadler (talk) 12:34, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Adding a CC-0 is not duplicative and not unnecessary since it tells that the image is free to use in the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom, Spain and other places, unlike the normal {{PD-Art}} tag which only tells that the image can be used in the United States, Germany, Japan and some other countries. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:47, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Read that link again. I won't quote the whole thing here, but it plainly says that WMF's position is that "regardless of local laws to the contrary...faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain" (emphasis is mine). In other words, where various countries such as those you have mentioned may have laws to the contrary, WMF has taken an official position that they/we are going to ignore those laws (cf. en:National Portrait Gallery and Wikimedia Foundation copyright dispute), and potentially fight them in court if challenged (from the same policy page: "And, if we ever were seriously legally challenged, we would have a good internal debate about whether we'd fight such a case, and build publicity around it."). As a result we (Commons, and WMF as a whole) "don't think it's a good idea to dignify such claims of copyright on public domain works" (again, this is the case even when laws say otherwise). Dignifying such claims is exactly what adding a CC-0 does, and so not only is it not needed (again, per WMF statement and Commons policy, regardless of laws to the contrary), but it actually harms our case. cmadler (talk) 17:29, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Regardless of the position of the WMF, a CC-0 licence is useful since it helps reusers in many countries. Without a CC-0 licence, reusers in the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom and other places are unable to use the images at all. --Stefan4 (talk) 17:37, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Can the folks in the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom and Spain use my public domain art photo? File:Sidewalk Sam Boston July 1974.jpg -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 18:30, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
In this case there are three potential levels of copyright to consider. The first is Renoir's Dancer, which is PD in most (but I think not all -- Ivory Coast is 99 years pma I think?) countries; Renoir died in 1919 so I think there may be countries where that's still copyrighted. The second is the copyright of Sidewalk Sam, who created a derivative of Renoir's work (I don't think that can necessarily be termed a faithful reproduction of the original); since it was publicly displayed in the US prior to 1978 with no copyright notice, we consider this PD. The third is the photograph, which, since it includes surrounding items ("artistic placement of cigarette butts" lol) and is at an angle, might constitute a copyrightable work; you've given a PD-self release (which is basically the same as CC-0), so that is unburdened. cmadler (talk) 20:00, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
That it is not the same issue as the one discussed in the previous paragraphs, as your photo is not of the type targeted by the PD-Art tag, and also there would be no problem with your photographer's work, as you explicitely released it, but the question for a potential reuser in one of the countries you mentioned would be to know what is the copyright status of Guillemin's drawing in the country in question. I think that one would need to look at the copyright law of each of those countries, also look if there is a particular related treaty between each country and the U.S., then see how all that applies in that country to U.S. works such as that drawing. -- Asclepias (talk) 20:12, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Stefan4 understands my intent exactly. If CC-0 could be "inserted" in PD-Art the way PD-old-100 can, then we could say WMF's position is that this painting is in the public domain and furthermore the Yale Center for British Art (for example) has released this reproduction of the painting under CC-0, so anyone anywhere in the world can do anything with it. That seems like a valuable way to both protect the concept of the public domain and acknowledge that the reproduction is licensed under CC-0 (and hopefully encourage other institutions to release images under the same license). Neither PD-Art with PD-old-100 nor CC-0 by itself conveys the license situation accurately. - PKM (talk) 01:36, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Did you miss the first reply to your initial question or did I not understand what you are looking for? -- Asclepias (talk) 17:55, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Asclepias, I did miss that - I was not familiar with {{Licensed-PD-Art}}, thank you.

PKM (talk) 18:37, 31 March 2012 (UTC)


I'm still puzzled by the notion of when a photograph can be considered first "published" under the defintion of the Unites States Copyright Act, for example when an old copy of a family photo is found in a family collection. My recent questioning involves some Canadian photos, created between 1935 and 1942, which are in the public domain in Canada since 1986-1993. (Examples: 1, 2). It is not known how many copies were made and to how many persons they were distributed at that time, but, to take the most minimalist hypothesis, let's say that, obviously, at least one copy of each photo was made and was given by the unknown photographers (who were possibly family members or friends) to at least one of the persons depicted on the photos, likely soon after the creation of each photo (and certainly before 1978, as the photos ended up in that person's family collection well before then). And, of course, the photos don't have copyright notices. So, is one copy given to one person enough to make it a publication in the sense of "distri­bution to persons under no explicit or implicit restrictions with respect to disclosure of the contents"[13]? If not, how many copies distributed to how many persons would be necessary for the photo to reach the notion of published? Must the distribution extend beyond the circle of family and friends? If so, to what extent? (If there is a page on Commons that explains it, please point me to it.) I ask the question because knowing if in the United States they are considered published in Canada in 1935-1942 (and thus also in the public domain in the United States because they were in the public domain in Canada before the URAA date of 1996) or unpublished until 2010 (and thus not in the public domain in the United States) makes the difference between hosting them on Commons or not. -- Asclepias (talk) 03:47, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

There's no neat line for publication. There's certainly no set number of copies; I could see a legal case for a work printed for every Wal-Mart employee (but labeled for internal distribution only) being called unpublished. I'm not sure I understand the line you quote.
The Course in Miracles lawsuit offers some quotes: "Such a limited publication will be found where the publication was (1) to a definitely select group, (2) for a limited purpose, and (3) without the right of diffusion, reproduction distribution or sale." ("The plaintiffs must prove all three of the enumerated elements exist or else the distribution may not be deemed limited and the copyright will not be valid."); "[a] general publication occurs when a work is made available to members of the public regardless of who they are or what they will do with it."; "A general publication 'occurs when by the consent of the copyright owner, the original or tangible copies of a work are sold, leased, loaned, given away or otherwise made available to the general public, or when an authorized offer is made to dispose of the work in any such manner even if such a sale or other such disposition does not in fact occur.'" and ""[a] general publication occurs when a work is made available to members of the public regardless of who they are or what they will do with it."
Yeah, ick, text-dump. I certainly don't see this as going outside a select group, but there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on distribution. My gut is telling me this isn't publication, but the letter of the law seems to call publication.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:28, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply and for the link to the "A Course in Miracles" case. (The trial must have been interesting, with arguments about copyright exceptions for "divine authorship" and all.) That decision, and the other decisions cited in it, include the answer to my question asking if one copy given to one person is enough to make it a publication, when it says: "A distribution of a work to one person constitutes a publication. [Kakizaki v. Riedel; Burke v. Nat'l Broad. Co., Inc.]". So, the number of copies or of recipients is not fundamental. The crucial point is if the copies were distributed under a restriction that precuded recipients "from reproducing, distributing or selling any copies. [Continental Casualty Co.]". If we look at the three required elements enumerated in the passage you quoted, i.e. distribution: (1) to a select group, (2) for a limited purpose, and (3) without the right of diffusion (...) [White; Continental Casualty Co.; Proctor & Gamble Co.], all three of which must be proven to exist for a work to be considered unpublished [H.W. Wilson Co.; Kakizaki], it would seem that the family photos I mentioned in my question meet condition 1 but they do not meet condition 2 and 3. Indeed, although the photographer may not have imagined that anyone would be interested by a large diffusion of his photos, there is no reason to think that he made any restriction about what the recipients might do with their copies.
I realize that it may be impossible to draw absolute rules from case law, but what I'm trying to get at is to know if there is a consensus about some workable principle about how Commons deals with that type of photos and if we should upload them or not. Can we say that, in general, when the photographer of a family photo gave, before 1989, one or several copies of it to one or several recipients, without a copyright notice or registration, and there is no evidence or reason to believe that he explicitely or implicitely restricted the use of that copy or of those copies by those recipients, then we, Commons users, consider that the photo was published (in the sense of the U.S. law)?
On a related topic, when a photo was not distributed in the United States, but was distributed in a country other than the U.S., and the type of distribution would constitute a publication if it had been distributed in the U.S., but the law of the other country, where it was actually distributed, does not consider that type of distribution as constituting a publication, then does the U.S. law consider that the photo was published in that foreign country, even if the law of that country considers that it is unpublished? Or is it protected in the U.S. as an unpublished work? When such a photo has been in the public domain (for example because of its year of creation) in that other country before the URAA date, can it be hosted on Commons or not? When the PD-1996 tag states "This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was first published outside the United States (...) and it was first published before 1978", does the word "published" refer to the meaning of "published" as it would apply to works distributed in the U.S. (as discussed above) or does it refer to the meaning of "published" under the other country's law?
-- Asclepias (talk) 17:39, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Can of worms: EPSs and SVGs

Probably a can that I should not have opened as it involves French copyright. But (deep breath), here goes: I was wondering about the source of File:Logo de la République française.svg (Official logo of the French Republic, used exclusively by its government and prefectures) and various PNG versions uploaded previously, I initially assumed, given the upload dates, that some clever person created the SVGs from the PNGs (as lots of hard working illustrators do around here). But I eventually tracked down a copy of "Charte Graphique de la Communication Gouvernementale", published in 2004 in a PDF originally called charte_de_la_communication_gouvernementale_PDF.pdf. If it is a French government publication it may well not be copyright (certainly no copyright notice that I can see in the document or meta data), so taking copies of images from it is probably fine (but that may be a giant leap of faith on my part). But the document also mentions online copies of the images defined in this document, various EPS and BMP files available on (French) Government websites (the cited websites no longer exist and don't appear to be in I now suspect the SVGs were generated by direct conversion from the EPSs (a simple machine translation of the vector encoding). The PNGs could have come from anywhere, scanned from a printed copy, extracted from the PDF, or generated from the EPS's (or possibly SVGs, although our copies appear to postdate the PNGs).

  • 1) So the first question is, how safe are we in assuming the PDFs are copyable?,
  • 2) And the second is, if the answer to (#1) is in our favour, can the EPS's be assumed to be freely copyable? (An interesting consideration is that an EPS file is text, not an image, but it defines how to render an image, so the EPS is a publication containing the definition of an official government symbol just like a flag or coat of arms) the EPS's contain copyright notices from Adobe, but an SVG is not copying their code, just interpreting the definition contained there-in. Is an EPS a computer program?) (Oh joy :-)
I am happy to upload, or email the PDF and other info. --Tony Wills (talk) 11:16, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
An image is an image and a work is work, no matter in which format it is represented or a copy was made. The only point of interest is that the original has to be free. --/人 ‿‿ 人\ 署名の宣言 11:44, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
My concern is that for many countries it is only publications of such things as laws and regulations (that are usually text) which are PD-Government. If that government publication includes say a reproduction of a photo, does that make the original photo PD too? Come to think of it, I should examine the PDF to see whether the images are just bitmaps or whether a version of the EPS is embedded (I don't know enough about the PDF format to know which is likely). --Tony Wills (talk) 19:09, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Had a quick look, just lots of embedded bitmap streams. --Tony Wills (talk) 19:22, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
Just because a public domain government publication includes an image does not automatically make that image public domain, except in rare circumstances. This is the same as with NASA: just because NASA publishes an ESA or Roscosmos image on their website or with a press release, that image still retains its original copyright. Always verify the origin of the image. Huntster (t @ c) 19:55, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Commons:License revocation

I thought it might be useful to have a little essay on (not) revoking licenses, to allow a little more room for the subject than Commons:FAQ#I_have_uploaded_an_image.2C_can_I_revoke_the_licence_later.3F. Hence Commons:License revocation. Comments, contributions, improvements, etc, welcome. Rd232 (talk) 20:55, 31 March 2012 (UTC)