Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2012/05

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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.


Defensive change of licence after an upload to Commons.

Hi, I need your help : I've uploaded cc-by-sa images from for pages made on fr.wikipedia. As a defensive reflex, an actor of this web site changed the licenses in -nc- license (after the upload was completed) and would ask for deletion : see the request on User_talk:A1AA1A. Is this change of license legally valid? What is the appropriate answer? A1AA1A (talk) 13:46, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Technically, if an author knowingly releases an image under a CC license, they cannot take that license back. They can change their distribution to a more restrictive license, but that does not change the license on any copies obtained beforehand (and, really, if someone can prove the earlier license, any subsequent copies too). However, we do typically allow authors to change licenses if it hasn't been too long after upload, under the assumption that the first one was a mistake and not intended. Secondly, the author must knowingly put something out on the license. If the author had attached conditions to an image when they uploaded to, those conditions are still valid, and if an administrator there made the mistake of adding a CC-BY or CC-BY-SA license, that does not invalidate the original conditions made by the author. So... I think I would respect those license changes, as it seems as though most are corrections by the site administrators and not a change of license by the actual authors, if I'm reading it right. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:55, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

I am the administrator that has made the changes in I would like to make clear that is not a "defensive change". As I have explained in User_talk:A1AA1A there have been three kind of issues with images uploaded by A1AA1A (1) Images originally marked with licenses "nc" in Ferropedia and wrongly marked by A1AA1A in commons with cc-by-cc; these figures have been now deleted in commons. Thank you very much. (b) Images that were incorrectly marked at Ferropedia with license cc-by-sa although the author had requested "non commercial" use. We apologize for this error, and ask to delete the images that I have listed in User_talk:A1AA1A (so far only three) to follow the authors request that is clearly documented in teh original file of Ferropedia with the sentence "uso no lucrativo". (3) Images where the authors had left their names and/or watermarks and where uploaded to ferropedia with license cc-by-sa, although technically should have deserved a "nd" license as the author's obvious wish was to leave their names in the image. As long as the name appears in the photograph (several names have been deleted in commons) we do not think it will be a problem, but if the name is not put back, the authors may complain. Therefore: we suggest to put again the name and in parallel we will try to contact the authors to clarify the situation. Concerning cases (2) and (3): please consider that, specially in the past, was not so well organized and in some cases a license against the wishes of the authors was used. In these cases, we think the interest of the authors should prevail.
Finally: there are several hundreds of images of Ferropedia uploaded in Commons and we are happy of this. We are also sure that this lively image transfer will continue in both directions in the future. The issues we are talking about affect only few images. --Ferropediamember (talk) 17:27, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Hm. In that case, 2) is clear-cut; the author never licensed the images with cc-by-sa in the first place, so that license can not be claimed, regardless of mistakes by the ferropedia admins. Material must be licensed by the copyright owner, or at least someone with authority to do so, and it appears that never happened for those three images. So, those three should be deleted. Please nominate them for deletion. Case 3) is more difficult; did the authors themselves specify cc-by-sa? That license basically does allow modification of images, including removal of watermarks where desirable (and Wikipedia policy is to avoid the use of watermarks, so it is desirable there, thus we typically modify images here for easier Wikipedia use). Also, many types of derivative works are not possible if the credit is mandated to be part of the image. If an uploader there explicitly made that an additional condition, then it's not really a cc-by-sa license, and if the author is not OK with relaxing the condition, we will typically delete as non-free license. But I'm not so sure it's a good idea to always inherently assume that any image with a watermark has that condition attached. Contacting the authors would indeed be the best approach. Does ferropedia infer the license the author wanted, or does the author actually specify the license when uploading to ferropedia, i.e. choose the license themselves? If the former, it may be best to be conservative and remove them until confirmation from the author, but if the latter, it seems as though the cc-by-sa license was the one the author did actually intend. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:09, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

"The Dark, Dark Hours" vid clip

Is this rare 1954 TV program clip [1] from en:General Electric Theatre with Ronald Reagan and James Dean in the public domain? Thanks, Lionelt (talk) 06:50, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

I doubt it. Broadcasting something didn't publish it, at least not in 1954. Since they never distributed copies, it would have been unpublished until probably now, and thus be life+70 or 95 years.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:26, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

A picture of Agostino Lanzillo

I found a picture of Agostino Lanzillo in Italian Chamber of Deputies website. I don't know when the picture was taken. Can I upload the picture to Commons?

Please notify me in my user page in Wikipedia.

Thank you,

Sapere aude22 (talk) 14:39, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Without more information... I tend to doubt it. It sounds like Lanzillo was a member of the 27th legislature (ran from 1924 to 1929), and as that site is related to that government entity it seems, it's possible the photo was his government portrait at the time. Lanzillo would have been about 38 years old in 1924, which is believable for the photo. If that's the case, and the human author was not mentioned, then {{Anonymous-EU}} may apply, but that's making a lot of assumptions. I think in general that posed portraits are considered "photographic works" in Italy, and not simple photographs which have a shorter term, so the term would be 70 years after the author died, or 70 years after publication if it was published anonymously. Is there any way to contact the site to enquire about the source of the photo, to see if it was the government portrait from that time frame? Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:51, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

License template for CC photograph of PD work?

This is a question I feel like I know the answer to, and I've probably done this before, but I can't think of it or find an example. Where we have a recent photo of an old three-dimensional work (e.g. sculpture), there are two potential layers of copyright to address. What is the best way to indicate that the underlying work is PD (let's say a US work that's PD-1923) and that the photographer released their photo under a suitable license (let's say CC-BY-SA)? Is there a template that accomodates this? It seems like it would be confusing to just stick the two templates on a page, but that's what I sometimes see done -- when the copyright of the underlying work is even addressed. Thanks, cmadler (talk) 13:16, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

I think I'm looking for something similar to {{PD-art-3d}} and {{PD-art-70-3d}}, except it would need to be PD-art-1923-3d instead. I can probably make such a template, but I don't want to create a duplicate if something suitable already exists. Thanks, cmadler (talk) 14:31, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
There is {{Licensed-PD-Art}} for that particular case, but it's not quite the same thing. I usually just put two license tags on the page, labeling each one above with "Photo:" and "Statue:" or whatever. If you make a container tag, make sure to allow parameters which are themselves full templates with their own arguments. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:41, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think there's a single template for that purpose since PD-art is exclusively for 2-dimensional artwork. So creating one for 3D should be a good idea. In technical terms I guess we could just use the wrapper from {{PD-art-two}}, change the headlines and embed {{PD-art-70-3d}} as a default license. De728631 (talk) 14:42, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I've created a simple template, {{PD-art-1923-3d}}, combining the wording from PD-1923 and PD-art-3d. Thanks, cmadler (talk) 15:10, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Does using separate licence tags with labels for photo and original artwork really work? My understanding is that the separate licence tags are understood to work in parallel such that a reuser may choose either. How do you place labels so that an automatic analysis interprets them correctly? (I use the stricter terms as a template and explain the situation informally. A template solution is of course better.) --LPfi (talk) 09:38, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Here is an example of the case you are describing. In this case, there are actually 3 licenses tags - 1 tag for the PD artwork and 2 tags for the dual licensed photograph. Kaldari (talk) 05:00, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
I have supposed that scanning the file description pages for acceptable licence tags would be enough for reusers publishing a book consisting of Wikipedia articles (including illustrations) or for printing and selling Wikibooks' books. Using templates in parallel seems to not be compatible with that approach. Does it mean that a reuser has to inspect the image descriptions by hand? I think such a requirement violates our guidelines, which e.g. for exactly this reason mandates subst:ing user templates that include licence templates.
In the linked example the problem has been circumvented by introducing a custom template. Then the photo is not mistakenly believed to be in public domain because of age. The downside is that the image cannot automatically be included as CC-BY-SA, but has to be manually inspected (at least for the first image using it).
--LPfi (talk) 08:37, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Finnish National Land Survey open data licence

As of today (1 May 2012), the National Land Survey of Finland opened some of its datasets and maps to be used free of charge under the National Land Survey open data licence (Finnish version). Is this license compatible with Commons licensing policies, i.e. can maps licensed under this licence be uploaded to Commons. To me it seems to be an Attribution type license. (There is some information also at OpenStreetMap project wiki). ––Apalsola tc 19:21, 1 May 2012 (UTC) –– (edit) Apalsola tc 19:32, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

That looks very promising. I think this satisfies the licensing policies of Commons since the data provided under that license can be redistributed for any use, commercial and non-commercial, and the use is only a matter of attribution. We should perhaps make a new custom template, e.g. PD-FI-NLS, that links to that license and sums up the requirements for reusing the data. De728631 (talk) 19:34, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
On the Finnish Wikipedia, I have drafted a comparison table (in Finnish), and it is very likely that the released material is fully compatible with "Commons practises". The license requires attribution and share alike -features, but is, as far as I am to be hold responsible, otherwise a free license. So I cannot see no obstacles in creating a special template for this material according to the license terms provided by the NLS. The very purpose of this release of previously fully copyrighted material is to allow its maximal use for any purpose and to further "new innovation and development" and whatnot, so I do not think there can be any objections to its full use on Commons. --Pxos (talk) 21:11, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
I created {{Attribution-FI-NLS-1.0}}. It probably still needs some modifications. ––Apalsola tc 23:07, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
I have also something in my personal sandbox which is however based on a public domain license. You can check out the code at User:De728631/workshop. --De728631 (talk) 18:41, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
The template has left out the requirement of removing attribution on demand. Is there an agreement on this with the agency (which then should be linked) or is there agreement that the requirement is void for some reason? Otherwise it seems it should be included (as I did in the Swedish "translation"). --LPfi (talk) 08:43, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
I just added the requirement in question to English and Finnish templates, since it is part of the licence. --Pxos (talk) 09:44, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Is this realy so interesting? It covers some data, e.g. topographic data. But people on Commons usualy not care for attributing their data sources. And Commons is not a dynamic map service, we only have some static maps with only a very few data points, such data is not protected by copyright. Only dynamic map services will have a problem with database copyrights and for instant maps Wikimedia projects use OSM. --Martin H. (talk) 10:15, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
The datasets to be opened also includes maps and aerial photographs, not just topographic data.[2][3] ––Apalsola tc 11:00, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
I think we should keep the license tag as simple as possible and only include the most important things; the full license is available at NLS website. About this remove attribution on demand: CC-BY-SA-3.0 includes a similar requirement: "If You create a Collection, upon notice from any Licensor You must, to the extent practicable, remove from the Collection any credit as required by Section 4(c), as requested. If You create an Adaptation, upon notice from any Licensor You must, to the extent practicable, remove from the Adaptation any credit as required by Section 4(c), as requested.". Still this requirement is not included in the {{CC-BY-SA-3.0}}. So I think there is no need to include this requirement in {{Attribution-FI-NLS-1.0}} either. ––Apalsola tc 11:00, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
I'll add the removal of attribution to the German translation of the template text. De728631 (talk) 15:06, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Erroneous copyright stamps by newspapers

Have seen this for some time now with some photos from the photo library of The Seattle Times. While it's clear in example front and example back that the issuer/owner of the photo is ABC, the back is stamped as copyright to the newspaper. There are quite a few photos like this which I'd like to upload but want to know what step(s) to take to do this in light of the "false" newspaper copyright mark. Thanks, We hope (talk) 18:41, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

The copyright stamp may just be referring to the newspaper clip they pasted on the back (also stamped with the same date, by the same stamp it looks like), which would indeed be copyright by the newspaper, but that would not cover the photo on the front, of course. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:43, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Any special wording that might be useful for photos like these? I notice that the newspaper's stamp doesn't include the copyright year--doesn't that also void any stamp of theirs? Thanks again, We hope (talk) 20:54, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
If the copyright notice is deemed to be incorrect, there is {{PD-US-defective notice}} for this purpose. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:06, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
It's not incorrect. There is a clip of a newspaper story pasted on the back, and the (proper) notice looks like it is referring to that newspaper article in particular, and not the photo on the front -- which would not appear to have a copyright notice. We can't reproduce that copyright bit of the newspaper, from that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:37, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for that! Will use the tamplate along with an explanation when uploading the photos. We hope (talk) 21:09, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

So is the answer to remove the newsprint before uploading? We hope (talk) 22:11, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes. Kaldari (talk) 04:52, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks much! Will do just that when working with files from this paper. We hope (talk) 05:01, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Copyright of text and pictures

I'm writing my bachelor thesis in Finland and I have been using wikipedia as a reference. However I would like to have consolidation for some of my thoughts. Bachelor thesis is a thesis and according to Finnish law it is allowed to cite both text and pictures for it. According to the quotation law of Finland it is allowed to quote text in many cases even for other works than theses. However I'm asking that am I allowed to modify pictures from wikipedia for my thesis? I mostly read English articles and I'm writing the thesis in Finnish and for that reason I would like to translate the texts in the pictures. What if there is a contradiction between Finnish and US law? Does it mean that when Wikipedia is used in Finland Finnish law is valid and when it is used in another country, then its law is valid?

  • Yes, you may modify the pictures provided you clearly attribute the source (the picture you take from Commons).--Ymblanter (talk) 22:00, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Maybe; you really need to examine the copyright/licensing for each picture individually, and make sure you satisfy the requirements of any license under Finnish law. I expect many of the pictures will be available under terms that allow you to create and reuse derivative works like translations, especially files that are hosted here on Wikimedia Commmons. English Wikipedia does claim fair use of some copyrighted and unlicensed pictures, however, and I don't know whether you would be able to use those. I gather Finnish law doesn't allow "fair use" as such, although it allows some similar exemptions for scientific and educational uses.[4] Also, some pictures may be in the public domain under US law, but not in Finland, so it might be wise to treat our PD tags with caution. You should probably read COM:REUSE too, if you haven't already. --Avenue (talk) 14:44, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
      • Some of the licences used for images have quite strict technical requirements for how to attribute the authors and declare the licence, so the licences must be read for every image individually. Kaikki käytetyt lisenssit sallivat kuvien muokkauksen ja käytön eikä lisensseissä pitäisi olla mitään lainsäädännön eroavaisuuteen liittyviä ongelmia (paitsi että tekijä yleensä on mainittava vaikka hän olisi yrittänyt luopua tekijänoikeudestaan), kunhan kunkin lisenssin tekniset vaatimukset täyttyvät. Usein kuvissa on eneämmän kuin yksi lisenssi, joista saa valita sopivimman. Tekstillisistä kuvista saattaa olla myös suomenkileinen tai "tyhjä" versio, joten et välttämättä joudu muokkaamaan englanninkielistä versiota. "PD"-kuvista voit joko tarkistaa tekijän kuolinvuoden (mikä usein on ratkaisevaa Suomessa) tai käyttää niitä sitaattioikeuden tms. perusteella - mutta sitaattioikeus ei yleensä oikeuta käyttämään muita kuvia kuin mitä esitys sinänsä koskee. Jos kerrot mitä gradu koskee, joku voi ehkä antaa tarkempia neuvoja. --LPfi (talk) 12:03, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Copyright concerns aside, being a scientist myself I would strongly suggest you refrain from quoting Wikipedia as a source. As it is stated on the English Wikipedia site, Wikipedia itself is not a reliable source, simply because articles may be changed by anyone and what has once been written may be deleted the next day be consensus. While Wikipedia articles may be very useful to get an overview of a topic you should always check the sources provided in the article and cite them, not Wikipedia. I don't know about your studies but at least in Physics and other natural sciences using Wikipedia as a reference is a big no-no from my experience. De728631 (talk) 19:22, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

There are two quite different issues at hand: A) is the quotation law (in this case, of Finland). This is dealing with the right to quote copyrighted-protected works in scientific publications as far as it's needed for the given purpose. I don't know the Finnish law at all, but yes, in some countries text as well as pictures may be used as "quotes" where needed (sometimes called "fair use"). This, however, applies to all copyrighted works, whether they are freely licensed or not. And B) is the use of works according to the licenses given here, i.e. not based on quotation law. So, to "satisfy the requirements of any license under Finnish law" is, in my opinion, only needed for Commons material if the usage is more than a "quotation" allowed by law for any copyrighted content. Gestumblindi (talk) 17:30, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

The Finnish law indeed accepts quoting of any kind of works, but rules of thumb about what is acceptable quoting for text do not necessarily apply to e.g. images. There are also other kinds of fair use, such as including an image of a work being discussed in the thesis. I think wanting to change text on the images hints that the intended use is to illustrate the article in a way not compatible with such fair use. Then the licence has to be followed (with addition of attribution according to best practices and respect for the work, as mandated by moral rights in Finnish law) or the PD status in Finland confirmed (i.e. 70 years pma, with possible exceptions). --LPfi (talk) 08:55, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for all your hints and this discussion. However I'm still a bit unsure how I can use Wikipedia and how not. In my understanding you're allowed to quote both text and pictures in bachelor thesis and master thesis in Finland. Scientific articles is perhaps another thing, because they are published in another way. However Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license says that if Wikipedia pictures are used, you have to make your whole work with the same license. Is this right? This could not be possible if I have quoted pictures from another book and I may not give the right to freely copy the whole work, because of these pictures from another book even though Wikipedia terms say so, or at least I'm not sure if I can. If I want to stay on the safe side can I freely use the information in Wikipedia articles if I reference to the article if I wouldn't use any of the pictures? What if I would use the pictures with original language and not modify them at all? Can I quote everything according to the Finnish law even if there is a contradiction between Finnish law and Wikipedia Terms of Use? Btw my bachelor thesis topic is Aerodynamics in Machine design and I know Wikipedia isn't very valued in scientific circles, but it is approved at our department in bachelor thesis, but not in master thesis.

The quoting portions of Finnish law (similar to "fair use" in the United States) govern what you are allowed to do without permission from the copyright owner, even if a work is fully protected. If your intended use is within those boundaries, then you are not subject to the licenses at all. If any of your uses exceed those boundaries, then you must get permission from the copyright owner. On Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, that permission is already granted in the form of the copyright licenses attached to the work, provided you follow the conditions of that license. As for images licensed CC-BY-SA, it is just derivative works of the image itself which must also be licensed CC-BY-SA -- this is typically if you incorporate the image into a further graphical work, or apply some stylistic change, that sort of thing. The text you write, to the best of my understanding, can not be a derivative work of the photo -- it has a separate copyright; there are basically just two different works placed side by side. (See the distinction between an "Adaptation" and a "Collection" in the BY-SA's legal code; only adaptations require applying the license to the newer work; including it in a collection is something different.) In the case of images, I would guess it is just easier to follow the terms of the license (credit the author, and note the CC-BY-SA license) and not worry about whether the use counts as "quoting" for images. I don't really know Finnish law, but I'm guessing moral rights would require the author credits anyways. On the other hand, if your text makes substantial use of text from a Wikipedia article (beyond the quoting bounds allowed by Finnish law), then yes, that would likely mean your text would be deemed a derivative work of the Wikipedia text, and must be licensed with a the same license. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:51, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
The law is not very clear on quotations, it only says (section 22, translation: Ministry of Education and Culture): "A work made public may be quoted, in accordance with proper usage to the extent necessary for the purpose." (Finnish: "22 § Julkistetusta teoksesta on lupa hyvän tavan mukaisesti ottaa lainauksia tarkoituksen edellyttämässä laajuudessa".) So you have to know what proper usage (hyvä tapa) is in your field. Your professor will certainly be able to help, but the important thing is that quoting is something separate from using somebody else's text (or images) - and that the quote must be clearly marked as such and attributed to the author. Using Wikipedia text to a bigger extent than what is allowed as quotes is probably bad anyway, because you are supposed to write your own text, not find texts you are allowed to copy. --LPfi (talk) 16:39, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Use of Nike Missile Base Location Maps for U.S. and N.Y. Defense Area

A user: Bwmoll3 (Brent Wade Moll) is credited as author. I want to use these two maps in a book I am writing about a former, local Nike missile base in Mahwah, NJ. I was planning to write the credit under the photo as "Courtesy of Brent Wade Moll via Wikipedia." Is this the correct format for the required credit?

I have been reading all the legalese on this site, but it only confuses me. Please explain if there is anything else I need to do to use these map images.

First of all it would be helpful to know which file(s) exactly you would like to use because different files may have different requirements for attribution. E.g. this file though could be credited as "Courtesy of Brent Wade Moll (Bwmoll3, Wikimedia Commons)". Please note that this is not Wikipedia which has its own repository of images. De728631 (talk) 17:18, 9 May 2012 (UTC)


Please tell me the situations in which it is appropriate to upload an image to Wikimedia Commons? " 07:48, 9 May 2012 (UTC)"

They are explained in the upload wizard. — Yerpo Eh? 09:08, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Copyright on MIDI (link)

I didn't realize that Village Pump had a copyright section when I posted this:Commons:Village_pump#Copyrights_on_MIDI.3F I don't know if anyone here wants to read it over.--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:55, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Australian War Memorial files

Commons has many files from this collection (one example). However, I'd just like to run through the issues I have with them:

  • All are correctly licensed for Australia {{PD-Australia}}), their country of origin. The AWM people themselves say "Copyright expired - public domain", which I take in reference to that. I therefore proceed on the basis that such files are in the public domain because their copyright has expired, and not because their copyright holder has placed them in the public domain.
  • Many files, if not all, do not mention their copyright status in the United States. This is in contravention of Commons policy, which requires files "are in the public domain in at least the United States and in the source country of the work." and that "The license that applies to an image or media file must be indicated clearly on the file description page using a copyright tag."
  • I've been trying in a discussion on Wikipedia to find the correct licence for these files, which has been unsuccessful for reasons I haven't yet been able to explain.
  • Previous discussions at en.wp (e.g.) have thrown up some statements of interest. None of them, however, have ever been implemented with regard to the files' licensing, and so, whilst meaning that the files have not been deleted have also meant that the files remain in contravention of policy:
  • As far as my research has shown me, two particular sets come to importance:
  • Those files from before 1946. I have suggested using a rational thus:
Public domain

For background information, see the explanations on Non-U.S. copyrights.
  • This file was in the public domain on 1 January 1996 in its home country, Australia, by virtue of either:
  • Being the work of a private individual, and taken before 1 January 1955; or
  • Being the work of the Commonwealth or a State government, taken more than 50 years before 1 January 1996.
  • The photograph itself does attribute copyright.
  • Those files from 1946-55.
  • I believe that Quadell was absolutely right in his analysis here that such files should be sent into the hellhole of URAA-problematic files (Has that one been resolved since?). Their copyright status in the United States is surely untenable, regrettably. (Several argument has been proposed in response that appear to confuse their status in Australia and the United States. It is important to keep them as separate as possible to avoid confusion.) Quadell's suggestion seems not to have been implemented.

I've tried to keep this short. What are others' views on situation 1 (pre-1946) and situation 2 (1946–55)? Grandiose (talk) 11:12, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Your first point is a bit flawed: the Australian War Memorial (AWM) is in fact the owner of these images. As well as being a memorial and a museum, the AWM is a major archive for official documents, files and photos relating to Australian military history (much like the Imperial War Museum, but with an even broader mission in regards to supporting historical research). As such, when they label images on their database as being 'Copyright expired - public domain', they're saying this about their property, and so could be reasonably seen (I think) as releasing these images into the public domain in instances where they might not otherwise be out of copyright. It may be worth noting that there's no reason to think that more than a handful of these photos (which are works of the Australian Government created mainly to record the actions of the military for domestic consumption and use by the official historians) has ever been licensed in the US. Nick-D (talk) 11:50, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think so, Nick. Their copyright page says "This term describes material held in the National Collection that is clearly out of the period of copyright protection. Material that has passed out of the period of copyright protection is known as being in the "public domain"." This is phrased as a descriptive statement and I don't think it can be used to imply that they have been released – if indeed held – by the AWM. Releasing something from copyright typically takes a fair unequivocal statement. Grandiose (talk) 12:37, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) All Australian photos taken since 1946 are copyrighted in the United States, so they will presumably be deleted as part of the URAA review unless they are licensed under some free licence. Photos taken before 1946 are not guaranteed to be free in the United States either, so you need to check them more carefully. In particular, all unpublished photos taken since 1942 are copyrighted.
Photos not published anywhere before 1 March 1989 are copyrighted for at least life+70 years in the United States (sometimes more, works for hire have a different term). For example, photos in private family albums are usually unpublished.
Photos first published after 1922 may be copyrighted in the United States regardless of when they were taken if US copyright formalities were followed, see en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights#Subsisting copyrights.
Your template use doesn't look entirely correct to me. For all Australian photos, use {{PD-Australia}} to explain why they are out of copyright in Australia, and additionally use a US template explaining their US copyright status. For unpublished photos, use {{PD-US-unpublished}}. For photos published before 1923, use {{PD-1923}}. For photos first published between 1923 and 28 February 1989, use {{PD-1996}} and use the reason tag to specify why there isn't a subsisting copyright. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:08, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
My template use is indeed {{PD-1996}}, and complements {{PD-Australia}} as you suggest. Can't say I understand the bit about subsisting copyrights, what I did was take the text of PD-1996 and explain why I believed each requirement was fulfilled. (Quadell, coincidently, has pointed to Golan v. Holder and thus the recommendation may now be that post-1946 files are unfortunately still under copyright, unless the government releases them. Might be worth an email?) Grandiose (talk) 12:37, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Clarification: Australian photos can be copyrighted in the United States for three reasons. You need to check that none of them applies. An Australian photo is copyrighted in the United States if at least one of the rules applies.
  1. URAA rule This is the easiest rule: all photos taken since 1946 are copyrighted.
  2. Unpublished rule This is also quite easy to check, but you need to prove that the photo is unpublished. Go to this page and check the section "Never Published, Never Registered Works". In the public domain if the chart tells that it is in the public domain.
  3. Subsisting copyright rule This is often much harder to check due to confusing copyright formalities in the United States. Go to the same page and check the section "Works Registered or First Published in the U.S." For Australian photos, there is no need to check the "first published abroad" section if you've already tested the photos against the URAA rule above. If neither this rule nor the URAA rule rules the photo as copyrighted, the photo is in the public domain. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:23, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
If the pictures were taken by Australian government then they would be under crown copyright. This is for 50 years, and was not extended in 2005. So AU government pictures from 1961 are now in the public domain. You people seem to have forgotten the Australia-USA free trade agreement/treaty from 2005 which recognized Australian copyright and public domain in the USA, though I don't know the USA law reference for this. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 10:11, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that agreement changed the treatment of Australian works inside the U.S. If works were not public domain in Australia on January 1, 1996, and were first published between 1923 through 1977, then they received a U.S. copyright term of 95 years from publication. Thus, Australian photographs taken 1946 or later typically still have their copyright in the U.S., even if they have since expired in Australia, and therefore are a problem for hosting on Commons. Crown Copyright could be a special case -- technically, the Australian government could press a U.S. copyright claim on works from 1946 or later as well, since they were not PD in Australia in 1996. The UK has specified that they consider their Crown Copyright expiration to apply worldwide, i.e. is a special case of PD-author where the copyright owner is placing their own works into the public domain. I don't think Australia has specified on that one way or another, and I think it may be reasonable to assume the same with their works, but some here could disagree. But I think the discussion above is more about non-crown copyright images, where photos from 1946-1955 have expired in Australia but not the United States. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:27, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
It would surprise me if the free trade agreement enforced the rule of the shorter term for Australian works in the US. No treaty I've ever seen does such, since no country has an economic interest in reducing the length of its copyrighted works outside its borders; I know the US didn't encourage such a rule for US works, so it'd have to be one way, which I doubt would have gotten agreed to. And the US has not written any such provision into US law.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:50, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

My most immediate concern is to ascertain whether the licence I provide above for files pre-1946 is sufficient, should be modified or replaced. Could anyone advise? Grandiose (talk) 19:30, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

{{PD-Australia}} and {{PD-1996}} would be correct for those. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:16, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Not always, although I guess most exceptions would be unpublished photos. --Stefan4 (talk) 09:02, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

It is not true that no country has an economic interest in reducing the length of its copyrighted works. If it was, countries would extend copyright indefinitely. You are forgetting the whole purpose of copyright, which is to promote the production of works. That is why terms of copyright are strictly limited. When the Australian government, under pressure from the United States, extended its term of copyright from 50 to 70 years, it explicitly did not restore copyrights that had expired. Nor did it extend the term of the crown copyright on works. These continue to expire after 50 years. We are only talking about crown copyrights here. So crown copyright photograph from before 1946 was in the public domain in 1996. After that, who owns copyright of crown copyright photographs in the United States? The crown does, and it expires after 50 years. So images from 1946 through 1961 are in the public domain in the United States, and those from 1962 will fall into the public domain on 1 January 1963. Hawkeye7 (talk) 21:49, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

The fact that the crown's copyright expires in Australia does in no way mean that the same thing also happen in the United States. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:55, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes it does, under the Australia – United States Free Trade Agreement, which is the law of the land in the United States. The Australian government sets its own rules on its own copyrights, which United States law protects. And the Australian government has terminated its own copyright of works more than 50 years old. Consider it the other way round: what is the copyright status of a US Federal government photograph in Australia? It will be copyright to the US Federal government. Which has released it into the public domain. Therefore, it is in the public domain in Australia too. The 1996 rule only comes into play with privately owned works, those which are not crown copyright. It is in this case that the copyright may have expired in Australia but not in the United States. Hawkeye7 (talk) 23:03, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
The United States government has released its works to the public domain in the United States, but the works may be copyrighted by the United States government in other countries. See this page for an explanation. Similarly, the Australian government releases its works to the public domain in Australia 50 years after publication, although the works may still be copyrighted by the Australian government outside Australia after that point. Outside the country of origin, the works are presumably still copyrighted unless the rule of the shorter term is applied. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:11, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
There's no reason to think that the Australian Government would ever enforce copyright on its old images overseas. Can you provide any examples of this happening? Nick-D (talk) 08:53, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
All I can say is that there is a list of countries where the Australian government regards its copyright to expire when it says it does, and the United States is on the list. Hawkeye7 (talk) 12:51, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
That's interesting -- where is that list? Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:58, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
I take your point that US public domain images should not be uploaded to commons, if they are not in the public domain world wide. Hawkeye7 (talk) 12:36, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Commons only requires images to be in the public domain in the United States and the source country. See COM:L#Interaction of United States copyright law and non-US copyright law. United States government images are both in the public domain in the United States and in the source country, so they are fine. The list you mentioned can't be taken into account if you don't tell where the list can be found. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:18, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
You can find it here. If, as you say, the United States does not accept other nations expiring their copyrights, then all United States images must be taken down. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:56, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't see anything in that list that talks about works made in Australia; it's all about protecting works made overseas. No, the US does not have the rule of the shorter term; why that would require that all US images be taken down, I don't know.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:18, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
It is not true that no country has an economic interest in reducing the length of its copyrighted works. What I said was no country has an economic interest in reducing the length of its copyrighted works outside its borders, which I stand by. If people in the US are willing to send money to Australia for an Australian work, it's all to Australia's economic benefit.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:44, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
And I stand by my explanation of the purpose of copyright. Although it runs a budget surplus, the government is not a for-profit organisation. Copyright is a process by which short-term protection is granted by the public in return for works later being given over the public for the public good. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:56, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Forget the "purpose" of copyright; most politicians have. Any law a government passes is generally to the benefit of its people, not people overseas. There's no reason Australia should deliver Australian works to the US public domain one second before the rest of the world's works end up in the US public domain.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:18, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
No, but they did have their law specify a different term for their own works, so they did not intend for the copyright on own works to last quite as long as everyone else's. That is the copyright owner placing their own works into the public domain, basically. The UK did in fact say they consider their Crown Copyright expiration to apply worldwide; it's not a completely unreasonable thing to assume something similar for Australia, as I'm not aware of any statement to the contrary for them. Particularly since that under the Berne Convention the rule of the shorter term is allowed -- nobody should expect to get further protection overseas then they get at home, though it can happen. Australia does seem to be following the UK lead on trying to license a lot of their works under free licenses -- see here. Even in the U.S. case, the oft-quoted bit comes directly from the House notes of the 1976 Copyright Act, which in turn was based on an early 1970s opinion from the U.S. Register of Copyrights, which thought that overseas enforcement of US Government works was possible due to specific wording in the Universal Copyright Convention. It turned out that wasn't necessarily the case, as the UCC later (early 1980s) did their own study and had representatives look at the question themselves, and the responses were decidedly mixed -- potential protection was going to be a country-by-country thing at best. Since then, the U.S. has joined the Berne Convention, which doesn't have the particular wording in that area that the UCC does, which could change the situation even more. The situation is harder because it's completely theoretical; I'm not aware of any case where a government tried to enforce a copyright overseas, particularly after when it has expired in its own country. That said, U.S. law might allow the Australian Government to bring a lawsuit here for photos taken 1946, since it has not forcibly expired per U.S. law, so I can understand the hesitation to declare such things "free". Even then though, it could still be ruled as someone placing their own work into the public domain, say a case of common law w:abandonment, or some theory like that. If an individual in say Germany says "I place this work into the public domain", without using the explicit term "worldwide", but also not explicitly using the words "in Germany only", what would a U.S. court rule if that person later tried to enforce copyright in the U.S.? That's basically the situation with foreign government files, at least for those countries which have a different government works term than the country's normal terms. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:58, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

American paintings exhibited or sold without copyright notices prior to 1978

After reading Letter Edged in Black Press, Inc. v. Public Building Commission of Chicago and Commons:Public art and copyrights in the US, I am forced to come to the conclusion that any American artwork (including paintings) that did not include a visible copyright notice and was publicly exhibited or sold prior to 1978 is now in the public domain (with a few edge case exceptions). Since paintings almost never include visible copyright notices, wouldn't this make most of them public domain? Kaldari (talk) 07:22, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Many, yes, I'm sure. As for the exhibiting part, we'd have to know that photography was permitted, which can often be hard or impossible to determine. Works permanently placed in public would be impossible to control photographs, so those seem pretty safe to assume. I also wonder if a notice is allowed to be on the back of the painting -- if you sold the physical painting, both the front and back should be equally visible to the purchaser. It's the exhibition part where that gets dicier, since if the only notice to potential copiers is hidden from view, it may not count. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:14, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Am I right in assuming that if a photograph is taken against local rules about camera use, then we can't upload it?--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:03, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Not necessarily. The photographer owns the copyright, so they control distribution in most cases. It's up to the photographer if they want to respect those rules, and whatever non-copyright legal ramifications ensue. See Commons:Image casebook#Museum and interior photography. If the photographer wants to upload the image against the wishes of the property owner, we generally let them, and won't delete it. The main exceptions are if the photograph itself is a derivative work of some other copyrighted work (like a sculpture), in which case the author of the underlying work controls distribution unless freedom of panorama applies in that location, or if the photograph violates someone's privacy in some way (in which case it's illegal to even publish the photograph). Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:15, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Russian copyright

It seems that Russia changed its public domain criteria according to: Template:PD-Russia-2008. See the fine print under footnote [1]. Does commons have a policy and/or list of creators that qualify under the extension of the copyrights?--Canoe1967 (talk) 15:59, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Russia changed this exactly in 2009, which brought some of the things out of public domain. No, we do not have any lists as fas as I know, but I do not think there are so many authors who had their copyright extended.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:23, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
The concern that brought this up is a photographer that died in 1938. All of his images have been nominated for deletion and one is nominated for a Featured Picture at the same time. File:Victor Bulla - Young Pioneers Defence.jpg --Canoe1967 (talk) 16:58, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
This is a clear case (provided the bio details are correct, I did not check). The work is not in public domain.--Ymblanter (talk) 17:12, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

This may bring up more questions. He has a page on ru:WP but not an english one. I may try and translate it. This is a quote from: en:Political rehabilitation -- "Many cases were subject to amnesty only, but not to rehabilitation (in particular those who were prosecuted for "belonging to Trotskyite Opposition"). If he was subject to amnesty only, would his works still be in PD? Should we provide citations before we delete existing files in commons? etc, etc.--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:31, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, rehabilitation is a legal process, one has to apply, have a court hearing etc. Then he retains the rights. Amnesty is smth proclaimed by one of the former presidents, this is not legally sufficient in my understanding.--Ymblanter (talk) 17:41, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

I am half way through a google machine translation here: en:User:Canoe1967/sandbox. The Russian page has the rehabilitation added at the bottom of the biography section with no reference. I added the {citation needed} tag in my page to it. I may finish the translation. Google seems to have pasted the Russian and English text, and I am still chopping that out. I wonder if his family did the legal process, or the editor confused amnesty with rehabilitation. I wonder if a Russian wikipedian could verify that.--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:53, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

I am not a Russian Wikipedian, but most likely they did.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:18, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
There is an article here where his daughter said he was "rehabilitated". Is there any place where that can be double-checked? On the other hand, it sounds like he donated his work to the Russian state in 1935, which is where the photos come from now. It's possible they could just release it to the public domain. The en-wiki article w:Karl Bulla says all the photos in the archive are PD and gives a reference to this Russian article. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:27, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Thank you Carl, I never thought to look up his father's article. It seems he has a grandaughter still living in Russia. Someone may be able to just phone or email her and ask?--Canoe1967 (talk) 01:56, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Pre 1989 company annual reports

Are pre-1989 company annual reports public domain? The US government requires publicly traded companies to publish them and the ones I have looked at do not have a copyright notice. These often contain product photos and if no byline or credit is given these photos they would be {{PD-US-no notice}} or {{PD-US-1978-89}}. -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 04:17, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Good enough disclaimer to use {{Attribution}}

Is a disclaimer like "You are welcome to use the photos in the photo gallery. Please give credit to <organisation>." - like the one that appears here - enough to allow us to use the photos under the {{Attribution}} tag? - Htonl (talk) 10:13, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

I would say yes. You may wish to email them to add a Creative Commons tag to the site to make it more clear. The photos are taken by the government so may be in public domain with attribution depending on the laws there.--Canoe1967 (talk) 15:29, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Template:PD-South-Africa-exempt is probably the better choice.--Canoe1967 (talk) 15:33, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
    • In previous discussions it's been established that the PD-SA-exempt tag only applies to a limited range of truly official works like laws and court judgments. It apparently doesn't apply to general PR material produced by the government. - Htonl (talk) 16:09, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I would say no. We prefer such statements to explicitly acknowledge commercial use and derivative works. That looks more like a case of Commons:Image casebook#Press photos to me. The general copyright terms on the site prohibit commercial use (and prohibits use of photographs altogether). While that gallery does have a different copyright policy than the overall site (they allow use of the photographs), I don't think I'd be comfortable assuming that means use for financial gain as well. You could contact them and ask for clarification. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:37, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Perhaps we need a "Template:Photos from a page with a vague statement on use that we take in good faith as copyright with attribution"? I agree then that {{Attribution}} is better.--Canoe1967 (talk) 16:43, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Problem with Trademark?

There is an image at which is covered under international trademark 005784285 and infringes upon that trademark under classes 9, 16 and 41. Could you please advise?

I see two photographs on the page but no trademarks. I tracked the images back to sources and they seem to be ok with the copyright tags they have now.--Canoe1967 (talk) 16:59, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Um... to the best of my knowledge, no, images are not "covered" under a separate wordmark. From what I can see, the wordmark "Shakin Stevens" is protected, per here and here (that is the number you gave). That covers the use of that phrase only, and only to the extent that trademark law covers (which is usually more in a misrepresentation sense). Certainly if another performer used that name, that would be an issue, or if a photo of someone else was mislabeled using that name, perhaps, but I'm not sure how a trademark like that could affect the photo (unless it was used in a way to make people think it was an official product of the band or person, something like that). An accurate label of a photo should in no way be a trademark issue. You might look at w:Trademark#Limits_and_defenses_to_claims_of_infringement. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:06, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

CC & Flickr

If an image on Flickr is licensed CC BY 2.0, but then underneath says "Request to license...via Getty Images", does this mean you have to submit a request for CC BY 2.0 to apply, or is the request for further rights? Mato (talk) 17:54, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

I take that to mean that it would be a request for further rights. cmadler (talk) 19:52, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Cosplay images

Hello! can somebody explain me why cosplay images at category:Star Wars characters are acceptable while images like this File:R2D2 from Lego.JPG are not? If a character is copyrighted, it is copyrighted even if you dress up like them, aren't they? As the design remains the same. So under what rule are cosplay images not bothered? :) If I dress up like Darth vader, it's ok to upload the photo, but if I take a photo of an exhibitied darth vader figure, it's suddenly copyrighted? How does this work? Thanks for clearing this up. Teemeah (talk) 14:27, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Disregarding the character aspect, the R2D2 there is a toy, which likely counts as a copyrightable work in its own right. Photos of toys have indeed been ruled (more than once I think) to be derivative works, since toys count as sculpture, so even if somebody assembled a completely different robot that nobody has seen before the photo would still be a problem (unless it was the uploader who actually put it together). Clothing is generally utilitarian, and not protectable by copyright (though masks can be, and the designs on clothes can be); while there are lots of blurry lines in this area I don't think anyone has ever run across a case where photos like that have (photos of public events) been ruled derivative. A couple of those are probably edging up to the line, but there are significant differences between clothing (which does not get copyright protection, although a character in general might), versus solid sculpture, which does. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:40, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
I see but both are characters :) So if I dress up to be C3PO, which is also robot, thus a sculpture, at a public cosplay event, then a free licence photo can be made, but if I take a photo of a C3PO robot at a public exhibition, it's gonna be deleted. Interesting approach. Teemeah (talk) 14:44, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
The rigid C3PO costume might be a more interesting situation. And a couple of those other images may be edging over some borderlines too. It's not an easy area to be sure, but there are limits to what a "derivative work" is -- a copyrighted work which is present but unavoidable while taking a photo of a larger subject (such as say, a parade) may not count as a derivative work. A couple important court cases have sided that way. The character copyright is an odd beast in itself as well; there are lots of blurry lines in that area. People making (unauthorized) costumes have indeed been sued and lost; but photos of people in public wearing authorized costumes may be a rather different beast, copyright-wise. If you took a photo of *just* the C3PO costume, without any context (say on a blank background, so the focus is obvious), that could well be an issue. These aren't easy questions for sure, though I personally do prefer to limit things to where we can point to actual court cases (they can be shocking enough) without trying to invent more and more theoretically possible problems (without any backing court case) and deleting on those grounds. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:41, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Teemeah -- It's been established many times that clothing is overall "functional" or "utilitarian" under United States copyright law, and that photographs of clothing as being worn by people do not violate copyrights. (Much the same reasoning explains why haute couture designers can't prevent cheap knock-off imitations from being made.) -- AnonMoos (talk) 23:20, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, however: Dressing up as a specific copyrighted character, converting the entire appearence of the person into that of, say, C3PO, the Klingon Worf, or Spiderman, which consists of more than just wearing some clothing but also make-up / masks - couldn't that be seen as problematic, copyright-wise? Gestumblindi (talk) 13:22, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Ok, thanks, clear. :) Teemeah (talk) 07:53, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

File: Photo of Bruce Clark on the cover of April 18, 1997 edition of Vancouver's Terminal City magazine

The file was posted an hour or so ago. Then User: January made a change saying, I think, it is necessary for the author additionally to consent in writing, that the licence is not sufficient. My information came from the author who apparently thinks that referring to the licence would be sufficient. I see now there is a template and I have asked an intermediary who knows the author, Darren Atwater, to send it along to him. I expect to have it soon and will be able to relay it to you. So, I have two questions. First, how do I relay it to you? I did not see a place on the upload form for an author permission template. Secondly, can someone ask January to hold off deleting the photo until this can be taken care of. I looked but could not find how to contact her directly.--Evarose3 (talk) 19:44, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

I see two separate issues here: one is the file, like most 3rd party files, needs to go through Commons:OTRS - please see that page for procedures and formalities noting in particular that relaying the permission is not ordinarily adequate, it needs to come from the copyright owner at a verifiable email address. Secondly you appear to list two separate licenses, one of which is ND (no derivatives) which is not allowed here. Dankarl (talk) 22:34, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
I have changed the speedy deletion tag to a "no permission" tag, which allows a week for the permission to be confirmed. (If it is deleted after that time, a Commons administrator can still restore it if permission is later received.) January (talk) 02:25, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

File:Royal Cypher of Queen Elizabeth II.svg

This and the related File:Royal-Cypher-Eliz-2-Gold.svg seem to be public domain in the UK due to crown copyright having expired. If so, would they be PD in the US as well, or would they have fallen afoul of the UFAA? They probably became PD in 2002. Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:12, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

The act of creating a vector version most likely involves its own creativity, so it would have a copyright even if the underlying work is PD. As for UK Crown Copyright, they have mentioned they consider Crown Copyright expiration to apply worldwide, so even though if they may have technically had a right to bring a U.S. lawsuit after its UK copyright had expired, they basically said they wouldn't, so we treat that as a form of PD-author. {{PD-UKGov}} has the links on that, so we don't worry about the URAA status when it comes to UK works. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:11, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Surely a svg version of a jpeg or tiff is essentially a derivative image of the original image and so cannot be claimed to have created a newly licenceable image? While some image creators might draw a vector image by hand they just trace lines around the outlines of the original and fill in the colours of the original. Some creative software even does the work for you, so I don't really see a creative element. Ww2censor (talk) 04:59, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
A derivative work -- by definition -- has copyrightable authorship attributable to the second author. Derivative works are registered as such. It's just that the if the copyright of the underlying work is still in effect, the work additionally needs the permission of the first author to distribute it. Once that underlying copyright expires, the only thing left is the copyright of the additional expression added by the second author, but that's still a copyright. Only a straight copy, or when the additional work does not itself qualify for copyright, is there no additional copyright. Just hitting "trace" in a program would not be enough to create a copyright, you're right, but once you go about cleaning that up and making lots of small decisions on the lines, it's probably different. There was an old case where a w:mezzotint of a painting was deemed to have enough originality to qualify as a derivative work (with a copyright above and beyond the original). Colorizing a black and white film almost certainly does as well. It doesn't take much, and it does not require drawing something from scratch. Coats of arms can have their own idiosyncrasies as well; the general design is often more of an idea, and individual drawings of the design are not necessarily derivative works (see Commons:Coats of Arms). Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:23, 19 May 2012 (UTC)


How complex is this logo in the United Kingdom? --George Ho (talk) 00:28, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

As long as it's a text-only logo in an existing font/typeface, the UK would not give any copyright protection to it. That seems rather plausible for that logo. Carl Lindberg (talk) 11:30, 19 May 2012 (UTC)


This is a single cover so obviously not licensed GFDL/CC-BY-SA as uploaded, but is it simple enough for {{PD-text}}? January (talk) 16:38, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Copyright template and Japanese currency

Discussion regarding the applicability of {{PD-Japan-exempt}} to Japanese Yen images is happening at: Commons:Administrators'_noticeboard#Copyright_status_of_Japanese_Yen_bank_notes. Please take a moment and comment. Thank you, --Hammersoft (talk) 14:08, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

A straight reading of those exemptions would not seem to cover currency, unless it is covered by the "notifications, instructions, circular notices and the like" portion. This summary document, from a third party I think, seems to imply (in section 6 of Chapter 3, "Issues in Practice") that commercial use of currency is somewhat allowed, although laws pertaining to counterfeiting could come into play. Section 3 in the same chapter on government works in general also seems to say lack of protection on government works may be a bit more expansive than the reading above. Not sure... doesn't seem to be anything explicitly allowing them, but I also have no idea about custom practice in Japan, and it's possible there are "notifications" or something similar which defines the designs on currency, coins, and the like. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:46, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Copyright status of Sri Lankan currency

Can anyone advise as to the copyright status of (especially modern) Sri Lankan coins and bank notes? For example, File:One LKR coin.jpg, some of the images in Category:Coins of Sri Lanka, and Category:Banknotes of Sri Lanka. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:08, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Hm. Sri Lankan copyright law does not seem to have anything special for a government term (slightly odd for a former UK colony, but it looks like they have more of a WIPO-model copyright law now, though they actually take the "fair use" definitions from U.S. law). Section 8 says that copyright does not apply to any official text of a legislative, administrative or legal nature, as well as any official translation thereof. That seems to focus on the text itself, and not graphical works. On the other hand, for some of those coins, they use the national emblem which seems to date from shortly after independence, though the current version is from 1972. Not sure where that particular representation dates from. The other side of the coins seem to be mostly writing. The law before 2006 said copyright does not apply to laws and decisions of courts and administrative bodies, as well as to official translations thereof, so the wording has slightly changed, and the terms of protection was shorter overall. It's possible the emblem was defined in a law. Doesn't seem like the newer law retroactively restored copyright for anything which had expired, but I'm not sure. I nominated File:One LKR coin.jpg for deletion because the photographs appear to lifted off a website; that is independent of this question though. Dunno, but I really can't see anything which would preclude copyright on coins or banknotes, though for the coins there could be questions on threshold of originality, and that kind of thing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:20, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

French money

The copyright on the French banknotes denominated in francs was apparently held by the Banque de France. In 1998, a magazine published reproductions of such banknotes without authorization from the Banque. The Banque sued the magazine for copyright violation, on the basis of the copyright law. In this case, in 1999, a judgment by the Cour d'appel de Paris (also confirmed in 2002 by a judgment by the Cour de cassation) ruled that when banknotes are in current use as the legal mode of payment, any legal complaint about their unauthorized reproduction must be based only on the anti-counterfeiting section of the penal code, and not on the copyright law. Consequently, the complaint of the Banque, which in this case was based on the copyright law, was rejected. In other words, when a banknote is the current legal mode of payment in the country, its copyright holder's rights of action against unauthorized reproduction under the copyright law are suspended, and the only recourse is the anti-counterfeiting measures of the penal code. The courts based their decision in this case on article 36 of the Code des instruments monétaires et des médailles, which states that "the counterfeiting and the falsification of banknotes [...] are repressed by sections 442-1 to 442-7 of the penal code".

In 2002, soon after the introduction of the euro money items, all money items denominated in francs ceased to be the legal mode of payment in France. However, for some more years after they ceased to be the legal currency items, they retained their value in that they could still be exchanged for euros at the offices of the Banque de France. The final date of possible exchange for coins denominated in francs was in 2005 and the final date of possible exchange for the last banknotes denominated in francs was 17 February 2012. After that date, they are definitely void.

On Commons, some contributors seem to interpret the above-mentioned court decision as if it meant that the copyright was inapplicable on all copyrighted items of French money denominated in francs, and forever, and everywhere. They upload images of French francs coins, practically as if there were no copyright on French francs. But that seems to ignore the facts that : 1) the court decision was based explicitely on the wording of article 36 of the monetary code, which is specifically about banknotes, not coins, and 2) the court decision was based on the reasoning that the application of the copyright law was excluded on those banknotes because they were legal currency items. It also ignores the fact that, independently of the copyright recourses of the copyright holder being suspended or not in France, the copyright holder still holds his copyright, and his copyright in the Unites States is not affected, unless there's an equivalent jurisprudence or doctrine in the United States to the effect that U.S. anti-counterfeiting laws exclude U.S. copyright law recourses, but I don't think it's the case.

I'm not saying that those uploaders are wrong, but I feel that they have been extrapolating a lot, without the matter having been discussed much and clarified. The explicit reasoning and wording of the court decision does not apply to coins nor to out-of-currency items. But what would the courts have decided if the case had actually been about coins instead of banknotes, or if it had been about out-of-currency banknotes instead of about then-current banknotes? Would the courts have modified their reasoning and found a way to cover also coins and out-of-currency items? Maybe, or maybe not. Technically, the court bases its decision on the wording of article 36 of the monetary code, which says that "the counterfeiting of banknotes is repressed by the penal code". The court's trick is to interpret that wording to implicitely mean that any unauthorized reproduction of banknotes can be dealt with under the penal code only, to the exclusion of the copyright law. The problem is that if the case had been about coins, the court could not have invoked article 36 of the monetary code as the legal basis for its decision, because that article is about banknotes only. So, what would the court have done? It could have decided to apply the copyright law to the case normally, as the copyright holder was asking. Or it could have found some other legal basis, other than the monetary code, to justify a decision to exclude the copyright law. Perhaps it could have done without any invocation of the monetary code and instead just invent a jurisprudential justification to the effect that since the penal code contains something about the counterfeiting of coins as well as banknotes, the copyright law recourses should be excluded. It is interesting to note that the penal code also includes an article prohibiting counterfeiting of out-of-currency banknotes and coins. We can speculate about what the court would have decided, but we don't know.

The questions:

  • 1) Considering the decision that the French court issued specifically about what was then the legal currency banknotes in francs, could that decision have been reasonably extrapolated to cover also the coins in francs when those coins were still the legal currency coins?
  • 2) Can the decision that the French court issued specifically about what was then the legal currency banknotes in francs be reasonably extrapolated to still cover the banknotes in francs now that they are not legal currency anymore?
  • 3) Can the decision that the French court issued specifically about what was then the legal currency banknotes in francs be reasonably extrapolated to cover the coins in francs now that they are not legal currency anymore? (Yes, question 3 is a combination of the two extrapolations that were addressed separately in questions 1 and 2.)
  • 4) If the answer to question 1 is yes, then can the decision that the French court issued specifically about what was then the legal currency banknotes in francs be reasonably extrapolated to now cover the French national faces of the euro coins, which are currently the legal currency?
  • 5) Can the decision of the French court suspending the application of the rights of the copyright holder under the French copyrigt law in France have any effect on suspending the application of the rights of the copyright holder under the Copyright Act of the United States in the United States? Even if one assumed that some unauthorized images of copyrighted French money items might not constitute actionable copyright violations in France, those images constitute copyright violations in the U.S., and they can't be uploaded to Commons, can they?

-- Asclepias (talk) 10:04, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Utilitarian objects protected by copyright

According to the description, File:4xcolor mini maglite 20050614.jpg was taken in Sweden. According to Högsta domstolen case T 1421-07, the torches are copyrighted as an artistic work in Sweden. COM:FOP#Sweden only applies to artistic works permanently installed in a public space outdoors, but these torches seem to be temporarily installed in a private space indoors, so FOP doesn't seem to apply. Thus, the photo seems to be unfree in the country of photography. As an additional source, check the usage of the file: Utilitarian objects protected by copyright and sv:Verkshöjd (Swedish Wikipedia article on threshold of originality).

Should we start deleting photos of utilitarian objects taken in Sweden and photos of Swedish utilitarian objects taken outside Sweden? This could have some rather interesting effects, causing problems with photos of non-nude people due to copyrighted tunics, jackets, more jackets and mats. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:41, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

The Swedish court said that protection was limited, probably limited to to real copies. But a photo is not a torch. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 00:18, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm not Swede, but from what I read of the case-file, it actually deals with industrial design right (mönsterskydd), as a part of the Swedish author's right legislation (lag om upphovsrätt till litterära och konstnärliga verk) and not copyright as such. While Wikimedia Commons makes strong points towards copyright, but trademarks, design rights and the likes are handled in a slightly different manner, as per the general disclaimer:
Any of the trademarks, service marks, collective marks, design rights, personality rights or similar rights that are mentioned, used or cited in the Wikimedia Commons are the property of their respective owners. Their use here does not imply that you may use them for any other purpose other than for the same or a similar informational use as contemplated by the original authors of these Wikimedia Commons media under the specified licensing scheme.
In my opinion, the file should at most be tagged with {{copydesign}}, but certainly not deleted. In kind regards heb [T C E] 12:13, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
No, the court verdict tells that this torch model has both "mönsterskydd" (short term: up to 25 years, possibly already expired) and "upphovsrätt" (long term: life+70 years, not expired). An utilitarian object may have both types of protection in Sweden. Under the copyright law, this is an artistic work ("konstnärligt verk"). --Stefan4 (talk) 12:25, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Does this apply in all cases, regardless of wither the object constitute the central element of the picture or not?
I don't think that the Swedish copyright on Swedish made utilitarian objects, extends to other countries that doesn't have a similar legislation, where utilitarian objects necessarily are granted copyright status or where there are other relaxations (i.e. in Denmark I can take and PD-release a photo of a man in a jacket, that would be a copyright utilitarian object in Sweden, as long as the jacket isn't the main focus of the photo (in Danish hovedmotivet) as per Danish author's right legislation §24,2. Commercial use of the photo might be illegal in Sweden, but that is a different issue. --heb [T C E] 13:02, 23 May 2012 (UTC)


This image (claiming to be a former logo of MI5, the UK Security Service) is tagged as from the CIA World Factbook, and also as being public domain due to UK government copyright having expired. However, I do not believe that this is accurate and I cannot verify that the image is authentic. It has, however, been on Wikipedia or Commons for years! I cannot find it in the CIA World Factbook. I also doubt whether it is actually created by the UK government. On English Wikipedia, the MI5 page refers to the book Defence of the Realm, the authorized history of MI5 by Christopher Andrew. The logo does not appear anywhere in that book, and the "Mankind's Immortal Victory" phrase comes from a different image (a sketch by a former deputy director of the service, nothing to do with this logo), though there is a drawing of an all-seeing-eye logo that does not resemble this one (it is a giant eye with a Latin motto underneath, and other decorations). It does not appear on the MI5 website. In all the years it has appeared on English Wikipedia, it hasn't garnered additional attribution beyond (1) either pre-1955 or 1950s-1970s, and (2) a "citation needed" tag that has sat there untouched for years.

The image does seem to be used quite widely on conspiracy-theory sites, due to the eye-in-a-pyramid motif. The uploader here is one "FU NWO" whose other contributions are on the same theme - probably the username is short for "Fuck You New World Order". The history of the image on English Wikipedia is also dominated by conspiracy types.

In summary, I think this image is likely to be inauthentic, and in any case its provenance is different from that claimed - it is not from the World Factbook, there is no evidence that it comes from the UK government, and it may be an outright fabrication by conspiracy theorists.

Update: This ebay page shows a cap badge in the same design, but with "007" on the crown. The author says: "I designed it and offered it for years in the Baird Collectibles mail order catalog. I also wholesaled the emblems to other mail order catalog companies who dealt in spy related items. It's not likely that any spy would carry a badge, but I thought that if the world's most famous fictional spy had a badge or a patch it would look something like this, starting with the triangle, adding a Queen's crown and logo (EIIR), with MIV and 007. I was later told by folks from England that MI5 is never written with the roman numberal V, but I still thought it was a neat design and there are thousands of these badges and patches in circulation. The design was never officially associated with any British spy organization nor the fictional character James Bond."

This is not an MI5 logo, but a piece of unofficial James Bond memorabilia. (Bond wasn't even in MI5!) I assume it is also under the copyright of eBay user "bedoya2". -- 23:22, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it's a pretty crude fake. The logos used by British Government agencies have always tended to be very bland. The eye in the pyramid thing definitely wouldn't get the OK from anyone on Whitehall. Nick-D (talk) 23:31, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
I've removed all instances of this from the English-language Wikipedia. Nick-D (talk) 23:47, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
I'd suggest you start a deletion request (see COM:DR) with the information provided here. Gestumblindi (talk) 02:17, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
(I've modified the link in the section header so that this discussion shows up in Special:WhatLinksHere/File:MI5.jpg.)
Regarding the message at User talk:FU NWO: has it been listed at COM:DR? I can't find it. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 10:14, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
I tried the "Nominate for deletion" link in the sidebar but it didn't seem to work - it looks like it left the message on that user's page, but didn't do anything else (I assumed it had failed completely). Sorry! Somebody else should do the nomination. 13:05, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
Done: Commons:Deletion requests/File:MI5.jpg. --Carnildo (talk) 22:08, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

File:Bageren er desværre død - så nu bager han ej brød 2012-05-20.jpg

After I uploaded this photo I came to think about that there may be an issue with the copyright of the text on the sign and perhaps the design of the sign as well. I first asked about this at the main Help desk page, where Stefan4 suggested to try and post the question here instead. Some facts about the photo

  • The photo is taken in Denmark at a public location.
  • It is a sign which is meant as a joke on a well-known historical building from 1788, which has been the home of a dean.
  • The golden sign (kringle), not the text part was stolen in 2009 and replaced by a new one crafted by a local builder of boats with assistence from people from Norway, also in 2009.
  • The humorous text originates from the Danish author Peter Seeberg who died in 1999. He was a museum custodian for the town museum as well. It is a rhyme in Danish and translates (approximately to) "The baker is unfortunately dead - so now he is not baking bread".
  • I have tried to figure out when the text was authored, but have not managed to find any sources with a year.

Is the photo OK, or should I open a DR? Thanks in advance, --Slaunger (talk) 19:00, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Generally, freedom of panorama in Denmark only applies to architectural works. See "Commons:Freedom of panorama#Denmark": "The article 24 of the Danish copyright law permits panorama freedom for architecture. This, however, does not extend to the works of art that are located in public places. They cannot be commercially published when they constitute the central element of the picture." However, if the new kringle produced in 1999 is an exact reproduction of a very old (1788?) sign, I think no new copyright is generated and a photograph of it should be fine. As for the text, I am less certain. I think the question is whether, under Danish copyright law, it is short enough not to be copyrighted. — Cheers, JackLee talk 06:50, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. OK, so it is not so simple. Concerning the age of the sign, I think it cannot be earlier than 1948 as the spelling follows the spelling reform of 1948. Moreover, the text author was born in 1925 (and died in 1999). I have written to the local museum to get some more info about the history of the sign itself. I have seen photos of the golden "kringle" element ín the sign prior to the theft in 2009, and the new "kringle" looks like a replika of the old one. --Slaunger (talk) 08:52, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
I got a reply from the museum. The sign in its present form dates back to 1972 or 1973. The text was also authored at this time. Concerning copyright, the museum urged me to contact copydan to hear their opinion. --Slaunger (talk) 10:25, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
In general the "kringle" with a crown on top of it (officially known as a "kronet kringle" in Danish, which translates to something like "crowned kringle"), is considered to be dating back to the 17th century (and according to this page, even further back; to 1529 with the siege of Vienna). It is an officially acknowledged icon for bakeries in Denmark and I believe as such is at most a genericized trademark. From what I can see, there is nothing that makes it substantially different from other similar versions of the kringle with a crown. The sign itself is a simple sign with a writing, which doesn't display more artistic merit than those currently in Category:Signs in Denmark. As far as I can see the file is okay on Commons. In kind regards, Henrik



Is this file eligible for copyright in the United States? Magog the Ogre doesn't think so, but it seems like it would be eligible for copyright. Can someone please comment. C3F2k (Questions, comments, complaints?) 15:27, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

In the U.S.? No, and I don't think it's close either. It is purely typeface. In other countries it may be different. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:07, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
(ec) In places where the threshold of originality is lower (e.g. UK and Australia), it probably is copyrightable, but I don't think it's eligible for US copyright. It's text that says "Animax" with (arguably) no other graphical elements (the white circle near the top of the "i" could be read as a stylized letter "I" and so part of the font). Since fonts are not copyrightable in the US, I say "no". I see, however that this is the logo for en:Animax Asia, which is based in Singapore. I'm not familiar with Singaporean copyright standards, but as a longtime former British colony I'd guess they might be closer to the UK standard. So, although I think it's ineligible for copyright in the US, it might be copyrighted in the source country. cmadler (talk) 16:12, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

FOP and deletion path

Could someone please explain to me why when we have a photograph that violates copyright in a 3D (lack of) freedom of panorama case that we turn these into deletion reviews, whereas when we have an image that violates copyright we don't? Case examples:

  • This image, originally tagged as a copyright violation gets turned into a deletion review.
  • This image doesn't get turned into a deletion review.

Why is it we protect the rights of copyright holders differently in these cases? Why must FOP cases go to DR? I know this says we're supposed to, but why? The only wiggle room I can see is the question of whether the copyrighted work is de minimis to the whole. That's a simple judgment call that admins here should be empowered to make. They make judgment calls on all other sorts of copyright issues here. Why not for FOP? --Hammersoft (talk) 13:48, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Because in many cases it is difficult to determine whether the image is actually free, like de minimis, or one of the tricky cases like {{PD-RusEmpire}}. In many cases, the review is really required.--Ymblanter (talk) 13:54, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • There can be many more thorny questions when it comes to derivative works. It's rarely a slam-dunk decision (that photo, definitely not), and even if it pretty much is slam-dunk, it's best to document the reasons for deletion since the photographer's copyright is still valid and still licensed, and it explains things better to the uploaders who donated the image in good faith. If we are making a straight copy of someone else's copyrighted work, that's a blatant case and certainly not good faith. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:00, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  • If a file with FOP issues is speedily deleted, users might not understand why the file was speedily deleted and continue to upload photos with FOP issues. On the other hand, if there is a deletion request, the user might find the reason in the deletion request. For this reason, a deletion request is appropriate at least for the first few nominations. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:56, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

File:HKK kartya jatek.jpg

Hi! Is this photo acceptable under de minimis? There are similar photos on commons. Thanks! Teemeah (talk) 11:40, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

I think that's OK, personally. Can't see any card in its entirety. — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:17, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Free in the U.S. AND the country of origin of the work - change of policy?

Our current policy is that files have to be free in the U.S. and the country of origin of the work. Per discussion on Commons_talk:Licensing#Free_in_the_U.S._and_the_country_of_origin_of_the_work it seems that the "country of origin" is sometimes a problem. Because what happens if a German is on vacation in Australia and take some photos and later uploads some of them to Flickr on the way back home on a "pit stop" in Thailand. Then we have Germany (person is from Germany), Australia (location where the photos was taken), the U.S. (the place the servers of Flickr is located) and Thailand (where the files was uploaded to the Internet). How many of those countries do we care about on Commons?

On en-wiki they only demand that the file is free in the U.S. and that allows them to host files of buildings even if the photo is taken in a country where there is no FOP. We could choose to do the same on Commons but it would mean that we would host more files that would not be found free in "the country of origin of the work".

Feel free to have a look and join the discussion. If many users think it would be a good idea to change the policy we could later make a formal proposal. And if not we should have a better understanding of why it is best to leave it as it is now. --MGA73 (talk) 15:24, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

I found it!!!

"What is a work made for hire? Although the general rule is that the person who creates the work is its author, there is an exception to that principle. The exception is a work made for hire, which is a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment or a work specially ordered or commissioned in certain specified circumstances. When a work qualifies as a work made for hire, the employer, or commissioning party, is considered to be the author. See Circular 9, Work-Made-For-Hire Under the 1976 Copyright Act."

From Does this act basically say that when the US government hires a sculptor to create a statue, then takes a picture of it, releases the photo to public domain, that the FoP for 3D works does not count because the has the rights to release it?--Canoe1967 (talk) 00:20, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
First, a commissioned work is not necessarily a work for hire -- there has to be a written agreement between the parties that it is a work for hire, since it is not a strict employee relationship, and has to meet one of a list of nine specific situations. Read the Circular 9, mentioned at your link, in more detail. Second, most statues created for DC memorials these days are done by private foundations (not the government), which typically get a lot of private money -- it is not just taxpayer money, and the foundations can sue as well. In the case of the Vietnam Women's Memorial, I think the foundation owns the copyright, and they sued somebody who used a photo of the statue commercially (they won preliminary decisions, so it was not fair use, and after that they settled). For the Korean War Memorial, I think the sculptor kept the copyright, and he sued a photographer (and the U.S. Postal Service) when the photo was used on a stamp without his permission. I think he lost the first round (ruled fair use) but won on appeal to circuit court (not fair use, and so the sculptor won that case). Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:43, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Can we assume that public domain images of 3D works released to public domain by the government are violating FoP then? I would think that would know its own laws concerning this.--Canoe1967 (talk) 07:05, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Why would you think the government would follow its own laws? There's continually arguments at all levels over the legality of various government actions; in this case Clindberg pointed out a case where the sculptor took the Postal Service to court and won. The government rarely explicitly releases images under the public domain; while we can assume that the photo is public domain in many cases, if it came down to a court case, they might well end up arguing that their use was fair use.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:45, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
I think that the problem isn't that the government isn't following the law but that the government is intelligent and knows how to circumvent the law. --Stefan4 (talk) 09:20, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think so. The government is made up, for the most part, of people who have no more clue about copyright then the average person. They know that downloading music off Napster is illegal, and they know that nobody is going to complain if you take a picture of a statue outdoors. I don't think the person putting together a National Park brochure necessarily has a good understanding of the legal complexities of using pictures of statues; and like so many other copyright infringements, in the vast majority of cases it goes uncommented upon.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:31, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

File:Sasha DiGiulian2.jpg

This image was already published on internet, for example here: or --Rotpunkt (talk) 08:49, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

List it as a copyright violation using the link on the left side of the screen. — Cheers, JackLee talk 09:18, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes check.svg ResolvedFile has been deleted. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:34, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes check.svg ResolvedAnswered.

I forwarded an copyright permission email to on 21 May 2012 I have yet to receive a reply or confirmation. Is there a problem with this email?

This is the Wikimedia Commons. If you sent the e-mail to permissions-en, you need to ask at the English Wikipedia. Leave a message at "OTRS noticeboard". — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:30, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Procedure for transferring an image of Clara Petacci to Commons?

Hello, Clara Petacci was a lover/mistress of Benito Mussolini, right before his death. When Mussolini tried to get to Switzerland, his party was caught; she was one of the party members. In the end, all were executed, but I think there is some discussion about whether she was given a chance to flee, which she did not take. In any case, there are currently two images of her. Onme shows her hanging head down, after the execution. Its license is unproblematic, and it has been transferred to commons. The other image is on itwp, and has the PD-Italy license. That is the copyright expires either 20 years after the shot was taken, or 70 years after the death of the author, depending on how the image is classified. (For reference, the image was probably taken around 1940) - The image was uploaded to ITWP in 2004, and the author (Twice25) noted that is was "amply present on the web". Since we do not know who took the image, the only policy we can assume is to take the 20 years, after the shot was taken. Petacci was killed on the 28th April 1945. Plus 20 years means that copyright expired in 1965. I would therefore propose we look to transfer the image to commons. This involves:

  • Searching to establish who took the image; if it cannot be said wit certainty who took it, we have also won, because then we can apply the 20 years
  • Establishing that the image is of the "20-year-copyright" type.

I am not interesting in the usual "can't be done"-type response, I am interested in getting this image to commons so that projects that do not provide image uploads can also use it. What do you think? --Eptalon (talk) 19:31, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

As far as I can see, the {{PD-Italy}} on Commons would not apply ere, as it looks to me, that she is posing, and this it is a display of "artistic merit or reflections of photographer creativity". But if it is from 1940 (give or take a margin of 1 year) it would be {{Anonymous-EU}}, so if it is possible to narrow the date of origin a bit, it would be a great help. In kind regards, heb [T C E] 01:56, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Did anonymous works get a war extension? If so, it is {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} unless it counts as a simple photo. Also, where is the evidence that the photo is anonymous? The Italian file information page doesn't tell where it comes from, so it isn't possible to tell whether it has been published with a photographer credit or something. --Stefan4 (talk) 07:24, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

License for images

I am with an advertising agency, and we would like to use Stan Sheb's image of Mulenbergia Rigens taken at Springs Reserve Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada, in an editorial for Bayer Advanced on their website. From what I understand by reading the license, the image is royalty free. Is there anything that we need to do to use this image on our client's web site?

Thank you! Tanna

There are three license templates on the page with the image (assuming it's File:Muhlenbergia rigens form.jpg). Each has a link to the license specified which spells out what is needed. You probably want one of the Creative Commons licenses as the GNU is somewhat cumbersome. As I read it, the required attribution is Stan Shebs with a link to his user page here. Dankarl (talk) 22:24, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Hi!, The exact name of the file would be useful to be sure about what file interests you. But from your description, I'm guessing it's probably File:Muhlenbergia rigens form.jpg or File:Muhlenbergia rigens stem.jpg. Yes, it is royalty free. And yes, there is something you need to do to use it. If you read the licenses (or at least the license of one of the three different licensing options offered by the author for those images), you know as much as we do about the requirements of the license. Just make sure that you did read the complete text of the actual license contract, not only an unofficial summary. For example, if you choose the option Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (CC-by-sa 3.0), the complete text of the contract is at I draw your attention in particular to article 4 of that license, which lists the mentions that you must publish if you use the image. (I.e., you must credit the author (Stan Shebs), mention the license and include the link to its URL, etc.) Follow all the terms of the license as you understand them, or as your legal department understands them. If you follow the terms of the license, you can go ahead and you do not need to contact the author. But, If you want to be 100% safe, you can of course also choose to contact the author directly (User talk:Stan Shebs) and agree on the wording of the mentions, or even negociate with him different terms. -- Asclepias (talk) 22:56, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

User complaining about commons hosting their image

I've got a user complaining on en's UTRS site (#1630) about commons using their photos 'without asking'. The photo is File:Dean Gallery Paolozzi.jpg and was uploaded from flickr in 2008. The bot said it was under cc-by-sa, and it now appears to be under -nd. Secretlondon (talk) 20:15, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Image license was confirmed by the review bot, as Commons licensed are not revocable the current licensing is irrelevant if it's a more restrictive license. --Denniss (talk) 20:33, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Hate to sound insensitive to someone, but permission to use the photo without asking was granted by that author by putting that license on it. In fact, they still allow it to be used without asking, even in a commercial context (just that they prohibit derivative works, under its current license at Flickr). That is one of the main purposes of licensing it that way in the first place. The CC licenses are also not revocable, so the earlier license still stands. It's not in use currently, which makes it a bit less damaging to delete, but it was in use (at least) on nl:Dean Gallery for a couple of years. I added the {{Flickr-change-of-license}} tag... were there any other concerns brought up by the reason beyond simply not wanting it here? We certainly would consider special-case deletions if there was some aspect of it which caused unexpected problems by being hosted here, but it appears to have been available on Flickr for almost five years, all the while allowing people to make use of it without asking (provided that certain attribution and other conditions are followed), so I'm not sure I could really consider that aspect unexpected. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:52, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Telling that the user is complaining is vague. What is the nature of the complaint? (And, by the way, where and what is "en's UTRS site (#1630)"?) It's not like we absolutely need this photo, so we may be convinced to delete it, preferably if there's a valid reason. For example, if this photo was one of the first he uploaded to flickr and he made a mistake by not realizing that he was tagging it under a free license, thatmight be a good reason. But if the only reason is that he changed his mind and wants to betray his word and break the contract he had offered in full knowledge, just for the pleasure of causing difficulties to the reusers, that's not very convincing. On his flickr profile, he writes: "Anyone is free to use my photos as long as they tell me they have. The one exception at the moment is for Wikipedia purposes. That is now STRICTLY forbidden. Sorry to be precious about this but there have been to many times I have come across my pictures there.". Uh...? He got upset that people believed his word and actually used the photos he invited them to use under the free license before he changed it? Why would he be upset that many photos were used on Wikipedia? Had he added in his mind some sort of secret restriction to the free license, to the effect that no more than a number X of his photos could be used on a website? What's his point exactly? -- Asclepias (talk) 23:43, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Hm, that condition gets interesting, didn't see that. Has that condition on the profile always been there? It is not compatible with the CC licenses he is using (and has used) -- the entire intent of those licenses is to allow people to use such works without further contact with the author -- but it could count as an additional condition on a license. We have removed images where the author has required an additional contact like that, since that condition decidedly makes the work non-free. A request to be notified is OK, but it can't be a requirement. I guess the question is if that condition was on their profile at the time. This was uploaded four years ago. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:06, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I think it's a new condition he's added. He sent an email to the UTRS (Unblock Ticket Request System) complaining that his IP address had been blocked. He also said we were using his pictures without permission. I asked for more details and he gave me a link to one of the photos which is the one above. I said we didn't need to ask permission because of the license. I actually suspect he may have changed the license from CC-BY-SA to -ND recently because it one we cannot accept. I strongly expect that the 'no wikipedia' comment is very recent and is in response to his IP address being blocked as well. Secretlondon (talk) 09:51, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
The change to -ND, probably. I'm not referring to the "No Wikipedia" part, but I am wondering if the "Anyone is free to use my photos as long as they tell me they have" part was always there. That might have affected his expected usage, and *might* have altered the license he was actually offering. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:34, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Apparently the sculpture still exists. I'm sure we have a photographer amongst our ranks in that general area who would be willing to photograph the sculpture and release the photo here under an appropriate license. I'm not suggesting we delete the image, but rather we replace it once the replacement is available. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:32, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
    • It has been replaced, with another photo of the statue -- the photo is no longer in use. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:34, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
  • There is no claim about extra licence conditions on the file information page on Flickr ([5]). In particular, there is no condition there stating that you have to go to the user's Flickr user page and check for extra licence conditions on his user page. Thus, I'd guess that those conditions are invalid. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:51, 31 May 2012 (UTC)