Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2012/06

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


How explicit does a license need to be, when uploading files from another source?

I have just started a deletion request, because I believe the source page is not clear enough. This is however very much as subjective opinion (on my side), so I would have liked to be able to find some previous discussions on the matter to refer to. Unfortunately my searching-karma today seems to be very bad, so the only other I was able to find was Commons:Deletion requests/ (which oddly enough also was about a Danish source). Basically the source page for the file in "my" deletion request, states that "På disse sider kan man frit hente og anvende billeder af forsvarschefen Knud Bartels." which translates to (my translation) "On these pages you can freely download and use pictures of [then] chief of defense Knud Bartels.".
On Commons:Problematic sources#Promotional_photos it states that "Despite common and misleadingly vague phrases such as "may be used freely", publicity photographs are generally provided with the understanding that they will be used in unmodified form for informational purposes in a context related to the subject of the photographs (such as an article about the product, company, or person depicted). Uses of such images are thus restricted to reporting about a particular event or to promoting a product or person."
Commons:Licensing "only" states that media allowed are either "explicitly freely licensed" or "are in the public domain in at least the United States and in the source country of the work." The definition of Free Cultural Works only states a number of freedom that must be provided, but I don't find it that clear on how explicitly they should be given.
My questions are thus?

  1. Have the "explicitly"-part really not been discussed on Commons before?
  2. If it have then where (and sorry for my crappy searching skills)?
  3. Shouldn't either Commons:Licensing (or perhaps Commons:Source) mention something about this?

In kind regards, Henrik

I think "explicitly" in the commons guideline above means an actual CC licence. If it hasn't been discussed then it should be. Do Denmark images taken by government have some type of public domain with attribution to the photographer? I wonder if some of these .gov sites have PD images and just don't want to state that directly. That have to put that 'use freely' statement in under any public domain laws they do have, otherwise why would they add it?--Canoe1967 (talk) 14:40, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
It's not that rigid -- there are plenty of free licenses which are not CC licenses. But we do prefer to have actual mention of derivative works and commercial use, so there is no misunderstanding. Commons:Licensing#Acceptable licenses gives the general criteria. But yes, the above case does seem not specific enough. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:02, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
@Canoe1967, Danish government made material, is treated in the exact same way as any other material (with a few exceptions such as wording of legal acts). Most Danish government institutions are in fact, keeping their copyright quite close. As such Denmark doesn't have a 'public domain'-law (which I believe is quite normal in countries guided by author's right rather than copyright). --heb [T C E] 07:25, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

I think I found the quote the OP is looking for: "A copyright license is a formal permission stating who may use a copyrighted work and how they may use it." The keyword is 'formal'. Should we change explicitly to some form of formal or official? Those sites that say 'freely use' are not a formal licence I take it? That quote is from the top of the link in Carl's post.--Canoe1967 (talk) 15:32, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

It's a formal statement as it stands, in my opinion. It's certainly a permission statement. It's just that "free" is a loaded word; some may mean it to simply be free of cost, whereas for our purposes it needs to be a very different meaning, and we want to be very clear there is no misunderstanding of intent. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:40, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
It is indeed formal, though just not very explicit. As Carl Lindberg points out, "free" can be a (even very) loaded word and to further complicate things, the Danish 'frit' (used in the permission statement above) gives three different translations (as in we can breathe freely, as in the movie is freely adapted from or as in the goods are delivered free of charge) so it just adds a bit more mud to the water. What I was basically thinking is that perhaps, adding a statement such as done here on Commons:Licensing#Acceptable_licenses will make it more clear to others (and me). Given of course that is in fact what we wan't on Commons. Personally I think I am more "rigid" in the terms of formal than others might be. --heb [T C E] 07:25, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Could add a word to clarify for others: "explicitly have an acceptable free license " type statement? I am just thinking this in case others need clarification that licences need to be an officially accepted form unlike the site mentioned above.--Canoe1967 (talk) 16:14, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Something like that maybe. I'm not sure there is ever going to be an "officially accepted form", as each permission statement must be evaluated. But yes, the requirements are that the permission allows derivative works and commercial use, which the simple word "freely" does not necessarily connote by itself, unless it's clear from other stuff they had the definition in mind. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:15, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure that there is a need for an officially (formally) accepted form, but more along the lines that some statements are simply to loose and there needs to be a more explicit licensing than the "can be used freely by anyone" (and similar) statement. In addition to my suggestion above one could also encourage people to use Commons:Email templates in the cases of reusing material with "can be used freely by anyone"-statements. --heb [T C E] 07:25, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

I understand the difference between the vague and specific statements now. Should we change the wording for others? Commons:Problematic sources#Promotional_photos and the licensing guidelines. We could also add wording about the email templates. I don't think we need a proposal and discussion, just clarification of existing is all. If someone wants to go ahead and do that and it isn't reverted then we should be ok.--Canoe1967 (talk) 14:28, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

I have made the changes to Commons:Problematic sources(diff) and Commons:Licensing (diff) with reference to this discussion. --heb [T C E] 06:22, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Thank you. It is a lot clearer now. I also added a resolved tag to the top of the section.--Canoe1967 (talk) 08:14, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
The above quote of Commons:Problematic sources#Promotional_photos with regard to "may be used freely" not mentions that "used" does not include permission to offer the file under similar conditions to others. The provider of the file can remove the file from the server and stop distributing the file under the "may be used freely" condition. Another website, such as Wikimedia Commons, can not simply put the file on their server and continue distributing it under the "may be used freely". I think there is consensus that such use freely permissions are not necessarily free content and as such not free enough for Commons. I however disagree that we only require reuse for any purpose with mention of derivative works and commercial use. We also have a requirement for perpetuality/ irrevocability of the license. Commons:PS#Required licensing terms. Such used freely permissions not allow perpetually redistributing from a second website to third party reusers. --Martin H. (talk) 08:24, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
I removed the resolved tag. Should we just change the wording to reflect that as well? I don't think we need consensus, it is just a clarification of existing policy.--Canoe1967 (talk) 08:46, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Canoe1967. If somebody can come up with a nice wording, it should simply be updated. --heb [T C E] 09:49, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Uncertain copyright

I uploaded and I'm not sure what its copyright status is. I wish I would have asked this question before I uploaded the file, but yeah. Is there any way of ascertaining its status? For what it's worth I took the image from here: --Mrdie (talk) 02:23, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Can a photo be dual-licensed {{PD-Sweden-photo}} and {{PD-Denmark}}?

Currently File:Henrik Dam nobel.jpg is dual-licensed {{PD-Sweden-photo}} and {{PD-Denmark}}, which I think is an interesting "case". The depicted person, Henrik Dam, is a Dane and the source-page of the photo, states that the photo is "Copyright © The Nobel Foundation" which is Swedish. There are however no author-information for the photo. I think it would stand to reason, that the {{PD-Denmark}} should in fact be removed, as the (current) copyright-holder is Swedish. And this is relevant, as the source-page states that "Henrik Dam and Edward A. Doisy therefore received their Nobel Prize for 1943 one year later, in 1944." and thus the photo is most likely taken after January 1, 1944 and {{PD-Sweden-photo}} doesn't apply either (and the image might be a COM:COPYVIO). In kind regards, heb [T C E] 02:20, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

If more than one PD tag applies, then sure, add them all. Something could be PD in Denmark even if not in Sweden. For Commons though, only the one for the country of origin would matter. For both of those tags, it rides on whether the photo is deemed "simple" or not. If it is, then the copyright term is based on the date of creation, and the identity of the author does not matter at all, and copyright would have expired. If I recall there was some pretty decent support for the Swedish portion, that portraits like that were once deemed simple photos, though I think the guidance dated from before the EU copyright directives. Nobel's copyright claim may possibly rest on trying to copyright the scan itself, not necessarily the original, but that would be PD-Art or PD-scan for us. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:00, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
There is another problem, though: the {{PD-Sweden-photo}} tag can only be used on Commons if the file has been published before 1 March 1989, and only if it was first published in Sweden, because it is otherwise copyrighted in the United States. However, no publication is indicated, so there is no way to determine the United States copyright status. The Swedish copyright status is based on year of creation whereas the US one is based on year of publication, which may be different. --Stefan4 (talk) 07:30, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
I find it highly unlikely that the photo would not have been published 1944 or thereabout - wasn't the photo taken to be published in connection with the Nobel festivities? I do not know the law on photographies of 1919 (lag 1919:383 om rätt till fotografiska bilder), but the law of 1961 gave longer protection only to photos regarded as artistically or scientifically valuable ("som äger konstnärligt eller vetenskapligt värde"). I suppose the threshold was higher than the threshold for works today (which is quite high in Sweden: ordinary portrait photos are not regarded as works). Thus the photo has probably been PD long before the URAA date. --LPfi (talk) 17:12, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for the answers. It follows of the Danish Ministry of Culture executive order on usage author's rights legislation in relation to other countries (Bekendtgørelse om anvendelsen af ophavsretsloven i forhold til andre lande) §3, that for works created in another Berne-signatoree memberstate, enjoys the protection of the Danish author's rights legislation in the same manner, as a work created in Denmark, unless the protection of the work is expired in the work of origin (unless the work is created before the country of origin signed the Berne convetion, which is not the case here). My initial thought, was that the use of {{PD-Denmark}} might be to "license-wash", as Denmark have a shorter time for photographs that are not considered works of art (§70), that shortens the protection time to 50 years (I didn't know that Sweden had a similar one, and that it has been discussed on Commons). I see now, that that isn't the case.
However we have an ongoing discussion on a deletion request wither or not, a portrait photography is considered a work of art in Denmark. Pending the outcome of that discussion it might change things a bit. Or we might actually move it, here as it in fact extends to a larger amount of photos. --heb [T C E] 06:11, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
One problem here is the lack of court cases. When the first photo laws were written in the Nordic countries, they were as far as I have understood very similar, so at that time all countries likely had the same threshold of originality. In the 1990s, the laws were changed, and I don't know if the threshold of originality changed at that time so that different Nordic countries now have different thresholds of originality. In either case, I only know of one case where authorities determined if a photo is a photographic work or a photographic image: this photo from Finland was claimed to be simple by the Finnish Copyright Council (sv:Upphovsrättsrådet/fi:Tekijänoikeusneuvosto). Lacking any court cases, we should maybe compare other Nordic photos with that one when determining if they are simple or not. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:33, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm not really sure how harmonized the threshold of originality is these days. I now it was harmonized back 1960/1961 (in Denmark by law no. 158 of 1961-05-31) which among other things also introduced the common Nordic "catalogue rule". As far as I am aware some degree of deharmonization happened, when Denmark introduced the new law in 1995, but the extent is not very clear. The Sweden/Denmark examples on Commons:Threshold of originality (knife+chair and torchlights) do - along with the Utilitarian objects protected by copyright suggest some harmonization.
A verdict in 2010 by the Court of Copenhagen, did however recognize 20 erotic photographs as works, by granting the provisions of exclusive right §2 in it's entirety and not §70 with §2, 2-4. One of the photos can be seen here. The verdict doesn't do a thorough evaluation of §70 vs. §1. Where it is to be distinguished from the Finnish photo is not obvious though (posing/non-posing for the camera?) and I'm not sure how much value should be put in to the Copenhagen Court verdict in terms of the work/non-work evaluation in the first place. In kind regards, heb [T C E] 10:32, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
That's interesting. In Sweden we had a case, T 3440-08, where the court had to determine whether this and this image appear as de minimis on this screenshot (with the outcome that it was not de minimis). The screenshot in turn appeared on a website on the Internet. On page 4 of the court ruling, it says that the photos are photographic images (fotografiska bilder, i.e. simple photos). However, I'm not sure whether the decision to refer to them as photographic images affects anything; both images and works are copyrighted, and the photos were taken recently. There doesn't seem to be any big evaluation of the definition of images vs. works and the ruling mostly just evaluates the definition of de minimis. In particular, I'd say that the second photo looks complex with the odd angle and the man on top of the house. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:32, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
The defendant did not touch the subject and neither did the court. I think there was no evaluation of whether §70 or §2 1 should be used. The differences are about derived works and not relevant in the case. --LPfi (talk) 16:00, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

White House photostream

I was perusing the Official White house photostream on flickr, and noticed that all the images state This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House. (NC, ND). Do we just believe that the PD-USGOV overrides this, or what? -mattbuck (Talk) 20:27, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes, their statement is about personality rights -- note that it says "by the subject(s) of the photograph", which has nothing to do with the photographer (copyright). That statement was put there shortly after the photostream was put up, there are discussions in the archives. The "United States Government Work" is the copyright license there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:30, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

1913 photo

Can this photo on e:wp be re-scanned to higher rez and uploaded to commons? en:File:LB&SCR E2 class with short side tanks.jpg. The book it came from looks like UK and says the photo was taken in 1913.--Canoe1967 (talk) 14:25, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

The problem is that no early publication is indicated. The only publication is from 1974, but all may change if you can find an earlier publication of the photo. The United States uses a copyright term of 95 years pd whereas the UK uses 70 years p.m.a. The listed publication (from 1974) isn't 95 years old yet. The United Kingdom uses a term of 70 years pr for anonymous photos, or if published within 70 years, the term becomes 70 years pd. If it was created in 1913 and first published in 1974, it was not yet 70 years old, and so the UK copyright would last for 70 years counted from 1974. However, in the past many EU copyright terms were different to today's terms. Not sure if this changes anything; EU countries only restored copyrights to works still protected in at least one EU country as of 1 July 1995.
For a higher resolution photo, note that the photo has been reduced by en:User:DASHBot. This means that an admin presumably could find a higher resolution photo using en:Special:Undelete. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:06, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

So even though the photo has an unknown creator and was taken in 1913, the copyright goes from the publishing date even though it has no added creativity to a 2D photo? If it were a 1913 painting the rules would be different? The original uploader is still active and may even have the book from July 2011. I will see if I can find an older publishing date or image on the net. It is for the Thomas article on e:wp. The photo there now is an ugly version of the engine he was modeled from.--Canoe1967 (talk) 15:30, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Well... maybe. The UK copyright had long expired in 1974 (photos from before 1957 or so were based on year of creation, not publication), so a "copyright expired" note in the book would make sense. However, in 1996 the UK changed their terms for the EU copyright directive, which for anonymous works (or {{PD-UK-unknown}}) is 70 years from "making available to the public" (if that was done in the first 70 years after creation, which this one was at the least). If it was published in 1913, it'd still be OK, but that is the question. If it was not published in 1913, and it was first published after 1925, then the URAA would have restored its copyright in the U.S. regardless of the UK situation. And if the 1974 book was the first publication, and the book had a copyright notice, then it may have gotten a U.S. copyright starting from 1974 even though it was PD in the UK at the time. But if this was published in the 1913 timeframe, it should be fine either way. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:25, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Thank you Carl and Stephan. I just discovered that that image isn't quite right though. It has the short side tanks and Thomas has the longer ones. It appears they only made 5 of each. It is going to be really hard to find a PD image. I found some nice ones here, but all copyright and small images as well. The company changed hands a few times and now belongs to British Railways, I think. I may email them and beg for a PD scan if they still have photos in their archives.--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:10, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

(ec) Doesn't "publication" in the copyright sense require the approval or consent of the author or copyright owner? (Question: If an author is unknown, there can be no consent for publication -- how can a work of unknown authorship ever be "published"?) If the author/owner has never authorized publication -- which even if then alive, s/he might well not have done for a 1974 UK book, given that the photo was the PD in the UK -- then it is still "unpublished", right? In that case, I think the US copyright would run 70 years pma if the author can be determined, or for an unknown or anonymous author 120 years from creation. cmadler (talk) 17:12, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but normally it's pretty hard to get a hold of something in the first place without the permission of the copyright holder. We generally assume such stuff is done with permission unless there is reason to believe otherwise (publishing old private letters maybe). "unknown author" works are common when they are works for hire -- in that case the copyright owner is different than the author, which is a pretty common situation for the UK. If this was a railroad company work, it's almost certainly an unknown author, but that doesn't mean it was published without consent. I think it would count as published as of 1974 at the very latest. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:28, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

I found the correct image in the same book. en:File:LB&SCR E2 class.jpg. If the book author sourced it as copyright expired, would a scan of the book image be legal?--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:00, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, barring evidence to the contrary we'd accept that. I would warn you though that things take a long time to lose copyright - I found a photo of Nailsea & Backwell station from ~1895, and that won't be PD until 2017. -mattbuck (Talk) 09:58, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

It seems the author of the book used many copyright expired images. Some images have photo credit and this one doesn't. Would it be ok to upload to commons then?--Canoe1967 (talk) 15:02, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Edited Picture


I just want to upload a picture. I've downloaded this Picture ( from Wikipedia and translated it into German for the German Article about this topic and i want to know how I upload it on the right way? mici03 13:40, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Das Tool DerivativeFx hilft dabei weiter: - damit sollte es korrekt klappen :-) Gestumblindi (talk) 19:48, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
The simpler and better link is File:Origins of acid rain.svg... AnonMoos (talk) 03:19, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Album cover originality vs simple font

Can this album cover and this one be considered ineligible for copyright (simple geometric forms + font)? Much like this File:007 Is Also Gonna Die - Single.jpg or this: File:BiB (album by AC-DC).jpg or this: File:Boyz II Men - Legacy - Their Greatest Hits Collection album cover.jpg. Thanks! Teemeah (talk) 12:46, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

It depends on the threshold of originality in South Korea. It seems that we don't have any information about this, so it is impossible to answer your question. By the way, it seems that File:BiB (album by AC-DC).jpg is from Australia and I'm not convinced that the image is ineligible for copyright in Australia. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:49, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
According to copyright law of South Korea, expressions with creativity in emotions and thought can be protected by copyright. But critical point of creativity is not specifically defined, so courts judges whether the works have creativity. I checked a thesis covering this issue. Visual expressions with individuality are eligible to be protected by copyright. To answer whether this image is protected, I'm not sure. – Kwj2772 (msg) 16:46, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Kamsahamnida! Then I will not upload them, seems like the scale weights in more on the eligible side than the other. Teemeah (talk) 15:04, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

File:Luckiest man in Iraq.ogg

This one puzzles me. The video is the work of the US government. The soundtrack was recorded by the news media. Is the soundtrack copyright? It is just the general's voice and laughter from the press.--Canoe1967 (talk) 14:31, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Copyright tag help request

Hi. Which copyright tag should I use with this image, given that it is part of this collection? I ask because the existing tags have little messages in them implying that better/more detailed ones need to be found. Or is it fine as it is? If the latter, is there any way to suppress/hide the little warning messages? Thanks. It Is Me Here t / c 20:56, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

You can add the PD-1923 status tag. -- Asclepias (talk) 21:38, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
(ec) It's fine. You could upgrade to {{PD-old-100}} and/or add {{PD-1923}} to make the U.S. case explicit, which would be definite improvements, but there are a lot of images with just PD-old as the tag. There is also {{PD-old-auto-1923|1815}}, which is a combined tag. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:40, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

All rights reserved but no copyright marks

Have some pre 1978 photos that have the phrase on them but no copyright marks, front or back. My thought is that they would be PD because of no copyright marks or language. Before I do this, am I right? Thanks, We hope (talk) 14:33, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

If they were distributed as-is in the U.S. before 1978, then probably yes. "All rights reserved" was not a copyright notice. If they were not actually published at the time though, then it could be different, and if they were only distributed as part of a set which *did* have a copyright notice, it could be different as well. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:20, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
All in question have pre-1978 date stamps on them and were distributed as publicity material for various television programs. Thanks!! We hope (talk) 17:31, 7 June 2012 (UTC)


Yes check.svg ResolvedCopyright violation – deleted.

I went through this page for wikifying Randy Angst. I noticed the pictured , and think that fellow members here too will find; that it doesn't looks quite genuine. The file looks like a derivative work with the photo of the person put above the flag of concerned country. What do everybody here suggest? Vivek Rai (talk) 16:20, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

File:Randy-Angst.jpg proposed for deletion as a copyright violation. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:28, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
If anyone was unsure, the source listed as "my computer" is a giveaway. That's a blatant copyvio. cmadler (talk) 16:30, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Advertising montage on his campaign facebook page [1]. -- Asclepias (talk) 16:44, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

File:APM08279 5255.jpg

Is this {{PD-USGov-NASA}}? The credit at the source is "NASA/CXC/G. Chartas et al." January (talk) 17:23, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Hmm. It's not from NASA's website. While a credit is not the same thing as a copyright claim -- NASA typically gives credit to folks who just work on the project, build the equipment, etc. -- that one does have a partial credit to George Chartas, who apparently works at Penn State and has a contact address on that article, and was a co-author (along with someone from NASA). The status really depends on the contract and grants the work was actually performed under -- it's hard to tell who exactly had a copyright interest in it. While many NASA contracts seem to preclude copyrights from being claimed, I don't think I'm comfortable saying that about this one. The Harvard site which does some work with that satellite does have a restrictive-sounding rights notice (sometimes that can more refer to personality rights, but that one seems stronger than some of the others). Perhaps Mr. Chartas could be contacted, but I don't think I'd assume PD-NASA status on that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:31, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Typically, an image that is produced by a NASA spacecraft or NASA-operated instrument will be considered public domain, even if an individual did some work on the image. When the credit line starts with "NASA/", it's a pretty good sign of it being a work of NASA. If the copyright belonged to another agency, institution, or person, the credit line would start with them, rather than NASA. In my opinion, this image shouldn't be a problem, but additional input is welcome. Huntster (t @ c) 08:54, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Copyright permission

Dear Sir or Madam:

Ex-president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela stated: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. “

Maramedia is a subsidiary company of Maragon Private Schools, based in Johannesburg, South Africa and we aim to revolutionize education through the provision of quality educational material.

We are extending learners beyond the national curriculum, ensuring that they are exposed to every possible learning advantage.

In lieu of this vision, we are currently redesigning our interactive learner manuals to include the highest possible quality content in terms of text, images, animations and film clips.

We therefore herewith seek your permission to use images from your gallery in our geography manual covering theory around erosion and biological weathering, obviously acknowledging the source with:

“ the following (image name) has been used with permission from . . .”

Should there be an alternative contact address in order to obtain such permission, please can you assist with providing this information.

We are equally willing to acknowledge your work with an inclusion in a bibliography, should you so desire.

These manuals will be available in printed and digital format. The printed books will be distributed and sold to public and private schools in South Africa and the digital book will be available for download via App store and Android market stores.

Thanking you most kindly in advance

Marion Smith Maramedia Johannesburg, South Africa --Maramedia (talk) 09:13, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

We are glad you want to use our images. The purpose is certainly good. All images on Wikimedia Commons (except the logos etc.) are free to use without asking, provided you follow the terms given on the description page of each image. There are often a few different licences to choose from. A relatively big ratio of the images are also in the public domain, in which case you should check whether this is the case also in South Africa.
Wikimedia Commons does not own the copyright of the images. If you need to negotiate different terms than those declared, you have to contact the individual copyright holders. You should also attribute the authors. To mention Wikimedia Commons is not necessary in most cases, but we appreciate if you do. Many authors also like to hear about use of their images.
The licences differ from ordinary licensing in that mentioning the licence in connection with the images (or in a similar appropriate place) is usually mandatory. The exact obligations vary by licence.
--LPfi (talk) 11:51, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Hi, Marion. To find out how to acknowledge each image you use from the Wikimedia Commons, click on the "Use this file" link above the image, then in the window that opens, look at the field marked "Attribution". You can copy the text that appears in this field. For example, for the file "A gully formed by water erosion.jpg", the attribution statement is "By Dehaan (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons". You can either place this statement beside the image itself, or on a separate acknowledgement page. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:53, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
I've looked and looked, and I can't find a "Use this file" link anywhere. To make sure it wasn't something in my settings, I logged out and looked for it, and still couldn't find it. cmadler (talk) 17:10, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm. I can see the icons "Download / Use this file [on the web] / Use this file [on a wiki] / Email a link / Information", and a red cross with the tooltip "Remove this link". Perhaps you once clicked "Remove this link"? I'm not sure whether this causes the icons to disappear forever, and if so, how you restore them. You might have to try deleting your Wikimedia-related cookies. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:34, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Aha! It's Stockphoto, and it's currently disabled for all versions of Internet Explorer. I'll try later today on Chrome and/or Opera, but it does seem like enabling it on IE should be a priority. cmadler (talk) 20:08, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Artistic freedom vs. copyright in case of derived works

Yes check.svg ResolvedImage has been deleted following unanimous views that it cannot be retained.

We have an interesting case where I would like to solicit wider input. An artist has created a derived work from a banknote and granted a free license for it. But the question still remains whether this could be still considered to be a copyvio as derived work or if is covered by the artistic freedom, possibly as fair use in case of a satire/parody. And if it is covered by fair use, do we accept fair use in case of artistic works? But this case is even more complex as that as is the work by a German artist and the German Federal Court (BGH) just recently published a court decision that weighed towards copyright protection and against artistic freedom (references to that decision in the DR). Comments in the DR would be welcome. --AFBorchert (talk) 23:43, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

It may be acceptable for the artist to rely on fair use as a defence to copyright infringement, but it is not our policy to allow fair-use works here at the Commons so we wouldn't be able to host the artwork here. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:00, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

File:JehangirSabavala Autograph.jpg

As it seems evident, the uploader has just clicked the signature from a book or copy with a mobile and uploaded it here. I think the licensing is inappropriate and copyright violation. Vivek Rai (talk) 10:32, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Pictogram-voting-question.svg Question Does India, as a former British colony, copy British laws such as COM:SIG#UK? --Stefan4 (talk) 11:23, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment It would probably be better to nominate that for deletion, since both areas are common law countries and probably both use the dreaded "skill and labour" test. C3F2k (Questions, comments, complaints?) 14:52, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Springer claiming copyright of Wikipedia images

My attention has been called to this screen shot shot of a page at that shows my photo of a student slide rule File:Sliderule.PickettN902T.agr.jpg with a claim that Springer owns the copyright. It's easy to find the offending page on -- just search for "slide rule". The page has a link for reporting copyright concerns, which I used. That should cover this incident (I'm awaiting a response), but on Springer's page it is clearly stated that this is an image from Wikipedia, so they should have known it isn't theirs. The broader question is how many other images in Springer's collection are known to come from Wikipedia and is this something the Wikimedia legal department might want to address?--agr (talk) 20:37, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Technically, the legal department can't do anything (as part of a legal process) since the Foundation does not own any copyright in the photos. Maybe they could send them something though which points out the terms of the licenses they need to be following, or something like that, but I can't speak for them. Searching their site for "Wikipedia" does turn up a few shots. A couple at least are marked as public domain, but yours is not. Here is the image page on their site; it looks like they have a general copyright section at the bottom of every image, and they do note the Wikipedia source, but it's not enough -- they certainly cannot claim copyright as they are doing now, and they need to note the license. Here is an example where they do credit someone else for an image taken from Commons, though I'm not sure where they got the name. Here is another image where they correctly note the license but not the copyright owner. Maybe you could send an email to them about your image, and have them fix that. There is a link at the bottom of the image page. They are not trying to hide the sources, from the looks of it, but are clearly lax when it comes to correctly following the terms of the licenses. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:54, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Is this one of those laws that you can just file a report and have them charged, or do you have to pay for a lawyer and take them to court? You could try an email to and see if they want to make it really public, ugly, and nasty as well.--Canoe1967 (talk) 23:06, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Unless the uploader has registered his image with the U.S. Copyright Office, suing in the U.S. isn't likely to prove fruitful, since the reward is limited to actual damages (quite possibly $0). I'm not sure there is enough copying to warrant the Foundation sending them something, but I'd be surprised if they ignored a simple message pointing out the inaccuracy of their copyright claim on the page. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:04, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Found you some low cost or free lawyers: --Canoe1967 (talk) 23:11, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Someone else suggested this – and I often repeat it as I think it's a great idea. Start with a politely worded request for the inaccurate copyright claim to be removed and for the proper attribution (e.g., CC-BY-3.0) to be used. If this is ignored after one or two reminders, then the copyright owner of the image in question should send a note stating that the image has been used in breach of its licensing terms and thus this amounts to a copyright infringement. An invoice for the cost of the use in question should be included. As to what amount to put down, use Getty Images as a guide – I was surprised to find that Getty charges several hundred US dollars simply for the use of an image on a website. By the way, the Creative Commons website clearly states that it doesn't initiate legal action, and advises people who believe their material has been used in breach of a CC licence to seek their own legal advice. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:55, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
As a 3-years old thread at Archivalia (in German) shows, this kind of behaviour isn't anything new, but it seems to have gained new momentum in the scientific community now; see [2], [3]. --Túrelio (talk) 09:57, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

More examples:

  • for this File:Autumn leaves, Talcott Mountain State Park.jpg (CC-BY-SA/GFDL), which SpringerImages hosts here, they claim "This image is copyrighted by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. The image is being made available for non-commercial purposes for subscribers to SpringerImages.", while on the same page they say "Photo from October 21 2007, by “Ragesoss” from Wikimedia commons". IMO, WMF-legal or a WMF lawyer should check whether this violates the CC-BY-SA license under which this image was released by its photographer.
  • for this File:American Beaver.jpg (CC-BY-SA) which SpringerImages hosts here they claim "This image is copyrighted by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.", though below the image they mention the correct license and an unsuitable deeplink to Commons.
  • for this File:NesjavellirPowerPlant edit2.jpg (PD), which SpringerImages hosts here, they don't claim own copyright, but state "This image is copyrighted by Ian E. Maxwell.", when here it is clearly attributed to geologist Gretar Ívarsson.

--Túrelio (talk) 10:58, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

File:1962 Pontiac Catalina Wagon.jpg

This image has two entries on the flickr page. One is cc-by-2.0 and the other a Getty. Does one override the other? If so then admin can just delete it. Request by uploader, not in use anywhere.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:43, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Don't see why CC-BY would be overridden. It's just an additional way to get a license for it, if someone doesn't like the terms of CC-BY. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:48, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
So if they want to not attribute the author they need to pay Getty?--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:57, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Attribute *and* specify the license, yes. Or they work something else out with the author. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:05, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you Carl. I just wanted to make sure it was okay for upload.
Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. --Canoe1967 (talk) 22:12, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Colin Goldner

So, earlier this month I took a picture of Colin Goldner. I've now recieved an e-mail that seems legit that threatens me with legal actions if I don't remove it within 24 hours. As far as I know I am within my right to publish the picture as a freedom of expression. The picture was taken at a public restaurant. It would be polite to remove it, but I don't actually like not being asked kindly. Am I right that I stand within my rights? --Vera (talk) 13:33, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

You can look at some of the commentary at Commons:Country_specific_consent_requirements#Germany. Some countries protect this kind of thing more strongly than others. In light of the situation, we should delete them if you want. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:01, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
I read the German entry as being 'no consent needed' if it is a public figure in a public place. I do agree that they could have been more polite. You may wish to delete them for now, and then check the local laws more closely. I had a similar issue with Israel and uploaded the .pdf of their privacy act in Hebrew and English. It still needs to be added to the tables though.--Canoe1967 (talk) 14:45, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I read the google translate on the German law earlier today. It clearly states that public figures can be photographed. And this guy has been on television as an expert. --Vera (talk) 14:53, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
It may now depend on the legal system in Germany then. You may have the legal right, but will it cost you do defend your rights in Germany. You may wish to seek a lawyer's advice. You could also upload to flickr and then have another user upload to commons from there.--Canoe1967 (talk) 14:59, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Why would uploading via Flickr improve anything? It would be just a second channel where things can slip out of one's hands. --LPfi (talk) 19:39, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

If the email is an empty legal threat that would be difficult to attempt on an uploader in another country they may not persue it.--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:32, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

I should note that it wasn't just a restaurant where I photographed him. It was the restaurant adjoined to the theatre where a conference was taking place where he was one of the speakers. He is still wearing the red 'artist' bracelet. Claiming not to be a public person or in a public space, or that I'm a paparazzi after he posed for the pictures would be quite hard to argue. Vera (talk) 21:25, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

The question is, is he a public figure under German law? Dankarl (talk) 01:55, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Writers and 'Representatives of science' are, and he has published books and gone on national television about it. He even has an imdb profile Vera (talk) 04:31, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Plan C. Send an email back stating that you are within your legal rights and any deletion should be requested through an 'office action' from WMF?--Canoe1967 (talk) 05:24, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

GeoBase Unrestricted Use Licence Agreement: compatible?

Is the GeoBase Unrestricted Use Licence Agreement compatible with Commons? Powers (talk) 17:31, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

I would say yes. It insists on attribution of dervitatives, does not deny commercial use, and is perpetually renewed unless the terms are violated. CC-by then.--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:56, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, it wouldn't be Creative Commons since that isn't specified, but perhaps the generic {{Attribution}} would be more appropriate here. Huntster (t @ c) 01:13, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Correct, sorry. I have /s my CC comment above.--Canoe1967 (talk) 05:31, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Crown copyright, Canada

OTRS has received a statement release from the UK crown that it will not pursue its copyrights abroad if they have already expired in the UK. Does this extend to other British dependencies? In this case, I'm curious about w:File:Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II X.jpg. Magog the Ogre (talk) 06:02, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Canada is not a British dependency since 1931, despite Stephen Harper's current monarchomania. If you're asking if the statement from the UK's copyright office about the copyright on the works of the government of the UK has any effect on the copyright on the works of the governments of other sovereign States, and specifically of the provincial and/or federal States of Canada, the answer is certainly no. -- Asclepias (talk) 07:02, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Complex statue case

See my talk page on English Wikipedia. Is the statue en:Are Years What? (for Marianne Moore) in the public domain or not? The statue was made in 1967 and installed at its present location in 1999. However, it has been exhibited several times before its installation. Based on Commons:Public art and copyrights in the US, I suspect that the exhibitions in 1968, 1970 and 1975-76 may constitute publication. The copyright status thus depends on two things:

  • Did any of those three exhibitions constitute publication?
  • Was it exhibited with or without a copyright notice? Considering that the statue was removed from those exhibitions long ago, would there still be a way to find out? --Stefan4 (talk) 22:49, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Jewelry copyright

There is a long-running question on English Wikipedia about whether certain jewelry can be copyrighted. The image is a small portion of a piece known as the "Conchita butterfly." There is discussion of whether this piece of jewelry can be copyrighted here: File talk:Detail - Conchita Sapphire Butterfly head with Yogo sapphire - 2011-01-07.jpg. The point, as far as I can determine, is whether or not the expression (the particular form of the butterfly as shown by the brooch) is so close to the idea ("a butterfly") that the expression is not copyrightable. What's the rule? How much does the expression need to differ from photorealism for copyright law to kick in?

Despite the claim on that Talk page, the issue has not been resolved. The discussants desperately need an expert opinion. If the brooch is not copyrightable, then the image will move to Commons. - Tim1965 (talk) 21:14, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

I'd be really surprised if that was ineligible. The idea of butterfly jewelry would not be, but a particular design would be. Unless they are including an actual butterfly or something like that ;-) (i.e. the actual resulting outlines were the result of nature, and not human authorship). A sculpture, even a lifelike one, should be copyrightable, provided that its elements are not utilitarian (i.e. have a functional purpose as opposed to purely artistic). There are a lot of jewelry examples in a list of copyright appeals decisions; a number had their copyright rejected but some were successful, and the dividing line appears to be well, well under something like a butterfly sculpture. For a really in-depth example, this decision was on a series of 22 rings submitted for copyright registration; in the end 18 were rejected and 4 were accepted. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:00, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
That's a pretty compelling case Carl. In this particular case, it'd be even stronger because this particular photo is only of the area around the head of the butterful because the head is a w:Yogo sapphire and we'd like to see if we can use in the article on Yogos.PumpkinSky talk 09:56, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Can't imagine the sapphire itself is copyrightable. The photo is zoomed in to a point where there is not much copyrightable in the frame, admittedly. Maybe a bit tighter crop would seal it; the top portion to me is about the only possibility, and that is a stretch. But the original question above was about the entire brooch. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:08, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, both, actually, Carl. The image we are concerned about here is the detail shot. The article is at FA and is being held up until this is resolved. Some general guidelines would be useful for the future, of course, but click the image link given above to see what we are discussing at the moment :-). Montanabw (talk) 16:48, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Carl, that document was an education. Here is the Smithsonian-owned brooch in its entirety. Considering that even the head of the butterfly is little more than a series of geometric designs with minimal creative input, I can't see how this passed the tests mentioned in Kabana d/b/a KBN (March 16, 2012). A Google search with the phrase "butterfly brooch" shows multiple designs common to the Conchita -- including the basic butterfly shape, the curlicue antennae, the circular head, and common geometric patterns on the wings. The Kabana decision seems to place the emphasis on irregularity of otherwise common geometric design elements. The Conchita piece seems to lack that. I'll crop the image and submit to Commons, but I'd still like your opinion on the entire brooch. - Tim1965 (talk) 23:13, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
For the entire brooch, I can't fathom any way that would be ruled uncopyrightable. There is lots of expression there... they can't stop anyone else from creating a butterfly brooch in general of course, but something with that exact shape, or even just the arrangement of the jewels (copyrightable in and of itself regardless of the outline), plus other details -- that is copyrightable. The head itself, you may have a case there. The photo is probably fine... the only faintly possible issue to me, as mentioned, is that top part, as it almost seems a little bit like it's intentionally including those two jewels in the photo, but that portion may well not be copyrightable. Cropping off even part of those two is a little safer, if it doesn't hurt anything. At that point, I'm not sure there is anything copyrightable left, and if there is, it's de minimis (which might apply to the existing photo, but if the focus is the Yogo sapphire, cropping out other full elements is best). I see now there is File:Detail - Conchita Sapphire Butterfly head with Yogo sapphire crop - 2011-01-07.jpg; yeah that seems fine to me. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:16, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Dinosaurios Park

I uploaded this photos, but I don't know if they are artistic works (derivatives works-> Symbol delete vote.svg Delete) or scientific reproductions (->Symbol keep vote.svg Keep). Can you help me?. --. 15:35, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

I would say that all the models probably constitute copyrightable sculptures; they include potentially original elements such as posing and coloration. To me, the only scientific reproduction is maybe File:Dinosaurios Park, Triceratops3.JPG. cmadler (talk) 18:57, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
They're from Spain, so freedom of panorama would apply as well. C3F2k (Questions, comments, complaints?) 19:33, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
I know nothing about the park in question, but from the photos it does not seem to be "permanently located in parks or on streets, squares or other public thoroughfares"; they seem to be 1) a temporary exhibit, and 2) either inside tents or sheltered by the backdrops. cmadler (talk) 00:17, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
No, the question is not about freedom of panorama.
No freedom of panorama.
The exhibition is traveling. She was in Madrid, Barcelona ... The exhibition is inside a tent. More information at the following address: [4]
Español: La cuestión es valorar si se pueden considerar obras artísticas. Si se crearon como tales. O por el contrario se crearon con la intención de hacer reproducciones fidedignas, científicas, con el objetivo de divulgar. Hay ejemplos en que no consideramos a cualquier creación una obra artística. Los automóviles son fruto del diseño y sin embargo los consideramos productos industriales, no obras de arte. ¿Podríamos considerar a estas figuras de dinosaurios trabajo científico, no trabajo artístico? Esa es la cuestión. --. 08:23, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Picture of a historic commemorative medal

Hi! There is a picture of a commemorative medal issued by the 53rd Infantry Regiment of the Austria-Hungary shown on page 287 of this article (page 10 of the PDF). The particular design is from 1916, exhibited in the Museum of the City of Zagreb. Is that copyrightable or not?--Tomobe03 (talk) 12:50, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

  • It is copyrightable, though I think it is PD-US due to pre-1923 publication (does issuing a medal constitute publication?), and might be PD in the country of origin (I'm not sure what country we use, though -- Austria, perhaps?). However, as with coins, I think this medal should be treated as a 3D work, which means there is a new copyright in any photograph. So even if the underlying work -- the medal itself -- is now PD, the photograph must be released under a suitable license. cmadler (talk) 15:27, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Right. Does that mean that if I took a photo of the thing in the museum its use would be permissible here?--Tomobe03 (talk) 15:37, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
    • I am not comfortable saying "yes". I have the following questions:
      • Does issuing a medal constitute "publication"? I think so, although it's possible that a non-US work published in 1916, in a language other than English, without complying with US copyright formalities, is considered "unpublished" in the US; see footnote 1.
      • For countries no longer in existance (Austria-Hungary in this case), what is used as the "country of origin"? I'm not familiar with the legal aspects of the breakup of Austria-Hungary to even guess at this.
      • Who is/was the creative author (we may need to know the year of death to determine copyright duration)?
    • cmadler (talk) 13:56, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I think we could take the medal's country of origin to be the country (under current borders) where the author resided at the time the medal was created. The publication issue is interesting. I think it means the medal might not yet be PD-US, especially if it was a work for hire. --Avenue (talk) 22:36, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Help concerning attribution: File:Beglaubigte_Kopie.png#filehistory

I would like to use File:Beglaubigte_Kopie.png#filehistory but am not sure how to attribute correctly as the user Eldred seems to no exist anymore. Is it sufficient to quote as " Eldred, Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CreativeCommons-Lizenz by-sa-2.0-de, URL:" ? —Preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:13, 14 June 2012‎ (UTC)

Why not just say "Image by Wikimedia Commons user Eldred, released under Creative Commons BY-SA-2.0-DE license"... -- AnonMoos (talk) 12:44, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Q Public License (QPL) in Commons

The screenshot of the file requested for deletion.

Laterly I watch the new files in Commons, and I have seen a file that has been opened a Deletion request, which corresponds to a program published under the Q Public License (QPL), a free license approved by FSF but DFSG and GPL incompatible.

So, we must discuss whether the license is compatible with Commons, and if so, create a Permissions template of the QPL, and use it with it and the screenshots of programs published under this license. Amitie 10g (talk) 02:13, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm not all that sure how licenses anything which can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. It's a rather narrow and limited software-code-only construct which may not be fully compatible with Commons:Licensing#Acceptable licenses.AnonMoos (talk) 20:36, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I am confused. Do they want to upload the software or the screenshot? The screenshot has zero threshold of originality to my eye. Just text that looks like common code and no logos at all.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:13, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Please read Commons:Screenshots, there is explained clearly than a screenshot of a resulting of a program is also covered by tle license of the software. You are right abouth the threshold of originality in the image, the contents are too generic. No window decoration or any other object than generic text that must be in the PD.
But may be another screenshots of programs more complex and them may meet the threshold of originality, but the central discussion of this thread is about the QPL and the compatibility with Wikipedia. Amitie 10g (talk) 23:44, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm really not too sure how a license which covers software code and compiled executables and nothing else can be claimed to cover something else... AnonMoos (talk) 03:32, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Hello! I would like to know if this logotype meets the threshold of originality? Do you think I can upload it, or is it too detailed? - Green Yoshi (tc) 21:48, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

I doubt it, but if doesn't meet the TOO in Sweden, then you could upload it. C3F2k (Questions, comments, complaints?) 21:50, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
See also discussion at COM:BB#Nollvisionens logotyp. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:31, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Maps uploaded by User:Kamooly


Could someone speaking Arabic have a look at the maps uploaded by Kamooly. He claims that they are from NASA (see my talk page). Thanks, Yann (talk) 09:10, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Indian copyrights

See en:File:UshaKalyanam.jpg. Snapshot from a 1936 Indian film. According to Indian law, cinematographic works enter the public domain 60 years after they were made. For this film, this would mean that it entered the public domain in 1997, i.e. after the URAA date. However, due to a changed Indian copyright law (50 years changed into 60 years), photos taken before 1941, and works by authors who died before 1941, were in the public domain in India on the URAA date. Does the same change from 50 years to 60 years also apply to cinematographic works so that films made before 1941 also were in the public domain in India on the URAA date? --Stefan4 (talk) 20:24, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes, that entered the public domain in India in 1987. The extension from 50 to 60 occurred in 1992, retroactive to December 31, 1991, thus the 1941 line for URAA purposes. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:58, 17 June 2012 (UTC)


Has anyone ever heard of UPI not claiming a copyright as is stated File:Farrow-O'Sullivan photo.JPG here? Thanks, We hope (talk) 23:11, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

I can't say for sure on that image, but yeah, back in the day when copyright was treated seriously and formally in the US, a lot of stuff didn't go through the care and formality of copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:38, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Need some guidance

If I believe that a deletion request shouldn't be decided by one admin, since the consequences could lead to a huge number of deletions base only on assumptions and not facts, is there an arbitration process on commons like on Wikipedia?--ARTEST4ECHO talk 06:41, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

What we have is Commons:Undeletion requests... AnonMoos (talk) 12:39, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
I knew that, but thanks for the input anyway.
However, My issue is that is seems that on a number of occasions I have run across a single admin, in my opinion, who makes a bad decision or not one at all which leads to a delete based on the "Precautionary Principle". Than this decision or lack of one, leads to the deletion of a huge number of files, based on that single "precedent". After looking into the Commons:Undeletion requests, I find that most the time the images are still deleted, because the other Admin doesn't want to contradict the former.
What I am looking for is something like Arbitration/Requests where a number of admins must get together and come to a consensus. That way ONE or Two admins don't decided such far reaching deletion request. In a nut shell, it seems like there is nothing to stop a admin who has an "opinion" as to what X mean, from making bad calls over and over again.--ARTEST4ECHO talk 13:47, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
There's Commons:Administrators' noticeboard, but taking it to Commons:Undeletion requests first might still be a good idea... AnonMoos (talk) 14:07, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment. I have seen many use the "Precautionary Principle" argument and I don't agree with it. What we should do is create a new tag that says 'This image is borderline keep. Please use caution if you intend to re-use it. It may still be deleted if things change' type thing. If an admin uses "Precautionary Principle" too often then they should be dealt with in ways that I am not allowed to say here. They may have a small hard drive or no lawyer and actually believe that is their storage space or their ass being sued.--Canoe1967 (talk) 05:26, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

There has been some related discussion at Commons talk:Project scope/Precautionary principle recently, which is probably the best place to discuss these issues. --Avenue (talk) 23:10, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
While this is all well and good, this isn't what I asked about. I know about Commons:Undeletion requests, but I have never seen a case where one admin goes completely against another, unless something "significant" changes. Since the "Precautionary Principle" is so arbitrary, I know that it wont change, but yes I will go threw that first, if only to go threw the motions.
What I want to know if there is a way to move the decision to delete an image from two administrators (one to delete and one not to restore) to a group of administrators, like the arbitration process on Wikipedia. The Arbitration Committee involves 13 administrators, so a real consensus has to be reached.--ARTEST4ECHO talk 15:39, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I think what ARTEST4ECHO is trying to get across is that a group of images are up for deletion at Commons:Deletion requests/FBI most wanted, and the user is worried that a certain specific admin (I don't know which one) will close the discussion. --Carnildo (talk) 00:30, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Are pictures taken in the beginning of the 20th century in Public Domain in Belgium?


I've found some pictures taken from 1895 to 1922 on various websites. According to what I read in the Help section, pictures taken before 1923 have felt in Public Domain, unless if authour's date of death is known, which is not the case here.

These pictures are : there, there, there, there, there, there and there.

Can someone confirm I might use them on Commons and in my articles? :)

Thanks in advance, LordSuprachris (talk) 20:35, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

There are three things to take into account here:
  • In the United States, the copyright has expired if the photos were published before 1923. It is not enough that they were taken before 1923 as unpublished photos, or photos first published much later, may remain in copyright. Additionally, Belgian photos are normally in the public domain in the United States if the Belgian photographer died before 1926. Good luck identifying the year of death of the photographer.
  • In Belgium, the copyright to the photo has expired if the photographer died before 1942. However, it is irrelevant when or if the photos have been published. Photos first published in the 19th century may still be copyrighted in Belgium, depending on when the photographer died.
  • Belgium doesn't have freedom of panorama. This means that if any statues or buildings appear prominently on a photo, there is an additional requirement: the photos are only free if the sculptor or architect died before 1942. Most of the photos you listed only show people (so they are no issue), but one photo shows a bust. Thus, in order to upload that photo, you need to confirm that the sculptor died before 1942.
Commons requires that images are free in both the United States and in Belgium. Unfortunately, the websites you listed do not contain sufficient information for proving that the images are free in both countries, so I would not upload the images. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:56, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
If the photos were published anonymously (no author listed), and the author remained anonymous, the photos may become PD 70 years after publication (thus the date of publication can matter). It can help if we know the source publication (yearbook or something). If we don't know when something was published, and if we don't know if the photographer was identified, it becomes more of a guessing game, and deletion can depend on people's opinions here. For this page, most of them look like team photo taken in the 1910s. *If* they were published at the time (likely, as they appear to be posed team photos), *and* the photographer was not named (hard to be sure without seeing the source yearbooks or whatever they were published from), then they would be OK both in Belgium and the U.S. [The photo of the bust on that page is obviously a modern photo of a gravesite; that would not be OK to upload.] This one sure looks like a clipping from a published source. No photographer seems to be credited, but it can be hard to deduce from that. This and this again *seem* to be from published sources, with credits to organizations and not individuals. For the team photos, it could be a reasonable assumption that they were published anonymously in that era, but without any concrete information, they may also be challenged at some point -- when there is basically no information on the original source, it's a guessing game. If they were photos in team archives that have only been published recently, it could be a very different situation. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:52, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

suspect copyvio advice

I have spotted a change of an image on the English wikipedia, to an image uploaded on commons yesterday ie: File:FlagOfWessex.svg, which replaced File:Flag of Wessex.svg . The uploader claims it as Own Work and to be the copyright holder. It is an exact duplicate of an image designed by William Crampton in 1974 and listed on the UK Flag Registry website here:- However as that url includes the word 'wiki' I am unsure of if or not to list it as a copyvio. Can you please advise accordingly, and if it is would it be better tagged as a Copyvio template or the Speedy Delete one, due to the backlog noted in the Category:Copyright violations. Richard Harvey (talk) 09:01, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

The string of characters forming the URL of that webpage have no impact at all on the copyright status of the work File:Wessex.gif. The "wiki" part of the URL is merely a consequence of that website making use of the MediaWiki software. One must look elsewhere for the copyright status. This page may give some indications. I leave its interpretation to you for determining the copyright status of the particular rendering on the .gif file. Whatever the status of the .gif image might be, and without going into the question if the identical-looking .svg version generates a distinct copyright, it is strange that the uploader takes all the credit for the work without any reference to the work that is copied. I you want to tag the file for copyright violation, I think it would be better to use the normal deletion request procedure, as I think that other users will want to discuss the case. -- Asclepias (talk) 16:53, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Copyright status of pictures of toy steam engines

Note that these images have been marked for copying to Commons. The question at hand is whether these particular toys are works of artistic craftsmanship, sculptures, or something else. If you're going to weigh in, please do so at the English Wikipedia discussions. Uncle G (talk) 09:36, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

MyNewsDesk images

Reviewing some images in Category:License review needed, I see some images sourced from MyNewsDesk and wonder if all the images claimed to be licenced under a Creative Commons 3.0 licence are really free. This is an All right reserved image uploaded as File:Elin Rombo as Sister Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites 2011.jpg (I will nom it for deletion) and this Sony album cover is a cc3.0 image uploaded as File:Chris Medina - What Are Words cover.jpg. Some of the images also claimed to be Sony Music images are found here and on several other linked pages are album covers though others are press and publicity photos. Some of the albums have already been nominated for deletion. It would surprise me if copyright Sony's copyright images that are generally copyright would be uploaded freely licenced at MyNewsDesk. I am not sure whether anyone can upload images under whatever licence they like but it is an expensive subscription based service, after a free 30-day trial, for companies so for a minimum of $200 per month it is unlikely to be License laundering and even though "journalists" can register for free I cannot see if they can upload images or just access the subscription based data. FYI the MyNewsDesk images already uploaded are here. Other input appreciated. Ww2censor (talk) 05:04, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

You can see also one of the previous episodes about images sourced from MyNewsDesk at Commons:Village pump/Archive/2012/03#Images from MyNewsdesk and other discussions linked from there. There were also a dozen or so deletion requests, some of which were closed by one admin, others are still open for discussion. -- Asclepias (talk) 05:41, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I looked at the previous discussion from a few months ago but do not see that in the interim any contact was with the website or Sony Music to verify the licence claims. It seems curious that the music industry, who are very protective of their copyrights, would knowingly release such high quality image with free licences. Perhaps the person dealing uploading to MyNewsDesk is not fully familiar with copyright so it would appear worthwhile to dig a bit deeper on this one because if the images really are freely licenced that is great for us to have found such a source, but if not then we could be opening up a problem, even though the cc 3.0 licence looks good on the surface. Looking individually at the source pages it all looks fine but should we investigate further especially when some image have EXIF data that show clear copyright notices? Ww2censor (talk) 11:41, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment. This may be a use for a new template that may be needed. A warning template on some images for re-users. 'The status of this image may change' type thing. They may wish find another image or avoid use in printed material. I have mentioned this new template in other threads as well.--Canoe1967 (talk) 14:56, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Agree with Ww2censor, taking File:Chris Medina - What Are Words cover.jpg for example I doubt that the publisher on, Sony Music Entertainment Sweden AB - is legaly allowed to publish this file under a license for worldwide free reuse. --Martin H. (talk) 16:08, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I also think that the free license is not valid in many uploads from this site. Yann (talk) 17:32, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Some doubt was also raised on the Swedish village pump in January/February: COM:BB#Byt bild. For example, User:LX mentioned this from Google Maps, claimed to have been uploaded as File:Umea buller.jpg (and since deleted as copyvio). It is unlikely that the has permission from Google. I would guess that Mynewsdesk users often don't know what they are doing when they select a CC-BY licence. Maybe the interface lists a couple of licences and then the Mynewsdesk users just pick one randomly. For that reason, I don't think that we can keep Mynewsdesk pictures if they were made by someone other than the uploader. I'm not sure if we can keep images if the author is one employee of a company and the uploader is another employee of the same company as the second employee might not have permission from the first employee. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:17, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I nominated some of these images for deletion. I think that we departed wildly here from our current precautionary principle. Yann (talk) 14:20, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
    Two days ago I emailed the Sony PR Manager listed on the MyNewsDesk website requesting confirmation of the CC 3.0 licence for their images but as yet have not received a reply. Let's hope we find out one way or another. Ww2censor (talk) 15:09, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
    Yes, that's a sensible way to go. Better safe than sorry. Yann (talk) 15:23, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

File:PC Write text editor.png

What is the correct license for this text only screen shot? This is a MS-DOS based text editor from the 1980's. The software is under copyright but the screen menus are very simple, just functional text to identify the function keys. The rest of the text is from the Wikipedia article about the editor. -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 04:22, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

... and the text has a GFDL/CC-BY-SA license. The rest of it, I agree, is probably not copyrightable, unless the arrangement of the commands at the top can support a copyright (not impossible, but slim). But the text licenses (or one of them at least) must be followed, unless claiming fair use. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:41, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
My 400 plus uploads to commons are public domain so I am unfamiliar with license templates. I assume two are needed here, which ones should be used? -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 16:13, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

A photo uploaded by me was deleted by Wiki, citing licensing issues; I am the sole owner of the photo, even though I did not take it myself.

I had uploaded a photograph of my grandfather in Wikimedia Commons, and referenced the link to the Wikipedia page that contained an article about my grandfather. It got deleted, citing licensing issues.

No copyright exists for the photo. I am the sole owner of the photo, and it has never been previously published in any book, or appeared in any other media. It has been in my family possession for decades. The picture was taken around 1914.

What should I register it under? I wish to upload it, so, it may be used in the article. Kindly advise. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lakseditor85 (talk • contribs) 14:16, June 22, 2012‎ (UTC)

I presume you mean File:Sir TN Sivagnanam Pillai.jpg. I can't see the image, but the deletion reason is because no license was specified -- did you specify a free license when you uploaded the image (see Commons:Licensing)? The typical free licenses are CC-BY or CC-BY-SA; there are other possibilities but we cannot accept non-commercial or no-derivative variants of licenses. Depending on which country you are in, the photo might still have copyright, and that copyright would have to be licensed. It might also help if you know who the photographer was, and when they died. If you want to give up *all* rights, there is the {{PD-heirs}} template. Otherwise, just note why you are the copyright owner, and give a tag such as {{CC-BY-SA}}. It's best to request undeletion at Commons:Undeletion requests, if you indeed want to license it. But the photo needs a copyright license specified (giving permission to everyone, not just Wikipedia) unless the photo is public domain by law (possible, but a lot less likely if it has never been published). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:32, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Kind of iffy PD-textlogo images

Google Chrome icon and wordmark (2011).svg

Hey, does anyone know if the above logos are eligible for copyright in the United States? I would think so, but maybe it's because I have a low personal threshold of originality (I even think the Edge logo is original). Still, I would like a second opinion before I go ahead and nominate these for deletion. UPDATE: The San Diego logo was speedy deleted. C3F2k (Questions, comments, complaints?) 22:17, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Edge logo is nowhere close in the U.S. ;-) These though, yeah, they are borderline at best to me. The San Diego one.... that wave-ish shape may cross the line, as may the arrangement. Chrome... not sure that base symbol is copyrightable, but there are a lot of small touches on there. It doesn't take much. Dora... the 3-D effect might move it over the line (there is some arbitrary artistic judgement going on with that, not completely related to the shape of the letters -- how deep to make it, shading, no completely parallel, etc.). Can't say I'm comfortable claiming PD-textlogo on any of them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:52, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
I've proposed all of them for deletion. C3F2k (Questions, comments, complaints?) 22:40, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Conversion of fake external links within attribution or source

Hi! Does in your opinion this edit break the attribution requirement? Or does this edit remove/hide the source of the image? As far I can see these changes in the wikimarkup do not remove any information or affect the target of the link within the saved page. Moreover for example if you click on "Use this file on the web" in the original version of File:LocationLa_Parra.png, in the author field you will get "...based on [1] created by Emilio...", but with the FrescoBot version you will read a more informative "...based on Image:Granada - Mapa municipal.svg created by Emilio...". It is important to use the proper wiki markup for the internal links: broken links appear red, WhatLinksHere works, etc. I'm not able find any problems with these edit, but I was criticized so I wish to understand if I'm missing something. What is in your opinion the best solution? -- Basilicofresco (msg) 08:37, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Your bot's editions were OK; I don't see any problem with the editions. Many people does not understand than the right way to make internal or interwiki links is through internal links. In "...based on [1] created by Emilio...", the bot only convert the external link to internal link, and shows the filename, in the way than the [1] don't show a description (because a lack of them in the external link), but still remains a link to the same place.
Assuming good faith implies simply edit or revert an incorrect edition of your bot, so no reasons to criticize to you, unles your bot is doing a lot of incorrect editions due to a bug. The responsability of use the right syntax comes from the editors; your bot only corrects them, so your bot and you assume good faith in the editions. Amitie 10g (talk) 18:21, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
The first edit looked like it was more set up to be credit text that could be more easily copied externally -- not sure why someone would copy the raw wikitext, but maybe that was the complaint. There is no way that first edit can break the attribution requirement; authors can require a URL if the page relates to the copyright status, which the main page would not. And anyways, the generated URL (from a user's perspective) is identical anyways, so even if the URL was required I think it'd be fine. Can't imagine what the issue with the second one would be. In normal circumstances there is no good reason to use external links when local links work, it would seem. Did someone give a reason why they wanted the full URLs to stay? Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:54, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Note that the URL is not always identical. If you use a full URL as this user did, it always points at the HTTP version of Commons. If you access the file information page using HTTP, the changed link will still point to the HTTP version of Commons. However, if you are instead accessing the file information page using HTTPS, the changed link will point to the HTTPS version of Commons. Not sure if this is relevant. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:09, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

So, nobody found any problem with the conversion of fake external links within attribution or source fields. If there will be no objections during the next few days, I think I will start again the link syntax fixing script. -- Basilicofresco (msg) 04:58, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

A certain organization has media archives which it may like to upload to Wikimedia Commons. In much of this media, the organization's logo is on display. The organization itself would be the uploader of the media, and the media itself could be used for any purpose, but necessarily the organization could not allow anyone to use its logo depicted in the pictures as free media content.

As an example, a photo may depict a scientist from this organization who is performing an experiment while wearing a labcoat displaying the organization's logo. Also there may be a photo of people from the organization who stand in front of a wall which displays the organization logo. In other example, a video interview is conducted in a room where the organization's logo is behind the speakers at a conference.

What is the policy for uploading such content to Wikipedia Commons? I see logos in many images. Is it customary to upload a template indicating that parts of the media are not free?

There also seem to be a lot of non-free logos in Category:Logos.

Can such content be free content uploadable to Wikimedia Commons? Can an organization donate its media to Wikipedia Commons if that media includes an aspect - the uploading organization's logo - which is not free content? Does "share alike" necessarily imply that anyone ought to be able to reuse any part of any picture for any purpose? Where can I read more about this? Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:35, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Note that your first twp examples are actually PD logos. :-) In any case, the key consideration here is whether the logo is merely incidental to the image. If so, like in the photo of the Mercedes, it would be considered de minimis. just because one does not need permission from the rights holder for the logo on that photo, and we consider it free, does not mean that someone could crop away everything but the logo and make a free derivative image. The three examples you describe all sound like good cases of de minimis, and likely free, but you'll want to read Commons:De minimis and decide for yourself. Dominic (talk) 18:00, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for introducing me to the concept of De minimis and thereby answering my question. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:43, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Focal mechanism

I'm going to promote fa:زمین‌لرزه قائن to FA status so I need some images about the w:1997 Qayen earthquake. I found an image of focal mechanism of the earthquake here at the bottom of the page. Is this image copyrightable? I know that knowledge and information are not copyrightable and I see no creativity in this image. Can I upload it on Commons? 4nn1l2 (talk) 03:29, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Not.... sure, probably not since generated by a machine, but since they say it is from the USGS, it's public domain either way. You can upload with a {{PD-USGov-USGS}} tag. File:USGS sumatra mts.gif is another example of one (maybe; looks similar anyways). This is the USGS page on the quake; the main location map has already been uploaded and no idea how useful the other images from there are (but all are OK to upload, if they are useful). Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:09, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the answer. I understood that the image is in public domain because it originally comes from the USGS. But since I'm not a native speaker of English, I didn't get your answer completely! Do you mean that the image is protected by the copyright if it was NOT from the USGS? If so, then I think I cannot upload it because I think Columbia University has created this image itself based on the USGS data. This image cannot be found on the USGS website or anywhere else on the web! 4nn1l2 (talk) 05:58, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
It's most likely a screenshot from a USGS page, I'm pretty sure. The page may no longer exist. Looks pretty similar to something like this, for example. Columbia may have made the screenshot (the USGS versions are actual text, not images, so you're not going to find them with an image search) but that aspect is not copyrightable of course. I doubt the graphic is really copyrightable in the first place, but since it's USGS, just use that tag. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:38, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you very much Carl. The image is now uploaded to Commons (here) 4nn1l2 (talk) 07:44, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Diagram scans

The scans listed below are about to be orphaned because the pages they were uploaded for were blatantly copied from a book. I'm fairly certain that these scans have also been taken from the book, and no evidence of the FA license is given.

However, would I be correct in stating these simple diagrams are not copyrightable? Osiris (talk) 04:52, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

I think they are all copyrightable with ease. Symbol delete vote.svg Delete all. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:12, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Looking into it further, the book (ISBN 9780582357976) looks copyrighted, and it's published in the UK. So yeah, probably copyrighted. Listing for deletion. Osiris (talk) 07:09, 23 June 2012 (UTC)


Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Convicts_by_Heritage,_Guilty_by_Choice.jpg – Are recent, professional parodies of public domain artwork in the public domain, or are they copyrighted? --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 12:38, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

If they contain additional copyrightable expression themselves, they are copyrighted. The only difference with parodies is that they can be a complete defense against being a derivative work of a still-copyrighted original. But the parody itself is still almost always copyrightable. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:49, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Published by the EU?

The file:

Originally published, and then removed amid controversy, here:

If you click on Legal Notice and then Copyright notice, you are taken here:

"© European Union, 1995-2012. Reproduction is authorised, provided the source is acknowledged, save where otherwise stated."

Nowhere was it otherwise stated.

Also, for what it's worth, the Telegraph feels that they have the right to reproduce and republish it:

I do believe the inclusion of this work in the Wikimedia Commons is legal; but I do not know which template is appropriate. Earthpig (talk) 02:01, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

The Wikimedia Foundation requires that all Commons materials be free content, available for modification and reuse. Mere permission to copy is not sufficient.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:40, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
We do have permission to copy and reuse as far as I know, just not explicit permission to modify. Can you point me to the Wikimedia Foundation policy outlining the 'modify' requirement? (I'll re-read and cite the EU policy directive again that explicitly outlines the objectives of the EU copyright policy with things made by the EU if need be.) Earthpig (talk) 21:12, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
Commons:Licensing and We need the ability to modify and use commercially (more technically, those cannot be prohibited by the copyright license). So while copying certain types of media here would be legal (either under fair use or media-use permissions), it is against policy, which requires a much stricter standard, just like Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects (in fact, Commons is not allowed to use fair use exceptions at all, so it's a bit stricter here even). The purpose of Commons is to host only free media, with the "free" having a very specific definition -- that is a bedrock principle here, and we tend to err on the side of caution when reading permission statements like the above. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:28, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
So it would be more appropriate on Wikipedia than Wikimedia? Earthpig (talk) 09:11, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
If it can't be used commercially and can't be modified, it can't be kept on Commons. Wikipedia uses the same criteria for defining whether something is free or not, but some Wikipedia projects allow unfree works in specific situations as defined by the respective Wikipedia projects, e.g. en:WP:NFC and fr:WP:FU. If you wish to upload the file to some Wikipedia project, you would have to verify that the use of the file complies with the criteria set up by the Wikipedia project. For example, French Wikipedia only allows unfree logos, money and photos of recent buildings – this seems to be something else. Other Wikipedia projects, such as the Swedish and the Spanish ones, do not allow local uploads, so those projects can't use the film at all. Anyway, this is an issue for the Wikipedia project to which you wish to upload the file. --Stefan4 (talk) 09:56, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it can be used commercially, and "value added" inclusion in other projects strongly as fuck implies what we'd call "modification." Here's the 2003 EU "Directive... on the re-use of public sector information": (note that "document" is defined as (a) any content whatever its medium (written on paper or stored in electronic form or as a sound, visual or audiovisual recording)) The principals are pretty damned Free Culture Movement-compliant, even if they are still working out the nuances and use different vocabulary than we do (eg, they say "value added inclusion" instead of "modification and re-release as part of something else"). For those that don't want to read the full legal-speak, here's the "human readable" version: Earthpig (talk) 21:57, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
^ To clarify the above, that document is what defines what is meant by "Reproduction is authorised, provided the source is acknowledged" when it's the European Union saying it. I don't know how to do the "arrow back so the endless indendtations stop" thing, but can the next person that knows how to do it go ahead and do so? :) Earthpig (talk) 22:01, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment. It seems this issue is brought up often in regards to 'vague' permission statements that don't 'explicitly' match commons policies. Perhaps we could just make a template to tag these posts that has the wording of the policy(s) and save a little bit of typing each time. I am not sure I have the skill to right the template, but others may wish to. Thoughts?--Canoe1967 (talk) 15:54, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Posting a picture from Google Earth

I want to put a picture of an 'Extinct Volcanic Hill' taken from Google Earth on a page on Wikipedia ny the name 'Dhosi Hill'. It is not for commercial use at all and is in public domain as any body can see or down load it. Please advise how can I sort out copy right issue in this case.

  • "is in public domain as any body can see or down load it" - this is completely untrue Bulwersator (talk) 19:10, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
  • 'Public Domain' is a legal term that deals with the actual copyright of the work. Many confuse it with 'public access'. Many sites on the web have images that anyone can download. The usage is another matter. Many also have images on sites that have the wrong usage statements or are on sites illegally. I think commons has a list of 'trusted' sites, but it is a rather short list in some opinions.--Canoe1967 (talk) 16:01, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Additionally, for an image to be used here, it can't have a "no commercial" license as our images and pages can be generally re-used both by commercial and non-commercial entities. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:13, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Britain from Above

Users from the UK may be aware that a cache of fascinating aerial photographs at Britain from Above, which asserts the right to prevent commercial use, etc ([5]). However, it notes that many of the files are Crown Copyright – something which we say means that photographs taken before 1 June 1957 are in the public domain. However, this factsheet mentions something about revived copyright; could this be the case? Given the real potential here, is it worth asking the Foundation for their opinion? Grandiose (talk) 16:22, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Many private copyrights (i.e. non-Crown Copyright) were revived when the UK implemented the EU copyright directive in 1996. So yes, for private photographs, the distinction of 1 June 1957 is now mostly irrelevant, which is what that factsheet is talking about. Crown Copyright is a bit different though; the UK did not change the terms of Crown Copyright works when the implemented the EU copyright directive, so I think the assumption is that the previous law remains unchanged. Going by that, Crown Copyright photos taken before 1 June 1957 have a term of 50 years from creation, and Crown Copyright photos created 1 June 1957 or later have a term of 50 years from publication. (This was based on a change in the Copyright Act 1956, which went into effect on that date.) The only way that assumption would not be correct is if the terms of Crown Copyright changed when the altered the law in 1996 (or subsequent law changes). Here is the 1996 change; there does not seem to be any alteration to the Crown Copyright sections. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:31, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
That's the precise explanation. As a rule of thumb, anything Crown Copyright and published more than 50 years ago is out of copyright. It might be worth getting in touch with them and finding out precisely which images were Crown Copyright and are more than 50 years old—thy might even give them to us willingly. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 08:57, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Need answers on why a speedy deletion was declined

Sourcing original imagery

How do I contact the owner of a photo in the hopes of getting a print-quality, higher resolution image? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs)

Every image should list an author underneath the photo on the description page. If the image lists no author, or if there's no contact information, you can try contacting the uploader, whose username is listed near the bottom of the page in the File History section. Powers (talk) 17:48, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Pictures done via PimpMyGun website

Is it OK to upload pictures created by me (and edited in graphic redactor after that) using this website - ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by RussianTrooper (talk • contribs) 18:01, 26 June 2012‎

I presume you mean There is no evidence that images from the website are freely licenced. In fact I can't find a link to any images on the site itself other than a link to a Flickr stream at If you created some of those images you should make sure the images, if they are on Flickr, show a free licence or upload them here clearly stating you are the creator and that the same images found on pimpmygum or Flickr are also yours. Use of the same username will reinforce that claim. We have a Flickr review process that check the Flickr licencing or you can use the COM:OTRS verification. Ww2censor (talk) 20:21, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

U.S. Air Force Memorial

Is the United States Air Force Memorial copyrighted? Powers (talk) 12:36, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

  • It appears to me that it is copyrighted, because it is a recent creation, during the current period in which copyright is automatic without need for any notice or registration, and because it does not appear to be a work of the US government. (Even if it were considered a work for hire, the owner would probably then be the Air Force Memorial Foundation, a non-governmental entity.) Because the US panoramafreiheit covers only buildings, not artworks or sculptures (regardless of size), I think photos showing this memorial (other than cases that might be de minimis or a similar exemption) will need to be deleted. cmadler (talk) 15:05, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
    • That's what I thought, too, but we have a surprising number of pictures of the memorial and thought it best to ask before going to the trouble of starting a massive deletion discussion. I thought there was a chance it qualified as a work-for-hire for the government, since the Memorial Foundation was apparently created by Congressional statute. Powers (talk) 17:47, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
      • It would probably be worth an inquiry to the Foundation as to what they think the status is and whether they might grant a public license to 2D derivative images. Dankarl (talk) 19:25, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Creating a derived work from File:Pictograms-nps-land-climbing.svg

Hi, I would like to know if the license of File:Pictograms-nps-land-climbing.svg allows me to create a new image derived from it. I will remove only the black borders, then I will publish it as "Mountaineering pictogram.svg" in category Category:Mountaineering diagrams. What's more I don't know if I have to use the same PD-USGov license for the derived work. Thanks in advance --Rotpunkt (talk) 07:38, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

  • All media on commons allows creating derivative works (otherwise it is/should be deleted). This one looks OK (not a copyright violation) and may be freely modified. @Licence - I would use Template:PD-user and link in Source field to original image Bulwersator (talk) 08:53, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
  • If all you are doing is removing some of the elements, the remaining elements are still authored by the same entity as the original, and you should probably just keep the same author and license -- you didn't add any creative expression of your own, so there is no additional derivative copyright. There may be some rare examples of selective deletion actually being copyrightable, but removing a border should not be one of them ;-) There is also a bit of U.S. law (17 USC 403) which actually requires that derivative works specify exactly which parts of a derived work are authored by the U.S. Government. There is no real difference in this case (the maximum penalty used to be that such derivatives lose their copyright, which isn't being claimed anyways, and it's less important today), but... the principle is the same with a work by someone else. There is also the {{Extracted from}} template when a new work is completely pulled from an existing one -- usually used for a crop, but could apply in this case. If you are rearranging the elements, or adding your own, then it could be a derivative work, and the above advice would be the proper way to do it. I hope you don't mind, but I modified the image's description to keep the same license. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:03, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Thanks very much for the work and the explanation. --Rotpunkt (talk) 13:14, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Qualifying for PD-USGov-Military-Navy?

Does this image (lower left) qualify for {{PD-USGov-Military-Navy}}? I guess it is

"a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain."

but I need certainty prior to upload it under that license. Thanks, --Mattes (talk) 17:50, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I think so. Pretty clearly a stamp applied on the carrier itself to outgoing mail. 1964, so the postage stamp is OK too. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:22, 28 June 2012 (UTC)