Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2012/09

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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.


Possible licensing issue...

I nominated this image for deletion some time ago. Through the course of the deletion discussion, it appeared that the licensing was wrong, and the permissions were a little shaky. That still may be, as it is apparently supposed to say "used by permission" per the copyright holder, which I thought was not appropriate for Commons, but the file is tagged GFDL. Someone else also uploaded a larger version of the image subsequent to the discussion, and it strikes me that that image had to come from a different place, as the original site it was taken from was gone as the point when I nominated it (it became part of the attribution problem). Could someone a little more knowledgeable on licensing take a look at this and try to sort it out in some fashion if need be? MSJapan (talk) 18:19, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Maybe all astronomical and satellite images are public domain?

See Commons:Deletion requests/File:Ursa Minor Dwarf.jpg Bulwersator (talk) 08:55, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry to say Jim has no knowledge of how an astronomical picture is actually taken. Next step: there is no creativity in having a camera, even a large, sophisticated, and expensive camera, automatically take picture of anything? Jastrow (Λέγετε) 11:37, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
For copyright to exist, there needs to be a (human) author of the image. If a camera takes images by itself without human intervention, there is no author, thus there can be no copyright. -- Liliana-60 (talk) 08:20, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Wouldn't there be a human somewhere who is controlling the satellite? --Stefan4 (talk) 10:27, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
There's still an organization controlling the devices that actually take these images. It obliegies to these organizations to specify a copyright or usage directive for those files. They are not free per se but may be object to national regulations by law. --Denniss (talk) 10:39, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) In this specific case–the Samuel Oschin telescope operates *now* as a robotic telescope, but it wasn't the case before. DSS2 has been going on for several years, and part of the data is scanned from film plates more than 20 years old. File:Ursa Minor Dwarf.jpg gives no source, so we can't know when it was taken. Also, even now the telescope doesn't operate without any human intervention: it's remotely operated from Pasadena. Besides, signal acquisition is only a part of shooting pictures, which is why satellite pictures have been explicitly granted copyright in some countries.
I agree the copyright of DSS pictures is debatable, but it isn't an open-and-shut case: DSS is a panorama of the sky; humans have chosen the field, the type of signal acquisition (visible spectrum, narrowband filters, infrared, etc.), the colour balance (since the CCD era, the colour picture is reconstructed from B&W data), and so on. While we may conclude that none of these operations imply creativity in the copyright sense, it's *not* the same as a security camera.
Finally a significant part of astronomical pictures (amateur production, but also scientific telescopes) are taken not for science, but to be pretty. In this case tere is huge human intervention. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 11:09, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Attribution-No Derivative Works how to ensure the attribution is given

I would like to use a picture from panoramio to illustrate the engineering section of the Clevedon Pier article on wikipedia. The image at says that it is licensed under CC 3.0 Attribution-No Derivative Works, but I am unsure how to upload it through the wizard to ensure the correct attribution is included. Any help would be appreciated.Rodw (talk) 15:29, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

You should not upload the image at all since images with the "No Derivative Works" element aren't accepted here. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:10, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks - good job I checked first as I didn't know that.Rodw (talk) 18:54, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

File:Wemmick's toy castle.jpeg

I don't know how to provide the correct license for this file, nor do I understand why the description I gave is inadequate. Any help on this matter would be mort welcome. If the file really contravenes copyright rules, I have no objection to its being removed from Commons. Thanks for your help. Robert Ferrieux

See Commons:Image casebook#Internet images. There's nothing wrong with the description; in this case it's the license that is the problem. In general, you can't copy other people's photographs off the Internet -- they are almost all protected by copyright, and the copyright owner (usually photographer) must explicitly license them. In this case, I do not see any license at the source... and since and the original source appears to be here -- looks like a private person made their house like that -- that means that it would only be acceptable if licensed at *that* site. The blog you took it from looks like they merely copied it from elsewhere, so they would not have the authority to license it anyways. You're free to contact the actual photographer and see if they would license it (have them send an email per the instructions at COM:OTRS). Short of that though, you'd need to photograph it yourself to have the rights to upload it, or find someone who *has* licensed their files. Sometimes Flickr users license their works CC-BY or CC-BY-SA, which we accept (though not CC-BY-ND or CC-BY-NC). Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:32, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

User Yax3


Yax3 has imported a number of files that seem to be captures of website images modified using PaintNet and then claim they are his own. I've submitted Commons:Deletion requests/File:Cyclonnes2.jpg for one that seems particularly close to copyvio and left a message to that effect in his user discussion. His reply are far from polite, calling me a vandal for suggesting that my claim disfigure his image and he is threatening to bring me to court (?).

I have been very polite and followed the proper Wikipedia procedure and I don't want to get more involved. Could an administrator review all the downloaded images by Yak3 and contact him to explain to him the rules of Wikipedia concerning the copyroght. Ultimately, this administrator should delete the images that do not correspond to the copyright rules. Thanks in advance. Pierre cb (talk) 01:19, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Where does OGL apply

On which images does {{OGL}} apply? Specifically I'm looking at w:File:Angela Claydon, former Ellesmere Port Mayor.jpg, w:File:Gareth Anderson, former Ellesmere Port Mayor.jpg, w:File:Pat Merrick, Ellesmere Port Mayor.jpg. My guess it doesn't apply here because it is a subdivision of the crown (i.e., too far down the chain) that hasn't chosen to apply the OGL. I might be wrong though. Magog the Ogre (talk) (contribs) 03:15, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

PD Italy

Would I be wrong to assume that no matter which way you shake it the image on this page is PD per {{PD-Italy/US}}? Considering the last ship of the class was gone in 1958, the image must have been published before then. Ryan Vesey Review me! 13:58, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

It looks like a drawing to me, so 1) there is no telling when it was created/published (people can easily make new drawings of old ships), and 2) if existing, it would have effectively had a 56pma term on the URAA date (PD-Italy is just for photographs). Carl Lindberg (talk) 11:41, 5 September 2012 (UTC)


Just a quick question as I wanted the opinion of a few more editors. Over on en.wikipedia there are two logos called Steelmarks which I was unsure if the fair use claim on them there was correct. There are two Steelmarks: File:Steelmark logo.svg and File:Pittsburgh Steelers logo.svg. The former is the logo of the American Iron and Steel Institute and the other is the logo of American football team the Pittsburgh Steelers. The AISI has a page discussing the relation between the two at however I don't see any indication of it's copyright, or lack thereof. My question is if both images fall under pd-textlogo as basic text and geometric shapes. The logo consists of nothing more than the word "Steel(ers)" and four geometric shapes, a circle and three astroids (a type of hypocycloid). It would seemingly fall under pd-textlogo, but I wanted to get other opinions. — Moe ε 01:47, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Even if the steelmarks meet the US threshold of originality (which I doubt, though I'm not confident), I'd say there's an extremely high likelihood, verging on certainty, that at some point prior to 1978 they were both published without copyright notice, making them PD-US-no notice. cmadler (talk) 12:32, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Fake Dutch 'moon rock'

Is this "Fake Dutch 'moon rock'" picture a copyright free image I could upload to Commons and have it considered a government document? As you can see it was from United States Ambassador to the Netherlands J. William Middendorf in 1969. --Doug Coldwell (talk) 22:29, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

No. The photo on the BBC article is credited to AP - so the BBC is right, its copyrighted. Ownership (or origin) of the rock doesn't determine the photo's copyright. If someone goes to the museum and takes a freely licensed photo of the rock, we can use that.--Nilfanion (talk) 22:36, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Request for clarification

The Library and Archives Canada has a Judo poster for the 1976 Olympics that I would like to use in a Wikipedia article. Under 'terms of use' it simply says "Credit: Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1994-434-206". I would like to confirm that this means that it can be used in the Wikipedia article, and ask whether it can also be hosted on the Commons for potential use in other articles as well. Thanks for your help. CanadianJudoka (talk) 04:26, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Don't think so. The website terms do say non-commercial use only; so it doesn't seem as though they are fully releasing the rights enough to be free. According to this page, the posters were made by COJO, the olympic committee. The bottom left has a copyright notice, so the copyright is definitely still valid (though can't quite read who was the copyright owner there). Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:01, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. It's common for organizations like the Olympic Committee to donate things like this to the LAC and transfer copyright. I think that the non-commercial use disclaimer is for the website in general, because you can make different types of requests for individual pieces. I'll contact them directly and ask them to explain exactly what the terms of use for this poster are. CanadianJudoka (talk) 05:17, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Category:PD other reasons

There are currently 8,676 files in this category. As most people who care about copyright on Commons are probably already aware, {{PD-because}} is one of our most frequently misused tags. It's not unusual to come across completely invalid or non-sequitur rationales (e.g. "for need the truth", ".", "family photograph", "to know about the village", "got it from Google", "to give an idea to the people", "it is a pamphlet cover", "the owner is deceased", "none", "reason", "too old" and "toral dinning hall is loved by people very much"). So I thought it would be good to take a more structure approach to improve on the state of affairs, and I did some simple crunching of a recent database dump.


  1. There are six rationales that are used more than 100 times each (see below). 45 rationales are used more than 20 times each. The most frequently used rationales should be checked for validity and be converted to new or existing tags in their own right. Doing so for the top 45 rationales would reduce the number of files in this category to about 3,700 (or 5,000 just by taking care of the top six).
  2. Many of the files with more unique rationales should also use existing standard tags. We should undertake a coordinated effort to identify these.
  3. Having brought the category down to a more manageable size using the above approaches, we should establish routines for reviewing custom rationales. This work should be similar to Commons:License review, but may require more consultation for the trickier cases.

To get started, here are the top six rationales:

Rationale Occurrences
According to articles 13 of the copyright laws of Japan, Governments in Japan can not assert the copyright for public documents which is released by them. 1569
it is a document from the United Nations Organisation published before 1989 633
This image is taken from the Rfam database, which is completely in the public domain. 607
it’s a swiss road sign published by the Federal roads office (FEDRO) 303
Images marked copyright free have been checked as per the requirements of the Australian Copyright Act and are in the public domain. [1] 301
freedom of panorama in Poland 301

I'd love to hear your thoughts on my proposals as well as what to do with these particular rationales. LX (talk, contribs) 15:05, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

The only thing I can remember using "PD-because" for is to indicate that SVG files on the former site were all released as PD -- but I strongly doubt whether I've used consistent wording, so it wouldn't show up on your list... AnonMoos (talk) 16:23, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
I can only find a total of six instances of Sodipodi being mentioned in the full list of 2,233 unique {{PD-because}} rationales. LX (talk, contribs) 16:42, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Agree that {{PD-because}} uses should be reviewed systematically (maybe as a subpage in Commons:WikiProject Public Domain), and new tags created as appropriate. Reasonable uses should become tags unless they're clearly only limited to a handful of cases, and the rest need fixing, supplementing (eg the FOP-in-Poland case still needs a license for the image itself, and a US PD rationale as well) or the file deleting. Rd232 (talk) 18:16, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

This category definitely needs a check. I checked the corresponding category on English Wikipedia some time ago and found that lots of the {{PD-because}} files in fact were copyright violations.
There is also another thing which I believe that we need to check: {{PD-ineligible}}. Some users don't seem to understand what that means. Today, I marked multiple files at English Wikipedia as copyright violations because the images were regular photos of nature or architecture but marked as {{PD-textlogo}}. I assume that the same problem also exists here. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:26, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
I just checked (on enwiki) and around 2/3 are copyvios ("This file is in the public domain, because Posted on public Facebook page", "This file is in the public domain, because Its a downloadable image on the Influxis Website") and 1/3 may use proper licence tag Bulwersator (talk) 08:21, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

I agree that most files in this cat should not use this template. However, it is difficult to say how many are plain copyvios, and how many are just mistagged files. Yann (talk) 11:49, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Commons:WikiProject Public Domain/PD-because review. Rd232 (talk) 12:48, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

The Swiss road signs are all covered by {{PD-Switzerland-official}}, and should ideally be adapted to use {{CH Bundesamt für Strassen source}} (the relevant sign number can be found here), plus {{Created with Pstoedit}} (seems to apply to all those files). Example at File:CH-Gefahrensignal-Starke Steigung.svg. Any volunteers? :) Rd232 (talk) 12:34, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Photos from Russell military museum

Hi, I first asked at the Commons:Help desk#Photos from Russell military museum, but I think i was asking in the wrong place. So, I just visited the Russell Military Museum near Chicago (official website: and took various photos (about 100, maybe less). Being that I can't find any other photos from them on Commons, nor a page on it on Wikipedia, do you know if I can upload the images, or should I ask them directly (if so could someone do it, being that I've never done it)? Thanks, --Amendola90 (talk) 19:36, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Well from a permission-to-take-photos point of view, you should really have asked beforehand if you were going to (Commons:Image_casebook#Museum_and_interior_photography). But basically it's fine to upload self-taken museum photos unless there is copyright in the objects or text you're photographing. On that issue, I don't think the type of military objects I'm seeing on their website are likely to attract copyright - they're utilitarian. Upload a couple of examples and get back to us here - it may be worth creating an Institution template for the museum for example (which would be easier if they had a WP entry...). Rd232 (talk) 11:50, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Okay thanks, I'll do it right away. Another thing, in the background of some images I have a clearly visible advertising billboard, should I black it out in paint (or something) or leave it alone? --Amendola90 (talk) 10:37, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Crop out the billboard as much as is reasonable; after that, if it's in the background and not an important part of the image then it's probably de minimis and can be ignored. Much easier to say with looking at it whether that will be the case. Rd232 (talk) 10:43, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I uploaded six, first five without advertising and the last one (File:M5 tractor RMM.jpg) with, tell me if you think it's considerable as de minimis. --Amendola90 (talk) 12:00, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
P.s. I forgot you can obviously see the others here [2]. --Amendola90 (talk) 12:02, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I'd say the billboard in File:M5 tractor RMM.jpg is de minimis, particularly as it's in shadow and you can't see the images on the billboard that well even zoomed in. Rd232 (talk) 13:27, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
That one's similar to the other ones with the billboard, so there shoulden't be any problems. Thanks again. --Amendola90 (talk) 13:39, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

How to handle suspected non free use of images?

This image: File:SahurePyramid.jpg has no clear statement that the author has given permission for his images to be freely used - just a green warning message. (There are many of these images uploaded that belong to Jon Bodsworth.

  • the link to the source is dead
  • the image was obtained from The Egypt Archive which is now off line and has a note that the email address is no longer valid.
  • the permission links to the WayBack Machine[3]
  • There is a permission quoted, but no link to the quote. How can it be verified?
  • shouldn't there be a OTRS ticket or something?

Thanks, MathewTownsend (talk) 20:41, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Other images in the same situation are:

Thanks, MathewTownsend (talk) 21:00, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

The situation is well explained in the Template:Egypt Archive, which is included on the description pages of the files from the egyptarchive website. I don't see any problem with it. Only, given the wording of the declaration from the author, maybe the proper status template should be Template:PD-author instead of Copyrighted free use. The web.archive allows verification of the author's declaration. If we think that the web.archive pages might disappear, maybe a license reviewer can add a license review template. Your list includes two files that don't seem to have anything to do with this website. I don't know what you are trying to say when you write "Template:Puf" on the description pages. There is no such template. -- Asclepias (talk) 22:38, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I was following directions from Possibly unfree files which directed that the template be added to the file. All the files I listed have the green template. There's no statement from the author of the images - just a quote that isn't cited. Since free use can be revoked by the author, this doesn't seem good enough. WMF needs something in writing from the person who took the pictures. MathewTownsend (talk) 22:56, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Ah, that appears to be a template at the English-language Wikipedia, for that Wikipedia's files. We don't have it here on Wikimedia Commons. I suppose you could use Template:Delete, as more or less of an equivalent, after reading the policy overview at Commons:Deletion requests. The statement from the author is the quote from his website, which can still be read on the archived page to which you linked above. To me, it reads like a release of the files to the public domain. (Which also means that eventual copies of those files could still be uploaded to Commons even after 2011, but the user who created the source template may have been overly cautious by treating the statement as if it were a license.) -- Asclepias (talk) 00:21, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
It looks like some of those images pre-date the OTRS procedure even existing... we do often grandfather those. It would be better to have a more explicit statement of course, but the images have been here for many years, and the author has not complained -- if he was to contact us and say he never intended for commercial re-use, I think I would tend towards deletion, but otherwise... I'm not sure I would nominate them. For any images *currently* uploaded under similar rationales, the situation would probably be different -- we'd ideally ask the site owner for a clarification. But that now seems impossible to do in this particular case. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:13, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Copyright year/status unclear for Singer.1920sAdvertisingCard.back.jpg and Singer.1920sAdvertisingCard.front.jpg images

For the Singer.1920sAdvertisingCard.back.jpg image, the copyright notice seems to indicate one or more years after 1922 (possibly 1926, 1927, and/or 1929-it is hard to read the notice.) As such, it is not clear that the work is out of copyright due to be published prior to 1923, though there is the possibility that the work may be out of copyright due to non-renewal (this would probably need to be verified.) Note that the front of the work (which includes an older Singer logo among other material) is shown at Singer.1920sAdvertisingCard.front.jpg and may be subject to a similar issue. -- Gazebo (talk) 05:40, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

The tag used is PD-US, which encompasses PD-1923 and PD-US-no_notice, PD-US-not_renewed, and a couple others. It's better to have the more explicit tag if known. In this case... there are multiple years listed, without delineating which portions were printed in which year. The Copyright Office does say that If the copyright duration depends on the date of first publication and the year given in the notice is earlier than the actual publication date, protection may be shortened by beginning the term on the date in the notice. [...] A work made for hire is created in 1983 and is first published in 1988. However, the notice contains the earlier year of 1987. In this case, the term of copyright protection would be measured from the year in the notice, and the expiration date would be 2082, 95 years from 1987. So... the ambiguous years may mean that the earlier of the years would be used to determine the copyright duration. That is backed up by this page. Judging by a copy on this page, the notice does say "1926-1927 and 1929". So, 1926 may be the year there. That would mean it is not PD-1923, but the claim would be based on PD-US-not_renewed. The copyright renewals are online at here; if you find a renewal for that work, particularly in 1953 or 1954, we should consider it for deletion. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:54, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Microsoft Office 2013 logos — Covered by Copyright?

JFYI: Commons:Deletion requests/File:InfoPath2013icon.png. Comments are welcome. Perhaps someone could find out whether Microsoft managed or attempted to register these logos or logos of former versions. BTW, in en:Copyright registration, I read For works created in the US by US citizens — does this apply to Natural persons or also to Legal persons or am I completely wrong? Thank you! -- Rillke(q?) 08:25, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

I think (though I'm not an expert by any means) that as far as "works created in the U.S. by U.S. citizens", the relevant "creator" is the individual or individuals who created the work, not organization, corporation, or other person who might own the copyright. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 15:15, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
The US Copyright Office circular to which that statement is cited ([4]) makes no mention of citizenship, saying only "Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration is necessary for works of U. S. origin." (p 7) cmadler (talk) 12:39, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
The reason for "US citizens" is that foreign authors are exempted from the requirement to register before filing a lawsuit, unless the work was first (or simultaneously) published in the U.S. The requirement to register before filing suit definitely applies to U.S. legal persons (though foreign legal persons may also be exempt, if first published outside the US). This requirement has no bearing on a work's copyrightability (although a registration would usually prove that it is copyrightable of course), just the amount of damages which can be sued for. A company is unlikely to file copyright registrations on individual icons like this, though I guess it's possible. They'd be more likely to register the entire software program as a whole, perhaps as a collective work which includes all bundled artwork. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:02, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Thank you all for the explanation. While U.S. copyright is very important at Commons, it was always difficult to understand for me. Also because a lot has changed and there seem to be old practise mixed with the "Berner Konvention" while the old practise is still supported. Should the Wikipedia article rephrased to "works created in the U.S. by U.S. citizens and U.S. legal persons"? -- Rillke(q?) 08:33, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Maybe "works first published in the U.S." -- foreign authors who first publish their works in the U.S. are still subject to the requirement. And actually the sentence "but foreign works must now be treated as though already registered in the US in accordance with the Berne Convention" is not entirely true -- while foreign authors can sue without registering, they will still be limited to being awarded actual damages in case of infringement, instead of the automatic statutory fines (typically much higher) which come into play once a work has been registered. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:54, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

DW of 1970 press photograph(s)

I am not sure how to handle this and (derived from it) this image. The original press photograph seem to be by the Deutsche Presse Agentur (dpa). I think unfortunately they have to be deleted, but perhaps someone else knows better. Tx --Funfood 07:54, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

I tagged both files as copvio now, because they seem copyrighted by dpa [5]. --Funfood 09:14, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

bad licensing?

I found some files attributed PD-self/CC by an uploader, but nearly all are {{PD-NASA}}, some, like File:PDO_Pattern.png or File:Soi.svg come from somwhere else.. may one correct that (like [6], I undid that by now)? or should an admin do a complete review of all uploads? W!B: (talk) 12:02, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

File:Ансамбль Кремля в г. Казань.jpg

This is a photo of a poster which itself is an aerial photo. Do I understand correctly that this is copyrighted material, unless the permission from the author of the photo on the poster was provided?--Ymblanter (talk) 14:33, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes, the photo is clearly a derivative work of the poster. Rd232 (talk) 14:38, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, tagged for speedy deletion.--Ymblanter (talk) 14:56, 11 September 2012 (UTC)


FYI: I've just been through User:Ajrchun's contributions, and, as far as I can see, every single one of them seems to be a copyvio. I've tagged the remaining ones that have not yet been deleted as potential copyvios. -- The Anome (talk) 16:41, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Osama bin Laden’s photos

I noticed we have quite a few images of Osama bin Laden sourced to the US government, even though they obviously were not created by the US government, only used or seized by them. Notably File:Bin laden image 2.png is the FBI Most Wanted photograph (obviously not created by FBI), which has been already been deleted as a copyright violation (and see also Commons:Deletion requests/File:Osama.jpg). Then we have File:Osama bin Laden making a video at his compound in Pakistan.jpg, an Al Quaeda video seized by the US government, which was kept by Commons:Deletion requests/File:Osama bin Laden making a video at his compound in Pakistan.jpg. So… should we do anything about that? (Like, deleting File:Bin laden image 2.png and replacing it with e.g. File:Osama bin Laden portrait cropped.jpg…) Dunno. --Mormegil (talk) 08:41, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

As per the license template, files will enjoy no copyright if its not created by them, Obviously many images has the same doubt..--...Captain......Tälk tö me.. 15:28, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Polish map possibly published in 1938


I'm unsure about what to do with File:Zaolzie mapa.jpg. When originally uploaded in October 2007, the image was tagged "This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Darwinek at the wikipedia project". It was subsequently expanded with a description saying that it was "used in several books without restrictions", and tagged {{PD-old}}. I raised a query on File talk:Zaolzie mapa.jpg in January 2008 as to whether this was sufficient information to conclude that the file was in the public domain. Darwinek then replaced the copyright tag with {{PD-because|it is no longer copyrighted due to its age}}.

Yesterday, I added an {{subst:nsd}} tag to the page, which was replaced with more information on its origin - now saying that the date of original publication is "unknown, probably 1938" and that the author is also unknown, but that it was scanned from a book published in 1993. Given this new information, I replaced the tag on the page. Has the image now been tagged appropriately? Or should the image be reviewed for deletion? What would be an appropriate further course of action (if any)? Gabbe (talk) 08:45, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

I've put it up for deletion; if nothing else, it's not PD in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:07, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

en:John Murray (publisher)


Until when can we assume that things published by John Murray (without date) are in the public domain? Documents published by Sir John Murray IV (1851–1928) should be OK. Those published by his son, Sir John Murray V (1884–1967), who took over his father, are not, unless we count only the publication date. So can we assume that John Murray IV was in charge of the business until his death (1928)? Yann (talk) 13:46, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Works published after 1922 by a UK author who died in 1928 are not PD in the US under the URAA and are thus not suitable for uploading to Commons.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:41, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Ah yeah, that stupid URAA rule. So only before 1923 then. Yann (talk) 04:08, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure why the death date of the publisher would be relevant, unless you mean that the publisher was also the author...? -- AnonMoos (talk) 01:59, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, no other name is mentioned: File:Shahjahanabad, 1906, from Murray's Handbook.jpg. Yann (talk) 04:08, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Doesn't mean they are the author. If the only name on the map is the publisher, it would be anonymous or unknown authorship. However, it appears that map is here, with an attribution to "John Bartholomew & Co. Edin"[burgh]. That company is today Collins Bartholomew apparently. Anyways, since that is a corporate author, the term should be 70 years from publication for it in the UK. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:11, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I can't find the same information as you. However I uploaded a copy of another edition File:A Handbook for Travellers in India, Burma, and Ceylon.djvu. It was published both in UK and in India. Since India has a shorter term, does it affect the copyright duration? There was already a DR about a Murray's publication: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Bombay City map (1924).jpg. Yann (talk) 06:04, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
If the Indian copyright term is 10 years shorter than the British one, and if it was published concurrently (i.e. within 30 days) in both countries, then India counts as the source country. However, Britain still grants a full British copyright term due to the concurrent publication. Do you have the exact date of publication in both countries? --Stefan4 (talk) 13:51, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Electronic Circuit Drawing Copyrights

There is a Wikipedia article that asks for an electronic circuit special configuration to improve it. I am not sure about this drawing configuration being of public domain or pertaining to a company or a person. What treatment to do with electronic circuits? Thank you.

According to 17 U.S.C. § 904, microchip designs can be copyrighted. Please sign any comments next time. 02:33, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Picture of family from 1915


I 'm trying to post a picture from 1915. The picture belongs to the family archive. Please advise how should I license that picture?

Thank you very much in advance, Olkiru (talk)

Ebay as a source of publication information

Hi. :) A Wikimedian asks this at my talk page (diff, edited to remove irrelevant bits):

is Ebay useable as a source of images? Many postcards are listed on Ebay which are now clearly out of copyright. I've uploaded images from many postcards which I own to Commons, but was wondering whether or not Ebay could be used as a source. The problem is that listings dissapear after a time, and thus any attribution via a link to the listing will become useless in time. Is this something that can be overcome?... Mjroots (talk) 07:41, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

I mentioned the possibilities of webcitation archive at least to preserve the documentation or suggested there might be some system like Flickrreview with which I'm just not familiar. Can you guys explain how this is handled around here? Or maybe brainstorm with him how it should be? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 10:47, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

I think File:William Shatner Star Trek.JPG offers a pretty good example of a way to do it purely within Commons. First upload both the front and back, to give documentation (as needed/applicable) of the date (in this case a range can be deduced, but it tells us enough for copyright purposes) and copyright notice or lack thereof. Then overwrite it with just the front or useable portion. cmadler (talk) 12:52, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
See also en:WT:NFC#eBay and auction sites as image sources which is similar but about fair use images. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:57, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
If eBay permits the archiving of pages from its website, I think it is a good practice for images properly sourced from eBay to be archived using WebCite. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:17, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Much of what's here Category:Riverview Park (Chicago) Category:Hersheypark were eBay cards with front and back uploaded first, then the image to be used. We also have a lot of older railroad views that were gotten the same way. We hope (talk) 15:11, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm mostly looking to add images of buildings, such as this windmill. As the description states, image dates to pre 1918 - This is verified by the book Windmills of England by R. J. Brown, which states on p116 that the mill ceased working on 1 January 1918 when it was gutted by fire. It still stands restored as a landmark. This search on Ebay shows there are plenty of windmill images to be had. With about 1.7 million listings for postcards alone on Ebay, it shows the great potential there is to add images to Commons. There is also a separate category on Ebay for photographs. Mjroots (talk) 16:29, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
The example File:William Shatner Star Trek.JPG gives some evidence for publication in the U.S. U.S copyright is(was) about publication date and copyright formalities. British copyright is not. The windmill image is a different case, its required to identify the photographer. --Martin H. (talk) 18:18, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
If the photographer/publisher is not identifiable, the 70 year rule applies in the UK. Mjroots (talk) 18:49, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but this requirement does not mean: If the ebay seller not names the author. The rule applies if the artist is unknown after reasonable enquiries, and that will require a little bit more than just checking ebay. --Martin H. (talk) 19:24, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
If something on EBay is public domain, it should be possible to preserve the evidence without needing the actual EBay auction page. As mentioned, this is often done by uploading the back, then uploading the front, or uploading both as separate images. It's unlikely that someone would license their auction photographs right on that page, which is the only reason we'd need a Flickrreview type process (which verifies the licenses there). For items which are used under a PD-Art or PD-Scan license, we need to be able to determine the copyright of the underlying work, which needs to either be self-evident from the uploaded images (such as evidence of publication without notice, or a pre-1923 date), or verifiable via other means (say a known painting). In neither case do we really need access to the original EBay page, though it would help. For evidence of publication without notice, such cards would 1) need to show publication, i.e. the author obviously distributed it to someone else (say a TV studio photo with a newspaper stamp on it, showing it was distributed to the newspaper), and 2) lack of notice, which would include both sides usually. The distributed unit was the physical card, so the notice could be located any place on that card. For items distributed as a set, the notice could potentially be anywhere in the set or on its packaging -- for example, on a deck of cards, the copyright notice is typically only a the ace of spades, which is OK. So, we'd need think it was likely that the underlying image was distributed by itself (which publicity shots often were), coupled with lack of notice anywhere on it. This types of evidence can be uploaded here directly, without needing the EBay page as reference. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:13, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
But what happens if only the front of the card is shown? Would it be possible to have a system similar to that with Flickr images for images obtained via Ebay? Mjroots (talk) 20:21, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I suppose, but it seems so much easier to just upload the back image, and preserve the evidence -- it's often more of a judgement call than verifying a CC license on Flickr. Though if WebCite will preserve the page just as easily, that could work fine too. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:32, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Just a word of caution-many times a seller's images are linked through his/her own photo storage, such as Photobucket, etc., and they may not be kept for a length of time. EBay images (the ones shown at the upper left of the auction page), aren't around forever either. If you decide not to upload both sides of an image, I'd suggest you need to do WebCite for both/all image links from either eBay or the seller. We hope (talk) 21:40, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions, very useful. How about I suggest an image and someone does the uploading, webcite etc so that I can see what is required? Mjroots (talk) 18:34, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
If you'll post the link here and someone who's worked more with UK copyright than I have will suggest a license, I'll get you started. :) Have been trying to stay away from WebCite, as much as I like it because the last time I was at their home page, there was a malware download try. Not sure if that's been cleaned up or not. We hope (talk) 19:24, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
This photograph of Brenzett Mill, Kent would be a good one to start with. Although this is a photograph rather than a postcard. The publisher is unidentified on the Ebay listing. However, the mill was demolished on 5 February 1925 (Watermills and Windmills, William Coles Finch (1933), p174, so the photograph is clearly over 70 years old. Mjroots (talk) 20:41, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
UK photographs are copyrighted for 70 years after the death of the photographer -- photos from 120 years ago can quite conceivably still be under copyright. If the author is unknown (e.g. not mentioned when the photo was first published), then the term is 70 years from publication -- but that can sometimes be decades after a photo was taken. Publication date and especially author is often going to be very difficult to determine from ebay listings. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:16, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Here are some eBay UK auction listing links for cards showing back and front which are older and appear to meet UK guidelines.

Not sure if you're looking for any of these but this may be a start for you. We hope (talk) 13:56, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Those are representative examples of what I had in mind. I'm aiming to fill gaps where we don't have images of the mill in question on Commons. To that end, card 7 fits the bill perfectly. Mjroots (talk) 10:12, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Postcards can definitely show publication date. But you do need to be careful about authorship, using any clues you see (front or back) to research and see if they are a known author. For example, Card 1 has "The Brighton Picture Series" on the back. A google search turned up this page, which is a pretty exhaustive history of the authors of those cards. That was done by Rudolf Handwerck, born in Germany but worked in the UK from about 1907 to 1914 (when that card was done), later living in the U.S. and Germany. He lived from 1879 to 1971. That postcard would be copyrighted in the UK until 2042. Card 2 has a publisher's name... may be enough to assume PD-UK-unknown on it. Card 3 has the initials "R B W" -- should try to figure out if that is an author's mark. It also has no date, though by the caption it would be from about 1910. Card 4 has no date, and that publisher (Valentine's Real Photograph) looks to have produced stuff in the 1930s and 1940s, so there are good odds that it is still under copyright (even if PD in the UK, if it was first published 1926 or later, its US copyright was restored and is still in effect). Card 5 has virtually no details, including no date. Card 6 has a written date... may be good enough. Card 7 looks like it was postmarked in 1913, so the date is OK if anonymous, though you may want to do searches on "Peveril Photo Series" or "Peveril Real Photo Series" to see if there is any documentation out there which could identify an author. If it's just a company with several workers, and no particular author is identified, then PD-UK-unknown is a reasonable license. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:13, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Christmas card of Marilyn

Hi, i wanted to know if this christmas card could be uploaded to commons. Ive seen plenty of photos of Monroe in commons and i don't know if the reasons given here (for example) could apply. Thanks in advance.--Zeroth (talk) 13:55, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Looking at Commons:Copyright_rules_by_territory#United_States it should be possible. The photograph seems to be from 1953 and a copyright notice is not found on it. I also didn't find any copyright renewal in the database. --Funfood 14:40, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Is there a copyright notice on the back? Secondly, that renewal search link is for books only, not other types of works. For something published in 1953 though, the renewals should be online in the searches -- renewal needed to be in 1980 or 1981. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:18, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Kenneth Callahan mural in a post office

Does anyone know what would be the copyright status of "Industries of Lewis County" painted in the Centralia, Washington post office by Kenneth Callahan? It was commissioned by the Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture; I don't know whether Callahan would have been considered a federal government employee or an independent contractor, which might have bearing on the matter. I understand that it also might matter whether copyright was registered/renewed, but I don't really know my way through the thicket of how one determines this for a particular work. - Jmabel ! talk 03:58, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

You say commissioned, so he wasn't an employee. When was this painted? If it was painted before 1978, it's in the public domain if there's no copyright notice. If it was painted after 1977, the painting won't need a copyright notice; it's quite possible it will be copyright for life+70.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:08, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
1938. There is certainly no copyright notice on the painting itself, but it's imaginable that one was registered. Or do you think that just {{PD-US-no notice}} would be safe? - Jmabel ! talk 06:03, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
It's probably safe, though it wouldn't hurt to search the renewals around 28 years from 1938, which can be found here.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:32, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Spam from Filmitadka

Could someone give me some guidance about uploaded photos with watermarks and/or metadata that contains advertising? I am not sure if pictures such as Praggya at India Fine Art gallery should be nominated for speedy deletion as spam or copyviolation, or whether there is a more suitable cleanup tag should be applied to other files like this that have the same or similar problems. --Gavin Collins (talk) 09:19, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

No reason to delete this. It would be nice to get rid of the watermark, but for many cases, the images from Filmitadka are the only free images available of the person. Yann (talk) 11:11, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
It is not possible to get rid of the watermark under the copyright licence[7]. I can understand why you might want to keep these images if they are the only free images available of a particular person, but the links and the metadata are clearly intended to promote a particular website. For instance, the same photograph also appears on without any licence, but neither site say who took the photograph. Should Commons be hosting works that include spam in the metadata? --Gavin Collins (talk) 02:50, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Of course, it is possible to get rid of the watermark. The attribution does not need to be on the picture. Several pictures from Filmitadka have been edited in this manner. Yann (talk) 04:16, 16 September 2012 (UTC)


Banksy and the related category are an example of graffiti. Commons:Image_casebook#Graffiti and {{Non-free graffiti}} are both a bit reticent about saying that graffiti (illegally placed murals) is really not subject to copyright. Should this be tested with a mass DR? Rd232 (talk) 18:35, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

What is wrong with discussion and consensus rather than DRs?
Many of these images have persisted on Commons for more than seven years, there is no rush. The copyright status of illegally placed graffiti and the lack of reference cases where any artist has attempted to identify themselves and claim their copyright (and as a direct consequence expose themselves to legal action) makes it reasonable to judge that the significant doubt needed to apply the precautionary principle is not established. As well as considering the case for the Banksy images, I believe we should consider looking favourably on undeletion requests for past deleted graffiti that was blatantly placed as vandalism (such as political protest graffiti and football supporter graffiti). Such material has significant educational value, and without evidence that any artist has claimed copyright (successfully or otherwise) in a past scenario where they broke the law by placing it illegally, our working practice on Commons of deleting any figurative graffiti on sight, regardless of whether it was illegally created, is a bizarrely hypothetical way of interpreting copyright law in an area where apparently no judge, in any country, has unambiguously set a precedent (the handful of examples put forward so far have been, at best, tangential). -- (talk) 09:29, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Fastily has suggested moving this to a RFC - what do you think? I suspect we will not get many comments here which indicates that it is likely to take a long time to get a consensus. Even if a RFC were to run for 12 months, at least it would give us a place to gather more examples in that time, and supplement DRs raised on graffiti in similar situations by pointing to the discussion. For reference I have uploaded my own photo to Flickr as I suspect it will not be left floating on Commons with an outstanding DR indefinitely. -- (talk) 07:54, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

If you don't identify yourself as the artist until many years after painting the art, you don't expose yourself for legal action because of prescription. However, copyright lasts for a much longer time. See for example this blog post by User:Jean-no. He took a photo of some graffiti and received a cease and desist letter 25 years later when the artist no longer could face any legal action for the vandalism. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:46, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I just decided to check the deletion request for the image mentioned above: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Miss tic enfile art mur jnl.jpg. In this deletion request, User:Jastrow wrote that a French court once ruled that graffiti is protected by copyright. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:06, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
I have always been uneasy about Commons:Image_casebook#Graffiti because its arguments are in direct violation of points 1 and 4 of COM:PRP.
"However, in many cases the artist is unknown..." - vs PRP #4 “Nobody knows who the copyright owner is, so it really doesn’t matter.”
"...the artist would have difficulty enforcing their copyright..." vs PRP #1 "The copyright owner will not bother to sue or cannot afford to.”
We honor copyrights belonging to long dead anonymous people and to defunct corporations. Why should we dishonor copyrights belonging to graffiti artists?
This is particularly a problem because in many cases it is difficult to look an an image of a work and determine whether it was painted
  • with the advance permission of
  • with the acquiescence of, or
  • over the objections of the property owner.
According to our current rules, the first two call for deletion, but the third is a keeper. I'd be happier if we simply agreed that all graffiti has a copyright and go from there. Meanwhile, I don't tag graffiti with {{Delete}} and I don't close DRs involving it, unless it is obvious that the owner gave permission or FOP applies. .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 14:17, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Stefan, could you point to a source for the "French court ruling"? In the other example you provided (WRT User:Jean-no) this was a settlement rather than a judge setting case law. I am troubled by the arbitrary nature of this discussion on a village pump, I am more convinced than ever that a long running RFC (over several months) where we can lay out the most significant cases and look again at the Commons casebook would be a far more beneficial way forward than polarizing without taking serious consideration of where the law actually is on this and how far into hypothetical and unrealistic assessment of "significant doubt" Commons norms currently are. Thanks -- (talk) 14:55, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Inappropriate use of game or character copyrights through de minimis or FOP

I came across this deletion discussion the other day Commons:Deletion requests/File:Mario Bros with Cube - Graffiti.JPG, where it was argued the graffiti that contained Super Mario was acceptable through COM:FOP. It is my opinion that since the graffiti artist did not own the copyright to the art they made, they cannot release the copyright in this way. Since the image was being used to illustrate Mario articles on other wikis, there is no way that COM:de minimis could apply either; if it is significant enough to illustrate the article, it is too significant for de minimis.

I looked around in graffiti and video game categories and found some more images where I feel FOP or de minimis do not justify the inclusion of the copyrighted material. I would appreciate some opinions at the discussions. These seem to be areas where editor opinions vary widely.

Also, please let me know if I am misunderstanding the policies applied here. Thank you. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 19:55, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

I think de minimis can be defended in many cases, as I wrote in Deletion requests/File:MNT Welcome Party Maruyo.jpg. If there is realistic legitimate use where de minimis applies, then we can host the images - otherwise we could keep nearly no de minimis images. But there are poorly handled issues with use on Wikipedia and categorisation.
For the graffiti, I think painting something illegally on a wall cannot make the image more usable for us than if painted as fan art for a magazine and donating the image to us. De minimis certainly can apply in some cases, even if the image is misused on Wikipedias, but if the only reason for us to host the image is the copyrighted content, then it does not.
--LPfi (talk) 08:10, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Turning the above list into a gallery, it's clear most of these fail "de minimis". If you can tell from the file name or from the thumbnail what the "de minimis" issue is, then it's really unlikely to qualify as "de minimis". Rd232 (talk) 10:28, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

NB I've tried to create some guidelines at Commons:De minimis#Guidelines - but it's not easy as there's so much interpretation and plenty of inconsistency. Comments and help please! Rd232 (talk) 14:36, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Of course, my edit to remove copyrighted material from File:Mario Bros with Cube - Graffiti.JPG was reverted by a sysop because "No interest for this image without the graffiti", and Commons:Deletion requests/File:Mario Bros with Cube - Graffiti.JPG was closed by a different sysop because "Graffiti is illegal, therefore no copyright." Obviously a nuanced grasp of the law. Oh well. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 19:27, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

As far as I have understood, the FOP rules in some country apply regardless of whether the art was installed with permission from the copyright holder or not. However, it might vary from country to country. This is something which isn't clearly indicated at COM:FOP. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:57, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

FOP (where it applies) only helps us avoid violation of the graffiti artist's copyright (if any exists). It doesn't help with the derivative work problem (where the graffiti artist has violated copyright). Rd232 (talk) 14:43, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand how you make this distinction. If a picture of a work of art carries a derivative copyright, why does it matter if it comes from the graffiti artist, or from the original character of the work? Take this e.g. File:Disney Store Germany Zeil.jpg, how does it matter for the FOP point of view, that there is a copyright for Mickey or only for the architecture of the building? Yann (talk) 14:54, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Well I suppose I just have a hard time buying the idea that if someone violates copyright by putting a copy of a work in a public space, then that same person can freely photograph it under freedom of panorama and sell photos of it, and the copyright holder can only demand removal of or compensation for the public space copy, but can't act in relation to the selling of the photos, "because freedom of panorama washes away all copyright sins" sort of thing. Well it's not impossible that this is so, but I'd want evidence for it. Rd232 (talk) 15:31, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Wouldn't it also matter that the servers are in the US? Even if someone could make an endrun around Ecuadorian copyright by painting Mario in a public place in Ecuador and taking a picture of it, it would still violate US copyright law, right? Also, I don't think that File:Disney Store Germany Zeil.jpg is really the same thing as that is an official Disney installation, unless I am missing the point of that comment. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 20:14, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

And yet again. I nominated a file for deletion that I had uploaded (Commons:Deletion requests/File:Moomin graffiti.jpg) because it contains a copyrighted character. An admin added {{non-free graffiti}} and immediately closed the discussion themselves. "Kept: template added, mistake fixed". My reply was then deleted. If someone wants to take a look at it, great, but I'm done. Thanks Rd232 for weighing in on discussions and taking action towards clearing up de minimis issues in the future. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 06:06, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

PowerPoint Clipart

I'd like to upload a jpeg file, which is a self-made combination of two cliparts from Microsoft PowerPoint, and to license this file under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. The cliparts are graphics (no photos) and do not show persons who could be identified. May I do this? --Antiachtundsechziger (talk) 17:48, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Probably not, since the individual cliparts are copyrighted and thus your combination would be considered a derivative work. If the images are simple enough, though (such as basic shapes; see COM:Threshold of originality), it may be acceptable. InverseHypercube 18:03, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
They are simple drawings of the Golden Gate Bridge (PowerPoint clipart file "00335186.wmf") and of a working farmer (PowerPoint clipart file "00230063.wmf"), which I have combined to one jpeg. Could that be acceptable? --Antiachtundsechziger (talk) 18:09, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I doubt if drawings of a bridge and a farmer are simple enough. When we refer to "basic shapes", we mean really simple ones, like circles, squares, heart-shapes, and so on. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:19, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Would it be OK, if I uploaded that file and immediately set a deletion request on it, to get the copyright issue checked by an admin? --Antiachtundsechziger (talk) 09:56, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Would it be ok for you, to look at the source you have the cliparts from and search for a license information that is normally given with? --Funfood 10:32, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
I couldn't find anything like that. Usually, cliparts are provided to be used in own presentation works. I never heard that an author even of a commercial PowerPoint presentation for his business would need a special license from Microsoft to use cliparts. --Antiachtundsechziger (talk) 12:04, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Funfood. The use of the clip-art is usually specified somewhere in a licence agreement on the CD-ROM. I suggest you check it again to see what uses the copyright owner permits, though I have my doubts about whether uploading such clip-art on to the Internet under a free licence is one of the permitted uses. For example, if you visit the Microsoft Office images website, you will see that the legal webpage states: "Copyright and trademark notices. All contents of the services are Copyright © 2012 Microsoft Corporation and/or its suppliers, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052, US. All rights reserved. We or our suppliers own the title, copyright, and other intellectual property rights in the services and its content. ... Any rights not expressly granted in this agreement are reserved. ..." — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:19, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

OK, thanks :( --Antiachtundsechziger (talk) 19:28, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

File:Commons 2007 POTY finalists.png

What license should be used for File:Commons 2007 POTY finalists.png? I can find information on each individual image, but what license should we use for the collage of few dozen images with different licenses? --Jarekt (talk) 03:09, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Mmmmm… If you would consider the result to be a derivative work, this would be a copyright violation (unless you can invoke some exception like de minimis, which I doubt). Except for File:Fulmer Falls Closeup 3000px.jpg, the derivative work should be licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0. But File:Fulmer Falls Closeup 3000px.jpg is licensed “under GFDL 1.2 only”, which makes it incompatible with almost all other images. So, the resulting image would not fulfill the licensing requirements of the original works. (Not to mention it does not list the individual authors.)
However, there was this Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Commons 2007 POTY finalists.png which concluded “It's an aggregate (GFDL), or collective (CC) work.”, so the image was kept. If you agree, it is just fine. I would say the image fulfills the “collective work” definition from CC; however, the GFDL definition of “in or on a volume of a storage or distribution medium”…, well, I would say it is debatable. :-)
--Mormegil (talk) 08:14, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
That's one of the reason I would not allow GFDL 1.2 licensed images, or at least these images should be discarded for any competition (WLM, POTY, FP, QI, VI, etc.). Yann (talk) 09:18, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • One could simply ask Ram-Man if he sees this as a problem, or if he is willing to accept relicensing of his photo in this composition under CC. I do not think he would mind given the context.--Slaunger (talk) 10:39, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Wrt Yanns proposal to exclude GFDL 1.2 only from the image nomination programs, I have earlier had the same view point, but more recently I am now of the opnion that we should not descriminate them. As long as we accept GFDL 1.2 only licensed images on Commons they should be accepted. It will also give rise to complications like, Fir0002 is now licensing his photos under GFDL 1.2 and CC-BY-NC, and how to deal with that? --Slaunger (talk) 10:39, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • We are only concerned with the GFDL on Commons. Any other NC licenses are of no use here. Yann (talk) 10:47, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Well allowing also CC-BY-NC makes image reuse so much easier for non-commercial reusers, so it is better than "just" GFDL 1.2 only for these re-users. But this is a detail. The main point is that as long as we accepts GFDL 1.2 only as a valid license on Commons, I do not think it should be discriminated. Personally, I would like to see GFDL 1.2 only go as a valid license on Commons for new uploads, but that is an entirely different matter. We have a legacy of GFDL 1.2 only images, which we have to deal with anyhow.--Slaunger (talk) 10:56, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • The same derivative works problem exists with a number of other free licenses as well (free art license, etc.). Incompatibility with the CC licenses is not really a good reason to avoid the GFDL, unless you want to start rejecting all of those others as well. In this particular case, I think I'd agree it's a collective work so the incompatibilities don't matter. Would be better to actually document the author names on that image though, rather than just having links. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:05, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

At the moment the file does not have a license. That seems wrong to me since potential reuses need to have a clear license. I did not want to just tag it as "no license" without broder discussion. In the past images derived from sub-images using conflicting licenses were not allowed on Commons. (I run into this problem assembling SVG file from SVG images found on commons, but with conflicting licenses. ) So i think that we either have to find a Common license or delete the image. --Jarekt (talk) 16:44, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

It's probably PD-ineligible as a collective works. The selection was already determined by the contest. SVGs (and even collages which are more merged together than this) are generally a work taken as a whole, i.e. a derivative work, where those license complications do become relevant. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:22, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
I added PD-ineligible to compilation section of the license. --Jarekt (talk) 15:27, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Breach by others

As will many other users I upload my images with Attribution required, many so I can get an ego boost when they are used. Is there anywhere to report such breaches? I a bit urrked by this lot as the organisation in question has confiscated my camera on more than one occasion. see see,_Rose_Lane,_Liverpool_%287%29.jpg see

other WIkiUsers see see,_Allerton_%281%29.jpg see

--JIrate (talk) 15:37, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure I want to know why your camera keeps getting confiscated by the police (:p), but if you are the copyright owner of the photographs that have been used by the police department without proper attribution, you have to contact them directly about the issue. Often, such users will heed a polite request that they comply with the conditions of the CC licence or GFDL by properly attributing the photograph and providing a link to the appropriate licence terms. However, if you don't get any (or any satisfactory) response, you could consider sending an invoice requesting for payment of licensing fees for use of the photographs (see the GettyImages website for prices that might be charged – shockingly high, in my view!). If that is also ignored, you have to decide whether it is worth hiring a lawyer to sue. You can also place a {{published}} tag on the talk pages of the files and indicate they have not been used in compliance with their licensing terms. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:05, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
By the way, do we have a Commons page providing advice to editors who encounter this problem? We seem to get this sort of inquiry regularly. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:08, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
The Chief Constable has published a letter now saying there is no problem with people taking photos of cops. Taking pictures of Cars parked on double yellow lines outside Courts seemed to annoy them most. See [8]. All officers are now informed that if it is in public you can photograph it, no permission needed. --JIrate (talk) 21:42, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Commons:Enforcing license terms is the page for guidance on this topic. Suggestions for improvements always welcome... Rd232 (talk) 23:17, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Could we please put a link to it somewhere at "Help:Contents"? Also, I suggest mentioning on the page the possibility of sending invoices for licensing fees to offenders, and also the use of {{Published}}. — Cheers, JackLee talk 09:08, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
I've added {{Published}}, but I'm not sure how to mention it at Help:Contents, or what to say about sending invoices. Rd232 (talk) 11:13, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Template:Olessi Copyright Ogg

Is {{Olessi Copyright Ogg}} a valid license? I have never heard about additional restrictions to GDFL. If so than is the bottom part equivalent to {{GFDL}}? --Jarekt (talk) 16:53, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Is the screenshot of Wikipedia copyrighted?

The problem is with the WMF and MediaWiki symbols

I uploaded this for showing the error in display of WMF projects on slow internet connections along with other five in category:Errors in viewing Wikimedia projects. But I forgot about the logo. Should the image be deleted or shall I upload a new version with the logos removed. (Note that the WPglobe does not display on top of page after the error had occurred and hence I didn't give much attention).Vanischenu mTalk 01:30, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Use {{Wikipedia-screenshot|en|logo=yes}}... -- AnonMoos (talk) 05:41, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Logos might be de minimis, in which case {{De minimis}} could be used. cmadler (talk) 13:30, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Thank you so much. The files were nominated for deletion for "Violation of WMF/users' copyright with incorrect licence and insufficient attribution". I put {{Wikipedia-screenshot|en}} on respective files and hence assume the problem is resolved. I put {{Wikipedia-screenshot|en|logo=yes}} in the image containing logo since my focus was on the logos itself. (These files were uploaded as a part of a past discussion in w:WP:HD, where I assumed that the logos were called as "advertisement" in the question.) Many thanks to both of you, again.
By the way, can I still use {{De minimis}}? I loved it, but am confused because my focus was on the logo.Vanischenu mTalk 17:58, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
De minimis applies only when the non-free elements are incidental or, perhaps, when focus is on a whole where the specifics of the non-free elements are non-essential (varies by jurisdiction, I am not sure when the term "de minimis" can be used). If focus is on the logo, the logo is not de minimis. --LPfi (talk) 07:27, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Very common surname = pseudonym?

Well, ive uploaded an image but i started wondering so i open the discussion here. The drawing is signed only by "Lopez" with no copyright sign an no way to identify the full name of the author. Its from an uruguayan magazine edited in 1911. The PD-Uruguay is of 50 years since de death of the author. The law says "En caso de obra anónima o con pseudónimo, el editor o empresario será el titular de los derechos de autor, mientras éste no descubra su incógnito y haga valer su calidad." : "In case of anonymous or pseudonymous work, the publisher or employer will own the copyright, as long as the author not discover his incognito and enforce his rights.". The question is, since there is no way to identify the real author, could the work be considered a pseudonymous work and be in PD (since the publisher was Orestes Acquarone (1875 - 1952)?. ("Lopez" is one of the most common surnames in Uruguay.).--Zeroth (talk) 23:40, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

If the drawing is signed "Lopez", it might be from an habitual collaborator of that magazine. Then, it would be possible to identify the author - at least, it would have been when the drawing was published - and it wouldn't be an anonymous work.--Pere prlpz (talk) 15:46, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it would have been over a hundred years ago. Now, what's the difference between a pseudonim and a name so common that nobody can identify in the present.?--Zeroth (talk) 18:23, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
The creators free will, thats the difference. For that difference it is unimportant what family name the creator had, also its unimportant if someone cant identify the creator in future by that name. --Martin H. (talk) 00:52, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Since there is no way to identify him (and know his date of dead), i think it should be deleted, no?. What would be the safe period of time to upload an image published in 1911 in Uruguay? (the copyright expires 50 years after the death there). Pere prlpz, Martin, thank you for your time.--Zeroth (talk) 01:38, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
As it is published before 1923 the copyright has expired in USA (no need to consider URAA dates). If "Lopez" was 20 years then and lived to 90 he or she would have died 1981 and copyright would last to 2031. If somebody has access to older issues of the magazine one might add a few years to the age (provided this wasn't the first contribution). With very good luck one could find some information about who the person is in some issue.
But I think "Lopez" truly is a pseudonym. Then the question is whether we should regard pseudonyms as always possibly disclosed (and therefore as known, but not to us), or whether we can treat them as not disclosed if we cannot reasonably find hints about any disclosure.
(The year of death of the publisher is probably irrelevant - he is only owner of the copyright, the expiry depends on the author, year of publication or year of creation - which one in case of pseudonymous works in Uruguay?).
--LPfi (talk) 08:49, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
According to the law the publisher of an pseudonym or anonymous work is the "titular de los derechos de autor" translated to english as "holder of the copyright", isnt that what matters here?. Excuse my poor understanding of the copyright laws.--Zeroth (talk) 14:02, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
No, the expiry of the copyright does not depend on who "holds"/"owns" the copyright, only on the artist ("post mortis autoris") and the work itself. Otherwise "after the death of"-copyrights would never expire, as they are inherited and thus hold by heirs and heirs of heirs. In most jurisdictions copyrights of anonymous or pseudonymous works (and works of organisations, where applicable) expire independently of the death years, mostly 50 or 70 years after creation or publication (which would mean the work is free). --LPfi (talk) 14:49, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I found it!: "En las obras anónimas y seudónimas, el plazo de duración será de cincuenta años a partir de que la obra haya sido lícitamente hecha accesible al público, salvo que antes de cumplido dicho lapso el autor revele su identidad, en cuyo caso se aplicará lo dispuesto en el artículo 14 de la presente ley." (ammend of the original law made in 2003). Translation: "In anonymous and pseudonymous works, the term shall be fifty years after the work has been lawfully made available to the public, unless before the said period, the author reveals his identity, in which case the provisions in Article 14 of this law.". So, according to this addon, it would be in PD since it was published in 1911, (if we consider it pseudonymous work).--Zeroth (talk) 17:53, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
A postdata: Altought it's not the main topic of discussion, the life expectancy in Uruguay in the earlys 1900 was of 50 years.

GPL screenshots

The GNU GPL (at least version 2.0) requires that any derived works in "object code or executable form" are accompanied by the complete corresponding source code (or that it is made available in specific ways). Is a screenshot in "source code" form: "the preferred form of the work for making modifications to it"?

If modifications to a screenshot are made preferably by rerunning the program or a modified version of it, then we would need somewhere to upload the source code. Can we argue that editing the image itself is the preferred way? It often is, but in terms of the licence?

--LPfi (talk) 09:04, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Like the GFDL, the GPL isn't really great for graphic images, because of clauses like that really intended for other classes of works. But yes, I think you can easily argue that a bitmap is the preferred source type for a screenshot -- that is what image editors are for. Maybe a vector image could be a small issue -- you'd want the SVG or PDF or something like that. Of course, the original authors can do what they like -- those conditions are mainly for people making derivative works of GPL'ed code and are therefore bound by its terms. But a screenshot is not a derivative work of the source code or computer program; it's a work in its own regard, if it's copyrightable in the first place at least. It could be derivative of other graphic works present in it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:20, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
The graphic works present in a screenshot of a free program are often licensed under the same licence as the program itself. And screenshots of graphical programs are usually derivative works, not works of original authors. We usually delete screenshots of non-free programs, but were those must be deleted, free programs must be properly licensed (e.g. not CC-BY-SA, with uploader as author, for GPL programs).
You are right that the graphic elements might be best edited as bitmaps. The problem arises when also placement of those elements reaches threshold of originality (does it, usually?). If we think bypassing the program copyrightwise is OK, we should request uploaders to check the licence of the included artwork, which in many cases might be included via a library. You need some familiarity with source code (and the free software practices) to identify the files where the licence and the authors to attribute can be found.
I think authors and artists of free programs are mostly understanding when we fail to follow the letter of the licences, but there may be exceptions - and there surely are, if files from here are used in competing proprietary products. We should try our best to handle the issues properly.
--LPfi (talk) 10:30, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

UK patent drawings

I've come across File:British Rail UFO.png, a drawing from a UK patent. Are such drawings not subject to copyright? If not, is there an appropriate PD tag? Rd232 (talk) 19:44, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't believe there is any special exemption from copyright for patent drawings under UK law. See "Commons:Copyright rules by territory#United Kingdom". You would only be able to use such drawings if they satisfy {{PD-old}}. — Cheers, JackLee talk 20:20, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
That's what I thought. Nominated for deletion. Rd232 (talk) 09:13, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Files with wrong copyright tags

Hello, what is the correct way to deal with files that clearly are allowed on Commons but tagged with a wrong copyright license? In particular I’m talking about these two files:

Should I just be bold and change these or what else should be done - I figured it would anyway be a good idea to raise this here. darkweasel94 Diskussion/talk/diskuto 14:12, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Please don't change a free licence into {{PD-ineligible}}. The CC licence applies worldwide but {{PD-ineligible}} might only apply in some selected countries. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:20, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Ok, then maybe PD-ineligible with appropriate parameters (see the documentation)? darkweasel94 Diskussion/talk/diskuto 14:29, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

It would be great if somebody could answer here as I would like to remove this page from my watchlist. Is there anything I need to pay attention to or can I just change a license tag if it is obviously wrong? darkweasel94 Diskussion/talk/diskuto 21:01, 19 September 2012 (UTC)


{{PD-US-statue/proposal}} is in limbo since 2008, even though the talk page discussion looks like it's about ready. What do we need to finish it? Rd232 (talk) 23:15, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Hm interesting. Really, the tag is a reiteration of other copyright law -- tags like PD-1923, PD-US-not_renewed, and PD-US-no_notice cover those, although there is some stuff specific to statues in regards to publication (and thus the applicability of those other tags). It's not really a separate reason for PD status beyond those other tags. A lot of that discussion was re-affirmed by Commons:Public art and copyrights in the US I think. I guess the question is if the tag adds additional value over those other tags, of which it is sort of a duplicate. If folks think there is enough additional value, due to the application of "publication" for that type of work, then the tag seems accurate and ready to go (though it needs a link to the mentioned Commons page). Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:29, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, Commons:Public art and copyrights in the US to some degree supersedes this. If the PD-US-statue template is to add value, it would be better to focus it, I think. {{PD-US statue no notice}} would be an equivalent of {{PD-US-no notice}}, but it could contain a clear description of what constitutes publication for statues during the relevant period, and that might have enough value to make it worth having as a separate tag. {{PD-US-statue/proposal}} should be deleted I suppose, or maybe moved to the creator's userspace. Rd232 (talk) 09:24, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

There's also {{PD-art-1923-3d}} (discussion from May 2012 here). Rd232 (talk) 19:13, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

PD-US and PD-old

I've proposed deprecating {{PD-US}}. See Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-US (although I'm not technically asking for deletion, a DR seems the best way to formalise a deprecation proposal in a way that gets people's attention). Rd232 (talk) 09:43, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

And while I'm at it, same for {{PD-old}}: Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-old. Rd232 (talk) 00:12, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

PD-old-XX inconsistencies

I've just noticed some inconsistencies between the basic PD-old license tags. This is bad in itself, but when you take into account how {{PD-old-auto}} and similar templates rely on PD-old, you can get unexpected changes in PD claims! This is very bad!!

Type A: user needs to provide a separate US PD tag (if they don't, that's a problem, but it's their fault, the templates are clear)

  • {{PD-old-70}} - This work is in the public domain in ... countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years or less. with warning "you must include a US PD tag"

Type B: no separate US PD tag is required: the tag asserts the work is PD in the US

  • {{PD-old-90}} This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 90 years or less.
  • {{PD-old-50}} This work is in the public domain in the United States and the source country. In most cases, this means that its copyright expired under the law of the source country and it was either published prior to January 1, 1923 or its copyright also expired under the law of the United States. Its copyright has also expired in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 50 years or less.

{{PD-old-50}} looks like a particular mess, since it confuses things by throwing in non-PD-old PD reasons for the US. Ouch. But {{PD-old-90}} and {{PD-old-100}} are actually worse, by very strongly implying that if an author has been dead for 90 or 100 years the work is necessarily PD in the US. But

  1. any works published posthumously may stilll be in copyright. (That's often an exception in copyright laws, it might be worth pointing this out in the templates...)
  2. PD-old-90 today means dead by 1922. In a year or two, PD-old-90 will mean dead by 1924; and such authors may have had works published 1923 or later during their lifetime, and may still be in copyright, since US copyright in this period did'nt go by death dates.

Something needs to be done here, but I'm not sure what, so I'll wait and see what people have to say! Rd232 (talk) 14:38, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

I think PD-old-50, PD-old-90, and PD-old-100 should be edited to match PD-old-80. cmadler (talk) 17:45, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
That's what I was leaning to, as the most logical thing. Unfortunately, doing that means checking 315k PD-old-100 plus 9k PD-old-90 and 1.3k PD-old-50 have an appropriate PD-US tag in addition to the PD-old tag, since they didn't previously need one and may not have one... ! Rd232 (talk) 17:51, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Replace them with {{PD-old-auto}} or {{PD-old-auto-1923}} along the way, and it will be easier to keep track of. There's no reason we should be using PD-old-XX at all, given templates that automatically keep track of it. I'll try and help replace these.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:39, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Agreed such replacements with "auto" templates should be a long-term goal, and done whenever possible. Rd232 (talk) 22:44, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
If we go through PD-old-50 and switch them all to PD-old-auto, there won't be any more PD-old-50s to check.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:27, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
We should also worry about translations; I don't know that all translations break down into Type A and Type B the same way English does.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:42, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
And I've started to clean up the PD-old-50, and so far they've all been anonymous! I haven't found one proper use.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:57, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh boy, worrying about translations is maybe a headache too far... Rd232 (talk) 22:44, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
You'll find a lot of them in PD-old, PD-old-70 and PD-old-100, since I always use that tag for works published by a known collective entity (photo studio for instance) 70 or 100 years ago, since apparently there is no other I can use.
Until recently I never used PD-1923 to tag my pre-1923 uploads (which are a lot), because I thought it was only for US works.
I also noticed the warning on PD-old-70 to add a PD-US tag stating that the work was free in the United States, but when I looked at the documentation apparently everything published outside the US after 1923 was unfree, which can't be right, so I generally ignore it. What US tag one uses for a 1935 painting of a Portuguese painter who died in August 1942? --- Darwin Ahoy! 21:21, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
when I looked at the documentation apparently everything published outside the US after 1923 was unfree, which can't be right - it's not right, but it's annoyingly common a problem. Basically (per Commons:Hirtle chart; rare exceptions apply) for non-US works with post-1923 publication you need to be able to apply some variant of {{PD-1996}}, which is to say the work has to have been free on the relevant URAA date (usually 1/1/1996). Your example of a 1935 painting of a Portuguese painter who died in August 1942 sounds like it's caught by the URAA (best guess, eg assuming it was published in Portugal; see Hirtle chart for rare conditions that might make a difference), and will be copyrighted in the US for 95 years after publication, i.e. 2030. Rd232 (talk) 22:53, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
I do not understand that quite well, we usually see things as "died in 1941 or 42, then it's PD". I vaguely know about that URAA thing, but don't know to what countries it applies. If that 1996 rule is right, then a very significant part of the Commons material uploaded under the premisses of PD-old-70 must be deleted? For which countries? Then why PD-old defaults to PD-old-70, if 70 is almost always wrong? Should PD-old-70 even exist?--- Darwin Ahoy! 23:03, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
I guess the drama of COM:URAA passed you mostly by... but the drama was heated because people realised how wide the implications were; files actually tagged {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} are just the tip of the iceberg. See Commons:WikiProject Public Domain/URAA review. Rd232 (talk) 00:00, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Was the URAA ever tested on court with works PD in the source country? I really find it surreal that the US would have any right to enforce copyrights in what is PD and is not theirs.--- Darwin Ahoy! 01:21, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
en:Golan v. Holder. It sounds odd, but it's simply based on the fact that copyright has to be enforced by each country based on its own copyright laws, except to the extent that countries agree to respect each other's laws (eg en:rule of the shorter term, which unfortunately the US doesn't use - if it did, the URAA would not be an issue AFAIK).
en:Golan v. Holder seems to be chiefly about unfree works in its source country, such as Prokofiev's Peter & the Wolf (something I would entirely support, BTW). Was there any reference to PD works in its source country?
Well, at least anonymous/pseudonymous/collective person works with the exception of sound records are apparently excepted from that bestiality, since according to this document "At the time the work was created, at least one author (or rightholder in the case of a sound recording) must have been a national or domiciliary of an eligible source country.". If you don't know who the author is, you don't know where he lives.--- Darwin Ahoy! 02:58, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
That's an interesting interpretation, but you may have it backwards. If you don't know who the author is, you can't say that he wasn't a national of an eligible source country. In any case, sound recordings are their own case under US law, protected by state law instead of federal, and a case in New York established that at least in New York, British sound recordings that are out of copyright in the UK are still protected under copyright-esque statues in New York.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:06, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Whereas I find it surreal that any nation would want to make the question of whether something is legal dependent on the law of a foreign nation. In United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898), dissenting judges argued the case should turn in part on Chinese law, basing their knowledge thereof on a translation published in 1810. Perhaps we could get more recent translations now, but I still do not believe that US-trained lawyers and judges are competent at interpreting all the legal systems of all the world's peoples, and I do believe it violates a basic principle of just law to bind a people to laws written in a number of languages not one in a thousand of them can understand.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:06, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, most of the time, works published outside the US after 1922 are under copyright, excepting authors who died before 1926 in life+70 nations and before 1946 in life+50 nations, that excepting authors (rare, but existing) who complied with American copyright rules. So basically the intersection of pre-1923 and whatever the source nation's rules are. Life+70 is not as worldwide as some people make out; more people live in life+50 and life+60 (India and Venezuela, but India is a big country) countries then life+70 countries.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:27, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Well, fixing these templates and gradually replacing them with {{PD-old-auto-1923}} (non-US work pre-1923 publication) or {{PD-old-auto-1996}} (non-US work post-1923 publication, URAA confirmed OK) seems like another job for ... Commons:WikiProject Public Domain! And no doubt much unrelated but necessary cleanup to be discovered along the way. Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-US is also a thing... All hands on deck welcome... :) Rd232 (talk) 22:44, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

{{PD-old-auto-1996}} is something I doubt I'll ever use. How can I be sure about all those ands? And it does not cover my case of the 1935 painting of a Portuguese painter who died in August 1942 (or 18 September 1942, for that matter), which was undoubtedly copyrighted in 1996 (and must be PD now, or the PD-old-70 tag would not even exist).--- Darwin Ahoy! 22:55, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
The PD-old-70 tag just means it's PD in Portugal. It's not PD in the US, whose laws we are legally obliged to follow.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:27, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
FYI, what you're seeing when you go to {{PD-old-auto-1996}} is the basic {{PD-1996}}. The "PD-old-auto" bit requires use on a file, with appropriate parameters. And as for PD-old-70: the tag is for use when it applies; it's up to the user to confirm that it does. In fact in your example it doesn't even apply for Portugal, because like all EU members, en:post mortem auctoris is calculated from the beginning of the year after death. So the painter's works will only be PD in Portugal from 1/1/2013 (but not in the US until much later, because of the URAA). Rd232 (talk) 23:50, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
I doubt very much that in Portugal post mortem auctoris is calculated from the beginning of the year after death, the law says "70 years after death", not "70 years after the year of death". Why do you say it applies to Portugal, if it's not in the law?--- Darwin Ahoy! 00:10, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Because it's an EU member, and Art. 8(1) of this directive says it's calculated from 1 Jan of the year following the author's death. Seeing as the directive is from 6 years ago I expect Portugal has by now legislated it. If you feel like tracking it down, be my guest... Rd232 (talk) 01:03, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I've red that directive, but the "1st of January of the following year" clause never passed into written law in Portugal, AFAIK. Furthermore, our law specifically uses the formula "from the date" in a number of instances relating to the 70 years provisions, which implies the precise date of the event, not some arbitrary different value.--- Darwin Ahoy! 01:17, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I doubt that it's not been implemented in 6 years - you've probably just not found it. Rd232 (talk) 01:42, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
It has been amended in 2008 with those CEE provisions, but never included the "1st of January of the following year" clause. It can't really be that "I've just not found it", since such an inclusion would imply the rewriting of several sections of the coyright law, which use the formulas "from the date", "after the date", etc. --- Darwin Ahoy! 02:00, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
No rewrite required, just a single sentence would suffice (as it did in the Czech Copyright Act). What about Artigo 3º of Decreto-Lei nº 334/97:
A caducidade só opera após o dia 1 de Janeiro do ano seguinte àquele em que o prazo se completar.
--Mormegil (talk) 08:17, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I guess you are right. That sentence apparently was never incorporated in the copyright law, but it's in the law, nevertheless. Thanks, I've learned something new today. :) --- Darwin Ahoy! 17:13, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
It's not 6 years; The Berne Convention, Article 7, section 5 says "The term of protection subsequent to the death of the author and the terms provided by paragraphs (2), (3) and (4) shall run from the date of death or of the event referred to in those paragraphs, but such terms shall always be deemed to begin on the first of January of the year following the death or such event." Portugal signed the Berne Convention in 1911 and the last change was in 1979; they've had at least 30 years, and probably 100, to come into conformance with that treaty. I would assume that Portuguese law is interpreted to be conformant to the Berne Convention.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:06, 20 September 2012 (UTC)


What about actually merging all the PD-old-XX templates? so eg PD-old-70 just contains {{PD-old-combined|requirement=70}}, PD-old-50 just contains {{PD-old-combined|requirement=50}}, etc: and {{PD-old-combined}} slots the "requirement" into the standard PD-old text. Standardising this way would be better for maintenance purposes. Rd232 (talk) 11:19, 20 September 2012 (UTC)


I created this template: User:Zeroth/PD-Uruguay-anon to consider anonymous or pseudonymous works published in Uruguay. So far the only template we had only considered public domain works when authors died more than 50 years ago. Could someone check this template?.--Zeroth (talk) 17:49, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Looks OK, but it might be better to create {{PD-anon-50}} and add the Uruguay law details to Commons:Copyright rules by territory#Uruguay. On the general subject of designing templates, what do people think of {{PD-EU-unpublished}}? Since there was uncertainty about where it applies, I made it so the user has to specify the country, and the documentation should confirm the rule applies to countries included in the template... We could try a similar approach for {{PD-anon-50}}. Rd232 (talk) 17:56, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, i added the law details of Uruguay to Commons:Copyright rules by territory#Uruguay, buy i don't know how to create a template with parameters such as you sugest. Can anyone help me with that?--Zeroth (talk) 18:25, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
OK, good. Let's see what others say. Rd232 (talk) 19:14, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Presuming authorship

When, if ever, is it OK to presume the source of a photo? There have been many I didn't upload because I couldn't prove a connection to a source. If this can be done as in File:Adv of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson Family 1952.jpg, there are a lot of them I can go back and upload that I passed on. Thanks, We hope (talk) 18:29, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

It's to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. I can't presume authorship of a work of which I personally know almost certainly or certainly who have done it (a published photo without credits, for instance), since it would be original research, and possibly give the appearance of an existing copyright where there is none, but on some occasions it's handy to presume the authorship based on some hints (a cryptic signature in a lithography, for instance), so that some work passes from "anonymous" or "pseudonymous" to PD-Old, and the PD status is further strengthened. But it's original research, nevertheless. :| --- Darwin Ahoy! 21:10, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Anonymous works in Belarus

Commons:Copyright rules by territory does not state how long anonymous works have copyright in Belarus. I was cleaning up some copyrights when I came across File:Minsk civilians return home 1944.jpg, and I don't know if it's out of copyright for being anonymous or not.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:12, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

en:Copyright_length is more comprehensive and always worth checking if info is missing (it's a long-term job to improve Commons:Copyright rules by territory). It says 50 years from publication or if unpublished 50 years from creation. Rd232 (talk) 22:34, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

File:Harry Potter wordmark.svg

The logo's layout is black, yet the typeface... Anyway, is the font creative or inadequate to be copyrighted? --George Ho (talk) 01:49, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Depends on the country of origin. If it's considered a US work, it's uncopyrightable. If it's a UK work, it's probably copyrighted. cmadler (talk) 13:33, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
After checking into it, it seems that this was first used on the US cover for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (the UK edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone used a plain font). So it seems to be a US work, and fonts are not copyrightable in the US. cmadler (talk) 13:39, 20 September 2012 (UTC)


I've stumbled upon this image, which is an official portrait of president Michelle Bachelet, by the Chilean Government. {{PD-Chile}} is confuse, but seems to apply to Government works? If I red it well, it says something to the effect that anything that comes to the property of the state is free, if properly attributed. Is that right? May I restore the image? (It's the same image that appears in the cover of this book, but full length and clean.--- Darwin Ahoy! 18:33, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Hello. I've been attempting to add information for the copyright licenses of a picture I added for Kerbal Space Program's Wikipedia article (In this case, it's the logo). The file in question can be found here:

I uploaded the image to Commons, and I've tried adding the various syntax I could use - adding the Non-free game cover tag as well as the Non-free rationale template. However, when I tried previewing the image, it would be identified as a copyright violation. The only license tag on there right now is the Trademark tag, which I understand that it alone is not sufficient, if appropriate at all.

I may be missing some obvious bit of information about Wikipedia's policy on "free use," which I understand is disallowed for most images. That, or I could be just simply filling out the syntax incorrectly. I look at other various images as examples, (i.e. video game covers and screenshots), all of which are under "fair use" and have the right, proper rationale all filled out, allowing such fair use. So it leaves me rather perplexed when I try filling out the proper tags and yet they don't seem to be valid licensing. Help or clarification is appreciated. GabeIglesia (talk) 04:44, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Hello, This is the wrong place for your request. I copied it to the proper place, which is Commons:Deletion requests/File:KerbalSpaceProgramLogoFullRed.png. Regards, Yann (talk) 05:28, 22 September 2012 (UTC)


Can a Russian speaker assess whether "File:Sss.jpg" has been properly licensed? If it's OK, what's a suitable name for it? It has been tagged for renaming but no alternative name was specified. Thanks. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:47, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

I'm not a Russian speaker, but transliterating the Cyrillic in the copyright notice, it's the uploader's name. Can't help with the rest.--- Darwin Ahoy! 17:38, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Any idea what the rest of the text in the graphic says? I guess if it's a self-created piece of computer art intended for the uploader's own user page it can be kept. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:51, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
It seems to be an illustration from the children's magazine. Indeed, the copyright is of two people one of whom has the same first name as the uploader (and this is a pretty rare name), but it is probably the best to ask for an OTRS confirmation.--Ymblanter (talk) 18:16, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

ARTstor; restrictive terms of use of public domain artworks

Are images from ARTstor that are of public domain artworks uploadable to Commons (e.g. a scan of the Mona Lisa)? ARTstor requires you to sign an agreement restricting the use of its images, but would that be legally enforceable?

Further, if I just wanted to use one of these images of public domain artworks in my own work (not just Commons), outside the scope that ARTstor permits (generally only for academic publishing), would they be able to legally enforce that?

While Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. obviously voids the copyright that ARTstor may claim, does that also make their terms of use legally unenforceable?

If you are signing something, that is a contract. While they could not sue you for copyright infringement almost certainly, breach of contract is another matter entirely. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:26, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
So could Bridgeman have won their case if they required the user to agree to terms of use that restricted reproduction of their works on their CD-ROM? I don't know the details of the case, but I would imagine that they did have such a terms of use. Or put another way, could other firms basically circumvent Bridgeman with restrictive terms of use?
They try all the time, but only people who actually sign the contracts are really bound. For "terms of use" type things, those are called en:adhesion contracts, and there are limits to how much they can really enforce with them, or what the possible penalties could be. It's a matter of what a judge would find unconscionable. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:16, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Generally if a public website allows you to download an image without providing any notice of their terms of use (in a noticable way, like making you read them before download, not just in a tiny footnote), such terms of use are unenforceable because you can legitimately claim you had no awareness of them. Of course it's harder to claim that now that you're unaware of them now that you've discussed their terms of use in public. :-) Dcoetzee (talk) 21:21, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

CC-by-sa-all problem

{{Cc-by-sa-all}} has over 250,000 uses. But it doesn't live up to its name, and provide some kind of "all past and future versions of CC-BY-SA" licensing; it just redirects to {{Cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0}}. But Creative Commons will soon release version 4.0 of its licenses. This issue was discussed before in 2009 (Commons_talk:Copyright_tags/Archive_1#Template:Cc-by-sa-all), but it's not clear to me what the conclusion was, if any, other than to create {{Cc-by-sa-1.0+}} (which has 212 uses at time of writing!). The old discussion partly said "well we don't know when people say "all versions of this CC license" whether they mean "current" or "current and future" - but once 4.0 exists, {{Cc-by-sa-all}} won't even cover all current versions. I'm not sure what we should do here, but this does seem an issue. Rd232 (talk) 08:28, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

The issue seems to be that you interpret "all" to mean "all past and future versions", but in reality "all" just means "all versions up to 3.0". I think "all" we need to do is make clear in the documentation that {{cc-by-sa-all}} is simply a short form for {{Cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0}} and does not purport to cover later versions. Whether we want to create a licence that purports to cover all past and future CC-BY-SA versions is, I think, a separate issue. Assuming this legally possible and we create the new licence and want to call it "cc-by-sa-all", we would have to replace all current uses with "cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0" before modifying "cc-by-sa-all". — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:03, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Well there are really only three reasonable possibilities for the meaning of "all" here:
  1. "all existing versions and future versions"
  2. "all existing versions" where "all" is always true
  3. "all existing versions" where "all" is only true at the point in time the license is applied
The problem is in designing a template that sounds like it's case 2 (which is really an obscure form of case 1) but is either intended to be case 3 or is interpreted as being case 3. For me, logically, "all" should mean case 1, and not should be used for any other cases without being explicit, in the form "version X and all prior versions". PS you seem to have missed the fact that {{Cc-by-sa-1.0+}} already exists to cover case 1 for CC-BY-SA, it's just not really used. Rd232 (talk) 14:15, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I do not think it is necessary to interpret the words "all" or "all versions of this CC license" in relation to the two license tags mentioned above (Template:Cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0 and Template:Cc-by-sa-1.0+), because those two license tags do not use those words. Each tag is clear about which license versions it refers to. The tag Cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0 explicitely refers to a closed list of four specified license versions. The tag Cc-by-sa-1.0+ explicitely refers to a list including four license versions and any later version. The page Template:Cc-by-sa-all is a redirection page, it is not a license tag. The name of that redirection page might as well be any other name. The only thing that matters is the text of the actual license tag (the tag Cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0), to which the redirection is connected. When copyright owners have inserted a license tag, either directly or through a redirection page, we have no choice but to accept that they declared what is actually written in the text of that license tag. We can't, of our own initiative, stretch the wording of the tag and add a license that is not included in that closed list. Now, I understand that part of your point may be that you would prefer the pagename "Template:Cc-by-sa-all" to be used for something other than a redirection to the tag Cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0. The possibilities of such a change in the role of the page "Template:Cc-by-sa-all" include creating a new licence tag on that page, or redirecting "Template:Cc-by-sa-all" to "Template:Cc-by-sa-1.0+", or, more simply, renaming the page "Template:Cc-by-sa-1.0+" to "Template:Cc-by-sa-all". That is not unreasonable in the context where new license versions will be made available by CC and the name of the redirection "Template:Cc-by-sa-all", as a redirection to the tag Cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0, might then seem somewhat misleading. Still, in any of those cases, Jacklee's answer remains true: "we would have to replace all current uses with 'cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0' before modifying 'cc-by-sa-all'." That said, we can note that the license versions CC-by-sa 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 already allow the reusers to publish derivatives under a later version (such as CC-by-sa 4.0, when it becomes available). So, really, the only thing that differentiates the tag Cc-by-sa-1.0+ from the tag Cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0 is the possibility of a reuser to reproduce a file under version 4.0 verbatim without any modification. (After all, it is a relatively small difference, which exists only if a reuser insists for reproducing a file verbatim under version 4.0 instead of either reproducing it under version 3.0 or cropping a few pixels to make a derivative that he can use under version 4.0.) If we want to look at a redirection pagename that poses a much bigger problem with a potential of being misleading, there is "Template:CC-by-sa", which currently redirects to Template:Cc-by-sa-1.0. It's probable that some users who inserted "Template:CC-by-sa" thought that they were inserting the version that was current at the time of the insertion, not the version 1.0. That is a problem because version 1.0 has some important differences with the other versions. So important that I think that many users would want to exclude version 1.0 if they read it. Actually, a tag "CC-by-sa 2.0 and later", which would exclude version 1.0, might be useful. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:33, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree that changing things retrospectively is a problem. I think probably we should replace all current uses of Template:Cc-by-sa-all with the template it currently points to, and when all current uses have gone, redirect it to Cc-by-sa-1.0+. I also agree that CC-by-sa redirecting to Template:Cc-by-sa-1.0 is bad - it would be better to again replace all current uses, and then point it at Cc-by-sa-1.0+. I'm not sure whether we really want to exclude version 1.0 - can you explain that? Rd232 (talk) 19:49, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Your suggestion sounds OK to me. — Cheers, JackLee talk 20:16, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
It sounds OK to me too, although I think that instead of redirecting "Template:Cc-by-sa-all" to "Template:Cc-by-sa-1.0+", it would be better to rename the page "Template:Cc-by-sa-1.0+" to "Template:Cc-by-sa-all", because I think that "Cc-by-sa-all" sounds more natural and understandable than "Cc-by-sa-1.0+" to identify a tag whose nature is to be, well, CC-by-sa-all, and so "Template:Cc-by-sa-all" might as well be the name of the template itself. -- Asclepias (talk) 02:22, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm not against the existence of tags that include version 1.0, for users who want to offer it in full knowledge of what they are doing. I was merely suggesting the possibility of making available a new tag, for licensors who might not be comfortable with version 1.0 although they have no problem with the other versions. One important difference is about the liability of the licensor. Versions 2.0 and later specify that the licensor is not liable for problems that may occur, to the reuser or to third parties, from the reuse of the work. However, version 1.0 specifies that the licensor, after reasonable inquiry, warrants that the work does not infringe any right of anybody. To quote version 1.0: "By offering the Work for public release under this License, Licensor represents and warrants that, to the best of Licensor's knowledge after reasonable inquiry: i) Licensor has secured all rights in the Work necessary to grant the license rights [...]; ii) The Work does not infringe the copyright, trademark, publicity rights, common law rights or any other right of any third party or constitute defamation, invasion of privacy or other tortious injury to any third party." (Another peculiarity of version 1.0 is that when a work is offered under version 1.0 only, derivatives can be offered only under version 1.0. Of course, that second problem is eliminated when the work is multilicensed under the other versions also, so it does not concern the present discussion.) -- Asclepias (talk) 02:22, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
I see, thanks, that is quite a broad declaration of not infringing neighbouring rights... In that case, yes, it certainly makes sense to have a "Template:Cc-by-sa-2.0+" template. Rd232 (talk) 09:17, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
{{Cc-by-sa-2.0+}} is now available. Still leaves the original problem of replacing cc-by-sa-all, plus the question of whether to point at 2.0+ or 1.0+. Rd232 (talk) 15:36, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
It's ok (and logical) that the template (or the redirection) named "CC-by-sa-all" will still include all past versions of CC-by-sa (as well as all future versions, when the modification is implemented). So, "CC-by-sa-all" should more logically have the same meaning as that of "CC-by-sa-1.0+", as you initially suggested. The idea to create another, new, template, without v.1, did not imply removing v. 1.0 from the meaning of "all" in "CC-by-sa-all". That said, the recommendations that can be made (especially to users who are not familiar with the licenses), about the different possible licensing options and about their respective advantages and disadvantages, is a different matter. -- Asclepias (talk) 21:51, 22 September 2012 (UTC)


As of 1 Jan 1996, works in Public Domain in Portugal were as follows:

  • 50 years after death of author, 50 years after publication for anonymous/pseudonyous/corporative works. ((§31, §32, §33)
  • 50 years for cinematographic works. (§35)
  • 25 years for photographic and "applied art" works, counting from the date of the work realization (not publication). It's always 25 years, even if the work is not legally published by the author. (§34)
  • reproduction of news articles and economic, political or religious articles, provided that rights have not been specifically reserved., requiring attribution.(§75 i)

All the terms above count from the 1st of January of the year following the year where the deadline was completed (§37)

Code of Copyright and Related Rights (No. 45/85 of 17 September 1985, as Last Amended by Law No. 114/91 of 3 September 1991), English translation

This was only changed in 1997 by this decree, changing the terms to 70 years, retroactively.

If I well understood, since those works were Public Domain at the date of copyright restoration (1 Jan 1996), the copyrights for them were not restored in the US, even if some of them reentered copyright in Portugal in 1997.

Please confirm that my accession of this issue is correct, so that a {{PD-Portugal-1996}} (or something like this) can be issued with a resume of the points above.--- Darwin Ahoy! 09:47, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes - the copyright was only restored on works in copyright in the source country on 1/1/1996. Works that had copyright restored later in the source country would still be PD in the US. Rd232 (talk) 14:32, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
However, even if the copyright to a Portuguese work wasn't restored, it may still be copyrighted in the United States. For example, {{PD-1996}} requires that the work was published before 1 March 1989. An unpublished Portuguese work can never qualify for {{PD-1996}}, but needs to comply with the requirements of {{PD-US-unpublished}}. Also, Portugal has had copyright relations with the United States since 1893, so you need to confirm that the work complies with {{PD-US-no notice}}, {{PD-US-not renewed}} or {{PD-US-1978-89}} in addition to the above. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:47, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Great, great! So, no URAA for Portugal! in the near future - we'll only start worrying with that in 2015 for all works besides photos, and 2040 for photos (year limits for Portuguese PD works to resist URAA would be 1945 and 1970).
Stefan, all the cases you mention ({{PD-US-no notice}}, {{PD-US-not renewed}} or {{PD-US-1978-89}}) are not only for works published in the US? All those templates are about US only, not worldwide.
When you mention "unpublished Portuguese works", you mean after 1996, right? And what means that 1989 limit? Is that relevant for works published in Portugal before 1996?--- Darwin Ahoy! 18:09, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Clarification: Check if the work was in the public domain in Portugal on 1 January 1996. If not, treat it as first published in the United States. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:36, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll design a {{PD-Portugal-1996}} prototype that will attempt to cover all that, and update the section on Portugal in the copyright documentation here. I'm very curious if any Portuguese ever registered something published in Portugal in the USA, I attempted to search the online catalogues for such entries, but I found nothing until now.--- Darwin Ahoy! 22:03, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

First version of {{PD-Portugal-1996}} is ready for evaluation:

Public domain This work is in the public domain both in Portugal and in the United States because it was first published in Portugal (and not published in the U.S. within 30 days) and it was first published before 1 March 1989 without complying with U.S. copyright formalities, such as copyright notice and it is one of the following:
  • A work whose author died before 1947;
  • An anonymous work or a work deemed to be anonymous, or a work by a collective person whose authors were not individually identified, published or disclosed before 1947.

For background information, see the explanations on Non-U.S. copyrights.
As of 1 January 1996, were in the public domain in Portugal: Works whose author died before 1946; anonymous works, works deemed to be anonymous, or works by a collective person whose authors were not individually identified, first published or disclosed before 1946; photographic works, works deemed to be photographic works or works of applied art created before 1971; news articles or economic, political or religious articles, published or disclosed before 1996, provided that rights have not been specifically reserved and mentions, wherever possible, the name of the author and of the publisher, of the title of the work and other elements enabling it to be identified.

English | português | +/−

Please say if I missed something. If you think that {{PD-Portugal-URAA}} is a better name, please say so, so that this thing starts correctly from the beginning.--- Darwin Ahoy! 23:13, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

I believe that {{PD-Portugal-URAA}} makes much more sense than {{PD-Portugal-1996}}, since the second could induce in error, by hinting about some 1996 milestone in the Portuguese copyright, when there is none. I'll move everything to {{PD-Portugal-URAA}}. Besides, there already is an {{PD-India-URAA}}--- Darwin Ahoy! 03:09, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Please change "first published before 1978 without complying with U.S. copyright formalities or after 1978 without copyright notice" to "first published before 1989 without complying with U.S. copyright formalities, such as copyright notice", or something like that. Anything first published March 1, 1989 or later was not subject to any formalities no matter what. The 1978 date changed some of those formalities a bit but is relatively insignificant compared to the 1989 date for stuff like this. It should be fixed on the other URAA tags too. I thought I had changed it at one point but I guess not. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:32, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
"it's first" should be "its first". "A news article or an economic, political or religious article, published or disclosed before 1996, provided that ... the work is properly attributed." doesn't make any sense to me; either it was truly PD in Portugal and thus it's PD in the US (no attribution required), or it was copyrighted with what's effectively a mandatory free license in Portugal, and it's still copyrighted in the US.
I'd be surprised if there were no Portuguese books filed for copyright; there were quite the number of German and French ones.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:53, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
  • @Carl Lindberg - Thanks fort the amendment. I changed the text as you said, but added "or published between that date and 31 December 1995" to cover the works published after that date, but I don't know if it is correct. Please confirm.
  • @Prosfilaes - I can't find "it's first", maybe you were seeing an older version of the text? Do you still see it? I simplified teh template a lot after the 1st version, but at the time you wrote you should be seeing already the new version.
  • "A news article or an economic, political or religious article, published or disclosed before 1996, provided that ... the work is properly attributed." - Please see articles §75 and §76 in the law (English version). §76 says "The free use referred to in the preceding Article shall be subject to (...) mention, wherever possible, of the name of the author and of the publisher, of the title of the work and other elements enabling it to be identified;". This is no different than the request for proper attribution in all public domain works, even in those published centuries ago, which is on the Portuguese code, as well as in many others (I guess the US code is no different, even for pre-1923 works - proper attribution should always be respected, even if it's not mandatory)
  • I simplified the template a lot by leaving only the two main clauses of Portuguese copyright law, and adding a resume of the 1996 PD situation in Portugal in small lettering below, in order to not confuse people with too much detailed information.
  • The deadline is now automatically calculated from the current year less 70 years, easing the use.
  • I added the possibility to specify the death year of the author, which will then categorize the file under the appropriated PD-old-1996 category. This should be used only in the case of authored works, not anonymous or collective, since I don't know how those cases are seen in other countries, and "anonymous/collective-year of publication" is not always protected with the same term as "Author-death year" (the US being an evident case of this). I don't believe it's correct at all to mark as PD-old recent anonymous works, as seems to be general practice (mainly because proper tags are missing for many countries, as well for collective and pseudonymous works, so everything goes under PD-old).
  • --- Darwin Ahoy! 14:21, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
The clause "or published between that date and 31 December 1995" should be removed. Anything published March 1 1989 or later was not subject to formalities and is still under U.S. copyright regardless of the Portugal situation (except maybe in the rare rare case of long-posthumous works published 2003 or later). Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:50, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Template corrected accordingly, thank you very much.--- Darwin Ahoy! 02:42, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes - From 1910 to 1926 we were basically an anarchy, and from that date to 1974 we were a closed nationalist dictatorship where international acts were kept to a minimum. That could explain why I couldn't find a single instance of a work copyrighted to someone or something Portuguese in all the copyright books I checked (using text find for "Portugal", not extensively). I checked all online books of copyrighted "works of art, etc." until 1946 or so. I could find very few works related to Portugal at all (one of them placed my city - Funchal - in South Africa, only found that one by casually searching for the city name). All of those were copyrighted to US entities. Unfortunately not a single one of those few works seems to be online, so I couldn't even test the "pre-1978 US Copyright" thing to see if they were now PD. I did not searched for books, indeed, since I rarely upload those, but I'll keep what you said in mind when I will.--- Darwin Ahoy! 14:40, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment - I don't entirely understand the template, but it should be clearer about whether the "public domain" status is for Portugal or for the US or both. If only for Portugal, it needs a "US PD tag also required" warning. It should also try to say something about other countries it may be PD in (eg en:rule of the shorter term countries). Rd232 (talk) 15:16, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

You are right, clarification was needed. Now it reads "This work is in the public domain both in Portugal and the United States". It does say something about other countries if a deathyear is specified, it behaves in the same way as {{PD-old-auto-1996}} (I copied and adapted the code from there). I don't know if I can say more about other cases, I would not like want this to be hard to use by requiring a lot of parameters. As it is now, it only takes one parameter, and even that is optional.--- Darwin Ahoy! 15:29, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

I would like this to cover all works with an author published after 2003, which would now be in the public domain both in Portugal and the United States if the author died more than 70 years ago, but I'm not sure how to do it without making it's use confuse. Or perhaps that is not necessary at all?--- Darwin Ahoy! 15:33, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

That's part of why the combined tags are harder -- there are a multitude of ways it could be PD in the US and it's hard to capture them all, whereas we do have standalone tags for the rest. Granted, the combined tags can document the URAA interactions best. I don't think I'd worry about the 2003 case -- that is very rare (and may be subject to the EU 25 year publication right anyways until at least 2028). Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:50, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm compiling a guide to help Portuguese users with license tags - User:Darwinius/CDLicPortugal - where I suggested that {{PD-old}} + {{PD-US-unpublished}} could be used for works published after 2003, but I forgot about that 25 years protection over unpublished works. It will be better to remove that case from there altogether, since it doesn't make sense under Portuguese law.
One case I'm not comfortable at all there is with using some variation of {{PD/1923}} for anonymous/collective person works. I wish there was some form of license tag that would join {{PD-1923}} with {{PD-EU-anonymous}} and a third license for "collective person" works, since it's a very common case in Portugal and, I believe, on much of the rest of Europe as well. All three situations could be merged in some kind of {{PD-1923-anonymous}}, where "anonymous" should clearly cover the "collective person" situation.--- Darwin Ahoy! 02:57, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

Are anonymous works excepted from URAA?

I raised this question in another thread, but this question undoubtedly deserves it's own thread, so that it can be properly discussed.

According to this document,

To be eligible, a work must meet all of the following requirements.
At the time the work was created, at least one author (or rightholder in the case of a sound recording) must have been a national or domiciliary of an eligible source country. (emphasis mine)

In anonymous, pseudonymous and collective person works - such as photo studios, news agencies, and the likes - you don't know who the author really is, and therefore you don't know where he lives or what nationality he has. The works still have a copyright holder, but the URAA text mentioned above clearly establishes a distinction between rightholder and author, therefore authorship here seems to be taken in it's most strict sense - the person (or persons) who authored the work.

Prosfilaes argued above that this could be seen backwards as well - "If you don't know who the author is, you can't say that he wasn't a national of an eligible source country" - but I don't believe this to be a valid interpretation, since it implies the inversion of burden of proof, and would deem eligible to URAA all anonymous works in all countries of the world, independently of they having signed a treaty or not. How do you know that an anonymous work published in Afghanistan was not published by a British? Or a Russian??

If my interpretation is correct, the URAA dispositions in this project must be reviewed, already deleted files restored, and tags such as {{PD-EU-anonymous}} and {{PD-UK-unknown}} adapted to include the notice that the work is PD in the US as well, and a new tag for "collective person" works must be created, to tell them apart from PD-Olds that conflict with the URAA.

This statement from the document above also implies that all works published in a foreign country by US nationals not residing in that country are excepted from URAA, since "An eligible source country is a country, other than the United States".

This applies to all works except sound recordings.

Please discuss.--- Darwin Ahoy! 17:30, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes, works that have only US authors aren't restored by the URAA. But US law on anonymous works is pretty ungenerous; if you find an unpublished work that's anonymous after reasonable research, that law says that 120 years after creation gives you the presumption that it's out of copyright. I don't think that this was ever intended to exclude anonymous works, especially in the most common case where Afghanistan is not involved.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:59, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
But if it was to not exclude anonymous works, why would they request information about the author? How can you provide such information on anyone that is unknown? It could be argued that they were using "author" in a broad sense to include the rightholder (as I understand it, anonymous works don't have an author, only a rightholder). But that's not the case, since on the same sentence they distinguish between author and rightholder.
Intended or not, as it is written in that document, I believe it effectively excludes anonymous works from the URAA.--- Darwin Ahoy! 22:18, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't see why it says anything about anonymous works. If it is not known who the authors were, then the status is indeterminate; if the case comes to a court, it will be determined by the normal standards of that court. Certainly being anonymous would not in all cases prevent the answer of the nationality of the author; a newspaper could provide a list of possible authors or photographers and establish that all of them were British. In some cases, even that might not be needed; a Yiddish newspaper from Poland might well be able to establish the claim that all of their authors were locals, none of them American, without producing an exact list of authors. Or a photo in the Russian archives might be traced to a spy's pseudonym, but while the exact identity is unknowable, it might be easily verifiable that the spy worked in a department of the British government that only employed British citizens.
It doesn't seem any different then many other cases we have. If we have a work done by a man who disappeared in WWII in 1941, is it out of copyright in the EU? We can't know whether he was shot and buried anonymously, was captured and died 3 years later in a POW camp, or came across buried wealth and is now a respected businessman in Brazil or South Africa. If we have an Afghani photo, even with name, we may have no idea whether the photographer is a citizen of the US, the UK or Afghanistan.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:05, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Depending on the context, disappeared people are given as dead after some time. When we had here in Madeira the flood and mudslides of 20 February 2010, a number of people remained disappeared. Just one year after that, the process to recognize them as dead started. If one of them come across buried wealth and went into oblivion, he will soon be (or already is) legally dead.
Anyway, according to our (Portuguese) law, which is the one I know best, the anonymous author is specifically said has not having himself copyright over his works, having delegated it on the publisher, specifically referred as the rightholder, representing the author ("Aquele que divulgar ou publicar uma obra com o consentimento do autor, sob nome que não revele a identidade deste ou anonimamente, considera-se representante do autor, incumbindo-lhe o dever de defender perante terceiros os respectivos direitos, salvo manifestação em contrário por parte do autor" (§32. This could be reversed at any time, if the anonymous author revealed himself, ceasing then the powers of the publisher as copyright holder. It logically follows that the URAA can't restore copyrights for someone that was still anonymous as of 1996, since he was not the copyright holder of them, at least under the Portuguese law. The URAA can't restore a copyright protection that did not exist in 1996.--- Darwin Ahoy! 23:59, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
s:Highlights_of_Copyright_Amendments_Contained_in_the_URAA may make it easier to refer to sections of the document you linked up top. That says "A restored copyright vests initially in the author or initial rightholder, as determined by the law of the restored work’s source country or by the owner of an exclusive right in the United States." so in most cases, if the publisher owned the copyright in Portugal in 1996, then the restored copyright would vest in the publisher.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:18, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the link to wikisource. The sentence you transcribed is not in conflict with what I wrote. The URAA recognizes the author and rightholder distinction, and then, in "Eligibility for Restoration", says - "At the time the work was created, at least one author (or rightholder in the case of a sound recording) must have been a national or domiciliary of an eligible country.". It follows that initial rightholder applies to sound recordings, and author to everything else. Therefore, it can't restore a copyright to an author that did not had those rights in 1996, as is the case of authors of anonymous works, at least under Portuguese law. The rights of anonymous works were not vested on the author, but on the initial rightholder, and the author only had the right to claim copyright if they undisclosed themselves. It can't restore something that didn't exist in 1996.--- Darwin Ahoy! 05:40, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Darwinius' arguments make sense to me. How can something be restored if it didn't exist previously? Yann (talk) 05:47, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Since you guys are having trouble with this, I'll break my wikibreak to comment here.

  1. The URAA restoration is fundamentally because the US joined the Berne Convention on 1 March 1989 (en:Uruguay Round Agreements Act).
  2. The Berne Convention Article 18 (en:wikisource:Convention_for_the_Protection_of_Literary_and_Artistic_Works/Articles_1_to_21#Article_18) means that when countries join the Convention, any works whose copyright has expired in the joining country but not the source country must have their copyright restored.
  3. The US resisted the requirements of Article 18 for several years, but eventually had to restore the copyrights. 17 USC 104A effectively restored the copyrights on foreign works that previously were not copyrighted in the U.S. due to a failure to meet the U.S. formalities (such as not having a copyright notice, or not having been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, or not having had its copyright renewed) or due to a lack of international treaties between the U.S. and the country of origin of the work. (en:Uruguay Round Agreements Act).
  4. The Berne Convention doesn't in Article 18 distinguish works by author type, and neither does the relevant part of the URAA (en:wikisource:United States Code/Title 17/Chapter 1/Section 104A).

So the answer to the thread title question, Are anonymous works excepted from URAA? is absolutely not. There may be some confusion about who gets the copyright in some cases, but as long as the work was in copyright in the source country on the relevant URAA date, someone gets it. Rd232 (talk) 08:05, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

You may be right, but you does not answer his argument. I think he may be wrong because, even for anonymous work, there still may be a "rightholder". I wonder how the law defines that... Yann (talk) 09:58, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
In Definitions, it is said that An ‘‘anonymous work’’ is a work on the copies or phonorecords of which no natural person is identified as author. Who is the "rightholder" then? Yann (talk) 10:21, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Under Portuguese law, it's the publisher. I don't know about others, however.--- Darwin Ahoy! 10:31, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
What about graffitis or self-published works? There are numerous cases of leaflets, pamphlets or posters self-published anonymously. Yann (talk) 10:53, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
From what I read in the Portuguese law, the anonymous work is not protected if it's not licitly divulged or published ("A duração da protecção de obra anónima ou licitamente publicada ou divulgada sem identificação do autor é de 70 anos após a publicação ou divulgação." - "The term of protection for anonymous works or works licitly published or divulged without an identified author is 70 years after publication or divulgation". Publication and divulgation are very clearly confined in the law to licit acts. There is not protection as well even when it's a signed graffiti (something not that rare here). I guess it could count as an unpublished work, however. Anyhow, graffitis in Portugal (and Brazil) are covered by our FOP, therefore they are not a problem here. I'm sorry to answer this only with the Portuguese situation, but it's the one I know more about.--- Darwin Ahoy! 11:52, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, the purpose of the URAA was to restore copyrights for "works whose copyright has expired in the joining country but not the source country", but it explicitly does not applies to "any works", since at least works by US nationals not residing in the foreign country had not their copyrights restored, even if they were protected in the foreign country. That condition is in the same section ("Eligibility for Restoration") as the condition that states that eligibility is based on nationality or residence of the rightsholder (for sound records) or author (for everything else). Therefore, it is restoring a copyright based on authorship, rather than first rights holding, something that did not exist for anonymous works under Portuguese Law (and I believe others) in 1996 (as well as today, that bit as not changed). I confess that I'm confused with this, but it doesn't seem logical to restore something that never existed on first place.--- Darwin Ahoy! 10:21, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
works by US nationals not residing in the foreign country had not their copyrights restored, even if they were protected in the foreign country. - this example is ambiguous. If the US is the source country, then yes, the copyright is not restored - the URAA applies to foreign works only. It is certainly possible for works by US nationals resident in the US with first publication in a foreign country for the "country of origin" to be the foreign country - in fact this should be the norm for that case (there may be exceptions). Nationality of the author really only comes into it when first publication is in a non-Berne country, AFAIR - normally it's location of first publication that determines it (en:Berne_Convention_for_the_Protection_of_Literary_and_Artistic_Works#Country_of_origin). Also the handling of anonymous works is specified by Berne Convention Article 15; you're attaching too much importance to the wording of a mere Circular, which cannot override what the law says or what the Berne Convention says the law should say. The only real question for the Portuguese example you're talking about above is whether the work was protected by copyright under Portuguese law on 1/1/1996. Just who had the copyright is not an issue unless we're getting permission from the copyright holder. Rd232 (talk) 14:31, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
It is certainly possible for works by US nationals resident in the US with first publication in a foreign country for the "country of origin" to be the foreign country - I do not doubt that this is possible, it certainly is, but according to the URAA text cited above, for the copyright to be restored, "at least one author (...) must have been a national or domiciliary of (...) a country, other than the United States, that is a member of (...)". The URAA may be confuse relating to anonymous works, but it looks very clear in excluding US nationals not residing in "source countries" from this restoration. If it's not a national, nor a domiciliary in a source country (which never is the US), then the copyright is not restored. If the work has any copyright, it would have to be by regular US process before 1996.--- Darwin Ahoy! 17:50, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
The URAA uses "source country" and not "country of origin" technically, and it has its own definition (which is also generally the country of first publication, but does differ from the Berne definition particularly in the "simultaneous publication" part). But yes, U.S. nationals living in the U.S. cannot have their works restored; even if the "source country" is somewhere else for them, those do not qualify as being "restored works" due to the definition. When it comes to anonymous works though, it's not really that confusing. I think we'd assume the country of first publication would be the country where the author was living. For a U.S. court case, the person would just have to identify themselves (or at least prove nationality or residency enough through a representative while retaining anonymity) when they filed an infringement lawsuit in the U.S., and prove the work was eligible for restoration. It doesn't matter if that wasn't 100% clear to potential re-users prior to that point; we can't ever count on that latter part failing. However, if the work expired in the source country prior to the URAA date due to the anonymous status, then the nationality/residency issue is no longer relevant. Likewise, if the work was published prior to 1923, that status is also not relevant. So, we would need to show either condition to keep a work here. It does not matter if you don't know who the author is or where they lived -- generally, you just need to know where something was first published, then follow the laws of that country. The cases where such an anonymous author turns out to be a U.S. national and resident are going to be very rare, unless maybe it was a work for hire from a U.S. firm or something like that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:04, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation. I guess we have to assume that in all situations where anonymous works are involved, the undisclosed author or someone holding the copyright for that work may come out from the brumes and reclaim their rights.--- Darwin Ahoy! 01:39, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

In an attempt to get more clarity, I made Commons:URAA-restored copyrights. I've tried to simplify without over-simplifying, and without unnecessarily duplicating en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights. Rd232 (talk) 13:44, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Category:The Wizard of Oz (film)

We have some photos from the film which may be a problem. These are listed as copyright:

The rest of the photos appear to have come from CBS or NBC television broadcasts of the film. Everything I've seen on the film indicates early copyrights to Loew's, then a renewal by MGM circa mid 1960s. According to, there is a 1992 MGM copyright on the film. Thanks, We hope (talk) 17:55, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

There is no 1992 copyright on the film itself; there's only the 1939 copyright and the renewal about 28 years afterward. These pictures were clearly published by some point in the 1960s or 1970s, as the image page show, so I think we can treat any claim of "copyright 2009" as fraudulent, and companies will rarely acknowledge themselves that their copyright lapsed.
These are publicity shots; the argument is that they needed a copyright notice and didn't have one, so they dropped into the PD. The rules are complex and certainly DRable, but I see no obvious error on our part.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:37, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

A question on De minimis

I believe this case - Commons:Deletion requests/File:Pornographies of Japan.jpg - may test the limits of a de minimis situation, when almost all elements in the image are individually copyrighted, but the main focus is not in a copyrighted thing - it's pornography of Japan - and pretty much every copyrighted element is deformed or otherwise made worthless (superimposed with that sort of security chains, for instance). If the de minimis subject interests you, please have a look.--- Darwin Ahoy! 12:04, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Files from the FLIGHT magazine archive at

Hello there.

After this deletion request, the CC/GNU-Licenses applied to the files in Category:Images from FlightGlobal Archive must be questioned (see also Commons_talk:WikiProject_Aviation#Pictures from the FLIGHT magazine archive at flightglobal): There is some kind of permission, but it is for reuse on Wikipedia only and does not explicitly allow commercial reuse nor does ist specify a license. Apart from that, it is not clear whether Flight may give a permission like that at all: Single pictures may have come from independent photographers, who may have allowed Flight to print them but didn't sell the copyright completely.

However, some of them may be old enough to be in the Public Domain. What would be the best approach for reviewing those files (~ 280 atm.) – would it be an overkill to create a new subpage of Commons:WikiProject Public Domain? Your input is welcome, --El Grafo (talk) 13:22, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Kazakhstan Government works

Symbol of Ministry of Transport and Communications of Kazakhstan.jpg

Are works of the Government of Kazakhstan free of copyright? — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:45, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

This symbol, yes, according to Template:PD-KZ-exempt--Antemister (talk) 21:05, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Great – guess the licence can be updated, then, as the current licence is clearly wrong. Also, it would be great if information on Kazakhstan copyright law could be added to the relevant Commons page. — Cheers, JackLee talk 22:05, 24 September 2012 (UTC)


I can't find any templates for works created by the US Government's Post Office Department; is there one that I'm missing? I've only ever used {{PD-USGov}} on Post Office images, but I'd like something more specific. Note that this is different from the present-day US Postal Service, which is capable of creating copyrighted works; until this entity ceased to exist in 1971, it was a Cabinet-level department and just as much a part of the federal government as Justice, Treasury, State, etc. Nyttend (talk) 23:56, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

There's text on {{PD-USGov}} referring to pre-1978 stamps, so that seems to be the current solution... AnonMoos (talk) 08:17, 25 September 2012 (UTC)


{{PD-old-Edition}} (59 transclusions):

Public domain This image (or other media file) of a (scholarly) edition of a public domain work is also in the public domain because its copyright has expired.

This applies to Germany and all other countries where the copyright of editions of public domain works expires 25 years after publication of the edition.

English | +/−

Is this a real thing, and not somehow confused with en:publication right? What's the legal basis (in Germany, say, since template mentions it)? Rd232 (talk) 00:51, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

It is a real thing, we also have it in the Portuguese law: "As publicações críticas e científicas de obras caídas no domínio público beneficiam de protecção durante 25 anos a contar da primeira publicação lícita." - "Critical and scientific publications of works which have fallen into public domain are granted 25 years protection counting from the first licit publication" (§39º - Public Domain Works) I do not understand very well how this works, but I suppose it is related to derived works of PD material.--- Darwin Ahoy! 01:28, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
the the first licit publication part there sounds like en:publication right (but limited to critical/scientific works/editions). Maybe the template is just badly worded, since it's saying any edition, not the first edition. It may overlap with {{PD-EU-unpublished}}. Rd232 (talk) 01:45, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
No, it's not the publication right, that is covered in part 1 of §39 also with 25 years protection. Part 2, which I transcribed above, is about the critical/scientific publication of PD works. The wording of that article seems to imply that the PD work has been changed in someway, such as an annotated edition of a PD book, and similar derived works.--- Darwin Ahoy! 02:08, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
As I understand it, this template is indeed about publication right or editio princeps, as it's called in Germany. Note the "also" in the template's wording. This means it should only be used in addition to a regular public domain tag, but is indeed useful for works that were first published a long time after creation. For example, if a work from 1600 was published in Germany for the first time in 1995, the publisher has gained a copyright-like "publication right" lasting for 25 years, i.e. in this hypothetical case until 2020. So, if we have a work from e.g. 1600 that was published first in e.g. 1970, it's a a good idea to include this template in addition to a a fitting PD template (e.g. PD-old-100). The publication right of the 1970 edition would have expired in 1980 (it was only 10 years then). - As I note, currently this template is mainly used through Template:Tagebuch des Hans Conrad Lang - a diary from 1601-1659, published in 1930. It should not be used alone, so I think the use in File:Anopheles_claviger_(1926-27_Microbe_Hunters).jpg and in File:Louis Pasteur in Pouilly-le-Fort (Illustration - 1881).jpg is wrong. Gestumblindi (talk) 19:56, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
An idea: The template could say "publication right has expired" and "publication right of editions" instead of "copyright" to make this more clear. Gestumblindi (talk) 20:00, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm not convinced at all that this tag is about publication rights. It doesn't even mention that the work was unpublished, and we effectively have in the Portuguese law a clause that perfectly matches this tag, and it's not the one about publication rights.--- Darwin Ahoy! 22:21, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, why not simply ask the template's creator, User:AndreasPraefcke? :-) I'm going to point him to this discussion. It seems to me that it was specifically created by him on occasion of the "Tagebuch des Hans Conrad Lang", which fits my interpretation as a "publication right" template. Gestumblindi (talk) 22:43, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I have no problem at all with this being transformed into a "publication rights" template, especially when I do not fully understand what is "critical/scientific publication of PD works". But in that case it must be worded as "publication rights", the "scholarly" bit should probably be removed and added "unpublished", and perhaps other amendments.--- Darwin Ahoy! 22:55, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

The term in German is w:editio princeps (Urheberrecht). It's indeed a 25-year period of time, as the template says. --AndreasPraefcke (talk) 14:29, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Well, I think there is a good solution for clarifying this template. As its creator AndreasPraefcke says, it was originally intended to cover "editio princeps" (publication right). This is what §71 of the German copyright law is about. There is, however, also §70 which is about "wissenschaftliche Ausgaben" (scholarly editions). Both create the same term of protection, 25 years, but deal with slightly different circumstances: §71: First publication of an unpublished work which would otherwise be in the public domain (creator died more than 70 years ago). §70: A scholarly publication of a public domain work, which might have been published before, "wenn sie das Ergebnis wissenschaftlich sichtender Tätigkeit darstellen und sich wesentlich von den bisher bekannten Ausgaben der Werke oder Texte unterscheiden", so that's similar to the Portuguese law mentioned. So, my idea for the solution is a wording in the template that basically says "this public domain work is also unencumbered by a) publication right or b) the protection of a scholarly edition, as either the first publication was more than 25 years ago or, if a scholarly edition is used, this was published more than 25 years ago". Gestumblindi (talk) 19:56, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Seems ok. Perhaps if that text is in the EU directives for copyright, it's better to use that version, rather than a specific mention of German or Portuguese law?--- Darwin Ahoy! 21:14, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
I tried a rewording with a link to the EU directive; this should make the template clear and applicable to both cases. What do you think? Gestumblindi (talk) 19:40, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Seems OK, although I find the beginning a bit confusing. The way I read those publication rights, they say something to this effect - An unpublished file with an expired copyright is in the is public domain until someone publishes it, then it ceases to be PD and the right holder is the publisher for 25 years. Therefore, the work is not actually PD any more if it was published. If you got it yourself from some offline archive or collection and published it here, then it is unpublished and is PD, but you are the copyright holder and by publishing it here you release the rights, so in those cases that tag does not apply.
For the second part of the law, I would have to know what really are "scholarly editions" to comment about it. They can't be mere reprints of old PD works issued by an university, something new has to have been added to them in order to get a copyright.--- Darwin Ahoy! 21:02, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
"An unpublished file with an expired copyright is in the is public domain until someone publishes it, then it ceases to be PD and the right holder is the publisher for 25 years." - I read it slightly differently: It still is in the public domain copyright-wise, as the copyright or Urheberrecht (right of the creator) in its strict sense has expired and remains expired (this is the reason why the first publisher may publish it without permission), but it has gained a new protection which is for all practical purposes handled like copyright, but a different kind of protection (the publication right). Regarding the second part, the EU directive isn't very enlightening or specific - it just says "Member States may protect critical and scientific publications of works which have come into the public domain." It seems that the individual member states have created their own definitions of what exactly constitutes a "scientific publication", for example the German law quoted above (which approximately says that the edition must be "the result of scientific review and substantially different from earlier editions"). Gestumblindi (talk) 21:35, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
But still, we could reword again, I think: Leave out the beginning "In addition of being in the public domain..." and start with "This file is free from..." - less confusing? Gestumblindi (talk) 21:38, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I guess. I apologize for not being very inclusive, but I was reading it by the Portuguese law which, if I well understand, effectively grants a real new copyright to the publisher, exactly the same "patrimonial rights" that would have been granted to the author. Only the "moral rights" are not granted (understandably).
I guess the second case is for annotated editions and the likes, sort of a "derived work" relicensing.--- Darwin Ahoy! 22:05, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks; I shortened the beginning. Gestumblindi (talk) 02:12, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Flickr question

I was looking to upload this file from Flickr: I contacted the owner, Steve Paynter, and asked him if he was willing to release the rights to the image since it would be a very valuable image for the Kevin Kolb article on Wikipedia. I also explained to him the various licenses he could choose to change it to that would be acceptable. His reply in full was the following:

Re: Kevin Kolb picture
Go ahead and use the Pic as needed. I authorize any use that you need. Thx., Steve Paynter

Steve didn't change the license however and it still reads as All Rights Reserved. I have a feeling that I would still be able to upload it with a license that credits Steve Paynter, noting that he released all rights. How would I go about this? — Moe ε 07:20, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

I believe you should forward that exchange to COM:OTRS, and then upload the image with {{OTRS-pending}}. Only OTRS can say if that authorization is enough.--- Darwin Ahoy! 11:55, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I'll attempt to ask the user to change it again, but if I get no reply then I'll simply go through OTRS. — Moe ε 22:35, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Not only OTRS can say if this permission is ok. It is not ok. The copyright holder must agree to a free license (no free license mentioned) and/or that anyone can reuse the file anywhere for any purpose. Allowing one person the reuse is not enough. --Martin H. (talk) 20:33, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Like I said, I've contacted Steve in hopes that he'll reply again and change the license and I've chosen not to upload, with OTRS-pending, in the meantime. — Moe ε 21:35, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

PD-art on faience?

Hello, is this acceptable? - File:Albert Anker - Jakob Böhm.jpg - The underlying work may be PD-old, indeed, but a dish is three-dimensional, no? And in case it has to be deleted, can we crop the border, and keep the center of the dish, with the portrait, since it's bi-dimensional?--- Darwin Ahoy! 16:49, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Interesting. It's almost certainly below the threshold in Switzerland (see Commons:Threshold of originality#Switzerland), which is the source site. The US may be a different matter, though it's not far over the line. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:40, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Smithsonian image

Hello all. As part of a GA review over at en, the copyright status of this image (File:Mary_Vaux_Walcott.jpg) was questioned. Although publication date is 1914, the reviewer raised the possibility that there is a copyright not mentioned at the Smithsonian source page (SI). Does anyone have experience with SI images, and how we confirm whether this is actually a PD image? Thanks, The Interior (talk) 19:26, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

As far as I know, that discussion is moot. Everything published in the US (and abroad, generally) before 1923 is in the public domain in the US now.--- Darwin Ahoy! 19:39, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
If published, the 1923 cutoff applies . In this case the creation date is 1914, but there's no evidence of any publication. Hchc2009 (talk) 19:48, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Agreed...--- Darwin Ahoy! 19:58, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Correct, no publication date given. What do we do in these circumstances? Contact the Smithsonian? The Interior (talk) 19:59, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Search for evidence of previous publication, prior to the display at the Smithsonian website. Contacting the Smithsonian would be part of it. If they say that it's a private photo they only published now, only they can grant permission for free use and allow publication here.--- Darwin Ahoy! 20:52, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Contacting the Smithsonian would be a good bet. The two bits of information you really need is a) the name of the photographer concerned (currently anonymous) and b) any evidence of publication. Answering a) might provide a route to an expired copyright. On b), if it hasn't been published (e.g. its a private photo), we may have to accept that it is still under copyright. In response to Darwinius, if it remains an anonymous, unpublished photo from 1914, my understanding is that the Smithsonian has no ability to grant permission for use either - they may hold a physical copy of the photograph, but they won't own the copyright over the image. Placing the photograph on a website in itself doesn't constitute publication either, unless its conducted with the legal approval of the copyright holder. Hchc2009 (talk) 21:05, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Indeed, the US has that hellish 120 year term for anonymous works. I wonder why that monstrous anachronism remained there, when the term after death was normalized to 70 years. So, if it is anonymous, and the Smithsonian published it on their website, then it is "unlawful publication" or something to the effect?--- Darwin Ahoy! 21:12, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
If a museum or similar institution does this, I believe they're just taking on the slight risk that someone might turn up one day out of the blue and lay claim to the copyright, and theoretically claim compensation for associated damages etc. I don't know if they take out insurance for this or not. But at the end of the day, any likely financial claim from the photographer or their next of kin for this kind of photograph is going to be very small, so its not a problem for them. Book publishers often take a similar pragmatic attitude. Hchc2009 (talk) 21:20, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
NB: There may be some form of GLAM relationship with the Smithsonian that could help in terms of contacts etc. My memory is that the Smithsonian have been quite progressive and constructive in terms of building partnerships in this area. Hchc2009 (talk) 21:28, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Before life+70, unpublished works never fell out of copyright. I understand there was some undefined common law mechanism that put them into the public domain, at least effectively, but the statues had no provisions for unpublished works leaving copyright. Now it's "For works made for hire and anonymous and pseudonymous works, the duration of copyright is 95 years from first publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter (unless the author’s identity is later revealed in Copyright Office records, in which case the term becomes the author’s life plus 70 years)." (US Copyright Office circular 15A, page 1), which continues the 95 years from publication (and for all the limits on work for hire, gives most movies 95 years from publication) and gives a limit to anonymous works.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:00, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Hi everyone. I am the former Wikipedian in Residence at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, and the Archives of American Art. The image is public domain therefore it is able to be utilized. I've worked closely with SIA regarding these policies, so don't fret. Good luck on the FA! Sarah (talk) 22:16, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Good news. Could you update the Commons file with the correct tag, though, explaining why the image is PD? At the moment it is justified as being published in the US prior to 1923, and (as per the above) this doesn't seem to be the case. If the SIA owns the copyright and has released the image into the PD, you'd probably need to submit an OTRS I suspect. The rights and reproductions SIA page, btw, makes explicit that images appearing on the website may well not be PD. Hchc2009 (talk) 05:45, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Images of historian Machiel Kiel - images of ottomans monuments from the balkans

In the website (belongs to the Netherlands Institute of Istanbul) there are images (60s-80s) of ottoman monuments from the region of the balkans.

According to the website the images seems to have a free license (from the FAQ):

“May I re-use these images in my own publications? Yes. It is this project’s objective to promote research on this little-known heritage. Our only condition is that the photos’ author and copyright holder, Machiel Kiel, is properly credited as such, ideally directly under the reproduction of the image in question in a caption. Please write to us at with reference to the image’s unique ID no. (e.g. “Prizren, Kadiri tekke [XXXIX-23-1974]”) and we shall supply you with an image in higher resolution and further instructions.”

The question is the following.. can we upload these images to the commons? I also discussed this issue in the local "Village Pump" of el.wikipedia [9] (the discussion in greek ;-)) and we argued that it will be a good idea to contact the site and clarify the license and request high resolution images and upload them to commons.

Can somebody help to write a letter, describing briefly other collaborations to the commons (ie. Commons:Bundesarchiv), and request high resolution image to be uploaded at commons (request also to use Commons:OTRS)? Ggia (talk) 06:32, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

No question on the permission; this is a simple {{attribution}} case. Nyttend (talk) 23:49, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer. Ggia (talk) 08:48, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Currency in Pakistan

Hi. A user came to my talk page to ask about File:Pakistan commemorative banknote.png, which is a derivative of File:PKR5REVSPECIAL.jpg and File:PKR5OBVSPECIAL.JPG. Whatever their copyright status, the older two of these would seem to be incorrectly flagged as CC-By-SA, since they are faithful reproductions of 2D artwork (as opposed to, say, coins). But I'm concerned that banknotes from Pakistan may not be suitable for Commons at all, since Commons:Currency does not speak to Pakistan. Rather than immediately opening a deletion discussion for the images, I thought it might be best to bring them here, since somebody here might know or be able to verify Pakistan's position on banknotes. (I'll need to check the uploaders other contribs, since there's a whole lot of currency uploaded there under CC-By-SA.) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:54, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

The relevant section in the Pakistan law would be, I think, s.57(1)(q)(i) any matter which has been published in any official Gazette, or the report of any committee, commission, council, board or other like body appointed by the Government unless the reproduction or publication of such matter or report is prohibited by the Government;. I would guess currency would be officially published, and I would guess that the reproduction of Pakistani money is prohibited by the government :) so in the absence of any more evidence, I'd say ✘ not OK. Nominated for deletion. Rd232 (talk) 10:49, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

revocable CC license?

I'm would like to know whether a website policy page like this is acceptable as a license for media to be included on Commons. Although it states that the content is CC-BY-SA 3.0 licensed, it also states that the authors "may change these policies." My understanding is that CC licenses are unrevokable, and that Commons requires unrevokable licensing; ergo, if they're asserting rights to the contrary, the content being offered is not sufficiently free (nor is it, in fact, CC-BY-SA licensed.) 20:16, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

It's difficult to interpret. The statement "Christian Peacemaker Teams may change these policies." may only apply to the Privacy Policy. In referring to "changing" the Copyright policy, they may mean simply ceasing to distribute it under CC-BY-SA, which they are entitled to do and would not obstruct use on Commons. Alternatively, you may interpret it as an amended CC-BY-SA license which overrides the terms against revocation with their own terms, in which case it is unacceptable. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:23, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
There is no evidence at all that the cited policy remark refers to the licensing. It is located directly below the ection "Privacy Policy". --Túrelio (talk) 21:10, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
The Privacy Policy is one policy-- it's not "Privacy Policies." If the intention was to reserve their right to change their privacy policy, why is the statement that they may change "these policies" (plural)? The only other policy on the page is the copyright policy. 21:13, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Since they explicitly say that it's cc-by-sa and that they may change the terms at a later date, what's the problem? They've not imposed any additional restrictions right now, so we should interpret this as being "We may impose additional terms at a later date". Nyttend (talk) 23:44, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
It would be a serious problem if the implication was "this work is released under a CC-BY-SA license, except amended so that we are entitled to revoke the license at a later time." It's not clear to me and seeking clarification would be desirable. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:07, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

undated Ravi Varma Press images: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Siva-parvati-by-raja-ravi-varma.jpg

A discussion about deletion of undated Ravi Varma Press images is initiated at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Siva-parvati-by-raja-ravi-varma.jpg. Similar DRs have met with mixed response from admins: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Hanuman showing Rama in His heart.jpg (kept) and Commons:Deletion requests/File:Sita 1.jpg (deleted). IMO, we should arrive at a resolution at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Siva-parvati-by-raja-ravi-varma.jpg and implement the same on other such images. --Redtigerxyz (talk) 18:23, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Is the problem that we cannot be sure whether the lithographs were actually drawn by Raja Ravi Varma? — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:28, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Category:Coats of arms of Italy

Is it just me, or is Category:Coats of arms of Italy above-averagely bad for bad "own work" claims? Italy AFAIK isn't one of those countries where coats of arms are PD, yet files in this and related categories routinely just say "own work", explicitly or (eg by releasing under GFDL without addressing the underlying copyright) implicitly. Example: File:Stemma parentesi napoleonica in Cadore.JPG. Mess! What to do, for example, with File:Cimone stemma.gif, File:Grigno-Stemma.png, File:Faenza-Stemma.png, simply tagged with {{PD}} (found from going through Category:PD tag needs updating)? Rd232 (talk) 18:42, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

File:Stemma parentesi napoleonica in Cadore.JPG is almost certainly PD-old-100;
File:Faenza-Stemma.png claims to have authorization in another file.
Can't tell about the rest, are you sure there is no provision in the Italian law for the stemmas? In any case, all those which are own work made from written descriptions of the COA may have whatever license the uploader wants and we accept.--- Darwin Ahoy! 18:53, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Well there's no {{PD-Coa-Italy}}...
  • Own work from written descriptions are fine, yes (Commons:Coats of arms), but very many if not most are not (or not obviously) this kind of own work.
  • File:Faenza-Stemma.png claims to have authorization in another file., that's not how I read it, I think it just means "look at the Italian version of this source website" (, which turns out to have a CC-BY-NC-ND notice. Maybe there's a PD release or explanation there somewhere, but I'm inclined to doubt it.
  • File:Stemma parentesi napoleonica in Cadore.JPG is almost certainly PD-old-100; - I agree, but it's labelled "own work", as if the photographer created the COA. This sort of carelessness seems normal in this area. Rd232 (talk) 19:05, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • For the first, the license is wrong, but it seems to have been licensed under another thing at the time. Please check here.
  • For the second, the license is correct, it is indeed own work, it's a photo of painted relief, it has to have the author license there. If you think the underlying work is not obviously PD-old, then another license should be added for it, though I don't see any reason to suspect it may be something new. Apparently it's remain of the French invasions there, when it was administered by the French. It's not exactly something one would commemorate, so I believe it's indeed from that time.--- Darwin Ahoy! 19:25, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
File:Faenza-Stemma.png seems to have been CC-BY-SA-3 in 2010: Tutti i contenuti sono sotto licenza Common 3. In pratica le immagini possono essere usate liberamente purché si citi sempre la fonte.. I'll update and review that license accordingly.--- Darwin Ahoy! 19:27, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
By the way, the "Italian version" can as well possibly refer to this 2004 discussion, where it is mentioned that some sort of agreement was achieved with that website. In any case, in 2010 it was still CC-BY-SA-3, as can be seen by the link above.--- Darwin Ahoy! 19:40, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
This page only says "Common 3", right? I can't find anything more specific: it could be CC-BY, CC-BY-NC-ND or anything. it:Wikipedia:Autorizzazioni ottenute/Stemmi (which seems to give permission for {{GFDL|migration=relicense}}) suggests that the permission is insufficient, but the text suggests that the reason to this is a non-copyright restriction: "L'autorizzazione del disegnatore non è sufficiente. È necessario richiedere all'amministrazione comunale competente l'autorizzazione all'utilizzo secondo quanto indicato alla pagina Progetto:Coordinamento/Immagini#Stemmi" --Stefan4 (talk) 19:44, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Stefan, note that besides saying that it's a CC-3, it says "In pratica le immagini possono essere usate liberamente purché si citi sempre la fonte." This is CC-BY-3 or CC-BY-SA-3, so the more conservative CC-BY-SA-3 should pose no problem. In addition to this license in the website, that should be ok by itself, we also have the exchange at the Italian Wikipedia, reiterating that the author knows about and allows the free use of the site material. I don't believe this is a problematic case.--- Darwin Ahoy! 20:33, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
About the second part of your comment, I believe it's something on the lines of {{trademark}}. The usage of official insignias are always or almost always subject to restrictions by each country government. IIWR our law in Portugal says something to that effect as well. But that is a responsibility that we usually pass to the reuser, with the proper warning.--- Darwin Ahoy! 20:36, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) If "le immagini possono essere usate liberamente", then it's not NC (I suppose), but it could still be ND. Regardless of which licence it is, there is a requirement which says that you have to include the URL to the licence text so that people can read the licence. Which URL should be included? --Stefan4 (talk) 20:39, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
For the license review I used the archived version of the website, from 2010, the one that I linked above. Maybe I should change the date of the review to 2010, but I don't know very well how reviewing of such recorded licenses work.--- Darwin Ahoy! 20:46, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
By the way, this letter that they seem to use to ask a license to the municipalities is worded somewhat weirdly. It says, for instance, that we only accept CC-BY-SA-3 on Commons, and then asks for a Wikipedia only license - "Questa mail è volta a chiederVi l'autorizzazione alla pubblicazione del sopra citato stemma (o gonfalone) all'interno delle pagine di Wikipedia." (which would be that CC-BY-SA-3, I guess). It may even work, but it's not very Catholic. Anyway, I believe this requirement is a misinterpretation of the law (or perhaps it is really necessary for it's use in the Italian wiki, don't know). But nobody can prevent someone from using the COA text definition to draw a COA from scratch. What you generally can't do is to falsify it by adding or removing elements, and then claiming it's the COA of X Commune, or use it in a publication of yours in such a way that would give the idea that it is endorsed by Commune X - you know, that sort of things. This has nothing to do with copyright, however.--- Darwin Ahoy! 20:57, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
I'd not call labeling a photograph "own work" careless unless they did not take the photograph. That probably carries the 20-year photographic term in Italy, and the photograph is most probably done by the uploader, so "own work" is a perfectly legitimate claim. It should be obvious that the photographer did not create anything actually pictured in the photograph -- that should go without saying, and it should probably be documented if the photographer is also the author of the pictured items -- so "own work" is pretty much always going to be assumed to refer to the photograph itself. If a country does not allow copyright on the photograph itself for being too simple, so be it, but it's still "own work". If it turns out the photo is a derivative work of unfree items, then that is a separate issue of course, but is rarely "careless" -- most people just don't think about these things since they are so rarely a problem (i.e. they are probably fair use in all but some commercial contexts). As for no PD-Coa-Italy, well no, but drawings of arms are a general copyright situation -- see Commons:Coats of arms. For derivative works, you are looking to see if the very small details are carried over from one representation to the next (items that are obviously unique to the underlying representation). If a country has additional copyright rules pertaining to arms, there will be a tag for those, but the general idea is always followed. It should always be possible to draw free versions of arms; they are not derivative of the general design, i.e. localities don't have an automatic derivative copyright over every version drawn of the arms. Localities usually have trademark-like rules which restrict certain fraudulent usages, but that does not make them inherently non-free; we use the {{insignia}} tag for those as they are non-copyright restrictions. If images are copied off the internet under the assumption they are "free", that is a problem (unless there are some country-specific copyright rules). Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:50, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
I'd not call labeling a photograph "own work" careless unless they did not take the photograph. - well I would call it careless to label just "own work", without any qualification anywhere in the file description, if the photo is primarily of an artistic work the photographer didn't create. YMMV. Most generally for this discussion, every photo or file showing a COA needs to give some reason why the COA representation is acceptable: uploader created it from textual description; PD-old; "official work" in this country; etc. Rd232 (talk) 09:45, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Are these images public domain?

I've found some photographs that were taken prior to 1949, which is apparently the current cut-off date for public domain in Canada. However, it's unclear to me whether the scans on this website, which are obviously more recent, could themselves be under copyright, or if their 'public domain' quality is inherited by reproductions. They would make great additions to the new Judo in Canada gallery, and could help illustrate several articles on Wikipedia. (I had trouble accessing the link again when I posted this, so the server may temporarily be down.) CanadianJudoka (talk) 22:27, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Mechanical scanning doesn't attract new copyright. Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag.--Pere prlpz (talk) 23:24, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
Great! There are quite a few relevant pre-1949 photographs available on the web, and it's good to know that I don't need to secure a license in order to upload them here (if I understand you correctly). Thanks for your help. CanadianJudoka (talk) 00:48, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Also, there is another website that has a few photographs that I know were taken prior to 1949 (probably in the early 1930s), but they are not labelled with a date. How do I handle that? I have a photograph of the same subject from 1950 where he is clearly around 20 years older; is it possible to use that as a reference point to establish a pre-1949 date? CanadianJudoka (talk) 00:57, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
And one more follow-up. I just uploaded this file, and added the PD-scan tag as you suggested, but it also wanted me to add an additional license, and none of the options available seemed to apply. Which license should I have chosen? CanadianJudoka (talk) 01:19, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't know why it didn't recognize the PD-scan tag as a license, when it is (defaults to PD-old). But in the case you mention, you should enclose the proper license (PD-Canada, I believe) inside the PD-scan tag - {{PD-scan|PD-Canada}}.
About dating a file by comparison, I do that a lot with the postcards and views I upload, since they are often incorrectly dated at the source. It's easy if you have some secure reference, like a building that has been demolished/constructed in a precise date or year. You can try doing the same with people, by comparing to another photo that is securely dated. In case you need someone else to confirm it, ask here or send your own file to DR.--- Darwin Ahoy! 03:45, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Okay, thanks for your help. The Canada specification might have been the problem with the tag, because my only public-domain options in the list were specific to the United States, which is why I didn't know what to choose. CanadianJudoka (talk) 03:56, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
If you don't need all those lists and helps, and already know the licenses and other stuff for what you are uploading, you may use the basic upload form which simplifies things a lot. Just copy the info from a previously uploaded image, and update it on the fly. It's much more easier and faster than using the wizards and the normal upload form.--- Darwin Ahoy! 04:13, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
That's helpful, thanks. In addition to these photos, I am expecting dozens of donations from various Canadian judoka over the next few months, so it's nice to know that this can be done more quickly. CanadianJudoka (talk) 04:29, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
The trick to do it really fast is to use a browser that stores form data like FireFox, then upload with the Basic form, check the upload, then go back and get the form already almost completely filled and ready for the new upload, so that you only have to do minor fixes before upload again. Faster than that, only the automated java tools, like Commonist and Vicuña, or the bots.--- Darwin Ahoy! 04:54, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Note that all Canadian photos taken after 1945 are copyrighted in the United States per COM:URAA. Such photos can't be uploaded here without permission from the US copyright holder. You got the year wrong above.
Canadian photos taken before 1946 are in the public domain if published before 1924 (use {{PD-1996}} for photos published in 1923 or {{PD-1923}} for photos published before 1923). If they were published after 1923, you need to treat them as first published in the United States. Please read en:WP:Non-U.S. copyrights#Subsisting copyrights and in particular the part about en:Yousuf Karsh. --Stefan4 (talk) 08:58, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
I didn't get the year wrong: it is correct according to Canadian copyright law. I'm not really sure how to interpret this, though. It seems more than a little problematic to suggest that American law supersedes Canadian law on something produced in Canada and, as private photographs that are now part of a Canadian archive, were never published in the United States. CanadianJudoka (talk) 14:47, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
See COM:L#Interaction of United States copyright law and non-US copyright law: Canadian photos have to be in the public domain in both Canada and the United States. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:15, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but isn't the purpose of this to extend copyright from the other country in circumstances where it would not otherwise apply in the United States, not create a copyright situation in the United States that does not exist in the other country? CanadianJudoka (talk) 15:46, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
No, they have to be public domain in the US. The US does not have the rule of the shorter term. It is not in the least problematic to claim that US law covers things that happen in the US, where the Wikimedia Foundation is. It does not supersede Canadian law; Canadian law simply has no relevance on US soil, and vice versa.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:11, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Okay. Initially I thought that it was intended to be an extension of foreign copyright, but now I understand that it's an extension of domestic copyright to the use of foreign works within the United States. This is very frustrating, especially given that most of the people who will be interested in these photos are in Canada. I guess I'll get to work on finding and contacting the owners to ask them to license the photos for use in the United States. CanadianJudoka (talk) 04:34, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

I am having problems with a photo on the Marathovounos site.

It was taken during the Cypriot revolt from a British helicopter in the 1950's. It is used on another internet site and I was told by them that they were told to use "Courtesy of British Army". I tried to tag it with the New Zealand tagplate but I don't seem to get it to work. Anyone who can help ... it will be appreciated. Christos Evangeli Christos Evangeli (talk) 01:28, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Could you tell us which image you mean? -mattbuck (Talk) 01:41, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Looks like File:Marathovounos from a helicopter in the 1950,s. Added colour.jpg. Taken from either here or here. That site says the "late 1950s". If it was taken by the British Army before June 1957, it would be {{PD-BritishGov}}. It may still be expired Crown Copyright if it was published back then. Not sure why the New Zealand tag would be appropriate. Also not sure what the tint adds. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:49, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/Photos from ITTF

I just started a fairly sizable mass nomination. It would be good to get some opinions. Please comment there – not here. LX (talk, contribs) 18:31, 30 September 2012 (UTC)