Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2013/01

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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.


Theo van Doesburg

Some of his paintings are still protected by copyright in the United States, but I'm not sure if all of them are sufficiently creative to be protected by copyright in the United States. For example, what would you say about File:Theo van Doesburg 082 version 02.jpg? --Stefan4 (talk) 00:23, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

I wouldn't want to argue it. Even if we reduce the problem to making a lookalike painting, there's still a lot of choices to made there. I think calling a work too simple for copyright is way more plausible when talking about a logo then when talking about a work of art; the later almost presupposes that there have been non-trivial creative choices made.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:00, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
At least one piece of abstract art has been retained as ineligible for copyright after community discussion (File:Untitled by Daniel Buren.png). But none of van Doesburg's pieces seems quite that simple. I'm not sure where the threshold of originality is. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:21, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
I see I disagreed with that one, too. But that one at least is truly simple; I would have no problem with a reproduction in SVG that removed the medium effects. This is not complex, but definitely creative and original.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:16, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

"Derived from" for external files

in the summary section of a file uploaded on commons, if it is derived from a file that also exist on commons one can use

|source={{Derived from|whatever.png}}

how do we do that for external files? (say, for a file from flickr) -- Iñfẽstør  T• C• U 16:47, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

In the source field, just link to the source's url. And in the description field, explain the nature of the modification you made (that explanation is required by the CC licenses anyway). If you wanted to use the "derived from" template for its thumbnail option, that is not possible because the Wikimedia projects do not hotlink to external files. But if the original (and free) file can be useful, you can upload it to Commons and then use the "derived from" template. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:16, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Sparks Lake photo

This photo was taken by a Flickr user whose original work is licensed CC-BY-ND-2.0, but here on Commons, the same photographer's image is licensed CC-BY-SA-3.0, and he uploaded it here. Problem? Jsayre64 (talk) 19:23, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Given that Commons user Vibrantspirit and Flickr user Vibrant Spirit are in fact the same person, which is most likely the case, I think the easiest would be to ask him/her to change the Flickr-licensing to the same as on Commons. If reluctant or not capable there might be foul play somewhere, in which case I think a deletion request would be the way forward. But initially I don't see any problem with this, if the user can simply be encouraged to change the Flickr license. In kind regards, Henrik/heb [T C E] 19:41, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
I think it should be investigated. The uploader has 3 different cameras in the images that do have EXIF. Nikon, Canon, and Olympus. I have Canon and find it strange that someone would buy from three companies.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:45, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
I have Cassio and Olympus; now when my Olympus dies I will probably buy a Nikon since Olympus stopped producing non-professional SRLs.--Ymblanter (talk) 20:11, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
I always wondered why people choose Nikon over Canon. Did I get the wrong camera?--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:26, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
I personally do not like mainstream. The cameras are about the same, at least were last time I checked.--Ymblanter (talk) 21:22, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

I am too cheap to buy new lenses and I found that Canon had a better selection of used ones. I haven't compared prices though.--Canoe1967 (talk) 22:25, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

I dunno, but this camera suits me. (It's purple, not pink!) Thanks for the help, though; I'll contact him on Flickr. Jsayre64 (talk) 00:44, 5 January 2013 (UTC)

American artist, died 1941

I was trying to figure out if paintings by an American artist who died in 1941 would be eligible for upload --partially just to see if I could figure it out (lol). I tried to find similar cases, and a great case is Category:Grant Wood (died 1942). The painting files there provide no insight, which I found very surprising. Most of the licensing tags say "You must also include a United States public domain tag", and this has not been done. Wood's iconic painting (American Gothic) is a featured image with an OTRS ticket. Arguably no other painting file in that category is tagged in a way that would allow me to understand policy requirements... in my limited understanding a file such as File:Grant-wood-1935 death on ridge road.jpg should not be here. So, can someone shed some light? Is there a simple way for me to determine anything generally for my "American artist who died in 1941"? Many thanks -- Boo-Boo Baroo (talk) 13:59, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

  • You may want to check here. In short, everything published before 1923, you can upload. Everything published after 1923, most likely, can not be uploaded until at least 2019. The death year is irrelevant.--Ymblanter (talk) 14:15, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
    • Many of the more recent paintings may be fine if they have been published without a copyright notice or without a copyright renewal. The copyright rules in the United States are strange. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:28, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
      • Correct, this is why I have written "most likely". The link I left provides for more details.--Ymblanter (talk) 14:40, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
        • A very small percentage of works were renewed, so these works are probably {{PD-US-not renewed}}, but they still cannot be uploaded without a thorough search of the renewal records. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:57, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Does PD-Art apply to murals?

File:KhitanHorseman.jpg is a photograph of a 10th century tomb mural from Inner Mongolia, China. The photo itself is taken from a source that states "Image courtesy of the Inner Mongolian Museum, Huhehaote (copyright reserved)". This would suggest that the image is not OK for use on Commons, but could the picture be kept under {{PD-Art}} or does the the choice of viewpoint and lighting by the photographer generate copyrightable originality to the picture? BabelStone (talk) 19:55, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Murals are two-dimensional and this one has essentially no texture or relief. It's a straight on shot and the surrounding area is not shown. I think it's a very clear PD-Art. Much more obviously so than some others murals like File:Processional Way, Babylon - Google Art Project.jpg. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:54, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

CDC and Oklahoma State Department of Health

Hello everybody! I'd like to upload several images of parasitic tapeworm from this page but have some doubts about “image courtesy” phrases. Does this remark mean that this content is non-free or simply indicate the authorship? Is the w:Oklahoma State Department of Health a part of the w:Department of Health and Human Services? What license can be declared for the image “courtesy of the w:John H. Cross and the w:Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD” if it's free? Mithril (talk) 10:47, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Oklahoma Department of Health is an Oklahoma agency, not federal; probably not PD unless you have a specific reason otherwise. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is a federal organization (DOD) and Cross worked for the Navy before becoming a professor there. Almost certainly a federal work and thus PD. Dankarl (talk) 16:00, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the answer! Mithril (talk) 02:50, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

PD-Algeria inconsistency

{{PD-Algeria}} states that a work must be published before 1948 to have expired on the Algeria URAA date, 1998. However, en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights states that Algerian works by artists who died before 1972 are 25 pma, and so all of them were PD before the URAA date (and all works by authors who died 1972 or later remain in copyright in both nations). Should the template be amended, or is the En page mistaken? Dcoetzee (talk) 04:16, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

The tag appears to refer to Article 60 in their 1997 law and subtract 50 years based on that. However, Article 159 of that same law says the following:
Les dispositions de la présente ordonnance concernant les droits d'auteurs prennent effet à partir de sa promulgation pour les oeuvres publiées pour la première fois après en vigueur.
Les présentes dispositions englobent les oeuvres publiées avant la promulgation de la présente ordonnance et qui demeurent protégées en application des dispositions de l'ordonnance No. 73-14 du 3 avril 1973.
Per Google Translate, that appears to be a non-retroactive clause, meaning anything expired before 1997 remained expired. It's possible that there is some other law which did restore lost copyrights, but given the above clause (which is in the same law which extended the terms) it seems doubtful, particularly that it would need to have happened within about a year to affect URAA restorations. Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:26, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Okay, here is my present understanding of Algeria PD based on the En chart: if the author died before 1972, it is PD. Photos published before 1987 and films published before 1972 are also PD. (On the URAA date, same as now, Algeria had 25 pma for authors dead before 1972, 10 pd for photos published before 1987, and 25 pd for films published before 1972.) The tag appears to be intended only for photos, so it seems it should be amended to allow any photo published before 1987. This seems like a pretty dramatic change, so I'd want some consensus before changing that. Dcoetzee (talk) 09:48, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

FOP Netherlands

Commons:FOP#Netherlands Does it only cover permanent display of 3D sculptures? I was hoping to find a free image of "Largest Rubber Duck in the World". If temporary display of sculptures aren't allowed then I won't bother looking.--Canoe1967 (talk) 07:52, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes, FOP covers only permanent displays. Ruslik (talk) 11:02, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

{{[[Template:--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:46, 31 December 2012 (UTC)|--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:46, 31 December 2012 (UTC)]]}} Thanks for prompt response. I may email the creator and see if he wishes to CC-by a photo for us. I don't speak Dutch if someone else would like to then I can find his email, I think.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:46, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Is a rubber duck (whatever the size) actually eligible for copyright? It doesn't differ significantly (other than scale) from other designs of rubber ducks that can be found in shops worldwide and is essentially a utilitarian object. Is the sweat of the brow here in creating something different or in creating the same thing but larger? Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 09:47, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. --Canoe1967 (talk) 18:31, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree, not eligible for copyright.--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:31, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

I am trying to upload the logo of my high school to its wikipedia page but I am unsure of what kind of copyright is involved. Here is the link to the website:

Thanks in advance.

Template:PD-ineligible should work. It is in Canada an the threshold of originality looks too low to be protected by copyright. Someone may question this, it may be deleted, but then you can upload it to en:wp as fair use. See Com:TOO entry for Canada in common law countries.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:13, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

French TOO and architecture

File:Aéroport-Roland-Garros.jpg shows an airport in a French département d'outre-mer. I don't know how old the building is, but considering that it is part of an airport, I'd be surprised if the architect has been dead for 70 years. Do you think that the building, or at least the part you can see on the photo, is sufficiently complex to be protected by copyright? --Stefan4 (talk) 21:09, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

FOP, TOO, and de min should be looked at. TOO bar is high for France, FOP for buildings not allowed, but I feel it passes as de min because my eye is drawn to the clouds and green posts more than the partial view of the building.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:20, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Constructed 1976 - [1] I don't think it passes De min because whatever your eyes may be drawn to it's clear that the subject is supposed to be the terminal building and the name of the image clearly identifies this it's also dead centre in the image. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 10:24, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
I'd probably lean toward deleting this image. cmadler (talk) 16:37, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
French TOO is rather low for artworks. As for buildings, we know which are protected (for instance the en:Tour Montparnasse or en:La Géode), but unfortunately we don't know what those who aren't look like. We have to make do with the criteria mentioned at COM:FOP#France. As for the rest, I don't think it passes DM either. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 16:44, 7 January 2013 (UTC)


I've just added Peru to COM:TOO (COM:TOO#Peru), prompted by Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by QuirozAngel. If anyone can cast any light on either, please feel free. Rd232 (talk) 12:50, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Aircraft images

I would like to hear another opinion about images like this. I contacted the uploader, but it seems that he doesn't want to cooperate (with me at least). We had the same problem with him on sr.wp and eventually he was blocked for a year (not by me BTW). As he said that I harass him and that I am a sock puppet of user INeverCry who already deleted images that he uploaded (that's how I understand his messages), I think that someone else should take care of this. Basically, the uploader claims that images he uploaded comes from The Museum of Aviation Belgrade. We have the permisson from the museum and I offered to add the proper licence and OTRS number if he provide a links to the museum's website or some other prove that images really comes from the museum. So, I believe that I did everything I could. I would appreciate someone's assistance. micki 14:43, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg  Comment I would say that it's up to this user to prove that his uploads are properly licensed, as it is with anyone who uploads to Commons. If he continues to upload images that are deemed copyvios, he should be warned/blocked. His communication with Micki is a case of someone attacking the person who's questioning his actions rather than responding to the substance of those questions regarding copyright status of uploads. If this kind of behavior continues, perhaps the issue should be taken to COM:ANU. INeverCry 17:49, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
There were some which had a clearly bogus licence, so I took them to Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Dusanbasic. There are two more images which are referring to a document in Serbian, but I can't read Serbian, so I can't tell if the permission statement is correct. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:24, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
I can help with that. Images Miro Nenadović.jpg and Pivko.jpg are OK and I will add the OTRS number. micki 18:30, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Copyright free access?

  • Did this photographer give us access to all many of her images? " dedicating the rights to the American people for copyright free access..." I read some file descriptions with "Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication." Is this a 'free licence' or I should I email the curators to verify?--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:16, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Not *all* her images from all sources, but she did donate a large number to the Library of Congress and released those particular ones to the public domain. {{PD-Highsmith}} Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:33, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. --Canoe1967 (talk) 12:11, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. I didn't think to look fo a licence template for her.--Canoe1967 (talk) 12:11, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Most email icons look to simple to be copyrighted

Tokyoship Mail icon.svg
Teal mail.svg
TK email icon.svg

Given our numerous branded icons considered public domain, I wonder if email icons like those at the right would really qualify for copyright by Commons standards, or if we are simply leaving them as the uploader licensed them because they are somehow "free enough". Do Commons files get re-licensed if they are deemed to be ineligible? ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 05:04, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

We almost never relicense a PD-ineligible work that has been released under a free license, because threshold of originality is very difficult to determine reliably. In case the work is not PD, it's good to have the free license to fall back on. This becomes more important when considering that content reusers are located across the world and different nations have different thresholds of originality, many of them like the UK being quite strict. Removing the free license would impair these reusers' ability to use the work legally. In cases where a work is clearly below the US TOO, it may be useful to have a template akin to {{Licensed-PD-Art}} that notes this, while still providing the free license for use elsewhere. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:58, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Does it really matter? If they're freely licensed, surely it's better to use them under the terms of the free license than to rely on (largely untested) opinions about eligibility and originality? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 12:56, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Conversely, we should do more to encourage explicit free-licensing or PD release from editors of apparently PD-ineligible works. So a {{Licensed-PD-ineligible}} would make sense. Rd232 (talk) 13:08, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
That is a really good idea. What worried me was that relicensing someone's work seemed so aggressive. My main issue with CC works like these is that these are designed as icons, and it seems to me that CC icons are far more likely to be abused than CC photos. Icons don't get used like photos, they are used in links to represent another page, and proper CC attribution doesn't work well inside a UI. Even inside Wikimedia projects a lot of icons are used to link to another page rather than to the File: page. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 19:45, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

PD-status of 2 World War II Croatian files?

Files in question are:

I could use some help with the copyright of these 2 files (already tried on en-Wiki with no success). Both are of Croatian origin (from the now-defunct WW II puppet state "Independent State of Croatia [[4]]"), copied from the Serbo-Croatian Wiki with little available publisher and author info. The uploader made a good effort to clarify as much information as possible, but i am still unclear, if we could use those files under some kind of PD to avoid fair-usage. A Croatian (from current Croatia that is) anonymous file before 1949 would be PD-croatia and PD-US seems also likely (published without notice outside US before 1978). However i have no idea, how to deal with the fact, that the images were taken in a now non-existant state and if the current Croatia is considered a legal successor of this "puppet state" (it had some international recognition mostly from Axis and some neutral powers, but no broad world-wide acceptance).

  1. Could someone clarify, how the copyright of such extinct and/or not recognized states works? Or link to some further information on this topic (i searched without much success)?
  2. Is there a chance to get those files on a clear PD-status and get them moved to Commons? Under which conditions?

(the second file may also be of Italian origin and would then be PD-italy, but it's probably better to cover the possible Croatian origin aswell to be safe).

Thanks for any advice. GermanJoe (talk) 08:00, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Status of an old photomontage

See [5]. This is an original artwork by Gustavs Klucis, who published in Russia/the USSR and died in 1938 so his works are PD in Russia and the US (Russia had 50 pma on the URAA date in 1996). But it is apparently derived from several pre-existing photos of unknown origin. Being a 1930 work, the photographers of these images could easily have lived until 1943 and remain copyrighted in Russia. Am I stuck not being able to upload this one? Dcoetzee (talk) 14:02, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Lenin died in January 1924 and the Stalin photo (from browsing Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин) looks as old or older (see also Category:Vladimir Lenin in photographs). So pre-1923 publication is fairly likely for the source photos - the montage was presumably made from published photos and they were probably published around the time they were made. Rd232 (talk) 14:25, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
That may be the case but that would only show PD in US, not in Russia. Dcoetzee (talk) 15:01, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Klucis was executed in 1938 and not rehabilitated until 1956, so that his works become PD in 2026 in Russia (unless published before 1917 in the Russian Empire).--Ymblanter (talk) 18:47, 11 January 2013 (UTC)


Hello, I've merged all PD-old-X-1923 type templates (eg {{PD-old-70-1923}}) into {{PD-old-X-1923}}, since it was very inefficient translation-wise to have different templates for just a different number. If anyone would like to add missing translations (eg Spanish), those will now improve all the PD-old-X-1923 templates at once. Rd232 (talk) 12:00, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Similarly, {{PD-old-X-1996}} - though I'm now wondering if this couldn't be merged with {{PD-1996}}. Rd232 (talk) 14:59, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

The English text for both 1996 templates is wrong, though. It could be corrected by replacing the text with something like this:
This work is in the public domain in the United States because
  1. it was published before 1989 without copyright notice or before 1964 without copyright renewal or before copyright relations were established between the United States and the source country and
  2. it was in the public domain in its home country {{#if: {{{1|{{{country|}}}}}}|({{{1|{{{country|}}}}}})}} on the URAA date ({{{2|{{{date|January 1, 1996 for most countries}}}}}}).
However, the template is getting very complex. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:20, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Yees. I've been thinking maybe the template should be split, but I'm not sure how. Rd232 (talk) 15:48, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, if the work was in the public domain in the source country on the URAA date, then we have two situations:
  1. The work was published before copyright relations were established with the source country. In this case, the work is in the public domain in the United States. Maybe it could take a new template as an argument which explains that the work was published before copyright relations were established.
  2. The was first published after copyright relations were established. In this case, the work should be treated in the same way as a domestic US work. Maybe the template could take a standard US licence template, such as {{PD-US-no notice}}, as an argument.
Also, maybe it should be made more clear that the template doesn't apply to unpublished works. For unpublished works, you should use {{PD-US-unpublished}} instead. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:21, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Well I made a start with {{PD-URAA-noformalities-unrestored}}. I don't entirely understand the copyright relations thing, and haven't found it documented, so I'm not entirely clear about the significance of there being relations or not, or to what extent it matters what kind of relation it was. Rd232 (talk) 00:21, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
"Published between 1 January 1923 and 31 December 1977 inclusive without a copyright notice" - a copyright notice was all that was required? Didn't the formalities also include a registration? Gestumblindi (talk) 00:31, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Not according to Commons:Hirtle chart. Before 1964 renewal was required but not initial registration. Rd232 (talk) 01:01, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Lack of copyright relations: see s:United States Code/Title 17/Chapter 1/Section 104#(b) Published Works. (1) and (2) which specifically relates to copyright relations. For example, according to w:Bilateral copyright agreements of the United States, Finland didn't establish copyright relations with the United States until 1929. If a Finnish work was published before 1929, then it automatically entered the public domain in the United States upon publication, regardless of whether it carried a copyright notice. No pre-1929 Finnish works were protected by copyright in the United States until URAA restoration, and those pre-1929 works which were already in the public domain in Finland did not have their copyrights restored and remain in the public domain in the United States. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:54, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
I see; the legal code is a bit confusing but it does boil down to that. The significant exception is that protection may also apply if one or more of the authors is a US citizen/resident or treaty country citizen/resident. Additionally, the wording of (b)(6) for Presidential proclamations suggests that copyright might apply to works published before the proclamation. So we need to distinguish that. Finally, how's this for a can of worms: (b)(1) suggests that foreign "sovereign authority of a treaty party" works are always subject to protection if at first publication the authority was part of a treaty country. I hope I'm missing something, because this could upset a lot of PD-CountryGov applecarts... Rd232 (talk) 14:27, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Does this mean that a Swedish "photographic image" of 1964, which reaches the US threshold of originality (but not the Swedish) is under copyright if it was published with copyright notice, but not otherwise? I suppose there was copyright relations 1964 (the Swedish copyright expired not to be renewed). I have thought the notice had no legal effect if publication was in Europe. --LPfi (talk) 19:38, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
I think so, per en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S._copyrights#Subsisting_copyrights. I think for those cases of countries with pre-Berne copyright treaties with the US, the foreign works got protection on the same terms as US works, meaning that from 1964 onwards a copyright notice was enough (before that, renewal with the Copyright Office was needed as well). See COM:HIRTLE. PS This is why {{PD-1996}} has the condition of failing to meet US formalities (more clearly put in {{PD-URAA-noformalities-unrestored}}) - because if they were met, the work may not be PD (depending on source country). I'm starting to see that we do need {{PD-URAA-formalities-beforerelations}}... Rd232 (talk) 20:02, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
According to w:Bilateral copyright agreements of the United States, Sweden established copyright relations with the United States on 1 June 1911, so Swedish photos published in 1923 or later may be a problem. There are probably not many copyright renewals, so the main problem is photos published in 1964 or later, or photos not published at all. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:56, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds right. But we don't have enough clarity (documentation and templates) for this whole area. Rd232 (talk) 21:03, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg 


I think it's high time we had a page documenting this subsisting copyright issue, so I've started Commons:Subsisting copyright. Rd232 (talk) 21:03, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Similarly, there is quite an overlap between common usages of {{PD-two}} and {{PD-old-X-1923}} & {{PD-old-X-1996}}. Should something be done about it? Jean-Fred (talk) 13:43, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Well it should certainly be made compatible with auto-type templates (PD-old-auto-1923 etc) like {{PD-Art}} is. Did you mean something else? Rd232 (talk) 14:27, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, at some point we were urged to use {{PD-two|PD-old-100|PD-1923}}, now it seems the preference goes to {{PD-old-100-1923}} − it is confusing to use, annoying for layout homogeneity, and duplicates translation efforts. I guess we can do better :) Jean-Fred (talk) 14:35, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Hm, well PD-two is just a wrapper; it could be set up to check what parameters are being passed, and use {{PD-old-X-1923}} or {{PD-old-auto}} etc if appropriate. I've wondered too whether the core of {{PD-1923}} shouldn't be stripped out into a reusable translation template, which can be used by all ...-1923 templates. Rd232 (talk) 14:51, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

French copyright

I want to upload an image from 1910 (which should be PD-US-1923, and thus we're fine on THAT count, at least) created by Frenchman Georges Rochegrosse (1859-1938).

I've read the page on French copyright three times, and still don't know if the answer is yes, no, or it depends whether he died for France.


Adam Cuerden (talk) 01:26, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

Commons:CRTFR#Wartime_copyright_extensions needs cleanup, but it seems the wartime extensions aren't applied in the most recent court judgement there (2007). So then it's just 70pma. Rd232 (talk) 01:45, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
It's ok for the French copyright, based on the year of death (it's unlikely that he would have "died for France" in 1938). But for the U.S. copyright it depends if it was first published before 1923 (you only said that it is an image "from" 1910). -- Asclepias (talk) 01:48, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
It was. It's a theatrical poster that was used to advertise Massenet's Don Quichotte - specifically, this one: Georges Rochegrosse's poster for Jules Massenet's Don Quichotte.jpg. I've also uploaded it t en-wiki, just in case French courts decide to change their mind again. Adam Cuerden (talk) 05:19, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Wartime extensions cannot extend the term beyond 70 pma, with the possible exception of musical compositions or worked by authors who died for France. See en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S._copyrights#endnote_tab_france. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:07, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

XVth century flag

Hello. Regarding File:PortugueseFlag1475.png. This flag is over 500 years old, so I think it's in the public domain. Now, the image is supposed to be a faithful reproduction of the flag, there is no derivative work here, there has been no creative action, yet it's licensed cc-by-sa 1.0. Should this be changed to a public domain notice? Garsd (talk) 01:25, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

That's a banner of a coat of arms, so the basic heraldic rules would apply -- namely, that the definitive specification is the textual en:blazon, and that any artist can create a new artistic realization of the blazon, and then owns the copyright for his/her particular rendition. A "faithful reproduction" in the sense relevant to {{PD-Art}} would be a scan or photograph of a 15th-century artistic depiction, which this obviously is not... AnonMoos (talk) 05:20, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
How much freedom a blazon allows an artist? Is there any room for creativeness? That pair (blazon, flag) reminds somewhat (svg code, rendered image). When an svg piece of code is public domain, nobody claims copyright over any of its rendition. Let's say I would like to draw myself the 1475 Portuguese flag. I'd consult the blazon, get my pencils, and after a while come up with an exact copy of File:PortugueseFlag1475.png. Then User:Brian Boru would say "sorry, but that's a copy of my own work of art you have there". You see, once User:Brian Boru draw his/her own 1475 Portuguese flag, nobody else in this world would be allowed to do it. Oh, you can argue that I should have painted it in a slightly different way. Which way, then, so that it would make such a difference? With cats instead of lions? Huts instead of castles? All I could do is to paint the lions in a slightly different hue, perhaps the castles would have a slightly wider gate. All I could do is to paint it slightly different, but it would have to be considered the same symbol User:Brian Boru painted, if I wished it to be accepted as the 1475 Portuguese flag and not a product of my own imagination that somehow reminds the 1475 Portuguese flag, but it's no it. But if slight differences would make a difference, then I could draw the boy en:File:Tintin and Snowy.png one-legged, due, let's say, to an accident he would have in my imagination; and that wouldn't be a copyright violation. Let me get another example: File:Flag of the United States.svg. What I'll do next is to draw one such flag myself following the specification to the letter, then claim copyright. Absurd. In what the 1475 Portuguese flag is different? By the way, File:Former Merchant Flag of Portugal.svg is licensed under gfdl&cc-by-sa. Under which basis? Garsd (talk) 10:19, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Compare File:PortugueseFlag1475.png with File:COA king Alphonse V of Portugal - modern.svg. The castle and the lion are supposed to be the same, but they are drawn very differently. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:27, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

I understand now. Thanks. Garsd (talk) 11:30, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Free pictures of XXth century Moldova

Hello. I have recently found an extremely valuable resource of images for Moldova: see Ion Chibzii's Flickr photostream. Before I start uploading, categorizing and using this images on Wikipedia, I just want to make sure one more time commons allows this type of images. I have tried yesterday with Manske's tool and it worked.

I am being so nervous about this because there are more fingers on my left hand than professional photographers in Moldova who could publish their work under CC fully aware of the terms of this license. Thank you. Gikü (talk) 12:10, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

On-topic. Why do some of previously uploaded Chibzii's works have an OTRS template like this one? Gikü (talk) 12:19, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
It means that someone has asked the author to release the image under a license compatible with Commons. The OTRS ticket contains details of how permission to reuse the image was granted --moogsi(blah) 01:37, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
All the ones I looked at are CC-BY-SA-2.0 which is compatible with Commons. I've not used the bot but I'm pretty sure it won't transfer files which do not currently have a compatible license. Everything you need to know about transferring stuff from Flickr is at Commons:Flickr files. Nice find :) --moogsi(blah) 01:37, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

PD items published in a new book

I'm using a textbook published this year which contains a number of images that are depictions of PD items like 500 BCE friezes or building plans. Would it be acceptable to scan and upload these or are they copyrighted? Ryan Vesey Review me! 23:52, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

One of the images I wanted to upload from the book can actually be seen on page 178 of this pdf (effective page 5, it's figure 3). Ryan Vesey Review me! 00:34, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Short answer: I think not. Long: they look to be retouched photos to me, in which case a new copyright is generated by whoever created the image. See Commons:Image casebook#Art (copies_of). A frieze counts as a 3D object (the threshold for 3D-ness on Commons seems to be a coin/medal or more 3D). The floor plans are probably original illustrations and also copyrighted --moogsi(blah) 03:00, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Template:PD-US-unpublished and death date unknown

{{PD-US-unpublished}} says "the death date of its author is not known, and it was created before 1893"; the problem is, that's not what the law says. U.S.C. § 302 says "(e) Presumption as to Author's Death. — After a period of 95 years from the year of first publication of a work, or a period of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first, any person who obtains from the Copyright Office a certified report that the records provided by subsection (d) disclose nothing to indicate that the author of the work is living, or died less than 70 years before, is entitled to the benefit of a presumption that the author has been dead for at least 70 years. Reliance in good faith upon this presumption shall be a complete defense to any action for infringement under this title." (Subsection (d) says that someone with interest in a copyright can tell the copyright office that someone is still alive or when they died.) So if I get such a document from the copyright office (I can't find exact details, but it may fall under their $165/hour (min. $330) record search charge), it protects me. (I don't even know how far that would extend once someone informs you that they didn't die less than 70 years ago.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:25, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't think that we can use {{PD-US-unpublished}} for people with an unknown death year. According to s:United States Code/Title 17/Chapter 3/Sections 302 and 303 (c), anyone may submit a record to the copyright office with the correct death year, which might cause problems with the document you've got from the copyright office. --Stefan4 (talk) 01:48, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
The law says the document you paid for is still good, as long as you have a good faith belief in it; so as long as you don't know that anyone someone with a copyright interest submitted a new document to the office, you're fine. It's still only the person who holds the document in their hands that is protected.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:06, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Image from 1885 chemistry paper

I would like to post an image of one chemical structure from this page of a chemical paper published in Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft in 1885. (It is the first report to use the name "pyrimidin"). Is this old enough that I can use it? Thanks, Walkerma (talk) 05:58, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

I can't see that image; I don't know that your link is permanent. For purposes of German copyright, the authors must have been dead 70 years, so that is what needs to be checked.--Prosfilaes (talk) 06:29, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
The author is w:Adolf_Pinner, who died in 1909. I also want to make sure that the copyright for that doesn't still belong to the publisher (or the "descendent" of the publisher). Thanks, Walkerma (talk) 06:59, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Anything published before 1923 is OK in the US. In Germany, it's 70 years after the author's death. Both requirements are met, which means that you can upload this image with {{pd-old}} and {{PD-1923}}. --rimshottalk 07:29, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! Walkerma (talk) 08:06, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Actually, with the way tagging is changing after Golan v. Holder, {{PD-old}} as a separate tag with no parameters is quasi-semi-deprecated, and a single tag {{PD-old-100-1923}} would be preferred... AnonMoos (talk) 11:49, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

A work possibly concurrently published in the US

I recently opened a UR for a foreign work where there is evidence it was published in the US the same year that it was created, suggesting concurrent publication within 30 days. Please give your thoughts at Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests#File:Philip_Alexius_de_Laszlo-Princess_Elizabeth_of_York.2C_Currently_Queen_Elizabeth_II_of_England.2C1933.jpg. Dcoetzee (talk) 12:52, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

Austro-Hungarian (?) copyright

Anonimous architectural project of the building in Lviv. Made in 1872. But first publishhed in Lviv (Ukraine) in 2005. What to do?--Сергій (обг.) 10:57, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

As it is older than 120 years old it is in public domain in the USA. Ruslik (talk) 11:48, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
{{PD-US-unpublished}}?--Сергій (обг.) 22:47, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
The question is whether it is free in the source country, and I don't know what licence to use for that. {{PD-RusEmpire}} does not seem to work as Lviv seems to have been a part of w:Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria (not Russia) when the drawings were made. If the architectural plans really are anonymous, then the plans should be in the public domain. Is the building faithful to the drawings, or did someone else modify them in 2005? --Stefan4 (talk) 00:54, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
Lviv was a part of Austria-Hungary till 1918, next - Second Polish Republic (1918-1939), next - Soviet Union. Drawing from 1872 is not modified, but first published only in 2005 in scientific journal. Building was rebuilt near 1950-1970.--Сергій (обг.) 11:07, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
I think that it is highly unlikely that this work is still under copyright. I also doubt that for any real building its architect can be anonymous. I think the name can be found somewhere. So, it is 70 years pma and highly likely to have expired already. So, I suggest {{PD-old}}. Ruslik (talk) 16:17, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
I've read other opinions. Take a look here [6]. Actually because of this argument (70 after publication of anonimous) I became interested in the Austro-Hungarian copyright - is the only hope. Maybe project became PD according to Austro-Hungarian law before 1918. But I found nothing about this law. P. S. The author probably never be known. There are a lot of such anonymous projects in Lviv. Rresearchers of Lviv architecture are looking for attribution for over a hundred years.--Сергій (обг.) 10:47, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Vogue magazine cover

The permission for File:Vogue SM.jpg is from the photographer of the cover image, is this sufficient or would the magazine's publishers also have a copyright? January (talk) 13:48, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

No, it is not sufficient. You need a permission from the publisher. Ruslik (talk) 15:58, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
If the photographer licensed the photo to the magazine, so that the photographer still owns the copyright, yes it would be sufficient. If the magazine acquired all rights, or the photographer was an employee, then the magazine would have to give permission. Probably only the parties involved would know. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:16, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
It would be different if this image were just the photo. There is retouching and the design of the cover itself to consider --moogsi(blah) 22:24, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
The design of the cover would probably not get a U.S. copyright. It's a listing of titles, and there is no typographical arrangement copyright in the U.S. If there was significant retouching of the photo, then maybe. Have to be a little careful about trademark issues when using the image of course but if we have permission from the photographer, and that photographer think they own the rights, I don't think I'd delete it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:43, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

German propaganda posters from World War II

Posters found in various subcats of Category:Nazi propaganda: I don't imagine that there is a problem with having these images on Commons, but there seems to be no consistency in how they are licensed. The most common way seems to be to wholly attribute authorship to the German government and use {{PD-GermanGov}}, assuming that the current German administration is legally the inheritor of Nazi Germany. Even if it is not, then it seems to me the images are public domain in any case. Anyone think differently? --moogsi(blah) 18:48, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

{{PD-GermanGov}} only seems to apply to text, but these posters are mostly images, so the template doesn't apply. See Commons:WikiProject Public Domain/German stamps review.
Some of these works were made less than 70 years ago. Unless the author died at least 70 years ago, then they are protected by copyright in Germany. All of the images are protected by copyright in the United States unless the images were seized by the United States during WWII. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:56, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
Copyright law is a kaleidoscopic mess to me... I assume that current German copyright law can retroactively grant copyright to the authors of these works, even if there was no law in effect at the time. However in the US, which I didn't fully consider, it would seem to be death+70 as usual, so it's a non-question. I assume it's very difficult/impossible to identify the authors in most cases, though --moogsi(blah) 19:35, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
US law is only life+70 in the case of things first published after 2002. These would get 95 years of copyright unless they were seized by the US government in WWII, which is possible but I don't know how to check.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:08, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for clarifying this for me. I'll get it right eventually :) --moogsi(blah) 22:21, 14 January 2013 (UTC)


I was sent here from upload help and have taken note of the rules on trademarks. First I am including my questions, followed by the response at upload help. I hope you can help me.

I would like to ask you for your help with the following: the band Queensrÿche has a logo, known as the Tri-Ryche. It was never copyrighted because for a long time (mid and late 80s, early 90s) it was unclear who designed the logo. It was eventually attributed to Wes Griswold. What I would like to do is upload one or more versions of this not-copyrighted logo.

  • Firstly, it may have a similar nature as the New Orleans Saints Fleur-de-lis logo, in which case it would not meet the Threshold of originality. Is this correct?
  • Next, I assume I need to demonstrate the logo is indeed not copyrighted, and to find out to what extent it is or is not trademarked. One possibility I see, is that I email the attorney of the Tri-Ryche Corporation, the company responsible for the publishing rights of Queensrÿche's assets. Should I do this?
  • Then the actual logo. I will make my own transparent PNG with a plain black drawing of the logo. Can I credit this as "Wes Griswold. Uploaded by Eddyspeeder." ? In addition, is written permission from Mr. Griswold preferred and or required?
  • Lastly, I also think it would be good to upload the latest iteration of the logo. Would this require permission of the designer who made this version, or because the design is an alteration of a not-copyrighted logo it is also not copyrighted and no permission is necessary? In addition, would written permission from the designer be preferred/required?

For all possible communications (e.g., the attorney, Mr. Griswold, and the designer of the latest iteration of the logo) please specify exactly what I should request of this person, in what form, and to whom at Wikimedia I should direct this information. Alternatively, please let me know what I should do instead. Of course, with every step, you may point me to the appropriate manual pages. --Eddyspeeder (talk) 17:43, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Response from upload help: Unfortunately, almost nothing created in the United States since 1978 which passes a "threshold of originality" and does not primarily serve a "utilitarian" purpose (and which was not created by federal government employee) can be considered uncopyrighted unless there's an explicit release or disclaimer. Even if the basic unadorned outline shape is not considered to pass the threshold of originality, people's elaborate artistic variations of it certainly would. This is not a simple matter, and you might want to take it to Commons:Village pump/Copyright‎, where people with expertise would be more likely to see it... AnonMoos (talk) 18:49, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

--Eddyspeeder (talk) 14:04, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

  • I do think that logo is adequately complex to attract US copyright. If it was created, and more importantly first published, in the mid-1980s in the US, it would have needed either copyright notice or copyright registration within 5 years. You would need to find this out, and if copyrighted, you'd need permission from the copyright owner (see Commons:OTRS for details on how to get such permission "on record"). I would assume that it is trademarked, but that's not a problem for Commons, just mark it with {{Trademarked}}. Thanks, cmadler (talk) 14:34, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks cmadler, I think I can best do that by contacting the aforementioned attorney. If it is not copyrighted, can I still best follow the OTRS procedure and submit the response from the attorney as "evidence" to clarify the non-copyrighted status of the logo? --Eddyspeeder (talk) 18:49, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I may be confused but I think you need a file uploaded first. Then tag with Template:OTRS pending. This will give OTRS a file to see. The email from the lawyer needs this file name and a 'free licence'. Most is explained at Commons:OTRS with links to a email and licence styles. In the simplest form he can just email stating that "The copyright holder wishes to licence this with a CC-By-3.0 Creative Commons licence. Which has details at Template:Cc-by-3.0. You can link to 1000s of other licences at Category:License tags but that is the most common. It basically means that anyone can use the image for any purpose including commercial as long as they 'attribute credit' to the copyright holder. If they have it as a legally registered trademark no other bands can use it, I think. I may be wrong in some of this so other editors are free to edit/strike etc.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:13, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

threshold of originality

Hi All! I'm in doubt about this File. It is simple and accurate representation of the physical allocation of seats in the Hall of Parliament in Ukraine. But it appears to be a screen-shot from the official site of UKR parliament Page. As far as I know this page is generated automatically by the automatic database. At the buttom of the page I see "You should link to this page if you are using data from this page". The question is - is this image copyrightable? --Dima io (talk) 17:00, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

I believe it is obviously copyrightable, at least in the US, which is sufficient to prevent its use. There's a big difference between {{PD-shape}} and an arrangement of hundreds of shapes. Being automatically generated is not protection since creative choices went into the design of the layout, colours, etc. Dcoetzee (talk) 15:00, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

130 years old institutional hymn

Regarding File:AHBVPA-Hino.jpg, it seems to be a piece of music composed before or in 1883, ie 130 years ago. I think the music could be copyrightable, but not the image of the stave, since there's nothing creative in it. My question is whether this music is in the public domain. One could argue the author died of old in 1944, less than 70 years ago, so there is still a copyright on the music. But there may be some other criteria here. For instance, this is supposed to be a hymn, a music symbol of an institution, something intended to be performed in public and even by the public. Is a hymn always in public domain? Also, this seems to fall under the term of corporate authorship. There was indeed someone who composed the music (perhaps this Guilherme F. Marau), but that music became the hymn of Grémio Recreio Familiar (a kind of recreational club in Portugal). That's an institution, so the copyright holder would be this institution. Would in this case the copyright hold shorter than the author's life + 70 years rule states? Garsd (talk) 21:14, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Yes, music is copyrightable, hymn or no. The rule in European countries is virtually always 70 years from the death of the author, no matter how old the work is or whether it was made for a corporation.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:36, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Note that there is an OTRS ticket. Does that ticket maybe contain permission from the composer's heirs? --Stefan4 (talk) 21:37, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
The ticket covers generic photographs from the fire department's website, so it is seriously incomplete in this case: it would cover the photo of the music (unnecessary under Commons' rules, as a reproduction of a 2D work) but not the music itself. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:00, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
I think it's all all right on that particular. Under the stave it says this was a hymn for the recreational club Grémio Recreio Familiar performed for the first time in 1883 and in 1993 that fire brigade took it as its own hymn. In pt:Bombeiros Voluntários de Paço de Arcos it's the whole story: in 1902 the Sociedade Instrução Musical succeeded to Grémio Recreio Familiar and in 1927 this Sociedade Instrução Musical merged with Associação Humanitária de Bombeiros Voluntários de Paço de Arcos, ie the fire brigade. If this is true, then the fire brigade is the legal successor to Grémio Recreio Familiar. Supposing the music was composed by order of Grémio Recreio Familiar, the fire brigade should hold the copyright for it. I just wondered whether this copyright could be already extinct, but it seems one can't be sure about it. Garsd (talk) 01:17, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
It's still not okay, though, because the permission didn't cover underlying copyrighted works, just the pictures themselves. Assuming, arguendo, that they own the copyright to the music, we still have a problem: Without an explicit release of the music, I really don't think it's reasonable to assume that they meant to release it. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 02:23, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Oh, in that case, something should be done. I just don't know what. Though I think there shouldn't be any problem. I think it would be quicker to contact him on pt:User:Bvpacodearcos, since he edits there more often. Garsd (talk) 11:12, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
If you like, I can reopen the ticket and ask whether it applies to the music as well. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 12:58, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Please, do so. Thanks. Garsd (talk) 00:14, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
I have reopened the ticket, sending a message in both English and in a Google-Translated Portuguese asking about the song and about underlying works in general. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 19:37, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
  • According to en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights, Portugal only extended copyright duration to 70 years pma in 1997; prior to that it was 50 years pma. So if the composer died in 1944, it would have entered the public domain 1/1/1995. It appears to me that Portugal's 1997 law only applied the extension to works that had not entered the public domain as of July 1, 1995, so this composition remains in the public domain. (Based on Google translation of "As disposições deste diploma são aplicáveis desde o dia 1 de Julho de 1995 e aplicamse a todas as obras, prestações e produções protegidas nessa data em qualquer país da União Europeia." It's of course best if a Portuguese reader can verify the meaning of this.) If this interpretation is correct, the whole thing is PD, and no permission is needed. cmadler (talk) 01:47, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
Your interpretation seems correct to me. But I don't know whether the composer died in 1944, that was just a hypothesis, a let's say. If he composed the hymn in 1883, let's say, at the age of 20, he could have died in 1953, 90 years old, and the copyright would have been extended in 1997. I have no idea who was the composer and what happened to him. Usually one considers 120 years as the limit of human life, so when one knows nothing about the author, one can suppose the opus was created possibly at the age of 20 and that he lived 120 years. So, since 70 years must pass after his death, we have 170 of waiting after the creation before we can say for sure it is in public domain. That means around 1843. But of course, there may be other criteria. In the USA anything created before 1923 is PD. I was precisely looking for some other criteria applicable in the case of this hymn. Garsd (talk) 10:12, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
In the US, anything published before 1923 is PD. Anonymous works are 120 years from creation or 95 from publication, whichever comes first.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:14, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
The institution sent a feedback at OTRS. The song was lost, and one of the first members of the band resumed the melody, with the conductor of the firemen music band. The song was officially adopted by assembly decision in 1993.Willy Weazley 02:34, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

We may have a train wreck

I emailed the address at with this request: "Photographs of statues need the permission of the sculptor to be published in the US. The Architect of the Capitol has released such photos online as public domain. Was permission recieved from the sculptors for this release? Many are from the National Statuary Hall Collection."

They emailed back with: "If a work is no longer protected by copyright, then no permission is needed."

See file File:Russell 1.jpg from the public domain images at : .The sculptor just passed last April.--Canoe1967 (talk) 02:42, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Photographs of sculptures likely have a pretty wide range of fair use defenses depending on use -- it's not really true that you need the sculptor's permission to simply publish. It's only the most commercial uses which could get into problems. That said... U.S. copyright for works published prior to 1978 are based on date of publication, not the life of the author. The statue apparently dates from 1959. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:50, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
About the statue of Russell, made in 1957-1958, the only inscription mentioned by the SIRIS is the signature of the sculptor on the back of the base. -- Asclepias (talk) 06:02, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I think I am confused. Is freedom of panorama allowed for statues created before 1978 in the US without a proper notice on the statue? I thought it was just 2D images. Are sound recordings PD as well then?--Canoe1967 (talk) 10:02, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Before 1978, placing any work of art in a public location where the public can make copies (e.g., no effort to restrict photography) was considered publication, and if the work failed to comply with the formalities, it would have entered the public domain. See Commons:Public art and copyrights in the US. cmadler (talk) 13:48, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg  Comment Since this was erected before 1964, the statue would additionally need a copyright renewal 28 years after publication, i.e. around 1987. I did a search for both "John Weaver" and "John B. Weaver" at and found four works: two screenplays and two sound recordings, but no sculptures. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:33, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
  • The Bullwacker by John Weaver.jpg published 1976, was a file of mine that I had deleted before I knew this. Could someone undelete so I can put it back in his article? I wonder if we should do copyright searches and add info to sculptor articles about the use of images. If someone is wondering then they can go to the sculptor articles to find out which works are PD.--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:05, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Better link to find it? Deleted: 11:16, January 10, 2013. --Canoe1967 (talk) 17:13, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. --Canoe1967 (talk) 04:30, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you all for clearing some confusion. My file has been restored as well. I have a painting by Ed Miracle (USA) from the early 70s that I will photograph and upload. 'I told You So' is the title and his name doesn't show in the copyright search for it.--Canoe1967 (talk) 04:30, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

problem using an image that i uploaded

hi , i received the fiollowing message and i donmt know what to do abouyt it or how to fix it please help. is there some kind of chat or email where we can get help faster ? thank you

"There seems to be a problem regarding the description and/or licensing of this particular file. It has been found that you've added in the image's description only a Template that's not a license and although it provides useful information about the image, it's not a valid license. Could you please resolve this problem, adding the license in the image linked above? You can edit the description page and change the text. Uploading a new version of the file does not change the description of the file. This page may give you more hints on which license to choose. Thank you."

File:DeFazio Gus Van Sant.jpg? Unless you have the permission of the photographer or are him, you can't keep it here. Copyright belongs to the creator of the image.--Canoe1967 (talk) 05:08, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Repeated copyvios from Breugelius

User:Breugelius has been blocked for one day on Wikipédia:fr due to his repeated copyvios and his not cooperating attitude to purge them. He also uploaded in the past many copywrong files on commons, and recently one more. - Cymbella (talk) 15:43, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Category:Images of the Architect of the Capitol

I uploaded one of these months ago. There seem to be a lot of images of statues in the cat. Have any or none been checked for copyvio on the sculptors per FOP in the US?--Canoe1967 (talk) 14:30, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

One would hope, given who is taking and publishing the photos (en:Architect of the Capitol), that the agency did such checks. On the other hand, they may be relying on Fair Use, so it would be better to check them. Rd232 (talk) 14:56, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't think the Architect of the Capitol did any checks. They specify exceptions here: . --Canoe1967 (talk) 15:11, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
They won't let me email from Canada because the form wants a zip code. I wonder if admin would like to email for verification as a more official request.--Canoe1967 (talk) 15:16, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Email sent. The 1-800 number worked and they gave me the email of the copyright office. Their site says up to 5 business days for response.--Canoe1967 (talk) 15:33, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. --Canoe1967 (talk) 16:44, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Are images from IGESPAR compatible with Commons?

Pertaining to this deletion nomination: Commons:Deletion_requests/Files_uploaded_by_Igor_Zyx

And subsequent discussion: User_talk:Igor_Zyx#Deletion nominations

The images in question are from SIPA, an sub-organization of IGESPAR. Licensing information on their website:

3. As versões dos registos e documentos integrantes do SIPA disponibilizadas no sítio podem ser publicamente utilizadas nos termos e condições estabelecidos pela licença pública Creative Commons : CC BY-NC-ND-3.0.
3. The versions of the records and documents by SIPA members provided on the website may be used publicly under the terms and conditions established by the public license Creative Commons: CC BY-NC-ND-3.0.

I understand that -NC and -ND licenses are incompatible with Commons, which is a shame.

Igor_Zyx draws my attention to IGESPAR's legal information:

Users of this website are allowed to transfer any available information, for private use only, and subject to any additional conditions set out on this website. In that case, mention of the author and the source of information should be mentioned, whilst any transcriptions should include the reference
The IGESPAR cannot guarantee that all contents available on this website are free from infringing third persons’ copyrights. For example, some works may be protected by the copyrights of their authors or those of their heirs, whilst the use of some information may be somehow restricted. In such cases, permission from the copyrights owners shall be required before copying or transferring any contents from this website.
Permission is required for using any material available on this website for other purposes, including commercial purposes. Each request will be analysed on a case by case basis in conformity with existing regulations and under the conditions set out thereof.

(emphasis mine)

There is also the license template {{IPPAR}} (former name of IGESPAR), which places images in Category:Images from IPPAR. I haven't checked if IGESPAR's terms of usage have changed since this template was created, but as it stands it links to the page above which doesn't seem to grant permission.

I would appreciate some other opinions on this. I think this would be a great organization to collaborate with in some way, but as it stands it seems to me that their images are not usable on Commons --moogsi(blah) 00:15, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Hello everyone. Igor Zyx calling with some background info on the IGESPAR/IHRU/SIPA photos I uploaded.

IGESPAR is the present name of an institute under the Portuguese government. Until 2007 it was called SIPPAR. It is the heir of DGEMN (se below). SIPA is the common online database used by IGESPAR and sister or daughter institutions, such as IHRU. This common platform has currently ca. 30,000 buildings or sites listed as National Monuments or "Places of Interest" in various degrees of importance. Each of these 30,000 listings has a file containing some degree of photographic and textual information (se below).

DGEMN (General Directorate of National Monuments) was founded in 1929, after the 1926 revolution in Portugal which resulted in a right-wing authoritarian, conservative military regime, which from 1932-1968 had prof. Salazar as premier and de facto dictator. In the 1930's and 1940's, following the nationalist trend of the day, DGEMN conducted what is probably the largest listing and restoration work of historic monuments ever undertaken, mutatis mutandis, in any country - an effort to "bring our proud monuments back to their former glory", etc. As part of this, DGEMN hired leading photographers to follow the survey teams and the construction works, in order to document the "before and after", to be used as historical documentation - and of course also as propaganda - by the regime. This continued throughout the so-called "New State" of Salazar, which eventually was overthrown in the "Carnation Revolution" in 1974. Since then, the DGEMN, later IPPAR and now called IGESPAR, has continued this work.

SIPA contains thus 30,000 listings of "heritage", from single buildings to prehistoric sites, cultural landscapes and scenic hamlets. The vast majority of these listings is recent and yet rather undocumented, especially photographically. Several thousand files from the Salazar days however contain extensive photographic and textual documentation, making up the bulk of the collection.

"Unfortunately", in the early days of DGEMN many photographs from the late 19th century until the 1920's were collected by DGEMN staff and thus managed to be included in the archive collections. With the work undertaken in the 1930's and 1940's and the massive amount of photographs then produced, the relative weight of these old photos in the collection decreased. Today they make up less than one percent of the total collection (my estimate).

These old, mostly pre-1929 photos are the crux of the problem. Every effort has been taken by IGESPAR/IHRU etc. to assert the legal ownership of the material in the collection. After 1929, and especially since the mid-1930s, virtually all photos were taken by DGEMN staff and are thus State property today and IGESPARs to give away. However, some of the older photographs are simply not accounted for. Therefore, they are not legally IGESPARs, and in theory some heir of the original photographer could claim legal ownership. This is obviously strictly theoretical, but nevertheless it is a fact - which is why IGESPAR states it. However, in this matter we must remember the official Wikimedia policy, which seems to be that: :

- "If the work is anonymous or a collaborative work (e.g. an encyclopedia), it is typically in the public domain 70 years after the date of the first publication".

Since most of the photos in question are by anonymous authors, what matters then is the original date, which would place photos older than 1942 in the public domain. Naturally, sometimes it is difficult to know the exact date of the photo, and it must be said that SIPA also has a few anonymous photos from the 1950s and possibly 1960s. But we're talking about a tiny, tiny fraction of the total database - we're talking of a couple of hundred photographs that IGESPAR cannot acount for among some 70,000. This whole debate is therefore purely academic; IGESPAR wouldn't feature photographs that carried an actual risk of lawsuits with them.

There are several ironies that deserve to be mentioned in this question. One is that the photos from especially the late 1930's and the 1940's, when professional photographers armed with medium format cameras were at the helm, are simply outstanding - sometimes truly amazing, when you can see that the castle/church/whatever has been photographed from different distances - a mile away, half a mile away, a couple of hundred yards, etc. - and very different angles, always under the best lighting conditions imaginable, and you realize the photographer spent several days in that particular village just to take a couple dozen or so photographs. The budget of today's IGESPAR cannot compete with the conditions DGEMN had under Salazar: their staff today seems to show up with a digital camera, take God knows how many indifferent photos, and after half an hour they're gone. Sadly, it shows. Still, they try, best as they can.

The beauty of SIPA is thus the outstanding quality of the Salazar-era photos, plus the fact that you can look up ANY Portuguese town - and most smaller villages - and see their local castle, parish church, medieval bridge, etc, and also general views of the town - as you can see in the "Conde de Monsanto" article. It is probably the greatest legacy the otherwise questionable Salazar regime left us, and our future generations: memories of times gone by. Snapshots from across the nation. Thousands and thousands of photos documenting not just isolated monuments, but whole towns, streets, and people - faces and customs now gone.

This is the legacy, the "heritage" that IGESPAR and affiliates share with the public online through SIPA. As I told Moogsi, the pictures on the site available to the unregistered user are mere low-res, water-marked samples. But for a fee, you can even purchase high-res hard copies of the photos. I have litterally a couple thousand high-res photos without watermarks, which I obviously would never dream of uploading, and also a couple hundred hard copies in A4 format of my favorites, for example.

All that IGESPAR expects in return is to be credited. Is that so much to ask? Apparently not, because Wikimeadia clearly allows this:

Acknowledgment of all authors/contributors of a work may be required.

And SIPA is not about personal credit - it's about "dissemination", creating awareness of the very existence of this fantastic database, which is free for everyone to use, thus enhancing the knowledge of our architectural heritage.

It would be a shame if the legal technicalities caused by a few old and long forgotten photos by anonymous photographers should lead to the exclusion of this truly amazing database. Let us not be overzealous here, folks.

I include the following quotes from the IGESPAR site in English. While not elucidative on the particular copyright law paragraphs, they tell us something about the spirit of the undertaking as seen by IGESPAR.

Mission [full text]

- IGESPAR’s mission is to manage, safeguard, conserve, and enhance those assets that, due to their historical, artistic, landscape, scientific, social and technical value integrate Portugal’s listed architectural and archaeological heritage.

Legal framework [full text]

- The Institute for Managing the Architectural and Archaeological Heritage is a public body, within the Ministry of Culture, with responsibilities for the architectural and archaeological heritage. The IGESPAR was established within the PRACE - Central Administration Restructuring Programme (Council of Ministers Resolution No. 124/2005 of 4 August), through Decree Law no. 96/2007 of 29 March. It is the result of merging the Portuguese Architectural Heritage Institute with the Portuguese Archaeological Institute, whilst also including part of the attributions of the former Directorate General for National Buildings and Monuments. Ministerial Order no. 376/2007 of 30 March set down IGESPAR’s internal structure, as well as its statutes. The Ministry of Culture’s organic law, set down by Decree Law no. 215/2006 of 27 October, encompasses the creation of the Regional Directorates for Culture – North, Centre, Lisbon and Tagus Valley, Alentejo and Algarve – as the Ministry’s peripheral services. Among other duties, they are responsible for safeguarding, enhancing and disseminating the architectural and archaeological heritage. The archival holdings of the former [DGEMN] Directorate General for National Buildings and Monuments and preceding entities were transferred to the [IHRU] Institute for Housing and Urban Rehabilitation, within the Ministry for the Environment, Spatial Planning and Regional Development, as part of the SIPA – Heritage Information System (Decree Law no. 223/2007 of 30 May).

Heritage Learning

- One of IGESPAR’s main objectives is, according to its organic Law (Decree Law no. 96/2007 of 29 March), to raise awareness and disseminate good practices for safeguarding and enhancing the architectural and archaeological heritage. This is to be achieved through the coordination of Heritage Education actions. [...] The Educational Services in IGESPAR’s Dependent Services are strategic heritage dissemination centres, as they are involved in promoting, disseminating and enhancing the built heritage locally but also at a regional, national and international scope. Their programmes are meant to explore the specific potentials of each monument, while also providing special leisure/pleasure and learning moments to different types of public.

Heritage Search

- You have different choices for searching legally protected heritage from mainland Portugal, either through "Pesquisa Geral" (general search form) or "Pesquisa Georreferenciada" (atlas based georeferenced search), as a result of implementation of the project "Inventorying and digitizing the Historical and Cultural Heritage".

General Search

- The contents in "Pesquisa Geral" are permanently being updated and may be accessed by completing the search boxes available (name, municipality, listing category). Data may be used freely, as long as reference is made to IGESPAR as the source of information. Please report any errors to so that they can be readily corrected.

Main Archive

- IGESPAR currently owns all the documentation produced by its predecessors such as Direcção-Geral do Ensino Superior e das Belas-Artes, Direcção-Geral do Assuntos Culturais, Direcção-Geral do Património Cultural, Instituto Português do Património Cultural, Instituto Português do Património Arquitectónico e Arqueológico, Instituto Português do Património Arquitectónico e Instituto Português de Arqueologia. It also includes some documentation from the 17th Exhibition of Art and Science and from the Belém Cultural Centre.

Free Access.

Heritage Library

- IGESPAR’s heritage library inherited the holdings of the institutions that preceded it, namely the IPPC and IPPAR. It also includes holdings from the Inspectorate General of Public Libraries and Archives, the Higher Inspectorate of Libraries and Archives, Archives and Libraries Services, Directorate General for Higher Education and Beaux Arts and the Directorate General for Cultural Heritage.

  • Services
  • All users may read freely at the library premises and make photocopies. Borrowing, however, is restricted to staff and collaborators.
  • There is direct access to the book shelves.


  • Conditions of Access and use
  • It is an open library, as anyone can have access to its collections, besides employees and collaborators.

Finally, a page in Portuguese from SIPA itself, where you can see it all being applied online: a list of "thematic inventories" of, among other things, lighthouses, pillories and religious houses, available for download in a variety of formats: (press "+")

Does any of this strike you as particularly protective? I really wish you could speak Portuguese, to be able to browse the various sites and see for yourselves the fabulous amount of graphic and textual material made availabe for everyone as PDF, JPEG, TIFF, you name it. Here is a genuinely state-run, non-profit organization screaming out "Here we are! Use us! We have great stuff!". Yes, not all the photos in their database are accounted for. But surely no anonymous ghost from the past will arise to claim legal ownership of photographs taken nearly a hundred years ago...

Finally, I have one question: maybe I have completely misunderstood something here, but isn't the list at

authoritative regarding acceptable licenses? If the SIPPAR license is listed under the heading "Public Domain", subsection "Portugal", doesn't that mean that it is viewed by Wikimedia as an acceptable Portuguese Public Domain tag? Notice that subsections 1 through 6 all are about free tags (1-Public Domain, including SIPPAR, 2-GNU Licenses, 3-Free Creative Commons licenses, 4-Copyleft Attitude license, 5-Variuos free licenses, 6-Other free tags). Only from 7 on are unfree licenses listed. When I see the SIPPAR license icon in beautiful green, that green colour tells me that it's OK. Do you think that perhaps someone just inserted the SIPPAR license there without authorization?

--- EDIT --- Important final information: The various licensing informations on the various sites belonging to IGESPAR/IHRU/SIPA never differentiate between graphic and textual material. It is important to realize that any given file on a listed monument contains, apart from the photographs and architect drawings, a series of texts describing the setting of the monument, its history, architectural analyses, its ownership status, etc. The files on all the more noticeable monuments often contain (sometimes lenghty) quotes from the works of leading archaelogists, historians, art historians, etc. While IGESPAR has been licensed to quote said leading authorities, it is nevertheless still copyright material belonging to the respective authors. This is also what is alluded to in the various legal notices in the websites. We should thus not mistake copyright issues regarding author quotes for issues regarding the photographs, which, as stated above, belong to IGESPAR in more than 99% of the cases.

Greetings everyone, Igor Zyx (talk) 13:03, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Can I upload Images from this publication?

Can anyone verify if I can or can not upload images from this 2009 PNAS publication below to Wiki Commomns. "Y chromosome diversity, human expansion, drift, and cultural evolution" The article is freely available online.Mermari (talk) 03:44, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

The Copyright and License to Publish-page regarding the publication clearly states that:
Beginning with articles submitted in Volume 106 (2009) the author(s) retains copyright to individual articles, and the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America retains an exclusive license to publish these articles and holds copyright to the collective work. Volumes 90–105 copyright © (1993–2008) by the National Academy of Sciences. Volumes 1–89 (1915–1992), the author(s) retains copyright to individual articles, and the National Academy of Sciences holds copyright to the collective work.
The individual articles are thus either copyright either the author (which is the case for the mentioned article) or the National Academy of Sciences and nothing indicates any form of free licensing from either party. Just because an intellectual property work is freely available, doesn't mean that it is freely licensed, so in short the answer is no. In kind regards, Henrik/heb [T C E] 09:34, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I see, thank you for your response and help, I saw the above but I thought the part that said this on the page:
Anyone may, without requesting permission, use original figures or tables published in PNAS for noncommercial and educational use (i.e., in a review article, in a book that is not for sale) provided that the original source and the applicable copyright notice are cited.
Would have made it possible to use here. Thanks again however Mermari (talk) 14:55, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Commons requires works to be available for commercial uses also; the restriction to "noncommercial and educational use" is not acceptable. cmadler (talk) 18:36, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Chilean bills

Hi all! Today, I was going to request the deletion of File:$5 anverso.jpg and other images of Chilean bills, but I found that they have a link to a decree of the Central Bank of Chile (copyright owner) giving permission to use the images. Of course, this permission (in Spanish) is not as simple as we would like: it says that allows the reproduction for educational purposes and for uses related to the achievement of objectives of cultural or informative diffusion featuring the current Chilean legal tender and forbids the usage for marketing and advertisement and counterfeiting. That is a summary but is more complicated. At first, I would say that it is not free but then I thought that it might be more similar to {{trademark}} or {{money-EU}}, because it doesn't forbids all commercial uses, just in case of advertisement or as souvenirs. What do you think? --B1mbo (talk) 05:02, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

I think that's fine. Policy-wise, we've long allowed non-copyright restrictions, and morally, I don't think a prohibition on counterfeiting makes an image any less free. -- King of ♠ 10:42, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Non-copyright restrictions regarding counterfeiting are fine, but limiting the purposes for which the content may be used to an enumerated list of purposes is not. Commons:Currency#Chile still stands. LX (talk, contribs) 17:46, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, it doesn't stand because it says that CBC prohibits all uses withouth their consent and now they are saying other thing. Not saying that it will be free enough for Commons (that is why I'm asking about it here) but probably someone with better English skills can update Commons:Currency#Chile. --B1mbo (talk) 03:21, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Digimarc Question

A reviewer pointed out that the metadata for some of my images contain a digimarc compyright notice. This was applied by me (in the name of my company The National Currency Foundation) in order to tag images for identification and tracking purposes. I understand when posting the images I am complying fully with Wikimedia Commons policy on use and distribution of the images. I certainly do not want anyone thinking I am using the work of others and claiming to be my own. How should I address this/deal with it? Thanks. -- Godot13 (talk) 08:48, 18 January 2013 (UTC)


Hi all, I'd like to raise a question regarding the copyright conditions the Government of Spain is releasing the content of its website.

Since 2011 we've been using {{GobiernoEspaña}} (actually {{PD-La Moncloa}}). It points at the licensing conditions that I quote verbatim below: is an internet domain owned by the Ministry of the Presidency (CIF S-2811001-C). Complejo de la Moncloa. Madrid, 28071. Tel. +34 (91) 321 4000.
Use of this website implies express and full acceptance of the terms and conditions here stated.
The content of the website is of a solely informative nature and has no legally binding effect on the Government.
The information available on this website may be reproduced, whether in whole or in part. Modification, distribution and communication thereof, except for any content over which third parties hold intellectual or industrial property rights, is therefore authorised.
The reproduction of any content must take place under the following terms:
  • It is not permitted to distort the content of the information.
  • The user must cite the source and the date of the documents subject to reproduction.

To my understanding, the conditions expressed in said legal notice are enough to support a free status (enough to allow the contents in files to be uploaded to commons).

As you can see, the following provisos are declared:

  1. The information available on this website may be reproduced, whether in whole or in part. Modification, distribution and communication thereof [..] is therefore authorised.
  2. Said statement has an exception: It is not permitted to distort the content of the information. To my understanding, this is just a was to express one of the moral rights] in the Continental European copyright regulations ( the right to the integrity of the work; it applies to every single work in such jurisdictions and we haven't considered that said moral right prevents us from using the works). In fact, the Berne Convention describes it as Independent of the author's economic rights, and even after the transfer of the said rights, the author shall have the right to claim authorship of the work and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to the said work, which would be prejudicial to the author's honor or reputation.
  3. And another: The user must cite the source and the date of the documents subject to reproduction. To my understanding again, it asks for attribution.

However, on May 2012 there was a deletion request that ended up in the deletion of about 40 files on the grounds that the legal notice didn't explicitly allowed commercial use. I'm not a lawyer and I do know that there are two different approaches to legal regulations: "everything that is not forbidden is allowed" and "everything that is not allowed is forbidden". I can't see the forbidding the commercialization of their contents, so if we follow the first approach provided above there should not be a problem. If we choose the second one, of course the legal notice is not free enough.

My purpose here is two-fold: on one hand, I'd like to clarify which approach is valid in commons ("everything that is not forbidden is allowed" or "everything that is not allowed is forbidden"). It would help me to do my work as admin better. On the other hand, and if the "everything that is not allowed is forbidden" approach is the one that rules, I do think that {{GobiernoEspaña}} should be deleted and so should all the files using such a template (almost fifty). Opinions?

Best regards --Ecemaml talk to me/habla conmigo 21:59, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

My understanding is that we require explicit evidence that content is licensed freely or in the public domain. For example, statements like "You can use this photograph on Wikipedia freely" and "This photograph can be used free of charge" are insufficient because the first statement doesn't make it clear that it can be used freely outside Wikipedia, and the second statement doesn't make it clear that the photograph can be freely modified or used in commercial contexts. See "Commons:Project scope#Must be freely licensed or public domain". — SMUconlaw (talk) 06:49, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
A generic statement like that isn't really helpful. The GobiernoEspana license statement looks to me like it allows derivatives and commercial use. Problems come when there is wording which suggests intention to limit derivatives/commercial use, or limiting to use on Wikipedia, or otherwise ambiguous. An explicit statement that commercial use is allowed isn't necessary if there is an unqualified general statement allowing uses without limitation. Rd232 (talk) 11:06, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Ecemaml and Rd232: those conditions don't forbid modification on commercial reuse.--Pere prlpz (talk) 17:13, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Curiously enough, the following images was under deletion nomination and was considered to be fair (all of them are from, although didn't bear the {{GobiernoEspaña}} template:

Best regards --Ecemaml talk to me/habla conmigo 23:42, 18 January 2013 (UTC)


The text of PD-old-90 currently reads "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." This seems very strange, since for any work whose author died 90 years ago, the active US law at the time was not 70 pma. At that time the US granted a maximum of 95 years after publication with full formalities (or if restored by the URAA), which is more than 90, and many authors published works in the last 5 years of their life, so I believe "in the United States, and" should be removed from this template text in all translations. Does this seem correct? Additionally, I'm not sure why this template exists at all, as I'm not aware of any country in the world that has a term of 90 pma (Spain/Colombia had/have 80 pma, Cote d'Ivoire has 99 pma). Dcoetzee (talk) 15:39, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Well... if it's more than 90 years since an author died, and they published works in the last years of their lifetime, it would be PD-1923. I suppose that could start changing this year or next. But I'm not sure there's a good reason for the template. I'm also unaware of any 90pma countries. Maybe someone saw a 50, 60, 70, 80, and 100 template and just filled in a gap. Sounds like it was created for PD-old-auto per its history, just to have something in that area. There are several variants now. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:02, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

File:Ed Miracle I Told You So.JPG

This search doesn't show copyright for File:Ed Miracle I Told You So.JPG, but does for some of his other works. There was a dispute mentioned here. His official site mentions copyright notices on 'pirated works' but not on his official ones which I think I own. Does any copyright need to be found in the government site above?--Canoe1967 (talk) 00:31, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

No. If something was published before 1964, a renewal would have to show up on that site (or be present in the online renewal volumes; that site only has records submitted 1978 and later). However a simple registration was not necessary to preserve copyright the first 28 years, and for works from 1964 or later it's not necessary at all (since the U.S. removed the requirement for renewals in 1992). All you needed to do was to have a copyright notice on published copies. It's also possible that a pre-1978 registration exists (a registration would have been necessary to file any lawsuit). The fact you own a print is probably meaningless, just like owning a book does not give you the right to reproduce the book -- the ownership of the copyright is a completely separate concept. If you bought the work (and it's a legitimate copy) prior to 1978 and there is no copyright notice, that makes for a pretty good case for being public domain. If it's the same situation and you bought between 1978 and 1989, there is a very possible case but it's a bit harder. Otherwise... it will be under copyright for quite some time. Any distribution without a notice after 1989 doesn't change anything about the copyright. If it's known there are a lot of illegitimate copies floating around that could make things harder (since by your link above lots of them exist). Also by that link it sounds like there *was* a copyright notice on the legitimate copies which were further illegitimately copied. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:52, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
It was purchased by the family in the mid to late 70's I think, at the peak of the sales and at a legit art store. Any that would know the date have passed on. Is there signifigant doubt to put it up for DR or just put a copyvio tag on it?--Canoe1967 (talk) 01:00, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
See also Commons:Village pump#Photo help. -- Asclepias (talk) 01:25, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Ah. Hm. It does appear to be a different version of the painting that is being sold today... which leads to the possibility that it could be considered a derivative work of the original, so that even if this version became PD, it may be derivative of a still-copyrighted original. This one seems very messy at best. There seems to be some reddish lettering I can't quite make out to the left of the dark spot in the waves close to the right side -- one of the symbols almost looks like a c-in-a-circle, but I may just be seeing things in your photo. The fact there were pirated copies out there is also troubling; hard to say which copies were legitimate and it really muddies the water. (Legit art stores can be fooled too.) Though this one does not look to be a normal print -- can't tell if it's actually an oil original from the photo but it's not a regular print. I would probably lean towards the significant doubt side. An actual purchase date might help, but there are other nasty questions. If it turns out that you did buy before 1978 and there really is no copyright notice and it really was a legitimate copy, you'd have a pretty good case I think, other than the derivative work possibility which would be a killer. But there is doubt on at least two out of those three questions too. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:05, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Here is a close up shot of the plaque and signature. The numbers below the name could be an edition number. I think it is the same as one of the originals, and I think he made more than one version. I have seen the posters and they are very different. One of the later ones is for sale for $65,000 USD.--Canoe1967 (talk) 07:01, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
A 1985 official version, I think. It differs from my 70s version. One blog post says that the work was on mugs and T-shirts before he did the first painting. His UK lawyer's blog says the legal case was settled quietly in March, 2006.--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:35, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Danish open public geographic data

The Danish Geodata Agency has released a number of maps under a sort of an open license (the list can be found here however it is only available in Danish :(). Some of these maps could easily end up on Commons, distributed as bitmapped versions from the vector source. However! The sort of an open license, comes with a certain set of conditions, where I am a bit unsure, if this is acceptable licensing for Commons. The conditions are:

  • The Data may not be used in a way which suggests that the Licensor endorses, supports, recommends or markets the user of the Data, or the services or products of the user of the Data.
  • You must ensure the use of the Data is in accordance with Danish law.

I think the first one is a pretty straightforward non-copyright license so that is fine. However I'm a bit more dubious with the second one, which I think could be compared to a non-commercial or non-derivatives license. Further I also think it might not be irrevocably ("The Licensor may at all times change the right of use of the Data and the conditions for its use.), but I'm not sure here either. Any thoughts and comments would be appreciated :). In kind regards, Henrik/heb [T C E] 15:15, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

The first one is a non-issue. There is a similar statement in Creative Commons licences. Quoting cc-by 3.0: "For the avoidance of doubt, You may only use the credit required by this Section for the purpose of attribution in the manner set out above and, by exercising Your rights under this License, You may not implicitly or explicitly assert or imply any connection with, sponsorship or endorsement by the Original Author, Licensor and/or Attribution Parties, as appropriate, of You or Your use of the Work, without the separate, express prior written permission of the Original Author, Licensor and/or Attribution Parties."
The second one looks more problematic. It sounds a bit like the JSON licence which doesn't allow you to use the software licensed under that licence for "evil" purposes. A lot of people regard that licence as unfree because of the "evil" restriction. Also, what's illegal in Denmark might not be illegal in other countries, so the requirement might be preventing legitimate use of the maps outside Denmark.
Also, it does sound as if the licence is revocable and thus not enough for Commons. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:28, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
Regarding the bit about not breaking Danish law, it should have little practical influence in Denmark as we haven't got permission to break the law anyway and it should have little practical influence outside Denmark as Danish law generally doesn't apply in other jurisdictions. So it seems to me that this term doesn't really matter. The problem with the "not for evil"-license is that that requirement is so vague that it may be interpreted to limit almost anything. This doesn't look like a similar case to me.
Regarding revocation, note that for some of the terms it is stated that "the above conditions also apply if the user forwards Data from the Danish Geodata Agency to a third party", but that the bit about changing the terms has no such remark. At first glance I read that as meaning that the bit about changing the terms would not limit whether we get to reuse and redistribute data already uploaded to commons to a third party. Peter Alberti (talk) 17:52, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
I too believe that the first one should be okay on Commons. For the second one I tend to agree with Peter Alberti: Of course Danish law should be followed in Denmark. It seems odd to require that foreign usage also follows Danish law; Danish law is only valid in Danish territory. --|EPO| da: 18:40, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
I think this is a good point, though my impression was more along the lines that it should conform with Danish legislation, no matter where the data is used (which is also applied in other legal cases; i.e. a Danish soldier or diplomat on Indian terriroty in official business still has to conform with the Danish Penal Code). I see nothing that contradict that interpretation (i.e. nothing in the Danish legislation that disallow the author to require data-usage to conform with any and all Danish legislation, though not necessarily be punishable by it)? (but please see below) --heb [T C E] 16:39, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I think the idea is that you should be able to use a freely licensed photo of a bank when robbing the bank without violating the copyright of the photo. As I see it, you can't use the Geodatastyrelsen material for this purpose. Of course, it is better if you don't rob the bank in the first place, but if you decide to do this anyway, then there should not be any copyright restrictions preventing you to do so. Instead, the only restrictions should be other restrictions (such as laws saying that it is unlawful to rob banks). --Stefan4 (talk) 19:30, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Danish Geodata Agency (DGA) say that the terms also apply if someone distribute it to a third party. That sounds to me like "share alike" part in Cc-by-sa-3.0. So I do not think that it is a problem.
DGA says that they can change the terms for use. It could be a problem but I think it is meant to say that they do not want to be committed to keep the service online forever. But to be sure it would probably be best to ask DGA. --MGA73 (talk) 16:18, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
That is a good point. I think I will wait this out another couple of days for further remarks and then write the DGA for clarification. --heb [T C E] 16:39, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I have made a draft (in Danish) of the mail I am going to send to DGA. I have already been in contact with them on the phone, and the person I spoke with will happily answer our questions, as they see this as a questions that will most likely also be relevant to other users. This is my draft:
Vi har to tvivlsområder vedrørende brugsvilkårene af de frie geodata.
De to tvivlsområder kan måske nok virke banale, men de er ret vitale for, at der kan foretages en kvalificeret vurdering af, hvorvidt de frie geodata er acceptable i forhold til de licenskrav der stilles for Wikimedia Commons (disse kan læses på – dog kun på engelsk), men også for at vi kan lave en licensskabelon for data fra de frie geodata, der eventuelt måtte blive anvendt på Wikimedia Commons, der er så præcist og korrekt som muligt angiver specifikke vilkår (f.eks. kravene under ’Kildeangivelse’ og link til de opstillede vilkår).
Det første vedrører punktet ’Vilkår’, hvorunder det fremgår at "[d]et skal sikres, at brug af data er i overensstemmelse med dansk ret." For anvendelse i Danmark giver dette sig selv, men for udenlandske brugere stiller sagen sig lidt anderledes, idet dansk ret ikke gælder i udlandet. Men som parallel kan eksemplet incest nævnes. Eksempelvist incest er ulovligt i Danmark (straffelovens §210), men det er det ikke i Spanien. Såfremt de frie geodata også dækkede kortmateriale over Spanien, ville "[b]rug af data er i overensstemmelse med dansk ret" kunne betyde en af to ting: 1) At kortmaterialet ikke måtte gøres til genstand for medvirken til incest i Spanien (idet incest er ulovligt i Danmark) eller 2) At kortmaterialet blot ikke må gøres til genstand for medvirken til incest i Danmark.
'Det andet tvivlsområde vedrører punktet ’Myndighedens rettigheder og ansvar’, hvorunder det fremgår at ”[m]yndigheden kan til enhver tid ændre brugsretten til data og vilkårene herfor.” Dette kan tolkes således at licensen for data, der allerede er udtrukket/downloadet med tilbagevirkende kraft kan bringes til ophør eller ændres, men også således at det kun gælder for fremtidige udtræk/downloads.
I would like to encourage all Danish speaking participants to comment on and adjust in the text above as they see fit. I expect to send it Wednesday morning. In kind regards, Henrik/heb [T C E] 13:08, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, I think that it is also a problem if you can't use the data for incest in Denmark (although I can't figure out how the data would be useful for that purpose). If you use the data for incest, then I think that a free licence needs to state that you will only be punished for violation of straffeloven and not for violation of ophavsretsloven. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:38, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
The example of incest was meant to be an illustration of differences in legislations, rather than connect to the actual case. I choose it because it is in fact legal in Spain, while in Denmark people have been actually been convicted for incest (Danish Penal Code §210; both in the case where minors are involved, and between two consenting adults - conviction of the latter was last used in 2009 as far as I can see) but in some cases also for facilitating it or not doing anything to prevent it (Danish Penal Code §23) in the case of minors being involved. While it is - agreeably - a odd example it was the best I can come up with that shows difference effects of the statement among various legislations. In kind regards, Henrik/heb [T C E] 13:27, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
You may have sent it already, but while I'm not convinced that it should matter but it might be a good idea to ask if they might consider replacing the term about Danish law with a simple disclaimer that users remain responsible for ensuring that they aren't violating any applicable laws. That should serve their purposes just as well as far as I can tell.
An idea for an example that is more maprelated, could be a reference to the special rights that grant the Geodata Agency permanent copyright to their maps, such as plakat af 6. april 1831. Some of the maps are clearly in the public domain by age outside of Denmark, but if a non-Danish user wishes for example to use the old and modern maps together and only distribute the result outside Danish jurisdiction, are they then forced to accept the license terms for both sets of maps or can they treat them as a combination of public domain and licensed works and only accept the license terms for the modern maps? Peter Alberti (talk) 18:02, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Due to work I had not got around to send the mail until now. Your remark above has been incorporated, as well has an suggestion and encouragement for them to look at Creative Commons as an alternative. Now we will just have to wait :) In kind regards, Henrik/heb [T C E] 09:34, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
A quick update: I have today been in touch with DGA. They do not yet have a response for us, but expect to have one tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. --heb [T C E] 08:55, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
And even quicker than quick, the DGA replied on phone followed up with a written answer which I have filed their response in OTRS for others to verify. Regarding the actual answers they are as follows:
The term ensure the use of the Data is in accordance with Danish law is because this, as a government body is obligated to enforce their conditions, but enforcing Spanish legislation in Spain will not be an option. Thus User:Peter Alberti's remark regarding Danish law generally doesn't apply in other jurisdictions is standing it's ground.
The part about changing the right of use of the Data and the conditions for its use is not retro-active. Being this is a new area for said government body, the conditions will most likely change at a later time, as they develops more experience on the data usage. That is also the reason why the date when the set(s) of data were retrieved from the Danish Geodata Agency must be included.
Based on this, I have drafted up a license template suitable for this, {{DGA map}}:
Green copyright.svg The contents of this file is, in either full extent or partially, based on open public geographic data from the Danish Geodata Agency:
  • No date for retrieval has been added! A date must be added for this license tag to be valid, otherwise the file must be tagged with {{subst:npd}}.
  • No source set has been provided! The source set must be provided, otherwise the file must be tagged with {{subst:npd}}.

Open public geographic data may be freely reused under the conditions for use of open public geographic data:

  • Attribution must include as follow:
    • Contains data from the Danish Geodata Agency or Indeholder data fra Geodatastyrelsen, and
    • the name(s) of the set(s) of data that was used, and
    • the date when the set(s) of data were retrieved from the Danish Geodata Agency.
  • Further if other sourced are mentioned on the front of a service re-using these data, Danish Geodata Agency or Geodatastyrelsen must appear likewise.
  • Usage of the data may not be done in a way which suggests that the Danish Geodata Agency endorses, supports, recommends or markets the user of the data, or the services or products of the user of the data, and re-users must ensure the use of the data is in accordance with Danish law.
  • A copy of the conditions must be made available for third parties, possibly using a link.
DGA map template icon.svg

Any comments on the template will also be appreciated :) In kind regards, Henrik/heb [T C E] 13:39, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Since nobody has made any comments for the last five days, we're going to stick with it for now. It has been added to Commons:Copyright tags#Denmark and all media in Category:Danish Geodata Agency open public geographic data maps of Denmark (at that time) has been tagged with it. In kind regards, Henrik/heb [T C E] 11:24, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Claimed CC-BY-SA license

Hi all, I'd like to know what the community thinks about the license in this site. Apparently, it's a CC-BY-SA license, but the text in said page:

  1. Does not link to any specific CC license file, so that it's impossible to know which actual version it's referring to
  2. Although copies verbatim the text in here, it removes the sentence "to make commercial use of the work".

Do you think we can assume it's a valid CC-BY-SA-3.0 license? Best regards --Ecemaml talk to me/habla conmigo 23:31, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

We are free to share and remix those works without any restriction about getting money for sharing and remixing them. Then, I see it compatible with CC-BY-SA. I don't see the lack of precision in the wording of the license as a problem for reusers. It's more a problem for copyright holder if they try to make reusers to abide the license (for example, if someone relicenses a derivative work as CC-BY or CC-SA-NC, it would be easier to make him comply with a particular license if such license was clearly and precisely stated).--Pere prlpz (talk) 16:26, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
It looks like a CC-by-sa to me. I don't know if there's a policy statement (WMF, CC or WM Commons) that clarifies just what an unclearly edited licence should be interpreted as, but IMHO if the minimal licence "This is a CC-by-sa licence" can be interpreted as one, then "This is a CC-by-sa licence and some licensey stuff" is also a CC-by-sa licence, even if not a verbatim copy. Andy Dingley (talk) 18:52, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Coats of arms of the former Yugoslav republics

I've nominated some images of the coats of arms of the former Yugoslav republics for deletion as lacking evidence of permission. The current situation is such that four of them have been deleted, whereas three of them have been kept. The files are the following:

The stated rationale for deletion was the same for all of them, i.e. that "Made by a friend, especially for Wikipedia" meant the file had been made specifically for Wikipedia. Such files are usually not kept.[7]. It was later argued that some files have been probably kept because "especially for Wikipedia" was interpreted as "mainly (but not exclusively) for Wikipedia".[8] However, this argument did not occur during the discussion and seems far-fetched to me. In any case, what is important is that we should have either all of them deleted or all of them kept. --Eleassar (t/p) 10:17, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Making something for Wikipedia is fine. Licensing something just for Wikipedia is not OK. I'm not sure which you mean. File:SR Serbia coa.png was "made for Wikipedia" but given a GFDL license. That is fine, if true (i.e. the graphic was not taken from some other website and given a bogus license). Its license seems to now be a PD tag, claiming the copyright is owned by the former government of Yugoslavia (not true really; see Commons:Coats of arms), and PD due to that fact. It may be that a country does not allow copyright at all on such symbols, but in most places each depiction has its own copyright, and so as long as that depiction is appropriately licensed it's fine for here. Provided that the original GFDL licenses were in fact genuine, it looks like those should all have been kept -- making something for Wikipedia but licensing it for anyone else as well is OK, which is the claim on those from the looks of it. If there is reason to believe the GFDL licenses were incorrect, that is another matter. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:31, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the reply, particularly for bringing it up that the licensing should be corrected. What I had in mind was that in my opinion, "made especially for Wikipedia" means that a friend of the uploader created the files for Wikipedia and the uploader uploaded them under the GFDL license just because it was popular at the time. I doubt that the creator intended them to be used by anyone for any purpose, otherwise the description would probably state so. Should we keep the files nonetheless because they were uploaded in 2005, before a statement of permission became obligatory? --Eleassar (t/p) 22:38, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
For me, "made especially for Wikipedia" simply means it was created to enhance Wikipedia, i.e. it did not appear anywhere else first. For example, if I take a photograph intended to improve a Wikipedia article, it would be "made for Wikipedia" but the licensing is separate -- of course it would have to be licensed for anyone else to use it, regardless of its original purpose. You see that type of thing from time to time, for example illustrations in books to indicate that they are original to that book rather than being re-used from previous publications. To me, it has nothing to do with licensing or intended licensing. If the friend agreed to the GFDL, then fine. I'm not sure we would accept that on face value these says (please name the friend or have them send an email to OTRS) but the standards were different in 2005. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:24, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Aren't journal articles under copyright of some form?

I'd much rather they weren't but I'm not sure this [9] pdf of an Elsevier journal article is legit on Commons but I'm not an expert. Akerbeltz (talk) 20:58, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

  • They are, but this appears to have been uploaded by the (primary?) author. The author does indicate that "We have decided to deposit it in WikiMedia Commons for general use" which may indicate consent by co-authors, although this is not clear. However, depending on the journal, it's possible that the author transferred copyright to Elsevier (see [10]). cmadler (talk) 21:13, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
    • Human Immunology is an ordinary Elsevier journal [11], i.e. Elsevier has the copyright (and the retained "author's rights" certainly don't cover posting on Commons, though they do cover posting pre-publication versions on the author's own site). Deleted. Rd232 (talk) 21:22, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
      • Rd232, I agree with deletion, particularly as the Elsevier logo was prominent, and anyone familiar with Elsevier will appreciate why this is a particular problem. However there was a rather nice note on the image page with a contact email from the author. Could someone who can still see this send them an email to explain what they would need to do to release this on Commons (and thereby have the text available on Wikisource)? By the way, I believe that pre-publication versions are often released on a CC-BY licence and can be reposted anywhere (including Commons) in compliance with academic institutional policies and some open publishing requirements of some funding bodies. The best path for the benefit of open knowledge may need a bit more off-wiki navigation before giving up on this one. Thanks -- (talk) 21:29, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
        • OK, I've emailed the uploader at the address given and pointed them to this discussion. Rd232 (talk) 21:39, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
          • Great thanks. I doubt that Elsevier would want to release anything, however a pre-publication draft version under CC-BY-SA from the author(s) might be allowed without reference to the publisher's contract for the final version. -- (talk) 21:43, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

The editor doesn't seem to get it - it's back under a different name [12] Akerbeltz (talk) 18:56, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

            • I have started a deletion request. This might be better than speedy deletion if we need to discuss something with the article authors. I'm not convinced that the article is in scope, but that is a different issue. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:39, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Guidelines for academic publications

  • Sadly this deletion is proper, but at least the authors will now understand a little better the ramifications of signing over their rights to Elsevier. For future reference, I want to note that even if the author is the copyright holder, careful review should be conducted to see if 1. the work is based on a prior work of the author whose rights were assigned to a publisher (so-called self-plagiarism); 2. the work contains figures or diagrams borrowed from other works, with or without permission, unless those are themselves suitably licensed. Dcoetzee (talk) 14:50, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
    • There is a good issue here of advice we give to academic authors who are attempting to comply with either their own desire to see their work freely and openly published, or comply with what they believe are open publishing/open access requirements of their funding or academic institution. From the public OA "portals" I have been involved with, this often falls over in how institutions limit systematic access or introduce other detailed terms (such as "personal use only", "research purposes" or variations of "non-commercial use only") which might confuse the apparent intended outcomes of free public reuse access. If the community view was coherent, we could benefit from a manifesto to inform academic institutions of our position. Something along the lines of one I prepared earlier for the UK chapter might help. -- (talk) 15:19, 15 January 2013 (UTC)


Moved from COM:Village pump - Jmabel ! talk 18:36, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I've uploaded new photo (from using license on this one. Is it OK? KIX4U (talk) 18:10, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
End moved - Jmabel ! talk 18:36, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Looking at File:La Tour Eiffel en 1937 contrast.png, KIX4U's model, I would think that is not acceptable on the basis stated, although it's not clear to me how BnF/Gallica would own the copyright and perhaps they have no legal claim on it. But if they do, and unless I am misunderstanding the French, the cited license requires explicit permission from BnF/Gallica for any commercial (or even non-commercial public) use, which is not compatible with COM:Licensing. The only way I could imagine this being OK is if we can show that BnF/Gallica has a bogus claim to the copyright, and that the image would be public domain. The same would apply to the new photo. I've moved the question here, where there will be more knowledgeable people. - Jmabel ! talk 18:36, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Per the Google translate of their licensing terms, they say "The content available on the site are mostly Gallica digital reproductions of works in the public domain from the collections of the BnF" . Which means they are claiming a copyright on their digitized copies, which is rather dubious. Anyways, both photos are credited to "Agence Rol", so presumably they are considered anonymous works. An anonymous work published in 1937 might be OK, one published in 1915 should definitely be OK. There is a question of "published" I guess but if Gallica says they are public domain, that may be enough for us. Use the {{Gallica}} source template. The danger would be unpublished works (which never lost their U.S. copyright), and if Agence Rol merely transferred their rights to BnF/Gallica, meaning the works are still under copyright and BnF controls the licensing terms. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:51, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Gallica and the BnF claim bogus copyright on everything they digitalize. We usually do not care of that claim. Yann (talk) 08:11, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
You mean they can digitalized a copyright image and put it in to public domain through the claim? KIX4U (talk) 02:08, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
No. Scanning an image does not create a new copyright. But the BnF claims however that it does, contrary to all legal precedents. I wrote them several times asking more information, but I have never got an answer. Yann (talk) 05:36, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
That's quite an explanation! I've added some info to the new file. See, if it's better now? Is the {{Copyrighted free use provided that|above conditions are fulfilled}} necessary now? I still think that something's missing, as "It may still be copyrighted in other countries." KIX4U (talk) 21:37, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
That's not the right license. I think copyright owned by a corporate get 70 years after publication in France. It should be either {{Anonymous-EU}} or something equivalent. Yann (talk) 08:11, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Thatnks a lot! Seems, like I need to study the subject. So many ways, and it should be the only right ones. Cheers. KIX4U (talk) 09:47, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Computer-assisted translation

Hello. I have a question not quite regarding Commons, I must confess, but I've noticed there are a lot of people editing here with quite a good knowledge about copyright and I'm at a loss about an issue. So, I've been working in mwl.wikipedia lately and, sad as it is, most of the work people have been doing there is taking something from pt.wikipedia, feeding it to a machine and pasting it to mwl.wikipedia. They do that since they do not know the language (Mirandese) beyond a basic level. I don't know how much they do revise the text they get from the machine, but how much can one revise something written in a language one knows not well. Well, wikipedic methods apart, I wonder what about the copyright? In pt.wikipedia that content is under a free licence, so it's all right to translate it. Now, a translation is a derived work and the author of that derived work is the translator, so he holds the copyright. According to en:Computer-assisted translation Computer-assisted translation is a form of language translation in which a human translator uses computer software to support and facilitate the translation process, in which case I think the creativity belongs to the human, since that's more or less like reaching for a dictionary on the shelf, only today there are all kind of machines that do all sort of things. What about the case when the human just doesn't do anything, it's just the machine. I fed the machine, it could have been you, anyone, the result is the same. Was there any creativity at play? Who holds the copyright: the original copyright holder or the programmer? Certainly not the machine feeder. Garsd (talk) 23:12, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Multiple people can hold a copyright. I don't know what the details are on dotting your i's and crossing your t's in translating one Wikipedia's material for another, but you must make sure the authors of the material get credit by the CC-BY-SA. Apparently the German Wikipedia imported huge histories from the English Wikipedia where the German Wikipedia was originally translated from the English, which is why I have a number of edits on the German Wikipedia that I made on the English one. I've never seen an argument for a copyright on machine translation; generally the automatic transformation is not considered creative.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:00, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
If you merely translate piece of text using a statistical machine translator like Google Translate, the translation is not entitled to its own copyright - this is considered a purely mechanical process, not unlike scanning a photograph. It might be a different matter if you used a translation memory, which is used to translate documents containing repetitive material phrase-by-phrase. In this case the authors of the translated phrases might be able to hold a copyright in them if they are long enough. In either case, if you modify the translation enough, you may attain the threshold of originality and hold a translation copyright. In all cases the author of the original document also has a copyright in the work. Needless to say machine translation is a very new and untested area of law, but I can't imagine a court coming to any other reasonable conclusion. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:07, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you all for the answers. Garsd (talk) 12:11, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

Originality in French copyright law


There is a discussion on the French VP about originality in French copyright law following several court cases which denied any originality in photographies, as the composition, perspective, etc., were only copies of 15th century paintings. These cases are obviously widely critized as they depart from the current interpretation of originality in copyright law. [13], [14], [15] (French). Even if these cases go a bit far and may be overturned in other courts, I think we have to take into account that originality is an important requirement with a high treshold in the French copyright system. Thoughts? Yann (talk) 07:54, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

These recent court decisions challenge what every law handbook teaches on the subject (originality being distinct from novelty and so on), so this is indeed an important evolution. It only affects photographs, though: other recent decisions uphold copyright for the design of tablecloths or armchairs. It's hard to assess the consequences for Commons. Many (all?) of these recent decisions come from the Paris courts; other courts may not follow. The French court of last resort hasn't validated or rejected this evolution yet. We can probably assume PD-Art now exists in France, but I'm uneasy with being much bolder than that. It's a fact Commons currently upholds copyright for photographs with 0 originality in them (many of mine included). Jastrow (Λέγετε) 21:13, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that's the problem. We should at least acknowledge that some originality is required to get a copyright in France. I don't mean that we should follow these recent court decisions which go very far. This is specially important for architecture, as there is no FOP in France. Yann (talk) 05:44, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
We have always acknowledged that there is a threshold of originality in France, only not for photographs (PD-Art excepted of course). Pictures of factories or run-of-the-mill train stations for instance are rarely deleted; Commons:FOP#France is rather clear on the subject. Again, these recent court decisions concern only photographs. I don't see things improving (from our point of view) for applied arts. This tablecloth has been granted copyright in first instance (TGI Paris 28 November 2008) and in appeal (CA Paris 7 April 2010). This nail clipper has been recognised copyright too (TGI Paris 11 April 2011). By coincidence, these specific decisions come from the same courts that implement a higher TOO for photographs. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 07:55, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
The nail clipper is arguably less complex than a Renault car (and it's not more utilitarian than a car in case that would matter). Does this mean that Commons can't host photos of recent Renault cars? --Stefan4 (talk) 10:00, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
The French copyright law protects "works of mind" (works bearing the mark of the personality of their author) regardless of type, form, merit, or purpose (art.L.112-1 of the French Copyright Code), so complexity doesn't enter into it.
Regarding the nail clipper, the court decision says: its originality lies in the choice of shape and proportions, and the combination of features into a specific scheme, that give the work its distinctive appearance and expresse an aesthetic statement reflecting the personality of its author ("l'originalité de ce dernier réside dans le choix de proportions et de formes et la combinaison d'éléments selon un agencement particulier qui confèrent à l'ensemble sa physionomie propre et traduit un parti pris esthétique reflétant l'empreinte de la personnalité de son auteur"). It's pretty much a stock phrase.
Regarding cars, I know there are some decisions protecting the design of specific car parts and at least one concerning the style of the car body, but I don't know which car it's about – it's only a passing mention in several handbooks. Most car bodies however have shapes dictated by technical function and 'must fit' features (aerodynamics, etc.), so they wouldn't be protected. It would be excessive prudence in my opinion to delete all our photos of recent French cars. The major problem with French copyright jurisprudence is that it's hard to predict the result of a law suit or to derive general principles from the body of court decisions, especially on applied art. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 09:10, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
What worrying me most here is the apparent inconsistency of the decisions, which on one side, requires originality from photographs, and on the other, grant a copyright to one of the simplest object, a nailcutter. Difficult to follow the logics... Yann (talk) 13:33, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

The last Speech of Vicente Rojo Lluch

Recently was announced by the catalan TV (and I don't know if by any other Spanish-media, I presume that also) that the Last Speech given by the (equivalent-rang to) Field Marshall of the Spanish Republic Army, Vicente Rojo Lluch, had been discovered and was going to release to the Public.

In :ca We have been arguing if that document could be released to Public Domain How and When. Rojo died in 1966 (then, 2046) but as said in that previous conversation: "The rights of "producer of a phonogram" (that is, those who recorded the album) had expired 50 years of recording (in 1989). I do not know if going from disk to tape and digital archive, and other treatments have generated new rights. Nor do I know if the fact that the original recording and the first copy may be made ​​before the current law of intellectual property affects us, but I do not make things worse." and "When he speaks of phonograms, the law speaks of the author as an "artist." I do not know how that would affect us a general making a speech instead of being a singer or an actor. At least the text of the speech should generate rights."

Well, I have little idea about laws, so I open debate.--Coentor (talk) 15:08, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Well, you're correctly pointed out to two different copyrights involved. The one of the producer of the phonogram and the one of the author of the speech. The former is expired. The latter isn't. That's my interpretation. Best regards --Ecemaml talk to me/habla conmigo 14:04, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Thnaks for your awnser. ¿Being done as a worker of the Army/Govertment does not change anything?--Coentor (talk) 18:44, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Reconstructed building

According to the en-wp article, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow was originally designed in 1832 by Konstantin Thon (d. 1881), though not completed until 1883. Based on this, the original cathedral would be PD. However, the original cathedral was destroyed in 1930 by Stalin's USSR government. From 1990-2000, the cathedral was rebuilt, under the supervision of Aleksey Denisov and later of Zurab Tsereteli. The en-wp article first says that "Denisov was called upon to design a replica of extraordinary accuracy" but later mentions that Tsereteli "introduced several controversial innovations". Since Russia does not have a suitable Freedom of Panorama, if the reconstructed building has a new copyright, images of the new building must be deleted. However, it's not clear to me whether there is enough originality for it to be a "new work", or if it remains PD based on the original work by Thon. Thoughts? cmadler (talk) 16:30, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

Insofar as it is a copy of the original building, it's not copyrightable. Only the additions would be, if they pass a threshold by themselves. Looking at the article and one of its sources (the Pravda article), the ones they mention most are about materials used and the bas relief sculptures (bronze instead of marble, acrylic paint instead of oil, and maybe the sculptures look more modern than they used to). Other than *maybe* closeups of those sculptures, I don't think any of that would give rise to a copyright. Simply choosing a different material shouldn't mean anything. [Also, it seems that a few sentences were copy/pasted from that Pravda article.] Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:37, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

US National Park Service monuments

Could I have some views on images released as public domain by the US NPS at We have a template for these at {{PD-USGov-NPS}} on the assumption that all they photos can be used on Commons. However the NPS seem to have included many images of recent [statues/monuments] (last 100 years) on their website, so I would like to double check whether this is a wrinkle under US copyright and these may be suitable for Commons. Thanks -- (talk) 07:42, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

They're a branch of the US Government; any work an employee of the NPS does for their job is copyright free. Of course, I'm not so sure about that sculpture, especially after the Korean War memorial lawsuit.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:27, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
As I said, the Korean War Memorial lawsuit shows that the government can be caught by this problem too. I think we have to treat them like we found them on Flickr; we can trust the photo license, but not that the photographer had the license to the sculpture if it's still under copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:39, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree, we can trust the photo license ({{PD-USGov-NPS}}) but need to check on the status of any underlying works such as statues. cmadler (talk) 15:39, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
I've been thinking of uploading quite a few of these, there are some good quality scans of what appear original analogue photos or colour slides. Starting with a strong filter against monuments this leaves me with the following collections:
It would be pretty darn hard work to filter at the individual image level (in fact so hard I would give up and move on - there are no individual image descriptions there to help a filter), but I can stick these under a positive manual review and then delete the few that might have statues or monuments as a central focus. I would vaguely estimate this lot at 500 images with other collections I could tack on later. Unless someone has better suggestions, I will carry on with this little job as they seem rather valuable and I don't believe many of these particular images are on Commons yet.
My trial run gave these two files as examples; File:Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts WOTR4866.jpg and File:Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts WOTR7085.jpg -- (talk) 18:24, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
Generally the best strategy for images like these is to upload them en masse and then identify any images of sculptures for further evaluation. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:13, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Copyright notice for public domain photos

At the Artefacts Canada website (a website of the Government of Canada), there is a series of 49 photos by Louis-Prudent Vallée (1837-1905), all published in 1886 or earlier. The digital images are reproductions of prints that are in the collections of the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec. It might be interesting to have them on Commons. For an example, I uploaded the first photo as File:Gare du Grand Tronc à Lévis.jpg. (I know, it's only 490 px, but that website doesn't seem to have a larger version.) As can be seen, the source webpage has a sort of boilerplate copyright notice that reads: "For © contact: [name of the source institution] All rights reserved." The website also has a copyright notice page. How should we deal with those notices? I don't want to mislead potential reusers. On one hand, if the notice is bogus, I don't want to mislead readers into thinking that the notice is valid. If I just copy and/or link to the notice on the description page, it will seem in contradiction with the public domain templates. On the other hand, I don't want to mislead readers by omitting to mention the fact that there is actually a copyright notice (even if it may not be valid). Reusers must have all the information to allow them to assess the situation themselves. I suppose we could write something like: "The source has a copyright notice stating 'For © contact: Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec All rights reserved.' However, that notice may be bogus." But that may sound sort of sarcastic. So my questions are: can we upload those images to Commons and, if so, how do we present the notice on the description page while not being misleading in any way? -- Asclepias (talk) 19:43, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Ignore their bogus claim and use {{PD-Art}}. See Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag for details. Or perhaps {{PD-scan}} if that seems more appropriate; see Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag for more on that one. cmadler (talk) 20:28, 23 January 2013 (UTC)
Include a link to the source page in the source field. Thorough content reusers will follow this link and examine the page for such details. It is not necessary to describe their invalid copyright notice on our file description page. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:12, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Docoed (talk · contribs)

Hello, About a year ago I uploaded a painting by my grandfather on a Wikipedia page. I just found this painting on another website getting sold as posters, prints and greeting cards with various dimensions. Since I am the owner of the estate and my grandfather died in 1963, I believe it is still a copyright in my grandfather's estate. I read the information provided on wikipedia and I realize that the painting may be used by others for various reasons, but I don't believe that company has rights to sell the image. Please calrify if I am correct or incorrect.

Thank you for your assistance in understanding.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Docoed (talk • contribs)
With publishing e.g. File:Abstract scene, by Jay Meuser.jpg under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license here you allowed anyone, worldwide, to reuse that reproduction of the painting for money making purposes as long as Docoed is credited and any new copy is distributed under the same license conditions. See Commons:Reuse and see our very basic Commons:Project scope#Must be freely licensed or public domain. You indeed gave permission for commercial reuse. I dont know what site you mean, but maybe there are problems that they not give credit to you and not distribute the copies under a free license. This will leed to termination of the license according to the legal code of the license and possibly you can notify the reuser and ask for compensation, but thats your own business. --Martin H. (talk) 08:10, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

US Gov contractors

Can someone remind me whether photographer contractors to US Federal Government agencies are covered under PD-USGov? File:Power County Wind Farm 002.jpg is by Douglas Barnes, who doesn't seem to be under normal employment by the DOE. --99of9 (talk) 10:27, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Not formally, but when the feds publish contractor work on a website without separate credit, it is what we usually use.
3 quotes from the explanation [16] accompanying the US Government Work license on Flickr"
  • "A United States government work is prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties."
  • "Works prepared for the U.S. government by independent contractors may be protected by copyright, which may be owned by the independent contractor or by the U.S. government."
  • "...images on a U.S. government website may be protected intellectual property not owned by the U.S. government, but used by permission of the rights holder. To ensure that you don’t mistakenly use protected intellectual property from one of our websites, check with the agency or program that manages the website."
There seems to be a contradiction here: by that explanation contractor work product is not "US Government Work", but the operator of an apparently official US government Flickr stream has put this file, with author attribution and copyright claim in the EXIF, up with that declaration. Since we know where to find the photographer, contacting him and obtaining OTRS clearance would seem the most direct approach.
It would be cleaner if we had {{PD-US federal contract work}} and {{PD-donated to the US federal government}} but that would not address the question posed by this picture. Dankarl (talk) 13:27, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Also, why does a photo in a DOE stream come with an "Executive Office of the President" label on upload? Is this something present but not visible on the Flickr page, or an assumption by our upload bot? Dankarl (talk) 13:38, 24 January 2013 (UTC)


This tag just came to my attention as it was added to Commons:Copyright tags. To me, it looks like the rationale is not based on any statements concerning copyright, but rather on a passage about the interaction of Washington's Public Records Act and privacy legislation, taken from the site's privacy notice.

Although frequently confused, copyright law and freedom of information legislation are two separate areas of law, and works covered by freedom of information legislation may still be protected by copyright. An obvious example is that of evidence in copyright trials. This evidence is typically public record, accessible for inspection by the public through freedom of information requests. If this also had the consequence of placing the evidence into the public domain, copyright lawsuits would defeat their own purpose.

It's quite clear that the State of Washington does not consider works by its employees to be in the public domain. The site's footer clearly states "© Copyright 2012 State of Washington", and the Logo section of the site states that "The Access Washington logo is a federally registered trademark of the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (DES) and is protected by copyright and trademark law."

Second opinions? LX (talk, contribs) 15:08, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree that the template looks wrong, so I have nominated it for deletion. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:17, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Since this seems to be a rather common mistake, should we create something like Commons:Freedom of information to go in Category:Commons licensing help? The second paragraph that I wrote above could be a start. LX (talk, contribs) 16:40, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Copyright status of image of Portuguese stamp circulated from 1974–1983

Hi. A stamp was issued in 1974 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Portuguese diplomat, scientist and Nobel prize winner Egas Moniz. You can see an image of one of the stamps here (he was awarded the Nobel prize in 1949 for developing leucotomy, otherwise known as lobotomy). The stamp was circulated between 1974–83 [17]. My question is: are images of Portuguese stamps in the public domain? FiachraByrne (talk) 23:23, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Flags of the World Copyright

I'm wanting to upload a flag image to the wiki that is from the FOTW (Flags of the World) website ( They have a copyright disclaimer (here:, but they haven't specified any licenses, just the conditions on which to use the images. Can anyone identify what license the work can come under?

Air55 (talk) 07:33, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

See Commons:Bad sources#Flags of the World. LX (talk, contribs) 07:51, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
Actually, Jaume Ollé allows his images on FOTW to be uploaded here (see User:ALE!/Flags). If a FOTW image is not by Jaume Ollé, then you're pretty much out of luck... AnonMoos (talk) 15:00, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

FoP Greece

I would like to draw attention to Commons:Deletion requests/File:Thermopylae.JPG as this may set a precedent on Commons if the photograph is kept. The current {{NoFoP-Greece}} is based on an interpretation of one line of the Act, whilst several sections appear to apply, making it clear that for certain commissioned works, particularly architecture, there may be a moral right of attribution but no economic rights. Consequently the risk of holding photographs of this type on Commons is that we may update the licence attribution statement if requested, but this may not be a rationale to delete such images. Should this create a precedent, then the FoP-Greece guidance and template should be amended. Thanks (talk) 16:29, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

UK WWI official photographs

I would appreciate another pair of eyes on the collection at Category:IWM Collections on Flickr. I have added some introductory rubric both on the category page and on the images but welcome recommendations if this is unclear or may not be correct. In these cases I believe {{PD-anon-70}} can apply to all these photographs with no named photographer, and {{PD-UKGov}} can apply more specifically where these are clearly 'official' photographs taken whilst in service. I am open to suggestions on alternative licensing or if there is some issue here I have missed and I am happy to make batch changes as needed. Thanks -- (talk) 07:57, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

{{PD-UKGov}} and {{PD-UK-unknown}} are probably fine in most cases. However, if some of the photos are unpublished (and not works of the British government), then non-compliance {{PD-US-unpublished}} causes problems in the US. --Stefan4 (talk) 10:03, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
These WWI photos appear to have been part of the War Cabinet archives since 1920 or earlier (these appear to have transferred to the IWM when they were created under an act of Parliament in 1920) and I assume this put them under Crown Copyright as a state/public archive and all 'official' identifiable photographs of the military in active service are likely to have been the default property of the Ministry/Department of Information (which came into existence in 1917/18) at the time they were created. I have emailed the Copyright department of the IWM to confirm that I am not doing anything "illegal" by uploading these to Wikimedia Commons and to confirm my understanding of how Crown Copyright seems to apply or are otherwise PD by default, due to age and lack of a known photographer. I doubt the IWM would want to start claiming first "publication" rights under recent European law by exhibiting these online, as these have been available to the public for the last 90 years, some are likely to have been used in other public exhibitions, and all collections are part of their commitment to access.
There is some confusion in their licensing, which I believe is unintentional, from their website:
Material identified as copyright of IWM and copyright of other parties including the Crown, may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium under the terms of the IWM Non-Commercial Licence unless otherwise indicated. Please ensure you acknowledge the copyright status of the material and for images, the inclusion of the attribution statement stated in Collections Search.
I believe the confusion is the attempt to apply a restrictive and custom non-commercial reuse licence to all material on their website rather than applying a proactive stance on "unless otherwise indicated", including material that is already public domain, already released under the Open Government licence or an expired Crown Copyright. I hope the IWM reply to my email, but if this fails then one might reasonably assume that they have no copyright related complaint or correction to make about my request to upload material that appears already public domain from their website(s); in particular material dating before 1 June 1957 under the Crown Copyright provisions and as interpreted by HMSO. Thanks -- (talk) 13:39, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
I vaguely remember the IWM webpage changing its default wording a year or so back, and that before that, each image had more individual licensing. Might be wrong though! I think it came up on the MilHist project about 14-15 months back during an ACR review when we noticed that the licensing comment had changed since a particular image had been uploaded to the Commons. Hchc2009 (talk) 18:33, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

I have had an official reply from the IP Manager for the Imperial War Museums, it is an interesting interpretation, see my original email and the reply at User:Fæ/email/IWM. The conclusion seems to be that the IWM accept that these images are out of copyright, and that we are free to take these images from their website but would like us to apply their custom IWM non-commercial use licence. This is another interesting interpretation of the claim of sweat of the brow as a means to retrospectively claim restrictions apply. I welcome alternative readings and opinions on what this means, particularly in the light of my uploads at Category:IWM Collections on Flickr. Thanks -- (talk) 00:29, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

UK Crown Copyright on photographs taken before June 1957 was 50 years from creation, not publication. Those are now all public domain. {{PD-scan}} (and {{PD-Art}}, if the reproduction was made by photography as opposed to scanning) are our policies on the matter. There may be something to their claim if PD-Art applies (at least in the UK), but the general thinking is that would not apply to simple scans. We could note the IWM claim though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:29, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Second tranche

I would welcome alternative eyes on Category:Imperial War Museum First World War Women's War Work Collection to check the licensing. The same rationale as above applies. Thanks -- (talk) 00:24, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Think that's OK. PD-UKGov is the primary reason, though you could change to {{PD-scan}} with a PD-UKGov argument. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:29, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Good suggestion, I have done exactly that. -- (talk) 11:56, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

I have another issue, there are a handful of posters in the collection online. These have been released by the IWM under their non-commercial licence, however not all are British propaganda. Some of these are Dutch, German or French. I have separated these into Category:Imperial War Museum First World War Women's War Work Collection posters. I would expect these are out of copyright, but could someone explain what the best licence to apply here is? At the moment these are under my default of PD-UKGov. Thanks -- (talk) 11:26, 26 January 2013 (UTC)


File:Hackerspace billboard.jpg Is this copyvio? Demin because it has many logos and not one as subject and text doesn't meet Com:TOO?

Flickr review checks out for the photo. I'd personally say that's a derivative of the logos because they're prominent and there's many of them, but it seems like a borderline case as the text is the most prominent element and it's not copyrightable. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:36, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Should I run it through DR then? I only have it in the one article now, but the movement has over 1000 affiliates around the world. Other language wp may start using the image soon so it would be nice to settle whether it can stay.--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:08, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes I think so although that may itself take a considerable time. Dcoetzee (talk) 10:03, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

I won't DR it, but someone may still. I tagged it text logo and trademark for now. All the logos look below TOO for the USA. The Noisebridge is the most complex but is just a small electronic circuit of a noise bridge. There are too many open frivolous DR now to worry about an acid test on this one. The only ones that should complain are the hackerspaces themselves and they prefer the exposure, I think.--Canoe1967 (talk) 12:59, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Hi, I am the photographer of the Hackerspace billboard.jpg photo. FWIW, this photo was taken while standing in a public space of a publicly viewable (obviously) object. IANAL and I'm not fully grasping what the issue is? Reviewer Dcoetzee has tagged/attributed my photo exactly as how I intended it to be done. Feel free to contact me via photos at DaveJenson period com if I can be of any assistance.
Thank you for submitting it with a free licence at flickr so we can use it here. The issue is not with your photo but some may find an issue with copyright on the logos on the billboard. Most should find the image acceptable on commons because the logos don't meet Commons:Threshold of originality and even if they do then they are Commons:De minimis in the image. I didn't realize there was a de min tag that I will add as well.--Canoe1967 (talk) 22:36, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Freedom of panorama: why is it a thing?

I see a lot of effort going into making sure Commons is free from images which violate Freedom of Panorama laws. I don't have a problem with anyone doing this (although I admit that I prefer not so much to ignore these laws than to 'reinforce my ignorance' of them). These kind of laws seem very strange to people from places where they don't walk among and inhabit giant pieces of others' intellectual property (although every country has certainly has its share of dumb legislation). [Edit: I phrased this wrong - I realize these laws don't regularly affect anyone anywhere, and the issue is not whether a building *itself* is intellectual property. It's still weird though..]

My ignorance used to be total, as many people's is, which must really annoy anyone who makes an effort to get rid of these images.

I know this has been discussed many times in many contexts, but I'm wondering why these laws exist. Does anyone have an idea of what they're designed to prevent? Or, whether they used to make sense and now they don't? --moogsi(blah) 14:40, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

In most countries a work of architecture is a copyrightable work -- and under current international conventions, copyrightable works are automatically copyrighted upon creation. Normally the creation of a derivative of a copyrighted work requires permission of the copyright holder, though there are some fair-use exemptions, e.g. for personal use. So, for example, it might be legal to take a photo for personal use (e.g. vacation snapshot) of the Portlandia statue, but you can't sell a poster, keychain, or t-shirt using that image (see [18]), and you can't have it in the background on a commercial video/movie. By comparison, consider the Sydney Opera House, which is also copyrighted. Because Australia has a Freedom of Panorama law covering buildings, you are free to not only take a vacation snapshot of the Opera House, but to include it in a wall calendar, use it on a book cover, and include images of it in a movie (e.g. Finding Nemo). In other words, "Freedom of Panorama" laws grant a freedom -- which does not otherwise exist -- to create and use derivatives of copyrighted architectural works (and in many cases 3D art, and in some cases 2D art as well). cmadler (talk) 15:29, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
You can read about a real situation here: [19]. A building in South Korea (google:UV하우스) appeared in a TV commercial for a bank without permission from the architect. A court ruled that the ones who had made the TV commercial had to pay a lot of money in compensation to the architect for copyright infringement.
There is another real situation here: w:Korean War Veterans Memorial#United States postage stamp court case. The US post used an image of a public memorial without permission from the sculptor, and a court ruled that the post had to pay a lot of money in compensation to the sculptor for copyright infringement.
In the Sydney Opera House case, I would assume that the architect nevertheless would be able to sue the French distributor of Finding Nemo. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:50, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
By default, copyright prevents you from freely distributing works based on other people's copyrighted works. Generally, you can't "liberate" a non-free TV broadcast, poster or sculpture simply by taking a photo of it. Freedom of panorama is an exception from this copyright protection that gives you the freedom you distribute depictions of other people's works under some circumstances. Hence, the expression "violating freedom of panorama" does not really make sense. Freedom of panorama is generally a good thing from our perspective. It's when copyright laws contain no freedom of panorama provisions (or only limited freedom of panorama provisions) that we have a problem. Some countries only have freedom of panorama for non-commercial purposes, some have freedom of panorama for works of architecture but not for sculptures, some have freedom of panorama for outdoor locations, while others extend it to indoor locations accessible to the public. Copyright laws, like all laws, vary from country to country in many aspects. The reasons for such variations may range from "nobody thought of it at the time" to "architects lobbied for the law to be written that way." LX (talk, contribs) 15:58, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

These answers are really helpful in highlighting a crucial thing I was missing: freedom of panorama usually must be a specific exception in copyright legislation. It did occur to me that in some cases, no FOP may exist incidentally somehow (ie "nobody thought of it at the time") and I did imagine someone making money from postcards of a building soon after photography was invented, and the architect not wanting them to make money from their work and lobbying, but I thought that was far-fetched :) Maybe in some cases enough freedom is granted for non-commercial purposes only, which still doesn't concur with Commons' idea of freedom --moogsi(blah) 16:23, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

It is indeed the case: some flavours of FoP are for non-commercial purposes only. See File:Freedom of Panorama in Europe NC.svg for the overview in Europe. Jean-Fred (talk) 17:13, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Ha thank you... it's almost as if I didn't read COM:FOP properly :) I like to vote at COM:DR in the hope that it makes deletion decisions easier... but I usually ignore FOP cases because I can't form an opinion without understanding what is going on. I have voted to delete some images that I would prefer that we keep because they are good pictures of beautiful architecture, but the law is the law :) --moogsi(blah) 18:34, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Old picture's of The Times Magazine

Hi. We have a old picture's of The Times magazine in fa wp in 25 September 1980 about Iran–Iraq War! I have a question about this picture, now! Can I move it to commons or No?--MehdiTalk 10:06, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

No, the PD-claim on fa.wp is wrong. --Martin H. (talk) 10:10, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks--MehdiTalk 15:15, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Category:Plaques in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Are the images in Category:Plaques in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum allowable? It seems like they're photos of three-dimensional relief sculptures, and thus derivative works. Powers (talk) 02:28, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree, the underlying works may be (are probably) copyrighted. cmadler (talk) 14:20, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Gov't contractor images and consensus building

A situation has arisen which, while I'm sure has come up before, I could not find a specific reference to. The U.S. Navy (and all branches) provides images from contractors relating to military projects. Their bylines can differ dramatically, but typically take the form of, for example, "U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding/Released". This can be interpreted in several ways: this is a contractor photo, period, and is thus copyrighted; this is a contractor photo taken as part of their contract duties, thus public domain; this is a contractor photo that has been released to the service, and thus released from copyright; on and on. (Of course, it is a little easier when the byline is simply "Courtesy Newport News Shipbuilding", "Courtesy SpaceX", etc...that pretty much makes it certain that the image is copyrighted.)

This is further complicated when the services start providing Flickr streams, such as the U.S. Navy, which blanket licenses everything as CC-by-2.0, regardless of who took the image. An example of this situation is this image on the website, and the same image on the Navy's Flickr stream. This creates another fork in the decision process: the onus of proof is on the service, and we can simply take their CC license at face value; take it further and decide that, since the service is part of U.S. Gov, the CC license is invalid and any such image should be considered public domain; or go in a different direction and independently decide if a given image is copyright or not, regardless of the service's applied license.

Those of us who deal with U.S. government (and military) works struggle with these types of situations often, and the outcomes are not always consistent. I wonder if we should not come up with some kind of consensus to handle these situations, providing a bit more consistency, and build a Commons: page to guide editors in deciding when an image is acceptable and when it is not. Perhaps it can go beyond just the military and provide scenarios for NASA (their KSC image gallery, for example, states that unless specifically noted, all contained images are without copyright) and another government services. Thanks for your comments! Huntster (t @ c) 03:24, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't see the inconsistency that you are referring to. Both attribute Ricky Thompson courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding and say that the image was released. Ryan Vesey Review me! 04:23, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
I was speaking more to how these situations are sometimes handled, rather than this specific case. But to the point, most images on the Navy website say released, even ones taken by Navy photographers. I would suppose it means something other than "rights released", perhaps simply that the image file was released to the Navy or released for public consumption (rather than "For Internal Use Only" or "Confidential"), but that is the point of trying to get a conversation going about this general situation. Huntster (t @ c) 06:36, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Gotcha. What are the laws if someone incorrectly redistributes content under a license that the original author didn't? Does blame lie with the one who redistributed it? I.e. if someone uses a copyrighted photo that had been flickrwashed, does the user or the flickr account owner get in trouble? If it is the person who redistributes it, I certainly wouldn't suggest ignoring the vast majority of Flickrwashing cases, but I would suggest taking the government's word for it on any site if they say an image is free. Ryan Vesey Review me! 13:32, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
In general, I believe both the distributor and the user could be in trouble. For instance, our advice to re-users explicitly warns them that "[...] the Wikimedia Foundation does not provide any warranty regarding the copyright status or correctness of licensing terms. If you decide to reuse files from Commons, you should verify the copyright status of each image just as you would when obtaining images from other sources." The implication there is that re-users could be liable for copyright infringement if the file isn't correctly licensed, even when we have said it's freely available. --Avenue (talk) 14:30, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
Do you have some examples of inconsistencies in mind? They might help us identify problem areas.
In your statement that one possibility is that "this is a contractor photo taken as part of their contract duties, thus public domain", I don't think the conclusion is correct. A photo can still be under copyright if it is taken by a federal contractor as part of their contracted duties. (Many of the files nominated in this recent DR for USAP photos were examples of this.) The copyright might still be held by the contractor, or it might've been assigned to the contracting agency (e.g. if required by the contract), but it would usually still remain under copyright in either case. --Avenue (talk) 14:57, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

All images marked as courtesy photo do not fall under PD-USGov regulation as they are not work of the federal government. Even if they are a work under contract, they are still not created by an employee of the US fedgov but by an employee of the company under contract. Thus the copyright is retained by the photographer or the company. If the US Navy accidentally releases such an image under free CC license it's their fault and they may be sued for this but I doubt a company would do this. The "Release" marking is just a term for an image cleared for public use (i.e. contains no secret material). --Denniss (talk) 15:27, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

U.S. Government work

I was about to upload this image with Brian's flickr upload tool, but was told that it isn't licensed under a sufficiently free license. As far as I can see, U.S. government work should be sufficiently free. Have I misunderstood anything, or is it the tool that doesn't understand the license? --Jonund (talk) 15:44, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't know why it doesn't work, but in the meanwhile, you can use tools:~magnus/flickr2commons.php for US government images. I confirmed that the tool works by uploading the image to File:Secretary Clinton Arrives in Nairobi, Kenya.jpg. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:48, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Superior National Forest's photostream on Flickr

In the profile they say:

All images in the Superior National Forest photostream are in the Public Domain. 
We ask that you attribute the Forest for any images you use for non-commercial purposes. 
Please follow this link for USDA Forest Service disclaimers and important notices:

But many image are tagged as all rights reserved. Would someone confirm that we can upload images from the flickr stream and tag them as PD? Opinions?

Thanks, Amada44  talk to me 18:49, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

That's just the default setting and they didn't change it. USDA is a US federal agency and their works are in the public domain by law (as long as they're created by US federal employees in the course of their duties). Their attribution request is just a request, and is not compulsory. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:00, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Unsigned engravings from an 1893 UK book

This one is so close on so many accounts: The Pentateuch of Printing (hosted at the Internet Archive. It's a book published in the USA in 1891 (several other versions are hosted on the Archive, one of which is from Chicago), so clearly okay with that respect. However, while it was published the same year in the US as in its source country, I can't find any indication whether or not it was within the 30 day limit, so it's on to the next question of it's status in the UK. To begin, the book was published posthumously in 1891, so the author of the book is over 120 years dead, and apparently the illustrations had been assembled by the author prior to then (leaving the manuscript mostly intact when printed, according to the preface). The only problem is that other than the elaborate title-page (who's engraver, "G.G. Manton", i.e. G. Granville Manton, who died in 1932, ergo 80 years ago), few of the other non-historical images (i.e. reproductions of much older ones) have any sort of indication as to who the engraver was; in particular, the ones that appear custom-made for the book to illustrate particular letterpress printing concepts, which are the ones of interest (e.g. the diagrams on pages 53 and 89). There is no mention anywhere in the front-mater or end-matter as to who did them (though some engravings are cited as to where the original came from). Would they take from the author? Would the title-page maker be imputed to them? Or is this lack of attribution sufficient to be considered an anonymous work? And if so, how would such an anonymous 1891 work be treated in the UK? Or would the combination of all these factors be sufficient? Advice? Morgan Riley (talk) 06:00, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

If it's truly anonymous, then it's now out of copyright. Can't help you with the rest... AnonMoos (talk) 06:35, 31 January 2013 (UTC)