Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2013/06

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

Acceptability of The Australian Copyright Council as a source

As background, there's a minor dispute (in OTRS) about whether a particular image can be uploaded. The individual mentioned in passing that in Australia, purchasing a photo also purchased the copyright. I would normally simply dismiss this, but the person is the publisher of a magazine, so want to be sure. I don't believe it applies to the dispute, so the timing isn't urgent.

I reviewed Commons:Copyright_rules_by_territory#Australia, which didn't support the claim, but didn't exactly refute it.

I did find an answer in documents at The Australian Copyright Council so my question is—do editors believe that The Australian Copyright Council is a Reliable Source?--Sphilbrick (talk) 13:03, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

According to it seems that commissioned works do transfer the copyright from the photographer to the customer. Information Sheet G058v07 may be a government document. The Australian Copyright Council does seem to be a sister project with the government. "This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, it's arts funding and advisory body." From: The National Library recommends the same document: --Canoe1967 (talk) 15:34, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
The site seems extremely accurate at first blush, though as anywhere else it should be able to cite actual laws or court decisions to back up its information. You may want to be more clear about what you mean by "purchasing a photo" though, and the specific information you found. Simply purchasing a copy does not give you copyright -- the site you reference makes that clear in its information. They also explicitly state that purchasing the negative does not give you copyright either. If you are commissioning a photo though, it may be different, and the rules changed quite a bit in 1998 from the looks of it. There are a couple of parts of section 35 of their copyright law (the part pertaining to copyright ownership):
(4) If a literary, dramatic or artistic work:
(a) is made by the author under the terms of his or her employment by the proprietor of a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical under a contract of service or apprenticeship; and
(b) is so made for the purpose of inclusion in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical;
the following paragraphs apply:
(c) the author is the owner of the copyright only in so far as the copyright relates to:
(i) reproduction of the work for the purpose of inclusion in a book; or
(ii) reproduction of the work in the form of a hard copy facsimile (other than a hard copy facsimile made as part of a process of transmission) made from a paper edition of, or from another hard copy facsimile made from a paper edition of, an issue of the newspaper, magazine or similar periodical, but not including reproduction by the proprietor for a purpose connected with the publication of the newspaper, magazine or similar periodical;
(d) except as provided by paragraph (c), the proprietor is the owner of the copyright.
(5) Subject to the last preceding subsection, where:
(a) a person makes, for valuable consideration, an agreement with another person for the taking of a photograph for a private or domestic purpose, the painting or drawing of a portrait or the making of an engraving by the other person; and
(b) the work is made in pursuance of the agreement;
the first‑mentioned person is the owner of any copyright subsisting in the work by virtue of this Part, but, if at the time the agreement was made that person made known, expressly or by implication, to the author of the work the purpose for which the work was required, the author is entitled to restrain the doing, otherwise than for that purpose, of any act comprised in the copyright in the work.
Per the above, if someone is an employee of a newspaper, magazine, or similar periodical, that employee still retains the copyright when it comes to republishing the photos in a book or other hard copies unrelated to the magazine's business, while the magazine etc. proprietor retains all other rights. So, it would seem to be somewhat of a split copyright. Section 35(5) says that the copyright of a paid, commissioned photograph taken for a private or domestic purpose is owned by the commissioning party, not the photographer. Prior to 1998 (see here), the phrase "for a private or domestic purpose" was not there, so that applied to just about any commissioned photograph (but again, not purchasing an existing photograph I don't think). Also prior to 1998, that section (4) was different, and I think gave even fewer rights to the magazine proprietor, though still had split rights. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:42, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Is this a copyvio?

File:ECR Browser showing conservation of FAM149A gene structure across different species..png Palosirkka (talk) 12:43, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
how bout File:EFY iOS Jailbreak software.png Palosirkka (talk) 13:29, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

The second image is not copyrighted because it contains nothing that is under copyright protection. The first one is ok as well if the uploader is the author as they claim. Ruslik (talk) 16:08, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. Palosirkka (talk) 18:05, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
I've nominated the second one for deletion; the text is copyrightable, as well as the giant apple.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:01, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Passerby... I thought text wasnt copyrightable in the US (the Coca Cola logo isnt even copyrighted - it is a trademark though). Similar with the Apple Logo, isnt it too simple an image to be covered by copyright? (It would of course, also be a trademark) -- Nbound (talk) 15:11, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
The Harry Potter books are certainly copyrightable in the US. How much text does it take to be copyrighted is a hard question, but this certainly isn't a pair of words.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:14, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Share Alike

Hey, I have a question concerning the "Share Alike"-condition in CC-licenses. What if a television broadcaster use a picture licensed under the "Share Alike"-license in a TV show. Is now the whole TV show licensed under the Share Alike-license? --Excolis (talk) 14:04, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Not necessarily, the author could have given them permission to use it in their programme. There may be other kinds of issues at play such as Freedom of Panorama provisions -- Nbound (talk) 15:00, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Commons:Viral licenses are not automatic. It's unlikely that a lawsuit would require them to release the whole as CC-BY-SA in any case; the best you could get would be damages, and then they would remove the picture for future broadcastings. Moreover, the TV shows can be argued to be classified as a collection under the terms of the CC-BY-SA license, and collections are not subject to the obligation that the whole is under the CC-BY-SA.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:28, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Youtube-Videos (non-CC) embedded on creators website as CC-SA

A person create an video and upload it to youtube with the default youtube licence (non-CC). Then the user embedded this video on his homepage and write on his homepage "all media on my homepage are under CC-SA." If I like to get the video, I have to download it from youtube. Which licence has the downloaded video? Non-CC as given by youtube or CC-SA by the creator? --Slick (talk) 21:34, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

It would help enormously if you would share the relevant links so we can look at the pages. -- Asclepias (talk) 21:45, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
It still has YouTube license. But you can ask the author if you can use the YouTube video under a free license or if he provided you with a free copy. If he offers the contents of his page as CC-SA, he'll probably agree.
What you're asking goes even much further as you might have thought: Actually it's currently investigated by German lawyers if embedding a non-free YouTube video is not already a copyright violation on it's own! --Patrick87 (talk) 21:58, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
I hate to point out the obvious, but you could contact the creator in regards to downloading a CC-SA copy. Chances are, he'll either tell you how or just send you a file. -- Nbound (talk) 02:01, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
We ask the creator and he allow us to use his file. But the point is that we have only his file from youtube (published with non-free licence). So my question is, if the file was downloaded from youtube can the creator give us the CC for this file? Or we MUST get a copy from creator without download it from youtube? --Slick (talk) 07:05, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
You can use the video from YouTube, as long as its content was not altered from the version the creator allowed you to use. Re-compression of the video (as YouTube might have done) does not change copyright status and the creator of a file can release it under as many licenses as he wants. The license is not bound to the copy but to the original work. --Patrick87 (talk) 09:27, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Licenses of photographs from a recent book

We need more voices in User_talk:Svedjebruk#Improper_license discussion. The issue is that OTRS Ticket:2013040210010711 certifies that the book "Svedjebruk" by Per Martin Tvengsberg is released under CC license. The ticket is based on email from the book author and seems to be fine. The issue is that the book contains many photographs, drawings, etc. by others and those in my opinion are not covered by the OTRS ticket and the CC license. For example File:Jussisaun.JPG is by "Helmi Virtaranta" and was taken in 1954, and we do not have any related copyright information. If others agree with my assessment I will nominate those files for deletion. --Jarekt (talk) 17:12, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Template:PD-IDGov question

Our template, in translation, reads "There shall be no infringement of Copyright for: ... publication and/or reproduction of anything which is published by and/or behalf of the Government, except if the Copyright is declared to be protected by law or regulation or by statement on the work itself or at the time the work is published. A question has arisen regarding what kind of statement must be made. Would "Hak Cipta x" ("Copyright x") be enough, or would they need a statement like "Hak cipta dilindungi undang-undang" ("Copyright protected by law")? I've always assumed the former, but some other editors are suggesting (and making a good point) that an explicit declaration of copyright protection is needed, not just a statement of copyright. Any thoughts? Crisco 1492 (talk) 11:27, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Please link the relevant discussion(s). Dankarl (talk) 16:24, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Discussion was on Facebook, in Indonesian. Here if you can follow it.Crisco 1492 (talk) 03:29, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

File:Halley 1986 by ESO gpo 1386002-cc.jpg

Although this images has a lincence accepted by commons, when I saw the extended details of Metadata, it mentioned two things:

  • Copyright status: Public domain
  • Usage terms: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

How can these two differ and which is the correct lincence? --C messier (talk) 15:32, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Possibly simple confusion of terminology. ESO website clearly says CC. You might want to email them. Dankarl (talk) 16:04, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Use photos from in commons?

I would like to upload pictures on Commons from this site:

When searching for landscape photos I found a site with very good pictures that are supposed to be public domain. Unfortunately, I found there is no terms of use, only the heading "Free stock photos." On the Internet I found out about some items that identify and recommend the images into the public domain. Moreover, the site is online since 2003 and it clearly has no legal given problems I think.

Is it possible to upload images under the PD-license and to identify a direct link like this: File:Painted Hills Oregon.jpg

Greetings --Ökologix (talk) 11:17, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi, "free" can have a lot of different meanings in this context: free to print and hang on your wall, free to use on your private website etc. For Commons, we also need "free to edit" and "free to sell", but this is rarely what people mean when they put something on the web "for free". We cannot simply assume that something is in the en:Public domain just because there is a big "free" written over it. So unless you are able to make sure that a) the owner of the website owns the copyright of the images posted there and b) is willing to release them under an accepted license (via Commons:OTRS or by adding an appropriate note to the website), we cannot use these pictures. Greetings, --El Grafo (talk) 09:52, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Did you notice that there is a copyright notice on the bottom of every page and no mention of public domain anywhere to be seen? There is an email link so why not make contact. Ww2censor (talk) 11:49, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Request for assistance on photograph from David Austin Roses

Hi, I recently asked for permission from David Austin Roses to release a picture of Graham Stuart Thomas holding his namesake David Austin Rose to Commons. While there is no fixed date to the photo, it would probably have been taken c1983, when the rose was released to market. David Austin Roses distribute this picture very freely editorially for a credit to them. The response I received was this:

"Although we do make all our pictures available for editorial purposes in return for a credit, I do not believe that we can take a step further and release it under the Creative Commons or "free licence" principle, which permits anyone else to use, modify, or deal commercially with the image We always commission photography with a particular agreement that allows us to make it available for publication, but do not go so far as to say that anyone else can deal commercially with the image. This is an old picture and I imagine the concept of Creative Commons or ‘free licence’ may not have existed at the time it was taken. We don’t have a record of the original photographer’s name, so cannot try to trace him or her to get permission. It doesn’t seem right to allow the picture into the Creative Commons without that permission. In addition, I don’t know the age of the picture, or whether there is a time limits on photographer’s rights etc. I have taken a look at the page on Wikipedia about this and it seems quite confusing. I am sure that you will have lots of experience with this, so if you have any thoughts or comments, please let me know."

As I don't have lots of experience with this, I wondered if anyone can provide guidance for David Austin Roses based on similar situations with archive photos where records are patchy. The photographer is not credited on the image and they don't know his/her name. While this can't be proven, it would imply that the photo was commissioned on an "all rights" to David Austin Roses basis at the time. Were this the case, would this be assumed to cover "free licence" today or is this a grey area? Thanks for your help as I would like to go back to David Austin Roses with some form of response as they've taken the time to answer my enquiry, even though it looks to be a no go on uploading to Commons unless and until further info on the photo turns up. Thanks. Libby norman (talk) 09:25, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

It sounds like they have a pretty good handle on the situation. Too bad we can't use the image, but nice that they are paying attention and giving the situation some thought. Dankarl (talk) 15:01, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

? flickr image claims CC BY 2.0 but ? (c)

Following a tv programme in the UK yesterday I have started an article on the English wikipedia about The Old House, Milverton. There is an image on flickr of the relevant mural which claims to be CC BY 2.0 but includes a watermark (bottom left) saying (c) SWNS.COM. Can anyone advise whether this is OK to upload & use?Rodw (talk) 07:54, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Not okay; it's clearly been copied from the Mail article (linked below the photo) which has the same watermark. Mistake by the flickr user, I suspect. Andrew Gray (talk) 09:26, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Clothes patterns from existing clothes

Hi, I draw patterns from existing commercially sold of-the-shelf clothes with Inkscape and would like to upload some of these to Commons. Here is an example. I consider these patterns my own work. I found this in the archive: "Clothing is generally utilitarian, and not protectable by copyright (though masks can be, and the designs on clothes can be);" (source). What do you think about this, can I proceed?--Liberumia (talk) 18:27, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

In the source discussion (Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2012/05#Cosplay images), a user mentioned that "It's been established many times that clothing is overall 'functional' or 'utilitarian' under United States copyright law ... Much the same reasoning explains why haute couture designers can't prevent cheap knock-off imitations from being made." If this is true, then the physical design is not copyrightable, and the only copyright is for the artistic originality of the drawings. If you did not use someone else's drawings as your source, then the only copyright is yours. Commons allows works where all copyright interest is licensed as {{CC-BY-SA-3.0}}. Commons accepts SVG as a file format also: see Help:SVG for information (especially the section about fonts). --Closeapple (talk) 11:24, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for the quick reply and the hint about fonts. I will proceed with uploading clothes patterns.--Liberumia (talk) 11:46, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
Note that some clothes aren't utilitarian. See for example where it was concluded that a Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet only is utilitarian in the United Kingdom but not in the United States. Don't we need to determine at a case-to-case basis whether the clothes are utilitarian or not? --Stefan4 (talk) 09:19, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
A helmet, regardless of type (bicycle helmet, stormtrooper helmet, military helmet), can hardly be regarded as a piece of clothing. Thomas.W (talk) 15:13, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
On the other hand, a normal military or bicycle helmet is of course utilitarian, so that doesn't change anything. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:15, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Why isn't a helmet a piece of clothing? I wear shoes to protect my feet, a jacket to protect my chest, and a helmet to protect my head--why is only a helmet not a piece of clothing? Is a hat not a piece of clothing, and if it is why is an armored hat not a piece of clothing? I really don't get the distinction you're making here.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:52, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
"Clothing is fiber and textile material worn on the body" (en-wiki/with the origin of the word being cloth, that is woven fabric). So neither shoes nor helmets are clothes/clothing. Thomas.W (talk) 18:23, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Wiktionary and several other dictionaries lacks a real definition of clothing. The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary says "things such as dresses and trousers that you wear to cover, protect, or decorate your body", which certainly goes back to my definition. Your definition is problematic especially for the purpose of copyright; you can take a standard dress or jeans pattern and make them out of leather, which would make them not clothing by your definition and their pattern copyrightable.
Merriam-Webster says a belt is "a strip of flexible material worn especially around the waist as an item of clothing or a means of carrying something (as tools)". That contradicts your definition, as belts are usually made of leather, not cloth.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:46, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Sticking with Wikipedia, it contradicts itself: it says "Clothing can and has in history been made from a very wide variety of materials. Materials have ranged from leather and furs, to woven materials, to elaborate and exotic natural and synthetic fabrics." And continues "Not all body coverings are regarded as clothing. Articles carried rather than worn (such as purses), worn on a single part of the body and easily removed (scarves), worn purely for adornment (jewelry), or those that serve a function other than protection (eyeglasses), are normally considered accessories rather than clothing, as are footwear and hats." I'm still not comfortable reading Wikipedia into the law.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:54, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
More to the point, the U.S. excludes useful articles from copyright, not clothes explicitly. See this Copyright Office article. Clothing is one example, but there are lots of others. The distinction between clothes and shoes is not relevant to U.S. copyright. (However, the graphical design printed on clothing can be copyrighted -- that is considered "conceptually separable" from the useful article). The schematic drawings themselves may be copyrightable -- don't copy them from somewhere else. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:32, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Something you wear is equally utilitarian regardless of whether it is made out of cloth or metal. Also keep in mind that files on Commons both have to be free in the United States and in the source country of the clothes. The copyright law of the source country might say something completely different. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:02, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Some Chinese photos from the 1930s/1940s

From the "archives" of my family, I have two photos made in China which might be of historical value and useful for Commons, I think. The photographer of both photos is unknown; one probably was made in the 1930s, the other one is clearly dated 1943. Both show events of some significance (one is the first Roman Catholic funeral in Tailai; the other's subject is unclear to me - a kind of military-looking music band posing with a Catholic missionary and some banners with Chinese script which I can't read but others certainly can). So, as the nature of these photos is not entirely private (the priest shown in both photos is related to me), I assume that they saw at least some kind of limited "publication" when they were made, e.g. by distributing copies to interested parties. - Now, of course, this all leads to the question whether the photos would be acceptable on Commons. In China, they seem to be in the public domain according to {{PD-China}} (PD 50 years after first publication or 50 years after creation for unpublished works). But they would also need to be in the public domain in the U.S., and that's where it gets tricky. According to the Hirtle chart, the photos would be PD if first published outside the U.S. from 1923 through 1977 "without compliance with US formalities, and in the public domain in its source country as of URAA date". If we assume publication shortly after creation, the photos were already in the public domain in China as of January 1, 1996 (URAA date), and I don't think publication was in compliance with US formalities. So far, sounds good... However, this all rests on (reasonable though, I think) assumptions. The photos look like made for publication to me, but it might be the case that they were not widely published. On the other hand, an event such as "the first Roman Catholic funeral in Tailai" might have made it to some missionary magazine or the like... What do you think? Would it be a reasonable course to upload these photos with {{PD-China}} and {{PD-1996}} for the U.S.? Or, as I sadly have no evidence of prior publication whatsoever, should we strictly assume that the photos are unpublished, which would make the 1943 one protected in the U.S. until 2063 (1943 + 120 years) - so they would need to sit in the family archive until then, as there would be no traceable copyright owner with the right to publish them...? I would be a very, very old man by then ;-) Gestumblindi (talk) 20:24, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

This is a really annoying situation, and part of a much bigger problem. We have lots of images with, say, {{PD-Sweden-photo}}, {{PD-Australia}} or {{PD-Canada}}, but with no indication of any publication. Should we delete all of those unless publication information is added or they are, say, at least 150 years old? I assume that most of those photos were published, but some were probably not. One big problem is that old photos often come from secondary sources which don't indicate the publication history of the photos, so adding the missing information is usually difficult. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:16, 9 June 2013 (UTC)


Hello, can I upload the black and white image of Jan Rychtařík from this site as PD-old without doubts about its copyright status, please? The only information provided there is that Jan Rychtařík died 110 years ago (so we can assume that a photographer have died more than 70 years ago) and that the photo comes from Western Bohemian Museum archives. --Loupeznik (talk) 20:32, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

If he died 110 years ago, then the photo was taken about 1900. There are lots of works from 1900 still in copyright in life+70 nations; if the photographer was 20 when it was taken, and lived to 100, he died in 1980 and the work will be out of copyright in 2050. We don't know if the photographer is properly anonymous or if or when the photograph was published.--Prosfilaes (talk) 06:46, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Although I agree in principle with Prosfilaes, I'm not sure I like his reasoning here. While the subject died around 1900, we are not told when in his life the image was taken. The beard makes it hard to guess his age, but I'd say he was around sixty in the image. According to the image source, he was born in 1819 and died in 1902, aged 83. If my guess of age sixty in the image is correct, then it was taken around 1880, which is the date I generally use as old enough to safely assume that the photographer died before 1943. (A photograph taken in 1880 by a twenty year old photographer who lived to be eighty years old would be out of copyright. Remember that our rule is "significant doubt" -- if it were "any doubt" then any photograph would be suspect -- an image taken in 1840, at the very beginning of photography, by a ten year old who lived to be a hundred and thirteen would still be in copyright today.) .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 10:21, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Intentional but minor usage of non free logos?

What is the general belief for cases when non free logos are intentionally used for representation but it's only a minor usage? I'm particularly thinking of the various PRISM slides like File:Prism slide 2.jpg. My understanding of how Commons:De minimis applies to cases like this is limited but it seems to me unlike say a building where the logo is incidental and a core part of a building, or where a logo just happens to appear, this is more complicated. In particular, I would assume if we were to make such a slide ourselves, it wouldn't be acceptable since the logo is intentional used and unnecessary. OTOH does the fact that this is a slide from the US government and represented as such imply it is okay since it's them that used the logo? P.S. The MSN and Paltalk, and possibly the AOL logo which I couldn't find appear to be considered non free. Nil Einne (talk) 07:54, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

In this particular case, I think the logos are so tiny as to be devoid of any copyrightable material. You can barely make out any detail in the graphics. -- King of ♠ 08:27, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
Most of these logos do not have a USA copyright as they are simply text, albeit in a special font in some cases. I'm not sure I agree with KoH in the case of MSN, Skype, and Apple. In Apple's case, the apple with the bite missing is clearly visible. In the other two, the special shapes are also visible. I would be more comfortable with keeping this image if we cropped off the logos. On the other hand, there's not a lot of case law on this -- it's entirely possible that a court would hold that a sponsor's logo on a Powerpoint slide was automatically de minimis because by definition it can be removed without changing the actual content of the slide. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 10:05, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
In Sweden we had a case with thumbnail photos on a small website screenshot which was found not to be OK because the purpose was to show how the website displays images. Based on that, I would say that this image isn't OK in Sweden because the purpose of the logos is to show that those services are in the United States. However, US law might be different in this aspect. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:22, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Public transport tickets

Many if not most of the images in Category:Public transport tickets and all subcategories seem to me to be above the threshold of originality. Have there been any DR decisions about such images which would justify having them here? darkweasel94 15:49, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Regarding Copyright of Google e-books

There are lot of Google ebooks uploaded to Commons. Most of these e-books are scanned copy of Public Domain books. Few of these type of Books are available here. An example of a particular file is this

The first page of all these e-books has the following statements.

Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order
to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical 
restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:
+ '''Make non-commercial''' use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use 
these files for personal, '''non-commercial purposes'''.
+ Maintain attribution The Google “watermark” you see on each file is essential for informing people about this 
project and helping them find additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it.

Is this statement by Google is Copyfraud since these books are in Public Domain? if it is not copyfraud, can we upload these files to Commons since Commons prohibits non-Commercial license? Kindly help as this one affects many wikisource projects.

NOTE: Here I am referring only to those e-books that are in Public Domain according to US laws. --Shijualex (talk) 13:57, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Doesn't even look like a copyright statement to me (no (c) symbol, no "copyright"), nor anything legally binding. It's a request, a gentleman's agreement of sorts, that we provide attribution and use for non-commercial uses. Considering the generally low resolution scans provided by Google, there are likely technical measures used to apply this "agreement". In other words, they should still be uploadable to Commons.Crisco 1492 (talk) 16:00, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Well, sounds clear to me: Those books are in the public domain, therefore Google doesn't hold any copyright on them. The sentence "We also ask that you:" is a wish, no legal statement. --Patrick87 (talk) 16:47, 4 June 2013 (UTC

Thanks for the clarification. I want to make sure that there are no copyright issues in uploading these e-books to Commons. There are thousands of these type of google books available for various languages. The immediate beneficiary of these PD books are various wikisources. Also since we can extract images from these e-books Commons will also benefit. --Shijualex (talk) 02:34, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

The first page ("This is a digital copy of a book...") is © Google and isn't permitted on Commons as it doesn't seem to be freely licensed.
The rest of the pages are free in some countries and unfree in other countries. They are free in the United States. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:07, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for this update. Actually I removed that page from all the e-books that i uploaded to Commmons. --Shijualex (talk) 10:16, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Tyler-Jane Mitchel

Our article on Tyler-Jane Mitchel has no image, but her agent has two images for download. What is the status of such images? May I download the color image and use it? -- BullRangifer (talk) 20:36, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

The terms for reuse of the images are not clear enough for the Commons, since the website just says "Download image" and also "© Kathryn Rawlings and Associates Limited". You will need to contact the agent and ask specifically if they are willing to license the photograph under a free licence such as {{cc-zero}} or {{cc-by-3.0}}. Once you have an e-mail from the agent confirming this, forward it to For more information on this procedure, see "Commons:OTRS". — SMUconlaw (talk) 08:54, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. An email has been sent. -- BullRangifer (talk) 14:20, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

FoP Mexico


I need to know two things about Commons:Freedom_of_Panorama#Mexico :

  1. Is it a valid license? JuTa said to me that "FOP-Templates are for a copyright exection for murals, scultures, building etc. placed in public space in several countries. But the fotos themself have its own copyright, the fotografer has to release the foto with a free license like any other foto on commons". But, I've noticed that, according to these explanations, "photographing 2D art (e.g. paintings) [...] does not generate any new copyright because the resulting work is defined entirely by the original work; there is no creative input. Therefore authors who create 2D copies are not entitled to copyright for these works, and the copyright of the original work applies". So JuTa answered me that "Such murals seems to be a special case if nothing of the "surrounding" is visible. But this dos not change the fact that FOP templates does not count as license templates. Such images without will apear anytime in Category:Media without a license: needs history check, and will by flagged as no license by people helping in that category"". So, what license shall we chose for File:Esclavismo.jpg, for example?
  2. Can I upload to Commons such kind of pictures (like this one), even if I'm not the author, because "photographing 2D art (e.g. paintings) [...] does not generate any new copyright"?

El ComandanteSkull and crossbones.svgHasta ∞ 19:43, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

There are two copyright restrictions involved: The restriction status of the original art, and the restriction status of photographs of that art. Usually both copyrights are present in a photograph. But there are exceptions for each one:
  1. "Freedom of panorama" is a concept that refers to copyright and rights of art displayed in public: If that art (or anything copyrighted) is in a "public place", then its copyright does not restrict other people from photographing it. (In Mexico, FOP requires that the source is mentioned, and that the reproduction does not reduce the original artist's normal ability to exploit the art, and that the reproduction does not alter the work. The part about not reducing the artist's exploitation is usually not allowed on Commons, but I guess someone has allowed it when it applies to FOP.)
  2. {{PD-art}} is a concept that refers to copyright and rights of each reproduction of 2-D art (for example, a photograph or scan): Usually photographers own a new copyright on their photos; but a direct reproduction ("faithful reproduction") of art does not create a new copyright for the photographer. It is Commons policy that these "faithful reproductions" have no new copyright for the photographer/reproducer; only the copyright and rules of the original art matter. In other words, if you have 2-D art "A", and someone photographs it exactly, so you have a photo "B" that looks just like "A", then the photographer has no rights: You can copy "B" the same way as "A".
Normally, I would give two answers to these questions:
  1. If someone takes a photograph or reproduction of a mural in a public place (Freedom of Panorama), then he only has to follow the law about Freedom of Panorama, not the wishes of the mural artist. We would use {{FoP-Mexico}} to show that we don't need the original artist's copyright permission/license.
  2. If someone uses or copies an exact reproduction (simple photograph, etc.) of any 2-D work, then he only has to follow the law about the original 2-D work, not the wishes of the photographer. We would use {{PD-art}} to show that we don't need the photographer's copyright permission/license.
My "easy" answer would be to use {{PD-art|{{FoP-Mexico}}}}, but that seems like maybe it doesn't contain any license either — the work isn't really in the public domain. Maybe we need to invent a new {{FoP-2D-art}} template to explain this situation. In my opinion, the true "license" for Commons is: that a "faithful" photograph, no matter who took it, has the same permission and restrictions as a public mural in Mexico does. --Closeapple (talk) 10:51, 1 June 2013 (UTC)
3 concerns
  1. It seems that argument may apply in Mexico, but Bridgeman v Corel is a US precedent; what is Mexican law on reproductions of art? Is a copyright created?
  2. With respect to FOP in Mexico, it is not just the provision protecting the Artist's right to exploit the work, but the non-modification provision that are of concern for Commons; effectvely a NC-ND license.
  3. To argue that public display of a 2D artwork in a FOP country is tantamount to a worldwide free license to the work may be pushing it, and to argue that it then effectively in the public domain is even more of a stretch. Courts consider intent and effect, and logical extrapolation is not always accepted. Dankarl (talk) 16:58, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I can't understand all. What should I do?
  1. JuTa created this new template and used it on File:Esclavismo.jpg and File:Mural pbm.jpg. Is it correct?
  2. Can I upload this file, even if I'm not the author?
El Comandante (talk) 00:26, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
My read, based on my concerns above and Carl Lindberg's comment on Village Pump is
  1. The new template is wrong, and
  2. No
This discussion would have been a lot clearer if you'd kept it to one forum Dankarl (talk) 00:42, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, but it seemed to me that nobody could anwser my questions properly. Thank you for yours ; however, could you explain :
  1. Why the template created by JuTa is wrong?
  2. What should we do with this template?
  3. What license can be applied to images like File:Esclavismo.jpg and File:Mural pbm.jpg?
  4. Why couldn't I upload similar images (like the one I quoted you), if "photographing 2D art (e.g. paintings) [...] does not generate any new copyright"?
Sorry if I should understand all of this now, but my english is not fluent.
El Comandante (talk) 18:41, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
OK, I'll give it a try.
  1. The template is most blatantly wrong because it claims the image is PD. Freedom of panorama does not make an object or its images PD, it is more like a license for limited use of derivative images. In FOP cases Commons has been ignoring restrictions in FOP policies that amount to no-commercial-use and no-modification restrictions but that is a feature of Commons policy and does not make those provisions go away. The image is also not PD because the US does not have freedom of panorama for either 2D or 3D artworks, so there is nothing in US law that could even remotely be construed to support a PD argument. The template may additionally be wrong for other reasons discussed in 3 below.
  2. The last I looked, it was not really a new template, it was a PD-because with the particular claim inserted as argument. So it does not require an independent deletion case , it can simply be deleted from the image page.
  3. It is not clear any existing policy or US law allows those images - this point needs more discussion. The biggest weakness in your argument is you are trying to combine a US precedent (Bridgeman v Corel, the basis for PD-art) with a Mexican law. Mexican law applies in Mexico and US law applies in the US, you can't combine them because the jurisdictions are different. Commons Policy is that images need to be legal in the source country and the US (PD art is an exception where we follow US law only). Commons has been allowing FOP images of 3D objects located in FOP countries because of a lack of court precedents. Where objections have been raised by the artist, the images have been taken down. Waiting for the courts to clarify the law is not the same as deciding the law does not apply. Dankarl (talk) 20:43, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
  4. See 3. Dankarl (talk) 20:43, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
OK, so, if I understand well, File:Esclavismo.jpg and File:Mural pbm.jpg, and even all images in the Category:FoP-Mexico, should be deleted because their publication is not allowed by US law, is it what you mean? If I didn't understand what you mean, and if these files can be published here, what license should we use? El Comandante (talk) 10:15, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
I didn't say to delete, though you may want to. You have identified a gap in our current licensing policy and it does not appear anyone has an established answer to give you. There are several ways to get more discussion going - a deletion review would be one way, or a Request for Comment. I am at my limit here and have little more to offer. I hope some of the more experienced contributors here can weigh in on what to do next. In the meantime I suggest that for starters, you figure out the status of the images under Mexican law (see my #1 of June 4). Dankarl (talk) 13:43, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you very much for your help. Request for comment created there. El Comandante (talk) 23:19, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Help with the copyright tags of these two images

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have uploaded the following two files:

File 1
File 2

They were originally obtained from this website.

If you read through the bottom of that website (in the comments area), you would see that I have left the following message to the author (under my username Joseph):

"I wish to humbly request for your permission for me to upload the those two sample pictures onto Wikimedia Commons so that it can be included in those Wikipedia articles regarding this Hakka Bible translation." (Posted on June 1, 2013 at 10:14 am)

The author's reply was:

Hi Joseph,
Thank you for your interest in the Hakka Bible and for helping us pass on this good news to the rest of the world. Yes, please upload the 2 samples in your wikipedia article. Thanks for asking first. As for the articles, there are a few little things that need fixing, but we can share via email. Paul (Posted on June 8, 2013 at 3:46 pm)

Therefore could someone help me place the appropriate tags on those two uploaded files? Thanks. Note: The author (Reverend Paul McLean)'s email is: --Hak-kâ-ngìn (talk) 23:48, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

You will need to ask Rev. McLean to send you an e-mail confirming that (1) he is the copyright owner of the Bible translation or represents the copyright owner; and that (2) the copyright owner agrees to license the two files under a free licence, such as the Creative Commons {{cc-zero}} or {{cc-by-3.0}} licences. He has to choose one of these licences. (Click on the links to find out about the licences.) Once you have obtained this e-mail, forward it to For more information on this procedure, see "Commons:OTRS". At the moment, I don't think Rev. McLean's e-mail to you is clear enough because it does not expressly say that he agrees to license the files under any particular licence. He only says "please upload the 2 samples in your wikipedia article" which is not sufficient for the Commons. — SMUconlaw (talk) 08:49, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I have emailed to Rev. McLean a few minutes ago. --Hak-kâ-ngìn (talk) 21:30, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Proper format for accreditation?

What are the proper formats for accreditation on photos at Wikimedia commons? Is "(c) AUTHOR" enough?

That depends on the license in question; with Creative Commons licenses the author can specify any string to be used as attribution, and if there is none, just use what's in the field "Author" (but don't forget to also link to the license!). Other licenses may have different requirements. darkweasel94 10:49, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Gots one!

File:ACMI 14.jpg is most likely w:Cate Blanchett's Oscar for w:The Aviator (2004 film) and a costume from w:Elizabeth (film). It is out of focus and my eyes aren't so good. File:ACMI 13.jpg was taken at the same time. I think I can read Cate Blan... and Actress on the next line down. Any way to confirm that this is on permanent display in Australia? Template:FoP-Australia states "...a work to which this section applies that is situated, otherwise than temporarily...". If we can host it then we could replace all the fair use images of Oscar that are in articles now.--Canoe1967 (talk) 04:34, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Link showing she donated her Oscar and link that it is permanent.--Canoe1967 (talk) 04:47, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

File:Grammatica Grandonica Ernst Hanxleden.pdf

Dear All,

Could you please help with this file It is a manuscript that belonged to 1730s, but recovered only recently ( Some scholars took the image of it and published a paper/book based on it. That book is available here I extracted the Commons version from this file. Since the original manuscript is in public domain I suppose I am not violating any copyright laws. Kindly advice.--Shijualex (talk) 17:31, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Was this manuscript published previously? The link you give says "The manuscript was lost for several decades", so there might have been a publication before it was lost? If it was never published, it's probably protected by publication right in the European Union for 25 years from publication, which protection works like copyright. Then it couldn't stay on Commons. Gestumblindi (talk) 19:03, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
It's only protected by publication right if it were published with the permission of his heirs; is there any evidence he has any?--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:43, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
No, that's not correct, I think. en:Publication right doesn't say anything regarding the heirs. After all, publication right is for the first publication of work with expired copyright, so it doesn't matter who the heirs are. Publication right is granted to those who "discover" and publish a work first. More details in German Wikipedia at de:editio princeps (Urheberrecht), a fictional example is given there: A family keeps the photo of the "Titanic" iceberg made by a sailor. If the photo is published first after the copyright term has expired (70 years after the death of the sailor), the person who publishes it gets the publication right. The photo, which was in the public domain as long as unpublished, gets a new protection. Gestumblindi (talk) 20:10, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
By the way, I remember now a fairly recent real case involving a famous author, see : A scholar who first published some manuscripts by James Joyce "has claimed he is now the copyright holder in the EU of these manuscripts". Of course it wouldn't be really "copyright" but "publication right", but for practical matters, it's the same. Gestumblindi (talk) 20:18, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
The work appears to have circulated and been copied in manuscript, was that publication? Dankarl (talk) 20:24, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, that might be a debatable point. The National Library of Ireland itself seems also to claim rights on the Joyce material (see : "We also remind you that the National Library of Ireland owns these materials and makes them available for the purposes of research and private study only. Any other use is strictly prohibited without prior written permission from the National Library of Ireland"). I don't know what exactly became of the scholar's publication right claim... Gestumblindi (talk) 20:35, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
If a work was distributed by copying without limitations, that's publication.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:50, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
The more specific w:Copyright Duration Directive does, at least in some countries.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:50, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

I am not sure about the publish rights. As far as publication is concerned this is the first time that this manuscript is ever published. The reason is, it is only recently that this manuscript is recovered, even though references to this manuscript is made in the several books published by various people (for example, Paulinus padiri) Even though references to this manuscript are made several times till late 1850s it was lost during that time and recovered only on 2010 by these scholars. As far as heirs are concerned I do not think there are any. The manuscript was written in 1730. The study based on this book is published in CC-BY-NC license. So we cannot use the study as a whole in Commons. I extracted the photos of manuscript considering the fact that it belonged to 1730s (so naturally in public domain). But I am not sure about the copy right regarding the first publication of public domain or ancient documents. --Shijualex (talk) 01:27, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Exactly how does the German 25-year rule work? In Sweden, this would probably only be subject to the 50-year rule for photos but not to the 25-year rule for unpublished works, as the 25-year term expires not 25 years after the first publication, but 25 years after the work was first made available to the public. If the work was available for people between the 18th century and 1850, then it was made available to the public in the 18th century, which was more than 25 years ago. At least in Swedish law, "publishing" something means selling the work on the market or distributing copies to the public in some other way, whereas "making something available to the public" means that the public can see or read the work in any way, for example by viewing it at a museum. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:12, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
And why Germany necessarily? The work was most likely completed in Kerala, India, was found in Italy, and was published or republished in Belgium. Dankarl (talk) 14:04, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
People mentioned German Wikipedia above, so I thought that it was from Germany. If it is unpublished, then the source country is as far as I can tell either the country of citizenship of the author or the country of residence of the author (not sure which). Is India the source country? India doesn't seem to have the EU-style publication right, but on the other hand, India doesn't seem to allow works to enter the public domain at all if they weren't ever published with the consent of the author or the author's heirs. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:28, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
I mentioned German Wikipedia because it has a more detailed article regarding publication right than English Wikipedia. - However, as the focus there is indeed on Germany (and Austria; the non EU member Switzerland doesn't have publication right), it may not be very helpful for the discussion here, yes. For what it's worth, it doesn't seem to be too clear-cut when something counts as "published" for publication right in Germany. One example is the Nebra sky disk. Although it was argued that the sky disk must have been made for public cultic use in the Bronze Age and was therefore made available to the public thousands of years ago, the Magdeburg court ruled that it wasn't "published" in the sense of the law and granted publication right to the state of Saxony-Anhalt. On the other hand, in the "Motezuma" decision, a Düsseldorf court ruled that the burden of proof lies with those who claim publication right, they have to prove that the work wasn't published before (which might often be hard, I think). Gestumblindi (talk) 19:25, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

The history of this book is like this. Arnos (Ernst Hanxleden) wrote this book while he was in Kerala, India. He died on 1732 in Kerala iteself. The book was in Kerala until 1790 till Paulios carried it to Italy along with some other works of Arnos. Few works of Paulios are referring this book. The book was available for reference till 1850s. Then it was lost until it was rediscovered on 2010 from an Italian Monastery. --Shijualex (talk) 16:26, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

I'd say that the 25-year EU rule isn't a problem here as the book was made available to the public in the 17th or 18th century, which was more than 25 years ago. The question is whether we need to look into whether it was published more than 60 years ago with consent from the author or his heirs as COM:CRT#India seems to require. "Posthumous works: 60 years after publication". --Stefan4 (talk) 18:41, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
In India, "making available to the public" is the same thing as "publication". For the purposes of this Act, "publication" means making a work available to the public by issue of copies or by communicating the work to the public.; and "communication to the public" means making any work available for being seen or heard or otherwise enjoyed by the public directly or by any means of display or diffusion other than by issuing copies of such work regardless of whether any member of the public actually sees, hears or otherwise enjoys the work so made available. Sounds like it would not be under U.S. copyright either; it was either published long ago or if not it gets a term of 70pma which has long passed. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:33, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

FoP in Qatar

From COM:FOP#Qatar, there is no freedom of panorama in Qatar. Since the copyright term in Qatar is life + 50 years, does it mean that we should theoretically delete every photo of every building in Category:Doha whose architect is still alive or died after 1963? Has it been discussed before?--Underlying lk (talk) 07:52, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

I created a deletion request for a few files, mostly to see what happens to them.--Underlying lk (talk) 03:44, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

German banknotes overprinted in Persia during WWI

Does anyone know the copyright position on banknotes overprinted German banknotes issue din Persia in WWI? Leutha (talk) 08:32, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

It's the usual situation as with any artwork -- is there a known author for the artwork on the banknotes? If so, then copyright lasts 70pma (i.e. 70 years after that person dies), otherwise probably 70 years from publication as an anonymous work. There might be multiple authors, e.g. an engraving made of an earlier painting or something, in which cause both authors can come into play. I doubt the overprint adds anything though. Just from doing a Google search, it sounds like most (or virtually all) such examples are probably forgeries though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:24, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Models (plane, boat, ....) - self built & pictured

Are they candidates for Commons or not? e.g., which is probably self built and painted and substantially differ from incoming materials from manufacturers like Revel, Monogram. Brg.--ModriDirkac (talk) 09:07, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

See w:Wikipedia:Possibly unfree files/2013 June 14#File:USAirwaysA330.jpg. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:43, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
Admin may wish to go through Category:Toys and delete all the ones that aren't de min.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:10, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't hink that every model is the same. Schuco models are bought as on the picture, models I am talking about, are sold substantially different: You have to assemble, modify, paint it... --ModriDirkac (talk) 21:50, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

I just found User:Elcobbola/Models that may shed some light on it.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:43, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

300 notable modern artists

Please read and comment at Commons:Graphic Lab/Photography workshop#Category:Encyclopédie audiovisuelle de l'art contemporain Penyulap 13:02, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Copyright violations and deletion of uploads

I have uploaded some photos here and they have been cited for copyright violations and deleted. However, the site which has been linked to show that these photos already exist on the internet is my own site on Google at Picasa Web Albums where I have earlier uploaded these photos.

As an example, one photo with caption Trishna.jpg had been uploaded on Commons. The link posted citing the copyright violation is: where this photo is available on the internet. This upload is on my site itself, under the name of "Ajai Singh".

Please advise how can I use my photos earlier uploaded on Picasa Web Albums here on Commons. Actually, I am using these uploads here to link to an article I am creating on Wikipedia. Or is there another way to use those photos from my earlier uploads.

Ayepee99 (talk) 06:59, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

See Commons:OTRS; also it is most helpful if you profile on Picassa shows your Commons username. Dankarl (talk) 13:30, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Florentine Codex

Hello, i just wanted to have an advice :
Does the licence put on file from category:Florentine Codex (for example on this file : File:The Florentine Codex- Ethnobotanic Plants I.tif) represents a copyfraud ? I thought that, as the florentine codex dates back to the XVIth century, it would be public domain...
Thanks in advance, Zeugma fr (talk) 09:11, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

I would not rush to call it intentional copyfraud, but you or anyone else, certainly can change the license to {{PD-scan|1=PD-Art-100}} which is a more accurate statement of the PD status of this image so that reusers have absolutely no confusion about how they are free to use it. -- (talk) 14:25, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, i wanted to propose {{PD-scan|1=PD-old}} + attribution line in an artwork template. Should this be acceptable ?Zeugma fr (talk) 17:40, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
It is debatable, both are right. In practice licences tend to be changed to be as accurate as possible. I would go with PD-Art-100 as the work is not a photograph but a manuscript which counts as a 2D creative work, of which this is a faithful reproduction. Looking at it a second time, I would drop the PD-scan template, and just have the PD licence as the PD-Art rubric includes the explanation about being a faithful reproduction. -- (talk) 18:08, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
But please leave the CC template (assuming it is legitimate) for those countries that recognize "sweat-of-the-brow" copyright for art reproductions. Dankarl (talk) 18:33, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
You can do this, though in the past, images that I left the original CC license on and added a PD (e.g. early lithographs) were changed by others by having the CC licence deleted as superfluous. Instead, I have explained in the description or permissions field what the original licence was, rather than leaving it to a standard template. Dankarl, do we have an authoritative list of countries that legally recognize "sweat of the brow"? -- (talk) 18:39, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Not that I'm aware of. Dankarl (talk) 20:38, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Closest I found is Commons:Reuse of PD-Art photographs but "sweat of the brow" is not the only or even the principal doctrine involved. That said, I was surprised how many countries are "not OK" for reuse of PD-art. Dankarl (talk) 22:22, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree, we should worry. It is an area we should continue to campaign about too. I take heart with the way even the UK section is summarized, though a careful composition of a photograph of a 2D artwork *might* be problematic, a simple accurate scan (or similar) for archive or preservation purposes, as in the case that Zeugma fr raises, is affirmed as fine. -- (talk) 00:47, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

An Phoblacht magazine cover

Sinn Féin have put a cover of their magazine An Phoblacht on Flickr with a cc-by licence [1]. Is it reasonable to assume they can freely license the whole cover or do we need to establish the copyright of, for example, the images used on it? January (talk) 15:53, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

The Palace of Westminster photo is a stock photo from the Press Association, whose terms do not permit sublicensing. The photo of Alan Shatter is by Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland, whose terms are not publicly available, but they're equally unlikely to permit sublicensing. The inclusion of these photos can hardly be considered incidental. LX (talk, contribs) 19:40, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Found National Geographic has a gallery of old & unpublished photos. Some may be candidates for uploading to commons. Expertise might be needed for selecting eligible images. --Nevit Dilmen (talk) 19:01, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

The National Geographic Society is based in the United States. The duration of copyright in the United States is largely determined by the date of first publication. Previously unpublished photos often remain protected by copyright for a remarkably long time. Most of these photos are far too recent for the copyright to have expired. LX (talk, contribs) 19:54, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Previously unpublished photos are life+70, which is not remarkably long for someone familiar with copyright. Looking at likely ones, w:Hans Hildenbrand died 1957, so 2028, "M. Branger and Sons" is hard, "the International Film Service" is even harder (120 years? possibly published?), w:Volkmar Wentzel died 2006, so 2077, "No Credit Given" is maybe 120 years, Dean Conger lives, B. Anthony Stewart lived in 1966 (no earlier then 2037), A. Dugmore = Arthur Radclyffe Dugmore (1870-1955) (2026), if A. W. Cutler is listed in this obituary he's 1875-1935, but I can't confirm that on first glance. Chris Jones is not w:Chris Johns (photographer), but the later one will make Google searches hard. The Library of Congress has a small collection by L. F. Williamz, but no death dates, and reminds us that unpublished works may have been registered for copyright. w:Luis Marden died 2003 (but note that he quite possibly had someone else snap the photo he's credited for but is in). Willard Culver lived to at least 1951. Edwin L. Wisher died 1970. Wilhelm Tobien is not w:de:Wilhelm Tobien; I can't date him past 1934-5, but that's not saying much.
"A Geisha girl poses in her Kimono in Kyoto, June 1927." is by Franklin Price Knott (1854-1930) [2][3], so if it's unpublished, it's okay. Likewise w:Jules Gervais-Courtellemont (1863–1931)'s An invalid soldier stands beside a cannon in Paris, 1923. A girl stands in front of her hut on the Painted Desert in Arizona in 1929. by Clifton R. Adams (1890-1934). Aerial view of harbor created to supply the invasion of Normandy, June 1944. by the U.S. War Department is clearly PD. The Golden Horn at Galatea in Constantinople, now modern-day Istanbul. is another by Courtellemont.
And that's every pre-1950 photo back to June. So there are some interesting possibilities here.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:57, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

British Railways Handbills and Other Material

I am an inexperienced Wikipedian, but keen to do things right. I give below

1: preamble to a question I posed to a very experienced contributor 2: the exchange of emails between me and BRB Residuary Ltd referred to 3: Question to experienced contributor 4: the experienced contributor's reply, in which he shares my optimism that this could open doors and suggests a precedent, and 5: a proposal.

1. Preamble to question to experienced contributor:

Hello once more. A few weeks ago I loaded a scan of a 1957 foorball excursion handbill from Shirebrook North to Nottingham Vic and a 1950 excursion handbill to Chesterfield Market Place onto Wiki Commons, then attached them to relevant LDECR and GNR station articles. Someone jumped on me on two grounds, 1) they weren't "my own work", which is obviously true, I put that not knowing what to put, but to demonstrate accountability and 2) they are someone's copyright. A small discussion ensued, the upshot of which was that the 1957 image was zapped but no-one seemed interested in the 1950 image, which is still attached to LDECR main line stations. A constructive suggestion was that BR Residuary might own copyright. I therefore emailed them, with the following outcome:

2. email exchange with BRB Residuary Ltd

Dear Mr Hull

Thank you for your enquiry of 29 May seeking authority to reproduce images of two BR handbills on excursions on lines in Derbyshire in an article you are producing for Wikipedia.

The property rights and liabilities of the remaining elements of the British Railways Board were transferred into the SRA and its subsidiary BRB (Residuary) Ltd in 2001. The company was transferred to the DfT on 21 August 2005. With privatisation and disaggregation of the industry from 1994, it is not possible to be definitive about the ownership of the intellectual property rights of the former BRB.

This is to confirm however that, insofar as BRB (Residuary) Ltd is the copyright owner of the material to which you refer, it is content for you to copy it for the purposes you specify on a non-exclusive, royalty free, non warrantable basis.

Yours sincerely

Peter Trewin Director/Secretary

Direct Dial - 0207 904 5027 / email -

BRB (Residuary) Ltd, 4th Floor, One Kemble Street, London, WC2B 4AN - BRB DX 37977 Kingsway

Original Message-----

From: The BRB Website Sent: 29 May 2013 09:56 To: surveyors Subject: BRB Website Feedback

Name  : David Hull Company : Phone  : 01XXX XXXXXX Email  : david_hull49@XXXXXXXXXXXXX Address : XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Message :

I have two handbills, issued by BR in 1950 and 1957 for excursions using long closed and lifted lines in Derbyshire. I attempted to use them in Wikipedia articles and was told they are your copyright. Can you please tell me how to go about seeking permission to use them? If you can give me an email contact I can share images of the handbills in question. With thanks in anticipation. David Hull

3: Question to experienced contributor:

Do you agree that this would amount to a green light to use the images? If so, how should I go about it? Kind regards, DaveDavidAHull (talk) 21:39, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

4: Reply to me from experienced contributor:

This is potentially very good news for us. It may even cover not only handbills but also BR official photos and timetables. May I suggest you raise the issue at Wikimedia Commons on this page concerning copyright issues. It would be a good idea to propose that, if they accept that BRB material qualifies as unfree/non-commercial material, whether a standard template could be created to cover all BRB material (thus allowing us to upload it without having to justify for each image why it can be used), something along the lines of this Swedish one. Lamberhurst (talk) 12:26, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

5: Proposal

I propose what Lamberhurst suggests. It seems to me that if we draw up a list of things we might wish to use, such as handbills, timetables, working timetables, staff training manuals etc etc and a form of words and send it to the chap at BRB for agreement he would know we wouldn't be writing to him seven time an hour thereafter and we'd have a clear set of rules to follow. Dave DavidAHull (talk) 21:18, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

If the images are non-free, Commons can't host them unfortunately. The English Wikipedia might host unfree images under a fair-use basis, if it complies with their policies. The permission you asked for was "use on Wikipedia", which is unfortunately not enough -- see en:Template:Permission from license selector for how English Wikipedia would handle those. Since Wikipedia wants its material to be able to used by others, permission needs to basically be for *everyone* to use it, and such permission requests would reasonably be assumed to be permission for only Wikipedia to use it. If the non-free file is useable under a fair use rationale, that permission would mean you could also add the en:Template:Non-free with permission tag to it.
However... the handbill may be OK anyways. I assume we are talking about File:ChesterfieldMPHandbill1950.jpg. In my opinion, in the U.S., that probably would not have enough creative expression to be protected by copyright in the first place -- it is just a listing of information. The UK has a lower threshold of originality however, so I'm not as sure there. They do have a 25-year typographical arrangement copyright which might have applied, but that has long expired if it did. I'm not sure a literary copyright could apply to the rest. However... it seems as though British Railways at that time was really just a part of the w:British Transport Commission, meaning it may have been a government entity (note the bottom left, which says it is published by the Railway Executive, which was part of the BTC). This is somewhat reinforced by the transfer of some assets to the Department for Transport, as mentioned, though things are a bit fuzzy -- I'm no expert on if the BTC was considered part of the UK government or not. But, it does seem plausible that it was a work subject to Crown Copyright, and I don't think any later privatization would change the copyright term (even if ownership changes). That is backed up by for example this document, which says it was written by the British Transport Commission, and is considered to be covered by Crown Copyright. Crown Copyright is a bit different... it might even cover things which would normally be considered to not be copyrightable. Under the UK 1911 Copyright Act, Crown Copyright applied where any work has, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, been prepared or published by or under the direction or control of His Majesty or any Government department. So, I'd have to lean towards the handbill being Crown Copyright, which means its copyright expired 50 years after publication, and as such it would be considered "free" today. The copyright tag to use for that would be {{PD-UKGov}}. If the upload is a photo you took of the handbill, in some jurisdictions there might be a copyright on the photo itself (that would not exist in the US, but might in the UK). If you were the one who took the photo, and you are applying the current license to that photo, then the tag would be {{Licensed-PD-Art|PD-UKGov|cc-by-sa-3.0}}. If that was just placed in a scanner though, we distinguish that a bit, since it's less likely there is any copyright in the scan itself. Our tag for that would be {{PD-scan|PD-UKGov}}. So, I would replace the currently licensing section with whichever of those applies, and probably change "own work" to "self-made scan" or something like that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:37, 22 June 2013 (UTC)Thank you Carl.DavidAHull (talk) 17:15, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

File:Panorama of Pushkar Lake in Rajasthan.jpg

The "permission" parameter in {{Information}} shows "public domain", but the "Licensing" section says it's GFDL/CC-BY-SA. What should we do? --Ricordisamoa 12:37, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Looks like it was uploaded that way, so I'd assume the "public domain" was the mistake, and to just remove that note. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:22, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Non-artistic photography from 1924

Jonsokbryllup 1924.jpg

I uploaded what I consider to be a non-artistic photo from c. 1924 with unknown photographer. In Norway where the photo is taken copyright expires 50 years after creation in such instances (or 15 years after photographer's death, but he is unknown here). I can't find any applicable public domain tag for this though, so please delete the photo if there isn't any, and tell me what the Commons rules say here. Regards, Iselilja. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Iselilja (talk • contribs) 16:55, 22 June 2013‎ (UTC)

See {{PD-Norway50}}, which is listed under Commons:Copyright tags#Norway. LX (talk, contribs) 17:00, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for the reply. Regards, Iselilja (talk) 17:10, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

1964/1965 postcard portrait photograph

This is more of a hypothetical question, but if a German 1964/1965 postcard with a portrait photograph of a musical artist says "Photo: Philips France" (company name) but does not specifically state a copyright, is the image still copyrighted? Thanks. – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 07:14, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

At the very minimum, it's copyrighted for 70 years from publication, and that's if the postcard is considered to have anonymous authorship (quite possible since no individual author is named). So, it can't be PD until at least 2035. If the actual photographer is or becomes known, then the copyright lasts for their lifetime and an additional 70 years. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:27, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Ah, okay I wasn't sure. Thank you very much. – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 17:07, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Text logo question

Is this organization's logo applicable for {{PD-textlogo}}? Wanted to verify—I'm honing my PD-ineligible senses. czar · · 21:30, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

It's a U.S. logo. My guess is that it's simpler than Commons:Threshold of originality#United States, so it's {{PD-textlogo}}. --Closeapple (talk) 04:50, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Can somebody figure out what this is?

File:Sample of private server.png Sorry for the vagueness but my spider sense is tingling yet I can't put a finger on it because my search-engine-fu isn't strong enough... Palosirkka (talk) 18:17, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Judging from the alleged permission link [4] that seems to be a some software called Fonix – apparently a game. Whatever it is, there's no free license in that link, so I'd say this file is a derivative copyvio. De728631 (talk) 18:48, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
I found more at I also found a page that says the original software is a GNU license. It looks like a sim-world online game.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:10, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I think I'll slap a npd there. Palosirkka (talk) 16:09, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Cropped images taken from Billboard adverts

File:Matt Monro.png and similar efforts by the uploader are taken from adverts in Billboard. The uploader claims copyright exemption because of some US legal shenanigans related to collective works (adverts are not covered by a collective copyright statement and prior to 1978 each needed their own copyright assertion). I'm a bit concerned about this:

  • Are we sure that the statement at bottom right of the source - "Materials com diretos autorais" - applies to the issue of Billboard and not to the advert?
  • Although I understand that this advert predates the 1978 rule changes, I'd be astonished if Capitol Records did not assert copyright in some way. Surely their legal bods were not that lax as recently as 1966?

On the face of it, the uploader seems to be correct but I'd appreciate confirmation. - Sitush (talk) 12:09, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

The advertisement rules are here: Commons:Copyright_rules_by_subject_matter#Advertisements. The photograph of Matt Monro looks like a standard publicity photo that was commonly distributed without a copyright notice in the 1960s. Capitol Records created the advertisement and likely the photo. Pre 1978, No Notice means No Copyright. -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 17:19, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

File:HD-SN-99-02042.JPEG4 - should be removed

The following image:File:HD-SN-99-02042.JPEG is about members of the French Army involved in the 1954 Indochina conflict. The license states that it was taken by the "U.S. Army" which is not true. The U.S. military was not involved then and it makes no sense that the "U.S. Army" would take photos of members of the "French Army" while in combat. Plus, when I tried to verifiy the sources, the links lead to "dead links". Marine 69-71 (talk) 22:10, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

I googled it and found one file with exif stating: NARA FILE #: 306-PS-55-10516 WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #: 383, date: 1954:01:01. It also says it was taken from film by K. Evans. If we can determine that K. Evans was a US gov film maker then we should be able to keep it.--Canoe1967 (talk) 23:46, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
The NARA link is Huntster (t @ c) 00:06, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Also, I don't know about this K. Evans. He's mentioned in a number of NARA-donated image EXIFs as being a byline writer, not a photographer or filmmaker. Huntster (t @ c) 01:01, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Found a copy on the USAF National Museum site:, catalogued with ID 110224-F-XN622-002 and stated as being a "U.S. Air Force photo". Read this; we did have military personnel assisting the French, the question is just how embedded they were. Huntster (t @ c) 23:51, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
I also found "(USIA)" in the exif and added it to the image description. US Intelligence Agency? They were probably there.Canoe1967 (talk) 00:07, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, that's the U.S. Information Agency, but I cannot determine if they are the author agency or just an archiving or organising agency. Huntster (t @ c) 01:02, 30 June 2013 (UTC)