Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2014/03

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Konstantine Gamsakhurdia

Is this license OK? In my opinion is questionable that the portrait is 70 years old as the license pretends to be.--Carnby (talk) 20:16, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Certainly not. The file in ru.wp is fair use, the date is before 1975, but certainly not >70 years. --Martin H. (talk) 11:46, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I'm assuming that this screenshot is related to the "ReSharper" software linked to in the "File usage on other wikis" section. Are there any inherent copyright problems with this image? On this website the licensing notices for reusing the ReSharper software is vague and I haven't found a clear description of it yet (maybe someone will have better luck finding it than me) and the EXIF used to capture this was taken from trialware Adobe ImageReady according to the image's metadata information. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 21:52, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This specific image is just a {{Pd-text}}. Ruslik (talk) 19:19, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:Portrait of a blind, 1994, Oil on Canvas.jpg

This image, like quite a few other paintings by the same artist, is tagged with a Creative Commons license, but at the website given as the source,, it says "All rights reserved". Is there some way to verify that the artist has indeed released these paintings under a Creative Commons license? Mr. Granger (talk) 05:35, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Normally we would require an COM:OTRS communication from the author to host works like that. Without that, and without any indication of a license on the source site, I don't think there is any way to verify that. (They might have been only licensing these lower-resolution versions, but there is no indication of even that.) It would be good to contact the author to see if they were the uploader and indeed wanted them licensed that way (in which case have them send the permission to the address mentioned at the OTRS link), but failing that they probably should be nominated for deletion. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:50, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All right - I've added {{No permission since}}—hopefully that's an appropriate course of action. Mr. Granger (talk) 16:08, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:Castillo de San Marcos National Monument Junior Park Rangers.JPG

I am a bit confused as to which tag I should be using for this item. {{self|cc-by-sa-3.0}} since I took the picture or {{PD-USGov-Interior-NPS}} since the actual item was made by the NPS? --CyberXRef 05:56, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Both, really. The actual item would normally have its own copyright, and your photograph is a derivative work with additional authorship where you own the copyright. We need a license for both aspects. The item is the latter license, and the photograph is the CC one. I would just label each license for what portion it refers to. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:43, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Books in

Does anyone know if I can upload images from the following books in Commons, and what license should I use?

Zorahia (talk) 14:35, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

For U.S. books published from 1923 through 1963, you can look at to see if the copyright has been renewed. For books published from 1951 through 1963, you can also search for renewals at (they only have records from 1978 onwards, and 1951 publications would have needed to wait until 1978 to file a renewal). For the first one, it appears it was not renewed, so {{PD-US-not renewed}}. However it does note that many illustrations were pulled from other works and are by other authors, so those might need to be researched further. and has the raw renewal records; Stanford is an easy search but it is only for books. Odds are likely that those illustrations are OK but you might need to look for periodical renewals (or submissions to periodicals) for the years 27 and 28 years after the publication of the source article. For the second two... they appear to have been renewed per the Stanford search. No idea why they are on They were uploaded by a university from India... maybe it's public domain there, but it's not in the U.S., so I would not use those. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:39, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Need some US copyright help at

[1] Relevant discussion.

Basically this is an image that we know was taken in 1898, likely in a photo studio at the time. We have no idea whom the photographer was, and the earlier "publication" that has been traced has been to some works in the 1980s, and we're not certain if these publications were with permission or not. While most of the possible cases leave this image as non-free (considered unpublished and anonymous, leaving 120 years from creation); or alternatively it was published with permission in at least one of these 1980 works, making it PD in 2047), there's a case where the photo was "published" but without markings or registration in the 1980s, and thus it would drop into the PD now. Any help there would be useful. --Masem (talk) 00:12, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As the description says that it was published by the Victoria Advocate and the Reading Eagle in 1985 without a copyright notice, it qualifies under {{PD-US-1978-89}}. Regards, Yann (talk) 05:55, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Does this even apply if the publication was without consent (though probably under a fair use defense?) --Masem (talk) 04:22, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In all instances of copyright issues, the copyright holder is the sole determiner of whether their works should be published, distributed, reused, modified, etc, all according to definitions of copyright law. But I think you'd have to assert proof that it was published without consent in order to get a file deleted; otherwise the publication would be assumed to have consent of the copyright holder. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 04:31, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It sounds somewhat murky, but you may have covered most of the issues. Does anyone own the original negative? That might serve to indicate the copyright owner, at least under some older common law rulings (that would not apply to transfers since 1978 though). A lot could depend on who is considered the copyright owner. Under older case law, the copyright to studio photographs were generally deemed owned by the sitter (i.e. the person paying for the photograph). They would be the "first copyright owner" but not author. That is no longer the case, but it seems to have been at the time.[2] Given that the copyright would have been owned by the Pound family, it would have been unpublished for some time. Was the transfer to the family friend publication? Giving copies to a limited set of people but without a limited purpose could have been considered general publication right then, requiring notice and renewal and likely meaning copyright was lost. Might be a bit of a stretch to claim that, but possible. And it's likely just the print was transferred, not the copyright -- which would mean the Pound estate would still own the copyright if it exists, unless it got explicitly transferred in writing (the requirement for post-1978 transfers). If that is the case, and none of its appearances in print was with permission from the estate, then it might still be unpublished, which would mean 120 years from creation is the term. If the 1980s publications were in fact with permission of the copyright owner, and they were the first publications, then that special extension (70 years from 1978) would apply meaning it would not be PD until 2048, unless of course it was published without notice before March 1 1989, meaning copyright would have been eliminated at that point unless it was subsequently registered within 5 years. Most books would either have a copyright notice or be registered, and the book's copyright notice would likely have preserved any existing copyright if that was the first publication (while the notice would specify another author and therefore have an "erroneous name" in respect to the photograph, that was not enough to cause it to be a "defective notice"). Being published by a couple of newspapers which did not have a copyright notice probably would not serve to put it in the public domain... copyright was not lost if only a relatively few copies lacked notice (especially in the 1978-1989 period). It does sound to me as though the Pound estate would likely own any potential copyright, and it is likely copyrighted until 2018 or 2048. On the other hand, if the estate has disclaimed any copyright... it might be considered abandoned or something like that. PD-author of a sort in that case. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:29, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Carl, thanks for this information; it's very helpful. Do you have a page number for this document that talks about the person who pays for the portrait owning the copyright? That surprises me, because studios made their money by retaining negatives and selling copies (but perhaps I'm thinking more recently). These are the facts that I'm aware of, in case any of them make a difference:
  • The photograph was taken on 3 May 1898, most likely by a studio in or near Wyncote, PA.
  • The Ezra Pound literary estate does not claim to own the copyright, according to another editor, Victoriaearle, who has approached them.
  • Two original copies appear to exist. One is in the possession of the Idaho Historical Society/Sun Valley Center for the Arts. We don't know how they obtained it. They have an interest because Pound was born in Hailey, Idaho, and his house still stands and is used for arts and literary events. I believe Pound's daughter helped with the purchase of the house for the local community, so she may have given them the copy of the photograph to place on display in the house, but that's speculation. (I've emailed them to ask.) The second copy (see here) was given to the University of Texas at Austin in 2008 by a woman who befriended Pound in later life. Her name is written on the back of that copy.
  • The earliest publication we can find was in an Associated Press article in September 1985. It was published without reference to copyright and without crediting anyone.
SlimVirgin (talk) 04:56, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The primary paragraph in that document is on page 130. That was a study done in 1958 on matters related to works for hire (not at issue here) and commissioned works (which are). The 1976 Copyright Act changed the previous case law in this area quite a bit; nowadays studios own the copyright (unless the contract specifies otherwise). The paragraphs in question are:
The cases which have settled problems of copyright ownership in works made on commission have generally involved portrait or group photographs. Certain principles were developed for this type of work long before the 1909 act. In more recent years the same principles have been applied also to a work of art.
The basic principle is stated in Altman v, New Haven Union Co. (254 Fed. 113 (D.C. Conn. 1918)), as follows:
Where the photographer takes the portrait for the sitter under employment by the latter, it is the implied agreement that the property in the portrait is in the sitter, and neither the photographer not a stranger has a right to print or make copies without permission from the sitter.
The same principle was expressed in Lumiere v. Pathe Exchange, Inc. (275 Fed. 428 (2d Cir. 1921)), and Lumiere v. Robertson-Cole Distributing Corp. (280 Fed. 550 (2d Cir. 1922)), both cases involving portrait photographs.
In Yardley v. Houghton Mifflin Co., Inc. (108 F. 2d 28 2d Cir. 1939)), the rule established for photographs was applied to a work of art. Citing the above cases, the court said:
We think the rule should be the same when a painting is made by an artist. * * * We believe, therefore * * * that the right to copyright should be held to have passed with the painting, unless the plaintiff can prove that the parties intended it to be reserved to the artist.
The painting in that case was a mural executed by an artist, Turner, under commission by the city of New York. Turner had obtained copyright registration and his sister, plaintiff in the case, had obtained registration of the renewal right. The court held that the copyright, if valid, was held in trust for the city of New York and consequently, that the plaintiff was not entitled to recover.
  • See also w:Copyright Act of 1976#Transfer of copyright, which notes there had been a lot of conflicting case law surrounding various aspects of implied transfer of copyright (the principle for studio photographs did not necessarily carry to all other types of work, though there was that ruling about the painting.). The 1976 Act eliminated any such implied transfer, so it's been different since then. But by the above, it seems as though the implied transfer to the Pound family was likely under the law at the time.
  • Did the literary estate receive all rights owned by Pound, or just his literary rights? It's possible the photo was outside the scope of what material became owned by the literary estate, and may still be owned by the family (again, if such rights still exist). But if they would have reasonably owned the rights, and those rights are disclaimed, that is a possibility for keeping under a sort of PD-author license. Not sure that would fully apply if they were not aware they were the likely copyright owners though.
  • The way those copies became public could be of interest, depending on when they happened. I'm not sure that giving a copy to a family friend would be considered general publication before 1978, but it's somewhat possible.
  • Per 17 USC 405(a)(1), if "the notice has been omitted from no more than a relatively small number of copies or phonorecords distributed to the public" then the copyright was not lost. An Associated Press article was probably published in hundreds of newspapers most of which probably had copyright notices on them somewhere. I doubt that a few of those newspapers lacking notice would serve to eliminate the copyright. It's true all of those notices would not name the proper copyright owner, but that particular situation does not lose copyright -- it can create complications for the copyright owner, but losing the copyright is not one of them.
It does seem as though this was a long-unpublished photograph that the Pound family would have owned the copyright to. If not, it would seem to be more in the ugly "orphan works" situation. If there was some action done by the Pound family which could have been considered general publication (limited publication was distribution to a limited set of people for a limited purpose; if both were not satisfied then it was general publication and notice was required on the copies) then it may have become PD at the time through lack of notice or possibly lack of renewal later. If the only likely copyright owners disclaim all rights, that might be another way we could host it on Commons. Otherwise it does seem as though it's under copyright until at least 2019 and quite likely 2048. If the original photographer was identified, and that person was an individual author (i.e. not an employee of a studio), then the term might change to 70pma instead of 120 years from creation, which could move the 2019 date forwards or backwards, but not the 2048 one. Identifying the photographer would not change the copyright owner though unless a document was found specifying otherwise. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:30, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you, this is all very interesting. I don't know whether his literary estate received all the rights; I will have to do more research about that. Pound had two children, a daughter (Mary de Rachewiltz, born 1925 and now living in Italy; she was involved with the Ezra Pound archive at Yale), and a son (Omar Pound, 1926–2010). The son had two children, Katherine Shakespear Pound and Oriana Davenport Pound. I could try to contact them and ask if they would release the image, but given that they may not own it, I'm not sure there's any point.
Back to the issue of the original copyright holder, when the law changed to allow copyright to be held by the photographer/studio, it did not apply retroactively, is that right? That's the key issue, so that's where I should focus the research, i.e. whether the photographer or the Pound family owned the copyright on 3 May 1898, and whether any legislation changed the ownership after the fact. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:07, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, that law did not apply retroactively, only for transfers for 1978 and after. The quotes above imply that the principle had been established prior to the 1909 Copyright Act, and continued past that, so given the case law it seems pretty firm the Pound family owned the copyright (which would have been common-law copyright, as the federal statutory copyright did not exist until a work was either published (general publication) or registered for copyright). If still unpublished in 1978, the copyright became a federal copyright and was given at least 25 years of federal protection starting from 1978, possibly extended to 70 if it was first legally published between 1978 and 2002. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:42, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you. So if the Pound family owns the copyright, and if its publication in 1985 was with their consent, then it becomes free in 1985 plus 70 years? SlimVirgin (talk) 03:29, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
1978 plus 70 years. The basic term (if the author is anonymous or they were an employee) is the shorter of 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation. (For individual authors, it is 70pma instead.) It sounds like that will be up in 2019. However, because unpublished works never had protection under the federal copyright act before 1978 (they were only protected by common-law copyright), when the 1976 Copyright Act eliminated common-law copyright, they decided to give all such works (previously created but still unpublished) a minimum of 25 years protection under federal copyright, meaning no such works could become PD before 2003 even if the 95/120 period had expired (actually at the time 75/100, but that was later extended too). If such a work was published in that period, they were given another 25 years protection, to 2028. That latter period was extended by 20 years in 1998 when the U.S. extended all their terms by 20 years. The term for such a work therefore is the longer of the 95/120 period or 2048. In this case that would be 2048, or 70 years (25 + 45) from 1978. It's a special case, but it seems like this photo may have hit it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:20, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll sneak in another question. After very great deal of diligent enquiry and experienced analysis, a lot of information has been discovered about the provenance of this 1898 US photo.(discussion, permanent link) The only firm conclusion is "no known copyright restrictions". Is there any prospect of Commons allowing images in this situation? We sometimes accept images classified in this way by reputable external organisations but can we sometimes accept our own assessments? Thincat (talk) 09:27, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"No known copyright restrictions" is the phrase used by the Library of Congress for what we term "public domain". It is used when for all intents and purposes, it looks as though copyright has expired (for them, it would be specifically just the U.S. copyright). The vagueness of the phrase is an acknowledgement of the complexity of copyright law -- it's also possible that someone could come up with a new argument that some aspect is still under copyright which a court would agree with, and sue under that rationale. You can never really guarantee something will never be the subject of a copyright infringement lawsuit, just that there is no known law nor court precedent which would make it subject to copyright. If the copyright is still valid but the copyright owner is unknown, that is a different situation -- that is called an "orphan work" and for now there is no legal way to make those "free". It's always possible a copyright owner could crop up and any uses are just as much infringement as if the author had been known. In this case, it would appear that there was an implied transfer of copyright to the Pound family, so the identity of the author would not matter much, unless it was a non-employee photographer and he died more than 70 years ago (in which case if the 1980s publications were deemed unauthorized, it could be PD). We would have to follow the law on the matter... the question is where was the photo first published, and was it with a copyright owner's permission. We would have to identify how it became public domain... as a U.S. work via lack of notice upon publication, or if publication happened before 1964 then lack of renewal, or publication before 1923, or a statement of the copyright owner placing it into the public domain or some other explicit abandonment of rights that make it available to use for commercial works, etc. It is highly unlikely that someone would get sued for reproducing that photo at the moment, but if we can't identify how the copyright has actually expired, I don't think it can be "free". Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:56, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

logo upload for company page


I am a Corporate Communication Manager in my Company. Recently, I was asked by my boss (the Marketing and Communication Director) to start a Wikipedia page about our company in Italian. But I got problems when I had to upload our logos. In fact: which is the most proper way to upload them in order not to be not removed just a while later? The thing is a little complex: I designed all of the brands (in case of need I can certify it by managing all of the source files in illustrator, I surely will not upload to prevent any infringement by other users, vandals or competitors), but they belong to my company. I hope to be understood, since my English is not at its best by practicing it not very much now, but I hope to be understood and moreover, to have soon your help.

Thanks a lot and Best Regards,


Pinging Italian administrators Steinsplitter, Mentifisto.
I hope you'll be able to understand this, but you'll need to authorize any content you release to us under free licenses such as Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and GNU Free Documentation License, which allow commercial reuse and derivative works. Wikimedia Foundation, the legal entity that runs Wikipedia, requires as part of its mission that contributors release and distribute free content only. If you want to, you can upload it to the Italian Wikipedia locally provided you supply a fair use rationale, and follow the instructions at Wikipedia:EDP per in order to have it published only on Italian Wikipedia.
I noticed you already uploaded a few files such as File:Marchio gepe enterprise.jpg, and they're tagged with the "public domain" template. However, if you release those logos into the "public domain", then anyone including vandals & competitors, etc, are legally allowed to reuse your images for any purposes they want. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 10:57, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks a lot! But first what do you mean by "pinging Italian administrators": are you some way contacting them to help me in Italian?
Any case so, what do you advice me to do now?
1) Should I remove former logos (how to do it?) or have I to change their present section from "public domain" into which else?
2) I still do not understand how to upload on commons the new brands, without limiting them just to the only Italian Wikipedia edition.
Very Sorry: I am a newbie and I find it very complex to manage this aspect in English. :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by AlessandroB-DM1 (talk • contribs) at 11:50, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hello AlessandroB-DM1. First of all: you can sign your posts by using ~~~~. I see that you already created a sandbox article on the Italian Wikipedia back in 2011: it:Utente:AlessandroB-DM1/Sandbox. Are you sure that it has enough notability to become an encyclopedic article? With "pinging Italian administrators Steinsplitter, Mentifisto", TeleComNasSprVen meant that he had contacted them for help. Cheers, Manifestation (talk) 13:52, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
thank you Manifestation for the further explanation and TeleComNasSprVen for asking other users to help me in Italian.
Manifestation: I updated my sandbox recently, because the former work you saw was very at the beginning. I read more about encyclopedic article's features and I think what I am setting up these days should woprk (I hope, at least).
Finally about tildes, you mean to finish a post like this?AlessandroB-DM1 (talk) 16:12, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

クリンク-2 (talk · contribs)

Do any of the logos in this user's files meet the threshold of originality? I'm asking because I doubt that the user really created these on his {{own}} despite the files being tagged with the template. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 10:58, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Windows logos should be marked as File:Windows_RT_logo_and_wordmark.png. Ruslik (talk) 19:22, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ruslik0: I was thinking of transferring over a similar image to the Commons, at File:Windows Server 2012 logo.png. Do you think it would also fall under PD-textlogo? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 06:42, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I said above all Windows logos are protected trademarks but they only contain simple shapes and text, so they are {{Pd-textlogo}}s. Ruslik (talk) 16:54, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All current ones that is. We did end up deleting File:Windows logo - 2006.svg on copyright grounds eventually. LX (talk, contribs) 17:10, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changing licenses after verification

I have a question regarding File:Bob-Marley.jpg and File:Bob Marley I Threes.jpg. Alongside File:Bob-Marley 3.jpg, they are from Flickr and were originally released under CC-by-sa.

I noticed that, at some point, the owner of the three pictures re-licensed them under the undesirable CC-by-nc-sa. I contacted him and he told me that he had done so because people were selling his photos on eBay, without his permission and without him getting a share. Nevertheless, he agreed to change the licenses.

File:Bob-Marley 3.jpg is now back to CC-by-sa, which it originally was. File:Bob-Marley.jpg and File:Bob Marley I Threes.jpg are now changed to CC-by.

My question is: can I simply change the licenses on the description pages and remove the Flickr Review templates? Should I request another review, using {{Flickrreview}}? This search brought me to Commons:Flickr files#Changing licenses, but it doesn't explain at all what to do.

Cheers, Manifestation (talk) 13:31, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you do that change, request a new flickr review to confirm it, just as if you were doing a new upload. (IMO, technically, you should do a new upload, but most people would probably think it is not necessary.) Or you can leave everything unchanged, as the by-sa license was always and is still the license in force here, associated with this particular copy made in 2010 under that license. -- Asclepias (talk) 15:16, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The files and licenses, as they stand now, are perfectly acceptable. The author is within his right to change the Flickr files to whatever license he pleases, to CC-by-nc-sa or even All Rights Reserved if he feels that will protect him best, but the files here may remain CC-by-sa-2.0. You may want to communicate that to the author, if he is unaware. An author can modify a license at any time, but usage of files under previously granted licenses (e.g. our usage on Commons) cannot be revoked. Huntster (t @ c) 17:09, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I might add that we have the template {{Flickr-change-of-license}}, which you can use when the Flickr uploader stops distributing the work under a free license. The scenario that the Flickr user changes the license from a free license to a freer one (i.e. from {{Cc-by-sa-2.0}} to {{Cc-by-2.0}}) is pretty unusual, so I don't think we have a tag for that, and the best thing to do there is probably to update the license and request a new review. LX (talk, contribs) 18:41, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for mentioning {{Flickr-change-of-license}}, I wasn't aware of that one. Huntster (t @ c) 20:17, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And I've updated the license and review to CC-by-2.0 for the two appropriate images. Huntster (t @ c) 21:13, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks everyone! I went ahead and changed Commons:Flickr files#Changing licenses so that it explains to other users what they can do in these situations, see here. I hope I did well. Cheers, Manifestation (talk) 15:28, 5 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Freedom of Panorama and en:WP

This drama seems odd to me:,_Pernambuco,_Brazil Have I gotten something wrong? Saffron Blaze (talk) 22:58, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Considering Wikipedia's common use of images images for which FOP would not apply in the US, no. Mark is. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:39, 4 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Problem with Wall of Remembrance...

I'm in the process of reviewing an article over on the English wiki which uses the (rather nice) photograph, File:UN Memorial Cemetery.JPG. The photograph itself is correctly tagged by the photographer, but I'm not sure about the underlying copyright for the memorial itself, which was apparently constructed in 2006. It is in South Korea, which doesn't have Freedom of Panorama for commercial use purposes, and it would seem to also potentially breach the US rules on FoP, due to its date. Can anyone see a way of enabling it to be used? I wasn't sure if it might be argued that it was sufficiently simple in design so as not to need copyright release? Apart from that I was a bit stuck. Hchc2009 (talk) 02:08, 6 March 2014 (UTC) [Reposted by S. Rich]

Commercial logo - Is this one simple enough for Commons?

Your thoughts please on en:File:Wiener Lokalbahn.svg

  • Does this meet the "Best Western test" on the simplicity of a commercial logo, per COM:TOO?
  • Is it acceptable for upload here to Commons, from en:WP?

Thanks Andy Dingley (talk) 19:50, 6 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

URAA and Japanese Wikipedia

FYI: Commons_talk:URAA-restored_copyrights#Accepting URAA-restored public domain works as "fair use" at Japanese Wikipedia. whym (talk) 13:29, 8 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pre-1935 photo by unknown photographer

As the title states, I found a very old picture of a Soviet tank that was taken by a Soviet government worker (likely a soldier), but I do not know who took the photo and whether the image would be in the public domain. I imagine that it would be in the public domain, since no-one filed a claim of ownership for almost a century, and there is no reason for a generic photo of a very old military vehicle (that no longer exists in any form) to be copyrighted. That said, I would appreciate the opinion of knowledgeable wikipedians before uploading it to the wikimedia commons.TROPtastic (talk) 08:05, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@TROPtastic: This public domain cheatsheet says if a work was published between 1923 and 1977, without notice nor renewal, and has been in the public domain within its source country, it may be eligible for entering the public domain in the United States too. If what you say is true, then it might qualify for hosting on Commons; however if there's a license or any sort of notice or renewal found later, the image might be called into question here. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 11:16, 1 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@TeleComNasSprVen: According to the wikipedia article about [copyright in the Soviet Union], photographs taken in 1921 and 1973 needed to be marked with the name of the studio, its address, and the year in order to be copyrighted. I know that the lack of copyright doesn't necessarily mean that it is public domain, but according to the same article, works by Soviet citizens before 1943 are indeed public domain, which this photograph falls under. I believe that this is public domain also because the photo was taken by a government worker for a state entity, and that entity no longer exists (both of which are valid reasons in my opinion). If this does end up having a claim later, then fair enough, but for now, it is sensible to believe there are no issues with hosting the image.TROPtastic (talk) 06:02, 2 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is true, except that Soviet law has been superseded by newer Russian copyright laws, which retroactively restored anything which had become PD under Soviet law (as noted at the end of that Soviet article). The Russian terms today are a full 70pma (the author's entire life, and 70 more years). For more accurate public domain interpretation, you'd have to look at w:Copyright law of the Russian Federation. In other words, the image would probably have to meet the criteria in {{PD-Russia}}. The one aspect which might make it OK is if the photo was published anonymously in the 30s... if that is the case, then the term is 70 years from publication. Unfortunately there is a difference between "unknown" and "anonymous" -- we normally like to know something about the publication history of the photograph, and see that the original publications are not attributed. But, maybe anonymous would be a reasonable assumption if this is a government work. Is it reasonable to assume the photograph was published back in that era, and there was no individual photographer associated with them? Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:51, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Carl Lindberg: My apologies for not reading this earlier, but I mistakenly assumed that I would have been "mentioned" if someone responded to me, and so I just checked my notifications. In any case, those are good points, but I do think it is very reasonable to assume that there was no individual photographer associated with the picture (from previous precedent of gov't workers and soldiers taking documentary photos of military equipment), and fairly reasonable to have been published in the 30s. In addition, there are various other photos of Soviet military equipment taken around the same time that are marked as "public domain" on the Commons, so I think that this would not likely be an exception (especially considering the picture was of an obscure vehicle that was not held in high regard). So, that is why I think it is reasonable to upload the image to the Commons under "public domain in Russia".TROPtastic (talk) 07:41, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@TROPtastic: Those would have been uploaded with that same rationale, so I guess tag with PD-Russia, and mention that it appears to be anonymous publication in the 1930s. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:28, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

US Govt. photos

Recently, I stumbled upon official USMC photostream at Flickr, and there came a problem. A majority of files are clearly official US Marine Corps. material (and thus PD-USGov), but they come at Flickr under CC-BY-NC license (not permitted at commons). Is it OK to upload such images here? --RussianTrooper (talk) 21:22, 6 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe that the same photographs are published on where they will be more clearly public domain. Commons uploading tools will tend to not allow you to upload from Flickr if they are constrained by non-commercial. -- (talk) 22:07, 6 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are some issues with defenseimagery - it's simple not reachable from Russia or some points in mainland Europe ( ). As for the Flickr thing - for example this file is marked as an official US Army photo by Sgt. Daniel Cole. However, it is set as CC-BY-NC license. Is it OK to upload such files here under dual CC-BY-NC and PD-USGov ?--RussianTrooper (talk) 23:10, 6 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, so long as the photographer is a US Government employee one of the PD licences is fine, you can skip the CC-BY-NC as it is not meaningful or binding. In this particular case you can use {{PD-USGov-Military-Army}} and there are a range of "PD Military" licences available at Category:PD-USGov_license_tags depending on what type of government agency or military service the photographer is an employee of; try to pick the most accurate. You may want to compare with, or help with categorization of my own uploads from this source at Category:Images from DoD uploaded by Fæ. -- (talk) 23:17, 6 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From what one understands, the copyright status of US Govt works outside the US is not totally clear. If a US Govt work was released under a CC license (for example), then Wikimedia Commons and other reusers in the US would be able to treat the work as public domain, but it could be convenient if reusers in foreign jurisdictions where the work might be copyrighted could definitively reuse the work even under a limited license such as CC-BY-NC. --Gazebo (talk) 03:59, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Category:Michelangelo's David

Does anyone know the details of the Italian law that is at the centre of the Michelangelo's David in gun advert case and the claim "Italy claims copyright over any images of David" (also repeated by the BBC). It would appear that it is being claimed that images are not free for "commercial use" can anyone shed any light on this ? LGA talkedits 23:06, 8 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some moral rights ('The law says that the aesthetic value of the work cannot be distorted") and probably some cultural heritage laws they might have, most likely. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:44, 8 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How come the BBC (and others) are reporting "The government says it has copyright on the commercial use of images of David." is it a case that photography inside the museum is not allowed for commercial use ? LGA talkedits 05:12, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not copyright exactly, though some of the rights may be written as part of their overall copyright law (that is typically true of moral rights; we are concerned about the economic right however). The cultural heritage laws would apply in Italy itself but there is no international treaty for those, at least not yet. If memory serves Starbucks ran afoul of a similar Mexican law in some of their advertising there -- which was a problem if they wanted to use that advertising in Mexico itself. Think of it as something akin to personality rights on cultural styles -- some countries do not like their cultural imagery used as advertising fodder, particularly by foreign companies. And several countries have a law like that which at least applies inside their own borders. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:12, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is Star Wars - The Exhibition in São Paulo, Brazil a permanent installation for FOP purposes?

Around 2008, there was an event, Star Wars - The Exhibition in São Paulo, Brazil and there are photos of items taken at this event on Commons. The question is whether this event was a permanent installation for the purposes of FOP (freedom of panorama), because FOP in Brazil covers permanent installations but not temporary ones. From what one understands, the exhibition moved multiple times with appearances in different cities around the world. --Gazebo (talk) 03:48, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The fact that the exhibition is a travelling one suggests to me that it is not permanent. — SMUconlaw (talk) 08:22, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

French Official History 1914-1918 downloads I downloaded a document as a pdf which has a copyright announcement in French. I have a mind to upload maps from it but would like the copyright scrutinised as I'm not a French speaker and don't want to gamble on Google translate.... 1/ Les contenus accessibles sur le site Gallica sont pour la plupart des reproductions numériques d'oeuvres tombées dans le domaine public provenant des collections de la BnF.Leur réutilisation s'inscrit dans le cadre de la loi n°78-753 du 17 juillet 1978 :

  • La réutilisation non commerciale de ces contenus est libre et gratuite dans le respect de la législation en vigueur et notamment du maintien de la mention de source.
  • La réutilisation commerciale de ces contenus est payante et fait l'objet d'une licence. Est entendue par réutilisation commerciale la revente de contenus sous forme de produits

élaborés ou de fourniture de service. Cliquer ici pour accéder aux tarifs et à la licence 2/ Les contenus de Gallica sont la propriété de la BnF au sens de l'article L.2112-1 du code général de la propriété des personnes publiques. 3/ Quelques contenus sont soumis à un régime de réutilisation particulier. Il s'agit :

  • des reproductions de documents protégés par un droit d'auteur appartenant à un tiers. Ces documents ne peuvent être réutilisés, sauf dans le cadre de la copie privée, sans

l'autorisation préalable du titulaire des droits.

  • des reproductions de documents conservés dans les bibliothèques ou autres institutions partenaires. Ceux-ci sont signalés par la mention Source / Bibliothèque

municipale de ... (ou autre partenaire). L'utilisateur est invité à s'informer auprès de ces bibliothèques de leurs conditions de réutilisation. 4/ Gallica constitue une base de données, dont la BnF est le producteur, protégée au sens des articles L341-1 et suivants du code de la propriété intellectuelle. 5/ Les présentes conditions d'utilisation des contenus de Gallica sont régies par la loi française. En cas de réutilisation prévue dans un autre pays, il appartient à chaque utilisateur de vérifier la conformité de son projet avec le droit de ce pays. 6/ L'utilisateur s'engage à respecter les présentes conditions d'utilisation ainsi que la législation en vigueur, notamment en matière de propriété intellectuelle. En cas de non respect de ces dispositions, il est notamment passible d'une amende prévue par la loi du 17 juillet 1978. 7/ Pour obtenir un document de Gallica en haute définition, contacter

Google translate: 1 / The content available on the Gallica site are for most digital reproductions of works in the public domain from the collections of the BnF.Leur reuse is part of the law n ° 78-753 of 17 July 1978 :

  • Non-commercial re-use of this content is free of charge in accordance with the legislation in force, including the maintenance of the reference source.
  • The commercial reuse of this content is subject to charges and is subject to a license. Is heard by commercial reuse resale content in the form of products

developed or delivery service. Click here to view pricing and license 2 / The contents are the property of Gallica BnF within the meaning of Article L.2112 -1 of the General Code of the property of public persons . 3 / Some contents are subject to a special system of reuse. These are:

  • reproductions of documents protected by copyright belonging to a third party. These documents may not be reused except under the private copying without

the prior permission of the copyright holder.

  • reproductions of documents kept in libraries or other partner institutions. These are indicated by the words Source / Library

Municipal ... (or another partner). The user is prompted to inquire of these libraries in their conditions of reuse. 4 / Gallica is a database, which is the producer BnF protected under Articles L341 -1 and following of the Code of intellectual property. 5 / These conditions Gallica content are governed by French law. When reusing provided in another country, it is up to each user verify compliance of the project with the law of that country . 6 / The user agrees to abide by these terms of use and applicable law , including intellectual property. Failure compliance with these provisions , it is particularly liable to a fine under the Act of 17 July 1978. 7 / For a discussion Gallica high definition contact . hanksKeith-264 (talk) 09:37, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The BNF information for that book says it's in the public domain in France, which presumably means it was published at least 70 years ago. I'm not sure what kind of rights the library itself would have over the scan (see Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag) but they might have a database right inside the EU or something. At any rate, there is no publication information whatsoever I can see there; the library marks it "s. l. n. d." (sans lieu ni date) which means there is no place or date of publication noted. That makes PD determinations harder. If it was published 1936 or before, I think that would avoid any URAA complications, so it would probably be fine to upload. Oh... and searching for the text on Google brings up this copy, which says it was published in 1919 and copyright by "Michelin et Cie" as editors. Looks like Michelin published a lot of that type of thing (another is here). So... yes that would appear to be fine. {{Anonymous-EU}} for the license in France, and {{PD-1923}} for the U.S. license. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:31, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Question on Wikipedia logo copyrights

I'm not having luck finding this on or here, but this is in regards to the globe logo for Wikipedia. It's clear the the logo is not in a CC-BY and has rights reserve copyright, and most images that use the puzzle globe (eg File:Administrator Barnstar Hires.png) have this copyright applied.

As such, should the globe icon be considered "free" or "non-free" when it comes to considering its use under the Foundation's resolution policy? Obviously, it makes sense that the images should be hosted here on Commons since they replicate to all other language wikis and used there in the upper left corner for identification but there's been a question on about why we allow the use of the logo as if it was a free image. In the case of, our EDP does not allow non-free images to be used on non-article space outside of limited exceptions (this is not one , yet), but things like the above barnstar logo are used frequently there. (I'd also ask the same question on Commons about reuse, but that's a separate issue). It would be helpful to have clarification as to be able to proceed if needed in cleaning up or exempting use on --Masem (talk) 19:34, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, File:Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg and other versions and derivatives are completely non-free, and yes this is hypocritical and causes lots of problems. Lots of innocent bits have been wasted arguing at length about this on several occasions. Lots of workarounds have been proposed (from an EDP for Commons to a separate central repository just for the Foundation's non-free files), all of which could be avoided if the WMF would just embrace the concept of free culture for real and accept that they don't need copyright to protect trademarks. I'm not sure which policy you mean by "the Foundation's resolution policy," though. LX (talk, contribs) 20:34, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I meant this one [3] which is the basis for each project's EDP. --Masem (talk) 20:53, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Commons:Licensing says "the only non-free-licensed exceptions hosted here are Wikimedia logos and other designs which are copyrighted by the Wikimedia Foundation." So Commons considers them non-free, but permits them to remain largely for technical convenience (there has definitely been controversy regarding this going back to at least 2005). In my opinion, how and where EN.WP permits the use of these images is a policy issue for the EN community, not a copyright issue or even really an issue for Commons. Whether or not Commons should be hosting them in the first place is a separate issue. —RP88 20:43, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I just wanted to make sure - before going back to - what the copyright situation is. And this clarification is what I needed to make sure. --Masem (talk) 20:53, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Copyright issues concerning an info card for a displayed item

If a high-resolution version of this photo was uploaded to Commons under a free license, would there be copyright issues with the info card that appears in the photo, or is the text on the info card below the "threshold of originality" for US copyright? --Gazebo (talk) 07:11, 11 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That text seems short enough that it should be below the threshold of originality, and its inclusion in the photo seems incidental, so it's also de minimis in my opinion. If you're really concerned, you could always clone it out. LX (talk, contribs) 18:27, 11 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Provincial Archives of Alberta in the Commons on Flickr

Are the images uploaded at Flickr by the Provincial Archives of Alberta usable here? At Alberta Culture and each of the images say "no known copyright restrictions,". However, the last paragraph on the Alberta Culture page says "It is the policy of the Provincial Archives of Alberta to charge licensing fees for commercial use of these images". Thanks. CambridgeBayWeather Talk 13:05, 11 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requesting a Ukrainian speaker to explain FoP policies

Hi. There are a large number of images being uploaded by Андрій Стебелєв (talk · contribs), a number of which I believe violate FOP#Ukraine. According to his global edit counter, he has only edited on uk.wikipedia and ua.wikimedia. Would any Ukranian speakers be willing to help him understand {{NoFoP-Ukraine}} (which, incidentally, doesn't have a Ukranian translation)? Storkk (talk) 15:18, 11 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Malthe Odin Engelsted

Can the works of this painter be uploaded on Commons?--Carnby (talk) 21:54, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, if they were published before 1923. Mark them with {{PD-old-auto-1923|1930}}. -- Robert Weemeyer (talk) 21:55, 11 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Someone uploaded that yesterday; I have hard time determining whether it's below the threshold of originality or whether it should be deleted. I feel like the bell is original enough, but I want a second opinion. --CyberXRef 09:25, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

IMO, the bell enough is stretching the limits of TOO. I think we should separate the bell and the text, perhaps the bell alone would not be considered original, but it's design plus the placement of it above the text would be considered original in my opinion. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 09:31, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The bell design seems to be original but the text by itself may well be a case of PD-textlogo. The CC-BY-SA license for the logo seems dubious. --Gazebo (talk) 09:47, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Meta discussion about Commons

The text found at Commons:Derivative works#Isn't every product copyrighted by someone? What about cars? Or kitchen chairs? My computer case? in blockquotes is attributed to "Cornell University Law School notes on US Code 17 § 102", but according to Cornell's terms of use most of the text on their website is CC-BY-NC-SA. I don't think we should delete the block of text as it can prove rather informative, but couldn't we make an exception to Commons:Fair use as to quoting somebody else when discussing things about Commons itself? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 11:33, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think the policy prohibits fair use of text in the form of quotes, used in a relevant context and with a proper attribution. Note that it starts from Wikimedia Commons does not accept fair use media files ... Anyway, if you want to propose adding an "exception" or clarification, Commons talk:Fair use would be a better place. whym (talk) 14:57, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Excessive quotes or reposting of text should be avoided, including systematic scraping of small amounts of text for batch uploads if the text is not suitably freely licensed. As an example, I have annotated a large number of photographs of British Museum objects by using information from their on-line database, however I was careful to use no more than 50 characters from the description and ensure there was a link to their catalogue record, which in that case seemed a reasonable compromise. -- (talk) 15:04, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This may be fair use, but I think that we should be careful not to use non-free material where it can be avoided. It is difficult to tell whether fair use applies, and there was a recent DMCA takedown request where the Wikimedia Foundation decided to remove EXIF data from one file. See wmf:DMCA Cranach Digital Archive. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:28, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:Leaning Tower of Pisa 2.jpg

I just uploaded this file under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license according to its corresponding image description page on Flickr; however, the Flickr bot and Flickr's metadata indicates that the license is actually CC-BY-SA 2.0 instead. What license is most appropriate in this case? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 11:39, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The file was relased under both licenses, and whoever wants to used it can choose from them. -- Robert Weemeyer (talk) 11:45, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, it seems I've found {{Multi-license}} which might suit my needs. Thanks anyway! TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 12:04, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Flickr has only 2.0 machine tags; so bots can't review license added manually in page description. The 3.0 license is CC BY-SA 3.0 Spain; not Unported. Jee 12:42, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:Cc-by-sa.svg has no license

What license shall we use for File:Cc-by-sa.svg and possibly other creative commons trademarks. talks about their trademark requirements but does not state the license. It might be {{PD-text}} or {{PD-ineligible}}. --Jarekt (talk) 13:04, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

At the bottom of their landing page it states: "Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license." Calling it PD-textlogo may be stretching the threshold of originality a little bit though. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 13:22, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, I was looking in the wrong place, I guess. --Jarekt (talk) 13:30, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

CC-BY-SA for low-res image that is "All rights reserved" in hi-res form?

Hi, I'm in touch with a professional photographer, requesting him to publish his pictures of w:Federica Montseny in Commons. We don't have any free image of her, and I haven't been able to find any so far. The photographer is receptive to the idea of having some of his pictures in Commons, but he has the usual concern about commercial use of the images. I wonder whether a valid formula is to upload low resolution pictures in Commons as CC-BY-SA, while still preserving all his rights in high quality images. Or would the viral license of the images hosted here affect the copyright status of the high quality images available elsewhere? If there is a risk, what about a different cut of a specific picture? Since we don't even have a low resolution portrait of Montseny for infoboxes, I was thinking about the possibility of offering a low-res cut of this picture in a worst case scenario. I couldn't find any guidelines about these combinations. I don't want to give bad advice to a professional reporter in his first contribution to Commons. Thank you for your help.--QuimGil (talk) 20:45, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In short, no. In the past, this was a common strategy/recommendation. But, since the mess created by the CC people rethinking the scope of their licenses, there is a real danger that releasing the low-res version of a photography under a CC license, might automatically result in the photography in any resolution being also under the said CC license. Until this has been confirmed or rejected by courts all over the world, we don't have any idea whether CC's new claim is valid or not. And so far we are not aware of any standard license which would validly support the "old" licensing strategy. --Túrelio (talk) 20:51, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is risky as commented by Túrelio above. Commons will not host a high resolution file unless explicitly tagged with a free license per the consensus now. But we can't stop other reusers from it.
I disagree with the argument that CC made the mess. They just made a warning about the potential danger and that is their duty to educate their beneficiaries. I believe it is better we are aware of this risk than move forward in ignorance. Jee 02:56, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The scope of a license is a complex issue that includes how various jurisdictions interpret when a new work of copyright is created. Most copyright licenses apply to a work of copyright and not necessarily to just one specific version (read: file) of that work. This situation occurs when different versions are still considered the same work under the applicable law. Versions are deemed to be the same work when a threshold of originality is not achieved by the differences in the versions. This could include where the only difference in the versions is the file resolution, bit rate, compression or other measure of quality. One particular impact of this situation is that in some jurisdictions freely licensing one version of a work could cover any other version even if the latter were published with a different license.
Commons always requests content contributors freely license the highest quality version available; however, dual-licensing models have been frequently promoted as a means to donate to free culture projects like Wikimedia Commons. An example of dual-licensing is where a contributor freely licenses a lower quality version of a work while seeking economic gain from the higher quality version by using a different license. We are aware individuals and organistions have frequently contributed to Wikimedia Commons with this model in mind. This complex situation regarding “same work” places these dual-license (or any multi-licensing) models at considerable risk. An example of this risk is where someone freely licenses a low-resolution copy of a work here on Commons. Then a re-user finds a much higher resolution, but otherwise identical, version on another website. Despite the higher resolution version being assigned as “all rights reserved” the re-user could claim both versions are the same work and is applying the free license to the higher resolution version. In other words, without a “terms of use” restriction on the lower quality work the dual-licensing model would not work in those jurisdictions where the different quality versions are deemed the same work. Many of the licenses supported by Wikimedia Commons, including those supplied by Creative Commons, do not recommend restrictions be added to the terms of use of their licenses. Creative Commons does not prohibit adding a restriction but if one is applied the licensed can no longer be called a Creative Commons license and all trademarks must be removed. Currently Wikimedia Commons does not promote any licenses that have, or allow for, the addition of a version restriction. The question then becomes, can I contribute freely licensed works to Wikimedia Commons and still retain the economic viability of the work of copyright? Until tested in court we may not know.
The “so what?” for content contributors is the need to fully understand what they are giving away when they license a work. If they are still interested in dual-licensing models where one version is freely licensed they might want to consider not making the higher quality versions directly available to the public. The responsibility for knowing what licenses to use to achieve a specific intent rests with the copyright holder. Nevertheless, Commons understands the complexity of this issue and is not in the business of circumventing the intent of those who donate to the project. As such a policy is being adopted in order to ensure we do not facilitate the practice of bypassing copyright holder intent. It should be noted this policy does not eliminate the risk with dual licensing in certain jurisdictions as that is a matter of copyright law. However I have taken to using a custom made license that is equivalent to CC_BY_SA but with a restriction. My ability to enforce that restriction is very much in question, but not much different than how stock agencies license their size specific content. Saffron Blaze (talk) 03:19, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Professional photographers tend to take a lot of photos and only publish a few. Perhaps he'd be willing to share low-resolution versions of similar photos from the same set which he has not and does not plan to publish in high resolution? LX (talk, contribs) 20:17, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you very much for your replies. The situation is a bit complex because the photograph has an agency which manages in exclusivity the commercial use of his work. Also, those pictures were taken 35 years ago. I'm keeping the conversation with the photograph, who is learning about Commons and the licensing terms of Wikimedia for the first time. In fact he has already relicensed one of the images to CC-BY-NC-SA thanks to our conversation. I know, still not good for Commons, but it might be a first step in the good direction, and a possibility to publish the only image with "some rights reserved" of this person that I'm aware of, in projects accepting justified exceptions. Thank you for clarifying that the low-res hi-res game is not an option. The investigation continues... --QuimGil (talk) 18:03, 11 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
YES!!! Category:Frederica Montseny. The photographer Manel Armengol has agreed to license three images as CC-BY-SA. These are the first free images of w:Federica Montseny we are aware of, they are good quality images, and one of them is also a historical document showing the first big anarchist demonstration in Barcelona after the civil war and the long dictatorship. Thank you very much for your advice guiding us through the right path.--QuimGil (talk) 18:16, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Deletion of images for not having EXIF data?

Should images be deleted as potential copyvios simply for not having EXIF data?

Should such images be restored, if a version with EXIF data is provided?

I see the first as so bizarre I can barely see the logic behind it. The second ignores the fact that EXIF data is trivially editable, and so simply requires actual copyviolators to simply do a little more legwork. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:14, 11 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you find it bizarre, why do you ask? If you're concerned with a specific case where you think this may have happened, why don't you name it? LX (talk, contribs) 18:05, 11 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think he is speaking in general; I've also noticed photos being deleted due to that in the past which I think is nonsense. The lack of EXIF data is just one possible indication that it's not own work, but it far from being a definitive proof. Most of the basic image editing programs out there do not handle EXIF data and so a simple contrast adjustment (a common thing to do prior to uploading) could result in the EXIF data being wiped out. More advanced programs such as GIMP will leave the EXIF data intact. That being said, anyone can also easily fake EXIF data entries using a variety of free tools such as Exiv2 and ExifTool. --CyberXRef 18:48, 11 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't recall coming across any instances where lack of metadata has been the only reason for deletion. As you say, there are legitimate reasons why a photo may have little or no metadata. (And in my experience, little metadata, like "CREATOR: gd-jpeg" is often a bigger warning light than none.) I usually see lack of metadata considered in combination with factors such as resolution, whether or not it looks like it might have been taken by a professional, and other uploads by the same user. While EXIF data can be edited, most copyright violators are too lazy to forge EXIF data or too stupid to do it well. LX (talk, contribs) 19:16, 11 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course I'm speaking in general. Mostly because this is Wikimedia and so any general point that gets tagged with a specific instance is then at risk of having the one offending editor blocked & banned, and then discussion of the general issue shut down, usually with the threat, "Why are you supporting EvilPirate's copyvios?"
At least one admin is deleting images that do not have EXIFs apparently because they don't have EXIFs, and giving "no EXIF" as a reason. They are then offering to undelete them only if the original uploader can provide EXIF. "Sure, images in original resolutions with EXIF will proof your authorship". Now these images might be copyvios (as a non-admin, for images that were summarily deleted rather than going through DR, it's impossible for other editors to know), but this looks like a poor basis for doing so. Andy Dingley (talk) 14:46, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm glad you brought this up so we can reject it, then. If a JPEG looks suspicious, lack of EXIF is a red flag, but an admin should be explaining reasons to be suspicious beyond just the EXIF status. This sounds like a repeat of a couple years ago, when a specific admin was deleting almost every "{{Own}}" or "{{Self}}" file that came up for deletion discussion or even speedy, on the basis that the uploader didn't submit a ticket to COM:OTRS. That admin believed that current Commons guidance was that every deletion/speedy nomination was "significant doubt" about whether the uploader was the author, and therefore the file was no longer free "to the best of our knowledge" under COM:PRP unless every author, once the issue was raised, submitted an COM:OTRS ticket within a short timeframe, even if the uploader was rarely on Commons. Eventually that admin realized that this wasn't actually the threshold for "significant doubt" that anyone else on Commons was using, and things went back to normal. --Closeapple (talk) 05:01, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course images should not be deleted only because they have no Exif data. --Rosenzweig τ 19:44, 11 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I agree that images should not be deleted for this reason. I regard metadata as most often inappropriate to the purpose of an image, increasing bandwidth without justification. Most importantly, it is far too common - even when it is not advertised - for digital cameras to secret a serial number among the data for the spy state to make use of, and it might also be used by stalkers looking to "out" Wikipedians or otherwise create hostile PR flaps against contributors. In short, I draw little distinction between EXIF and a visible watermark on an image, and would prefer to apply the same reasoning to both. Wnt (talk) 23:04, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Except in the US it is illegal to remove Copyright Management Information, which includes some aspects of the data in the EXIF and even the watermark. [4] [5] Saffron Blaze (talk) 23:27, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not sure what's that got to do with anything. That law just forbids the removal of data for the sole purpose concealing copyright infringement. No one but the author, unless obtained permission, is allowed to remove such identifying information. However, the copyright holder can removed any EXIF data fields he wants. --CyberXRef 23:44, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do not see "no EXIF" as a reason for deletion, but it can be a hint that something may be a copyvio, along with "professional looking", "low resolution" and "watermarked". Sure it's possible for an image with all four to be free, but it's suspicious. As for your suggestion that it being trivially editable means that copyviolators can add EXIF... well, in my experience copyviolators are incredibly lazy, as seen by the fact they will take an image from Google rather than finding a free one. -mattbuck (Talk) 23:54, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • My Yashica TL Electro SLR camera did not record EXIF data on the film back in the 1970s. After I scan the 35 mm Ektachrome transparencies, I add an EXIF description. See File:Condor Club North Beach1973.jpg I could be faking the data, you will never know. -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 02:35, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose lack of "EXIF data" (or metadata in general) as disqualifying an "image" from Commons. I don't see why EXIF would be a direct requirement at all; the question of deleting any image file lacking EXIF seems to imply a misunderstanding of what EXIF is. When discussing whether a so-called "JPEG" file should be deleted, stripped EXIF or lack of EXIF is sometimes a useful hint of a file being copied from a secondary source, and therefore that the file's provenance is suspicious. But that's not always true, and even when it is, it's often not relevant to whether a file meets Commons policy: There are plenty of images that meet Commons policies and guidelines yet have little or no EXIF data, including lots of images that are incapable of carrying EXIF data itself. For example:
  1. Lots of public domain materials on Commons are copied from web pages and have no better version discovered yet. What about all the {{PD-textlogo}} images for which no public PNG or SVG version? What about the pre-1923 and other public domain images for which the only easy sources are files crudely resized "for the web"?
  2. A small portion of photographs released under free licenses on Commons are resized and (often unknowingly) stripped of EXIF data by their authors, often by using the same software that causes the same problem with unfree commercial photographs.
  3. 1990s digital images: I seem to recall that many digital cameras in the 1990s didn't yet have EXIF, and that film developers providing digital copies on CD back then often didn't use EXIF.
  4. All of the above is just for the files we usually call "JPEG". Almost all non-JPEG formats lack EXIF completely. PNGs, the second most common image type on Commons, have no EXIF support, and in practice often have only the minimum metadata to make the file work. GIF has no significant metadata in widespread use. SVG and even some "JPEG" files have XML-based metadata instead of EXIF.
In short: Even though a lot of copyright violations lack EXIF, a lot of legitimate files also lack EXIF or other informational metadata. Directly requiring EXIF (or even "metadata") would doom a large portion of legitimate Commons files, and it's unlikely we would be able to carve out enough general exceptions to actually rescue all legitimate files. --Closeapple (talk) 04:18, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reading this, it seems to be a lot of discussing about nothing. No one has proposed nominating any/all files without EXIF data for deletion - it just happens to be one of many signs that may be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not a questionable upload is indeed a copyvio. Now, everyone, get up out of the teapot. Although I would like for Andy to tell us who the problematic admin is, as I too often see problems with gratuitous deletion of files in the Commons. Cheers, mr.choppers (talk)-en- 04:47, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sketching from a photomicrograph: copyright implications

Am I just being crazy here?

A Commons admin is arguing that this particular sketch which copies a photomicrograph doesn't result in a derivative work / copyright infringement on the theory that the sketch is too trivial to be copyright eligible. I really don't see it. It's not a generic representation of the microorganism, but rather a detailed copy of a specific photo. Anyway, I'm tired of arguing, and we could use a fresh opinion or three, as the two of us clearly aren't going to agree. Dragons flight (talk) 01:28, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Sorry for being late to the party (I see the deletion discussion had closed since then) but I wanted to offer my opinion of Symbol keep vote.svg Keeping the photo in question as being sufficiently different from the image linked to, as well as not meeting the threshold of originality, that it could stand on its own here on Commons. Though I stand on Taivo's side for keeping said image, I am concerned about his rationale for doing so, and wish to express that concern here.
  • Commons:Threshold of originality, based on wikipedia:Threshold of originality, states that:

    "'originality' refers to "coming from someone as the originator/author" (insofar as it somehow reflects the author's personality), rather than "never having occurred or existed before" (which would amount to the protection of something new, as in patent protection)"

    The threshold of originality is designed as a measure of the creativity expressed in an original work, which is supported by the definitions of creativity and originality. That a "five-year-old kid can redraw this picture" is a tad irrelevant when discussing the threshold of originality, because in some court cases discussing copyright, "five-year-old hand drawings" have been copyrighted at some point or another. Copyright protects the creative expression of facts and opinions, not those facts and opinions themselves. Commons:Deletion requests/File:Windows logo - 2006.svg is a good example of an image that would simple to create, yet would exceed the threshold of originality not because some five-year-old kid is able to draw it but because it is sufficiently creative to be protected by copyright. I feel in this regard, Taivo has made a mistake and should reexamine his reasoning in the discussion, and the letter of Commons:Threshold of originality. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 20:03, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply] materials allowed on Commons?

Hello. Could somebody share their opinion regarding copyright policy? I've found several images from their website uploaded to Commons but with different copyright tags. Examples: File:Fragmentation forestièreRapportUE2013.jpg with by-sa-3.0 tag, File:ÉrosionHydriquedes_sols_UE_AEEenp.jpg with by-sa-3.0 tag (but both the file description and the source page mention by-sa-2.5), and File:Tche_Refugees_Camp,_Ituri_pPovince.jpg has two licenses one of which indicating that the source must be provided. Here's the direct link to the copyright notice in English. Reproduction is authorized if source is provided, however, there's no clear indication if editing and commercial use is allowed. Thanks in advance. --Kimsə (talk) 00:32, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The first two are probably OK, but I have opened a DR for the third one: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Tche Refugees Camp, Ituri pPovince.jpg. Regards, Yann (talk) 10:27, 16 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have a question about the watermark on this photo: "File:Blandford, Massachusetts.JPG". Is adding a copyright logo a no no? Thanks. Magnolia677 (talk) 04:25, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Link for convenience: File:Blandford, Massachusetts.JPG
We prefer to have images without watermarks. As the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike permits unrestricted modification of the work, any watermarks may be cropped or cloned out, so long as any copyright notices are preserved elsewhere on the file description page. See Commons:Watermarks. LX (talk, contribs) 10:14, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Still on the table of the legal. :) Jee 10:20, 9 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Quote: "As the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike permits unrestricted modification of the work, any watermarks may be cropped or cloned out,"
Not on my reading of the licence. The licence specified by the uploader is cc-by-sa-3.0. Clause 4c of that licence says "If You Distribute, or Publicly Perform the Work or any Adaptations [emphasis mine—djw] or Collections, You must, unless a request has been made pursuant to Section 4(a), keep intact all copyright notices for the Work ...". Regardless of any supposed community consensus to "reject" such an interpretation, that clause appears to me to unequivocally require that a copyright notice contained in a watermark must be preserved intact, even in an adaptation, unless the licensor has explicitly requested that it be omitted. The arguments in the above-linked discussion that the words "keep intact" can be interpreted as including "snip it out and put something similar somewhere else" seem to me to be self-servingly specious.
David Wilson (talk · cont) 04:12, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The text of the notice must be kept intact. The location does not. Adaptations must be free to place notices in different places, that sort of thing. Also, if someone wants to use just a crop of the image, that also must be allowed. The notice may be implemented in any reasonable manner; it is not required to only use the exact same placement and style of notice on every reproduction or adaptation. If you continue reading the section 4c you mention, you will find "The credit required by this Section 4(c) may be implemented in any reasonable manner". This has come up before; Creative Commons added it to their FAQ. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:29, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The actual words of the licence I quoted are "all copyright notices"—as quoted—not "the text of all copyright notices". And I would categorically deny that the words "credit required by this section" can be reasonably taken to apply to copyright notices, which are separate things from attributions of credit. Though the former might include instances of the latter, they will not normally do so, since a copyright owner, even if explicitly named in the copyright notice, will not necessarily have had anything to do with the creation of the work. Thus, the section of the FAQ you linked to doesn't appear to me to be relevant to the issue of removing copyright notices. If the writers of the creative commons cc-by-sa-3.0 licence really did intend it to be interpreted in the way you have suggested, then they have worded it extremely poorly.
David Wilson (talk · cont) 07:22, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Copyright notices *are* text. They are comprised of the copyright symbol, the word "Copyright", or an acceptable abbreviation thereof, plus the year, plus the copyright holder. This is all defined in 17 USC 401. Those are the elements which must be preserved intact. It would be bad to change any of those, or add anything to it. It would also be bad to move it to a place which is not normally looked for -- but we would be moving to the place that all licensing information is on the project, the image page. There is no requirement at all to keep any graphical aspects of the notice -- that basically defeats most derivative works and makes it non-free. While a copyright owner is within their rights to mandate something like that, such a restriction means it is not a Creative Commons license and is not free. To quote again from the CC FAQ:
Can I insist on the exact placement of the attribution credit?
No. CC licenses allow for flexibility in the way credit is provided depending on the medium, means, and context in which a licensee is redistributing licensed material. For example, providing attribution to the creator when using licensed material in a blog post may be different than doing so in a video remix. This flexibility facilitates compliance by licensees and reduces uncertainty about different types of reuse—minimizing the risk that overly onerous and inflexible attribution requirements are simply disregarded.
Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:27, 17 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I see that no-one has previously bothered to notify the uploader of the file of this discussion. I have now done so. If he is willing to agree to the removal of the copyright notice, that will resolve the issue for this particular file. On the other hand, if he doesn't agree, then it seems to me that there are only two proper courses of action available for dealing with it:

  • Either accept the uploader's requirement to retain the copyright notice as a condition of the licence; or
  • Delete the file as being subject to licence conditions that are unacceptable to the Wikimedia Commons community.

If the uploader insists that he has interpreted the licence conditions the same as I do, it would be an act of unconscionable bastardry, in my opinion, to keep the file and delete the copyright notice.
David Wilson (talk · cont) 08:58, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • It is common for those here to conflate issues regarding attribution with those of copyright management information (CMI), that latter of which is subject to special protections in the US. Removing a watermark that deals with only attribution on a CC license may indeed be covered by the license, but it seems clear this is not necessarily the case with CMI. It will be interesting to see on which side WMF legal falls given the mixed US case law they have to draw upon for guidance. Saffron Blaze (talk) 12:18, 10 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • The law requires that notices be placed "in such manner and location as to give reasonable notice of the claim of copyright." That is the purpose of the notice. If we move it somewhere which violates that, yes it is a problem. I don't think the image page in the "Licensing" section, where virtually all of our copyright information exists, is an issue. The Register of Copyrights can specific certain placement rules (books probably have to be on or near the title page for example) but I'm not aware of anything for digital works. I doubt a copyright notice itself counts as a technological measure -- otherwise there should be no need for the section of law which regulates usage of the copyright notices -- but I may be unaware of court cases along those lines. In general, I can completely understand an author wanting their notice and/or signature to be prominent, but mandating its preservation in that location/size/graphical style makes it non-free and we would have to delete it. In general, I doubt people would bother moving it unless it was distracting when used as an illustration on an article. The less obvious it is, the less likely people will remove it. However it still needs to be on the image page, as a great many derivative works may not include the signature portion, and the notice does need to be preserved (meaning the three elements -- year, date, copyright owner) in those works. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:27, 17 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:Virgin Money Launch.jpg

I've uploaded the file listed above using Flinfo, which found the file was available on Flickr under a compatible licence. Having now uploaded it, I can see in the metadata on the file page that it credits a photographer from the Press Association. I suspect this will invalidate the CC 2.0 licence as far as Commons is concerned. Am I right? Cloudbound (talk) 22:06, 15 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yep, although it is on Virgin's account so it probably OK as it is unlikely that they are copyvioing themselves. Flickrworker (talk) 00:11, 16 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. Cloudbound (talk) 20:36, 16 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photos of Waleed Ahmed

Could someone please check the copyright/licence status for photos uploaded by Zrqdo. I am considering using one or more of these on English Wikipedia, but I don't feel confident about their copyright status and can't assess this by myself. Regards, Iselilja (talk) 11:25, 17 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

They are difficult to check. However they look unprofessional and some of them are low quality photos probably taken with a mobile phone. So, the claim of authorship by the uploader is at least plausible. Ruslik (talk) 12:14, 17 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Völkischer Beobachter - still in copyright in Germany?

The Völkischer Beobachter was the official newspaper of the Nazi party, running from 1920 to 1945. There is a category devoted to it at Commons at Category: Völkischer Beobachter and currently this contains two files, both of them images of the front pages of two separate editions in a resolution sufficient to read the text.

The category has been nominated both for discussion and deletion following a discussion of an image from the era at wikipedia:Wikipedia:Non-free_content_review#File:Degenerate-Hitler-Ziegler.jpg whence it was eventually established the image had been published in the Völkischer Beobachter and its category subsequently noticed on Commons.

The grounds for discussion and deletion are technical and relate to whether the images displayed can be PD in the US.

I want to raise here a claim that it still in copyright in Germany arising in this source here from Spiegel Online. It appears that the copyright of Völkischer Beobachter is held by the Bavarian Finance Ministry, who own the copyright on works by its publisher Eher-Verlag, and who do defend their copyright vigorously: "The ministry owns the copyright to publications by the Nazi publishing house Eher-Verlag, which include National Socialist newspapers such as the Völkischer Beobachter and Der Angriff as well as "Mein Kampf," and has refused to allow reproduction of the titles. It justifies its decision by arguing that straightforward reprints without critical remarks could be used by neo-Nazis for propaganda purposes. Germany's influential Central Council of Jews has also condemned the republication of the Nazi papers by Zeitungszeugen."

In the first place can that really be so? I would expect it be public domain by now (at least up to the end of 1943 on a 70 year rule). Secondly if it is so, should these files not be speedily deleted?

Thank you. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 01:05, 17 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Issues from 1944 and 1945 can't be in the public domain. I think articles and photos attributed to an author are probably in the public domain only if the author died before 31 Dec 1943. Other content should be in the public domain 70 years after publication. The restriction mentioned above does not seem to be a copyright restriction, but rather a political issue. Regards, Yann (talk) 03:36, 17 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Cheers Yann. Thanks for that. I was puzzled. I don't really think these files need be deleted on the technical grounds suggested, but if the Speigel Online position was valid that would have been different. If the files are deleted I'll make a local upload of a reduced version on a Fair Use resolution to replace their use on the English Wikipedia. I do think we should have images for visual identification in directly related articles such as Wikipedia:Nazi propaganda and since such reduced images can't carry legible text, that should also address the issues raised in the Spiegel Online piece. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 09:37, 17 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If Bavaria is the copyright holder, then the newspapers might be in the public domain in the United States for an unusual reason. See COM:HIRTLE: "Works whose copyright was once owned or administered by the Alien Property Custodian, and whose copyright, if restored, would as of the URAA date[3], be owned by a government". English Wikipedia has a special template for such works by one specific author, see w:Template:PD-HHOFFMANN. If other similar material is to be uploaded there, more templates should be created on Wikipedia.
Why is Bavaria the copyright holder? In Germany, Bavaria holds the copyright to some Nazi material because all of Hitler's personal belongings, including his immaterial rights, were confiscated by the German government after WWII. Some of those belongings, including at least some copyright, later ended up belonging to Bavaria. However, I am not aware of any confiscation of copyright belonging to other people, and I do not see why Hitler himself would be the copyright holder to these newspapers. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:05, 18 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, interesting. But the Spiegel Online piece says matter of factly that the Bavarian Ministry of Defence owns the copyrights of Eher-Verlag which published these newspapers, and I don't see any reason to dispute that (though as a matter of record that is disputed by the publisher who sought to redistribute facsimiles). The crux of my post was whether (pre 1944 anyway) the text (at least) is in the public domain in Germany or not, since the Spiegel Online piece implies it was not and if it indeed is not then it shouldn't be on Commons. Interesting remarks though. Thank you. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 15:16, 18 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The article mentions an upcoming lawsuit. As the article was written several years ago, there might now be a court ruling which provides more information on the matter.
In the cases where photographers and text authors are not attributed, it can probably normally be assumed that the contributions are anonymous and thus PD in Germany 70 years after publication. Contributions which are not anonymous, for example because an author's name appears in the newspaper, are more problematic as the author's year of death needs to be identified. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:26, 18 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reporting copvios

I hope this is the right place. File:Gov. Imee Mondays.jpg is watermarked with a copyright notice. Second upload by the same author, File:Imee Marcos - August 2013.jpg has no source. Both should be tagged and deleted if the author does not clarify their situation, but I don't know how to do it myself. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 06:03, 18 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a link "Nominate for deletion" on the bottom left of each photo page. -- Robert Weemeyer (talk) 06:55, 18 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:Dagens Nyheter - 23 nov 1963.jpg

Can somebody tell me if these photos are out of copyright in Sweden and in US?--Brainy J (talk) 14:42, 11 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The photos should be in the public domain in Sweden, see {{PD-Sweden-photo}}. The text is attributed to Sven Åhman and can't be hosted on Commons until he has been dead for at least 70 years. Because of the text, the file needs to be deleted. The map in the top left corner may also be copyrighted.
The text should be {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} in the United States. According to the image caption, the big image was taken minutes before Kennedy was murdered (on the day before publication), so the photograph was either first published in Sweden or concurrently published in Sweden and other countries. US law is a bit confusing in such situations. The picture of Lyndon B. Johnson might previously have been published somewhere else, so the source country is not necessarily Sweden.
Note that COM:DM#Sweden only permits you to use artistic works and photographs, not literary works. Keep in mind that maps count as literary works under the Swedish copyright law. In Prop. 2004/05:110, the Swedish government rejected the proposal that de minimis also should permit the use of literary works:
Extended content
"Patent- och registreringsverket har ifrågasatt om inte 20 a § borde utvidgas till att omfatta fler typer av verk än konstverk, medan TV4 särskilt ansett att fotografiska verk borde innefattas. På denna punkt kan till att börja med konstateras att begreppet konstverk i upphovsrättslagen är ganska omfattande. Fotografiska verk ryms t.ex. inom den kategorin (se prop. 1993/94:109 s. 39). Ett fotografiskt verk som ingår som en underordnad del i en film eller i ett televisionsprogram kommer alltså att omfattas av den i promemorian föreslagna nya inskränkningsbestämmelsen i 20 a § URL. Begreppet konstverk innefattar vidare även brukskonst och byggnadskonst (se t.ex. prop. 1994/95:151 s. 36 f.). Det innebär alltså att väldigt många av de föremål som man kan tänka sig förekommer i bakgrunden av en bild kommer att omfattas av bestämmelsen. Det kan också konstateras att uttalandena i de ursprungliga förarbetena om att det ibland inte utgör exemplarframställning när verk förekommer i bakgrunden på en annan bild endast avsåg just konstverk (se NJA II 1961 s. 53).

Promemorian behandlade frågan om även andra typer av verk borde omfattas av inskränkningsbestämmelsen och uttalade att situationen att det är av mindre betydelse med hänsyn till filmen eller televisionsprogrammets innehåll att ett verk ingår i filmen eller programmet främst torde vara aktuell för konstverk. Regeringen delar uppfattningen att om en annan typ av verk tas med i ett sådant sammanhang utgör det sannolikt normalt ett inslag i filmen som valts ut för att särskilt illustrera något och som därmed har betydelse för filmens innehåll.

Regeringen anser också precis som promemorian att om utsidan på t.ex. en bok eller en skiva med musik syns i en film, t.ex. i en interiör, bör det normalt inte innebära att ett upphovsrättsligt relevant förfogande sker avseende det litterära verket eller musikverket. Skulle omslaget till boken eller skivan utgöra ett konstverk kommer förstås den föreslagna nya regeln att kunna tillämpas. Regeringen kan inte se att det framkommit något som talar för att det finns ett behov av att andra verk än konstverk skall omfattas av den nya bestämmelsen. Något sådant förslag bör således inte läggas fram."

The quoted text is {{PD-Sweden-URL9}}.
Therefore, a de minimis claim won't hold for the map in the top-left corner. The text also needs permission. --Stefan4 (talk) 01:28, 12 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Men Hallå!! . . jag kan knappt tro att detta är sant, en över 50 år gammal suddig väderkarta i en hörna, som jag lätt kan ta bort . . sånt här trams om en sak som detta tar ju död på Wikipedia. Jonnmann (talk) 08:40, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Microsoft Visual Studio

Are programs written with Microsoft's Visual Studio generally copyrighted as derivative works of the Visual Studio program? See Special:Contributions/Gogoplata1234 for examples of what I'm talking about. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 07:47, 16 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No. If a screenshot contains icons which are Microsoft's authorship, there could be an issue, and at the extreme perhaps the arrangement of their GUI. But unless an image depicts sample code which came with the program, such photos should be fine (just spot-checked a few). Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:25, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


First of all, is File:The Smurfs 2 logo.png really below the threshold of originality? I highly doubt this is some generic comic-like font. That looks like a very creative font to me - suggesting it was hand-drawn. But then again I can't seem to figure out this whole TOO line. Anyway, my real question is about File:Papa Smurf icon.png. Is that sort of a cut-out actually legal? (Assuming the work it derives from is free and is licensed correctly). That seems like a deliberate way to work around the copyright laws that just doesn't feel right. At this point there really isn't much difference between a drawing of Papa Smurf from and that cut-out other than the source. Any thought? --CyberXRef 05:05, 17 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It depends on the freedom of panorama laws in Spain. Ruslik (talk) 12:25, 17 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As for the second question, no, that sort of cut-out is not OK, I'm pretty sure. The FoP laws would allow it to be depicted in its public context, but if that context is removed, the result would be a copyright violation. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:28, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

FlickrevieweR &

Free as a …sandbug?

File:Sea-shore(byRafaSouza).jpg was made available at under CC-zero (see at Category talk:Images from Unsplash how these relicensing permission claims are being evaluated, between COM:PRP and COM:AGF); I contacted the author about this via the comment’s box of the image in Flickr and he confirmed the relicensing:

  • Olá, Rafael! Grande foto, onde é esse praia? Pode confirmar que autorizou que fosse relicenciada como CC-zero e posta aqui?
  • Tuválkin Olá! Essa foto foi tirada em Paraty, cidade ao sul do Rio de Janeiro. Sobre a licença, confirmo os termos ao qual a foto foi licenciada!

I quoted this confirmation in the "Permission" area of the file information box in our file page. Now, I understand that FlickrevieweR is a bot and can only see that the author didn’t bother to change the license to CC-zero in the Flickr page, but his human language confirmation is unmistakable. What should be done to avoid misflagging this photo as unfree? -- Tuválkin 15:53, 17 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Solved (neat!). -- Tuválkin 16:01, 17 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Same problem with File:Feet.JPG. --Túrelio (talk) 08:19, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Same problem, but not (yet) the same solution: The author of File:Feet.JPG has yet to reply to our queary. -- Tuválkin 16:21, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Swaziland banknotes

Is this file eligible to be transferred to Wikimedia Commons? I note that we have a File:Swaziland-1Lilangeni.jpg under Category:Money of Eswatini, but I'm unsure as to the eligibility of that lone file as well, and the local uploader's stipulation "Commons doesn't like images of money". TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 16:34, 18 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You may have to locate the copyright law of Swaziland and check yourself. This page has links to some IP laws, but the most recent copyright law on that page is from 1933 and is therefore presumably obsolete. The page w:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights suggests that the copyright act from 1912 currently is in force, but this contradicts with WIPO's page since there is a copyright act from 1933 hosted there. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:30, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The 1933 Act merely applied the 1912 law to works of authors from other countries, as presumably Swaziland joined the Berne Convention at the time (they re-joined in 1998 it seems). It didn't change the basic copyright law from what I see. The 1912 law might actually be current. They do have a 50-year-from-publication governmental copyright in there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:31, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, I read parts of the 1912 Copyright Act and indeed there is a copyright of 50 years for works made in the service of the government, as Clindberg remarked, and also a similar copyright of 50 years from death of the original author for independent artistic/literary/etc works. Unfortunately, I read Wikipedia's article on Swazi lilangeni, which stipulates that it was created in 1974 so may still be copyrighted until 2024 (also the Wikipedia article lacks a lot of references, so there may be room for doubt). I suppose in this copyright mess we should start a Deletion Request for File:Swaziland-1Lilangeni.jpg to see what others might think? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 05:59, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photos from the 1930s in Syria and Lebanon

A friend posted some really interesting photos on Facebook. They were taken by his grandfather (who was not a professional photographer, and is not alive anymore), and he is willing to release them under a free license. Is this possible? --Slashme (talk) 21:15, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If they are just being published for the first time, the U.S. copyright will last for 70 years past when the grandfather died. Presumably they inherited the copyright owner (potentially other family members are co-owners), and yes generally that should mean they can license them. It might be something to make sure the rest of the family is OK with. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:28, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note that rather special conditions apply for Syria. If the photographs were taken more than 10 years ago, they are now public domain and you can upload them without any worry. For Lebanon the copyright period is 50 years, rather than the default of 70, after the death of the photographer. See {{PD-Syria}}, {{PD-Lebanon}} and the full guide at Commons:Copyright rules by territory. -- (talk) 21:35, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, it may or may not be public domain in the country of origin, but it sounds most likely that the U.S. copyright is still valid and would need to be licensed. Also, country of origin is the country of first publication, so if that is just happening now, it may be wherever the grandson is living now, or maybe even the U.S. if they were published on Facebook. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:20, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks! I'll either get my friend to upload them, or else send him an OTRS form. --Slashme (talk) 22:24, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Picture taken of car manual showing technical specifications.

Is it alright to upload a photograph taken of a manual page showing technical specifications of different engine variants to wiki commons? There are no legal or copyright pages in the manual and as such I'm assuming it can be used as the owner (me) see's fit?

User @Endeavourous: Thank you for choosing to donate photographs of your materials to Commons. Regarding copyright, in law creative works are protected at the moment of creation, so we have to make sure it's been released under a free license. What you can perhaps do is claim that the pictures you took are your own work and you have indicated somewhere on the manual, say the cover, that the manual/pictures are released under a copyleft license. Otherwise, if your book is published elsewhere on the Net and it's been claimed to be non-free, we might need to have you verify that you are indeed the copyright holder by referring you to our Commons:OTRS process. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 10:29, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Currency from Ecuador

Dose anyone know the copyright status of Currency from Ecuador? It is not listed at Commons:Currency.--ARTEST4ECHO talk 14:49, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Permission validity question

Could someone check, if the following OTRS ( ticket #2014031010015782 ) is valid for the following file:
 ? Reasons for doubt - files are added by a bot, and the source is a temporary file locker (files seem already deleted due to time expiration)--RussianTrooper (talk) 15:50, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It seems to be fine the ticket mentions the photographer, source and license and they match file description. --Jarekt (talk) 16:25, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

SVG's are computer software?

I'd like to point out that in multiple deletion discussions, @Stefan4: has made arguments stating that alongside the (possibly non-existent) copyright of the visual work depicted by an SVG file, that the file itself can also be copyrighted as "computer software" per Adobe Systems, Inc. v. Southern Software, Inc., which ruled that while the design of a font cannot be protected, code used to render it can. Effectively, this would mean that in some cases, non-user created SVG's may actually be copyvios. But I think that we need a consensus on this; I do agree, that SVG's are in fact, code, and it is a separate work from the visual aspect itself.. ViperSnake151 (talk) 18:17, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

An SVG is an XML text file which acts as a set of script-able instructions. Commons does not allow animations or responses to mouse actions in any SVG uploaded, however the script may still be considered creative content. If an SVG file is uploaded as CC-BY-SA (or similar) then the presumption is that the underpinning script has been released under this licence as well as the "visual outcome".
If you are concerned then it makes more sense to put forward example cases for examination rather than talk hypothetically. In the specific area of fonts, the SVG may call on readily available fonts to paint text with a specified style (colour, size, position). On Commons these should be limited to freely available font families and reject SVGs with copyrighted fonts embedded within them; I presume the standard filter spots these. -- (talk) 18:47, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
SVGs as used by Commons have the same sort of "softwareness" that the fonts in Adobe Systems, Inc. v. Southern Software, Inc. do: they're a list of drawing instructions that the rendering software uses to produce the final image. The arguments in Adobe v. Southern (that there is creative choice in the selection of which instructions to use) could easily be applied to SVG images to determine that the underlying XML is copyrightable even if the resulting image isn't. --Carnildo (talk) 22:29, 13 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • When you make an SVG of a logo, you tell the SVG to make use of certain geometric shapes, and to render them in some particular order. The same logo could be rendered using different shapes and in different orders. This makes SVGs "computer software". However, in some cases, SVGs will be so trivial that the programmer will not be able to claim any copyright protection from creating it. Some SVGs may be derived from files stored in other vector formats such as PDF and may then count as derivative works of those other files and may need permission from the person who made the original file. Unfortunately, there are no examples at COM:TOO which describe the threshold of originality of computer software, so it is unclear exactly how much the person vectorising the logo has to do in order to claim copyright on the vectorisation.
SVGs are furthermore text. In some cases, you may be able to claim protection because you have written "creative text". However, you will probably rarely be able to claim protection for this reason, unless you created or heavily modified the file in a text editor. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:22, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I am not a lawyer, but I'll throw in my opinion anyway. It seems to me that there are usually three levels of "work" in an SVG or other vector file:
    1. The visual: There is the creativity in the artist's choice of how the art looks visually, which is copyrightable if it meets the threshold of originality, like any visual art. (It appears that fonts are ineligible at this level in the United States because typography is functional, per Eltra Corp. v. Ringer.)
    2. The technical: There is the choice in how each part of the visual effect in #1 is made. Some of this can be creative enough to be copyrightable separately from #1 — as in Adobe Systems — but some of it is probably not, particularly when the vector representation chosen is the obvious straightforward one for that particular element. (For example, if there is an artistic choice to put a square somewhere at a certain angle that may be original and copyrightable under #1, but the code to add a square at an angle is probably very obvious and therefore not separate originality from #1.)
    3. The coding: The code that describes the technical choices in #2. I would say that there could be, but almost never is, enough originality at this level to attract copyright, at least in the case of SVG: The actual source code would be almost purely one of the most obvious ways of writing out what vector shapes were chosen at level #2. Indeed, for the vast majority of SVG files, the code is machine-generated and the vector program chooses the same way to represent the same thing each time; any creativity would have been that of the program authors before the user used the program, and it's unlikely there was much of that, since the program has to be general enough to successfully code anything the user might draw. In the rare case that an author might have a particularly clever way of coding a specific vector, that might be original enough for copyright. But in my opinion, when someone talks about the copyright originality in SVG code, they're usually talking about the visual intent in #1 and/or choice of vector methods in #2, that are then necessarily expressed as SVG at level #3, not any additional creativity in choosing the text of level #3 itself. --Closeapple (talk) 07:11, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you have hit the nail on the head. We have the actual art work and the code that's used to represent it. SVG is very similar to HTML which means one can be very creative in how he "codes" the artwork - just like how someone can choose to make a website. You can use Inkscape (similar to Dreamweaver for HTML) which will almost always generate very generic code. One could always opt to writing it by hand where it's possibly to be very creative. While I don't know where to draw the line in general, I can say that it's very easy to tell "creative" hand-crafted SVG files from generic ones. (It should probably be noted that for such files, the source code should be licensed under something like MIT License) --CyberXRef 20:59, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The purpose is not whether have SVGs have value here or licensing from others, but whether Stefan "engineering drawings are maps" can construct an excuse for him to maintain his quota of deletions for the day. No other purpose is needed here. Andy Dingley (talk) 21:58, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Andy Dingley: Please do not derail the discussion with your personal grudge against Stefan. This thread is strictly about how SVG renderings are to be interpreted as far as copyright goes. If you have a problem with Stefan, please open a requests for comment subpage instead. In any case, I agree with the others that while the product of the code might be freely licensed, the method or the code used to generate the product could be considered a separate copyright from it. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 22:06, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Commons:Administrators'_noticeboard/User_problems#Stefan4_and_questionable_deletion_nominations has been open for days. Andy Dingley (talk) 00:37, 15 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This topic has already been introduced at here at Commons pump/Copyright in connection with File:General Electric logo.svg. Stefan tried to introduce a putative copyright for SVG scripts but was effectively shot down by this:

"A U.S. federal appellate case, 5 years after Adobe Systems v. Southern Software, seems to say that there is not copyrightable originality in vectorizations that are intended to directly reproduce an existing work. en:Threshold of originality#Reproductions of public domain works mentions this case, Meshwerks v. Toyota Motor Sales, decided in 2008, in which Meshwerks' wire-frame model-based copy of a Toyota vehicle did not entitle Meshwerks to any copyright protection on the Meshwerks model. Meshwerks, a subcontractor of a subcontractor in a Toyota advertising campaign, took extensive measurements to insure correct reproduction. An excerpt from the ruling:

"Meshwerks’ models owe their designs and origins to Toyota and deliberately do not include anything original of their own; accordingly, we hold that Meshwerks’ models are not protected by copyright..."

This was despite the computer model being accepted for copyright registration; though Meshwerks only filed for copyright after non-registration caused the case to be dismissed the first time. --Closeapple (talk) 04:52, 17 December 2013 (UTC)"Reply[reply]

and there is a reference in Wikipedia guidance here at Wikipedia:Threshold_of_originality#Reproductions_of_public_domain_works thus:

"Another court case related to threshold of originality was the 2008 case Meshwerks v. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. In this case, the court ruled that wire-frame computer models of Toyota vehicles were not entitled to additional copyright protection since the purpose of the models was to faithfully represent the original objects without any creative additions.Meshwerks v. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. (2008) (PDF). Retrieved on 2013-09-22.

I'm astonished (and disturbed) that Stefan doesn't mention this here. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 10:25, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That argument might apply to many SVGs created in the US, but I imagine it wouldn't necessarily apply to SVGs created in the UK or other "sweat of the brow" countries. --Avenue (talk) 12:59, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well the Common servers are located in the US. I don't follow your "sweat of the brow" comment. The US is a "sweat of the brow" country, the UK not surely? Coat of Many Colours (talk) 17:50, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You have that the wrong way round (although a 2012 European Court of Justice ruling has muddied the UK picture); see w:sweat of the brow. Commons also has a longstanding policy of respecting not just US copyright law, but also copyright in the source country of a work: see COM:L#Interaction of United States copyright law and non-US copyright law. --Avenue (talk) 22:46, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah right, thanks. I've always taken it to refer to the US court case which asserted sweat of the brow" wasn't copyrightable. Thanks. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 23:11, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
SVGs aren't wire-frame computer models. SVGs can have substantial comments that, being plain text, are clearly copyrightable. I don't know the exact form of wire-frame computer models, but an argument has been made that SVGs are protectable computer code which can't be a simple copy of anything but computer code. SVGs created simply through a drawing program are probably only protectable as drawings, but hand-made ones are probably the same as any other computer code. (Note that Meshwerks apparently never argued the computer code case; the court decided it as a graphical work, not as a textual one.) COM:SVG doesn't mention CSS, but SVG with CSS3 is clearly computer code; any program designed to compute a function can be translated into that language.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:29, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Both are scaleable vector graphics. The ruling has direct applicability to SVGs. I'm done here. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 17:50, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So you're saying I can upload a SVG file that has the entire text of the Lord of the Rings in the comments without problems?
Any court case at least in the US applies directly only to the case at hand. Careful interpretation is necessary if one is to apply it to your case. In the very least, SVG files can contain non-displayed textual data in a way that was never discussed in the Toyota v. Meshwerks trial, that can clearly be copyrightable under US law as well as any other copyright law protecting writings (i.e. all of them).--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:17, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The issue is not about the copyright status of the output but the putative claim that the SVG script rendering the output might attract copyright even if the output doesn't. Do you think I'm stupid by the way (answers on a post card here, not that I'll be back)?
And the answer is yes, SVG files are XML files, and XML files can contain arbitrary textual comments (that don't affect the output) that, as text, are copyrightable. There is substantial evidence that books are copyrightable.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:01, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If someone hand-edits an SVG, there could be a copyright on the text. If someone creates the image using a GUI SVG editor, I don't think there could be a copyright on the text itself (it's generated by the program), but could still have a copyright if there is any creativity in the the design itself -- sometimes there could be, beyond an underlying work, if there is additional creativity used for an SVG version (for example, engravings or mezzotints of paintings can have their own additional copyright, as there is additional creative work which goes into making the engraving or mezzotint itself, separate from the design of the painting). But I'm not sure that automatically holds for all SVGs which represent a pre-existing design. The U.S. Copyright Office originally gave software program registration to computer fonts because they contained more than just the outlines -- kerning and other information was enough to make them consider it a computer program. However, I think there is at least one court case where someone who only extracted the outline data from a font (to create a competing font) was found guilty of copyright infringement, which creates some of the gray area under discussion. The question then is if someone who edits an SVG in an editor gets a copyright on the specific control points, over and above what the resulting image happens to look like, or if it needs to be substantially more than that (copying all the glyphs in the font, which perhaps gave rise to a selection and arrangement copyright violation in the latter case). It's a bit of a gray area, but I'm not sure there has been a court case which speaks directly to it, and I normally would prefer not to delete works based on theoretical new bounds of copyright which have not been proven to be an actual issue by a court case. Especially when it comes to "slavish copies", where it is trying to reproduce as exactly as possible an existing graphic -- the Meshwerks case adds to those which explicitly say that slavish copies to another medium are still just copies and add no originality. If an SVG logo looks exactly like the original graphic, I'd be inclined to guess there is no U.S. copyright. If there was a DMCA claim based on such things though, it's possible the Foundation could decide to delete rather than contest. And yes, for SVGs created in the UK, they could easily be protected by their sweat-of-the-brow copyright. In general though I'm not sure I'd consider SVGs computer software (unless perhaps hand-edited); they are primarily just another way to "fix" a graphic image to me. However something like an SVG sample sheet of all characters in a font could be an issue given that one court ruling. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:21, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Carl, this is your take and it's OR. Will you sfan fans please provide an RS for all this. The Adobe case is not applicable. That concerned the efficient rendering of a single font, but the Meshwerke case five years later is a genuine precedent for rendering logos. End of.
Frankly Carl, I don't think this worth me paying any more attention to. If you do ever find an RS raising the issue for SVG scripts you're welcome to take it to my Talk page, otherwise I'm done here. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 23:11, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How is the Adobe case about fonts less applicable then the Meshwerks case about car outlines? Your argument is no less OR then his.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:17, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No. I'm not initiating a discussion about the copyright status of SVG images that is raised nowhere else outside Wikipedia and Commons forums. That's why I am calling for reliable sources that do address the issues and why I am dismissing it as original research until I see them. Meshwerks didn't cite Adobe. It thus clearly didn't consider it applicable and Meshwerks is the later case Moreover it addresses issues familiar to all who have the slightest experience at Commons:
"Although we hold that Meshwerks’ digital, wire-frame models are insufficiently original to warrant copyright protection, we do not turn a blind eye to the fact that digital imaging is a relatively new and evolving technology and that Congress extended copyright protection to “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed.” 17 U.S.C. § 102(a) (emphasis added). A Luddite might make the mistake of suggesting that digital modeling, as was once said of photography, allows for nothing more than “mechanical reproduction of the physical features or outlines of some object . . . and involves no originality of thought or any novelty in the intellectual operation connected with its visible reproduction in [the] shape of a picture.” Burrow-Giles, 111 U.S. at 59. Clearly, this is not so.
Digital modeling can be, surely is being, and no doubt increasingly will be used to create copyrightable expressions. Yet, just as photographs can be, but are not per se, copyrightable, the same holds true for digital models. There’s little question that digital models can be devised of Toyota cars with copyrightable features, whether by virtue of unique shading, lighting, angle, background scene, or other choices. The problem for Meshwerks in this particular case is simply that the uncontested facts reveal that it wasn’t involved in any such process, and indeed contracted to provide completely unadorned digital replicas of Toyota vehicles in a two-dimensional space. For this reason, we do not envision any “chilling effect” on creative expression based on our holding today, and instead see it as applying to digital modeling the same legal principles that have come, in the fullness of time and with an enlightened eye, to apply to photographs and other media."
When a logo such the Nike logo is uploaded in SVG format to Commons, it is uploaded as a "faithful representation" otherwise it would probably infringe trademark restrictions and in any case likely be regarded as out of scope. Meshwerks establishes for us that in that case the creator of the SVG has no more rights than if she had made a photograph of it. That's not OR, that's US law. Ender of (and really last from me here, thank you). Coat of Many Colours (talk) 11:12, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you read my take, I basically agree with you. But if someone hand-edits an SVG and makes a version which uses a lot of inventive SVG instructions to come up with the basic result, the SVG text itself could be copyrightable even if the end graphic itself is not. In other words, someone else could create a different SVG which displays the exact same thing and not infringe that copyright because the way it was done is different (just like computer programs can produce the same result, but the text of the code of each program is separately copyrightable). I've seen some interesting takes on SVGs of the US flag which I'd bet were copyrightable, even though the visual graphic itself obviously is not -- there can be original work involved in the fixation which is not necessarily visible. The case involving the mezzotint I was referring to was Alfred Bell & Co. v. Catalda Fine Arts, Inc.. While it is cases like that combined with the font copyright case which created the gray area -- does the selection of all those control points amount to something copyrightable in an of itself regardless of what the end result looks like -- I tend to agree that Meshwerks is more applicable and I think basic logo SVGs probably wont' get any additional protection. Don't think I've seen a registration along those lines either. That doesn't mean that others will always agree -- William Patry disagreed with the district court decision in the Meshwerks case, but changed his mind somewhat based on the subsequent ruling in the circuit court case we are talking about. Still he points out that the intent to be similar isn't necessarily always the deciding factor -- he brings up superrealistic painters that can paint something that looks almost identical to a photograph unless you look closely -- he's guessing that sort of thing will still be copyrightable separately from the photograph. But for something like an SVG trying to be faithful to an original logo... most of the time I'd guess the reasoning in Meshwerks applies. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:09, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I'm very sorry Carl. I noticed when I returned this morning that I hadn't read you very closely and you plainly have more expertise here than I. I was going to apologise on your Talk page this evening. You make some interesting points and I shall return to them at a later date, but if you will excuse me not right now because I've got burn-out. I woke up this morning with that unpleasant "I know I'm involved with something unpleasant at the moment but I can't think what it is" sort of feeling and that's a pretty sure sign I think to renegotiate the world beyond the log-out button. I'll put a courtesy note here, or on your talk page if here is no longer active, when I do look through your points. Thank you. What I was pains to point out was that case-law had moved on since the Adobe judgment (which incidentally I can barely understand looking though it). But it's not an interest in US copyright law that motivates me here, rather an understandable urge to protect my uploads (the top right image in that link on my user page was tagged for deletion on the grounds it was a sculpture). It's really irritating that you virtually have to study for a Master's in Copyright to keep your uploads in Wikimedia Commons and sfannites (I know now you are not one) need not be surprised if we are not always models of courtesy as a result. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 16:34, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Copyright law is highly frustrating. Many things which people assume are fine (often because fair use makes them OK) can actually be problems, and it's highly frustrating when it causes well-intentioned work to be deleted. On the other hand... if we want to maximize the amount of material we keep, then we do need to know about all the possible technicalities, and get into all the possible twists and turns, which can make things extremely complicated. The only way to simplify it would be to delete anything in gray areas. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:05, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, thanks for those William Patry refs. I note the second ends "If I was still writing casebooks for law school classes, Meshwerks would be a must for inclusion in the next edition", and that refracts the original purpose of my post here, which was to query why this case law, certainly known to User:Stefan4 because it was raised in his original thread here at Commons pump/Copyright, was not acknowledged here. Meshwerks establishes that "unadorned digital replicas" don't attract copyright. It can hardly be plainer.
That penultimate pararagraph in the second Patry piece strikes me as confused. Of course a photorealist (Patry's superrealist) painting attracts copyright just as any other painting does. But a photo of it which is a straightforward representation doesn't attract copyright in the US. That is precisely the thrust of the justices' remarks I quote above. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 08:50, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If we are denying copyright in the model because it's a slavish reproduction of the car, would the painting be denied because it's a slavish reproduction of a photograph? Photographs are actually a little bit different; the protectable expression in a photograph has nothing to do with the subject that is pictured, but rather the choices of lighting, angle, framing, etc., and (for some photos) the arrangement of the subject in the photo, if that was attributable to the photographer. For a straight-on photo of a painting, most of those elements are eliminated, thus the Bridgman ruling. For some of the other situations, copyright has often been allowed on some of the minute, not-as-visible details of making the copy (such as the lines of engraving, or the mezzotint process, or presumably the brushwork involved in making the photorealist painting) even if the visual result is strongly guided by an original, and it's not completely unreasonable to ask if all of the control points in a vector graphic are copyrightable separately from the visual image. But the Meshwerks case is a good counterargument to that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:05, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, that first thought crossed my mind as well. I'm sure I wouldn't like to second-guess the ingenuity of the US Supreme Court there :) ... For the rest I understand that's right. But I do have real difficulty with that stuff in Adobe about creativity in selecting control points (I have a maths background I try to hide and as it happens have done a fair bit of Windows graphics programming). For the life of me I can't see where the creative potential for selecting control points for Bezier spline lies, any more than when a draughtsman slides around French curves. However I'm by no means an expert in copyright law, nor aspire to be, and alway happy to defer. As I stress in this particular case I was vexed that what was plainly relevant case law was just being ignored. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 16:44, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

UK Sweat of the Brow

With regard to the mention of "for SVGs created in the UK, they could easily be protected by their sweat-of-the-brow copyright"—no, there is no evidence that anything could be "easily" protected using a sweat of the brow rationale. The existing court cases are not sufficient to come to any conclusion with regard to uploads to Commons. For the moment, due to an absence of any UK law which defines what this means, and weak case law, we cannot say that simple SVGs that transcribe a design but are not "hand crafted" as creative works in their own right, have any defensible copyright status. Some past cases are listed at Sweat of the brow. Please avoid using UK sweat-of-the-brow arguments where possible, it is better to understand the nature of creative content (or its absence) for the particular file rather than using this as legal jargon to short-cut a meaningful consensus. -- (talk) 11:39, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The UK threshold of originality is based on a "skill, labour, and judgement" criteria. They simply take "original" to mean originating from a human author, and not implying any sort of creativity. The UK has quite a bit of case law on that subject... see w:Walter v Lane for one early example (a reporter writing down a speech was considered the "author" of that transcription even though none of the words were theirs, so the skill and labor of the transcription was enough), and quite a number since (a lot more than the three listed on the Sweat of the Brow page). Given that was the law of the British Empire... it was inherited by a few other governments as well (the aboriginal flag was considered "original" in Australia, for example), and there is a fair bit more case law in those other countries which draw on the same standards. I have little doubt the Meshwerks case would have gone the other way in the UK. Things may be changing though... Canada backed away from pure sweat of the brow after signing the NAFTA treaties (which brought a bit of the U.S. threshold into their law), and more recently some UK sweat of the brow cases were overturned by EU judges who used the EU threshold ("author's own intellectual creation") so the "skill, labour, and judgement" test may be on its way out in the UK. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:55, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This source concerning the infamous NPG case supports Fæ. Commonsauts suffering severe gilt [not a typo] sindrome [ditto] over the whole thing might like to know that it's still not too late to save Save Van Dyck's Self-portrait. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 10:46, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I disagree and so does the WMF, particularly for the relevance of the (19th century) Walter v. Lane case; but this is not the place to open this up. If you want to create another RFC on this please do so. I do not want to keep on rehashing the weakness of any UK sweat of the brow claim for the rest of my life. The current state of play is that no image should have ever been deleted from Commons with this as a copyright rationale, if anyone knows of such a case then it should be put up for an appeal on Undeletion requests. -- (talk) 11:13, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, I don't want to bring it up, just mentioning that if a case came up in the UK, there is that potential unfortunately. The WMF chose to ignore that potential (it's not proven even in the UK) for sweat-of-the-brow copyright in the UK when it comes to photographic copies of paintings, and this would be another area where it would be probably good to do similar, given the likelihood that U.S. law wouldn't allow such copyright. But the UK level exists, to the point we do respect it for signatures (which also surprises me, but...). The UK wouldn't allow copyright on a mechanical process (so if the Meshwerks model generation was completely automated they probably would not get a copyright) but they have in the past very much protected the labor. Old cases are just as binding, quite often, and it's still often cited. There are lots of 19th-century U.S. cases which are bedrocks in their case law, and just as binding today. But maybe the EU stuff will start to override the older UK position. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:43, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The 19th C. case included a comparison to phonographs. I'm sure we are setting a more meaningful precedent. -- (talk) 15:08, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And more importantly, the case was constantly cited in subsequent cases and the logic applied to more modern situations. That is what makes it more meaningful. But the recent cases where EU judges overrode some UK cases makes for a good argument that the UK situation may be changing, and to avoid deletions based solely on their sweat of the brow precedents. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:17, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I am interning for a company and trying to upload the company logo on here in order to include it on the Wiki page I am creating. I submitted it to be uploaded a few weeks ago and was denied due to copyright/licensing issues, during which the entire page I created was deleted.

Our logo may be too simple, as I have read on some forums. Here is a link to our company website with the logo at the top (although a bit smaller in size than the version I am trying to upload (which does not exist on the Internet it seems): I also read something about using the following two tags when using 'simple' logos:

Trademarked This work includes material that may be protected as a trademark in some jurisdictions. If you want to use it, you have to ensure that you have the legal right to do so and that you do not infringe any trademark rights. See our general disclaimer.
This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing.
Public domain
This logo image consists only of simple geometric shapes or text. It does not meet the threshold of originality needed for copyright protection, and is therefore in the public domain. Although it is free of copyright restrictions, this image may still be subject to other restrictions. See WP:PD#Fonts and typefaces or Template talk:PD-textlogo for more information.

Anyways, I am very lost, and I really have no idea exactly how to upload this logo.


Ashley Insigma Hengtian (talk) 06:07, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Insigma Hengtian: Please inform your company that in order to release any material onto Wikipedia, they must first agree to release it under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and GNU Free Documentation License, the two free copyleft licenses that Wikipedia is released under, and that the Creative Commons license entails that anyone can reproduce your company's content for any reason, including commercial use. If the company logo has been deemed ineligible for copyright under the threshold of originality, that would preferably be up to regular Wikipedia editors to decide and upload, not the company. And also, if it is specifically the English-language Wikipedia that you wish to use to write an article about your company, please note that the English Wikipedia strictly forbids any sort of conflict of interest editing - that is, you will likely not be able to edit your company's article on English Wikipedia if you have a close affiliation with it. And you might also be blocked for obtaining the company's name as part of your account; under Wikipedia's prohibition against account names implying shared use, company names that imply the company as a whole controls a single Wikipedia account are also forbidden. You are however, welcome to contribute material here on Wikimedia Commons so long as its not overly promotional, as we have no strict prohibition against shared accounts (but we do discourage promotional ones). TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 07:35, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also before I forget, please make sure a representative of your company is able to fill out the form located at Commons:Declaration of consent for all enquiries and send an email ticket to our Commons:OTRS volunteers, located at permissions-commons at wikimedia dot org. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 07:37, 14 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So there, well kidbossed Ashley :) ... If you were uploading the logo from a web source there really wouldn't be a problem since the logo is indeed too simple for copyright in both the US and China. You would just add those tags and no one would demur. The problem was that you were using a company file without indicating a source. It wasn't wise either to indicate that you were an intern at the company. Shortest route would be to get your company to put the full size logo (best as an SVG file) on a web source and then get your granny to upload it on her Commons account. Cheers. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 09:22, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When it comes to making judgements about the threshold of originality, I generally prefer erring on the safe side of "how simple is simple enough?" But I won't argue the case if they decide to claim TOO for having Commons host their logo anyway. Also @Coat of Many Colours, due to the recently proposed changes to the terms of use, indicating whether or not you're an intern from a company (or indeed paid whatsoever by the same) might well become a requirement soon. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 09:54, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Special:Upload is the form for you, and while it isn't generally very reliable or intuitive as far as interface design goes, and has a lot of fields to fill out to boot, it should suffice to meet your specific needs. The UploadWizard might be good for beginners I suppose, but from personal experience using the form, it comes with a whole different range of its own attendant problems. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 09:59, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think Ashley will be back here any time soon. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 10:28, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photo of 2D notice in the UK

I have just come across File:Victoria Bridge, Bath - Restoration Notice.JPG which appears to me to be a 2D notice with photos and text. I have looked at Commons:Freedom of panorama#United Kingdom but I'm unclear whether this is covered and therefore whether the image should be nominated for deletion.Rodw (talk) 18:56, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Probably not OK. Yann (talk) 14:22, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not covered by FoP. The photographs and text are likely to be copyright of B&NES Council or their contractors and De minimis does not apply as the only purpose of this photo is to reproduce the notice. -- (talk) 14:34, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks I have nominated for deletion.Rodw (talk) 11:01, 22 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics: Protein Data Bank

Hi, I just found this file File:Ste5 Protein Structure.jpg which is credited to "RCSB: Protein Data Bank" but I'm wondering if the terms of use allow reproduction on Wikimedia Commons, since it's quite vague what is to apply here. Currently, RCSB policies release their files "free of all copyright restrictions and made fully and freely available for both non-commercial and commercial use" provided that the user of a reproduction refer to their advisory notice, which seem to contradictorily state "Redistribution of modified data files using the same file name as is on the FTP server is prohibited". Is this an express prohibition on derivative works as required by CC-BY-SA, or just a prohibition on overwriting the files currently stored in the PDB database? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 19:18, 21 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this below threshold of originality?

File:Ksafgsdjf.jpg --Brainy J (talk) 16:17, 20 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In the U.S.? Probably not copyrightable. In Kosovo? Not the faintest clue. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

uploader and author are not the same

File:Dubrovnik crop.jpg seems to have an issue needing some attention. in a recent GA review of the article "Game of thrones" I discovered a few issues, one is now pending OTRS verification but this file needs to have some oversite as it seems the author/commons user and the commons uploader are two different individuals with no explanation as to why.--Amadscientist (talk) 01:15, 25 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:Dubrovnik crop.jpg. Fixed the issue. --Martin H. (talk) 02:01, 25 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

NoFOP France - what about overviews of high-rise quarters

Hi. I have tried the search but not found much, so please excuse me if this has been answered before.
I am aware of the issues caused by the lack of FoP for recent French buildings, yet uncertain whether images of entire quarters would also be unacceptable. I am particulary thinking about the Front de Seine and Italie 13/Olympiades quarters in Paris. Here the image would contain 6-15 copyrighted buildings, yet no single one would define the image in an outstanding manner (that is, the image would still work with one less tower), but of course if all copyrighted buildings were removed at once, the image would be worthless. I see that there are several images currently existing on Commons for both quarters, however I do not know if they simply have never been deleted despite being inacceptable or if they are actively accepted. I would like to upload some better images, but am obviously not keen to cause trouble here.
Is there any clear way here how to deal with that issue? --DXR (talk) 11:53, 25 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:Schindler, Oskar.jpg may be free?

Hello, this photo can be copied to commons? Apparently it was taken in 1949, when he escaped to Argentina. Its over 25 years {{PD-AR-Photo}}, and complies with {{PD-1996}}. Regards. --GM83 (talk) 23:43, 19 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Do we know when it was first published and in which country? Thincat (talk) 10:09, 26 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Newspaper cover of 1920 Hungarian newspaper- copyrighted or not?

I hope this is the appropriate noticeboard to ask this: is the cover of a 1920 "8 Orai ujsag" File:1920HuNewsp.jpg copyrigted or not? Is it hostable here? Iaaasi (talk) 12:00, 25 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, yes, this is the right place for questions like this. There are actually two things to be considered: 1) is it free in Hungary (where it comes from) and 2) is it free in the US (where our servers are located) – see Commons:PD#Interaction of US and non-US copyright law. 2) Is easy: is was published before 1923 and is therefore in the public domain in the US → That would be {{PD-US-1923}}. 1) Is not that easy: per Commons:Copyright_rules_by_territory#Hungary, works like this are in the public domain if the author has died more than 70 years ago. If the author is unknown, that becomes 70 years after publication. And this is where it gets tricky: We don't know who the author was, but that does not necessarily mean that s/he is actually unknown. The main article continues at another page and there might have been a name below it (probably not though, because the small article on the left doesn'tseem to have a name below it either). Or the Newspaper might have kept records about who wrote which article, which are now buried deep down in an archive – also not too likely, imho. So it's probably free in Hungary as well, but we can't really be sure. I've changed the copyright tag to the (again: probably) appropriate {{PD-anon-1923}}, but I'd very much appreciate further opinions on this. --El Grafo (talk) 12:33, 25 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If the individual author of the text is not known to us - please note that this doesnt mean that the author is unknown or that the author decided not to disclose their identity which is extremly unlikely - it would be good to check who where the editors of the newspaper. The editors are often known, in most cases written on the newspaper, in all other cases they can be found out by doing research about the newspaper. They often have a creative influence on the newspaper, this means the newspaper and the article is a collective work and the public domain argumentation can be constructed based on the death years of the editors. --15:38, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Pictogram voting info.svg Info I've filed a deletion request – don't feel comfortable putting {{PD-anon-1923}} there based on mere assumptions … --El Grafo (talk) 12:54, 26 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think these are non-copyrightable

wikipedia:File:EVC vote example.png, wikipedia:File:Canada Everybody Votes.JPG
Surely these are non-copyrightable. Consists of plain text + country outlines (viz. "Geographic or topographic features. Those are facts, and facts aren't copyrightable.") + simple circular arrow design.--Brainy J (talk) 13:59, 22 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Maps are generally copyrightable, so without knowing where those outlines came from… I would not upload them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:30, 24 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How are an outline map of Great Britain and an outline map of Canada with territory lines any more creative than "an outline map of the state of Texas, or one of the US showing the state boundaries"?--Brainy J (talk) 21:44, 24 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maps are one of the oldest items which have always been protected by copyright law -- include the first U.S. copyright law, the Copyright Act of 1790 (which protected "maps, charts, and books"). While the border is a fact and not copyrightable, the depiction in a map (which will typically eliminate some of the details for the sake of simplicity) may be a different situation. There can be other elements of a map as well, and choices of which elements are emphasized. It's entirely possible there are PD maps they started from, but... without knowing it's harder to judge. There are also other elements on the screen. It's not a particularly strong copyright in this case, and you may be right that it would not get a U.S. copyright, but it's close enough that I'd be a bit nervous. Secondly, Nintendo is a Japanese company, and the threshold might be different there. It is true that basic outlines have been denied a U.S. copyright registration, but this is a little bit more than that (though not much). I personally would not upload them, but others might disagree, and I probably wouldn't nominate it for deletion either. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:03, 24 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay. You might want to amend Commons:Derivative works#Maps to clarify this point. The way I was reading it, it seemed to mean "Outline maps are non-copyrightable, but if the mapmaker adds additional information, or otherwise expends creative effort on it, then it can be copyrighted."--Brainy J (talk) 02:27, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this map in the public domain?

If it is, what license tag should be used? Iaaasi (talk) 11:30, 26 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The map was first published in en:The Sphere (newspaper), so UK Copyright law applies (in addition to US-rules, but that's no problem here because it was published before 1923). You'd need to find the original in a newspaper archive and find out who the creator of the map was and when he died. en:Wikipedia:List_of_online_newspaper_archives#United_Kingdom may or may not be helpful. --El Grafo (talk) 12:37, 26 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The map may have been attributed to a named artist and we would need assurance that 70 years has passed since their death. If you believe the map was not attributed after making reasonable efforts to track this down, you could add {{PD-UK-unknown}} as well as the PD-1923 licence. -- (talk) 03:35, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Copyright question re engravings circa 1880

I'd like to clarify an issue regarding copyrights. I understand that we have to be careful about the publication date, which is not necessarily the same as the original creation date. So, for example, a photo taken in 1920, but first published in a book or newspaper in 1980, is not in the public domain due to the 1920 date, it follows the copyright laws associated with a 1980 date because that is the date of publication.

I am responding to an OTRS question involving engravings. The person wants to contribute scans of the engravings. The date of the original creation is uncertain, but almost certainly prior to 1905 and more likely c.1880. The location is the US. The question is, what publication date applies?

I looked at a Copyright Office circular (the one linked in footnote 102 of Commons:Copyright rules by territory. I do not see "engravings" specifically mentioned, but I assume they are covered as part of "5 pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works". The circular defines publication:

“Publication” is the distribution of copies or phonorecords
of a work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership,
or by rental, lease, or lending.

That is a quote from the 1976 Copyright Act so doesn't strictly apply. However, if one assumed that they were trying to codify the definition, as oppose to change it, I think it is reasonable to treat the publication date of an engraving as the date it was sold or given to the recipient. As long as I can confirm that the original engraver did not hold on to them until recently, but actually distributed them prior to 1923, I think I can treat them as public domain. Any disagreement, or other issues that should be addressed?--Sphilbrick (talk) 16:17, 26 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would agree; moreover, since engravings were generally made to be distributed I would accept a presumption of publication shortly after creation of the engraving (at least in the absence of some specific reason to believe otherwise). Dankarl (talk) 02:41, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As far as I've seen, reasonable assumptions of images being published about creation date aren't usually challenged in Commons. Furthermore, such assumptions are even more reasonable for engravings than for other works like paintings and photographs.--Pere prlpz (talk) 12:47, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks to both, that sounds reasonable.--Sphilbrick (talk) 15:12, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I fully agree with Dankarl and Pere prlpz; as engravings were a means of reproduction, usually printed in numerous copies for dissemination and not to be stashed away for years, publication shortly after creation is a very reasonable assumption for typical engravings. An exception may be some (modern) art engravings with the engraving technique as a means of artistic expression. Gestumblindi (talk) 21:09, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Help on first upload

I uploaded File:GreatGateBlitzed.jpg, but it was deleted. The photo is on the internet at and (the blogger claims to have checked all copyrights) and I find no evidence of copyright. It seems to be free content in Public Domain. What did I do wrong? Thanks for help on my first attempt to upload. Vejlefjord (talk) 17:51, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Flickr image version is "All rights reserved" which is not an acceptable license for Commons. For all others, check this chart for rules on when stuff goes into the public domain; assuming it was published 4 May 1942 in The Times it might or might not be in the public domain depending on whether it has a copyright notice or not. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 19:20, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for your help. Vejlefjord (talk) 19:54, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hires CC-ND-NC and lowres CC-SA-BY

What are the relevant policies concerning uploading a lowres version of a file as CC-BY-SA when the same file at hires is hosted by myself elsewhere on the internet under a CC-NC-ND license?  B.p. 08:36, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We just had a discussion on this, see Commons:Village pump/Copyright#File:Trabalhos.jpg up above, which resulted in this change to current policy. My interpretation of the conclusion is that precautionary principle applies in all cases. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 09:04, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes; we don't grab that file to here per COM:PRP. But you may have difficulty to stop other reusers from using your file per this CC FAQ update. Jee 09:14, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Too bad. Commons' (and as such Wikipedia's) loss I guess...  B.p. 17:38, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Old UK photographs credited to studios

File:Rear Admiral David Beatty pre-1915.jpg is credited by the National Portrait Gallery to Speaght Ltd [6] but the exact photographer is not identified. In this and other similar instances, would the image be {{PD-UK-unknown}}? DRs seem to have had different outcomes on this (see Commons:Deletion requests/File:Lionel Logue 3.jpg, Commons:Undeletion requests/Archive#File:Joseph Sullivan MP.jpg). January (talk) 17:19, 25 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The two portrait photographs appear formal photographs taken while in service. The expired crown copyright PD status seems perfectly reasonable for these as derived works. The composite picture may be a different matter, I have no idea why such a composition was made. I can find no information on "Speaght Ltd". -- (talk) 18:43, 25 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, that should have been Speaight Ltd (spelling error). January (talk) 20:25, 25 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In general yes, if it was a work for hire of a studio which had many employees, and some research into that company shows that no individual's name can be found, I would tend to go with PD-UK-unknown. As Fae mentions, the ones which look like official service photographs are more likely PD-UKGov, and I would go with that. From some searching, it would seem that Speaight Ltd was run by Frederick William Speaight (1869-1942) and his brother Richard Neville Speaight (1875-1938). So even if the photo was by one of those two, it would seem to be OK. I did see references to "Speaight & Sons" so the company may have been continued, but the lack of that name in the NPG photo probably means it predates that company change (and their children would not have been old enough to participate in 1915 anyways). But in many cases the authors of some postcards can be determined, and even photographs over 100 years old can still be well within copyright, so it's not always an easy question. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:28, 26 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for your responses. Can I ask a follow-up question on PD-UKGov: If a photo of a military person is known to have been taken by a private photographer or studio rather than a UK government employee, can we still assume Crown Copyright or would we need to establish that the photograph was a work-for-hire by the UK government? (Asked because there are DRs open File:Aylmerhaldane.jpg and File:Frederickpile.jpg). January (talk) 10:43, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suggest we avoid overly hypothetical rationales for deletion of very old photographs. It is true that military personnel may have got some of their photographs for official documents made by whichever local photographers were about, particularly during WWII where civilian resources were often commissioned for this work. I doubt that beyond rare requisition forms we would have any evidence of a government contract for this work, but unless there is some evidence that the photograph was taken for commercial purposes beyond providing the military person a formal portrait for identification during their time in service, I suggest we are lenient in interpreting the copyright status for photographs of this type, taken 70+ years ago. It is however correct that we cannot strictly assume Crown Copyright. Though if taken during WWII, it may well be true that the photographs might have been interpreted as the property of the Ministry of Information who had wide powers to assume control or restrict publications during the war period. -- (talk) 10:59, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My question wasn't intended as a deletion rationale, but it's not a purely hypothetical issue either. File:Aylmerhaldane.jpg was by Walter Stoneman who died less than 70 years ago, File:Frederickpile.jpg was taken in 1937 so would be {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} if it wasn’t Crown Copyright. January (talk) 12:09, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Added my view to the DRs for these cases. -- (talk) 12:31, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In that era, yes we probably could assume that. The 1911 Copyright Act said Without prejudice to any rights or privileges of the Crown, 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, the copyright in the work shall, subject to any agreement with the author, belong to His Majesty. The 1956 Act was similar; it says In the case of every original literary, dramatic, as musical or artistic work made by or under the direction or control of Her Majesty or a Government department [...] Her Majesty shall, subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, be entitled to the copyright in the work. The 1988 Copyright Act relaxed that language, so nowadays it is where a work is made by Her Majesty or by an officer or servant of the Crown in the course of his duties. If they were portraits taken outside of the official ones though, that could of course be different. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:05, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Commons needs to face up to this question (as at Commons:User problems for both of them just this week): Is the project here to be a media repository that supports an encyclopedia project, or is it a playpen for self-important admins to give themselves excuses for this sort of mental masturbation. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:28, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please mind your language. Just to set some facts straight: Stefan4 is not an administrator, the deletion discussion you give as an example of bulk deletions is not a bulk deletion request, the subject of the discussion was not tagged with {{PD-UK-Unknown}} but with {{PD-old-70}}, and there was no evidence of the author having died more than 70 years ago or evidence of attempts to establish the author's identity (and please note that scanning an image does not make you the author). Furthermore, the file did not have any PD rationale for the US jurisdiction. All in all an entirely appropriate (non-bulk) deletion given the (lack of) information provided by you as the uploader. LX (talk, contribs) 16:25, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If it's not a bulk deletion discussion, why was an entire category deleted? Andy Dingley (talk) 18:11, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My bad on that part. Mass deletion discussions should really always be clearly identified as such and enumerate all the affected files; they should not be tagged onto single-file deletion discussions referencing only a category. LX (talk, contribs) 19:21, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edwin H Land

This photo of File:Edwin_H._Land.jpg is labeled as Creative Commons, but the linked article gives a credit of "Photograph by Fritz Goro/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images" without mentioning Creative Commons licensing terms. Noah Salzman (talk) 03:28, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, you are correct. This is a rights managed image controlled by Getty Images, #112226674. I've marked it as a copyvio. —RP88 03:41, 27 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for correcting that. Noah Salzman (talk) 23:09, 28 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]