Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2014/05

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


Old unpublished works from EU

How does EU and US legislation interact in the case of old unpublished works from EU? When the author has been dead for 70 years the works are free in e.g. Finland (but not in USA, to my understanding). The first to publish them will get a shorter copyright like right to them over here. This would result in one person (the heir) having exclusive right to the works according to US legislation and another person (the publisher) having exclusive right to the works according to EU legislation, and the works would be unpublishable (for persons who need to consider both legislations) unless there is an agreement between the two.

The situation seems awkward and common enough to be treated specially. Are there special provisions or rules that can be used for handling the situation, e.g. in the case where the heir has no connections to USA?

As a special case, what about still unpublished anonymous works made in EU before 1914?

--LPfi (talk) 18:51, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Works that were unpublished in 2003 get "70 years after the death of author. If a work of corporate authorship, 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever expires first"[1] in the US; I can't see any cases where PD versus copyright would matter based on EU law. I doubt that US law would care about first to publish a PD work; that's simply not a part of US law.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:15, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Anonymous and pseudonymous works are 95 years since publication or 120 years since creation, whichever is less, in the US. You do have to check the copyright office records, since a registration of the author in those records is sufficient to disprove anonymity.
There's also "(e) Presumption as to Author's Death. — After a period of 95 years from the year of first publication of a work, or a period of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first, any person who obtains from the Copyright Office a certified report that the records provided by subsection (d) disclose nothing to indicate that the author of the work is living, or died less than 70 years before, is entitled to the benefit of a presumption that the author has been dead for at least 70 years. Reliance in good faith upon this presumption shall be a complete defense to any action for infringement under this title."--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:41, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
So unpublished works of known authors have the same term in USA and (most?) EU countries: 70 years pma.
For published works we have quite much experience. I think 70/95 years is much too much, but I think the law itself is clear.
I think it would be odd to routinely register unpublished European photos with the USA copyright authorities, so checking for registration is probably not worthwhile in most cases. How does one check whether a photo or painting has been registered for copyright?
The remaining problem is unpublished unregistered works of unknown authors. For them, the term in (most of?) EU is 70 years from year of creation, while it seems it in USA is 120 years from creation. In these 50 years anyone in EU, who has access to the work, can publish the work and thus get a copyright-like right to the work for 25 years. The question is whether this right has any bearing in USA (i.e. for Commons). I think it is odd that copyright(-like rights) would be owned by different persons. Can the EU copyright owner be sued in USA for publishing such works? Probably at least if publishing them in USA.
The problem at hand is that a person owns old unpublished photographs by unknown authors (common with family albums, here it concerns institutional photographies). Unless there are some special provisions for foreign works the publication of the work now would be illegal according to US law and thus not influence copyright.
If publication in EU, legal according to EU laws, is recognized in USA, then we have a work with a free licence, published in 2014, which to my understanding could very well be uploaded to Commons. But is the work still regarded as unpublished, with copyright owned by the unknown heirs?
--LPfi (talk) 10:31, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
You can query the Copyright Office servers for new stuff, or page through the scans at . In any case, if you have an anonymous work without title attached, that's likely to be unproductive. I can't see why EU publishing rights would matter in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:22, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I just suppose they could. But you mean a work legally published in EU is regarded as unpublished if the publication would have been illegal in USA? --LPfi (talk) 09:01, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Probably, but I don't see it as relevant. If an anonymous work hasn't been published within 35 years of creation, and never gets an author, it has 120 years from creation, published or unpublished. The question is would a US court let a publication in the EU that would be illegal in the US transfer copyright from the copyright holder to the publisher?--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:47, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

PDF files

Hi there. I added two photos today, but wanted to check if they are licensed properly before I add them to an article. The files are "File:Pigeon Roost - Natchez Trace Parkway - 1.jpg" and "File:Pigeon Roost - Natchez Trace Parkway - 2.jpg". They were inside a US Govt PDF publication, and I cut them out. I couldn't find any policy saying this wasn't ok, but wanted to check. Thanks! Magnolia677 (talk) 02:59, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

The files are in public domain and should be tagged with {{PD-USGov}}. Ruslik (talk) 12:33, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Opinion on possible copyvio

Hi, all! I'd like a second opinion on this image and what to do with it. The "own work" tag is almost certainly false; it's copied directly from this website, watermark and all. So that needs to be fixed, one way or another. But the question I have is: does this pass the threshold of originality to make it non-PD? I believe all the separate elements in it are non-copyrighted (fonts, colors, and a PD painting), but does the arrangement of those parts make it a copyrightable work, or does it still fall into PD? Note that if it is copyrightable, then it hasn't been released under an appropriate license by the copyright holder and should be deleted as a copyvio. If it isn't, then we need to fix the tags, removing the false "own work" claim and license and adding the appropriate PD tags. But which is it? (As an aside, this user had previously uploaded a more straightforward copyright violation, a promotional image of Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter movies, with the same "own work" tag.) Thanks, Writ Keeper (talk) 19:45, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Request permission

I apologize for my ignorance but how do I receive a company's permission to use their logo, upload it here, and use it on their Wikipedia page? I would like to upload the logo and add it to the company's page. Any help is appreciated. Thanks! Meatsgains (talk) 05:26, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

To use it on a en.wikipedia article, you could upload it to en.wikipedia as a "fair use" image (though that involves a lot of template-filling to satisfy rigid and elaborate bureaucratic requirements, and is probably not recommended for a Wikipedia novice). To upload it here, you need to persuade the company to release it under a free license through COM:OTRS, unless the logo only involves plain text and simple geometric shapes, in which case it could be copyright-ineligible (though trademarked)... AnonMoos (talk) 07:23, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

"freedom of panorama" equivalent for copyrighted audio in video?

Is there a "freedom of panorama" equivalent for copyrighted audio works in a video recording?

Suppose I'm recording a video of fireworks on the beach, and someone starts blaring a Maroon 5 song on a boombox in the background halfway through the recording. If I wanted to upload the video to Commons, would I have edit out the music, or could it be included as it wasn't the focus of the video? --Ixfd64 (talk) 20:51, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Unfortunately you would have to edit out the music unless it were a trivial sample. Past examples, such as Amazon's sampling, provide cases for up to 30 seconds might be okay, however this is a fair use rationale that might not withstand scrutiny on Commons. -- (talk) 21:01, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
From what one understands, the incidental capture of background audio can be fair use in certain circumstances, including (but not necessarily limited to) news reporting or documentary filmmaking. As Fæ previously mentioned, however, Commons does not allow reliance on fair use when accepting content. (A separate issue to look into is whether de minimis can apply in the case of incidentally included audio.) --Gazebo (talk) 01:28, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the replies. I figured that was the case. --Ixfd64 (talk) 17:10, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Help me, please

Help me with advice. There are not very many pictures of respirators that are in the public domain. Some videos in Youtube is in the public domain. If I use some of the shots of these videos for obtaining the images of respirators, how it is better to specify a license, source, author, and other settings? Examples of such files:

Thank You AlexChirkin (talk) 09:22, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Fire Department Employee Having Issues Uploading Fire Department Photos

I'm a civilian employee of a fire department. Was asked by the chief, my immediate supervisor, to update the department's wikipedia page. Chief then provided me with multiple photos to add to wiki page. This includes several images of station / department patches. Chief has given me permission to use all images and doesn't believe any of said images are copyrighted. How do I proceed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Taylor3421 (talk • contribs) 22:24, 3 May 2014‎ (UTC)

Each image was created by someone. Who? When was it first published? Each patch design was created by someone. Who? When was it first published? Please detail the specific legal rationale on which the chief bases his belief that each image is not copyrighted. -- Asclepias (talk) 22:37, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
Addendum: I see from your contributions log that you have already uploaded a few images (and that someone has notified you that most of them are missing the indication of their copyright status). Let's use some of those images as examples:
  • You credit the photo File:JFRD Marine 1.jpg to the chief of operations, Mr. Wilson. However, the metadata credits the photo to E. Splinter. So, is someone trying to violate Mr. Splinter's rights? If not, what's the explanation?
  • You credit many other photos, many without metadata, to the chief. The above example shows that this credit statement may not always be obvious. So, firstly, do you confirm that the chief personally took all the photographs that you credit to him? Secondly, for the photos that he actually took himself, then their copyright status should be confirmed by him. If your above statement "chief (...) doesn't believe any of said images are copyrighted" means that he releases his own works to the public domain, then that's great, but then please ask him to send a mail to the address provided at Commons:OTRS to confirm that those are his own works and that he does release his copyright on those works to the public domain (he could do it for example under the terms of the CC-0 declaration). And a statement to that effect must be added to the description pages of those files.
  • You credit the photo File:JFRD's Honor Guard.jpg to T. Sullivan. However, it seems that Mr. Sullivan appears on the photo, holding an impressive axe with both hands. Can you confirm that he did take this photo? And that he released his rights under the CC-0 declaration you placed on the page? If yes to both questions, then please ask him to send a mail confirming all those statements through OTRS.
  • You write that the author of the image File:JFRD Logo.jpg is "unknown", but you tag it with a CC-0 declaration. It's not possible to claim that the author released his work under CC-0 and at the same time to claim that the author is unknown.
  • You state that the author of the image File:JFRD Hazmat Logo.jpg is unknown and that it was made yesterday and that its author released it under CC-0. It is very difficult to imagine that the author of such a recent illustration is unknown. And you have the same problem as above about saying that the author released his work under CC-0 and saying that the author is unknown.
-- Asclepias (talk) 01:23, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
If all those images are made by employees of the fire department during their working hours then the author will be the local government, I think. In this case the images are indeed not copyrighted (see this). Ruslik (talk) 11:56, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Artwork photograph copyright status?

File:Hong Kong for 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony.jpg is a CC-BY 2.0 photograph copied to Commons from Flickr via a bot. However, it is a photograph of an artwork from an evening party following a ceremony in 2010, according to the file description. Furthermore, Commons:FOP#Hong_Kong states that it is not okay to take photographs of 2D art in Hong Kong. It is not known whether or not the original artwork is copyrighted or not, as the file description does not explain this, and this photograph is a derivative work of the original artwork. Since the primary focus of the photograph is the artwork, de minimis cannot be argued. -- 李博杰  Talk contribs 11:10, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

On closer investigation, it appears that the artwork is a derivative of an Associated Press photograph. You can see a de minimis variant of the Associated Press photograph here and here. -- 李博杰  Talk contribs 11:16, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Category:Murals by Diego Rivera in the Palacio de Bellas Artes

Mexican artist Diego Rivera died in 1957. Template:PD-Mexico does not apply to works whose authors died after 1952. I believe that many murals are still copyrightable. Delete them without discussion? --George Ho (talk) 21:40, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

No, make a mass DR, and let anyone who has a stake in the matter argue it out. It rarely hurts to give these things seven days.--Prosfilaes (talk) 06:23, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

photo licensing/copyright from other website

Hi, I just added a photo I found on one website to use as a profile from a wiki page, how do I get the right to re-use it?

the wiki page is

the website i got it from is

so it looks to be in the public domain right? Do I need to add anything or...?

thanks in advance

Kal — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kalstras (talk • contribs) 06:44, 6 May 2014‎ (UTC)

Hello Kal, and thank you for asking. Unfortunately the default is to assume that all images on the internet are covered by copyright unless there is an explicit note releasing images under a free license. The website you linked to does not appear to have any copyright notices but that does not mean the images are in the public domain. Essentially you have two options open to you. Firstly and most ideally, you could try to find out the actual copyright owner which is usually the photographer (and not necessarily the website owner), and ask them if they would be willing to release the image under any of the free licenses accepted by Commons. This can be done by them sending an email to with the details required by OTRS or if they actually turn out to be the website owners, they can add a free license label on the relevant page. If all else fails and you cannot get the image under a free license, there is a very narrow window wherbey you could upload a reduced image directly to English Wikipedia and use a fair-use rationale to justify using one image in one article. That should be seen as an absolute last resort but it is worth knowing about, just in case. If the image is deleted, please don't upload it to Commons again until it has an appropriate free license. Don't worry, because images can almost always be un-deleted if the needs arises. Green Giant supports NonFreeWiki (talk) 09:31, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Copyright law in India

Hi, I got confirmation from a lawyer that pictures created in India before 1958 are in the public domain 50 years after creation. I will ask if I can publish the whole text. Best regards, Yann (talk) 18:11, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Quote from Mishi Choudhary, Esq., Legal Director, Software Freedom Law Center, New York, and Executive Director, Software Freedom Law Center, New Delhi: "Since the 1957 Act does not carry retrospective effect, copyright protection of works created before 1958 would stem from the 1911 Act. As previously mentioned, the 1911 Act grants copyright protection to photographs for a term of 50 years from the making of their respective original negatives. Therefore, any photograph whose original negative was created before 1958 enjoyed copyright protection for 50 years from the date of creation of said negative, and ownership of copyright went to the person who owned the negative when it was made."

It's good that we can add his opinion to the information we have on this topic. The opinion to the same effect published by the former chief justice of the Calcutta and Bombay high courts, had already been linked in last year's discussion. However, some users on Commons might still argue that somehow they know better about Indian law than the Indian judges and lawyers. It could be interesting to have the full text of the opinion of the lawyer with details, but we already know what the basic rationale is. But, more importantly, what would be helpful is if you can obtain from him one or several references to specific court cases that were judged on this point, if there are any, which is something that has been missing in the discussions. -- Asclepias (talk) 20:02, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Ragnarok online avatars

See Special:Contributions/Spygurl. These seem to be some (partially user-created?) "characters" from some online game "Ragnarok online". What's the copyright on those? Lupo 07:30, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Unless the online game explicitly makes clear that characters are free to use, the default is to assume that they are copyright protected. It will be written somewhere in the games terms and conditions that users are permitted to only use the software under certain circumstances e.g. within the game environment. Of course most people never read the terms and conditions and will be blissfully unaware of the restrictions. Anyway the images have been deleted - see Special:Log/Spygurl as copyright violations. Green Giant (talk) 14:05, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Just wasn't sure what the copyright/license on that game or the characters was. Lupo 14:18, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Requesting authoritative comment on an image's copyright status

Uploaded THIS IMAGE to the commons some years ago and today I received a request for its removal because of copyright violation. The image is dated from 1915 and was originally published in the United Kingdom. I rarely encounter copyright issues because my focus is on uploading PD images of prior to 1923 but then, each issue is different. Can someone please advise? — Ineuw 16:48, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

@Ineuw: Hi, I suggest that you ask them some proof that this image still has a copyright. It is in the public domain in the USA anyway, so it could be moved to the English Wikipedia, if it has to be removed from Commons. Seeing Commons:Copyright rules by territory#United_Kingdom, there is a good chance that it is in the public domain in UK. Regards, Yann (talk) 17:11, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
@Ineuw: I have added {{PD-70}}. The photograph has an unknown portrait photographer, probably a commercial photographer for the purpose. Based on a Google and Tineye image search, a higher resolution version can be uploaded from, where there is a claim of copyright by the Royal Astronomical Society. An uncropped version can be found at gettyimages, where even they make no particular claim of copyright, or even identify an owner. If this is an institution standard photograph where they do own the copyright, then the 70 years guideline applies and this is still public domain. Someone might raise a deletion request for this image, but personally I do not see the "significant doubt" to require it is removed from Commons. -- (talk) 17:17, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Was it actually published in 1915? If it's known where and when it was first published, why not include that on the image, since it only lists a BBC article from 2006. The date of first publication does affect the copyright term I believe. --ghouston (talk) 00:30, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the input. I don't remember how I tracked down the 1915 date, but it's no longer relevant because H. H. Turner died in 1930. I did ask for proof of copyright from the poster, so let's see if there will be a response. — Ineuw 05:35, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
The UK National Portrait Gallery has one photo of Herbert Hall Turner by Walter Stoneman.[2] The image is not on the web. I hope it isn't that one, because Stoneman lived until 1958. Tagging as PD-70 is a bit strange if we don't know who the photographer was. Lupo 05:58, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Can PD-CzechGov be used for a mugshot photo?

I've found a mugshot photo of the Czech mass murderer Olga Hepnarova here: [3]. Is this mugshot the official work and can Template:PD-CzechGov be used for this photo?--IgorMagic (talk) 19:35, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

PD-US-1989-tagged images produced outside the US

There's currently a deletion discussion involving a {{PD-US-1989}}-tagged photo which, although its first known US publication was between 1978 and 1989 and without a copyright notice, was produced in another country. There's no evidence that it was ever published outside the US, though of course a prior publication in the country of origin cannot be absolutely ruled out. It would be great if we could get some additional contributions to the discussion, as I don't think it's a particularly clear-cut case, and the final decision to keep or delete this photo would be equally applicable to pretty much every other non-US {{PD-US-1989}}-tagged one we host. —Psychonaut (talk) 19:53, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

This is a tricky issue. In theory, in most cases we can cast doubt on date and time of first publication of any photo: except very rare "exclusive" photos where we are absolutely sure that this photo was explicitly done for publishing in a particular source, we can hardly prove that this publication was a first one and not the second one. Except if anyone knows how to check that a particular photo was not published earlier in any other country, I fail to see how we can fulfill this condition — NickK (talk) 21:46, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
It may be that the {{PD-US-1989}} tag is specifically for works of US origin. For works of foreign origin which are out of copyright in the US due to being published in the US between 1978-1989 without a copyright notice (there may also be the requirement that no copyright was registered in the US within 5 years of publication) and also being out of copyright in the source country when the URAA went into effect (typically Jan 1, 1996) the current practice may be to use the {{PD-US-1996}} tag instead. At the same time, it looks as though the {{PD-US-1996}} tag lumps together different categories of non-US works that are out of copyright due to noncompliance with formalities, possibly including pre-1964 publication without renewal, pre-1978 publication without copyright notice, and 1978-1989 publication without copyright notice (and possibly US copyright registration.) --Gazebo (talk) 06:52, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
I think the issue here is more how to find out the origin of the work. If the photo was made abroad, but was first published in the USA according to the available information, how can we make sure that the photo was not published in any other country before? — NickK (talk) 00:20, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Foreign image with unknown author

How can the foreign copyright status be determined for an image from a foreign periodical, when the author is uncredited; perhaps the periodical, not the author, owned the copyright? For example: images from The Illustrated London News, published in London starting in 1842, and continuing into the 20th century? Thank you for your help. Vzeebjtf (talk) 15:54, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

See Commons:Copyright rules by territory#United Kingdom. In short, if the author is not credited, the copyright runs for 70 years after publication. So everything published before 1944 would be OK. Regards, Yann (talk) 18:16, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much. Vzeebjtf (talk) 01:16, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Political Party Election symbols

In India, every political party is awarded a Symbol by Election Commission of India. If party won in any constituency, it can keep Symbol as its permanent holder. Parties use them to advertise, communicate with voters. They are used as a representative purpose. Electric Voting Machines have this symbols along with name of a candidate.

So who holds the copyright of these symbols? Are they free of copyright? Does Election Commission or Political Party holds its copyright?

I am unsure about it. On different articles, copyright tags differ. See: File:BJP election symbol.svg, en:File:Indian National Congress.svg, en:File:RashtriyaJanataDal.PNG,

-Nizil Shah (talk) 19:44, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

Unpublished work

The third painting from the bottom here[4] was deleted years ago for being potentially unpublished until recently, and was therefore deleted, even though the author died more than 70 years ago, and was American, Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874–1927). But looking at this chart[5], it appears it could be hosted here after all? FunkMonk (talk) 02:45, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Unpublished until how recently? If we can established they were first published after 2002, then yes, they should be fine. Note however that some of Twain's works were first "published" by offering an ridiculously expensive microfilm of all his works in 2002 and hence are in copyright for another 40 years. I think a few other works got some very marginal publications just to preserve their copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:51, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't know when it was first published, but it has been hanging on the wall of an American university for some time at least, but can't find the source... FunkMonk (talk) 19:47, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

CC0 vs. Public Domain

What is the difference between releasing my pictures under CC0 and releasing them into the public domain using {PD-self}? I would like to know the difference between these two, but I think they're the same. 0Jak (talk) 12:54, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

CC0 has a fall-back licence in case "releasing into the public domain" has no legal meaning. Few if any countries give a way to reliably release material into the public domain. The licence gives permission to anybody to perform all of the acts restricted by copyright. --ghouston (talk) 01:16, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
All of the actions restricted by economic copyright. E.g. in Finland and Sweden you can loosen the restrictions caused by moral rights, but only if you specify how. CC0 does not specify and thus the author retains all those rights. Giving up the rights entirely is not possible in these countries (I presume the law is similar in the rest of EU). --LPfi (talk) 06:24, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
@LPfi:, this looks like it must be wrong to me. See the Creative Commons FAQ. If you have evidence that in Finland and Sweden this does not apply, could you provide some citations? Thanks -- (talk) 06:35, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
I think LPfi is talking about this. Some more explanations at here. Jee 06:41, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
LPfi appeared to state the opposite of the standard explanations by Creative Commons. I can see nothing in the CC text you have linked to that would allow for CC0 not applying as stated, with regard to moral rights (i.e. the legal right of attribution) in Finland or Sweden. I am happy to assume this is a language problem rather than a statement of fact. -- (talk) 06:55, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Does this moral rights issue have any bearing on the original question? E.g., does using {PD-self} reliably void all moral rights in Finland and Sweden? I suspect not. --ghouston (talk) 00:47, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
It does not, but the original answer was highly misleading – as is the CC0 template and the CC explanations.
The problem is that the law allows for waiving parts of your moral rights only if you specify how. I can give a publisher the right to use my work in a certain publication without mentioning me or in a way that ridicules it, but CC0 does not give anybody such rights as the specification is missing.
See section 3 of the Finnish copyright law (official version in Swedish), unofficial translation (PDF): "The right conferred to the author by this section may be waived by him with binding effect only in regard of use limited in character and extent." The Swedish law has a similar section 3.
--LPfi (talk) 12:33, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Add photo minister in a governement

Hi, I woul like to know how to add a photo of a minister in goverment, which is a public domain. Thank you--Dzoasis (talk) 11:32, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

Just upload it in the normal way (use the link in the left margin). If the licence tags suggested by the upload wizard do not fit, add a suitable template after upload instead. There is a warning about the image being deleted unless copyright information is added. Ignore it and add the information afterwards. Make sure you give enough information, especially if justification for the PD status is not obvious from the chosen template. If you tell what country this is about, someone might give advice on what template to use. --LPfi (talk) 12:55, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Assuming bad faith.

When a user has asserted an upload is freely licensed by a third party (or free), and provided a URL to a page that the user believes documents that licensing (or freeness), if that URL is found to be dead over a month later, it is generally not appropriate, and an assumption of bad faith, to then conclude that the work may not be freely licensed (or free) because the link is dead. Administrators especially, have a responsibility use the documented link rot tools before making any such negative assumptions. Link rot tools documentation can be found, for example, at en:WP:LINKROT. They are recommended whenever a link is dead. It's inappropriate to claim that, "it isn't possible to verify whether any license is specified there or not" simply because of apparent link rot. Agreed? --Elvey (talk) 19:40, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

If you put this such categorically, I cannot agree with you. We simply do not have the manpower. Commons is flooded with copyvios, mostly by people who simply don't care, sometimes by goodfaith users who are uninformed. Every now and then it happens that many or all uploads of a user are found to be blatant copyvios, which remained undetected on Commons for many months or even years. Depending on the image subject, a lot of re-users may have exposed to litigation for copyright infringement. One should also not forget that it is the uploader who has to convince us/Commons about the legitimacy of his uploads, not the other way round. --Túrelio (talk) 20:35, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
That's not what Elvey was refering to, in my reading, so I guess both are right. The project is built on trust too, and the workload Túrelio mentions is greatly reduced if a trust heuristics is applied when approaching uloads from a trusted user. -- Tuválkin 20:40, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
Agree with both Túrelio and Tuvalkin. :) IMHO it depends who uploaded the image. One time uploader? Uploader with (c)vio history? Uploader with 100k edits? In order to AGF, there needs to be a foundation of trust. I'd assume that most admins try to locate another source before deleting. Blindly assuming good faith doesn't get us anywhere, just read the UDR's or file talk comments. Often enough peeps just don't know better and AGF that everything on the internet is free. Goes both ways I guess. --Hedwig in Washington (mail?) 01:19, 11 May 2014 (UTC)
Túrelio, You're saying that you DO have time to click on a link and find it is dead, but DO NOT have time for one more click on a bookmarklet (See here for the bookmarklet) to see if there's an archive? No, I don't buy that claim. If you have time for the former, you have time for the latter. You can argue that in some cases, you don't have time for the former, and that seems to be what you're doing, but that's simply not what I'm talking about, and thus off topic. I could go on and on about unjustified deletions, as you have gone on and on about copyvios. Let's stay on topic. You haven't said anything meaningful about dead URLs. --Elvey (talk) 02:36, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
I expect people who just believe everything on Internet is free not giving links to evidence about specific images. I also think it is quite unusual to knowingly give bogus links as evidence. Thus assuming good faith is the right strategy for these cases, unless there has been abuse by a specific user, involving a certain class of files or with some other pattern. When one has time, one may of course examine any case, but jumping to conclusions without using the link rot tools and without the user having a history of copyvios seems unnecessary and against policy. --LPfi (talk) 13:14, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Aerofilms / photo conservation

This is a question about pre-1940 images from the website

What is the copyright position

  • (i) for images from the website? eg [6] and
  • (ii) for images not from the website, already in circulation by other means (eg scans of earlier prints, books, postcards etc) such as [7] ?


Aerofilms was the U.K.'s first commercial aerial photography company. Established in 1919 it took over 1.26 million aerial photographs, including the "largest and most significant number of air photographs of Britain taken before 1939". [8]

In 2007 the entire archive of oblique photographs was bought by English Heritage, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.

Since 2011 these organisations have set up a team [9] to clean/conserve the negatives (example here) of "95,000 of the oldest and most valuable photographs in the Aerofilms collection, those dating from 1919 to 1953", which are also being digitised and uploaded. At least 10,000 are now already accessible on a public website, (though with quite narrow personal/noncommercial licensing terms).


According to EH, no registers survive of who took each photograph: "Individual photographs are not noted by Aerofilms as there are no pilots log books held as part of the collection, only the print registers describing what each photograph shows exists." (full email below)

The library as a whole appears to have been "made available" to the public, eg here is an advertisement from Flight magazine in January 27, 1938. opens pdf.

It seems to me the photographs themselves (up to 1943) are therefore copyright-expired as photographs by photographers unknown by the would-be rights-holder, created and first made available more than 70 years ago. (cf flowchart 11 on page 13 of this pdf guide from the UK National Archives). So I think the pic that was not from the collection website should be okay. (And similarly images from pre-2011 books etc).

What about images that are from the website? Does the conservation work mean that these are effectively "new editions", with new copyright? Or (? per Bridgeman) has the conservation aimed to restore the image back towards its original appearance, therefore not attracting new copyright?

The person who emailed me back from English Heritage offered that

Please note that the Aerofilms collection as an entirety is still in copyright. As the collection has been purchased, conserved, scanned, catalogued and made available to view on a website the collection has been given 'added value' in terms of copyright. Therefore the copyright of the collection is held jointly by English Heritage, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, depending on the location of the image.

If you were wishing to use one of the Aerofilms collection images you would need to fill out the attached reproduction permission form and return it to us in order for us to provide you with a license for image rights. a copy of the image would also need to be purchased. To this end a copy of our price list is also attached.

But I'm not sure that that actually raises any new issues. (Copy of my detailed response to him, covering some of the collection copyright issues, in the show/hide box below)

Overall, it seems to me that people from the U.K. should probably be wary of uploading anything from the "Britain from the Air" website; but people in the States might be less constrained.

But I think some informed second- and further opinions would be useful.

For the record here's the detailed email exchange:

Hope I got that right, but I'm interested to confirm what people think. Jheald (talk) 17:06, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Not sure I agree with that US up-loaders are safe, would depend on if individual images were published prior to 1989, then the works would be covered by US copyright probably until the middle of this century. I don't read that advert as offering to sell the library and as such indicating it was published. LGA talkedits 06:48, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
IIRC, the U.S. legal test for publication, established in case-law back in the days when publication without U.S. copyright formalities could destroy copyright in a work, was whether a general member of the public could obtain a copy of the work. It did not require publication in any mass-format. (Hence the long-standing efforts of the Oscar statuette people to keep their awards out of any resale market). Advertising a photograph library is done for that purpose - to let the world know that copies of the images are available for purchase.
"Making available" in the UK legislation had a slightly wider meaning, including performance and exhibition, as well as offer for sale. Jheald (talk) 10:02, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
On the other hand, the works will be protected in the U.S. under the URAA, having still been in copyright in the UK in 1996.
So for a "corporate work" with no identified creator, that means a U.S. term of 95 years -- ie in copyright until the end of 2031, if we consider the image was published in 1936. Only works from before 1923 1926 will be in the clear. Damn. Hate the URAA. Jheald (talk) 10:45, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Never mind. There are still already some 2600 photos from 1919 to 1922 [10], a further 1650 from 1923 to 1925 [11], and probably more still to come.
So it depends more closely on whether the "conservation" of these has established a new copyright. In many cases I'm guessing it won't. Physical restoration of the negative -- dusting, cleaning, washing, applying chemical solutions, even stripping and re-mounting an emulsion layer -- surely doesn't create any new copyright in the negative; and nor should striking a new print from it, or purely mechanical scanning. I guess it depends on whether there's been any or much manual intervention after that. Jheald (talk) 11:08, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

UK Open Government Licence v1.0 and non-commercial use

Hello, I see that pictures of the Flickr account of the UK Foreign office are uploaded here under the Open government licence. (see ( Files with this permission have this Note: This permission only extends to content provided by the FCO and does not include third-party content..

Since there are flickr accounts of UK embassies, distinct from the Foreign office account, can we upload their images here? since they are de facto part of the UK foreign office? (note: They are copyrighted in flickr)

2nd: Re, non-commercial use. The flickr account of Davos, which used to publish its files under the useable license, has now added the non-commercial use icon to all of its files. Can we still upload their images? Could there be a request to them? And what about non-commercial use in general, since there are many gov. agencies who publish their images with this license, how to ask them permission to upload their work on Wikipedia? What is the formal procedure? --Tachfin (talk) 09:25, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

"Proper citation, however, is required"

This phrase appears 19 times on PD-USGov... files. Should we delete it? PD means Proper citation is NOT required; that's part of the definition of PD. I don't think we should be spreading misinformation. I propose deleting it and the info on the paper <sic> it is printed on.--Elvey (talk) 02:21, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

Interesting, I am not sure that the CDC know what they are talking about, I see nothing in the in the "Instructions to Authors" section of the May 2014 edition (page 191) that says the copyright is waved by the authors of the papers submitted, the only mention of copyright is "Published or copyrighted material (e.g., music) is discouraged and must be accompanied by written release." (in the section headed "Videos") but that release could be as little as just for that edition. To me the request for "A Proper citation" would imply that a Fair Use claim would cover any usage not that it is PD as commons understands it. LGA talkedits 02:52, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
17 USC 403 actually is a bit of copyright law that does "require" (of a sort) USGov works to be marked as such. It was more intended to avoid the situation of someone making some alterations, and calling it entirely their own work. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:18, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

CoA Malaysia

Coat of arms of Malaysia between 1963 and 1965 when Singapore was a part of Malaysia
Present-day coat of arms of Malaysia

Transferred from Commons:Undeletion requests/Current requests#File:Coat of arms of Malaysia.svg: Please restore the following pages:

Reason: The original file was deemed to be under copyright until 2013. This period has now expired for what is a very useful vector graphic. NikNaks talk - gallery - wikipedia 20:54, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

Copyright in works of Government, Government organizations and international bodies shall continue to subsist until the expiry of a period of fifty years computed from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the work was first published. [12]. So 1963 + 1 +50 = End of 2014 as I understand it. Transferred this discussion to the Village pump here: Commons:Village pump/Copyright#CoA Malaysia --Hedwig in Washington (mail?) 00:40, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
Wouldn't the period from Jan 1st 1964 to Dec 31st 2013 be the required fifty years? NikNaks talk - gallery - wikipedia 02:51, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
Oh no, I think it is not since 1964, but 1965 when Singapore separate from Malaysia. So, it would be 49 years. :( — ᴀʟʀᴇᴀᴅʏ ʙᴏʀᴇᴅ ʜᴜʜ? 20:09, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't think they changed the coat of arms when Singapore departed. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:28, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, there were changes. Compare the images above on the right. The portions of the escutcheon for Penang, Sabah and Sarawak were altered, and the portion representing Singapore was replaced with an image of a hibiscus, the national flower of Malaysia. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:01, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks. I must have been thinking about the number of stars. Still, not sure any of that would affect copyright -- all existing symbols, and the date of the design is actually not the important bit -- it's the source of the actual graphics. If they are traced from government publications, that's when it matters. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:16, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Football flags

There are many football flags on here that seem to use elements either directly taken or substantially derived from copyrighted football team logos. For instance, this one is quite blatantly a self-made version of the Olympiacos logo, which is non-free. To what extent do these images have to be modified before they become free, if ever?

I have not had time to look into the whole category, but looking over it, it seems like many others are using potentially copyrighted elements and are well beyond what could be reliably considered PD-simple or an equivalent. It doesn't seem to be enough to say that these are "fantasy football" flags, either, as they are being used, particularly on the Italian Wikipedia it seems, to identify the clubs on players pages and so on. What's the position here?

The reason I'm seeking clarification is because the Olympiacos one is currently at the top of the "most used raster images that should be SVG" list, and if there is no legal reason not to, I hope to make it into a vector graphic. Thanks! NikNaks talk - gallery - wikipedia 20:16, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Related is Commons:Deletion requests/List of 600 px association football flags. Yann (talk) 20:31, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Have you seen the disclaimers at Template:Fake sports logo? Images which obey those constraints should be OK... -- AnonMoos (talk) 00:00, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
I find that disclaimer highly dubious, to be honest, but I don't know enough about the copyright to be able to say for sure. However, in my opinion, given that most of these images are used to identify the club, often next to its name, they are being used as if they were the genuine logo in those situations (see [13] [14] [15] [16] (see week 32) [17], for example), which I thought was seriously frowned upon, especially given the files in the category are - deliberately I know - poor quality compared to the genuine logos. They are all designed and named to subvert copyright law, too, which really worries me.
Just scanning through, this vs this, this vs this, this vs this, this vs this all look far too close for comfort for me, if you want some examples.
If that's not the case, and everything is absolutely fine, then so be it, as I'm not an expert. Either way, I would like some clarification on whether the Olympiacos one specifically, which uses the very distinctive Greek head from the official logo and for some reason isn't included on the main list, is indeed allowed or not, and whether I can then vectorise it. NikNaks talk - gallery - wikipedia 00:25, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Isn't the head from the logo of Olympiacos just in public domain due to its age? It seems to be coming from the very first logo, I did not look for the exact history but the logo seems to include this head from the very creation of the club (1925) — NickK (talk) 01:54, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
I can't seem to find any image of an old design that's hugely different - does that mean the Olympiacos head on the current logo is PD? NikNaks talk - gallery - wikipedia 15:47, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Unless someone can give me a good reason not to, I'll be nominating several of these (the ones I highlighted, plus a few more I noticed) for deletion. I haven't heard a compelling argument to say that these "fantasy" flags aren't designed to subvert the law and are used in a manner that treats them as real logos. NikNaks talk - gallery - wikipedia 22:30, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

File:Herbert Hall Turner.jpg again

Continuing this discussion: @Ineuw, @Yann, @, OTRS received claim in ticket:2014051510013708 from Royal Astronomical Society suggesting that:

  • this image was first published by BBC in 2006 with their permission
  • they "hold the portrait" and they claim to have copyright to it

My opinion (please comment) is:

  • UK Copyright
    • as the picture was taken before 1.06.1957 from Commons:Copyright rules by territory#United Kingdom: If the work is a photograph with an unknown author taken before 1 June 1957 then copyright expires 70 years after creation (it was obviously created not after 1930 because of Herbert Hall Turner's death date)
  • US Copyright
    • we cannot apply PD-US-1923 as the image has not been published before 1923
    • the URAA can aply - tha URAA date for UK is 1.1.1996, so
    • if the photo is taken in 1926 or later it is (C) in US
    • if it is taken before 1.1.1926 it is PD in US

Ankry (talk) 22:22, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

I'll point out again that the National Portrait Gallery does have one portrait of Herbert Hall Turner by Walter Stoneman. Since it's not on the web, I do suggest to contact the NPG and ask them whether it is the image shown by the BBC. If so, it's copyrighted in the UK until the end of 2028, as the photographer lived until 1958.[18] Lupo 12:10, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
I doubt it is related. They say the photo was comissioned by RAS and made by an unknown photographer as a part of photo series. They want the photo to be removed basing on the first publication rights in EU, not the 70-years copyright. Ankry (talk) 17:49, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
The year 1915 on the Commons page of File:Herbert Hall Turner.jpg may have been only a guess by someone. Not a bad guess, but it could be more circa 1900, from comparisons with other photographs of the same person from various years. Probably not the same photo as the one by Stoneman. (Does not look like the style of the photos by Stoneman viewable on the NPG website, although that is a subjective impression.) User:RASLib never formulated a basis for his initial claim on Ineuw's talk page [19]. I expected that the RAS would claim a copyright on the reproduction of a public domain work (a notion that might have an application in the United Kingdom), similarly to their claims on all the "rights managed" reproductions of public domain works they offer at their account at the science photo library [20]. As we can see there, just to give an idea, they claim the copyright on a reproduction of a version published in Venice in 1482 of the work of Euclid (c. 300 B.C.). Now, from your report above, it seems that their official letter does not base their withdrawal request on a copyright on the reproduction. Also from your report, it seems that they agree that the copyright on the original photograph has expired per your reasoning of 70 years after creation. If I understand correctly what you say, they are basing their claim on the 25-year publication right enjoyed by the person who first publishes a previously unpublished work [21]. Is that it? They're implying that they kept the photograph of one of their prominent members hidden secretly in a vault at all time during some 100 years between its creation and 2006? That they just sat on it and, during those 100 years, the photo was never used in any of their publications and it was never even shown publicly (cf. the definition of "publication" of a photograph in the UK law)? And that then, suddenly, in 2006 it was used marginally in a BBC publication telling an anecdote about someone else? If they say so... -- Asclepias (talk) 21:44, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes. As I understand, that say exactly this. Can anybody prove they are wrong? Ankry (talk) 12:10, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
If the author is unknown, it sounds like the author's right expired in the UK. It would have had a 50-year period from the date of creation, but in 1996 got "restored" to 70 years from creation (since not published in those 70 years) and thus remained PD. The UK did have a general term of 50 years from publication for posthumous works, which starts in 1989 for works still unpublished as of that date, but that did not apply to photographs. But there is the 25-year publication right in the UK. As for the US, if it was unpublished until 2006, then the URAA is moot because it never lost U.S. copyright. Given that it seems to be an anonymous work, the term would be 120 years from creation. They may well have a U.S. claim independent of the UK publication right. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:10, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Freedom of Panorama question

I just took this picture and it occurred to me to wonder if this kind of thing is OK under the freedom of panorama laws. In the United States (where this picture was taken) it seems that artworks are forbidden, but I'm not sure I would really call this an artwork, given its simplicity. There are also similar files (like File:FloodMarker.jpg) that have been here for years. Still, I thought it would be best to ask for a second opinion. Thanks, --Jakob (talk) 20:56, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

I strongly doubt that this monument reaches the threshold of originality. --Túrelio (talk) 20:59, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
That's great. Thanks! --Jakob (talk) 21:03, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

File:Jackie Robinson opened the doors of baseball to blacks- 2014-05-16 23-36.jpg

Hello, I'm more familiar with WP & haven't had time yet to figure out the deletion policy here. Can someone check this image; I'm pretty sure it's a copyvio and can be speedied. Also, the uploaded appears to be a serial copyvio-type editor that might require admin attention. Rgrds. -- 12:44, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Nominated for deletion at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Jackie Robinson opened the doors of baseball to blacks- 2014-05-16 23-36.jpg. The other uploads of this contributor already had been deleted. Lupo 14:39, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

FoP and photos of motel room interiors

The two photos "motel 6" and "PCH trip" on Flickr each show the interior of a Motel 6 room. Assuming that the photos were taken in the US or Canada (where Motel 6 has locations), would there be issues with copyrighted architecture if the photos were reused? (Freedom of panorama usually allows copyrighted architecture to be photographed from a public location, but is the interior of a motel room public?) As an additional note, the description for the "PCH trip" photo indicates that it is inside the original Motel 6 in Santa Barbara, California, and that specific Motel 6 dates back to the 1960s (according to Wikipedia) although it may have been remodeled since. --Gazebo (talk) 07:12, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

I do not think these standard interiors are copyrightable. Just use {{PD-ineligible}}. Ruslik (talk) 11:46, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Neither photo contains anything that could be described as even remotely original. FOP does not apply here unless it can be demonstrated that the motel rooms lacked an outside wall and the photographer was stood on the sidewalk. The only restriction that might be applicable is if the motel specified that customers cannot take photos of the rooms as part of their terms and conditions. Green Giant (talk) 12:03, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Even if the motel had a "no photograph" condition, we would regard this as a non-copyright restriction which does not prevent the copyright owner from uploading the photograph to the Commons if he or she wishes to. The copyright owner has to decide whether it is worth doing so, as there is a theoretical possibility that he or she might get sued by the motel for breach of contract or perhaps get barred from the motel. I'm guessing that doesn't happen very often but cannot really say that it never happens, and we don't give legal advice here so it is up to copyright owners whether they want to take the risk. — SMUconlaw (talk) 09:30, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Text logos

There are some user logos like this and this, is there any level of creativity to give a CC license and {{PD-textlogo}} don't apply? -- Perhelion (talk) 10:34, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

For Commoners' works, I'd say keep the CC license. CC licenses are permanent, while laws can change (which may push an image over the threshold of originality). We want to have the license that is the least likely to become invalid. -- King of ♠ 09:34, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Can I sell artwork painted using a photo for reference?

Hello, I have been researching this all day and am at a dead end. I am an artist and have my site at I use reference photos for my paintings. I always try to get permission from the photographers and sources for the photos. I like many of the cc sa license photos here on Wikimedia. I am trying to clarify if I can sell my work in prints if I use a photo for reference. I do not want to use the photo, just use the likeness for reference. Can I sell my work or do I have to make it cc sa? Please clarify as I am totally confused. I will give attribution where it is needed for the photo, but do I have to have a cc license? Or is the cc sa only if I wish to license my artworks? Thank you, Stacy

  • As I understand the license, if the source image is CC-BY-SA or CC-SA, you still have to have it licensed freely (but you can sell it). If it is CC-BY or CC-0, you do not need to have a free license (but a CC-BY image requires attribution to the original author as well). — Crisco 1492 (talk) 03:37, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
Did you look already in CC's FAQ whether they have an answer to that? --Túrelio (talk) 08:52, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes you can sell your works. There is a caveat, however. If the original photo is CC-BY (or CC-0 or PD), then you're OK with just giving a credit to the original author. But if the original photo is CC-BY-SA, then by creating a derivative of it, you must release your derivative under the CC-BY-SA as well, meaning that you grant the right for anyone to make copies of your work. If you don't want that condition, you will have to contact the photographer individually to get their permission to use the image outside of the license terms. -- King of ♠ 09:31, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the clarifications. I appreciate the input.

Unifying language of multitude of PD-old templates

Please join the discussion. --Jarekt (talk) 12:31, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

FOP in Mongolia

I took a picture of a public statue: Marco Polo in Ulaanbaatar. The statue is contemporary. It is in an outdoor public area downtown. Is it allowable?Kdammers (talk) 13:43, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Regrettably no; Commons:Freedom_of_panorama#Mongolia. --Túrelio (talk) 13:52, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

UK Traffic Signs

Pictogram-voting-question.svg Question is the restriction on uses of UK Trafic Signs (made here) "you must reproduce them accurately and not in a misleading context" to much of a restriction to meet the COM:L requirements that the licence must allow "use [of] the material for any purpose" ? LGA talkedits 00:00, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

No, taken very strictly and literally, the statement in COM:L is wrong. Licences we regard as free contain many restrictions. For example, in CC BY-SA 3.0 "You must not distort, mutilate, modify or take other derogatory action in relation to the Work which would be prejudicial to the Original Author's honor or reputation."[22] Licences are not "free" or "not free" in any absolute sense. The question is whether a licence is sufficiently free. We accept Template:OGL2 as sufficiently free. Thincat (talk) 10:53, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
what about the requirement that re users "reproduce them accurately" that is a "-ND" restriction ? LGA talkedits 11:22, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
Images are licensed under OGL2 which makes no mention of accuracy and says its "terms are compatible with the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0" and "This means that when the Information is adapted and licensed ... you automatically satisfy the conditions of the OGL when you comply with the other licence".[23] CC BY 4.0 says "Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially. The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms".[24] The DoT statement is not making further a copyright restriction. It simply warns that some types of reproduction and use of road sign images are prohibited by road traffic law. Thincat (talk) 12:45, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Using photos for a commercial publication


I have found on Wikicommons some pictures I would want to use for a publication. I have make sure to note the owner's name (or nickname), the name of the licence it has been released with and the link to the page where the photo is posted (or is it the link to the licence that is necessary?); but I am not sure I really can use the photos.

- How can I make sure I respect the CC-BY-SA licences by reproducing the photos for a printed or CD publication, while they cannot be reused the same (the reader can't copy/paste the photos, as we need to protect other documents on the CD)? - Are the CC-BY-SA documents all ok with commercial use if we display the name of it (CC-BY-SA 3.0...) next to the document we want to use? - How come I never see publications with Wikicommons documents if the use of them is so little inconvenient (name of licence, name of owner, link to the page - even if that mention does not seem obligatory)?

The publication I intend to make is a pedagogical one and will not be sold thousands of copies; however we are going to sell it, so is that correct to "make money" with documents I have found for free here? I would not want to prejudice anyone.

Thank you very much in advance for your help. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hcsnumsiri (talk • contribs) 13:26, 21 May 2014‎ (UTC)

As long as you respect the terms of the particular license that the author has associated to the picture in question (many popular licenses require the mention of the author, of the license and of its url, etc.), then you may sell your publication, and/or copies of the licensed picture, for whatever commercial reason you want and make millions of dollars with it if you can. All the licenses available on Wikimedia Commons allow that. This little cartoon conveys the idea. However, some licenses have more requirements than others, as to what mentions exactly are required. So, for each picture you use, make sure you read and apply the terms of the particular licence that is associated with that picture. From your questions, apparently you are interested in pictures that have a license of the type CC-by-sa. So, now let's concentrate on that particular type of license. When you reproduce a work without modifying it, one basic requirement of the CC licenses is that that work must remain further reusable freely by the readers who obtain a copy of that work through your publication. (The same requirement applies also to works "derived" from the original work when the CC license has the "SA" clause.) Section 4a of the text of the license CC-by-sa 3.0 unported reads in part:
"You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only under the terms of this License." (...) "You may not offer or impose any terms on the Work that restrict the terms of this License or the ability of the recipient of the Work to exercise the rights granted to that recipient under the terms of the License." (...) "You may not impose any effective technological measures on the Work that restrict the ability of a recipient of the Work from You to exercise the rights granted to that recipient under the terms of the License."
That's probably why you asked your first question. Whatever the wording you choose to use in your contractual notices, a reasonable reader who reads your publication should be able to understand easily that the reused picture is available to him under CC-by-sa 3.0 although the rest of your publication is restricted under different copyright terms. About technological measures, Creative Commons offers some interpretative comments in this section of their FAQ.
The mentions that must be displayed when using a picture licensed under CC-by-sa 3.0 are specifically enumerated in sections 4a and 4c of the license text (link already provided above). More suggestions about that are also offered in the CC FAQ.
Actually, you have almost certainly seen many publications reusing material taken from Wikimedia Commons although you didn't know it because those publications did not mention it, for one reason or another. Some reasons are valid. For example, when the license offered by the author did not require any mention, or required only the mention of the author. Or the publisher may have contacted the author personally and concluded a special contract paying a sum of money to the author in counterpart for the right to use the picture without the free license. Or Wikimedia was not the original source associated with the work by the author. Some reasons are not valid. Unfortunately, some publications don't respect the license and violate the copyrights of the authors. Some authors actively take action to apply their copyrights (and obtain the withdrawal of the publications and financial damages from violators), some other authors don't take action or don't every time. I've seen some of my CC-by-sa photographs reused without the required credits many times. I find it more annoying when the violation is done by a major corporation or a tv network than when it is done by a small non-profit organization. I may take action in the first type of case, not necessarily in the second. I'm only one small contributor. You can imagine the scale of the reuse of the millions of files available on Commons. But whatever the reason, valid or not, if a publication didn't mention the credits, you, as a reader or viewer, couldn't know it, unless you remembered seeing the picture elsewhere with the credits.
Remember that we do not provide legal advice and nothing said here should be seen as such in any way. You may want to obtain legal advice from a lawyer. Also, the CC FAQ can probably answer most of your questions (and probably many questions that you would never have thought of asking), and you can look there for more information.
-- Asclepias (talk) 18:48, 21 May 2014 (UTC)
See also Commons:Help desk#Using photos for a commercial publication, where the same question was posted. -- Asclepias (talk) 19:11, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Huge Smilie Set (Pidgin)

I would upload (with a tool) all images (as SVG) here, would this be ok?

I thought I take {{Tango project}} or the Gnome {{GPL}}? -- Perhelion 10:55, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

PS: I would use them all as an uniform styled extension bar for the Wikieditor. -- Perhelion 10:59, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

The link you gave states the icons are released under the terms of the GPL (so you can't use {{Tango project}}). However if I were you, I'd take the images directly from the source of the Pidgin project itself (which is released as {{GPLv2}}). You can find the files e.g. in pidgin's source repository here. For some files there are even SVGs available here. --Patrick87 (talk) 11:56, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Ok thanks, I know the source but I linked this, because it has a example image of all. This is also what I meant "as SVG" versions. But I think the images have an extra licence contrasted to {{GPLv2}}), this is more generally for the sourcecode? So you mean GPL (alone) is also wrong? Under Tango stays Pidgin as Set.[25][26]. That is my question, is it right to change the origin Tango licence to GPL? -- Perhelion 12:43, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
If the emoticons are part of the original tango iconset, they are in fact in the public domain (see e.g. [27]). That means you wouldn't have to use any special license at all, but can go with {{Tango project}} only (which is only a "wrapper" for {{PD-Author}} and includes the original source only as a gesture of "goodwill").
You have to make sure that there aren't any emoticons that only exist in the Pidgin project's source but not in the Tango project's source, though, because those would be GPL then. --Patrick87 (talk) 13:04, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I mean you are right, all other projects icons (here) are also under GPL. So I upload them yet all under GPLv2 (because we can found them only at Pidgin). -- Perhelion 13:18, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Anne Frank first edition

I'm not sure of the copyright status on this Anne Frank first edition. Key copyright issue is presumably the photo of Frank. - Jmabel ! talk 16:38, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Regarding the photo, it is a very famous photo of Anne Frank taken in December 1941 by her school photographer which she pasted into the first page of her diary. Anne Frank Fonds claims copyright and it is licensed by Getty images (for a better view see here). —RP88 17:28, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Do we know who the photographer was? It should be life+70 based off the life of the photographer. I think we can pretty much rely on it having a full 95 years from publication in the US, though.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:10, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Regarding the diary itself, Anne Frank died in 1945, so the EU copyright to her diary will expire on 1 January 2016. The U.S. copyright for original 1947 Dutch publication "Het Achterhuis" was renewed on 6 June 1974 (R578606), so it's U.S. copyright will not expire until 1 January 2043. —RP88 17:42, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

NutzIII License

Moved from UDR (permalink) by --Hedwig in Washington (mail?) 04:29, 26 May 2014 (UTC) File deleted 5/24/14 per DR Reason: Unclear copyright status. Unless we have definitive, explicit written and/or textual, tangible evidence from a credible, verifiable source naming this file as freely licensed under a Commons compatible license, we simply cannot host it on Commons


  • NutzIII License in German: here
  • NutzIII License in English (Google autotranslate): here

Copy and Paste from UDR below:

File:Haig Barracks Berlin (Geoportal Berlin DOP20RGB).jpg

There is no "unclear copyright status" here. The license from the Berlin Senate clearly states the terms of use. The license (similar to the Open Goverment License) complies with all must-conditions from Commons:Licensing.

  • ✓OK Republication and distribution must be allowed.
  • ✓OK Publication of derivative work must be allowed.
  • ✓OK Commercial use of the work must be allowed.
  • ✓OK The license must be perpetual (non-expiring) and non-revocable.

--Alexrk2 (talk) 09:12, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

The only open question from the DR was, whether this can be relicensed as CC-BY-SA or whether we should create a separate license template. IMO there are no terms in NutzIII, that are not compatible with CC-BY-SA. So there is no need for extending the license zoo on Commons. --Alexrk2 (talk) 10:56, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Alexrk2, the license ou refere to only covers Geodata, not images, aerial images or any visiual representation of geodata i.e. maps. --Martin H. (talk) 13:44, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
No, we already discussed that point at the DR. As I already pointed out: look at the download page...
Kurzbeschreibung:  Digitale Orthophotos für das gesamte Berliner Stadtgebiet mit einer Bodenauflösung von 0,20 m im Blattschnitt 2 km x 2 km.
Ebenen: Luftbilder 2011 (Orthophotos)
Nutzungsbedingungen:    Für die Verwendung der Daten gelten folgende Nutzungsbestimmungen:
And of course aerial images are also covered by "Geodaten und Geodatendienste". The term geodata is also defined in the EU INSPIRE Guideline and the german INSPIRE implementation the Geodatenzugangsgesetz --Alexrk2 (talk) 14:07, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
@Alexrk2, es mag durchaus sein, dass du recht hast; unmittelbare Evidenz dass die als Lizenzgegenstand genannten "Geodaten und Geodatendienste, einschließlich zugehöriger Metadaten"[28] Fotografien einschließt, sehe ich bislang aber nicht. Warum gehst du nicht den vorgesehenen Weg und bittest den Lizenzgeber per Email, er möge dir/uns ( bestätigen, dass diese Lizenz auch für das/die Foto/s gilt? Bei der Gelegenheit, wenn auch nicht zwingend, könntest du gleichzeitig auch fragen, ob auch eine Freigabe unter CC-BY-SA 3.0-de[29] möglich wäre. --Túrelio (talk) 07:45, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Túrelio, die Lizenz pappt direkt sowohl an dem Datensatz als auch in den Metadaten zu dem Datensatz. In dem Flyer und der PM steht, es beinhaltet Karten, Luftbilder etc. In der ISNPIRE-Richtlinie ist das auch klar definiert. Das Berliner Geodatenzugangsgesetz bezieht sich in der Definition von Geodaten und Geodatendienste im Artikel 4 explizit auf die ISNPIRE-RL. --Alexrk2 (talk) 09:03, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
After looking at the download-page[30], I now see the evidence that these photos are obviously covered by the mentioned nutzIII license. So, this seems to be no longer an isssue. --Túrelio (talk) 09:05, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose significant doubt about the freedom of this file (COM:PCP). --Steinsplitter (talk) 18:49, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Do you also have any constructive arguments? On the download page clearly stands the terms of use and it is out of any doubts that these ToU comply with all of the above must-conditions. It is a shortened version of CC-BY-SA and pretty much the same like {{OGL}} in the UK. I can't belive what happens here. Why we work against each other here in the community instead of of working together to make use of open data? --Alexrk2 (talk) 19:36, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree with Steinsplitter there is doubt here that this licence meets our requirements. The best way forward is we should at get an OTRS conformation from them detailing the licence. LGA talkedits 05:04, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
IMO, {{Attribution}} would an appropriate license template for this permission[31]. Though it's generic, it allows an individualized credit, which should be "Geoportal Berlin / [Titel des Datensatzes]". On this basis, I support undeletion. --Túrelio (talk) 09:08, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't know whether the generic {{Attribution}} is appropriate here, because in NutzIII in §2 there are detailed terms for how the attribution should take place ("erkennbar und in optischem Zusammenhang"). That was the reason, I'd choose CC-BY-SA, because CreativeCommons covers these requirements, as well as the point that "Abwandlungen" should be attributed as well. Therefore, if you think, that CC-BY-SA is not an option, I would prefer an own license template {{Geoportal Berlin license}}. --Alexrk2 (talk) 09:29, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
I agree with user:Túrelio that the linked permission is sufficient to use {{Attribution}}, but I don't see any evidence that the photo is covered by the permisson which is limited to geodata, geoservices and its and metadata (Geodaten und Geodatendienste, einschließlich zugehöriger Metadaten). The fact that [32] links to the permission does not extend the linked permission automatically. We should ask the Senatsverwaltung for clarification and undelete afterwards.
However, I explicitly do not understand why user:Fastily has deleted this before we got a clear statement by the Senatsverwaltung. This, again (!), escalates the situation (see also: de:Wikipedia_Diskussion:Kurier#Der_Himmel_.C3.BCber_Berlin.E2.80.A6). I don't believe the deletion has been urgent in any way. Yellowcard (talk) 09:31, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Yellowcard, schau mal ein Stück weiter nach oben. Nicht nur dass die Lizenz direkt an den Daten dran steht, ist es auch nochmal im Berliner Geodatenzugangsgesetz genau geregelt, was der Begriff Geodaten bedeutet. Wir haben es hier immerhin mit einer deutschen Verwaltung zu tun ;) Mehr als eine gesetzliche Grundlage kann eine Aussage vom SenStadtUm ja wohl auch nicht wert sein. --Alexrk2 (talk) 09:37, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Dass die Verlinkung der Nutzungsbestimmungen diese nicht automatisch auf andere Elemente als die explizit benannten ausweitet, habe ich ja jetzt mehrfach begründet. Die genaue Definition des Begriffs Geodaten ist aber umso interessanter. Wenn davon auch Luftaufnahmen eingeschlossen sind, handelt es sich ja um einen klaren Fall. Hast Du mal einen Link auf dieses Gesetz? Danke und Gruß, Yellowcard (talk) 09:44, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
§ 3 Abs. 1 - 3 GeoZG Bln stützen Deine Aussage jetzt aber nicht gerade, Alexrk2. Yellowcard (talk) 09:47, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
§ 4 Betroffene Geodaten und Geodatendienste Abs. 1 Satz 4 - "Themen nach Anhang I, II oder III der Richtlinie 2007/2/EG", dort "Georeferenzierte Bilddaten der Erdoberfläche von satelliten- oder luftfahrzeuggestützten Sensoren." --Alexrk2 (talk) 10:00, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Ich kann die EU-Richtlinie nicht aufrufen, aber das klingt sehr überzeugend. Ich frage noch per E-Mail bei der Senatsverwaltung nach, um das abschließend zu klären. Danke für den Verweis! Yellowcard (talk) 10:11, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Hier nochmal der Link zur Richtlinie 2007/2/EG in deutscher Sprache --Alexrk2 (talk) 10:55, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Contrary to Alexrk2, I want to make clear that based on the permission only, we obviously can not assume a Creative Commons license, as the copyright holder has to agree with the licence text explicitly. This, however, is no valid reason for deletion as the permission makes clear that the data is free under the only condition of attribution. I'd support the creaton of a new template. But still, before we have to find out whether the permission is valid for the photos as well which I'm taking into doubt. Yellowcard (talk) 09:35, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
According to Alexrk2s statement above and § 4 Abs. 1 Nr. 4 GeoZG Bln it is very likely that in this case the photos are covered by the term Geodaten. While I'll ask the Senatsverwaltung for a terminal statement, please undelete the photo. We can use {{Attribution}} for this until I got feedback by the Senatsverwaltung; after that I'm going to create a new template documenting the permission. Yellowcard (talk) 10:11, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
O.k., I have temporarily undeleted the image and put it under attribution. Alexrk2, please check, whether "DOP20RGB" is the name of the data set from which this photo has been taken. --Túrelio (talk) 10:17, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
@Túrelio: They require reusers to indicate whether there have been modifications, so {{attribution}} is not sufficient in my opinion. To help Alexrk2 keep this file on Commons, I have created a custom license template for him (Template:Geoportal Berlin license), but when I asked him several times on several places whether he thought whether or not it was OK, he did not react at. I am sorry but I am afraid that I cannot see any good faith in your WP:K post and actions on Commons in general anymore – please cause trouble somewhere else.    FDMS  4    15:36, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Well, I brought all arguments I could get, that the DR is not eligible. But I can't decide the DR and if there is a decision, that we need a separate license stub (which at that point was not my oppinion), than please do it and "fertig ist der lack". --Alexrk2 (talk) 15:46, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
PS @FDMS4: ich kritisiere Dich nicht, dass Du den DR gestellt hast. Wir waren uns ja dann schnell mehr oder weniger einig. Daher hatte es mich auch umsomehr überrascht, dass letztlich überhaupt gelöscht wurde. Denn ich erwartete, dass im DR nun nur noch über die Frage eigene Lizenz ja/nein entschieden würde (was ich wie gesagt nicht entscheiden kann). Was mich dann aber schockierte, war die pauschale Ablehnung ohne irgendwelche weiterführende konkrete Begründung. --Alexrk2 (talk) 16:03, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Mich hat zwar die Löschung auch überrascht, es ist aber nicht die Aufgabe des Admins über die Lizenz zu entscheiden (das kannst durchaus du) …    FDMS  4    16:15, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
.. hatte ich ja: ich war wie gesagt der Meinung, dass CC-BY-SA hier die bessere Wahl wäre. Letztlich ist es mir aber natürlich auch Schnuppe. Wenn der entscheidende Admin gesagt hätte, dass das unter CC-BY-SA nicht geht, sondern über den Baustein - auch OK. Hättehätte.. Das war aber auch nicht der Punkt und wie gesagt ich möchte Dich da nochmal ausdrücklich von meinem Mecker-Artikel ausnehmen. Ich hab dann spätestens in der UDR-Disk die Hoffnung an der Funktionsweise unserer Comunity (deren Ziel Freies Wissen ist) verloren, und das bei einem Thema, wo die WMDE im Vorfeld schon fleissig die Lorbeeren erntete. --Alexrk2 (talk) 16:35, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Using the Wikipedia logo for the Wikimedia Serbia's project?

Hi, guys! Could you tell me who to ask about the usage of the Wikipedia logo? I am starting an official project of the Wikimedia Serbia, and making a particular website for it. I wanted to use the Wikipedia globe as a part of the logo for the site... Sanja pavlovic (talk) 20:26, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

You can find detailed usage and licensing requirements for Wikimedia Foundation trademarks at the WMF web site. —RP88 20:32, 27 May 2014‎ (UTC)

Photos of Kay Marie

If this photo of singer Kay Marie was to be licensed under a free license, would there be any copyright issues with the tattoo design on Marie's forearm or the musical notes design on her guitar strap, or would those fall within de minimis (if anything?) --Gazebo (talk) 05:53, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Hello Gazebo. The elements you are asking about form a very small portion of the photo and are partly obscured. There is no way to infringe copyright with such small samples and therefore they fall under de minimis. Green Giant (talk) 21:30, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for responding. A photo is now up as File:Kay-Marie_2014.jpg --Gazebo (talk) 07:32, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Template PD-India-PIB

Hi There. {{PD-India-PIB}} appears to be a free licence (recently created). The terms on their website (here) do not, to my mind, agree. The don't mention allowing derivative works, commercial use and I don't think their images can be counted as freely licensed. They are allowing (uncharged) use of the images but are not releasing it under what is normally termed a free license. there appears to be a large number of images linked to the site, all claiming to be free under various licenses. Do I have this right - are the images non-free ? - Peripitus (talk) 11:42, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

It seems it was decided long ago that these images are not free - see Commons:Village_pump/Copyright/Archive/2011/07#India_Press_Information_Bureau_images - Peripitus (talk) 11:46, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Even the template includes a non-derivative symbol which may also be the intention of the wording at the website. I'll redirect it to {{nonderivative}} --Denniss (talk) 15:24, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I'd suggest adding a warning note first. Redirection to {{nonderivative}} will put all the images up for speedy deletion. However, there is already an ongoing deletion request at Commons:Deletion requests/files from the Press Information Bureau, Government of India which should be closed first. After that we should either redirect or delete the template.
On a related note: How come these images have slipped through the cracks so far? Isn't there some bot that is marking images without a valid license template? Why were these not marked? Does the bot think this is a valid license? If so, why and do we need a better grip on who can create license templates or mark license templates as free? Regards, --ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 01:33, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Portrait of Diane Musho Hamilton

If a portrait like this one of Diane Musho Hamilton was uploaded at high resolution under a free license, the question is, would there be copyright issues with clothing design? (My thought is most likely not, though between the precautionary principle and avoiding copyright paranoia, it does not always seem totally clear.) --Gazebo (talk) 07:30, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Copyright of vector versions of uncopyrighted logos

The image casebook section for logos mentions that logos are sometimes uncopyrighted (but possibly still trademarked) due to expiration of copyright or being below the threshold of originality. For uncopyrighted logos, there is the question as to whether a vector representation (i.e. EPS or SVG) would have its own copyright. For example, File:The_Bold_Look_of_Kohler.svg appears to have been converted from an EPS version on On the talk page for {{PD-textlogo}}, a mentioned issue is vector representations of fonts being nonfree even when the raster representations are uncopyrighted. --Gazebo (talk) 09:04, 30 May 2014 (UTC)