Commons:WikiProject Public Domain/URAA review

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This review was prompted by the US case of Golan v. Holder in 2012, affirming the URAA in restoring copyright in the US on foreign works that were still copyrighted in the foreign source country on the URAA date (1 Jan 1996 for most countries). Many files that had previously been tagged {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} have since had their US copyright definitely restored, and need to be removed from Commons. According to our policy, a work alleged to be in the public domain can be hosted here only if it is in the public domain both in the US and in the source country.

This page aims to organise a review of files tagged {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}. There are also wider issues with PD tags not providing enough information on why a work is public domain in both the US and the source country. These files should also be reviewed, information improved, and in some cases deleted (if Commons:Licensing is not satisfied). This, along with handling URAA-affected files which were not tagged with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}, may be done as part of a wider Commons:WikiProject Public Domain/PD review.

Following a discussion at Commons:Massive restoration of deleted images by the URAA and a subsequent unsuccessful review of the precautionary principle, it was decided that files nominated for deletion due to the URAA should be evaluated carefully, as should be their copyright status under US and local laws. A mere allegation that the URAA applies to a file cannot be the sole reason for deletion. If the end result of copyright evaluation is that there is significant doubt about the freedom of a file under US or local law, the file must be deleted in line with the precautionary principle. Potentially URAA-affected files should be tagged with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}.


To do[edit]

draft for discussion

  1. Set up a project page to coordinate all this. That way we would have a place we can link to when we post notices on other wikis.
  2. Inform Wikis:
    1. Inform all Wikis that the result of the discussion is that we can't keep the files. And add a link to the project page.
    2. Do a query of all the files used in each wiki and inform the wikis about the numbers of "their" files that may be deleted.
    3. Give all the wikis a deadline to decide if they can and will have the files copied to their wiki.
  3. Whats the problem?
    1. Make a list of all templates that may be a problem.
    2. Make a list of all files that may be deleted (or at least a list of the number of files with each template).
  4. Check files
    1. Agree on a method to get this working
    2. Update license pages etc. so we all have a better chance to figure out which files are ok and which files are not
    3. Start checking
      1. Mark as ok.
      2. Mark as NOT ok.
  5. Files that is not ok
    1. Have a bot to mark file with no permission and inform uploader
    2. Have a bot inform local wikis where the file used
    3. If the wiki has opted in for "copy to wiki" then a bot copies the file to the wiki
    4. When file has been copied to local wiki (or if they do not want it) mark it with "ready for deletion"
    5. Delete when the 7 days have passed and uploader (or anyone else) have not provided a valid permission.


Target for completion[edit]

The aim is to complete the task of reviewing all files tagged {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} by 31 December 2012 30 June 2014.


  • Files tagged {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}
    • as of 14 March 2012: 4259
    • as of 27 April 2012: 4322
    • as of 15 June 2012: 5716
    • as of 1 August 2012: 5564
    • as of 17 October 2012: 5705
    • as of 30 July 2013 5588
    • as of 18 December 2013: 4768
    • as of 9 January 2014: 3707
    • as of 5 February 2014: 3214
    • as of 1 March 2014: 4315