Commons talk:Copyright rules by territory

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Canadian public domain[edit]

I'm having trouble finding a government document that states that photographs taken prior to 1 January 1949 in Canada are public domain, as this project page suggests. Can someone provide a link? CanadianJudoka (talk) 20:30, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

See the footer at this page and the discussion at Template talk:PD-Canada. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:20, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. In the meantime, I found two university libraries that mention it on current websites: Ryerson and Guelph. CanadianJudoka (talk) 04:15, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
One must figure out the result of the combination of the effects of the following documents:
Note its sections 7, 58 and 61: (N.B.: Keep in mind that "this Act" means this amending act (S.C. 1997, c. 24) while "the Act" means the Copyright Act (R.S.C. 1985, c. C-42))
  • "7. Section 10 of the Act is replaced (...)" (N.B.: Remember that the part that was thus removed from section 10 of the Act was the part that provided that the copyright term for all photographs was 50 years after their creation, including for photographs authored by natural persons. Cf. the previous text of section 10 of the Copyright Act before this 1997 amendment.)
  • "58. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as reviving a copyright that expired before the coming into force of this section."
  • "61. (...) This Act or any provision of this Act (...) comes into force on a day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council."
"(...) the Governor General in Council (...), pursuant to section 61 of An Act to amend the Copyright Act, assented to on April 25, 1997, being chapter 24 of the Statutes of Canada, 1997, hereby fixes
  • September 1, 1997 as the day on which (...) sections (...) 58 (...) of that Act, shall come into force (...)"
" Order fixing the dates upon which certain provisions of An Act to amend the Copyright Act, being chapter 24 of the Statutes of Canada, 1997 [Bill C-32], shall come into force, as follows: (...)
  • Friday, January 1, 1999 -- sections 7 (...) "
The reader will not have missed the peculiar fact that sections 58 and 7 of the amending act were put into force at different dates. This causes an interesting situation. By the combined effect of section 58 of the amending act and of order in council 1997-1065, nothing in this Act shall be construed as reviving a copyright that expired before September 1, 1997. Whereas, by the combined effect of section 7 of the amending act and of order in council 1998-0364, the old version of section 10 of the Copyright Act remained in force until January 1, 1999, and thus, between September 1, 1997 and January 1, 1999, photographs authored by natural persons continued to have their copyrights expire 50 years after their creation (another section of the Copyright Act provides that copyrights expire at the end of calendar years, so in practice the photos in question would include those created between January 1, 1947 and December 31, 1948). But the expiration of the copyright of those photos was not subject to the anti-revival provision of section 58 of the amending act, because order in council 1997-1065 had the effect of explicitely excluding those photos from the application of section 58 of the amending act. So, was the copyright of those photos revived or not? There are two possible solutions, none of which sound really satisfactory. The first solution would be to ignore section 58, do as if it was superfluous and did not exist, and consider that no expired copyrights are revived anyway. The second solution would be to assume that the government actually wanted 1997, not 1999, to be the limit when it limited the application of the anti-revival provision of section 58 only to copyrights expired before September 1, 1997, and thus section 58 is to be read, a contrario, to mean that the copyrights that had expired in 1997 and 1998 on photographs, under the old version of section 10 of the Copyright Act, were revived in 1999, under the new version of section 10.
-- Asclepias (talk) 08:58, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Nigerian public domain[edit]

I need help to know the Copyright Protection Law of Nigeria because till now, no law is mentioned in Wikimedia Commons. Best regards. --Faycal.09 (talk) 10:43, 18 January 2013 (UTC).


“An exception applies to the photographic and similarly-made works, and the works of applied art, which are public domain in Croatia and in the United States if published in 1970 or earlier.”

This doesn't seem correct. If the work was first published between 11 May 1966 and 31 December 1969 and with a copyright notice, then it seems that it would still be protected by copyright in the United States thanks to the w:Universal Copyright Convention. Could someone verify? --Stefan4 (talk) 15:18, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Feel welcome to correct it if the works are still copyrighted in the United States. I've calculated this by considering the URAA year. These works were protected for 25 years in Yugoslavia, the new act was passed in Croatia in 1999, therefore 1999-25=1974. The URAA year is 1996,[1] 1996-25=1971. --Eleassar (t/p) 10:49, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Ghana copyright[edit]

This link [[2]] has the 2005 Copyright Act (Act 690) for Ghana. As i am no legal expert, i am hesitant to include it myself. But someone more experienced may be able to verify and add it, if it's authentic and actual. GermanJoe (talk) 13:16, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Added, but feel free to improve (IANAL). GermanJoe (talk) 07:47, 13 August 2013 (UTC)


Somalia says "There has been no copyright protection in Somalia since the start of the country's civil war in 1991 and the subsequent destruction of the national copyright office. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, the last time the copyright office updated its records was in 1986." That strikes me as a complete non sequitur. The question of whether or not the law provides for copyright protection does not depend on current records or the existence of a copyright office. (Not to mention that the link no longer says that; I don't know if facts have changed or WIPO just messed with their pages.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:35, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

South Africa[edit]

The Copyright Act 1978 (No. 98 of 1978) defines works of architecture as artistic works

“artistic work” means, irrespective of the artistic quality thereof—
(b) works of architecture, being either buildings or models of buildings; or

and infringing copies of artistic works as a copy of the work

“infringing copy”, in relation to—
(a) a literary, musical or artistic work or a published edition, means a copy thereof;

and copy as

“copy” means a reproduction of a work, and, in the case of a literary, musical or artistic work, a cinematograph film or a computer program, also an adaptation thereof: Provided that an object shall not be taken to be a copy of a work of architecture unless the object is a building or a model of a building;

Since photos are neither buildings or models of buildings, photos of buildings are not copies of the artistic work and can not be infringing copies

--NJR_ZA (talk) 18:31, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

On the other hand, article 7 of the act says that:
'Copyright in an artistic work vests the exclusive right to do or to authorize the doing of any of the following acts in the Republic:
(a) Reproducing the work in any manner or form;
(e) making an adaptation of the work;
and the act defines reproduction and adaptation of artistic works as follows:
'“reproduction”, in relation to— [...]
(b) an artistic work, includes a version produced by converting the work into a three-dimensional form or, if it is in three dimensions, by converting it into a two-dimensional form;'
'“adaptation”, in relation to— [...]
(c) an artistic work, includes a transformation of the work in such a manner that the original or substantial features thereof remain recognizable;'
Also, clause 23(1) states that:
'Copyright shall be infringed by any person, not being the owner of the copyright, who, without the licence of such owner, does or causes any other person to do, in the Republic, any act which the owner has the exclusive rights to do or to authorize.'
From these it seems that the copyright holder of a building would the only one allowed to take photos of it (or authorise the taking of such photos), or to make recognisable adaptations of such photos.
The only reference to "infringing copy" (besides its definition) I can find in the act relates to the importation of copies (clause 28(2)), so it does not seem to have wide implications.
There does seem to be a FOP-like exemption for cinematograph films in clause 15(3), but I don't see one for photos. --Avenue (talk) 23:48, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Question about the effect of URAA[edit]

This question has come up at Commons:Deletion requests/File:M.C.Cowdrey1954.png but I suppose it is of wider applicability. Is it correct that the URAA copyright restoration provisions require that an Australian work, which entered the public domain in Australia in 2005, receives US copyright protection until 95 years after the date it was first published? - Pointillist (talk) 00:00, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

To be pedantic, it means that it receives the same US copyright protection as it would if it had been first published in the US following all copyright formalities and properly renewed. Except in applying the URAA only to works still in copyright in their source nation in 1996*, the US does not follow the rule of the shorter term.
* Usually. Any country that does not have its copyrights protected in the US under Berne or other mutual treaties can get their works restored under the URAA if they do become a party to a international or bilateral copyright treaty with the US, and Vietnam and a couple other countries have done so, making their dates later.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:09, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks - Pointillist (talk) 08:07, 28 November 2013 (UTC)


Hi! Could serve as a base for the list of country-specific laws, here regarding Honduras. Feel free to recheck and/or reedit.

According to Copyright and Neighboring Rights Law (approved by Decree No. 4-99-E) (2006) (.pdf)Spanish:

  • General info:
  • Copyrightable works
    • Individual works: 75 years after author's death (art. 44).
    • Collaborative works: 75 years after death of the last surviving author (art. 45.1).
    • Anonymous or pseudonymous works: 75 years after first publication or (without publication within 50 years after creation) 70 years since the end of the year of creation. If the author of an anonymous work becomes known during this period (**** unclear: 50 or 75 years?? ****), 75 years after author's death applies. (art. 45.2).
    • Collective works: 75 years after first publication or (without publication within 50 years after creation) 70 years since the end of the year of creation (art. 45.3).
    • Governmental works: Laws, regulations, agreements and other provisions emanated from the corresponding organs of the State which were previously published in the "Diario Oficial La Gaceta" are not eligible for copyright (art. 54).

Gunnex (talk) 12:01, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

PD in American Samoa[edit]

Can anyone answer this: Does United States copyright law apply uniformly within the "offshore" territories of the US as well as in the states/DC? Specifically, I'm considering uploading some images that were taken in American Samoa. In the US proper these images would be in the PD due to {{PD-US-1978-89}}, but I'm concerned the same law may not apply in American Samoa. Help? — Ipoellet (talkf.k.a. Werewombat 02:48, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Faroe Islands[edit]

User:MGA73 added a section about the Faroe Islands. For example, it now says that "Film are protected for the rest of the year the film was first made available to the public + 50 full years. If it was never made public it is protected the rest of the year the film was created + 50 full years. (§ 56)" Is this really accurate? In the European Union, this term is used for films which do not meet the threshold of originality, whereas films which do meet the threshold of originality get the term extended to 70 years after the death of certain people (see EU directive 93/98/EEC articles 2.2 and 3.3). From what I have understood, the Faroese copyright law is similar to the Danish one, so it seems likely that the Faroe Islands would use the same duration. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:36, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

My bad Stefan4... The answer is in § 53. I'll strik the bullit. --MGA73 (talk) 19:53, 27 December 2014 (UTC)


Problematic clause "publication and/or reproduction of anything which is published by or on behalf of the government, except if the copyright is declared to be protected by law or regulation or by a statement on the work itself or at the time the work is published;" might get more than 2.000 files get deleted from Commons because it was taken from government websites, and almost all government websites put © mark on their footer.

Discuss it at Commons:Village_pump#All_Indonesian_government_pictures_are_copyvio permalink. Bennylin (yes?) 23:23, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

New copyright law[edit]

Commons:Copyright_rules_by_territory#Indonesia should be updated to reflect UU No. 28/2014 (transcription work in progress in Indonesian Wikisource. Bennylin (yes?) 13:46, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it need to be changed the older one from year 2002 (Indonesian Copyright Act No. 19, 2002) are now obsolete replaced by Copyright act no. 28, 2014.--AldNonUcallin?☎ 14:00, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
Addendum id:s:Halaman:UU 28 2014.pdf/1 Already explain everything.--AldNonUcallin?☎ 14:06, 7 January 2015 (UTC)


Hi, Could someone make a short resume of [3] please? It is needed for this case: File:Dr Ernest Mercier Cuba.jpg. Thanks, Yann (talk) 22:01, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

According to that law, the period of protection is rather short: 25 (veinticinco) years following the death of the author (Art. 43). BUT in case of a photographic work (obra fotográfica) or applied art work, the copyright period is 10 (diez) years following the use of the work (Art. 47). Anyone is entitled to use a work no longer under copyright, provided the name of the author is mentioned (Art. 49).
However, art. 49 continues saying that Notwithstanding this (No obstante), the user will have to make a special contribution to a fund for the development of science, education and culture in the country. Details about the contribution and the amount will be spelled out by the Ministry of Culture. That's unusual. I wonder if this restriction is in force? --Lubiesque (talk) 15:28, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Is that the current law? According to w:List of parties to international copyright agreements, Cuba is a signatory to the Berne Convention, which stipulates a copyright term which is longer than the term you mention above.
In SOU 1956:25 pp. 352-353, there is some discussion about royalties for works whose copyright has expired, similar to what you mention above. It says that this idea originates from 19th century France and that there were at least five countries (Italy, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania and Czechoslovakia) which had this rule as of 1956 when the document was written. I don't know whether those five countries (or their successor states) still have this rule or whether it is currently in use elsewhere (apart from Cuba). --Stefan4 (talk) 23:50, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
From what I can see, there has been only one change to the copyright law of 1977: the very short Decreto-Ley Nº 156 of 1994. The amending decree increases the general period of protection to 50 years after death. In case of a photographic work, the period of protection is increased to 25 years following the use (utilización) of the work. The preamble of the decree states that the reason for the change is to bring the Cuban copyright law within an accepted range of internationally recognized standards. There is nothing about any retroactive effect of the new law. --Lubiesque (talk) 14:59, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

United States[edit]

KDS4444, I partially reverted some of your recent changes to the "United States" section of this page. In particular:

  • I reverted your change of "Anything published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain" to "Anything published before January 1, 1923 in the United States is in the public domain" as the original was correct it in it's statement that in the U.S. anything published anywhere in the world before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain.
    • Actually, the correct statement should be "Anything published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain in the United States". Regards, Yann (talk) 17:56, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I reverted your change in which you claimed that copyright assigned to the U.S. Government by contractors are "therefore in the public domain". This is not the caae, in fact copyright assignment by a contractor is one of the classic examples of a method by which a U.S. Government agency can end up owning copyright.
  • I removed the Smithsonian Institution section you added. It incorrectly summarized SI's unique status as a trust instrumentality of the U.S. Government. The SI can, and does, have federal employees whose creations in the course of their official duties become PD (for which Commons has {{PD-USGov-SI}}). If you believe otherwise, this should probably be first discussed at Commons:Village Pump/Copyright.

RP88 (talk) 06:04, 28 September 2015 (UTC)