Commons talk:Copyright tags/Archive 1

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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.


Tag inflation?

I would like to propose reducing the large list of different tags, especially if the licensing does not really differ. I think this would make the use much easier. I do a lot of image work on the english wiki, but i am still often confused about which tag to use exactly, and usually I just fall back to {{PD}} or {{GFDL}}. Here's a list of copyright tags, which (to me) seem to be very similiar, and the indented tags probably can be reduced to the first tag in the group. Comments are very welcome, please correct me if i am wrong -- Chris 73 01:54, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • {{PD}}
    • {{PD-USGov}}
    • {{PD-USGov-NASA}}
    • {{USAID}}
    • {{US-DOS}}
    • {{PD-CAGov}}
    • {{Sovietpd}}
    • {{Polishsymbol}}
    • {{PD-art}}
  • {{CrownCopyright}}
    • {{LearningandSkillsCouncilCopyright}}
    • {{NationalAuditOfficeCopyright}}
    • {{NHSCopyright}}
I would regret this; by removing the other tags, you are throwing away a lot of information as well. I would be much against that. I want the page to say not just that something is public domain, but also why. And I prefer to give the information "USAID is saying this-and-that about copyright" to just saying "This is coming from some US government source." We could however change the presentation, I think - consider only a few of these as copyright tags, and the rest as "origin" tags. Then we have one page with a number of "license tags", with the notification that there is another page that contains more specific tags for specific origins. - Andre Engels 11:49, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
OK, lets keep the tags. Doesn't hurt. BTW, I worked my way through all the copyright tags we have now, fixed links, images, and changed the format so it looks similiar. All PD stuff is blue (same as EN-Wikipedia), all GNU or CreativeCommons is brown (same as EN-Wikipedia), and all Crown copyright is reddish (i.e. a warning color, since these are actually copyrighted). Let me know if this is Ok, or if there are some suggestions. Oh, and if someone finds a better "reddish" for the crown copyright tags, go for it! Also, I don't know what to put on Template:Polishpd. An overview can be found at Commons:Image copyright tags Visual-- Chris 73 14:08, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Should Template:PD-Old refer to files and not images, since Template:PD-Art already refers to images?

  • {{PD-Old}} - for images where the author died more than 70 years ago (1934).
  • {{PD-Art}} - for public domain images of works of art where the artist died more than 70 years ago.

Also, I'm confused why Wikipedia's w:Template:PD-Art refers to 100 years where Commons has 70 years. -Wikibob 20:15, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Unfortunately, that is not simple. Quoting the Copyright Expiration Day article: "the U.S. originally changed its laws to have all works created by an author fall out of copyright [...] at the same time, January 1, 50 years after they died, or either 75 years after publication or 100 years after creation, whichever is shorter, if the author was not a natural person or was a collective work or work for hire. This was later changed [...] As a result of these changes, in the case of a work created by an individual, the work goes into the public domain on January 1, 70 years after the author dies. Where the work is a joint effort of two or more authors, it goes into the public domain on January 1, 70 years after the death of the last surviving joint author. In the case of a work made for hire, a pseudonymous work, a collective work [...] goes into the public domain on January 1, 95 years after the date of first publication, or 120 years after creation, whichever is shorter." That is only US copyright law. There is the Berne Convention from 1886, independent Buenos Aires Convention from 1910, the Universal Copyright Convention from 1952, there are European Union directives, quite a few international conventions and directives, but what is actually effective is the local legislation in any given jurisdiction. I am not sure if any work can be considered public domain without providing the country of origin and the date of creation, unless it had been explicitly released into public domain by the author. But I am not a lawyer. Rafał Pocztarski 03:45, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia has a PD-self for "I have created this and released it to the public domain", but commons doesn't seem to. --Eli the Bearded 20:15, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Someone (User:Bdesham) seems to have fixed this now. --Eli the Bearded 20:56, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)


There are a lot of tags but if I look at Image:Moby.jpg for example I will find following declaration: "This file has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright."
The {{PD}} concerns 25 % of the pictures. It is a 3 in 1 declaration although there are three different matters which can be clearly separated. The declaration is no help to proof the legacy of a picture.
Please let us abolish the PD-tag. -- Simplicius, Germany, 04:32, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

CC-Lizense - Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 Germany

Hi, I would like to add the following template to the CC sektion, any concerns?

  • {{Cc-by-sa-2.0/de}} - Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 Germany (view)
Yes. What if the user cannot read german? In this case he/she cannot understand the tag. The same problem of course exists with english, but more people can read english than german. One possible solution would be to include a link in the english template to the german template. Would this be a possibility for you? -- Chris 73 09:42, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean. The Template is in English, the explanation is available in the following languages: Català Deutsch English Castellano suomi 日本語 Nederlands Português and 中文(繁)
German in this kontext means German law, not the German language --Habakuk 13:36, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Ok,my misunderstanding. I thought you wanted to translate the image tag. About the german CC-by-sa: Is this legally different from the english cc-by-sa? In this case we may need the template, otherwise we could use the english one. -- Chris 73 22:56, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Yes, it is legally different, the German variant is based on the en:Roman_law (or en:Civil_law) the english one is based on the en:Common_law --Habakuk 08:23, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Then we need it. I added it as Template:De-cc-by-sa-2.0 to this page and to Commons:Image copyright tags visual. Let me know if this is OK, or if you wanted it differently. -- Chris 73 09:02, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It's OK. Thanks. --Habakuk 10:30, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Sharp GNU Head

See also: Wikipedia talk:Image copyright tags#Sharp GNU Head

I have uploaded a different version of the GNU Head logo which doesn’t look blurry after downscaling, like the one used currently. Below are both versions compared:

GNU head GNU head

The GFDL template with the sharp logo would look like this:

GNU logo head
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "Text of the GNU Free Documentation License".

If no one objects, I can update the templates and tag lists to use the sharper logo. I’ll wait for comments. Rafał Pocztarski 07:34, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Either one does the job for me, no preference -- Chris 73 07:58, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)
So I will change the image to the sharper one. All of the feedback on the English Wikipedia and on the Polish Wikipedia was in favor of the sharp image. Rafał Pocztarski 09:14, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Nicely done. Thanks. -- Chris 73 10:47, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Excellent. -- Simplicius 04:37, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

CC templates proposal

I have prepared tables for the Creative Commons license tags that are now used on the English Wikipedia, after getting strong support on en:Wikipedia talk:Image copyright tags#CC icons and en:Wikipedia talk:Image copyright tags#CC templates proposal, and now I have converted them to be usable on Wikimedia Commons:

[examples removed — no longer relevant]

The above tables are exactly the same as the ones currently used on the English Wikipedia and they are now available with the source code and relevant links in User:Rfl/CC templates/free. “This image” links directly to the actual image in question, Alternatively, I could prepare similar tables using the color scheme and/or font size currently used in the Creative Commons templates on the Wikimedia Commons:

[examples removed — no longer relevant]

etc. As I have written on en:Wikipedia talk:Image copyright tags, the text is clear and short, and the use of the Creative Commons condition icons [1] is consistent with the actual license making the tags visually distinctive. The visible URL is in my opinion a better choice than the colloquially known as text. Comments welcome. Rafał Pocztarski 23:15, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Looks good. One request: Could you keep the layout (Back-Color, box width, border style and font size) of the current tags, so the style is consistent with all other tags at the commons? I.e. copy only the text and the images to the Commons Tags? I definitely like the smaller by, sa, nd icons underneath the CC image. -- Chris 73 23:34, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I can use the style of the table exactly the same as is used currently. I’ll wait for more comments and I’ll post the final proposal before I change any of the actual templates. Rafał Pocztarski 00:56, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Careful cross-wiki readers will no doubt be unsurprised that I think those cc-tags are the bomb (e.g. good). Quadell (talk) 01:37, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Templates updated

After a three-month consensus, I have just updated Template:Cc-by, Template:Cc-by-2.0, Template:Cc-sa, Template:Cc-by-sa and Template:Cc-by-sa-2.0. The style was preserved, the images are temporarily commented out for server load reduction. [2] This image was changed to this file to suit non-image documents. It is a link to the media in question so there is no ambiguity and need for at the top of this page. Rafał Pocztarski 21:13, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I have renamed and updated the following templates: Template:Cc-by-sa-2.0-be, Template:Cc-by-sa-2.0-de, Template:Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr, Template:Cc-by-sa-2.0-it, Template:Cc-by-sa-2.1-jp and Template:Cc-by-sa-2.0-tw. Now their names are consistent with each other as well as with the Creative Commons URLs, and they all share the same prefix. All of the old names still work. I fixed the double redirects and updated Commons:Copyright tags#Free Creative Commons Licenses and Commons:Image copyright tags visual#Creative Commons Licenses. I have only changed the tables in the templates, leaving alone all of the comments and meta-data that was outside of the old tables (which differs between them and may result in different spacing, so someone may want to take a look at it). The Creative Commons logos in the tables are commented out but they are present and ready to be uncommented, which I will do as soon as the server overload is no longer a problem (please remind me if I forget). Rafał Pocztarski 21:31, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hi! I recently created Template:Cc-by-sa-2.1-es and a corresponding category. Taking a look to the template's code I saw that CC rdf tags for searchers are there like this:
<!-- /Creative Commons License -->

<rdf:RDF xmlns=""
<Work rdf:about="">
   <dc:type rdf:resource="" />
   <license rdf:resource="" />

<License rdf:about="">
   <permits rdf:resource="" />
   <permits rdf:resource="" />
   <requires rdf:resource="" />
   <requires rdf:resource="" />
   <permits rdf:resource="" />
   <requires rdf:resource="" />

but when an image page whit CC license is shown, there is no that tags at page source code. Maybe I miss something? Thanks! --Colegota 14:54, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Simpler & smaller multi-licensing

Is there any particular reason not to have the multi-licensing templates like on the English Wikipedia available here on the Commons? If not, I'd like to import them pretty much as is, and start simplifying my tagging. -- JohnOwens 03:01, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Yes, please do. Dbenbenn 05:06, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Russian Laws permit use of "publically accessible" images

The Russian law permits:

"replaying, airing or transmission for public notice by cable of works of architecture, photography or visual art that is constantly present in a place accessible for free visit, except those cases when the display of the work is the main object of [those actions], or when the image of thw work is used for commercial purposes".

While it is unclear to me what is meant by an image being "the main object" of its display, the Internet is still a place freely and commonly accessible, therefore we can take photos (that are permanently displayed) from any Russian website and use them in Wikimedia's projects. Before I make a copyright tag for this licence, I want to make sure if this law does indeed allow us to use the pictures here, in WikiCommons and on all projects. Can anyone please answer this? Ramir 00:57, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

This is concerning only monuments not websites (see German de:Panoramafreiheit). We also need commercial use. -- 18:47, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This is an exception entirely parallel to "de:Panoramafreiheit" and "unwesentliches de:Beiwerk". To see it as a permission to use any picture from a website is a fundamental misunderstanding and exactly contrary to the intention of the law. It means that you may make a photograph of your friend in the city even if some protected advertisement poster looms into the picture. But the poster may not be the main object if your photograph (in this case the main object would be your friend). It must be entirely exchangeable or removable without changing the picture substantially, it must not be essential in any way. You may not even change the picture as to make the previous Beiwerk a main object, ie. you may not use this exception to make a reproduction of the poster by cropping away all the rest. --Rtc 11:47, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

"May have to be" implies that it is not certain

With the descriptions of all kinds of license, it invariably says; "may have to be deleted" where the text on the template used says WILL be deleted.

It is either or, either they may have to be deleted (and who decides and on what criteria) or they will be deleted and any sysop can do it as and when he pleases. GerardM 07:07, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Missing one tag

We need here something like the w:en:Template:EU image. muriel@pt 23:31, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Stock.xchng template

moved to Commons talk:Stock.xchng images

ESA Licenses

Wikipedia has several images licensed under the ESA License terms [3], [4], [5] (which is basically a license that demands attribution and non-commercial use), like:

There really should be a category and a tag for these images. Wikipedia has loads of images which are most likely under ESA's license but which have no copyright information, like:

Hello anonymous, ESA images are neither PD or GFDL, so there is no reason to have their images on Commons, hence no need for a copyright tag. Thuresson 06:04, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
ESA images need to be deleted at the Commons because they are unfree. See delition requests. I wish everyone could accept this and stop uploading ESA images here. What happens in en-Wikipedia is Off-Topic here. Arnomane 06:32, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

What is free content exactly?

What copyright restrictions are allowed for Commons media, exactly? Special:Upload says

All files uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons must be available under a free license.

For the most part, the answer is unambiguous: any media for which one of the copyright tags on this page applies are allowed. Except for the {{CopyrightedFreeUseProvidedThat}} tag! It isn't clear what conditions are allowed. And in fact Category:Copyrighted free use provided that contains a lot of non-free images, such as

We need to clarify precisely what "provided that" restrictions are allowed here. Dbenbenn 01:59, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I (finally) found the answer to my own question, at Commons:Licensing. I've updated MediaWiki:Uploadtext to link there. Dbenbenn 11:40, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

Two licence tags for one image?

Perhaps a stupid question, but if it is, just say so. Every now and then I see an image that is published under two licences, for instance both GFDL and one of the cc-by-sa licences. (See "Image:S-Bahn Rhein Main Type 420.JPG" as an example.) Obviously, one of them is more restricted than the other. But which one prevails? regards, MartinD 14:07, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Its basically the same principle as multi-licenseing software. The user of the image can use it under any of the specified licenses. Plugwash 21:44, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Because by default a user retains all rights, licenses do not usually function to restrict usage but to release some rights. Consequently, applying two licenses releases any rights that either one releases. However, if you want to be precise, it's good to include a statement that the license is (as the Perl folks like to say) the disjunction of the two, and can be used under the terms of either at the reuser's choice. Deco 01:14, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Photos of branded products

I have a question concerning photographs of branded products. If I photograph a box of branded tea, may I release the photo into the public domain, or does the trademark/copyright of the company prevent this. This is a question I have seen nowhere addressed, and it is an important one. If it's kosher to take such pictures, I'll take tons. See [6] as an example of what I'm talking about. When you respond here, please let me know on my English Wikipedia userpage. Thank you in advance! (P.S. I know of others who would take such photos were the legal status clearer) --Zantastik 00:26, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That is not unlike the discussion I just vent though, concerning the Norwegian CoA. That nobody believes me is what it is :). I still think it’s the grossed copyright violation I have yet seen on wiki Commons. Anyway here is my take on it.
You are the creator of the image, and thereby you automatically are the copyright holder of the image, no matter what it displays. You are the sole decider of how your image can be used.
That said however, what is on the image might itself be subject to restrictions. Especially brands, logos and such. They are covered in the national copyright law and it is the copyright of its creator. This copyright expires at some point, like 70 years of something like that. Might be 20 in one country and 100 in another. If after that time no restrictions of use of the brand exists, by the current owner, you are essentially free to use it as you which.
More importantly the Trademark and Marketing law also covers them, which usually weight much heavier. It essentially means you cannot misuse them. That does not mean you cannot display them, but you cannot misused them. Ex you can’t use Intel’s logo to sell chips that is not from Intel. Misuse also covers modified works. In that case each case have to be examined individually.
So you can PD your image, as it is your image, but what is on the image might still have sever restriction on both use and modifiability, on which you have no rights over (unless its your logo), and it is essentially the users of your images own responsibility to know this. Twthmoses 10:56, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Although Twthmoses is wrong ("You are the creator of the image, and thereby you automatically are the copyright holder of the image". See en:derivative work.) his conclusion is correct, I think. See [7] for a related case: a photographer's pictures of a SKYY vodka bottle were ruled to be his own copyright. (I found that link via some Wikipedia article that I can't find anymore.) The key in that case was that the photographic act involved a sufficient amount of artistic judgement, such as lighting and placement.

Of course, while the cited case is perfect for our purposes, it is only the law in the 9th Circuit. Does anyone know if similar cases have been decided in other circuits or (hopefully) in the Supreme Court? My research hasn't turned up anything. - Jersyko 22:13, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Actually, while the 9th Circuit said that the vodka photo was copyrightable, it refused to decide whether there was an infringement. I don't think the case is much help, after all. - Jersyko 22:19, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I suggest you upload a few such pictures, then ask around a lot more. Ask at the village pump, and drop villy, our resident lawyer, a note. You wouldn't want to take tons of pictures only to have them deleted. Dbenbenn 21:44, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Potential problems with public domain dedication

On en:Wikipedia: Granting work into the public domain I've recently brought up discussion on the issue of whether a work can actually be legally released into the public domain, and if not, what kind of action could be taken to prevent problems from arising. Since the Commons is relatively young, it might still be possible to create and use new public domain tags that also release all rights, just like the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication, which largely eliminates the problem. Is there support for this idea, or do you have other suggestions for the best way to deal with this? Also, are there "free-use" license templates available, which release all rights but do not release copyright? Thanks. Dcoetzee 04:20, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

There is Template:CopyrightedFreeUse - is that what you mean? Also, I belive formally you are right: at least in the EU, you can not release your work into the public domain. However, I belive legally a statement like "I put this in the public domain" can be interpretet as "I grant all rights to everyone", even if the terminology is not precisely correct. I agree however that It would be better to use the corret tags for this. -- Duesentrieb 11:17, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

What Tag?

I'm going to sound like a bit of an idiot, but I have no idea what these tags mean in the slightest even after reading the page explaining them. I uploaded an album cover from and didn't know what copyright it came under so I put it under {{unknown}} and it was deleted. Can anyone help? Ultimate Star Wars Freak 21:48, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It is not that difficult if you get a basic understanding of copyright:
  • If you are the author of the picture, you decide what license you would like to offer, e.g. {{GFDL}}, {{PD-self}}, {{cc-by-2.0}}, {{cc-by-sa-2.0}}.
  • If you are not the author, you must obtain a permission to distribute the picture first, if you want to...well, distribute it. So that this implies you know the license:
    • If the image is very very old (at least 70 years after the author's death), it is in the public domain → something like {{PD-old}}.
    • If the image is not that old, but the author has offered a free license, then you know the license from that statement.
  • If none of the above holds, it means you probably do not have the right to distribute the picture at all! By copying the picture and uploading it to Commons, you might be breaking the law, so don't do that (in USA, you might get covered under the fair use clause, but fair use contents is not allowed on Commons). That is probably the case with the album cover. Album covers are generally protected by copyright and are not freely usable. If the page where you got the picture does not say otherwise, you have no right to copy it. So don't be surprised that your picture was deleted for violating copyright.
See also w:Wikipedia:Copyright FAQ.
--Mormegil 11:26, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Please have a look at Commons:Licensing -- Duesentrieb 16:25, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Restricting to a certain version of GFDL

Shouldn't there be a way to release works under a certain version of the GFDL? Just like you can do with the CC-license. It has always seemed odd to me, releasing something under a license you have never seen. Jonas Olson 21:51, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

No, it's a part of GDFL, that you can use this version of GDFL or any newer version. --Habakuk 14:57, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Tags which are available but not listed

There are few tags which I've came across but aren't listed on the copyright tags page. These are: {{DomainePublic}} which is basically a french version of {{PD}} and {{}} which is material from the website of the Danish parliament. I'm not sure about the usage of the french PD tag, should it be added to the page? Should all images tagged with it also be tagged with the english version, or visa-versa? -- Joolz 20:32, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

There's also {{Publication_officielle}} -- Joolz 07:13, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
And another one: {{PromPeruImages}} -- Joolz 14:33, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Creative commons 1.0

I've created {{cc-by-1.0}}, {{cc-sa-1.0}}, and {{cc-by-sa-1.0}} and if nobody objects I'll change the tag listing over to these tags (instead of cc-by, cc-sa, and cc-by-sa). This is so that 1.0 is no longer the default licence, many people (including myself when first coming to the commons) tag their images as cc-by-sa not realising that not the latest version - this should make things a little clearer. -- Joolz 21:41, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Please remember to use the "move" tab instead of copying the content. I've fixed up the history for these three now. dbenbenn | talk 19:37, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Can images which have been licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 1.0 by the owner be used on Wikipedia? I tried to license an image under this particular tag, but someone deleted it. How does use on Wikipedia constitute fall under commercial use?

Anjan, 15:03 CT, 02 July 2006

Wikipedia itself is not commercial, but has several commercial spin-offs, like WikiPress. The WikiMediaa Foundation requires content to be free to use by anyone, for any purpose, including commercial. This is a self-imposed restriction. For some references, see Commons talk:Licensing/Explaining why Derivative Work and Commercial Use must be allowed. This has been discussed many times before. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 21:08, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Copyright tags in other languages

Is it OK to create templates in other languages, like these: Template:Bild-GFDL or Template:DomainePublic ? Do we have a policy ? Bogdan 20:13, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

its a difficult one. what would really be desired is a way to internationalise this stuff (ie show the right message to users of a particular lanugage) but right now we don't have the infrastructure in place to do that afaict. so its probablly best to keep copyright tags in english until a proper system is in place (and even when a system is in place imo we should keep the english text as the official version with translations clearly marked as for guidance only to avoid potential issues caused by mistranslation). Plugwash 21:00, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
No please don't internationalise the license templates. If you want to to something usefull translate the image description texts. That is badly needed and not yet another template. We would end up with dozens of license templates for the same thing in different languages. Arnomane 21:04, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Dual licensing

Is there any particular reason why it is better to release an image under both the GFDL and Creative Commons, instead of just the latter? Chamaeleon 08:42, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Possibly that makes using the image in Wikipedia a little better? cc-by-sa and GFDL aren't compatible, and it's good for as much of Wikipedia as possible to be GFDL. 21:48, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
If dual licensing is definitely preferable, it should specifically be made policy that we must all do it. If it is definitely pointless, it should specifically be discouraged by policy. Chamaeleon 11:51, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Hm, "everything that isn't mandatory is prohibited"? Preferable shouldn't mean mandatory. Some people just don't like the GFDL. Some don't like the Creative Commons. dbenbenn | talk 21:48, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
One good reason is that using both allows use of the image on all Wikimedia projects. Most use GFDL, and Wikinews uses CC-by-SA. CC-by-SA is not strictly more permissive than GFDL, as far as I know. Deco 01:20, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

International Creative Commons

What is the deal with the international versions of Creative Commons? If you protect with one national variant how does that apply in other countries? What is the point of restricting the licence to one country? Does it somehow make it easier to enforce if you use the laws of your own country?

Peregrine981 14:11, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I don't think the licence is restricted to one country. The "human-readable" version of it is the same. It's just the "lawyer-readable" version which is specifically tailored to the laws of a specific country, and written in the language of that country. In practice, any of the licences make the content free and therefore usable by Wikimedia projects. Chamaeleon 20:18, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Page split

May I suggest to create a new (sub-)page specifically for tags applicable to own works (GFDL, CC, etc.). This would be directed mainly towards new users who may not be aware of copyright issues and would ideally contain a summary description of each license, a short explanation of the differences between them and instructions on how to use the respective tags. Other subpages could be created for "media from official sources" and "media from unknown/non-official sources". --Mayhem 08:33, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

There is Commons:Donate to the public domain, which already tries something like that. Maybe it could be renamed and expanded. -- Duesentrieb 21:18, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Tennessee Valley Authority

Didn't there used to be a {{PD-USGov-TVA}} tag here? Is it not a valid PD license? I've just uploaded Image:Quercus velutina.jpg, if it isn't a valid PD pic, could someone delete it please, or if it is, could the tag be created. Thanks - MPF 17:02, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure if such a tag existed or not, it certainly doesn't now. I've retagged your image as {{PD-USGov}}. -- Joolz 23:48, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
PD-TVA is on English WpA. The TVA is rather strange in that it copyrights nothing but its own logo, which necessitated a very hack to the template. 22:31, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Are we allowed to use images released under this licence?

Are we allowed to use images released under this licence?

There are a few piccis I've found that use it that I'd like to add, but would like to be sure first, Jguk 3 July 2005 18:17 (UTC)

No. Have a look at Commons:Licensing: commercial use and derivative work must both be allowed, by-nd-nc prohibits that. -- Duesentrieb 3 July 2005 18:41 (UTC)

That's a shame. I'll try to write to those putting the piccis on the web (as it's a messageboard I was looking at, I hope there's a fair chance that they'd play ball), Jguk 3 July 2005 20:24 (UTC)


According to Template:cc-sa-2.5 there is no such license. I think we should remove it from this list then. A.J. 08:52, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. Thanks for catching that. dbenbenn | talk 18:41, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

The Artistic License 2.0

I have created {{artistic-2}} in order to correctly indicate this obscure license on 7 smileys that someone had previously uploaded, see Category:Artistic-2. The License was created by the Perl Foundation and is intended to be free and open. It allows for redistribution and modification with some conditions. Please verify that this is an acceptable license for Commons and add it to the list as appropriate. Drgaons flight 14:29, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

This is purely a software license. It refers to source code, linking, object code, and other things that don't make sense for images. Although it's a free license, I don't know how it would apply to a picture. dbenbenn | talk 16:57, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
Agree that it read funny to me for much that reason, but [8] is an image pack for IM client released under that license. Do you have any insight into how this should be interpreted? Of course, on the same vein, I would argue that GFDL can be a rather awkward license for images too. Drgaons flight 18:41, 24 August 2005 (UTC)
I would say this license should be handeled just like {{GPL}}: it is compliant with the Commons:Licensing policy, and files under that license are acceptable. However, using this license should be strongly discuraged, because it is indeed not intended for images and other artistic content, in spite of it's name. That is, if you want to copy content under that license to the commons, that's fine, but please don't use it for your own work (use a CC license instead). Also, when copying content that is under that license, it may be a good idea to ask the author to make it available under CC too. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 20:22, 24 August 2005 (UTC)


The website for the Swedish rikdag also have images on former members of the parliament. Within the template PD-Riksdag there is the category:Members of the Riksdag. What license should be used for the former members? Just the standard PD with a link to the source? /Henrik Reinholdson 17:23, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

Tag Assistance

Could an expert advise me. There is not a {{PD-USGOV-WH}} tag for the White House photos.

Is it appropriate to have one rather than using the generic overall USGOV tag? I notice that it appears a tag points to a page with the box/logo on it.

I used the generic GOV tag to mark the White House supplied photos.

Should the WH tag and pointed to page to built? Is there an appropriate logo to use for the White House? Would it be the Seal of the Office?

Thanks. 18:20, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Indymedia License

Please add a tag for pictures taken from indymedia. They use a copyleft license. helohe (talk) 04:00, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes, but Indymedia do not allow commercial use, "(c) Independent Media Center. All content is free for reprint and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere, for non-commercial use, unless otherwise noted by author." WikiCommons do not allow photos that can not be used commercially. Thuresson 06:45, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Mismatch article vs. upload box

Hi, the Licensing list in the upload screen looks very different from the list in this article and the image in this article. E.g. GFDL-self and some other GFDL licenses seem to be missing in the list on the upload page. Very confusing to me, since I wanted to upload a pic yesterday but didn't understand what license to choose (I wanted gfdl-self, but didn't know to which entry in the list it corresponds with. So I uploaded it to wikipedia instead: its list is straightforward, at least to me :D). Can anyone explain how to match the entries in this article to those in the upload page? —A. Rad 17:25, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

They aren't matched. The upload page gives you a list of choices; if you want to use some other license, you can always type it in manually. User:dbenbenn 00:24, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

{{PD-USGov}} not applicable worldwide?

Is this edit correct? --SPUI 06:28, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Nice joke by a new user with only three edits ..... --Denniss 13:18, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Wait. I consider that editor editing in good faith but not making a joke. Please go to Template talk:PD-USGov to continue.--Jusjih 03:51, 25 January 2008 (UTC)


Is there a years thing for the German photographs to be included in PD? I'm trying to use the top picture taken around 1935, and it's been 70 years. -- WB 07:06, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

It must be 70 years after the death of the creator. If this applies, use PD-old. If not, the image is not free. If the photographer is not known, we assume a protection period of 100 years after the picture was taken. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 12:14, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
So about 30 years more until I can put it on Commons. For now, I'll put it as some form of fair-use in Wikipedia then. -- WB 20:10, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

WayneRay 23:04, 4 April 2006 (UTC)WayneRay as far as Canada is concerned 50 years is public domain status so a photograph coming from Canada, should be allowed on Wikimedia even if the USA public domain status is 75 years = discussion?? This applies to literary and other itms.

More and more tags on this page

Numbers of Tags are growing and growing, it might be a good idea to move several country-specific tags to a subarticle to improve readability. In special are these most PD-USGov subtags except for PD-USGov-Military, maybe PD-NASA. Same for Creative Commons, leave only the standard tags here and move country-specific CC licenses to a subarticle. --Denniss 23:59, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Maps in bilateral treaties

Are maps in the annex of bilateral treaties PD? Gugganij 11:25, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Local/state government tags

All we have is a tag for the federal government. What about pictures of state and local government documents, such as police reports? Aplomado 02:08, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

They are generally copyrightable as US copyright law does not exempt US state and local government documents from copyright.--Jusjih 03:43, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

no tag for PD, but not self

Why is there no tag to indicate that the image is put into the public domain by the creator, but the creator is not the uploader? For example when it's found on a webpage for PD images. -- 17:44, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

You can use {{PD-author}} although it's not listed on this page. Odd, I'll add it now. pfctdayelise (translate?) 12:25, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

U.S. National Guard unit pictures

I've used {{PD-USGov-Military-Army}} for pictures taken by U.S. National Guard member. As I understand it, the Guard is under the umbrella of the U.S. Army, but if not federalized, its funded/controlled by the individual state (I think). I am now wandering, if this tag is appropriate for Guard photos, especially non-federalized guard unit? Are such members to be treated as U.S. federal employees, or deemed state employees (signficant, since only works of federal employees is public domain). When I've used such images, I made sure the web site said they were all public domain. So, presumable their fine to use. But, I wander if a Guard-specific tag is appropriate (maybe just to make things clearer). If no separate tag is needed, then maybe a sentence should be added to explicitly state if it is to be used with Guard photos. --Rob 19:17, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Arab states PD tag

I have added One tag {{PD-Arabic}} for some Arab States PD-Usage. The template contains all the needed Info for all the States in question. It seems too much to have a tag for each country. I will add additional countries info as soon as I get the needed legal documents --Tarawneh 20:00, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

What's that about Lebanon and cc-by-2.5? I don't understand the last line of your tag. User:dbenbenn 21:55, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Lebanon law is not written in a clear manner, but it is understood that Attribution is required. A Lebanese lawyer suggested the use of Creative Commons Attribution 2.5, not Public Domain for Lebanon. --Tarawneh 15:40, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
What? Are you saying that according to Lebanese law, after 50 years, works are automatically released under the cc-by-2.5 license? That sounds unlikely to me. Anyway, such works would not be public domain. User:dbenbenn 18:26, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

This Is the translation of the Lenanese Law. (Originally it is in Arabic) [9]

  • Lebanese Copyright Law
  • Law number 75 for the year 1999
  • Chapter 8 : Protection period
Article 51. In the case of group work or visual, or sound products, the work is protected for 50 years starting from the first authorized publication of the work, the date will be counted from the end of the year the work was published. If the work was not published, the 50 years would be counted from the end of year where the work was finished.

This is one strange law, that is why I had to check with a lawyer first. Yet you have to check the Iraqi Law [10] if you still feel that the above is strange; it gives a 5 year protection. --Tarawneh 20:36, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I forgot to mention, also According to Chapter 10 of the same law above, you must pay a Protection fee if you want your work Protected by the law, don’t ask me why! --Tarawneh 20:47, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Old UK photographs

We really need a {{PD-UK-photo-pre-1945}} tag. Photographs taken in the UK before 1 January 1945 are not protected. See w:Wikipedia:Copyright situations by country. TheGrappler 14:05, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Right. Am I going mad or is there nothing here regarding England/UK/GB? Only for the govt. Really strange...! pfctdayelise (translate?) 04:33, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Really good website for UK laws: --pfctdayelise (translate?) 04:50, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
I went ahead and added it on the basis of the pages you folks pointed out. Themadchopper 15:58, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately it now appears that the Wikipedia guide was incorrect. See discussion at Village Pump. TheGrappler 02:51, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

PD-Meyers Tag for others than the 4th editon

I have some pics from Meyers Konversationslexikon 3th, 5th and 6th edition. Why the PD-Meyers Tag only belongs to 4th edition ? What to do with pics from other editions ?

Perhaps the tag could be changed to include the 3rd edition - later editions however may still be in copyright. Do you know when they where published? -- Duesentrieb(?!) 08:48, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Creative Commons / sampling+/1.0

hi, I want to know, if a file taged like this is allowed here and which of the available tags I could use for it. thx in advance, --Andreas -horn- Hornig 17:52, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

No, I don't think this is considered a free license. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 14:12, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Singapore National Museum Board of Archives

I just saw the picture Image:Shentonsway.jpg with a PD-tag, that needs updating. It is mentioned, that the picture ist from Singapore National Museum Board of Archives and therefore it is PD. So I think a new PD-tag (the first country-specific for Singapore) would be a good idea, isn't it?! Gretings --Dabbelju 19:56, 15 May 2006 (UTC)


Please add the above template to the Netherlands specific templates. This template is applicable to all coats of arms of Dutch municipalities and provinces. Siebrand 20:14, 21 May 2006 (UTC)


Please add the above template to the Belgian specific templates. This template is applicable to all coats of arms of Dutch municipalities and provinces. Siebrand 08:43, 22 May 2006 (UTC)


The {{PD-retouched-user}} and the (just created) {{PD-retouched-user-w}} templates probably ought to be listed here too. —Ilmari Karonen 11:22, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

They are not copyright tags. Probably they should be listed somewhere near COM:IFC. pfctdayelise (translate?) 12:50, 31 May 2006 (UTC)


Kindly consider adding the above template to the list at but first please correct the words to match the corresponding Wikipedia tag: "This image courtesy of the U.S. Navy Naval Historical Center. As a property of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. Subject to disclaimers." Reason to change the wording: some Naval Historical Center images may actually NOT be "a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties" so the tag's present words would not apply. Also note: the external link to the Naval Historical Center Photographic Section is -- Mccomb 12:10, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Agencia Brasil (again)

Please, someone can move Agencia Brasil back to free licenses? For more about it, see the top of my user page. 555 22:37, 8 June 2006 (UTC)


We have a concept: 'har ikke værkshøjde' = 'has not height of art work' about images and text which can been identical if more than one person (by the same idea) make the same image. Some people have large problem by understand this concept. but what code have these images and text? haabet 12:18, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

You can use {{PD-ineligible}}. -Samulili 08:22, 3 July 2006 (UTC)


Well, since someone protected this >:(...

Someone needs to remove {{PD-Mexico-NIP}} from the very bottom of the PD section. 04:41, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Deprecate/rewrite {{Copyrighted free use}}

It should be replaced by:

Fred Chess 20:21, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

We can depreciate it from now on, but not for past images that already use it. pfctdayelise (translate?) 09:06, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Creating a specific tag for a country

Hi, I've just added Indonesia Copyright Law in the Commons:Licensing page and now I want to make a specific tag for it, just like any other countries. I don't know the procedure here. Can somebody suggest me how and where to start? Can I just create a new page in the template namespace, copy and modify from other country? Will the tag be automatically valid? Thanks in advanced. Cheers. 09:05, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, adapt an existing tag to make a new one. Please add the information in at least Indonesian and English. It would also be good if you could bring up the discussion at id.wp, get some feedback/opinions, and link to that discussion on the template talk page. When you've done this, post it here, and if it seems OK we'll add it to the page. pfctdayelise (translate?) 09:10, 16 September 2006 (UTC)


{{PD-UK-photo-pre-1945}} currently redirects to {{copyvio}}; it looks like it was deleted by consensus. Shouldn't it be removed from this listing? Carl Lindberg 07:55, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Done. / Fred Chess 21:27, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

PD-art-life-50 and PD-old-50?

On en-wiki, we have w:Template:PD-art-life-50 and w:Template:PD-old-50 for the case when something was published pre-1923 and where the author died more than 50 years ago, so it's PD-US and PD in countries where copyright expires 50 years pma, but we don't have anything like this on Commons. Is this compatible with the Commons project scope? howcheng {chat} 17:10, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

The US, the EU and Russia have 70 years pma terms. The pre-1923 rule works only for works which were first published in the United States. I don't see an advantage for those templates.--Wiggum 20:51, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Not necessarily. According to [11] works published outside the US before 1923 may be in the public domain in the US under certain circumstances. howcheng {chat} 21:18, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes for sure but this only works for the US. I think it's ok as a local policy at en-WP but out of scope for commons.--Wiggum 16:45, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

template:PD-Coa is flawed

This is a template for copyright violations and little else. IMO, this template was copied from English Wikipedia, with the words "fair use" substituted for "public domain". The point of our PD-tags is to act as aids to determine copyright status, not as a quick-solution for giving copyviolators eligibility.

It should also be noted, that the English template coatofarms has been changed to reflect the difference between coat of arms, seals, and crests. / Fred Chess 21:33, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Symbol delete vote.svg Delete it. / Fred Chess 16:54, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
Relevant Deletion requests section: Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-Coa ¦ Reisio 17:18, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Brazilian copyright law: works of three-dimensional art

Brazilian copyright law has a specific rule about the reproduction of three-dimensional art works in encyclopedias and similars. I am suggesting the template below --Luferom 10:05, 25 September 2006 (UTC)


Public domain According to the Brazilian Copytight Law, number 9.610, 1998 , and its official translation in English: Article 46 - The following shall not constitute violation of copyright: VIII- the reproduction of the whole work in the case of a work of three-dimensional art, on condition that the reproduction is not in itself the main subject matter of the new work and does not jeopardize the normal exploitation of the work reproduced or unjustifiably prejudice the author's legitimate interests.

Hence it is assumed that this image has been released as a GNU free documentation file. See Recursos no domínio público.

Coat of arms of Brazil.svg
It is good to know that if a piece of 3D art, like a statue, happens to be in a picture, the picture may be licensed freely. However, there is no reason to assume GFDL. Furthermore, this license is seldom useful, as it does not allow public display of images whose main content is the statue (Commons:Derivative works). -Samulili 12:35, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
Agree, the image and the text say "Public Domain", not "GNU ...". 22:17, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

deprecate Template:PD-Iraq

It is time to deprecate Template:PD-Iraq. See for example:

Any objections?

Fred Chess 11:15, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Now that you've depreciated it — and protected the page — you, or someone, needs to remove it from this page. 22:16, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


There is no country called Britain, there is however one called the United Kingdom. Somebody might want to look into remedying the list accordingly. Emoscopes 22:27, 23 October 2006 (UTC)


Can someone please take a look at {{PD-IDGov}}. I find it rather confusing, as it first proclaims the work to be in the public domain, and then sets out terms more similar to fair use. The three points explaining when it's not a copyright violation (when would a PD image be a copyright violation, anyway) are quite restrictive. It's best to settle this now while there are less than 50 images tagged with the template. Cnyborg 01:22, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

The first statement is clear, but the second and third item is going to get a bit confusing. Are government photographs PD or just the laws? The third point deals with news items, which seemed to cause some issues with PD-Russia-exempt and PD-UA-exempt. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 20:41, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Arab countries

Why is the article List of countries' copyright length listing other terms of usage for the Arab contries than the {{PD-Arab}} template? I was trying to change the template [12], but there are just too many changes and I'm not a lawyer, so I reverted. Still, I would appreciate an explaination. --Botev 04:00, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Tarawneh (talk · contribs) appears to have written the template {{PD-Arab}} so you should discuss it with him. I do think it is important that our templates correlate with the legal information given elsewhere. / Fred Chess 00:43, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
List of countries' copyright length is not clear about the copyright periods. :) We have two periods for copyrights
1 photographic work, and
Photographic work is protected for X years starting from the Production Date
2 other works.
You have to wait Y years after the death of the author(s) for the material to be in PD.
Still Arab countries are doing some rewriting of the copyright laws to meet the Global standards. Jordan for example extended its protection of the images from 25 to 50 years from the date of production. --Tarawneh 17:32, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm still rather confused as to why there's one template for 10 or so countries instead of the 1 per that every other country gets. If we can merge templates like these, can we just merge all the Soviet central Asia exemption templates, since they're all the same? 22:19, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Translation of template

I don't know whether this is the right place to ask so feel free to point me to the correct place if I'm wrong. I've created the template IHL Symbol to indicate that the use of certain symbols is regulated and restricted by international humanitarian law. Due to the nature of this issue I think it would be useful to have this template in a multilingual format. I've created the main version in English as well as a German translation, but for all other languages the help from other people would be needed. --Uwe 00:24, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I call questionable!

{{PD-CRGov}} looks a little questionable to me, especially since a quick perusal of Costa Rican government sites has turned up at least one that's copyrighted: http : // www . micit . go . cr / . The "Derechos Reservados" at the bottom translates as "(All) Rights Reserved". 22:21, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Good call, I nominated it for deletion, pending a link that confirms what it actually says. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 03:08, 18 January 2007 (UTC)


Is the {{FinnishDefenceForces}} license really free? On en:WP the en:Template:FinnishDefenceForces template is listed in en:Category:Non-free image copyright tags. I can't find any indication that derivative works are permitted. Commons lists it three times - once in the country-specific PD tags section and twice in the unknown tags section. Is there some dispute or history I am unaware of that accounts for the discrepancy between commons considering it a possibly free license and en:WP considering it a non-free license? Or am I just confused? —RP88 08:41, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I sent an email to the Finnish Ministry of Defence before Christmas but I never got a reply. Maybe I should try again... Samulili 21:19, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Unknown nature

Is there any effort to sort out the status of the tags in Commons:Copyright tags#Unknown_nature and the images tagged with them? For example, {{}} links to a statement of permission that covers copying but not derivative works. Can we assume this makes such images non-free per Commons:Licensing? What about other tags in that sections which also make no statement on derivative works? —xyzzyn 22:53, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Source v. copyright tags

Shouldn't source tags, like SpaceShuttle, AstronautPhoto and now LOC-image not be listed on this page, but instead be listed on Commons:Source tags or some other page? Or is that just overkill? --Iamunknown 19:34, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I think they are/would be fine in the "other" section. Maybe add emphasis that these aren't copyright tags? --tomf688 (talk - email) 23:26, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

flickr licence tags

hi, is that picture [13] taged with a compatible licence for commons? there is this tag and is that enough to upload th epic here? greets, --Andreas -horn- Hornig 23:48, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

The license is fine. Choose “Uploaded to Flickr Under Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike 2.0” from the license menu at the upload page (the German version of the upload page does not have it, if you have chosen German in your preferences use the English upload page instead). Kjetil r 00:18, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

International vs. domestic CC tags

I know it doesn't matter to the Commons which tags are used, but I think that this page (or maybe another) should make it clear which is preferred by the project, the generic international license or a domestic one, where applicable. I assume that for legal purposes, it's domestic? --Padraic 17:35, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Um! The CC international licenses are distinctive licenses. You can not simply change the license on a CC licensed works to the jurisdictional license of your preference. The CC licenses allow you to re-license derivatives under any in the family but not verbatim copies. As far as our preference goes, consistency indicates that we prefer the generic licenses (the unported, calling it 'domestic' is not accurate). It is possible that some of the national versions of these licenses contain terms which we would not find acceptable on Wikimedia Commons, so we have to be aware of that as well. --Gmaxwell 17:52, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
But what does the use of a country-specific CC license mean in practice? Do such images specify the court juristiction? For example, if I find out that someone from, say, Brazil has used one of my images taged with "CC Attribution 2.5 Poland" in violation of the license (without quoting my name), does it automatically mean that I can sue that person before a Polish court? --Botev 00:28, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
My IANAL opinion is: you may seek justice under any jurisdiction that accepts you lawsuit, but that court should analyse CC-BY-2.5-pl license in the trial. In the above exaple you should go to the Brasilian court, because you could not enforce Polish law there. A.J. 09:07, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, and should there be any differences between the Polish and the English text of the license, which version is binding? --Botev 12:10, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
In theory the translations are as identical as possible, but the local versions are not. If a local version were used, a smart court would probably try to look at the traslation used by each involved party and try to determine their respective understandings of the agreement... courts are not always smart. I don't think the result here is well defined. --Gmaxwell 07:30, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

calculation tables in .ODS

hi, it woul dbe cool to upload the calculation in the OpenOffice Calc format .ods, becuase I made a svg vector image and would also like to upload my basis for it in this table format. wouldbe nice to have this allowed. greets, --Andreas -horn- Hornig 21:17, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Changing licenses

I have one question about the possibility of changing the license on the already uploaded files. I suppose it is possible to change the license on my own images to a weaker one (in fact, I've been doing it recently). For example, I suppose I can change cc-by-sa to a mere cc-by or a cc-by to attribution? My reasoning is as follows: A person already using my images on a stronger (more restrictive) license will still be able to do so even if I change the license to a weaker one. Nothing in the cc-by license seems to prohibit redistribution on the condition that the file stays cc-by. --Botev 06:41, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Nevertheless, please spare people the headache-inducing task of comparing the licences and dual-license with the old and the new licence instead. —xyzzyn 13:50, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
You mean cc-by-sa and cc-by? Does it really make sense? --Botev 16:07, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I think if I came across a dual-license like that, I'd be led to suspect that the uploader didn't understand what he was doing. Perhaps better to add a note like "this image was previously licensed CC-BY-SA". --Davepape 18:00, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I have a special tag that I use for all my pictures: Botev license. I wrote there my conditions - that should do. Should you have remarks, please put them in the talk page for the template. Thanks a lot. --Botev 19:11, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

The correct copyright tag

What's the correct copyright tag for {{GFDL}} when I havn't made it?

multi-licensing has these promblems too.:(for example see this Image:Sorting quicksort anim.gif).

I think I've defined incorrect copyright tag. the preceding unsigned comment is by Soroush83 (talk • contribs)

You can use the optional author variable of {{self2}}. e.g., in the quicksort image, I changed it to {{self2|GFDL|cc-by-sa-2.5,2.0,1.0|author=[[:en:User:RolandH]]}} --Davepape 17:35, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Introduction of {{GFDL-user-ja}} tag

I would like to propose introduction of {{GFDL-user-ja}} tag that is similar to {{GFDL-user-en}}. I think having this tag is helpful for Japanese users to transwiki images from jawp (for PD, {{PD-user-ja}} already exists). Yassie 08:47, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

I created the tag. Feel free to use it! Yassie 13:21, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Two creators

How to use the templates when there are two creators? Wyannhoe 15:58, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Wich template would you like to use? A.J. 16:03, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
This one: {{PD-user-en|username}} Wyannhoe 16:07, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Use {{PD-author|First Creator and Second Creator}} instead. You may also make link to creator's userpages, like this: [[:en:User:First Creator|First Creator]]. Don't forget to mention image source. Please let me know on my talkpage if you have some trouble. Cheers! A.J. 07:59, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. Wyannhoe 13:19, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Club's emblem

I tried to find the answer to my question, but it seems that is too complex to understand the rules.
Is it allow to upload football club's emblem? If yes, which tag should I use? (LonEMedia 22:02, 25 May 2007 (UTC))

It is almost sure that it is not allowed. Logos and emblems are generally copyrighted and not available under a free license (only on a fair-use basis). Please, do not upload them; see also Commons:Licensing. --Mormegil 10:21, 28 May 2007 (UTC)


Hi, I've put a proposal on this template's - {{PD-USGov-Military-Award}} talk page to change the category that it puts images into. I'd appreciate any comments.Madmedea 12:14, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Creative Commons BY 3

Is this a permissible license? Found it on a pic here. The list here doesn't give anything higher than CC BY 2.5. - MPF 14:15, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

New country-specific templates?

Hi - I'd like to add these two English Wikipedia-based templates on here. Is there any specific procedure, or can I just transfer them myself? Don't know about etiquette here on Commons.

en:Template:PD-NZ - For images for which the Author is known to have died at least 50 years ago.

en:Template:PD-NZ-50-years - For older images once under Crown copyright.

Cheers, Ingolfson 07:40, 21 July 2007 (UTC)


Since the subject has come up a couple of times, and I didn't see an existing tag, I added a new {{IrishGov}} tag (there are a couple forms of Irish government copyright which both expire 50 years after creation). I have not yet added the corresponding category nor added it to any appropriate listing, so a) if I made any mistakes they can be fixed first and b) I'm not sure where all the appropriate places would be :-) Carl Lindberg 05:54, 27 July 2007 (UTC)


I updated {{PD-South-Africa}} to include a clause about when works in question are in the public domain in the United States, since the Commons requires that for uploaded works (it does, doesn't it?). It was taken mostly from {{PD-Russia}}; any feedback would be appreciated, as I'm kind of in the dark about this. grendel|khan 18:14, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Own Screenshots of Copyright protected Software

What's the right licence for a screenshot of a copyright protected software? Or is generally wrong to do and upload such screenshots into the commons? --WikipediaMaster 12:20, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

They can't generally be uploaded here, I'm afraid, as there will normally be copyright in the screenshot that will be infringed by the taking and posting of a photograph: see Licensing#Screenshots. If you have a fair use rationale, you may be able to upload to a Wiki that allows fair use. Commons does not, though: see Licensing#Material under the fair use clause is not allowed on the Commons. --MichaelMaggs 15:57, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Ancient works of art

Is there a specific license for works of art that are like, thousands of years old? For example, Funerary stele of bowman Semin.jpg Achilles Penthesileia BM B209.jpg RioPinturas-005.jpg Venus Felix Pio-Clementino.jpg --Juliab 16:29, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

You need to distinguish two copyrights: that in the subject itself, and that in the photograph. Ancient works of art are, in themselves, in the public domain, but often there will be a new copyright created when a photograph is taken, which can be licensed as desired by the photographer. If you have taken the photo yourself, use any free licence that you wish for the photo and add PD-Old for the object. If the photo was taken by somebody else, and has not been freely licensed, it can't normally be accepted here even if the object itself is very old. An exception is that - in some countries such as the USA - 'faithful reproduction' photos of two-dimensional works of art are not considered original enough to attract a new copyright. In such a case, you can use PD-Art. For details, see Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag. --MichaelMaggs 16:46, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

license selector on the upload form

Can anyone make a screenshot of the current version of the license selector on the upload form for Commons:Copyright tags? --GeorgHH 19:04, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Templates create category links like the red arrow!

Template and category

Hello, I stumbled on a big problem: categories included in templates are quite general causes for overloaded supercategories. As an exemple the template {{Norwegian coat of arms}}, which includes category: Norwegian coats of arms. Now all Coa's of municipalities of Norway (and other Coa's as well) go also in the supercategory Norwegian coats of arms, overcharging this supercategory. There are several templates having this problem of fixed categorisation. The same goes for the tmplate {{Insignia}} which is often included in copyright templates. There are even user templates, including category templates as well as copyright templates which contain category templates. Who is able to analyse such templates and adapt them properly, so they do not overrule individuel items categorisation? (Sorry, I placed this by mistake on the project page, Havang 19:33, 30 September 2007 (UTC))


Template:PD-Canada currently can refer to public domain works in Canada based on 1 of 3 different criteria. Since the template doesn't specify which of the 3 criteria, I'd like to split this template into 3 separate templates, just to make things clear. Please comment at Template talk:PD-Canada. --Padraic 19:08, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Wording in Arabic PD-tags

I find the wording in the various Arabic PD tags (like {{PD-Egypt}}, {{PD-Sudan}}, {{PD-Syria}} etc.) not really accurate. They all currently state "This image was created in Egypt, Sudan, Syria... etc.", which IMHO does not satisfy the conditions for a work to be protected by the law of a specified country. If I go to, say, Libya, take picture there, bring it back to Europe and publish it here, the copyright protection will not expire after 5 years despite of what the tag {{PD-Libya}} suggests. In my opinion, a better wording would be "This image was first published in Egypt, Sudan, Syria etc." or something similar. This is important because it seems to me that these images: Image:Congoid.GIF, Image:Congoid2.GIF still enjoy copyright protection and should be speedy-deleted. They were published in an American book. --Botev 12:24, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Because there was no response, I have simply changed the wording on the tags and am going to nominate the two above mentioned images for deletion. --Botev 04:57, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Italy's copyright tags.

File:Rossi Pietro.jpg This page lists a number of countries, but Italy is missing. Where can I find the appropriate tags? This image I uploaded (Rossi Pietro) is tagged for deletion within Nov 27, I must change the licence tag, but I don't know how to do it. The author is Rossi Pietro, who gave me the photo for full use on wikipedia.Thanks for your help, 14:01, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Actually there are a number of Italian tags you can use: {{cc-by-sa-2.5-it}}, {{cc-by-2.0-it}} for example. You also free to use any of the unported licenses: {{GFDL}}, {{cc-by-sa-3.0}}, {{cc-by-3.0}}. I can see you've already put the tag {{GFDL}}, which should be fine but I suggest that you write directly that you obtained the permission from the creator of this photograph to publish it just under the terms of the Gnu Free Documentation license., if this is the case. --Botev 23:32, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. The permission you received from the author must be sent to the Wikimedia foundation. Please follow Commons:OTRS instructions and, preferably, use / adapt one of those Commons:Email templates. — Xavier, 10:57, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

NATO copyright tags

What copyright tags Wikipedia Commons has for pictures made by NATO soldier or employee? I know that there are tags for US DoD/Army/Navy/Air force soldiers or employees but are there any for NATO soldiers or employees? - SuperTank17 16:08, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

We do not have anything for NATO, due to the licensing terms that NATO requires. Their terms do not meet our definition of free, so their images cannot be uploaded here. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 17:14, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Former Yugoslavia works.

Which of the five successor states of former Yugoslavia took copyrights of works made in Former Yugoslavia before 1992? - SuperTank17 17:32, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Take a look at User:Lupo/Hairy copyright#Former Yugoslavia. All of them did. Territoriality applies, so for a work originally published in Zagreb, Croatian law would apply since the demise of SFRY. Works published in the SFRY but copyrighted elsewhere due to international treaties would not have become uncopyrighted when the SFRY ceased to exist. The same also applies to works from the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Lupo 22:05, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Free Art License

The paragraph about the Free Art License (FAL) is misleading. The Free Art License is definitely a free copyleft license (even according to the FSF - see “Licenses for other types of works“ at the end of [14]). Therefore it is completely wrong to say that “not all Free Art Licenses allow commercial use”.

Also, the other licenses listed under the heading “Copyleft Attitude Licenses” were not published by the Copyleft Attitude, so I suggest moving them under the “Other free tags” heading. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 22:41, 2 December 2007‎ (UTC)

Afghan copyright tags

Why aren't there any Afghan copyright tags?

Because either there is no copyright law in Afghanistan or we couldn't find any on the Internet. --Botev 04:38, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Does that mean that I can't upload Afghan pictures? - SuperTank17 14:16, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
If there is an Afghan copyright law - we must find it first, because only then we will know when the copyright protection expires in Afghanistan and / or what material is exempted from copyright in Afghanistan. If there is no copyright law in Afghanistan - and that seems to be the case - there is, I believe, no consensus on Commons what we should do (I think there was a discussion about that on Village pump several months ago). I think - legally, we are allowed to use all Afghan pictures, but there were some people arguing that we should grant the authors some minimal copyright protection period, but I am unaware of any resolution passed on that issue. That's why there are no Afghan copyright tags here.
You my however upload Afghan images if it's more that 70 years after the author's death. Such images are in the public domain internationally and you can attach the tag {{PD-old}}. --Botev 22:11, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
How do we know they're public domain in Afghanistan if we don't know whether Afghanistan is party to Berne? Also, IIRC Berne only says 70+. It's just that no one has done more thus-far. Superm401 07:26, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, technically you are right. What's more, indeed there are several countries with copyright term of 100+. However, in case of Afghanistan there is most probably simply no copyright law at all. So - there are two options, either we make a new tag to treat all Afghan works as public domain or we use one of the available tags, in this case the only one I can think of, is {{PD-old}}. --Botev 06:16, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
You're right about the plus 70 countries; my mistake. As for Afghanistan, as long as we're confident they have no copyright law (and the little research I've done does confirm they're still drafting the first one), we can mark Afghanistan images as something like {{PD-ineligible}} (though the current wording of that template is slightly incorrect). Superm401 - Talk 06:17, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
If we are to upload Afghan images here, I think it's better to simply create the {{PD-Afghanistan}} tag. This will make it possible to find all those images when the new law becomes available and update the copyright information (or delete those images, should the new law be retrospective and render them copyrighted). --Botev 09:20, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
That would be fine, I think. Superm401 - Talk 06:48, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

CC versions

I understand the basics of CC licenses, but I not the nuances between the different versions, such as 2.5 vs 3.0 vs US, etc. Is there much of a practical difference? What are the implications of listing all the versions other than people being able to choose a specific version? See Commons:Copyright_tags#Free_Creative_Commons_licenses. RlevseTalk 12:16, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

There are differences. I'm no expert and thus not the person to speak to exactly what they are... (the Creative Commons sites have lots and lots of discussion about this) We allow any version from 1.0 on up (there was some discussion about whether to allow 3.0, at one point, as it had some things that some thought were issues) and it's a personal preference which to use. I was using GFDL/CC 2.5-By-SA for a long time since it was the latest, but I've switched to GFDL/CC(any)By-SA instead. See, for example Image:Bella Beane n mid jump Dscn0513 crop.jpg (our mourning image, we really miss our 'Beans') which uses {{self|GFDL|cc-by-sa-all}}. Hope that helps. ++Lar: t/c 14:50, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


See Template talk:GPL for issues I see with the GPL tags. Superm401 07:25, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Romanian redundancy

So is there any good reason to have three distinct tags {{PD-RomanianGov}}, {{PD-RO-exempt}}, and {{PD-RO-Symbol}} ? It seems like they're all just quoting the same law... Stan Shebs 19:13, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes they are. However, the law has been modified since then (Romanian version: [15]):

  • Romanian:
    • old: a) ideile, teoriile, conceptele, descoperirile şi invenţiile, conţinute într-o operă, oricare ar fi modul de preluare, de scriere, de explicare sau de exprimare; b) textele oficiale de natură politică, legislativă, administrativă, judiciară şi traducerile oficiale ale acestora; c) simbolurile oficiale ale statului, ale autorităţilor publice şi ale organizaţiilor, cum ar fi: stema, sigiliul, drapelul, emblema, blazonul, insigna, ecusonul şi medalia; d) mijloacele de plată; e) ştirile şi informaţiile de presă; f) simplele fapte şi date.
    • new: a) ideile, teoriile, conceptele, descoperirile ştiinţifice, procedeele, metodele de funcţionare sau conceptele matematice ca atare şi invenţiile, conţinute într-o operă, oricare ar fi modul de preluare, de scriere, de explicare sau de exprimare; b) textele oficiale de natură politică, legislativă, administrativă, judiciară şi traducerile oficiale ale acestora; c) simbolurile oficiale ale statului, ale autorităţilor publice şi ale organizaţiilor, cum ar fi: stema, sigiliul, drapelul, emblema, blazonul, insigna, ecusonul şi medalia; d) mijloacele de plată; e) ştirile şi informaţiile de presă; f) simplele fapte şi date.
  • English:
    • old: (a) the ideas, theories, concepts, discoveries and inventions contained in a work, whatever the manner of the adoption, writing, explanation or expression thereof; (b) official texts of a political, legislative, administrative or judicial nature, and official translations thereof; (c) official symbols of the State, public authorities and organizations, such as armorial bearings, seals, flags, emblems, shields, badges and medals; (d) means of payment; (e) news and press information; (f) simple facts and data.
    • new: (a) the ideas, theories, concepts, scientific discoveries, procedures, working methods, or mathematical concepts as such and inventions, contained in a work, whatever the manner of the adoption, writing, explanation or expression thereof; (b) official texts of a political, legislative, administrative or judicial nature, and official translations thereof; (c) official symbols of the State, public authorities and organizations, such as armorial bearings, seals, flags, emblems, shields, badges and medals; (d) means of payment; (e) news and press information; (f) simple facts and data.

I'll try to find an English version for the entire law as it is today. --Alex:D 00:46, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

So can we merge these templates into one once we figure this out? User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 05:54, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
The new law says the same thing on the template now, so I merged them all already. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 05:59, 3 March 2008 (UTC)


I have suggested the creation of {{PD-old-100}} at Template_talk:PD-old#70_or_100_years.3F. This idea has been mentioned before, with no objection, but no one followed through. Superm401 - Talk 06:19, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Please also see Template_talk:PD-old#Additional_templates. Superm401 - Talk 04:55, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm very much for the addition of {{PD-old-100}}. The "This image may not be in the public domain in these countries..." note of the "basic" PD-old tag which assumes 70 years pma is simply wrong in the cases where it is known that the author died more than 100 years ago. Gestumblindi 05:08, 3 February 2008 (UTC)


I've added Template:PD-Brady-Handy. It is Brady-Handy photo collection belonging to US Library of Congress - [16]. There are no restriction on publication. Please add this Template to the United States list of Public Domain templates. There are some photos which have obsolete licensing template on them taken from that collection. --Tigga 07:13, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

I've added it. Superm401 - Talk 23:33, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

photo of copyright art work (painting) where copyright holder gives consent for photograph to be distributed

What is the correct tag for a photograph of an art work, where the copyright holder of the painting concerned gives consent for it to be photographed and the resulting image being redistributed freely, but does not give permission for any other image of the work to be distributed? I may be missing something but I don't see what the proper tag would be. The copyright holder is not granting free usage of the original image (painting), but only of that particular reproduction and any further derivatives from it? In this case the photograph taker would presumably have a copyright also, the process taking place in the UK, but assigning free copyright of the photo does not seem to be a problem with a tag. What is needed to explain the interest of the originating copyright holder and waiver of copyright exclusively as it applies to the particular reproduction? Sandpiper 23:00, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

See the section with the same title at Commons talk:Licensing. (Please don't post the same stuff several times, it just fragments the discussion. Post the question once, and if you want to advertise it more broadly, post links to the question in other places. Thanks.) Lupo 17:09, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial

Obviously files with this licence cant be used in commons. The licence however allows to make derivative works and it doesn't have a Share Alike condition. So can I make derivatives and upload them under a different licence suitable for commons? Chris Ssk 20:07, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

No. You don't own the copyright on the original work, so you don't have the right to distribute it (or a derivative) under terms that conflict with the original license.Chowbok 06:14, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
so basically CC-BY-NC and CC-BY-NC-SA are the same thing? Chris Ssk 11:53, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Not quite. Or not at all, really. It goes something like this: A is something that person #1 did, which is copyrighted and licensed with cc-by-nc(-sa). B is some additional copyrighted creativity that person #2 added to A, resulting to an opus called AB (the derivative work).
Case 1: If #2 wants to publish AB, and A is licensed with cc-by-nc, then #2 may license B with what ever license, and AB with cc-by-nc or something more restrictive.
Case 2: If #2 wants to publish AB, and A is licensed with cc-by-nc-SA, then #2 may license B with what ever, but #2 will have to license AB with cc-by-nc-SA.
And someone will correct me if I'm wrong... Samulili 13:48, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
Basically, in either case the original content is non-commercial, so it can't be on Commons, and neither can derivative works. Superm401 - Talk 05:08, 16 April 2008 (UTC)


Shouldn't we deprecate this template and do a review of the images tagged with it, since Russian copyright law changed on Jan 1 of this year to basically PD-old-70? I see there was a proposal or two on the template talk page, but nothing seemed to have happened with it. Videmus Omnia 01:41, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Archive this page

I suggest we use User:MiszaBot to automatically archive this page, as is being done with Commons talk:Licensing. Archiving threads that haven't been edited for 14 days should be fine. Superm401 - Talk 22:52, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

I've set this up. Superm401 - Talk 21:19, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
MiszaBot just did the first archive. Superm401 - Talk 21:56, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Mozambique stamps

Does anyone here know what the copyright rules would be about cancelled stamps from Mozambique? Thanks... -- Yekrats 22:22, 2 May 2008 (UTC)


There was a new template {{PD-AR-Deputies}} created by an IP stating that the works of the deputies chamber of Argentina are PD. In fact on the website fo the deputies on the bottom there is a phrase stating that contents is in the dominio publico. I hope the webmaster understands what that means. Do you think, that someone should get into contact with them and get an additional OTRS permission? --ALE! ¿…? 08:44, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

The complete quote is "La información contenida en este sitio es de dominio público y puede ser utilizada libremente. Se ruega citar la fuente." In english, "The information contained in this page is public domain and can be used freely. The source should be acknowledged" Seems explicit enough for me. Thialfi (talk) 01:19, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Furter CC tags

There are more localized CC tags than listed here, e.g. Cc-by-sa-3.0-de and Cc-by-sa-3.0-at, Cc-by-sa-3.0-gr a.s.o. They're also not listed in Creative Commons copyright tags but exist here (see category). Is this list here simply outdated or are there any restrictions imposed on those not listed here?

There are no restrictions. The list is simply outdated. People create templates and don't bother to put them on the list. --Botev (talk) 20:43, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Non commercial license

Why does Wikipedia not allow non-commercial license? --Ramu50 (talk) 19:28, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Because Jimbo Wales has forbidden it. :) The idea of the project is to make its content available for any purpose, including modifications and reselling (on CD's for example or as part of someone's work as long as it complies with the applicable license). --Botev (talk) 23:21, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

OpenContent license

Do we accept this license: ? Stifle (talk) 17:06, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

No, as it restricts most commercial use in clause #1. See Commons:Copyright_tags#Unfree_licenses {{Noncommercial}}. Interestingly, the wiki on the opencontent site uses cc-by-sa-3.0 instead of their own "OPL". --Zigger (talk) 03:53, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Redundant Romanian template

Template:PD-money-Romania is redundant, because Template:PD-RO-exempt deals with money too. I propose a redirection. --Alex:D (talk) 23:04, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Done. --Botev (talk) 08:47, 17 December 2008 (UTC)


Since November 2008 this is an outdated license, because we have Version 1.3. And how everybody knows it is not the best for images. Should we allow further the upload of new image with only this license? I would say no. The backround of this question comes for german wikipedia [17]. --Kolossos (talk) 19:05, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

I see no reason to ban a license that is compatible with the Commons policy. The GFDL-1.2 clearly allows commercial usage and modifications so it is valid for Commons, just like any other license that does so. Furthermore, there may be images on the Internet that were released only under this license. Why shouldn't we be able to upload them to Commons? --Botev (talk) 20:39, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Did you try to use an image with this license for i.e. flyer or so? You need print the whole license-text. So some people ask the question how free is this license really if it is not applicable in some cases. Now we have the actual question to take 1.000 images with only this license from german wikipedia or not. --Kolossos (talk) 07:14, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
The same issue is with all versions of GFDL. So, it is not the problem of this particular license version, but the problem of redifining the Commons policy guidelines. If you ammend the policy so that all images should be easly usable in print (you would have to clearly define how long the required licensing information may be), then you may deprecate all GFDL tags and ban GFDL for future usage. Otherwise, the license is prefectly in line with Commons policy. --Botev (talk) 08:30, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Some people will find this license unhandy, but some will be happy to find free content, regardless of those well known issues. Why prevent the use of media with this license? Maybe typical german regulating frenzy? -- smial (talk) 12:07, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
The discussion on the German WP was caused by concerns about the upcoming move from GFDL to CC-by-sa. Standard GFDL content can be relicensed to CC-by-sa, but 1.2only will always stay GFDL1.2. On the German WP, this was purposely used by some users as a way to prevent commercial usage of their images, after it had become clear that there would be a new GFDL version that allowed relicensing. GFDL1.2 is now one (if not the) most restrictive licenses allowed on WP and Commons. Usage in WP articles is not a problem (at the moment), but use of GFDL images outside of Wikipedia is almost impossible in most situations if you want to adhere to the license. --Kam Solusar (talk) 16:11, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
That’s not a reason to prohibit (not just discourage, as is already done, although that doesn’t seem to always help) the use of a free license. There is also GNU GPL, which is probably not too far from GFDL by the amount of use cases. Both have been used before the relicensing possibility appeared, and you want to restrict deliberate (if it was accidental, the default template would be used, right?) use of a license that requires (in some cases) distribution of a modifiable form in favor of one that does not? There are also documents and other images licensed under GFDL-1.2-compatible licenses, where such images can be used. --AVRS (talk) 19:29, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Note though, that while GFDL may have a stronger copyleft than CC BY-SA does in some cases, it permits addition of invariant sections. Of course, this is by no means a reason to ban it. --AVRS (talk) 13:54, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
@ Kam Solusar: How many self-created photos did you upload until now? --Eva K. tell me about it 22:03, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Symbol oppose vote.svg Keep license, do not deprecate, continue to allow uploads. I do not agree with any attempt to deprecate this license, nor with attempting to ban uploads. If I understand GFDL-1.2only correctly (and GPL-2 is similar), then banning it would make derivatives of existing GFDL-1.2only images (and possibly images generated from GPL-2 code) not accepted by Commons.

For example, I have been creating derivatives from POV-Ray code using textures from GPL-2 texture images (from w:en:Celestia, see my user page). That makes the derivative images GPL-2 (and I have hopefully abided by the license conditions). I could just as easily have been working from GFDL-1.2only sources. Infact I found some code that renders Saturn's rings very well and I have emailed the author for a free license - what if he says Ok, but only GFDL-1.2only or GPL-2? Think of cases where GFDL-1.2only images exist (anywhere in the world) that are useful enough to make derivatives of. Such an action would remove a possible set of potential free images from Commons. To me that seems crazy. 84user (talk) 23:14, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Symbol oppose vote.svg Keep license, it was perfectly free for years. There's no reason why this suddenly shouldn't be. --Eva K. tell me about it 23:00, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Symbol keep vote.svg Keep Do not bring the discussion from the German WIkipedia here. BTW: The proposal to use only GFDL 1.2 will also fail on the German Wikipedia. --ALE! ¿…? 08:52, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Symbol oppose vote.svg Für Jahre war die Lizenz gut genug, aber jetzt sehen einige Förderer der kommerziellen Ausschlachtung freier Inhalte eine Möglichkeit, ihre Klientel zu bedienen. --ST 00:38, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Keep license, it was perfectly free for years. Some colleges are trying to change the scope of the project towards easy commercial use. I see this development in close connection with the cooperation between Wikimedia Deutschland and the big German media-player Bertelsmann. I think we should watch this development very carefully. It should not lead to a dependency of our free project on commercial ideas. Commercial use of our material is OK for me but should not be the main purpose of our work. The easiest way for commercial use would be to put our files in the PD, but the power of free software and pictures is in the restrictions which force the user to keep them free. GFDL 1.2 is one way to reach this target. We should provide a choice of possibilities to our contributors, a range of different licenses, which help to develop our project. The approved and reliable GFDL 1.2 seems to become an alternative to CUO 1.2TM (commercial use only). Let's keep it! --Mbdortmund (talk) 16:17, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep Here some user tried to put on the world the german opinion. GFDL 1.3 is the end of GFDL and if i want that my picture remain GFDL i need the license 1.2 only. Me does no interest, what Bertelsmann have problems to use my pictures, that is their problem. --Marcela (talk) 12:29, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

In this discussion "keep" and "oppose" seem to meen the same, isn't it? --Mbdortmund (talk) 14:10, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Even GFDL 1.2 isn't the best free licence for images it's a free licence. According to Commons' project scope a file "Must be freely licensed or public domain". Therby every free licence is allowed on Commons. In theory everybody could create his own licence (hopefully nobody does, because this would be a real catastrophe! There would many different licences which should be checked and advanced from time to time) as long as it is a free one. Thereby GFDL 1.2 must be kept. From the date we decide that a free licence is not good enogh for Commons we can start of creating a air use section on Commons! I'm no fan of GFDL 1.2, but I accept that there are some authors who want to protect their images and theirselfs from beeing cannibalised by multinational companies.
--D-Kuru (talk) 13:45, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, in fact I kind of created my own license - see {{botev license}}, but in reality it's not much more than simple {{attribution}}. --Botev (talk) 15:37, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol delete vote.svg Deprecate - In actual practice this license is being used by Wikipedia photographers as a non-commercial license. Since it is usually not possible to actually follow the letter of the GFDL when reusing images (as it was never a license intended for images), some photographers insist that commercial reusers must pay them for the reuse of their "free-license" photos if they want to get out of the full license reproduction clause. For non-commercial reuse, they let the requirement slide (as has always been the practice since the beginning of Wikipedia). In effect, the license is not being used as a "free license" in this case, thus it does not fit the goals of the Wikimedia projects. Kaldari (talk) 21:49, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
"In actual practice this license is being used by Wikipedia photographers as a non-commercial license.". Who does so? -- smial (talk) 11:57, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
Just take a look at some of the following: [18], [19], [20], [21], [22]. The practice is well-known among the English Wikipedia photography community. Kaldari (talk) 22:32, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
@ Kaldari: "is being used by Wikipedia photographers as a non-commercial license". Even 1.2-only is not the best free licence (maybe it's the worst) it's not a non-commercial one. I would say that such users as EvaK (her licence template), Ralf Roletschek (His licence template), Muhammad Mahdi Karim (his licence template) or Fir0002 (who still is not able to use {{information}}) use 1.2-only as quasi-non-commercial licence.
It just makes me sick and angry that even admins (which should know it better) like Fir0002 just changed the licence in their licence-templates. Sigma 150 macro.jpg is still licenced as 1.2+ even it's not displayed, because it got uploaded and tagged with this licence before Fir changed his template. However, Fir is not the only one. User like EvaK [23] or Muhammad Mahdi Karim [24] and I'm sure many more practise the same way. To try to change the licence that way is just embarrassing!!
Even it's allowed yet, we could change the clause that you can licence your work with a CC-NC or CC-ND licence as long there is another free one. If user want to publish their work under a NC or a ND licence they can join flickr. And many user change their 1.2+ licence to 1.2-only, because their persecution mania let them think that big companies will now start to cannibalise them just becuase there is the posibillity of using their (sometimes (very) low quality) images under GFDL 1.3 and (as I know the text says) thereby also under CC-BY-SA-3.0. And of course that the big companies infiltrated the GFDL team and influenced them that the big companies get rid of the GFDL text and can start to disembowel everybody's free images.
To have a look at the whole thing from another point of view: Not a long time ago there was no 1.3 version of GFDL. There was just 1.2 and even there was the suggestion of using a CC licence overall everybody was fine if a user prefered GFDL to CC or FAL or PD or WTFPL. Now there is 1.3 and now some are afraid, becuase now their own work can be used under CC-BY-SA which was something they never wanted (If they wanted that their work can get used under CC-BY-SA they would have placed the CC licence tag on the image's description page) and now they switch from 1.2+ to 1.2-only. However, GFDL 1.2 is still the same licence as it was yesterday, last week, last month, last year or will be tomorrow. I now that it's not the best comparison, but if somebody prefers CC-BY-1.0 to CC-BY-3.0 (I guess) nobody would really care. So yesterday there was 1.2 and everybody could just have used the GFDL images under 1.2, because there was no later version. Today there is 1.3 and everything should be different and many user start to panic. Why should be 1.2 become 'not good enough' for Commons? Just because there is 1.3? CC-BY-SA-1.0 also doesn't became 'bad' because there were 2.0 and 2.5 or becomes 'bad', because there is 3.0.
However, there is something which makes me really, really angry. As I said: I hate it that some user (even admins) change their 1.2+ licence in delusional to 1.2-only licence, because they decided that 1.3 is not good enough any longer for them. Once they licenced their work under 1.2+, because they thought that the licencetext will have to be included in all later versions and that there will be no possibility to use the image under a different licence and now that they see that the future screwed them they want chnage the licence. This is just childish! It's like you buy a new CPU for your computer and on the next day you see that the better CPU costs the same as your CPU from yesterday. Next you go into the store where you bought the CPU and switch it with the new one hoping nobody is looking at you while the transfer. So all those who once licenced their work under 1.2+ should accept it and should also accept that there is no way back anyway. They can licence their future uploads under 1.2-only, but they can't retrieve their old licence agreement. That stuff is as lame as some user get catched by the free-licence-wave and later on they decide that all their images have to be deleted, because the retrieve the licence.
Of course the 1.2+ vs. 1.2-only thing made me think about the whole licence stuff. I thought about something like the saved versions on de.wikipedia. If you include the any licence tag it gets logged somewhere good to see like the tools on the right side. Every private licence has to be registed somewhere and co-checked by a second admin. If the licence tag gets excluded the log still shows it so that you don't have to visit the image's history. If a licence tag gets included by an accident or because of vandalism an admin can delete the licence from the log and the old version in the history which includes the old licence. But this would be some additional extra work and if two admins work together they can easily beat the system.
--D-Kuru (talk) 21:01, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep licence as per D-Kuru and Marcela. For various reasons, I do not like the CC licences, and therefore wish to keep my images as GFDL. – Tivedshambo (talk) 17:51, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Some users try to suggest that commercial use of our pictures is mainly hindered by GFDL 1.2 and, perhaps, that this license is too strong in favour of our contributors, not - as it should be - in favour of our users. Here some remarks to this theory: 1. We don't really care about the rights of our contributors. 2. Many pictures are not printable not because of problems with 1.2 but because they are too bad, too small, provide no description, show unknown persons.... 3. GFDL 1.2 is a way for some of us to have a little control what happens to our pictures. The alternative is to reduce upload quality. Do we really prefer that solution? 4. Free media can only be provided on the long hand

- if we take care that they stay free
- if we stay attractive for semi-professionell users
- if we only reflect our lizenses concerning the interests of commercial use that would leed us to PD as the only way to happines

Your invited to correct my terrible English.... --Mbdortmund (talk) 08:13, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Keep licence It is used by many good quality, FP, contributing photographers and removal of the license will lead to loss of the images. --Muhammad (talk) 11:57, 6 April 2009 (UTC)


New template Template:PD-China-film was made. Please check out this template and add details if needed. For example if it is valid worldwide and so on. Thanks. --Snek01 (talk) 22:46, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

What the heck am I supposed to do for PD works first published in Italy?

I'm trying to figure out the proper tag(s) for File:Gennaro rubino.jpg, a photograph first published in an Italian magazine in 1902 (the photographer is unknown). First I looked at the PD-old templates, but I can't use those since they are all about the life of the author (not the date of publication). Then I found {{PD-1923}}. This looks like a valid tag to use. Problem is, it says "the file must have an additional copyright tag indicating the copyright status in the source country." (Same problem for {{PD-1996}}.) So then I came here looking for {{PD-Italy}}. It turns out that {{PD-Italy}} was deleted after a rather lengthy discussion some time ago and nothing has ever replaced it. Strangely it seems that the main reason the template was deleted is that Italian copyright law is confusing, so people had differing opinions on how to interpret it. Rather than tweaking the wording of the template to minimize the confusion, the closing admin decided that the template was "imcompatible [sic] with the copyright policy of Wikimedia Commons" and should just be deleted. Keep in mind this is for a country that is a member of the EU and is in full compliance with the Berne Convention. So what am I supposed to do? Right now, there is no possible way for me to tag this image in compliance with our guidelines. (I know I can always use {{PD-because}}, but it seems there should be a simpler way.) Kaldari (talk) 22:33, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Go with {{Anonymous-EU}}. I've also added this to {{PD-Italy}}. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:30, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! That's a useful template. I still think someone should create a new {{PD-Italy}} template at some point though. Kaldari (talk) 01:37, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

PD Saudi Arabia

Per Wikipedia:Non-U.S._copyrights the current {{PD-Saudi Arabia}} is as such flawed and also unsourced. Needs attention, a good source to support the 25+ and some modifications to reflect the 50 pma as of 2004. feydey (talk) 12:40, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Concerns over PD-Syria

{{PD-Syria}} gives a copyright duration of ten years for "photographic works". This seems rather short to me, especially for a country that's a signatory to the Berne Convention. Is this possibly a case similar to the confusion between the German "lichtbild" and "lichtbildwerk"? --Carnildo (talk) 00:30, 23 May 2009 (UTC)


I added this (existing) template for some classes of Greek Government media to Commons:Copyright tags. Please do not abuse it, very few government images are definitely public domain in Greece, basically those which are part of laws, presidential decrees, ministerial decisions and other similar stuff published in the Government Gazette. Also those designs (flags, national symbols, insignia etc) which are based on the aforementioned texts and released by the authors under a free license. Sv1xv (talk) 12:08, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

U.S. National Register of Historic Places images

The National Park Service has gradually been adding National Register documents and images to their new website. Most or all of the individual entries are specifically tagged as public domain on the summary pages for each location. In general, the images were not taken by NPS employees, but by a variety of individuals who gave up rights when the images were submitted to the NPS. According to the blanket ownership statement:

Information presented on this website, unless otherwise indicated , is considered in the public domain. It may may be distributed or copied as is permitted by the law. Not all information on this website has been created or is owned by the NPS. If you wish to use any non-NPS material, you must seek permission directly from the owning (or holding) sources. NPS shall have the unlimited right to use for any purpose, free of any charge, all information submitted to NPS via this site except those submissions made under separate legal contract. NPS shall be free to use, for any purpose, any ideas, concepts, or techniques contained in information provided to NPS through this site.

Our present {{PD-USGov-NPS}} tag implies that images were created by US government employees - in this case that is not so. I think we ought to have a new tag to deal with these images, maybe called {{PD-USGov-NPS-NRHP}}, which are a rich resource for the 80,000-plus NRHP properties.

By the way, I've sent an email to the contact listed on the website to make sure that these really are PD, and not just a default case in the database. Acroterion (talk) 17:18, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Never mind - the Park Service has indicated to me that they don't have releases, and despite the public notice on their individual files and the blanket notice on the website, they cannot actually release the images into the public domain. Acroterion (talk) 12:10, 2 June 2009 (UTC)


Back in March, there was some discussion on the administrators' noticeboard about the {{cc-by-sa-all}} tag. This tag was created back in 2005, saying that files tagged with it we licensed under CC-BY-SA "version 1.0, 2.0, 2.5 and all future versions issued by the Creative Commons" but shortly afterwards changed to a redirect to {{cc-by-sa-2.5,2.0,1.0}} (which includes no "all future versions" clause). In 2007, after CC-BY-SA-3.0 was released, there was a brief edit war which apparently ended with someone running a bot to orphan the redirect, followed by a change to its current state as a redirect to {{cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0}} (which still includes no "all future versions" clause).

In the interests of not having to repeat this if and when the next version of CC-BY-SA is released, not to mention having "all" actually mean "all", I'd like to change the tag back from a redirect to an actual template saying something similar to its original version. The AN discussion in March, while somewhat inconclusive, didn't seem to provoke any actual objections to this. However, in order to do this, I would first have to make a bot run to change all the 124,000 or so existing transclusions of {{cc-by-sa-all}} to point directly to {{cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0}}.

Technically, this is not a problem, but it is a lot of edits. I'd therefore prefer to hear if anyone has any objections before I start making them. Any other related comments are, of course, also welcome. I'll post pointers to this discussion to the village pump and to the administrators' noticeboard, so that more people will hopefully notice it. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 12:53, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Just to check I understand, you propose to change all {{cc-by-sa-all}} transclusions to {{cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0}}? May I suggest that any transclusions prior to the redirect be left as {{cc-by-sa-all}} as that would be the meaning they originally signed up to (and the redirect negated). --Tony Wills (talk) 13:20, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't think there are any (left) — it seems a similar bot run was done back in 2007 when the redirect was last changed. See the history of the template for details. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 13:38, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Imho you should just restore the template and not do anything else. The template seems to be introduced into the upload form here. Users picking that option want to release their images under *all* cc-by-sa versions, not just the current ones. So changing it to {{cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0}} would mean we don't respect the license selected by the user. Multichill (talk) 13:53, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
We can not guess what they thought it meant, it says "all versions" which can quite reasonably be interpreted as "all current versions" or "all current and future verions". But the license that was displayed on their image does not say anything about future versions. If they didn't want unknown future versions we are illegally expanding the license scope for their image. If they did want all future versions then they should have noted that the license as displayed said nothing about that, they now need to clarify that by expanding it themselves (ironically by putting the same template back on their image). The name of the template or text associated with links to it are not the issue (however misleading or wrong), the text of the license displayed on their image and linked to, is their license. The only other course of action is to ask every uploader involved individually (generally impractical as many would have left), but I suppose their talk pages could be spammed with a notice. Perhaps a message-of-the-day type message (the one at the top of the page) should be posted to inform people. If lots of people want to correct their license, perhaps we need a temporary bot, and request page, set up for the task. --Tony Wills (talk) 21:29, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
From a licensing perspective, this is really a non-issue. All versions of the CC-by-sa license from 2.0 onwards have contained explicit provisions for use of the licensed work under later versions of the license (section 4b). Therefore, as long as the template has contained a reference to the 2.0 version or later, it doesn't matter if the template has contained a "or later" phrase, because that's all in the referenced legal code, and that's what really matters (as you point out). So there is actually no need to ask authors about their intent. LX (talk, contribs) 14:57, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I guess you're referring to You may distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly digitally perform a Derivative Work only under the terms of this License, a later version of this License with the same License Elements as this License, or a Creative Commons iCommons license that contains the same License Elements as this License (e.g. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Japan). I highlighted the problem. It looks like the or later part only refers to derivative works and not the work itself. We already stumbled across this problem with the big license migration. Would be good to verify this with the CC people. Multichill (talk) 16:53, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
The phrasing in section 4(b) only applies to Adaptations (i.e. derived works), though. Section 4(a) says that "You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only under the terms of this License" and that "You may not sublicense the Work." (The quotes are from CC-BY-SA 3.0, but earlier versions contain similar phrasing.) What that means is that, in fact, the only reason you're allowed to redistribute an Adaptation (or to create further Adaptations of it) is because of section 8(b), which says that "Each time You Distribute or Publicly Perform an Adaptation, Licensor offers to the recipient a license to the original Work on the same terms and conditions as the license granted to You under this License." So, yes, you can take a Work under CC-BY-SA 2.0 and release an Adaptation of it under CC-BY-SA 3.0, but what you're actually releasing under version 3.0 of the license is just the parts of the Adaptation that you hold the copyright to. The parts of the original Work included in the Adaptation still remain under their original license, CC-BY-SA 2.0.
In fact, this isn't a peculiarly CC thing — the GNU licenses (GPL, GFDL, etc.) work the exact same way (see e.g. sections 2 and 10 of GPL v3), except that they don't even have an internal "or later" clause. (But they do have other compatibility clauses, e.g. section 13 of GPL v3 allowing reuse under the AGPL.) The only difference is that the FSF has for a long time (always?) recommended that authors license their work under e.g. "GFDL version 1.x or any later version released by the FSF", which Creative Commons has for whatever reason not done. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 16:53, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Looks like you're both right, although the distinction seems a bit odd to me. Interestingly, the definition of an Adaptation in 1(a) doesn't explicitly state that modifications have to be of a copyrightable nature to qualify, so arguably, changing the saturation of a single pixel in an image by 1% would allow you to change the licensing version of the result. :) LX (talk, contribs) 17:13, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
You're not the only one who's suggested that, but the way I read it, all section 4(b) does is allow you to release your 1%-of-a-pixel change under a new version of the license. Which, since such a trivial change would be ineligible for copyright anyway, doesn't amount to much. (After all, everyone agrees that you can't escape the attribution requirement of CC-BY that way, even though that license effectively allows Adaptations to be released under any license.) —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 18:29, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

While we're discussing whether to do the bot run or not, I've gone ahead and created the template {{cc-by-sa-1.0+}}, which says essentially what the original version of {{cc-by-sa-all}} used to say. Improvements and translations are welcome. Depending on what we decide to do with it, {{cc-by-sa-all}} could eventually be turned into a redirect to it. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 12:05, 21 July 2009 (UTC)


I have just expanded Template:PD-Japan-film's text with a link and summary from the 2008 Japanese Intellectual Property High Court ruling. This ruling appears to change the basis on deciding which Japanese films are copyrighted or not (previously 50 years after publication, now 38 years after creator's death for films published before 1970). However, I am no lawyer and cannot read Japanese and the status remains quite confusing (the court appears to be inconsistent), so I am writing this message requesting expert attention.

See also w:en:Talk:List of films in the public domain in the United States#Japanese films have unclear status 84user (talk) 20:12, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

{{PD-US-no notice}}

What exactly is a copyright notice? I have several postcards from the US from the 1960s and they don't have the word "Copyright" or the mark "©" or the words "All rights reserved" on them. All they say is something like "Distributed only by ...", "Published and distributed by..." etc. Are those postcard images in the public domain? --Botev (talk) 05:53, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Anonymous, unpublished from Soviet Union

When does the copyright protection expire in case of unpublished, anonymous works originating from Soviet Union? --Botev (talk) 15:40, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Problem: Many missing entries.

I think all or most of these exist but are not listed.

   * Template:PD-USGov-AVO
   * Template:PD-USGov-Award
   * Template:PD-USGov-BBG
   * Template:PD-USGov-Congress
   * Template:PD-USGov-Congress-AOC
   * Template:PD-USGov-FWS/layout layout only
   * Template:PD-USGov-GAO
   * Template:PD-USGov-HHS-NIH
   * Template:PD-USGov-HUD
   * Template:PD-USGov-Military-Air National Guard
   * Template:PD-USGov-Military-DVIC
   * Template:PD-USGov-money
   * Template:PD-USGov-NASA-AP
   * Template:PD-USGov-NASA-SRTM already listed
   * Template:PD-NWS
   * Template:PD-USGov-NPS-HALS
   * Template:PD-BG-Gov
   * Template:PD-WorldWind already listed
   * Template:PD-USGov-PHS
   * Template:PD-USGov-POTUS
   * Template:PD-USGov-TVA already listed
   * Template:PD-USGov-USTR

I think this is a problem because says that the complete list of applicable templates is on this page. We should add 'em, yes? --Elvey (talk) 05:13, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Template:PD-USGov-FWS/layout is not a complete license tag. Sv1xv (talk) 05:37, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
True - but the other templates should be added to the list. People sometime create templates and forget to list them here. However, some of those templates need to be reviewed. For example {{PD-BG-Gov}} - apart from obvious spelling mistakes it doesn't give clear information why the work is PD (that or another reason). And if the copyright has expired, the {{PD-old}} tag should be used, so what is left are only Bulgarian governmental works and that needs a citation. --Botev (talk) 10:24, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
DONE. Thanks for the input. I'm making changes. Looks like PD-CAGov will be needed soon too. I've added the dozen that passed muster. (Not that they're perfect, but I skipped, e.g. BG-Gov.--Elvey (talk) 19:34, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Can I upload?

There's a photographic image published in 1955 in Finland, by unknown author. Can the picture be uploaded here in Commons with the licenses {{PD-Finland50}} (this should be all ok for the picture) and {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} (Finland, 1955)? Copyright tags lists it as if it was usable, but the template page says it's not valid. I'm confused. Pitke (talk) 20:05, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

You cannot upload an image tagged only with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}. This template is not a valid license by itself, it is a supplementary indication that reuse of this image in the USA might cause copyright related problems. The real copyright tag, which allows the image to be uploaded, is {{PD-Finland50}}. Sv1xv (talk) 20:53, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. Pitke (talk) 21:18, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Copyright status of signage photo

Nashville Biscuit House.jpg

I have a few questions about the photo at right, but first let me explain what it is. This is a photo of a sign (or collection of signs) which was created in the United States post-1923. The top (neon) portion and the structure of the sign were created in the 1950s, the middle pieces were created within the past decade. Here are my questions:

  1. Are any portions of the sign (or the entire sign in itself) creative enough to attract copyright protection?
  2. If yes, is it likely that those copyrights would still be in force today? (Copyrights in the US prior to the 1970s required registration and renewal.)
  3. Does freedom of panorama in the US affect the ability to copyright of any portion of this sign?
  4. Is this photo OK for Wikimedia Commons?
  5. Are there any special copyright tags that should be added to it?

Kaldari (talk) 22:31, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Medals, awards and other military decorations

I see the U.S. has an extensive list of tags for decorations, but as for the military awards of the U.K., who owns them? Is that considered Crown property? Would a photograph of a military award, medal or other decoration be the copyright of whomever took the photograph? It seems to me that it would not, just like other works of art, but I do not know the appropriate tag to use. Xanderliptak (talk) 04:20, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Normally {{PD-UKGov}} applies to British medals and decorations designed over 50 years ago. As medals are 3D works, the photographer of an old decoration can license his work under a license of his choice. Sv1xv (talk) 07:35, 14 January 2010 (UTC)


  1. Why is Template:PD-old-auto not mentioned and recommended in Commons:Copyright_tags#Automated_public_domain_licenses instead of PD-old-xxx?
  2. How about a license tag {{Template:PD-auto|publication date|author's death year}} which chooses everything automatically?

--Saibo (Δ) 22:44, 30 April 2010 (UTC)


Added today the template {{PD-EdictGov}} its use here will primarily be for international treaties and multi-lateral intervention conventions, for which there will be no provision for copyright.  — billinghurst sDrewth 08:10, 22 June 2010 (UTC)


Is {{CC-AR-Presidency}} still valid? I realize there's an OTRS ticket that supposedly addresses it, but it seems odd to have the presidential web site clearly labeled CC-by-sa-nc 2.5, but at the same time have given permission to Wikimedia to use their files as if they were CC-by-sa 2.0. 12:28, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Carol M. Highsmith pix

I was looking for something like Template:PD-author-release on the upload form for images by Highsmith who has donated 2500 of her photos to the public domain (the photos are on the Library of Congress website) for the file File:Electric City Highsmith 04369v.jpg to put in the license section, but the upload form has no such thing. There is a Template:PD-Highsmith, should I just upload the file with a not-entirely-accurate pd category and then edit the file, replacing the license category with the Highsmith template? Smallbones (talk) 20:02, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Just don't select any license from the drop-down and put "{{PD-Highsmith}}" in the "Permissions" section of the form or of the {{Information}} template. Lupo 20:14, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Proposal: expand scope of Category:PD-user

See Template talk:PD-user-en#Categorization of tagged files. In brief, suggest expanding scope of Category:PD-user to include media tagged with the template Template:PD-user-en. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 17:44, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

ToC problems.

I can't seem to get Template:TOC_limit to work for me. Does it look ok to others?--Elvey (talk) 06:40, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Oh, it's on .en ( , but not here.--Elvey (talk) 06:45, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
I got it working (with help). I've moved the ToC to the right, and am using TOC_limit, but showing nearly the whole ToC, since I think it's less obtrusive on the right, and it's helpful for navigation to show a lot of it. --Elvey (talk) 19:19, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I've moved it back onto the left, and put a TOC limit of 3 on it, which makes it a lot more usable e.g. if you want to jump to the section on GNU licenses. It might be better to split the PD templates off onto their own page at some point, though. Mike Peel (talk) 20:05, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

"Image" vs "Media" vs "File"

I'm thinking we should change more or less all instances (on this page) of the former words to the latter one. The issue was discussed at en.: Any objection? --Elvey (talk) 06:40, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

I doesn't look like they explicitly considered "Media" vs "File" there. Thoughts?--Elvey (talk) 19:19, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Country/Region specific tags -- Madagascar

I was wondering if someone who is fluent in French could help create a country-specific copyright tag for Madagascar? I believe the copyright laws can be found here. If needed, I can archive it on WebCite to make sure the source doesn't disappear. But, unfortunately, my French isn't good enough to make it through 30+ pages of legal text. I'm also not very good with this legal stuff, so I'm not the best person to interpret it. – VisionHolder « talk » 23:29, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Tag needs fixing

Does anyone know how to fix {{GFDL-user-en-with-disclaimers}} to include the attribution in the migrated Creative Commons section of the license? Kelly (talk) 21:16, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Latvian banknotes

There is contradiction. Dinamik (talk) 21:58, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Start a new discussion

Start a new discussion - this link starts new section in Commons:Copyright tags, not in Commons talk:Copyright tags. Dinamik (talk) 22:00, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

✓ Fixed. LX (talk, contribs) 22:04, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Proper copyright tag of scanned family photo

How do I properly copyright tag a family photo for the purpose of uploading it to a Wikipedia page? Specifically, I have a photo of my father, Kenny Williams (announcer), that I would like to add to his Wikipedia article. Many thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Elfnwoods (talk • contribs) 00:46, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Family photos are no different from other photos. Unless the copyright has expired (which usually happens 70 years after the photographer's death), you would need to obtain permission from the photographer (or the photographer's heirs) to publish the work under one of the licenses accepted by Commons. LX (talk, contribs) 07:42, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Why is this article so confusing?!

Wikipedia image articles are cryptic. They are only for people who love solving puzzles and learning great complicated messes of detail.

It would be great someday if the whole Wikipedia Image policy was greatly simplified and clarified. 23:24, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

As someone who works with Wikipedia's images a lot, I wish something like that were possible, but sadly, it isn't. Copyright is immensely complicated, and Wikipedia isn't in a position to ignore it. Sven Manguard (talk) 12:11, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

That's all well and good, but I can't tell you how many HOURS I've spent reading the Commons help pages, policy pages, and guideline pages (not to mention the associated talk pages). The enormity of the information is a huge obstacle to overcome. It seems the Wikimedia Commons admins and editors thrive on complexity. Surely there must be a better way, right? Senator2029 | talk 06:53, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

What way would that be? Do you have any concrete suggestions for improvement? The particular page you're commenting on is really intended more as a reference list of all available copyright tags rather than for learning about our policies. LX (talk, contribs) 07:11, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
There is the Help Desk or Village Pump/Copyright to get help from experienced users. These issues are irredeemably complex, sometimes very complex, and the best thing is to draw on the expertise of those who understand the issues fairly well, rather than try and read all the related pages like some sort of image copyright course. Rd232 (talk) 12:25, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
We don't thrive on it; in fact, we struggle with it daily. The only way we could simplify things would be to say "Only images you created yourself and agree to license freely are permitted on Commons". I'm sure you can see the problem with that. Powers (talk) 13:21, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Some questions about non-free licenses

1) What is the point with the tag "Attribution-Ubisoft" in the non-free section? General policy of Commons is that of no-allowing fair-use images at all - isn't this the same "no fair use flies" policy as any other screenshots from games from any other publisher (where non-commercial use of screenshots on the Web is generally OK, but commercial one may not qualify as fair use)?
2) PD-India. What's wrong with Public Domain images?
--RussianTrooper (talk) 18:33, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

With regards to your first question, I assume you're asking about {{Attribution-Ubisoft}}? This was a license tag for a set of images that were at one time thought to be available under a free license, but subsequently were determined to be non-free. The license tag was changed to automatically mark any images tagged with this license as a copyright violation. The entire history of this issue is pretty long and complicated, but you can find a summary of the issue in an old archived Administrators' noticeboard entry.
With regards to your second question, I assume you asking about {{PD-IndiaGov}} (not PD-India as you indicate)? The issues with this template were similar to the previous. At one time a bunch of images that were works of the government of India were tagged with this license under the mistaken impression impression that they were in the pubic domain (based on a misunderstanding of India's copyright laws). Like before, eventually this license tag was changed to automatically mark any images tagged with this license as a copyright violation. —RP88 20:15, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
This template was actually moved to the non-free section waaay back in (drum roll, please) February 2006, and nobody noticed that the description needed to be updated for the last five (almost six) years. The old template was actually based on a misunderstanding of Freedom of Information legislation (which has nothing to do with copyright – therein lay the misunderstanding). See Commons:Village pump/Archive/2005/10#Template:PD-IndiaGov and en:Wikipedia talk:Copyright problems/Archive 5#Template:PD-IndiaGov for details. I'll correct this. Thank you for bringing it up, RussianTrooper! LX (talk, contribs) 20:39, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

So may be just add some explanation - for example, as I understood, the permission from Ubisoft meant to allow only non-commercial use with requirement of proper attribution - and that's fall under policy of "no fair use" on Commons
But what's with India....couldn't you get a link on the English version of their copyright law, it could fall under "copyrighted free use" instead of PD, and I don't think Indian Govt. would bother itself with copyright violation lawsuits in the first place --RussianTrooper (talk) 04:47, 3 November 2011 (UTC) is the link to the copyright law of India. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 05:22, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Old works of art

I have been wondering about how to mark old (200+ years) works of art. I used {{PD-old}}, but the notice says that I should also use a US tag. (I don't think there's a possibility that such a work isn't in public domain in the USA; indeed, many of these works predate the modern concept of copyright.) - Mike Rosoft (talk) 21:15, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

If you're sure that the author has been dead for more than 100 years (and for works that are more than 200 years old, I'd say you can), use {{PD-old-100}} instead. LX (talk, contribs) 14:09, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Please simplify n make it easier

greetings from cambodia. please make this kind of stuff more simple. put the most used tags first and the most specific after GNU Licenses must be first and easy to get. --ណុះ សើ លីម (talk) 03:56, 30 December 2011 (UTC)