Commons talk:Freedom of panorama

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If Djibouti's law says "communicating works permanently in public[...] only if use is incidental" then how is it OK for Commons? Also, the link given is not to the actual law, it does not even cite the law. Are there really no Arabic-speakers on Commons? IF not, we could at least use the site of WIPO that gives "Law No. 154/AN/06 of 23 July 2006 on the Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights (2006)". There, Art. 54 allows "(h) The reproduction of works of art or of architecture through cinematography or television and the communication of such works to the public if such works are permanently located in a place where they can be viewed by the public or are included in the film or program by way of background or as incidental to the essential matters represented". Thus, it is NOT ok.

Additionally, there actually isn't any public domain in Djibouti as nothing ever becomes free for use: "Art.75.­ Paying public domain (1) On the expiration of the terms of protection provided for in this Law, the author’s works shall pass into the public domain. (2) The representation, public performance and reproduction of these works shall require an authorization from the Office of Copyright and Neighboring Rights. If the performance is for profit, the authorization shall be granted in exchange for payment of a royalty calculated on the basis of the gross income from the operation. This royalty shall be equal to half that usually applied to works of the same category in the private domain. (3) Royalties from the exploitation of a work from the public domain shall be paid into a special fund managed by the Office of Copyright and Neighboring Rights and shall be used for cultural, artistic promotion and social development purposes." So, what's called "public domain" in the law is practically a form of state ownership. This is a nightmare for free culture. --Oop (talk) 14:11, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
According to the law you found, it is actually OK. Note the key word "or". They are OK if they are permanently located in public OR are incidental inclusion. If that said AND, then you'd be right, but basically it says non-public or non-permanent art is only OK if included incidentally, but permanent public art is OK even if not incidental. So that section should be "OK" although the previous wording / logic in that entry was wrong as you noted. As for the permanent public domain thing... we would not respect that on Commons. There are a few countries like that. The Berne Convention is always about a limited time frame. That is a nightmare for free culture in Djibouti and those others, no doubt. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:54, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
IMO, the sprinkling of "OK" and "Not OK" templates everywhere is arbitrary, too simplistic and misleading. Anyway, if users feel they must do it, a FoP exception available only to very limited types of media, such as cinema and television, should probably not be called generically "OK". -- Asclepias (talk) 18:12, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
If the FoP includes video, which presumably it does, what about still from a video? Nowadays, the distinction between moving and still images is very much blurred, as almost every photo cameras can also do videos. Regards, Yann (talk) 18:37, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
Movie stills might be OK but I think the usual situation is still photographs, and the "OK" should be based on that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:36, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
Oh... I did miss that it was limited to cinematography and television. Yes, that probably does change things. Unless "communication of such works to the public" can include photographs, though you'd think that would be "reproduction by photography". Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:36, 9 December 2015 (UTC)


User:Blutgretchen included the term 'place of photograph' in the section COM:FOP#Austria. Does this (as in Germany) refer to the location of the camera (i.e. the object can be anywhere, but the camera must be in a public place), or does it (as in Sweden) refer to the location of the object (i.e. the object must be in or right next to a public place, but the camera can be anywhere)? --Stefan2 (talk) 21:04, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

@User:Stefan2 You must confuse me with some other user (Reinhard Müller maybe). I just fixed two typos. --Blutgretchen (talk) 13:21, 15 January 2016 (UTC)
I haven't read the discussion it came from, but just from reading the description here... no, it has nothing to do with the location of the camera. That was made clear anyways with the w:Hundertwasserhaus case (where the location of the camera made something a violation in Germany, but the same photo was OK in Austria). It sounds like you can take pictures of the interior side of an architectural work (as that work itself is located in public), but taking pictures of separately copyrightable objects inside buildings (such as objects in museums) are not OK. In other words, it sounds like the interior of museums, churches, etc. are not considered a "public place", but the inside surfaces of a building are still just parts of the building, and the building as a whole would be located in a public place, so photos of that are OK (inside or out). Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:38, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
It is not clear to me whether the Austrian public place requirement applies to buildings in the first place. In Sweden, the public place requirement only applies to works of arts (such as sculptures) but not to buildings, so there is full FOP for buildings, regardless of where the building is and regardless of where the camera is. If there is no public place requirement in the first place, then a court doesn't need to check if the public place requirement is satisfied. --Stefan2 (talk) 21:46, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

FOP for British Overseas Territories[edit]

Hi all

Does anyone know if the rules for FOI in British Oversea Territories the same as for the UK? Or are they decided on a local level?


John Cummings (talk) 11:00, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

The territories can make their own laws, however its reasonable to presume they will be similar to UK law; and in the absence of local law, presumably UK law applies.
For instance S82 of the Bermuda copyright act is a almost word-for-word copy of S62 of the UK act.--Nilfanion (talk) 11:50, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
@Nilfanion:, thanks very much John Cummings (talk) 14:00, 3 March 2016 (UTC)


Hi all

Does anyone know if there is FOP in Palestine?


--John Cummings (talk) 11:01, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

I came here looking for this too. It would be nice to have clarification. I'm working with the understanding that the Occupied Palestinian Territories are controlled by Israel and are thus subject to their FoP laws: {{FoP-Israel}} czar 22:38, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Copyright ownership of buildings in non-FoP countries[edit]

There is a company which owns a theme park, Dubai Parks and Resorts. They bought some land, had buildings built on the land, and they own the buildings and everything around. The buildings are in Dubai, in the UAE, where there is no freedom of panorama. What do we presume about the copyright of the building? Do we presume that the building owner has it, or that they do not?

Can anyone provide an example of a case in a non-FoP country where there is a photograph of a copyrighted building that has a release which talks about the distinction between building owner and copyright holder control over the copyright of a building?

Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:11, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

My understanding is that we need the permission of the architect. The opinion of the owner is irrelevant.--Ymblanter (talk) 08:05, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
@Ymblanter, Jameslwoodward: I just added this text -
“The owners of buildings should not be assumed to hold the copyright of their buildings. For this reason, in countries without freedom of panorama, Wikimedia Commons requires proof of copyright release from the copyright holder when hosting any images of those buildings. If the owner of a building uploads an image to Commons, presume that they do not own the copyright. Ask them to provide either proof of copyright transfer from the architect to them, or otherwise, ask them to direct the architect to apply a Commons-compatible license to the image.”
This is how things are, right? Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:02, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
While I understand your reasoning, I wonder whether this isn't too much to expect. I mean, when we ask the uploader/presumed representative of the owner to provide a permission-statement directly sent from the legal department (or equivalent) of the owner to OTRS, shouldn't this be sufficient? Of course, our permission-request should mention/explain the ownership/copyright issue. --Túrelio (talk) 15:43, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
Túrelio, I agree only to the extent that I could accept a message from the General Counsel of a building owner that explicitly said that the building owner's agreement with the architect allowed the building owner to license images of the building. Anything short of that would not be acceptable to me -- we see far too many public relations directors who don't have a clue about copyright and who tell us things they have no right to say. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 10:35, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

(unindent) This topic was also discussed at Commons:Village pump/Copyright#Company commissions a building - does Wiki presume they own copyright? 21:33, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

  • Resolved See Commons:Undeletion_requests/Archive/2016-06#Dubai_Parks_and_Resorts_-_continued_discussion. The resolution was that we got a plausible claim of copyright ownership of the design of the buildings by confirming the release with top-ranking staff over contracts and legal issues at the company. The discussion says to be mindful that this does not set a precedent, but I think the context is that there is no precedent to do such a thing without talking to top staff. I do think there is a precedent to approve this when permission is confirmed by the head of a company's legal department, when that legal department gives enough information to establish that they know what they are doing. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:51, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

Sweden on the map[edit]

Sweden seems to have lost its online FoP. Maps need updating. Perhaps there should be some special colour, as formerly we have not had any countries with only offline FoP. --Oop (talk) 07:44, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

Read and re-read the decision and multitudinous comments. It actually seems that buildings are still okay. But there is nothing inconclusive about images: the Supreme Court of Sweden declared that digital databases are not a fair game, and if anyone tries to convince me Commons is NOT a digital database, they'll have to do one hell of a job. Many people (incl. WMF's legal team) disagree with the decision the Court made but it is nevertheless their decision, Wikimedia Sverige has to follow it and pay the damages, nothing inconclusive about that. See 1, 2, 3, 4 and the painful English translation of the decision by Google. --Oop (talk) 05:16, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
This edit looks misleading. The court's decision is not about paragraph 3. The decision is about the meaning and extent of «abilda», which affects the whole of section 24. -- Asclepias (talk) 06:09, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
There are two issues: 1) reproduce and 2) redistribute. The court case is about whether "avbilda" means both 1) and 2) or only 1). If it only means 1) then the same rule applies to buildings. One may take photographs of buildings, but not redistribute them digitally. Edaen (talk) 06:44, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

Also, Sweden's entry in the Summary table section needs updating to reflect the change: it currently shows FOP (green) for all items except artwork instead of a mix of red and yellow that I would expect. 2D artwork appears as green which looks wrong even before the recent court decision. -84user (talk) 23:00, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

@84user: The FOP provision is for all works of art, which includes paintings (but excludes maps - classed as literary works).--Nilfanion (talk) 10:45, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
Could we please wait with these changes until it's been made clear what the Swedish law actually says? Edaen (talk) 23:46, 9 April 2016 (UTC)--Nilfanion (talk) 10:45, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

The right to take photographs under S24 is unaffected - so Swedish FOP still exists whatever the final ramifications of the case. However, the ability to distribute (via Commons) may be curtailed. There is also possibility buildings are not affected by the final ruling at all (so at worst Sweden would be Yellow). In short - Red is not the right colour at this time, an inconclusive colour should be used.--Nilfanion (talk) 10:45, 10 April 2016 (UTC)

I disagree; the right to take photographs is nigh irrelevant. Everyone takes photographs of anything they want, unless there's someone physically stopping them from doing so, and it's usually so minor an infringement that nobody bothers caring. The essence of FOP is right to reproduce the images, the issue that makes court cases, so Swedish FOP does not exist, merely some minor related right of little interest.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:40, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
The rule is that you can publish photos (e.g. newspapers & postcards), but you can't communicate photos to the public (e.g. television and Internet). I don't know whether a court would rule that you can perform photos publicly (e.g. projections on a wall) or display photos publicly (e.g. outdoor advertisements). Since you can at least publish photos, there is still some FOP. --Stefan2 (talk) 23:34, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Request for example - traditional copyright on 3D art, CC photo[edit]

I posted this previously at

I am still looking for an example. Can anyone please share an example of the following case:

  • 3-dimensional work with traditional copyright
  • someone photographs that work
  • the photographer applies a CC license to their photo
  • the copyright holder for the 3-dimensional work applies a CC license to the 2-dimensional representation in the photo
  • the copyright holder for the 3-dimensional work retains traditional copyright for the 3-dimensional work

I wish to see how Commons manages license templates.

Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:19, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Still working on this type of problem? ;) Cases must be extremely rare where the copyright owner of the 3D work applied a Creative Commons license to a 2D representation. I don't remember having seen any. (A less unusual situation, as you know, is when the copyright owner of the 3D work allows the publication of a CC-licensed photographic work which includes a representation of the 3D work. As discussed in Archive 15. Btw, what happened with the Portland photos?) Shouldn't the discussion be kept in one place, at C:VP/C? -- Asclepias (talk) 17:02, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
Asclepias I forgot that previous discussion, and I forgot that I had been thinking about this for so long. Thanks for remembering - wow, I appreciate that. Actually for now - I think this is resolved due to there being no good precedent. Here is where I am -
  1. The art in Portland in Seattle remains unshared. The artists are willing to release copyright of photos, but they do not want to release copyright for their 3D sculptures. Wikimedia Commons cannot manage these requests right now.
  2. The owner of a building in a country without freedom of panorama wants to share an image of the building they own. Wikimedia Commons has no example of this being done.
  3. In another case, a building owner wants to share some "instruments of service" (a technical term in architecture) which describe parts of the design of a building, but explicitly not release the copyright of the building's design. Wikimedia Commons does not have an example of this.
  4. A modern art museum can provide valid release of particular photographs to sculptures under traditional copyright. They wish to share only photos they provide with a CC license, but cannot release teh copyright of the sculpture in the photos. Wikimedia Commons does not have an example of this.
I think for next steps, I would like to do a test case of this last sort of release. I am talking with staff at a museum and will ask them to attempt this sort of release and to write a statement about how this works. I will check in with the Creative Commons community also. Perhaps by starting with in individual sculpture at a museum, from that point, it would be easier to discuss how to release photos without giving permission to release everything in the photo.
Yes check.svg Resolved
Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:39, 22 April 2016 (UTC)


I have recently found online a thesis by an academic commentator, Alifia Qonita Sudharto, entitled Copyright law and the freedom of panorama: The right to commercialise photographs of protected works. The thesis, which was written in 2014, is a comparative analysis of the law of the USA, New Zealand and Indonesia relating to freedom of panorama.

Contrary to what is stated on the project page, the thesis asserts (at pp 43-44 of the pdf), in reliance upon a provision in Indonesia's Criminal Code applying the "legality principle" (nullum delictum nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali), that Indonesia does have freedom of panorama, in relation to architectural and sculptural works. The thesis also notes (at p 42) that there is no Indonesian case law challenging freedom of panorama, and (at p 40) criticises Wikimedia Commons for deleting images on the basis of an understanding that Indonesian law does not recognise freedom of panorama.

Does anyone have any comments on this thesis, the contents of which suggest that the comments on the project page about Indonesia need major revision? Bahnfrend (talk) 15:54, 22 July 2016 (UTC)

Without any legal precedents in Indonesia, we are left to follow the patterns from other countries. In general, the Berne Convention gives control over derivative works to the author of the underlying work. As noted by the author of that paper, photographs of literary works were deemed to be copying under the Berne Convention, but the author then claims that because photos of architectural works were not discussed at all, they may be treated differently. Under the letter of the law, there do not seem to be any distinguishing sections of the law which would treat them differently. And indeed, in Berne countries which do not have an explicit exception for photographs of architecture, there have indeed been court cases. There was one in Germany of a photograph of a building in Austria, which was OK per Austria's FOP but not Germany's, and it was ruled an infringement. A French case ruled a photo of a street scene was not derivative of a building in that scene, but that directly implied that a photograph primarily of that building would have been an infringement. Thus, without any other specific information or clues in the text of their law, we assume that the Berne Convention by default makes photographs of buildings a derivative work. The Berne Convention specifically allows countries to make exemptions, but if those exemptions are not in the text of the law, or at least have not been ruled to exist by a court case, we don't feel free to assume they exist. U.S. law, while not based on Berne Convention text, has an explicit exemptions for buildings only, and in several court cases have ruled that photos of sculpture were derivative, which would seem to follow that pattern. It is distasteful to me to delete photos of buildings (coming from a U.S. viewpoint), but the law is the law, like it or not.
The article is incorrect in a few details surrounding U.S. style "fair use", which is actually quite broad. Also, Indonesia made a substantial update to their law in 2014 ( ) and it looks like the article was based on the previous law, which may have been a bit more ambiguous. But in the current law, Article 9 seems to be quite explicit about derivative works being under control of the underlying author, and I don't see a freedom of panorama exception. Article 43 (which was a 2014 change) does seem to grant some very broad non-commercial rights for reproductions of all kinds, and that probably amounts to a non-commercial FOP. That would likely cover typical personal usage, but would not cover commercial use which is needed to be "free" for Wikimedia Commons purposes.
The article looks to be more hopeful that photographs of public works would not be considered derivative, but from what I know, basically every case brought to attention in places without an explicit FOP provision ruled that they were (as mentioned in the article, including U.S. photos of sculptures), and I'm not aware of a case which went the other way. Given other precedents, there are rulings that photos of an overall scene which happens to contain a copyrighted work would not be infringing -- it would be photos primarily of a building or statue. In that sense, "freedom of panorama" is not well-named since panoramic photos would almost always be OK. While I did not read the article very carefully, I don't see anything based on the wording of Indonesian law which would exempt them from Berne Convention norms, and in addition it is based on the law of 2002, and there is a new 2014 substantial revision which provides a more explicit balance of personal rights than the old law did, but limits those at non-commercial. While legal commentary is very helpful and they probably understand the situation in Indonesia better than any of us, I'm not convinced that our position is incorrect. Copyright can be inherently subjective so we are always guessing, but if there is a substantial doubt (and actual court cases in multiple countries are somewhat of a precedent), we will tend to be careful, and I don't see anything there which changes our position. Granted, the law now makes OK almost all uses of such photos in Indonesia, but it's the conflict of the need to be "free" which causes the problem since commercial use of such photographs would appear to still be restricted. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:45, 22 July 2016 (UTC)