Commons talk:Freedom of panorama/Archive 10

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Freedom of Panorama discussion at Village Pump

Please see Commons:Village pump/Copyright#Validity of Freedom of Panorama for artworks on Commons. Thanks! Kaldari (talk) 06:57, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Acknowledgment of Source in German law

Article 63 in German copyright law has "(1) If a work or part of a work is reproduced pursuant to Article 45(1), Articles 46 to 48, 50, 51, 58, 59 and 61, the source must in all cases be clearly acknowledged." Now, Article 59 is Works in Public Places which appears relevant to FOP. If "the source" includes the architect, then several Commons images have not been attributing the source as required. Should we? I have been adding the architect's name to a few images as I find them, but noticed many that give no such indication. -84user (talk) 23:39, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Absolutely attribute, if you know it. It's not a reason for deletion if not mentioned, but that type of thing is always a good idea to add. Several FoP laws do have such an attribution requirement to the underlying author. Although the German law also does say that notation of the source is not required if the source is not stated on the underlying work itself, and is not known to the photographer: There shall be no obligation to acknowledge sources if no source is given either on the copy of the work used or with the reproduction of the work used and if no source is otherwise known to the person entitled to reproduce. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:58, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

FoP in Jersey

Does {{FoP-UK}} apply in Jersey and the Channel Islands? We have some images taken in Jersey, as File:Gerald Durrell statue.jpg, that would be fine under UK law or any similar law. Can we tag them with {{FoP-UK}}.--Pere prlpz (talk) 12:51, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

According to this 1997 article, unless something has changed since, it's actually the UK Copyright Act 1911 which still applies in Jersey. It is not part of the EU, so there were no restorations or whatever else, so I guess they are still 50pma (and photos 50 years from creation). And yes, according to this (same site), as of 2006 that is still the copyright law in force there; basically the 1911 act with a couple of modifications. The same is also on the government site. The UK text of that act is here; section 2(1)(iii) says the following is not infringement of copyright: The making or publishing of paintings, drawings, engravings, or photographs of a work of sculpture or artistic craftsmanship, if permanently situate in a public place or building, or the making or publishing of paintings, drawings, engravings, or photographs (which are not in the nature of architectural drawings or plans) of any architectural work of art. So yes, Jersey seems to have FoP, though based on the older UK law instead of the current one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:30, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to copy most of your text into the page, but I think it will be better that you write it by yourself - you would explain it better and we would avoid a minor problem of attribution of the text.--Pere prlpz (talk) 21:14, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

FoP in Andorra

In Commons:Village_pump/Copyright#FOP_Andorra the conclusion reached is that there is no FoP in Andorra. I suggest adding it to the page.--Pere prlpz (talk) 22:52, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

✓ Done Please check content and grammar.--Pere prlpz (talk) 21:10, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Unclear right to modify

Commons:Freedom of panorama#The right to modify contains this text (made bold below):

The panorama freedom is restricted to taking pictures of the actual objects. Generally, the freedom to modify such pictures is restricted. For example, the German law in §62 forbids any modifications except those technically required by the method of replication.

This was discussed in 2007 at Commons talk:Freedom of panorama/Archive 1#Germany, but the consequences are unclear - the discussion became distracted away from article 62 paragraph (3) that I am specifically concerned about (see [1] under "Article 62 Prohibition of Alteration". I am only concerned with the copyright implications, not the moral or other non-copyright restrictions.

Has Commons revisited this part of German law and how it affects the license text on affected images? -84user (talk) 16:38, 4 August 2012 (UTC) (German wikipedia discussed this here - search for "62" - but without concluding anything as far as I can make out. -84user (talk) 16:55, 4 August 2012 (UTC))

It's been discussed several times; I think Mexico has a similar clause. I think the feeling in that discussion was that the modification clause is really related to moral rights, not the economic right, and that's the way that sort of clause has generally been treated since then. I.e., don't try to modify the appearance of the underlying work such that it misrepresents the underlying work. Obviously, if you're making a painting of a scene containing a statue, it's not going to be an exact representation -- it's going to be modified somewhat (by virtue of it being a painting) and is a derivative work, and that seems to be clearly allowed by the law. But it would probably cross the line to paint in an extra leg on the statue, or something like that, making someone believe that feature exists in reality. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:57, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback, yes I see the English translation of the German law lists "Moral Rights of Authors" under section IV "Scope of Copyright" which includes "Article 14 Distortion of the Work". As long as Commons have considered the issue I'm happy, although it is curious why "Article 62 Prohibition of Alteration" is there if it is to have no effect. -84user (talk) 21:53, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Well, most of the usages described in that section are situations where it's legal to use a copyrighted work directly; not necessarily the specialized derivative situation of the freedom of panorama article, so I imagine it's more for those situations (using a copyrighted work directly). And also, it explicit references article 39, which notes the similar "alteration" restriction applies even to those who own the economic right, seeming to make clear it is referring to moral rights restrictions. I think that sentence is just to make clear that the restrictions which owners of the economic right are subject to (article 39) also apply to usages where non-owners make allowable use of works in specialized situations. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:16, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

It looks like the question I just brought to Commons:Village pump/Copyright#Limits on images taken under Panoramafreiheit? based on a posting to my talk page by Mediatus (talk · contribs) may be closely related to this. Someone may want to comment there, or refer that discussion back to this one. My apologies if I'm scattering the discussion, I did not notice this until I had posted to Commons:Village pump/Copyright. - Jmabel ! talk 19:29, 5 August 2012 (UTC)


Why delete files, for example Commons:Deletion requests/File:Roma 2011 08 22 Palazzo INAIL lato dx.jpg and very many other. This is foto of building on the public street in the city. Reason of delete: COM:FOP#Italy. This is nonsense. You can not take photos of the building who lies on the public street? Come to your senses a little. Second: photos of the building who lies on the public street not subject to law any country. Third: Wikimedia is international project, not subject to law some countries. For years it was ok, recently, maybe some users are bored and form the nonsense. Subtropical-man (talk) 15:57, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Lack of freedom of panorama is a very real issue. See the following examples:
If you don't like the law, ask your politicians to change the law for you. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:07, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
You do not understand. For example, You can't take photos of the Eiffel Tower at night (in French) - this refers to (only) the French law. If they (French politics) do not like it - let do not watch the project of Wikimedia and whole Internet, TV, press and other media, books etc. In Poland, Czech, Australia and over hundred countries in the World - law relates Eiffel Tower, does not include. Subtropical-man (talk) 17:52, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
As discussed in other places in Commons, there is a serious doubt about whether US law allows to free license in the US images of buildings in public places that are free in the country where the building is.
Law might be nonsense, but unfortunately it's law.
Furthermore, Commons policy is to abide the law in the US (where Commons servers are) and source country of image.--Pere prlpz (talk) 18:01, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
OK, servers of Wikimedia lies in US and their rights (law) must be respected. Law of rest countries - not. Returning to the topic. Similarly, see File:Nazi Swastika.svg. This symbol is prohibited in Germany and in Poland, but exist on Wikimedia. Why? Because Internet and Wikimedia is not Germany or Poland territory, international Internet not subject to German or Polish law. Individual national law does not apply to Internet content, including French Eiffel Tower etc. Subtropical-man (talk) 18:10, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) The swastika restriction is not a copyright restriction but a freedom of speech restriction. Similarly, Commons may host images related to Falun Gong, despite them presumably being illegal in China, since it is not a copyright restriction but a freedom of speech restriction. However, COM:IDENT is an exception: that's a freedom of speech restriction which is recognised here. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:16, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
OK, still, however, is the basic issue - "In Poland, Czech, Australia and over hundred countries in the World - law relates Eiffel Tower, does not include" / "international Internet not subject to German or Polish (edit: or any individual national law). Individual national law does not apply to Internet content, including French Eiffel Tower etc" (unless it relates to the content on a server in this country). You can't take photos of the Eiffel Tower at night in France? OK. This law exist only in France, if they catch (when take the picture) - you will get the mandate. International Internet is not subject to the law of any indywidual countries in the World. Subtropical-man (talk) 18:24, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Uploading, hosting and viewing (or downloading) a file in the Internet is subject to:
  • Law of the country from you are uploading the file.
  • And law of the country where the server lies (e.g. where the file is hosted).
  • And law of the country where the file is downloaded.
Then you must abide this three laws. Sometimes, law of the country of the author of the file, law of the place where the file was created and law of other countries related to the objects depicted in the file of the making of the file matter sometimes, too.
You can see that Internet is subject to law of countries in the World.--Pere prlpz (talk) 18:34, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Ad 2 - yes, law of the country where the server lies (e.g. where the file is hosted), Ad 1 - no, Internet not subject to the country where user uploading the file - only user who uploading the file subject to this country law. Ad 3 - no, Internet not subject to the country where user downloading the file - only user who downloading the file subject to this country law. Internet do not break the individual country law because has a picture, which in a X-country is not allowed. Only user who uploading/downloading the file subject to this country law. This user do so at your own risk. Just to give a warning (info) when uploading/downloading a file. Subtropical-man (talk) 18:41, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
You're only legally bound by the laws of the countries where you have a physical presence. If you're a Russian in Russia (with no multinational assets), you have to follow Russian law. The server people have to worry about the law of their country, and the downloaders have to worry about their law. A user in China can upload seditious material to a server in the US, and the US operators don't have to worry about Chinese law. A user in the US can legally download material that's seditious in China from a server in US.
I think US servers and users are legally okay with pictures of buildings taken in France under US law. I'll note that copyright law says nothing about the location of the photograph; photos taken by an American in France and published on the US are American works, though a French court may rule they're derivative of French works.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:23, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
You want to fight against the rule that the law of the nation of origin matters to Commons? Do so. You want to make an exception for local FoP? Do so (though American FoP is more restrictive than that of some other nations, so that could cut both ways. Legally our obligations are unclear.) But I don't suggest starting it by saying that this is nonsense or that no laws apply here. Read up on the situation and Commons policy, and start a new discussion when you can show you understand the current situation.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:23, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

My understanding of the Commons policy that requires a file to be freely usable both in the US and in the country of origin is that it is to ensure that the content on the Commons is easily usable by anyone in the world. Therefore, it is not only an issue of whether it is easy for a copyright owner to sue in the US or not. The files in the Commons are less useful if they can only be used freely in the US but, for copyright reasons, are not usable in other countries. The Commons might also risk being blocked in such countries for hosting copyrighted material without permission. — Cheers, JackLee talk 04:28, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

As for the last sentence, I found it doubtful, and of less of a concern then the actual occurrences of us being blocked for censorship (nudity and politics). I know of no instances of the Internet Archive or Project Gutenberg being blocked for foreign copyright infringement.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:42, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Right, though we do not require PD status in every country, so we do host material which is still copyrighted in some countries. Being PD in the country of origin though means it is a) PD for the most likely interested users and the original copyright owner, and b) PD in all countries which use the rule of the shorter term (which is many, though many also do not). Also keep in mind that while taking photos of buildings is generally OK, and using them for personal use, or educational use on blogs or encyclopedias is also almost always fine, there are commercial contexts where it is not -- and Commons, being used for more purposes than just the encyclopedia projects, wants to make sure works hosted here are free for those as well. Photos of buildings should be fine on the English Wikipedia with the en:Template:FoP-USonly tag. They may also be fine locally on other projects with an EDP policy. Unfortunately, there have been some European court cases which have been resolved in favor of the architect, and others which were not but only because the photos in question were not primarily of the building in question, but instead of a wider subject where the building was only a part (such as a skyline, or a picture of a street the building happens to be on, or a picture of an entire plaza with a copyrighted element in there), indicating that photos primarily of the building are sometimes a problem in those countries. While Wikimedia's use would hardly ever be one of those problematic situations, only hosting "free" media is part of our cornerstone (and mandated by the WMF, so it's not something Commons can ignore). Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:53, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Furthermore, if we decided to follow only US law, we should be more strict about it. Most of our FoP content would fail to comply with US-FoP rules, and in the end we would delete a lot of files that we have now.--Pere prlpz (talk) 08:18, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
So, instead of removing x% of files from the Wikimedia, I proposed to give a warning/information (as a template) to this files. If we do not, Wikimedia will be the biggest laughing stock in the Internet and media. Subtropical-man (talk) 16:12, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Are you even aware of our existing FOP-templates? --Túrelio (talk) 16:15, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
OK, this templates can be :-) We must finally stop delete files, only use the information templates on this files. Subtropical-man (talk) 16:17, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
This makes some sense. Since beginning, Commons policy has avoided being US-centred by focusing in files being free in source country, and trying to ignore US restrictions for non-US works. This position became untenable after court ruling about URAA that makes us delete files free in source country but not in the US, and at any time we could even be forced to delete files that are free due to FoP in source country but don't comply FoP rules in USA. Some time ago, this policy made Commons more international, but now it just puts double restriction on us.
Then, since we can't longer ignore US law, it would be a good idea to follow only US law and forget restrictions about freedom in source country. To help reusers, we only need to tag every file with the source country status - just as we do now - and we can even provide some guidelines or tags about reusing content in other countries different than US and source country.
This wouldn't probably be as international as we would like, but it would be as useful and free as possible - both for Wikimedia projects and reusers worldwide.
And of course, the Commons-abroad servers often discussed would be a good help to take profit from differences between US and other countries law.--Pere prlpz (talk) 21:43, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
"to follow only US law and forget restrictions about freedom in source country" wouldn't work as not only the uploader (if identifiable) but also the WMF could still be sucessfully sued in the source country - e.g. if you're a copyright owner from France, and the work depicted is not restricted in the U.S., you can't sue the WMF in the U.S. - but very well in France; the WMF having their legal seat in the U.S. doesn't preclude this (see e.g. the Loriot decision by a Berlin court). Gestumblindi (talk) 00:21, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, if you're a copyright owner from France, you may be able to sue the WMF in France ... even if we consider it a US work and it's out of copyright in the US. Basically the only safe set of rules is for the authors to have died 100 years ago (or creation 120 years ago if anonymous) and publication to have occurred before 1923. Otherwise, somewhere in the world, the work might well be copyright.
No, the rule of the shorter term doesn't save us, even where it applies. Take a work first published by a French author in the US; is the mere fact that it is out of copyright in the US going to make the France keep it out of copyright? Even if so, we can put first publication in the US and publication within 30 days in France.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:37, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Buildings designed by a firm

Often a lot of modern skyscrapers in France, Italy, UAE, etc. are designed by a company, with no individual author listed. How do I go about determining the copyright expiry date for buildings in each of those countries? -- King of ♠ 19:11, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Many common law countries, including the US, recognize corporate authorship for copyright purposes, such as through a en:work for hire. Other countries, particularly those using civil law (including EU law), instead have "en:authors' rights" (droit d’auteur in French), which include both the economic rights traditionally associated with copyright as well as certain inalienable moral rights. Authors' rights are usually initially owned by the natural person or people who created the work (though an employer might get an automatic exclusive license), and in some cases there are restrictions on transfers (e.g., Germany only allows transfers through inheritance), so in those cases, the building might be considered a collaborative work owned by all the joint authors. Tl;dr, it depends on the country. cmadler (talk) 13:46, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

FoP in France

I suggest we delete/move the paragraph in COM:FOP#France about owner's rights (beginning with 'related matter'), as it's a non-copyright restriction. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 12:51, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Monument aux morts

I am have difficulty with exception. I had a gut feeling that Monument aux morts as a civic collective construction as detailed in ref 7 of Project page fell within one of the named exceptions- and was happy to upload images of Paul Dardé (mort 1963) figures for the Monument aux morts, at Lodève, Herault. Images of his work. It is on the Palissy Index and the RF Gouvernment seem only to be concerned with the photographers rights. The FoP exceptions detailed [2] and particularly 3,5,8 & 9 need to be investigated- particularly for pixel restricted images. Has anyone been here?--ClemRutter (talk) 20:40, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

FOP in Côte d'Ivoire o.k. for cinematography or television, but not for photography?

Our entry for FOP in Côte d'Ivoire states "not o.k." and cites article 34 of the respective copyright law. Indeed the text[3] hosted on the WIPO website says "Works of art, including works of architecture, permanently located in a public place may be reproduced and made available to the public by means of cinematography or television.", but doesn't mention photography. Is that (resp. our conclusion) reasonable? Could a French-native speaker check the original law or a legal commentary about whether freedom-of-panorama exemption is indeed not valid for conventional photography in Côte d'Ivoire? --Túrelio (talk) 07:33, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Not a French reader/speaker, so I can't comment on the accuracy of the translation, but it's certainly reasonable; South Africa has a very similar clause (see discussion immediately above). cmadler (talk) 12:59, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Original text is "par le moyen de la cinématographie ou par voie de télévision", so translation is correct. But terms "moyen de la cinématographie" nor "voie de télévision" (neither "cinématographie" or "télévision") are not defined inside the law, so for definitive conslusion CdI lawyer review is needed. In fact most of country entries on that list need local lawyer review (despite that hundreds of files are deleted based on that list). --Jklamo (talk) 11:05, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
In the absence of any other definition, it's safe to assume "cinématographie" and "télévision" are to be understood according to the standard French definition, which is also the same definition as "cinematography" and "television". Jastrow (Λέγετε) 13:34, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
And that would exclude (conventional) photography, right? --Túrelio (talk) 21:10, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, “cinématographie” is literally about moving pictures: if it doesn't move, it's not OK. I agree the way the law is written is rather weird: I don't understand for instance what art.32 (“or broadcasting or transmission by wire to the public”) means exactly. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 08:59, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
No doubt "broadcasting" is the transmission of audio and video through the airwaves, while "transmission by wire" is transmission through cables (e.g., cable TV and Internet transmissions). — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:40, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
I understand what the words mean, by I don't see the point of this provision. I mean, the law already mentions photography and ‘audiovisual presentation’. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 10:49, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
OK, so is it OK if you place your camera on a tripod with wheels and move the tripod in any direction whilst recording a film for a few seconds? A photo of a building is more convenient, but a film of a building is better than nothing. --Stefan4 (talk) 09:50, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
I doubt as this would be an intended bypass of the law. However, it might be interesting if a true still image from a real movie would be covered or not by this regulation. --Túrelio (talk) 09:52, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

FOP in Panama?

Anything known about FOP exemption in Panama? It's not in our list. File:Biomuseo.jpg is by living architect Frank Gehry and thereby still copyrighted. --Túrelio (talk) 21:10, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Added. Seems to be OK. --Jklamo (talk) 21:48, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

South Africa photographs revisited

Commons:Freedom_of_panorama#South_Africa specifically notes "there is no freedom of panorama exemption in South Africa that would permit photographs of artistic works to be taken". Past discussion occurred at Commons talk:Freedom of panorama/Archive 7#anything new about South Africa copyright law? Does anything need further clarification here? I nominated two images containing buildings and sculptures at Commons:Deletion requests/File:South Africa - Anglo-Boer War Memorial-001.jpg and Commons:Deletion requests/File:South Africa - Anglo-Boer War Memorial-003.jpg, which were opposed with the argument that a "photo of an architectural structure is not a copy of the structure and therefore does not constitute a copyright violation." -84user (talk) 13:15, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't think the new definition of copy has the effect asserted. Section 7(a) of the Act states: "Copyright in an artistic work vests the exclusive right to do or to authorize the doing of any of the following acts in the Republic: ... (a) Reproducing the work in any manner or form ...". Section 1(1) defines reproduction in relation to an artistic work as "[including] a version produced by converting the work into a three-dimensional form or, if it is in three dimensions, by converting it into a two-dimensional form". The same section defines artistic work as meaning, "irrespective of the artistic quality thereof", "paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings and photographs" and "works of architecture, being either buildings or models of buildings", among other things. Finally, section 23(1) states: "Copyright shall be infringed by any person, not being the owner of the copyright, who, without the licence of such owner, does or causes any other person to do, in the Republic, any act which the owner has the exclusive rights to do or to authorize." Thus, according to these sections, the following conclusions can be made:
  • Buildings and models of buildings, regardless of their artistic quality, are artistic works.
  • The copyright owner of an artistic work has the exclusive right to reproduce the work in any manner or form.
  • Reproducing a three-dimensional work includes converting it to a two-dimensional form (such as making a two-dimensional photograph of a three-dimensional building).
  • Copyright is infringed if a person does something that the copyright owner has an exclusive right to do (e.g., reproduce an artistic work) without a licence from the copyright owner.
Nowhere in any of these sections is there a reference to copy. It would appear that the new definition of copy is relevant only to section 28 of the Act. Section 28(1) provides that a copyright owner can request the Commissioner for Customs and Excise to treat copies of a copyrighted work as prohibited goods. Section 28(2) states: "This section shall apply to any copy of the work in question made outside the Republic which if it had been made in the Republic would be an infringing copy of the work." Infringing copy, in relation to a literary, musical or artistic work, is defined in section 1(1) as a "a copy thereof". Thus, since "an object shall not be taken to be a copy of a work of architecture unless the object is a building or a model of a building", a copyright owner cannot ask the Commissioner to treat drawings, paintings, photographs, etc., of works of architecture as prohibited goods. But nothing in the Act provides that architectural works in South Africa may now be freely photographed. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:55, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Hmm. Seems right, although the definition would have an impact for the term "infringing copy", and also anywhere the word "copies" is used. That may make it harder to claim actual infringement in some cases. But, technically, wherever "reproduction" is used, that would seem to include photographs of buildings. More interestingly, there is a FoP provision for movies: The copyright in an artistic work shall not be infringed by its reproduction or inclusion in a cinematograph film or a television broadcast or transmission in a diffusion service, if such work is permanently situated in a street, square or a similar public place. So, *videos* of buildings (and permanent sculptures) would seem to be OK. And per the definition of photograph, taking a frame from the movie may not be considered a photograph but still part of the cinematographic work. Kind of an odd situation. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:30, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Although I suppose that you could make a film of a building (which could probably be shorter than 1 s), I don't see why you could take screenshots from the film. Take File:P1020878 Paris VI Rue de Rennes rwk.JPG, for example. This photo contains a copyrighted building (en:Tour Montparnasse), but the photo is allowed (COM:DM). However, you can't crop it by removing the surrounding sky, street and buildings, because the crop would focus on the building. It seems that you can sometimes use a whole work legally, but it may become a copyright violation if you remove (crop) parts of the work. I assume that all depictions of modern South African works have to be in OGV format (and not JPG). --Stefan4 (talk) 20:34, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Because by the definition of "photograph" in their law, the still is not a photograph, but still considered just part of the cinematographic work, and thus would seem to still be covered by the FoP exception for cinematographic works. Arguably, anyways. The France situation is not analogous (and I think the judge called that Tour Montparnasse case the "theory of the accessory" or something like that, not exactly de minimis, but same result yes). Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:36, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually, that sounds like quite an ingenious solution. Not sure how convenient it is to do, though. Is this something we should document at "Commons:Licensing#South Africa"? — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:14, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
So if I get things right, you could make a short cinematographic work (1 s), take a still from the cinematographic work and then upload the still under FoP? You would of course also have to upload the cinematographic work in order to prove that you have made a cinematographic work. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:01, 28 August 2012 (UTC)
Does seem a bit language-lawyerly, but... it may be arguable. Maybe a judge would rule that only "films" are covered by the exception, and a still isn't a film, even if it is still tied to that type of copyright, who knows. If you upload the clip the preview would show a still, of course -- no avoiding that. Very weird situation where films are allowed but photographs are not (unless we are mis-reading that latter aspect). Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:36, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Carl, I'm not convinced by your solution. The law here mentions both a type of content ("cinematograph film") and a type of transmission ("a television broadcast or transmission in a diffusion service"): apparently the photograph of a copyrighted building may be reproduced during a television broadcast. As far as I understand, if your reproduction isn't embedded in pictures that move, it's not OK. Also, I don't know how it works under Common Law, but under the French law, limitations to copyright are of strict interpretation: their meaning is found in their narrowest sense. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 09:30, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
It's certainly debatable -- and yes, a photo as part of a television broadcast is also OK, though that doesn't help us. But the law does say The copyright in an artistic work shall not be infringed by its reproduction or inclusion in a cinematograph film [...], if such work is permanently situated in a street, square or a similar public place. The definition of cinematograph film is any fixation or storage by any means whatsoever on film or any other material of data, signals or a sequence of images capable, when used in conjunction with any other mechanical, electronic or other device, of being seen as a moving picture and of reproduction, and includes the sounds embodied in a sound-track associated with the film, but shall not include a computer program. So, uploading a video clip which shows the building would seem to be perfectly OK. The question is how a still from such a work is treated under the law. It is not a photograph, as the definition of photograph is any product of photography or of any process analogous to photography, but does not include any part of a cinematograph film, so stills are explicitly excluded from that definition. Also, an "infringing copy" of a cinematographic film is defined as a copy of the film or a still photograph made therefrom, so a still is basically considered a copy in that sense. Is a still basically treated as part of the film per the law, which it seems to be, or is it only not treated that way when it comes to the interpretation of the freedom of panorama exception because the still alone is not capable of being seen as a moving image? Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:12, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the fast feedback, however I have used poor examples for this question as South Africa apparantly has a 50 years post mortem (or post certain events) and as the artists died in 1943 and 1944 the work should have entered the public domain. Better examples would be the more modern sculptures in Category:Ivan Mitford-Barberton. -84user (talk) 15:21, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

By the way, I have updated "Commons:Licensing#South Africa". — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:56, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

It may seem counter-intuitive for some work to be OK but a derivative of it which merely consists of taking a sample of it to be not OK, but the situation does exist elsewhere. For example, in COM:DM, you can take a picture of skyscrapers in Paris and upload it to Commons, but you can't crop a skyscraper from it and upload it as a separate image. -- King of ♠ 03:10, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

FOP in Principality of Monaco ?

Any idea about the monegasque law about the freedom of Panorama ? If yes, maybe somebody could add it in the list ?--Jebulon (talk) 20:07, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

FOP in Montenegro

Government of Montenegro have adopted new Law on copyright and related rights published in Official Gazette of Montenegro No 37/11. Law can be seen here, but only in Serbian. In that Law, article 55. says:

Article 55 (Works that are located in public places)

"It is permitted, without obtaining the appropriate property rights and free of charge to use the works permanently displayed in parks, streets, squares and other public places.

Works referred in paragraph 1 of this Article shall not be reproduced in three-dimensional form, used for the same purpose in which uses the original work and used to achieve direct or indirect financial gain."

Is this means that there is no FOP anymore in Montenegro (because of the bold text)? --Smooth_O (talk) 17:42, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Looks like non-commercial FOP to me which isn't accepted on Commons. Gestumblindi (talk) 20:12, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Here is also the Law in English: --Smooth_O (talk) 20:29, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
These are the same stipulations as used in the Slovenian law; see Commons:FOP#Slovenia. --Eleassar (t/p) 11:44, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Same text is in Bosnia and Herzegovina law, so i will change Montenegro status from OK to Not OK.--Smooth_O (talk) 14:30, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Some questions:

  1. Are photos ✓OK if they were taken before the law was changed?
  2. Are photos ✓OK if they were taken in Serbia and Montenegro or Yugoslavia, even if the place of photography currently is located in Montenegro? That is, how do we define the source country if a large country splits up into multiple countries? --Stefan4 (talk) 15:03, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
1) Per Berne Convention, works that were public domain when the act became valid remain public domain. Others are protected according to provisions of the new act. 2) The acts valid in the territory don't simply become invalid when a large country splits up. --Eleassar (t/p) 09:55, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
1) The Berne Convention only states that a work sometimes has to be copyrighted. The convention never says that a work has to be in the public domain. Any country is free to give additional protection in in addition to the protection guaranteed by the Berne Convention. Besides, there are lots of examples where countries have restored copyrights for old public domain works when changing copyright laws. --Stefan4 (talk) 10:23, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
You've misunderstood. It states (Article 18) that if the copyright expired in a certain country, the work can't be copyrighted there anymore. I am aware that there are such examples but it's up to you to prove this happened also in this case. As far as I know it happened only in 1957 in the entire territory of Yugoslavia due to specific political circumstances. --Eleassar (t/p) 10:49, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Article 18 just says that countries aren't required to restore copyrights when a country joins the Berne Convention if a work from that country already is in the public domain in that country. This is why Commons has a {{PD-1996}} template: the United States only restored copyright whenever required by the Berne Convention. It says that countries don't have to provide protection for a work, but it doesn't say that a country mustn't provide any protection for the work. --Stefan4 (talk) 10:56, 29 September 2012 (UTC)


We lost our only picture of the public statue of Hachiko because this says pictures of publicly displayed works, according to Japanese law, may only be used "for non-commercial purposes" and that, "...therefore, such photographs are not free enough for Commons".


First, using a picture to improve a Wikipedia article is a non-commercial purpose, so how does the later clause "therefore" logically follow from the former?

Second, how can we improve the article with a photo of the statue of Hachiko?

Hachiko forever! Chrisrus (talk) 03:58, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Commons requires images to be usable commercially (see Commons:Licensing). Images that are not free enough for Commons can often be uploaded to local projects, since local projects are free to have different policies. Images deleted on Commons can be temporarily undeleted on request to enable transfer to another project. Rd232 (talk) 10:46, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Just to add to what Rd232 said, I believe at least English Wikipedia and Japanese Wikipedia can accept it with policies of w:en:Wikipedia:Non-free content and w:ja:Wikipedia:屋外美術を被写体とする写真の利用方針, respectively. Regarding artistic works in public places, Japanese copyright law provides limited freedom, where it is not allowed to sell copies. Commons has been consistent to host "free" files only, which must include freedom to sell. You might want to read a past discussion to better understand the situation of the statue. --whym (talk) 12:26, 4 October 2012 (UTC)


Is the Oslo Museum breaking Norwegian law ? This image is marked as cc-by-sa-3.0 but images taken and uploaded by commons users of the same Vigeland sculpture are deleted on Commons. Shyamal (talk) 07:56, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Maybe. I think we've seen a number of examples where we're more careful with copyright then museums are. If it is by Gustav Vigeland, then the Norwegian copyright will be over in 2014 and the US copyright will be over 95 years after publication (or now, if they were published before 1923). (We do have to worry about the US copyright where they just have to worry about the Norwegian one.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:37, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Norway has non-commercial FOP. Is the museum using the image commercially? The photo copyright has of course already expired in Norway - see {{PD-Norway50}}. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:23, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Since the museum claims to be releasing this image under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 license, the museum staff is expected to have made sure that they have the right to do do - even asking permission to the copyright holders of the sculpture if needed. Then we can just follow the museum claim, upload this image with the same license and cite the museum as a source.
Anyway, please notice that:
  • This license is just for this picture, and other pictures released by the museum under the same license, but not for any other picture of the same statue.
  • I understand that the licensing by the museum is valid in Norway, but we can't be sure that the museum claim is valid in the United States. Probably the fact that the image is CC-BY-SA in Norway matters in the US, but I'm not sure of result.--Pere prlpz (talk) 18:57, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

FoP based on location of building or nationality of architect?

At Commons:Deletion requests/File:Woluwe-St-Pierre - Hoffmann 050917 (1).jpg, we've seen two DRs of the same image within two months go down very different paths. One side asserts that our freedom of panorama interpretation should be based on where the building is located, while the other believes that it should be based on the nationality of the architect. It appears that we've never really clarified this issue. What does everyone else think?

Note that legally, both interpretations are OK. Under lex loci protectionis, copyright is applied in the country where it is used, so it is fine to host these files on a US server regardless of which foreign country's FoP we're using. However, under moral, practical, or other concerns, what should we consider to be the "country of origin" of the structure in order to comply with Commons' "free in country of origin" rule? -- King of ♠ 06:54, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

We should choose the most favorable case for Commons. Quite simple to determine. ;o) Yann (talk) 07:11, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Are you saying that if on the contrary a Belgian architect designed a building in Austria, we would use FoP of the location now? I don't think we should be able to have it both ways. -- King of ♠ 10:06, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, as we are not endusers, we should base our FoP decision on location of the work. --Túrelio (talk) 07:18, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
I am afraid this has to be the country where the building is located (I am not talking now about the countries which do not exist anymore). This is because the laws of a certain country cover the buildings as well.--Ymblanter (talk) 07:19, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Is there any reason not to use the Berne Convention definition? en:Berne_Convention_for_the_Protection_of_Literary_and_Artistic_Works#Country_of_origin: when a work is published in a signatory country and nowhere else, this is the country of origin. Since buildings are intrinsically only published in one country, that settles the vast majority of cases, since most cases will be in Berne signatory countries. For non-Berne country buildings, the author's nationality provides country of origin if a national of a Berne signatory - except where Article 5(c)(ii) applies :when these [unpublished works or works first published outside the Berne Union] are works of architecture erected in a country of the Union or other artistic works incorporated in a building or other structure located in a country of the Union, the country of origin shall be that country. I don't know when that applies: how are artistic architectural works published without being erected or incorporated in a building?? Rd232 (talk) 08:04, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
My interpretation of lex loci protectionis is that the country of the artist applies: a French painting in the United States falls under the French law. Right ? --Foroa (talk) 08:58, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
How did you reach that conclusion? It's exactly backwards! If the lex loci rule is applied, a French painting seeking copyright protection in the US (eg to act against infringement) falls under US law. However, despite the sweeping statement in the English WP article, the application of lex loci in practice is unclear. See Commons:Lex loci protectionis, which specifically mentions FOP. Rd232 (talk) 09:10, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
I wonder, though the copyright law of the U.S. is rather special. May be, we need to discriminate between permanently (usually) installed and "mobile" original works, such as buildings/statues vs. paintings/photographies. --Túrelio (talk) 09:02, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't see that this matters for determining country of origin. It may of course matter in that some countries provide a more generous FoP than others, but that's only an issue after we've decided which country's rules to apply. Rd232 (talk) 09:10, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. I only mentioned lex loci protectionis to justify that both options are legal for us to do. However, the current discussion is about what "country of origin" means and has nothing to do with lex loci protectionis. -- King of ♠ 10:04, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) For a published architectural work, the country of origin is the country where it was first published. Most countries seem to define buildings as unpublished, requiring that copies (note the plural!) have to be made available to the general public for it to count as publication, but this doesn't change anything: the source country for an unpublished architectural work is the country where the architectural work is permanently located. If the architect is a citizen of a Berne country but the building is in a non-Berne country, my understanding is, however, that the country of origin is the country of citizenship of the architect. However, in terms of FOP, we are talking about the copyright status of the photo, not the copyright status of the building. In other deletion requests, people have determined the country of origin to be the country where the camera was located (thus allowing photos of the en:Joint Security Area if taken from the north but not if taken from the south). A building may be copyrighted even if FOP applies. For example, in Sweden it is possible to take photos of buildings without permission from the architect, but you can't make a full-size 3D copy of the building. --Stefan4 (talk) 10:08, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Hmm... interesting. (Off topic ramble:) Though in your particular case, I think a picture of a North Korean building taken in South Korea should be OK. No reason to believe North Korean copyright would be recognized by South Korea if the country itself isn't even recognized. -- King of ♠ 10:24, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) FOP is only meaningful, when the original work is still copyrighted. It does not take the authorship from the author, but it does somewhat restrict the extension of the author's copyright. --Túrelio (talk) 10:27, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Are you sure about your interpretation of publishing and architectural works: "copies have to be made available to the general public". Copies of architectural works are seldom done. Would offering to sell a house be "making it available for the general public"? I think the only reasonable interpretation is that a building is published when it is erected. In many jurisdictions (as in mine) architectural works are treated specially, so publication is irrelevant for them. --LPfi (talk) 09:03, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
  • This question has come up repeatedly. Unfortunately, different courts (even within the US) have applied different choice of law rules, and there is no way to know for sure what choice of law rule future courts will use. Based on the uncertainty, our general practice has been to retain photos based on the more lenient of the country in which the object is situated and the country in which the photo is taken. See Commons:Freedom of panorama#Choice of law. cmadler (talk) 13:10, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

FOP in the Republic of Macedonia

Republic of Macedonia also have new Law on copyright and related rights from 2010 which can be found here. I wasn't able to find article related to FoP, but please see Article 52 paragraph 11.

(1) The use of a copyright work without remuneration shall apply to the following cases:
11. Use of architectural or sculptural works permanently located in public places (streets, squares, parks, etc.);

According to this article FoP is allowed?

According to the old law from 2002 mentioned here (Commons:Freedom_of_panorama#Macedonia.2C_Republic_of) copyrighted works permanently exposed in parks, streets, squares or other public places shall not be used to obtain an economic benefit. Is this mean that it's not accepteable for Wikimedia Commons because it's for non-comercial use only, although there is ✓OK sign. --Smooth_O (talk) 19:00, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

✓ Done I replaced text about FoP in the Republic of Macedonia. --Smooth_O (talk) 10:21, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
I suggest that you also post the request for the correction of Template:Map-FoP-Europe (or correct it). The Slovenian request should also be completed. --Eleassar (t/p) 09:40, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
 :✓ Done Maps have been updated. --Smooth_O (talk) 10:21, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

What's the meaning of without remuneration? Isn't this a non commercial restriction? English isn't my first language but for me it reads like The use of a copyright work - if you don't get any profit for it - shall apply to the following cases: -- Herby (Vienna) (talk) 18:29, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

I understood the opposite. We need someone to clarify this. --Smooth_O (talk) 20:25, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
"without remuneration" here means without payment to the copyright holder. Any ambiguity in the isolated sentence is resolved by looking at the context within the law - compare especially the use of "remuneration" in article 49/50 to mean "remuneration to the copyright holder". Rd232 (talk) 16:26, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Rd232. (1) is saying that, in the listed circumstances, you can use a copyrighted work without paying the copyright owner. cmadler (talk) 13:07, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, that means that FoP is OK in the Republic of Macedonia as i wrote. --Smooth_O (talk) 16:56, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

FOP for Madagascar

Initiated by a request on :de, I searched at WIPO for FOP legislation of Madagascar. Per this english translation of the currently valid "Law No. 94-036 of 18 September 1995 on Literary and Artistic Property" and specifically its Article 48, which states

  • Notwithstanding the provisions of Title II, Chapter II, on proprietary rights, it shall be permitted, without authorization from the author and without payment of remuneration, to reproduce, to broadcast [ by radio] or to communicate by cable to the public an image of a work of architecture, a work of fine art, a photographic work and a work of applied art that is permanently located in a place open to the public, save where the image of the work is the main subject of this reproduction, broadcast or communication and where it is not used for commercial purposes. (emphasize is mine)

it seems that this country has no Commons-compatible/usable FOP exemption. Nevertheless, for future requests it might be helpful to create an FOP entry for Madagascar in our list. --Túrelio (talk) 07:53, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Yes please. I'm also thinking it would be nice to convert the page into a table, with headings for different types of things (eg buildings, sculptures, indoors/outdoors) to make it easier to see at a glance what's what. Rd232 (talk) 09:28, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
✓ Done finally. --Túrelio (talk) 20:13, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
I won't convert it to a table, though. There are a lot of nuanced explanations for everything which really belong in article format. However, it would be helpful to supplement it with a table. -- King of ♠ 10:42, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I imagined two lines per country, one split into columns for the different headings (buildings/sculptures) and one box across the entire row to contain the notes. Rd232 (talk) 10:50, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I think that File:Freedom of Panorama in Europe.svg is very useful. It would be nice to have similar maps of other parts of the world. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:10, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
So I was thinking having a page like Commons:Freedom of panorama/Summary for the table and keeping the current page as is, or having the table here and moving the current page to Commons:Freedom of panorama/Details. -- King of ♠ 02:51, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
The latter approach is what I'm planning for COM:CRT. Rd232 (talk) 09:20, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
So I think the columns for the table should be: Country/region, Length of copyright term for buildings, Link to relevant copyright law, Buildings in public, Public interiors, Permanent 3D works in public, Permanent 2D works in public. Anything else? -- King of ♠ 10:08, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Disputed states

Most notably, what comes to mind are Kosovo and Palestine. We have the case of a no-FoP disputed state inside an FoP state, and an FoP (I think?) disputed state inside a no-FoP state, respectively. There was a thread at Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2012/08#Why do we respect Kosovan laws?, but the premise that it would not be free even if we considered it part of Serbia due to US recognition of Kosovo and requirement to be free in the US is false; US FoP applies worldwide, so we only need to worry about source country FoP. So the question is: For buildings in Kosovo, whose laws do we follow? For buildings in Palestine, whose laws do we follow? -- King of ♠ 05:36, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Requirement to be free in source country is justified to allow reusing in source country. In disputed territories, when there are two different legislations that give two different results, a file can be free in both legislations, be free in one of them or be free in none of them. I think being free in one of them is enough to allow the file being reused to fulfil Commons mission.
For example, some images taken in Golan Heights may be free in Israel while other images may be free in Syria. We can keep both, although Hebrew and Arab wikipedias can decide to use only the images free under the legislation binding most of their users.--Pere prlpz (talk) 09:38, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
For me, try to use the laws which are in actual effect in the area, if possible. If Kosovo has a specific copyright law, then use that. If Kosovo eventually re-integrates with Serbia, then we'll figure out the situation at the time. Palestine is a little different -- there is no one else really claiming that territory. If there is a Palestinian copyright law, then try to use that. I'm not really sure that Palestine is no-FoP... if their law is still based on British Mandate-era law, then it is based on the UK Copyright Act 1911, which did have FoP. Do you have a link to their current law? Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:53, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Sorry if I wasn't clear, but AFAIK, Kosovo is no-FoP, and Palestine is FoP. -- King of ♠ 04:36, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
OK. Israel's law is also based off that old UK copyright law so they also have FoP. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:02, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Non-US FOP vulnerable to DMCA

I noticed this recent DMCA takedown and this addition to Commons:Freedom of panorama. Should we make more prominent warnings to uploaders and Commons users about this, such at the Germany section and maybe also at German wikipedia? Second, could we advise users to upload additional versions of images with any copyrighted elements cropped or blurred out? I feel that advice should at least minimise the disruptive impact of future DMCA takedowns. -84user (talk) 17:39, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Well the logic of US FOP overriding other countries' FOP in deciding US copyright cases is general, not specific to Germany. This tricky issue has been ignored for quite a while, but with this DMCA takedown, it's suddenly slapped us in the face... And we should probably do something about it - at a minimum, identify and tag the affected files. Rd232 (talk) 17:44, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, now ALL street art and structure should be considered as copyrighted, provided the author did not release it in PD and is alive or died more less than 70 years ago (or is not known and the street art is younger than 95 years). This is quite a lot of images.--Ymblanter (talk) 17:52, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
I think you mean "less than 70 years". --Avenue (talk) 22:59, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Sure, I got lost in a double negation, thanks.--Ymblanter (talk) 23:33, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree that this is not specific of Germany. For the same DMCA takedown images of an sculpture in Barcelona were deleted, overriding FOP-Spain.--Pere prlpz (talk) 20:48, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Oh? I seem to have missed that at COM:DMCA... Rd232 (talk) 21:09, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
See the third artwork listed in the DMCA notice. There are also examples there from other artwork-FoP countries (Netherlands, U.K., perhaps Portugal). --Avenue (talk) 22:59, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
I think it's very important to tag FOP pictures anyway. At the very least, it raises awareness about the issue of FOP. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 20:56, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

In regard to "tagging" there are 2 issues:

  • 1) per my guess, quite a large number of legitimate-only-per-FOP images are not FOP-marked in any way. These have first to be identified and then tagged.
  • 2) a large number of legitimate-only-per-FOP images are categorized as cat:FOP, but do not carry a warning/message-producing FOP-template. Over the last weeks, User:JuTa has been very active in this field and had added country-specific FOP-templates to several thousand cat-only images.

--Túrelio (talk) 21:05, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

I feel Commons:WikiProject Public Domain/Freedom of Panorama review coming on... :( Rd232 (talk) 21:09, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
We also need translations for these tags. For instance {{FoP-Argentina}} and {{FoP-Austria}} are only available in English. These tags should be translated at least in the native language of the interested country and in English. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 21:18, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
If a strong review of FOP were going to be added to the strong review caused to URAA restored copyrights, and we were bound to strictly following US law - which gives such different results than source country - I would feel inclined to support changing the whole licensing police and allowing to upload media free in the USA, although not free in source country. In other words, if we are going to delete public art images in FOP countries, at least we could allow building images in non-FOP countries.--Pere prlpz (talk) 21:53, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. I note two things in what you mentioned. I agree with both, but I just want to add that they could be taken separately. One thing is about the images of buildings. This is possible without changing the principles of the policy, but only clarifying some practices. Some users want to delete images of buildings, but if you dig and ask them a rationale for their view, you will hear all sorts of tentative reasons, often in contradiction with each other. Which shows how their position is not based on a deliberately chosen and defined community policy. The other thing is about dropping the requirement about the source country of media. That requires a change to the policy, but it would probably be a good thing. The requirement about the source country is basically a huge complication, with no real benefit. It requires Commons users to try to play experts about the copyright laws of 150+ countries, which is just impossible, instead of concentrating on and knowing reasonably one Copyright Act. -- Asclepias (talk) 02:49, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
I'd support changing the project scope in that way, provided that works that are unfree in the country of origin are clearly marked as such. cmadler (talk) 15:40, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Maybe we should start by having an RFC, eg Commons:Requests for comment/non-US Freedom of Panorama under US copyright law, to try and clarify how we should handle this issue. Rd232 (talk) 00:43, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

Smallbones made an interesting point at Commons:Village_pump#Not_an_FOP_issue - works "published (standing in open space without copy restrictions) before 1978" might be copyright-free in the U.S. if there's no visible copyright notice at the work itself. And it seems to me that most sculptures in European public spaces don't bear a copyright notice at all. So, many sculptures erected prior to 1978 in European countries with FOP might be fine (in Europe because of FoP, in the U.S. because of the lack of a copyright notice), even Oldenburg ones. Or do I miss somehting important here? Gestumblindi (talk) 18:37, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

URAA. If a work was copyrighted in the country of origin as of the URAA date (1/1/96 in most cases), it is treated as though it had complied with all US copyright formalities (registration, notice, etc.). cmadler (talk) 19:35, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Oh well. Despite the FOP exception? Gestumblindi (talk) 19:53, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
FOP does not negate copyright, it just creates a special category of allowable use (a type of "fair use"), but it seems that this is jurisdictionally based. cmadler (talk) 21:02, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Images unnecessarily tagged as FOP, and distinction building/sculpture

Well, as it seems to become more important which images are not only free according to FOP of their country of origin, but also according to U.S. FOP (buildings only), I think we must try to avoid applying FOP tags too liberally, and also get more specific. For example, I have seen that a big series of pictures from the Swiss city of Basel (those starting with "File:Basel 2012-08 Mattes 1...") has been tagged with {{FoP-Switzerland}}. The series, however, contains a) very old buildings (hundreds of years old) = no FOP tag needed; b) recent buildings = FoP-Switzerland is correct, but {{FoP-US}} might also apply, which was never added to buildings outside the U.S., I think, e.g. for File:Basel 2012-08 Mattes 1 (214).JPG; c) very old sculptures (hundreds of years old), e.g. File:Basel 2012-08 Mattes 1 (158).JPG (this is a fountain sculpture of 1530) which are free according to Swiss as well as to U.S. law = no FOP tag neeed; and finally, d) the problematic case of recent sculptures which might be fine according to Swiss FOP, but not in the U.S. Gestumblindi (talk) 21:45, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Sure and d'accord for the mentioned sculpture. However, IMO our current problem is that many legal-only-by-FOP images on Commons either aren't FOP-tagged at all or are only categorized as FOP but without the FOP-warning-template. If enough users would take care of this backlog, it might be possible to make a thorough FOP-needed-or-not assessment (as you have done above) before/when tagging them. --Túrelio (talk) 21:58, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
To work on this backlog something like a "template a lot" would b nice to have. Similar to cat-a-lot as gadget or simply as a JS-File which could be implemented to users "commons.js" willing to help in that case. Then it would be posible by "walking" through categories using this gadget marking all or some images withing those cats and quickly add the country specific FoP-template. Where its allready set the gadget should skip automaticly the images. We would need a good javaschript writer to create and bugfix such a gadget. Any Ideas who is able and willing to help here? --JuTa 22:17, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not expert as a robotist, but I think standard bots in PyWikipediabot can put a template on all files of a category. A combination of cat-a-lot and such a bot might ease the work.--Pere prlpz (talk) 22:56, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Well I think, a minmum of visual checks if a sth. FOP-relevant is on the indivudual images would be sensefull. With cat-a-lot I can mark all images of a category but unmark a few afterwards because I see nothing FOP-relevant on them and with on klick process all others. A bot could only do all or none within a category. A bot could not visible check the images. A human looking at the catgory content could. Ceers. --JuTa 23:06, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Have you tried VisualFileChange.js? Rd232 (talk) 00:21, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Just tried. Not bad. --JuTa 01:19, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
It's often not obvious whether a building or sculpture is out of copyright, and some research may be needed. Would a {{notFOPbecause|reason}} template be useful to avoid unnecessary rework? How should we handle buildings that are out of copyright in the source country, but not in the US (or vice versa)? --Avenue (talk) 00:37, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Excellent question for the RFC? Rd232 (talk) 01:25, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Let's move this "what to do" discussion to Commons:Requests for comment/non-US Freedom of Panorama under US copyright law. Thanks, Rd232 (talk) 01:05, 13 November 2012 (UTC)