Commons talk:Freedom of panorama/Archive 9

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photography permission in Italy - Greece?

Last week I was in Rome.. and while visiting the park where Palatino is.. there was a sign that if you make photographs for non-personal use (ie commercial) you need a permission.

I search internet and I found out this page Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Foreign Press Handbook. If you check this page it is mentioned "Photo of film shoots on State-owned property.
 In the case of photography or filming on State-owned cultural property of historical, artistic or architectural interest, current law states that a permit must be issued by the competent Soprintendenti delle Belle Arti (Bureau of Fine Arts)". For example, do you need a special permission to make a photo a monument like Colosseo? Ggia (talk) 16:57, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

This would really be ridiculous. Anyway, Commons usually does not honor these sort of restrictions as they are not copyright-related — assuming the depicted buildings are out of copyright (Italy has no freedom of panorama exemption). However, the uploader, especially if identified by his/her realname, should think about personal problems before uploading such material. --Túrelio (talk) 17:05, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
If you look the website of Greek Ministry of Culture and Tourism (for Greece) there is similar restriction.. there is also a application form for requesting permission to photograph archaeological monuments: Request Form for a permission to use images of archaeological content on the internet or Request Form For a Permit to film-video record in Greek museum, monuments and archaeological sites. The full list of these docs is from here (the english page is here but the links do not work). Ggia (talk) 17:57, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
So far the consensus on Commons has been to ignore such institutional restrictions often sought by administrators of cultural and/or natural heritage in many countries, as Túrelio explained. That raises of course the question of coherency with our insistence on the assumed implications of the Berne Convention on commercial copyright in the same countries. --ELEKHHT 22:28, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand what you mean by your last sentence.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:56, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
I meant that we selectively choose to follow legislation (as we interpret it) in the source country, but as you seem to be a lawyer you might know better. --ELEKHHT 21:21, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
But do somebody needs a permission to upload something like an archaeological monument from Greece or Italy to commons? What strange restrictions are these from the Greek ministry of culture? Ggia (talk) 13:37, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
I think that Túrelio and Elekhh have answered the question. There are no restrictions of that type coming from the side of the Commons policy. However, since you live in Greece, if you are scared personally that the minister of Culture of Greece will come knock at your door and demand the payment of fees because you have published a photo under a free license and because that photo was reused by someone somewhere in the world for commercial purposes, then don't publish it. It's your decision. For reference, the texts you refer to for Greece are the law 3028 of 2002 (English translation) and the ministerial decision of 2005 on the determination of fees (text in Greek available at [1]. Note that the taking of photos without flash for non-commercial purposes is free). Those texts are non-copyright dispositions. They are not the copyright law. -- Asclepias (talk) 16:30, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Unfree restrictions on FoP-Mexico

Commons:Freedom_of_panorama#Mexico states:

Literary and artistic works already published may be used, provided that normal commercialization of the work is not affected, without authorization from the copyright holder and without remuneration, invariably citing the source and without altering the work [...]

This concerns me, for two reasons:

  1. There are many uses of a photograph of a work, commercial and noncommercial, that may be considered to "affect normal commercialization" of the work. For example, if a street vendor sells figurines as souvenirs, and I open a stand next door selling photos of those figurines for 1/10th the price, I am obviously interfering directly with their business.
  2. "without altering the work" - are we talking here about altering the original work, or would digital alteration of a photo depicting the work be a violation of this provision? If so, it could also amount to an unacceptable limitation.

Thoughts? Dcoetzee (talk) 17:02, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

It's come up before and been discussed. The "normal use" of the work part is straight from the text of the Berne Convention and is ill-defined, but countries put it in their laws anyways to ensure compliance. I figure it probably means that e.g. a photo of a publicly-displayed photo (which amounts to a copy of the original) would not be allowed, and that sort of thing. The second part is more moral rights we think (don't make it appear the original is something that was not actually there), and German law has something very similar, which has also been discussed ad nauseum. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:28, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Hmm okay if that's your interpretation. Dcoetzee (talk) 17:33, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Several countries more explicitly disallow same-type reproductions (i.e. no photos of public photos, no sculptures of public sculptures, etc.) and some just include the Berne language. You asked before at Commons_talk:Freedom_of_panorama/Archive_2#Mexico_and_no_derivatives.3F; more discussion at Commons_talk:Freedom_of_panorama/Archive_1#Mexico. One discussion on the similar German bit is at Commons_talk:Freedom_of_panorama/Archive_1#Germany. I think there were other discussions which pre-dated this page. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:45, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Congo (Democratic Republic of the)

I have just added COM:FOP#Congo (Democratic Republic of the). Please proofread. Teofilo (talk) 18:26, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

North Korean copyright


저작권자의 허가를 받지 않고 저작물을 리용하는 경우는 다음과 같다.

  1. 개인 또는 가정적 범위에서 쓰기 위하여 저작물을 복제, 번역할 경우
  2. 도서관, 문헌고, 박물관, 기념관 같은 곳에서 저작물을 보존, 진열, 열람, 대출용으로 복제할 경우
  3. 학교 교육을 위하여 저작물을 복제, 방송, 개작할 경우
  4. 국가관리에 필요한 저작물을 복제, 방송하거나, 편집물 작성에 리용할 경우
  5. 저작물을 소개하기 위하여 방송하거나 신문, 정기간행물에 내는 경우
  6. 저작물을 인용할 경우
  7. 저작물을 무료로 공연할 경우
  8. 공공장소에 설치된 저작물을 복제할 경우
  9. 맹인을 위하여 저작물을 록음하거나 점자로 복제할 경우

Article 32

Without the permission of the copyright owner if the work is as follows Lyons.

  1. Write a work for personal or clone the presumptive range, if translated
  2. Library, munheongo, museums and memorials in places such as work to preserve, display, view, for a loan if you want to clone
  3. Replication works for schools, broadcast, adapt, if
  4. Replicate the work required to state officials, broadcast, or to create compilations if riyonghal
  5. To introduce the work broadcast or newspapers and periodicals in the cases where
  6. If the work cited
  7. If you play it for free work
  8. When installed in a public place to replicate the work
  9. Rokeumhageona work in Braille for the blind if you want to clone


Above is machine translation of the Korean law. A human should review it. It seems like NK law is far more relaxed. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 21:21, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

The translation from wipo [2] looks better than the machine translation. The relevant part for the FoP seems to be paragraph 8 of article 32, already quoted in the FoP page. -- Asclepias (talk) 21:48, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes but the law allows far more than FOP of statues maybe. Like are photograps of people made in public places PD? -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 22:10, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
This page is particularly about whether photographs of public, copyright works are considered derivative (meaning the photographer needs to get permission from the sculpture artist for many uses). You are correct, that it seems that such photos in North Korea are not derivative, and that is what the page currently says. Privacy rights (which govern photos of people) are governed by completely separate laws, as it is not related to copyright. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:33, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
It's a very interesting article... quoting from the WIPO translation: "A copyrighted work may be used without the permission of the copyright holder in the following cases: ... 7. when a copyrighted work is performed free of charge" - what is THAT supposed to mean, I wonder? Gestumblindi (talk) 01:04, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm guessing that refers to public performances of literary, musical or dramatic works which people may attend without payment. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:47, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, it is about non-public IP. Freedom of panorama is established by provision 32.8. Artem Karimov (talk) 10:16, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I noticed page which has a lot of images from NK. If above law is correct, all of these are FOP covered by default? -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 20:29, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

USA "buildings" and FOP

Both of these

contain useful information on the following subjects:

  • What is covered by the "architecture" copyright in the USA (buildings, but not bridges)
  • Large monuments -- The Lincoln Memorial -- are sculpture, not buildings because they are primarily monuments and not meant for human habitation.

     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 12:22, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Yep, though they do not mention the Lincoln Memorial -- just the Washington Monument and Statue of Liberty, i.e. supersized sculpture. Other than the actual statue, I'm not sure that would include the Lincoln Memorial (thankfully a moot point due to its age). The legislative notes from the 1976 Act contained the following paragraph: A special situation is presented by architectural works. An architect’s plans and drawings would, of course, be protected by copyright, but the extent to which that protection would extend to the structure depicted would depend on the circumstances. Purely nonfunctional or monumental structures would be subject to full copyright protection under the bill, and the same would be true of artistic sculpture or decorative ornamentation or embellishment added to a structure. On the other hand, where the only elements of shape in an architectural design are conceptually inseparable from the utilitarian aspects of the structure, copyright protection for the design would not be available. Even for the new law, 37 CFR 202.11 specifies: The term building means humanly habitable structures that are intended to be both permanent and stationary, such as houses and office buildings, and other permanent and stationary structures designed for human occupancy, including but not limited to churches, museums, gazebos, and garden pavilions. So, something that provides shelter (like the main structure of the Lincoln Memorial) would be a building to me, as it has a utilitarian purpose, and not sculpture. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:25, 9 January 2012 (UTC)


Lebanon is marked as X mark.svg Not OK although according to chapter 31 of the Law No. 75 of 1999 on the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property:

The media shall be permitted, without the authorization of the author and without obligation to pay him compensation, to publish pictures of architectural works, visual artistic works, photographic works or works of applied art, provided that such works are available in places open to the public.

It is a pure freedom of panorama provision. Artem Karimov (talk) 10:08, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

The permission is not available to everybody. Only "the media" can use it. If one reads only the translation in English out of the context, one might argue that the expression "the media" is ambiguous and might include many things, but in the context it appears to have a meaning closer to "the news media". I do not read arabic, but the WIPO website has also a translation in French of this Lebanese law, where the expression used is "les organes d'information", which clearly means "the news media". -- Asclepias (talk) 13:37, 23 January 2012 (UTC)


I don't know whether Oman does have FOP. -- 19:49, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Their law is here; I don't see anything which directly addresses the question. Article 20 is the section for exceptions to copyright, and nothing of this sort seems to be listed there, at first glance. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:47, 7 February 2012 (UTC)


Could it be that Russian law has been misread. It says 'open to public places', not 'public places', which appears to be a different term in law. Elk Salmon (talk) 13:16, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

The primary issue with the law (for our purposes anyways) is that such photographs are allowed for only non-commercial uses -- the scope of the term "public place" or "open to public place" doesn't change that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:42, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Although I'm not a native speaker of English, "a place open to public access" or "a place open to the public" sound to me like more understandable translations than "places of public resort", like the page currently says. Feel free to ameliorate the wording of the page to reflect the Russian text as accurately as possible. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:47, 7 February 2012 (UTC)


Hoi, would someone be so kind to check my English in Commons:Freedom of panorama#Germany? Thanks, —Pill (talk) 14:02, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Your additions seem okay to me. Though, I think the section on Germany has got very long; perhaps some of it could be moved to a sub-page. CT Cooper · talk 23:43, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
He he, but FOP was invented in Germany ;-). --Túrelio (talk) 08:13, 9 February 2012 (UTC)


Why Lithuanian marked as non free? Full article:

1. It shall be permissibleto carry out the following acts without the authorisation of an author and without a remuneration: 1) to reproduce and make available to the public works of architecture and sculptures, made to be located permanently in public places., except exhibitions and museums; 2) to use a project, design, sketch or model of a building or any other construction works for the purpose of reconstructing this building or construction works. 2. The provisions of subparagraph 1 of paragraph 1 of this Article shall not be applied when a work of architecture or a sculpture is the main subject of representation in the reproduction, and when this is done for direct or indirect commercial advantage. 3. The provisions of subparagraph 1 of paragraph 1 of this Article shall not grant the right to reproduce works of architecture in the form of buildings or other construction works, and to make copies of sculptures.

I don't see any of restrictions not to post pictures of buildings and panorama. It would be illegal only if wikipedia would get paid for seeing the picture. --Bearas (talk) 18:20, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

The reason is that content on the Commons must not only be available for use on Wikipedia, but also for people to download and use for all purposes, including commercial purposes. Therefore, we can't accept content that can only be reused for non-commercial purposes. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:55, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Russia (again…)

Anyone know if there have been any progress on possible FOP in Russia? Danmichaelo (talk) 16:08, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Well, "it's a long, long journey to the capital city." The draft goes through numerous committees, ministries and so on. The latest news about it are from February 2012 -- and FOP for buildings was still present in the draft, but FOP for sculptures was thrown out. But it's better to ask User:Ctac -- he works on this problem. Trycatch (talk) 17:05, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Trycatch. I'm very glad to hear it's still active, and that there is a commited user working with it! – Danmichaelo (δ) 08:29, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Court cases

I know some owners of buildings / architects are more assertive than others, but how many actual court cases have there been? I'm thinking about clear cut cases where the court affirms the architect's copyright and that it has been violated by a photographer?--Nilfanion (talk) 12:11, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

fr:Liberté de panorama lists several. The German article mentions several cases in its references, though I'm not sure which ones deal directly with the issue, and which ones deal with particular aspects only (like what is a public place). They did have a case where an architect successfully sued over a poster of the en:Hundertwasserhaus; the architect was unable to sue in Austria due to FOP (which is where the building is, and where the poster company was from), but was successful in Germany, where the poster was also marketed, because the German law has an additional FOP restriction that such photos must be taken from a public place, which the poster photo was not. There was a previous suggestion that we have a page, or section on this page, which lists actual court cases. While that is a good idea, I've not done one. I'm guessing most of the actual cases will be from Europe -- the U.S. won't have any for architecture of course, although there are some for public sculpture. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:40, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
OK, thanks - and I agree with suggestion a page on Commons might be helpful. Having such a page would also emphasise the importance of having rules on FOP, and not just we should ignore it because it gets in the way.
I also realise, many (if not most) cases will be settled out of court - I've seen mention of US sculptors using cease-and-desist letters for instance.--Nilfanion (talk) 22:05, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
Off the top of my head, a sculpture in Batman Forever was considered an architectural work, and there was a decorated retaining wall in LA that was called architecture (that I can't find details on, and I wouldn't be surprised if the details I gave were wrong). [3] is an interesting article; US-wise, it talks about the Batman case and the Korean War Memorial case, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (which they tried to trademark and prevent photos that way--no dice) and the Sydney Opera House trademark (no case, [4] argues that's why they've got away with using a trademark to stop photos.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:36, 19 March 2012 (UTC)


I'm not sure if the interpretation of Iran's law is completely accurate. That interpretation is in line with the English translation sited (from the Unesco website) which translated section 7 article 1 as "Architectural works, designs, sketches and buildings". However, it is not a certified translation, and it happens to be incorrect. A word by word translation of section 7 article 1 is "Architectural works such as designs and sketches of buildings". Using this translation, the building itself is probably not subject to the law (only the design is). Legal interpretation of this needs to be done by an attorney of law. Huji (talk) 00:41, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

It says at the top that the official English translation of Iran's Copyright Law was communicated to Unesco by letter of April 20, 1970, of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. I would have to think the translation was done by lawyers, at least at the time. Are you saying that "buildings" is not a standalone element there? It's also possible the catchall number 12 in the list would apply to buildings as well. If we can find a lawyer who understands Farsi, that could always help though. Perhaps it was a more U.S.-style (at the time anyways) protection of architectural drawings but not the actual building. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:43, 24 March 2012 (UTC)
This issue has been discussed before and I think providing a link to that discussion would help the community to refrain from repeating all of those discussions. I think Huji is wrong here. The design and architecture of the building is protected by the Iranian copyright law and it doesn't matter if it's on paper or depicted through a model or even depicted through the original building. Let me reword my statements by giving an example. The design and architecture of Azadi Tower is unique in the world and this is exactly what is protected by the Iranian copyright law, not just some sketches on paper! (Azadi Tower is just an example and I know that it is out of copyright now) Americophile 04:34, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

ترجیح می‌دهم قسمت اصلی سخنم را به فارسی هم بنویسم چون احساس می‌کنم نتوانستم منظورم را به خوبی در قالب جملات انگلیسی بیان کنم. آنچه توسط قانون حفاظت می‌شود طرح و اندیشه‌ای است که پشتِ کار خوابیده و نه صرفاً چند تکه کاغذ که برای اولین بار آن طرح و اندیشه بر روی آن‌ها نقش بسته! فرقی نمی‌کند این طرح یا اندیشه روی کاغذ باشد، یا روی ماکت و یا روی اثر اصلی. Americophile 04:34, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

I would like to second Huji's statement here, Americophile understanding of copyright law is wrong and he is tagging most of images here wrongly to be deleted, he is harming project with his weak understanding of this law Mardetanha talk 15:16, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Can we please cut down on this type of statement? By talking about facts instead of people, we can find facts instead of raising emotions and letting tempers obscure things. Personally your statement did nothing to convince me that Iran's copyright law doesn't protect architecture like just about everyone else's does, when that's the reading of the English translation delivered to UNESCO.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:43, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
We have already discussed this, and the result was clear. Mardetanha talk 10:27, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

About FOP, it is clear that Iran's law fa has no such exception, so any work that is normally protected by copyright would be copyrighted in photos too. about the part 7 of article 2, it is pretty obvious that "design" is protected by copyright and that includes exterior designs too, if a building's design is protected, it would be illegal if you reproduce it either by using sketches or photos of that building. also notice that part 5 already talks about drawings and designs and part 7 is more about architectural works than sketches. however, I don't agree with nominating photos of all building for deletion, any work should have some originality to be protectable by copyright and not every work is copyrightable.  ■ MMXX  talk 17:34, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Well... prior to 1990, the U.S. protected the architectural drawings of a building (as graphic works), but they did not protect the actual building itself. Given that the Iranian law is from 1970, the thought process may have been more along those lines -- it was a different era. On the other hand, the fact that architectural works is a separate line item is a bit more problematic, and does seem to orient more towards the Berne definitions (the old U.S. law didn't mention architectural works specifically, just "pictorial" or "graphical" works). And it is possible that by "designs" they do include the constructed building -- not sure what that is referring to, if something separate from the drawings. I also wonder about item number 12 in the Iranian law, "Any other original works produced from combinations of the aforementioned works" -- not sure if that is a catchall, or if it refers to collective works (i.e. organized collections of other works). Obviously, many uses of photographs of buildings are fine -- for example, despite being derivative works, photos of copyrighted U.S. sculpture are fine in almost all circumstances (due to fair use); it's probably only the direct commercial stuff which is a problem (say, a postcard, or as ruled in court recently, a stamp). But that last bit still makes them "non-free". Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:56, 27 March 2012 (UTC)


If an old building is illuminated would Freedom of panorama not be needed in the day but needed at night? WereSpielChequers (talk) 09:34, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I believe this entirely depends on whether the illumination design passes the threshold of originality and qualifies as work of art on itself, i.e., no general answer. Materialscientist (talk) 09:48, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
I've seen this claimed for the Eiffel Tower illumination. I think it's something far enough out there that we're not going to worry about it unless someone actually comes forward with the claim, like the Eiffel Tower case.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:56, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick answers. WereSpielChequers (talk) 13:41, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Just a quick question...

FOP means that every single image in this category is eligible for deletion, correct? --[chinneeb|talk] 09:16, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes, presuming the building involved is still within copyright, and that de minimis cannot be applied. I have removed the disputed tag on Mongolia's commercial only FOP status since the discussion on that has long since concluded, and no evidence of FOP which allows commercial use has been provided. CT Cooper · talk 11:38, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Soo, basically I can submit every single image where a new building is the main subject - for deletion? --[chinneeb|talk] 08:18, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes. CT Cooper · talk 20:55, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
But pls use mass deletion request rather than separate one for each file. --ELEKHHT 00:24, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
No you can't submit every image of a new building for deletion. You need to check the rules for the country where the building is, in the UK we have "freedom of panorama" laws that allow photography of new buildings. You also need to check in case the license is actually valid. I.E. has the copyright holder (presumably the architect) released this image of their building under a license open enough for our use. WereSpielChequers (talk) 13:09, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
I think it should be noted that my earlier answer was in context to Mongolia only. CT Cooper · talk 21:48, 12 April 2012 (UTC)


According to the current explanation, Serbia allows only for 2D reproductions. How is this a free licence, as defined by wikimedia:Resolution/Licensing policy (which itself references [5])? Per the definition, the licensee must be allowed to "make any use, private or public, of the work." --Eleassar (t/p) 09:31, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

This page is not about free licenses. It is about what the Commons jargon calls "freedom of panorama", the exact definition of which may vary in each jurisdiction (that is one of the reasons for the existence of this help page), but in many jurisdictions it is indeed about allowing 2D reproductions of publicly displayed works, but no 3D copies, as can be seen in the various sections of this page. Your question seems related not to Serbia, but to the notion of freedom of panorama in general. The work is the 2D derivative work. If that 2D work is free, it can be freely used in the jurisdictions that allow freedom of panorama. -- Asclepias (talk) 15:52, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
This makes sense. Thanks for your reply. --Eleassar (t/p) 20:00, 10 April 2012 (UTC)


Most users and admins on Commons are not lawyers, especially on laws of rather, obscure, nations. This makes deleting media files based on obscure laws rather problematic on a nation-by-nation basis.

Can't we have a youtube-like approach to deleting media? Deleting files after takedown requests? I don't know the feasibility, but I request some discussion --[chinneeb|talk] 02:59, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

This is often suggested. The answer is no. That is because Commons is meant to be used by other parties as well. What about a takedown request after you have published a book containing the image?
We have built up a quite good understanding of copyright law and we have people from many "obscure nations" and so we are often in a better position to make decisions based on those obscure laws than the small publisher who found the exotic image here.
--LPfi (talk) 09:05, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Indeed "in a better position" to delete images based on an often apparently schizophrenic application of the precautionary principle. The problem is that many thousands of valuable files are being deleted without any evidence that they would not be free. The application of this principle operates by a presumption of guilt of any uploader, which has to be followed by a difficult process of proving innocence. This process has been frustrating many present and former contributors. Trying to understand copyright laws is perfectly fine, but the proposed takedown request approach could apply in cases of "doubt", to reverse the presumption of guilt to a presumption of innocence. The current approach affects not only FOP "doubt" cases, but also PD "doubt" cases, so probably should be discussed elsewhere. --ELEKHHT 21:07, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Costa Rica

Please review this content. In Costa Rica only literary and artistic work is protected, read the law here. The country has a Roman Law type constitution, so citizens can do anything that is not prohibited by law. The copyright law impose restrictions only in literary and artistic works, and the exception above refers to that, not to every panorama as stated above.

The user who wrote the above was not satisfied with the wording for "notOK". So I changed it. diff. Teofilo (talk) 19:38, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Probably the above comment was made in relation with the discussion at Commons:Deletion requests/File:CRI 08 2009 SJO CAFE BRITT 6963.JPG Teofilo (talk) 19:48, 17 April 2012 (UTC)


I think Freedom of Panorama in Indonesia is OK, or at least partially OK for educational purpose and non-commercial use.
In most of the cases copyright is restricted, and in some publications of works there shall be no infringement of Copyright:
Part Five
Copyright Restrictions

Article 14
There shall be no infringement of Copyright for:
a. publication and/or reproduction of the symbol of the State and the national anthem in accordance with their original nature;
b. publication and/or reproduction of anything which is published by or on behalf of the Government, except if the Copyright is declared to be protected by law or regulation or by a statement on the work itself or at the time the work is published; or
c. repetition, either in whole or in part, of news from a news agency, broadcasting organization, and newspaper or any other resources, provided that the source thereof shall be fully cited.
Article 15
Provided that the sources are fully cited, the following shall not be deemed as Copyright infringement:
a. the use of a work of another party for the purpose of education, research, scientific thesis, report writing, criticising or reviewing an issue, provided that it does not prejudice the normal interest of the Author;
c. the excerpt of a work of another party, in whole or in part, for the purposes of:
(i) lecturers of which the purpose is solely for education and science; or
(ii) free-of-charge exhibitions or performances, provided that they do not prejudice the normal interests of the Author.

In article 15 section c. (ii) free of charge exhibition or performance is not be deemed as Copyright infringement. Works displayed in public (architecture, building, statues in park etc.) are free of charge, therefore enjoy freedom of Panorama.Gunkarta (talk) 13:24, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Freedom of Panorama is OK for monuments and landmarks.
In Indonesia, most monuments and landmarks in public spaces are owned by the government.
Article 10, Copyright to Works of Unknown Authors
(2) The State shall hold the Copyright for folklores and works of popular culture that are commonly owned, such as stories, legends, folk tales, epics, songs, handicrafts, choreography, dances, calligraphies and other artistic works.
Part Five
Copyright Restrictions
Article 14
There shall be no infringement of Copyright for:
b.publication and/or reproduction of anything which is published by or on behalf of the Government, except if the Copyright is declared to be protected by law or regulation or by a statement on the work itself or at the time the work is published; or
Midori (talk) 15:25, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Non-commercial restrictions mean that it is "Not OK" for Commons. Many countries allow non-commercial use explicitly, but those are still deemed Not OK here. Permission must be available to *anyone*, including commercial use -- particular fair uses are often fine, but that does not make them "free".
For Article 14, that typically means government publications, not sculptures and stuff. The permission is specifically for reproductions, not photographs of copyrighted 3-D works, which is what this page is about. While there are obvious allowances for news organizations, that is not enough for "OK" on this page. It needs to be OK to for example take a picture of it (not a straight reproduction), and produce a postcard for commercial gain -- if that is not deemed an infringement, then it is OK. Obviously, Wikipedia's own use is OK by the laws of almost all nations, but the requirement that something be "free" is a different level altogether. Article 15 makes that clear, but again, that is specifically for educational use only, and we are looking for permission for commercial use as well in order to host images here. There *might* be some argument when it comes to government-commissioned monuments and the like, but not anything else. That government-work clause looks like it comes from Dutch law, actually. It's too bad they didn't also include the clause which specifically deals with pictures of sculptures and stuff. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:40, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Hi Carl, thanks for joining. However, "For Article 14, that typically means government publications, not sculptures and stuff" is your own interpretation.
I couldn't agree more with you, "Government publications" is probably the most logical interpretation for Article 14. Unfortunately, Article 14 is about Copyright Restrictions, specifically about "publication and/or reproduction of anything which is published by or on behalf of the Government".
The word "reproduction" can be interpreted broadly as photocopying, printing, painting, photographing, and others.
The word "anything" can be interpreted as broad as "government-commissioned motion pictures, songs, choreography, sculptures, architectures, and others."
Most statues are reproduction of pictures or human beings, therefore can be included as "reproduction of anything".
Most monuments and landmarks are government-commissioned works. The sculptors and the architects are hired by government-appointed contractors, and releasing their works as government-owned properties. Therefore, reproduction of government-owned monuments dan landmarks shall not be deemed as copyright infringement. Until there is new law on "permission to exploit artistic works in Indonesian public spaces", I propose changes in Freedom Panorama for government-commissioned architectures and monuments in Indonesia. Midori (talk) 00:45, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
I could see the argument on the government works. May not be what they intended, but arguably follows the law there. Of course, if there is an explicit claim of copyright on the statue itself, that would eliminate that avenue. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:19, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
There is a discussion on Commons:Deletion requests/File:Patung Sura dan Buaya.JPG about a statue. --MGA73 (talk) 16:12, 22 April 2012 (UTC)


As long as I understand, the section of Turkey in this page is not enough.

To be more precise, (I think) we have to change content as follows:

  • for artistic works X mark.svg Not OK except in cases governed by article 40.
    • Art. 40. Works of fine arts permanently placed on public streets, avenues or squares may be reproduced by drawings, graphics, photographs and the like, distributed, shown by projection in public premises or broadcast by radio or similar means. For architectural works, this freedom is only valid for the exterior form. [6]
    • Madde 40 - Umumi yollar, caddeler ve meydanlara, temelli kalmak üzere konulan güzel sanat eserlerini; resim, grafik, fotoğraf ve saire ile çoğaltma, yayma, umumi mahallerde projeksiyonla gösterme, radyo ve benzeri vasıtalarla yayımlama caizdir. Bu salahiyet mimarlık eserlerinde yalnız dış şekle munhasırdır. [7]
  • for buildings: ✓OK except architectural constructions that have the quality of a work; see Art. 15. (Eser niteliğindeki mimari yapılar hariç; bakınız Madde 15)

It's clear taht the concept of "public streets, avenues or squares" (in Turkish "umumi yollar, caddeler ve meydanlar") don't mean "public places". Because, in the same law, the expression such as "umuma açık mahaller" (public places, in this translation it is interpreted to public premises) are used with different sense and this term has wider than "public streets, avenues or squares".

However, there are slightly disputable points on detailed boundaries of "public streets, avenues or squares". Do they include the places "faced toward public streets, avenues or squares" (cadde, sokak ve meydanlara bakan yerler) ? What about places "visible from public streets, avenues or squares" (cadde, sokak ve meydanlardan görünebilen yereler) ?

What do you think ?

Thank you.

Takabeg (talk) 11:08, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to Turkey and plan to take a lot of photos, so I wish to be clear on what the copyright situation is there. Can it be clarified on what "except architectural constructions that have the quality of a work" means? What does the "quality" part mean? CT Cooper · talk 11:40, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
We can forget the issue on "freedom of panorama" when we take photos. We have to think it only when we post them to Commons. I recommend you to forget this issue and enjoy taking photograph of every object. As to "except architectural constructions that have the quality of a work", I don't know clear border of them. Maybe that sentence refer to architectural construction like File:Vedat Tek Evi, Nişantası.jpg. Takabeg (talk) 11:55, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Don't worry, I won't. I already have a hard drive full of photos of buildings from the United Arab Emirates, France e.t.c. anyway. I was more thinking about when I come to upload them afterwards, and I will probably think about it more then. CT Cooper · talk 15:42, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Some sample cases:

According to the Turkish copyright law,

Takabeg (talk) 01:38, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Here are my thoughts:
  • As indicated above, Article 40 of the Law on Intellectual and Artistic Works of Turkey states: "Works of fine arts permanently placed on public streets, avenues or squares may be reproduced by drawings, graphics, photographs and the like, distributed, shown by projection in public premises or broadcast by radio or similar means. For architectural works, this freedom is only valid for the exterior form." The term work of fine art is defined in Article 4 as meaning the following works of aesthetic value:
1. Oil paintings or water colors, all types of drawings, patterns, pastels, engravings, artistic scripts and gildings, works drawn or fixed on metal, stone, wood or other material by engraving, carving, ornamental inlay or similar methods, calligraphy, silk screen printing;
2. Sculptures, reliefs and carvings;
3. Architectural works;
4. Handicraft and minor works of art, miniatures and works of ornamentation, textiles, fashion designs;
5. Photographic works and slides;
6. Graphic works;
7. Cartoons;
8. All kinds of personifications.
  • I agree that "public streets, avenues or squares" is narrower than "public places", and that the former refer only to outdoor locations. I would not interpret the term as including public places that happen to be visible from "public streets, avenues or squares" (though, of course, to be sure we'd need to see some official interpretation of this term, perhaps by a court). Thus, I do not think the freedom of panorama includes artworks inside buildings that can be photographed from public streets, avenues or squares. However, I think the term does include the facades of buildings for two reasons: (1) buildings can be regarded as being works situated on public streets, avenues or squares; and (2) Article 40 specifically states "For architectural works, this freedom is only valid for the exterior form."
  • It is possible that the word public in "public streets, avenues or squares" means "accessible to the public" rather than "owned by the Government". If this interpretation is correct, then works permanently placed on privately owned streets, avenues or squares that are nonetheless accessible to the public (e.g., parks and the campuses of private universities) may be covered by Article 40. However, this depends on the meaning of the original Turkish word translated into English as public, and whether there has been any official interpretation of the word.
  • I do not see the relevance of Article 15 which states, in part: "The author shall have the exclusive authority to decide whether the work shall be disclosed to the public or published with or without the name of the author or under a pseudonym. ... For architectural constructions that have the quality of a work, the name of the author shall be inscribed in an indelible way with material considered suitable by the author on a visible part of the work, upon written request." The term work is defined in Article 1/B(a) as "[a]ny intellectual or artistic product bearing the characteristic of its author, which is deemed a scientific and literary or musical work or work of fine arts or cinematographic work". Article 15 deals with the right of an author to be identified, and has nothing to do with freedom of panorama.
  • However, as indicated earlier, only architectural works of aesthetic value are considered as works of fine arts (Article 4) and thus protected by copyright law. This raises the theoretical possibility that architectural works having no aesthetic value are not copyrighted and may be freely photographed, even on the inside. I would be inclined to interpret this narrowly to cover only entirely utilitarian architectural works (perhaps structures such as power stations and walls). However, I think that just because a building is plain in appearance (e.g., an ordinary steel and glass office block) does not mean it has no aesthetic value.
— Cheers, JackLee talk 18:11, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  • There may be some debate in individual cases as to whether an object is in a place permitted to be photographed by this law, but it is wrong to mark Turkey as ✘ when the law plainly says it is. If you wish to expound as to what kind of places are allowed by all means do so, but Turkey *is* ok. -Nard (Hablemonos)(Let's talk) 17:31, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
The definition such as "{{ok}} for the exterior surfaces of buildings and all works of fine art permanently displayed outdoors. Article 4, which defines the term "works of fine art", shows it is ok for all 2D and 3D works." is problematic. Because the law doesn't permit for all works of fine art permanently displayed outdoors. It permit for all works of fine art permanently displayed on public streets, (public) avenues or (public) squares. Takabeg (talk) 17:45, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Then change "outdoors" to "public streets, (public) avenues or (public) squares". That covers most situations for this kind of thing, and some other countries have something like that. In general, that is labeled as "OK" (with some exceptions), rather than "Not OK". Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:13, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
OK. The part of public streets, (public) avenues or (public) squares. is very important and indispensable for uploaders. Otherwise, uploaders cam misunderstand and post photographs of all works of fine art permanently displayed outdoors. Do not let them say Commons tells a lie. Thank you. Takabeg (talk) 21:23, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

United States (slight confusion)

The US section says this, which is a little confusing to me (emphasis added by me):

For buildings completed after December 1, 1990, freedom is given only to photograph such a building, and individual style elements (such as gargoyles, and pillars) are protected, and photos are only allowed for buildings visible from public places.

In this context, what does "protected" mean? Does it mean copy-protected, such that photographs are not allowed to be taken (without a license, etc.)? Or does it mean that photographs are a protected class and thus are allowable? Please advise and consider changing the wording slightly so that it is clearer.

Thanks. -- 16:52, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Not sure who added "pillars" -- that seems odd, and not sure that is supported by a court case. Basically though, "separable" works of art which happen to be attached to a building are copyrightable in their own right, and yes, therefore they are protected by a separate copyright, one which by its nature would not permit derivative works (e.g. photographs focusing on that element in particular, which are allowable for building copyrights only). In most situations, fair use would likely mean that taking such photos, and even publishing/distributing them in most non-commercial contexts would be legal. But, distributing such photos in some commercial contexts would not be OK, whereas photos of buildings are fine even in those cases. Normally, copyright owners have the right to control derivative works (works which make use of the expression in the underlying work), but in the U.S., the law explicitly states that photos of buildings visible from a public place are not considered to be derivative works of the building. A photo of a statue attached to a building though is not the same thing, and those can be derivative (just like photos of standalone statues, for the same reason). Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:36, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
There has been only one court ruling on this issue, Leicester v Warner Brothers[8]. While the court acknowledged the existence of the separability test, it ruled that for the purposes of FoP, an ordinary person taking a picture shouldn't have to conduct an extensive legal analysis to determine if they can take a picture of artwork attached to a building and that Congress fully intended to deny copyright protection for photos of such works. Infringement by other means, such as duplicates or models of the work, is still illegal. Incidentally, there is an open deletion request where this could be an issue that could use some more comments. -Nard (Hablemonos)(Let's talk) 19:09, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Mmm... I think the district court ruled that the protection of buildings eliminated the former "separable" test, but on appeal the circuit court ruling you link to doesn't say that -- rather, for the particular work in question, it was deemed to be an extension of the architectural work (since it was an extension of elements which were part of the building) and not a separable sculpture, thereby coming under the exemption for photos of buildings. There was a concurring opinion from one judge which did agree that the entire "separable" argument has now gone away, but I don't think that was in the main ruling. There is a little support for that idea in the legislative reports, but also some solid support for the idea that the existing protection for embedded works remains after that act, as noted in the dissent to that case (and even noted in the majority opinion). Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:15, 24 April 2012 (UTC)


If I'm reading correctly Malta's Copyright Act, the country seems to enjoy freedom of panorama both for buildings and sculptures, though probably not for 2D artworks—art.9(p) states that: ‘Copyright in an audiovisual work, a database, a literary work other than in the case of a computer programme, a musical or artistic work shall not include the right to authorise or prohibit (…) the inclusion in a communication to the public, the making of a graphic representation and the making of a photograph or film, of a work of architecture or sculpture or similar works made to be located permanently in public places.

Can anyone confirm or not this is the correct interpretation? Jastrow (Λέγετε) 18:16, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I think that's the right interpretation. Article 9(1)(p) covers only "a work of architecture or sculpture or similar works made to be located permanently in public places". Interestingly, the phrase made to be located seems to suggest that a sculptural work can be photographed in a location other than its final permanent location in a public place, so long as it is intended to be so located. For example, one can take a photograph of a statue while it is in a sculptor's studio, as long as there is an intention for the statute to be permanently located in a public place later on. Not sure if this is just an inaccurate translation. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:50, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Malta's official languages are Maltese and English (former British territory); presumably that is an official version. But yes, looks to me as though there is freedom of panorama there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:59, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I think it's the official Copyright Act; the same can be found at Re the 'made to be located permanently in public spaces' provision, it's an interesting interpretation Jacklee. I thought it was about works located in a public place, but which were not commissioned to be there—I'm thinking of a DR about a Dalek statue which had been in a UK shop since its creation; FoP was invoked for this. I'm a bit confused about this part.
If nobody objects, I'll add Malta to the list in a couple of days, with FoP: OK status for buildings and statues (not OK for 2D artworks) permanently located in a public space. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 10:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)


I noticed that [9] had been removed under UAE law, which there is a reasonable consensus on.

However, the odd thing about en:Dubai International Financial Centre is that it does not in fact operate under UAE law, as it says in the article: "The DIFC is an independent jurisdiction under the UAE Constitution, and has its own independent civil and commercial laws, which are written in English and which default to English law. It also has its own courts, with judges taken from the common law world including England, Singapore and Hong Kong." So I wonder if some of the experts could find out if this applies to copyright law and freedom of panorama there, and therefore whether in this part of the UAE there should be a different policy because of the different legal system. There may well be no difference but it would be good to check. Justinc (talk) 11:33, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

It sounds like the DIFC has its own law when it comes to financial areas, but is still a blend of those and regular Dubai law, per here. That lists a number of places where they have their own law, but copyright is not among them. I would still guess they would default to UAE copyright law, unless we can find some specific indication that other law may apply. They want to allow financial institutions to operate pretty freely there; not sure that a different copyright law is really required for that (the UAE being a Berne member already). Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:20, 11 July 2012 (UTC)


The new freedom of panorama law it's here [10], please if you can, change the information. This new law also gives freedom of panorama for buildings, monuments in general, and other artistic reproduction permanently adds to publics places. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 10:09 23 oct 2011‎ (UTC)

The article you linked is not about freedom of panorama. It's about something more related to US fair use or spanish citation right.--Pere prlpz (talk) 22:01, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

FoP in Spain

Article 35.1 reads "only to the extent justified by the informatory purpose". This is a restriction that depends on the use, similar to fair use. In return, art. 35.2 is clear enough justifying FoP. I think we should remove art. 35.1 as it is confusing for the purpose of FoP, likewise in {{FoP-Spain}}. --V.Riullop (talk) 08:26, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

True, 35.2 is the FoP provision. 35.1 is basically about fair use for news reporting, a common but separate issue. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:29, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
✓ Done Removed.--Pere prlpz (talk) 12:58, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

FoP in Afghanistan

Has Afghanistan the freedom of panorama as part of its new copyright law? -- 12:42, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Don't think so; don't see any relevant articles in their law. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:48, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

FoP in Sweden and security laws

Currently COM:FOP#Sweden states "Exceptions are made for buildings and other facilities that are covered by the Swedish security law (2010:305) (Skyddslagen). Such facilities have clearly visible yellow signs with the text "Skyddsobjekt" and it is forbidden to depict them in any form." Security laws are generally separate from copyright laws and do not affect the copyright status of the building being depicted, and are therefore covered by Commons:Non-copyright restrictions. I don't think mentioning security laws on this page is appropriate since FoP is a positive exemption to copyright law, and does not cover other laws, and there are other countries in which is not advisable/not legal to photograph certain buildings for security reasons, even if FOP exists there. Any thoughts? CT Cooper · talk 23:10, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

There are similar (although not security-related) provisions for example in Slovenia, see Template:SpomenikSVN, which have been mentioned at COM:FOP#Slovenia and some files have been tagged, but they have not been regarded as copyright infringements. --Eleassar (t/p) 08:36, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
The "skyddsobjekt" section has two errors:
  1. A "skyddsobjekt" is a protected object which is subject to some specific kinds of restrictions, but not necessarily photography restrictions. It could be something else, such as a no threspassing restriction. Military bases have photo restrictions, but the Grisslehamn ferry terminal does not. There will be a sign outside the object telling what kind of restrictions it is subject to.
  2. This is not a copyright restriction. If a military base is protected, you can't take photos of any trees or flowers at the military base, but a standard tree isn't copyrightable (see {{PD-monkey}}). However, people located in Sweden could end up in legal trouble for taking, distributing or using pictures of objects with photo restrictions. --Stefan4 (talk) 09:14, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Seeking clarification

1. When a photograph is taken and uploaded, what country's FOP law (or lack thereof) applies? Is it the country depicted (I could stand in FOP-less France and take a photo into Germany), the country from which the photo was taken (I could stand in Germany and take a photo into FOP-less France), the country of which the photographer is a citizen (a German can travel to France and take photos), or the country of first publication (a photographer can travel to Germany to publish, as long as s/he waits 30 days before publishing elsewhere)? (I'm guessing one of the first two.)
2. When a copyrighted work is photographed outside it's copyright country of origin under that country's FOP law, is that enough to upload to Commons? (Hypothetical example: a sculpture is published in the Mexico, and after six months, it is placed into "permanent" display in a public place in Germany. Can a photo of the sculpture be uploaded, relying on Germany's FOP?)
2.1 If it is not enough to upload to Commons, does that mean it's necessary to check where publicly situated works uploaded under a FOP claim were first published? If this is the case, is there any way to upload a photo of a work that's not in its country of origin under an FOP claim?
2.2 If it is enough to upload to Commons, what happens once the work is no longer copyrighted in the country in which it's situated? (Continuation of above hypothetical: German copyright is 70 years pma while Mexican is 100 years pma. Once 71 years have passed from the author's death, it is PD in Germany and so the German FOP no longer applies; however, it is still copyrighted in the "country of origin" of Mexico. Can the image be retained on Commons?)
Thanks, cmadler (talk) 17:46, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

These are interesting questions, although it would be hard to find practical examples where such questions are significant.
I can't give answers but I can make some comments.
To point 2: as far as I know, displaying an sculpture or a painting doesn't constitute publication under most legislations. Then, for an sculpture placed in Germany, previous places of exhibition don't seem important.
For point 2.2: if the image can be upload to Commons according to FOP-Germany, there is no more issues. Anyway, the sculpture itself can be copyrighted in different countries depending of the if the w:rule of shorter term is used between the country of the author and the country where we check for copyright. The country where is the work of art doesn't mind.
For example, a 1906 painting of Pablo Picasso - assuming that photographs of it were published in books or magazines before 1923 - is in PD in the United States but not in Spain nor most countries in the world. The country where is the painting doesn't mind.
I think that a question with practical interest is: If a work of art is copyrighted in the US, but the work of art or a copy of it is placed in a street in a FOP country, can the photographs of this work of art be lawfully uploaded in a server located in the US? I hope this has been answered somewhere, because it could challenge the whole FOP concept in Commons.--Pere prlpz (talk) 18:45, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Here's a current practical case on one aspect: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Aboriginal Flag.JPG. The Australian Aboriginal Flag is known to be copyrighted in Australia -- an Australian court has ruled on this matter. However, in the US it probably fails to meet the threshold of originality. So far, then, it is free in the US, but not free in the country of origin, and so images of it can't be uploaded on Commons. Israel seems to have a broad FOP law, and someone managed to take a photo of the flag which might fall within that FOP. I know nothing about Israel's threshold of originality, but assuming that the flag is copyrightable there (because FOP can only apply for a copyrighted work, I think?) and assuming that this installation of the flag falls within Israel's FOP, does that allow us to ignore the fact that the flag is copyrighted in the country of origin (Australia)? cmadler (talk) 20:16, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
To point 1, the question of what country's FOP (or lack thereof) applies in each case seems highly practical. If it's based on citizenship of the photographer or country of first publication of the photo (both unlikely, I think), it would let us make a full end-run around the laws of no-FOP countries. If it's based on the location at which the photo is taken, it opens up, for example, anything in France that can be photographed from across the German border. With a good telephoto lens that could be a bit, and with aerial photography with a good lens it could be even more. cmadler (talk) 20:22, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
At least three things are almost certain: 1) The citizenship of the photographer does not matter. 2) The country of actual use of the photo does matter. 3) The internal policy of Commons, in theory, requires at least that the use of the photo must be free in the country of origin of the photo (besides its use being free in the U.S. by legal obligation). However, some details of application are unclear or not consensual, as far as I can tell anyway. For example: The internal policy requires that the work must be free in its country of origin. That clearly includes at least the requirement that the photo itself must be free in its country of origin. But should the internal policy requirement be extrapolated further to include a requirement that every object pictured on the photo must also be free, or freely reproducible by photography, in its own country of origin (if different from the country of origin of the photo and assuming that the object is free, or freely reproducible by photography, in the country of origin of the photo) for the photo to be accepted on Commons? Another question is should the policy requirement include a requirement that the objects pictured on the photo must also be freely reproducible by photography in the country where a photo is taken, even if the photo is not published in that country, and, if so, can the law of that country actually be interpreted as forbidding the taking of photos if they are not published in that country? There have been deletion discussions dealing with the cross-border situation you raise in your question, about some of the photos in Category:Demilitarized Zone of Korea and in its subcategory Category:Joint Security Area, Korea. See for example Commons:Deletion requests/File:Joint Security Area from North Korea.jpg, but see also arguments in the opposite direction in Commons:Undeletion requests/Archive/2011-07#Commons:Deletion requests/File:070401 Panmunjeom3.jpg (this one was finally kept, but the closing sysop did not go into the FoP question and decided that the building was under the threshold of originality anyway).
-- Asclepias (talk) 23:42, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
For a discussion about FoP, it may not be the best choice of example to take an object that is most likely free and have to say "let's suppose that this probably free work was not a free work". An example with a work that is under copyright almost everywhere, or at least in the country whose FoP situation is to be discussed, would be less confusing. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:42, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Part of my point in that is to try to understand what appears to be a paradox (in the case of the flag): if it were more complex, it would have copyright protection in Israel and then Israeli FOP would apply (and we could keep the photo?), but because it is (we assume) uncopyrightable in Israel, FOP does not apply and we look to the Australian copyright on the flag and delete? (I raise this issue here, not to argue the specific case -- the deletion discussion is of course the place for that -- but to try to understand the legal and Commons policy principles involved, which I clearly DON'T understand as well as I had thought!) Thanks, cmadler (talk) 01:22, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Ah, then I think the thing to note is that there is no connection: Commons does not decide to look or not to look to the copyright status of a pictured work (in your example, the aboriginal flag) in its own country of origin (Australia) on the basis of the copyrightability or uncopyrightabillity of that work in the country where a photo of a reproduction of that work is taken (Israel). The issue of should Commons look at the copyright status that the flag enjoys in Australia is completely independent of the copyright status of that flag in Israel. Your question touches the two distinct issues that I mentioned above. One question is whether Commons should take into consideration only the copyright law of the U.S. and the copyright law of the country of origin of the photo actually uploaded to Commons, i.e. the country where the photo was first published (in your example, the country of origin (first publication) of the photo is also the United States), or should Commons additionally take into consideration the copyright law of yet another country, the country where the photo was taken, when the photo was taken in a country other than its country of origin (first publication)? If the latter solution is applied, then in your example the status of the flag in Israel enters into consideration and, if the flag is copyrighted in Israel, then Israel's FoP provisions would need to be examined to determine if they allow or not the free photographic reproduction of this type of 2-D work. The other question, which is independent of the first, is whether Commons should additionally take into consideration the copyright laws of yet more countries, the countries of origin of every object prominently visible in the photo and that could possibly be copyrighted in those respective countries? In your example, it is the answer that the participants of Commons give to that last question that decides if Commons will look to the Australian copyright. The status of the flag in Israel has no effect on that last question. -- Asclepias (talk) 03:33, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
If we only take into consideration the copyright law of the US and the country where a photo is first published, then I suppose someone could take a photo of the en:Atomium (no FOP in Belgium, and the copyright owners are known to be aggressive against unauthorized commercial photos) and upload it in Germany. Since German law and US law allow photographs of copyrighted buildings, this would be OK, and we could ignore the lack of FOP in countries like Belgium and France? On the other hand, since US law doesn't allow photographs of copyrighted 3D art such as sculptures, we should remove these regardless of where the work is situated or where the photo is first published? cmadler (talk) 12:47, 28 July 2012 (UTC)