Commons talk:Copyright rules by subject matter

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
(Redirected from Commons talk:Image casebook)
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Patent drawings[edit]

Patent drawings (at least in the US) I am pretty sure are almost always PD (they use {{PD-US-patent}}) but a writeup of one of the exceptions and how to tell it is an exception might be a good topic for this casebook, as there are some cases where the diagrams have other rights... ++Lar: t/c 23:53, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

  • I keep meaning to do that, and then forgetting. I have made myself a note now! Will try to do this soon.

--MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:19, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

  • ✓ Done Section on patents added. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:16, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi I'm wondering if you can use diagrams from biology/chemistry books that you have modified and/or traced.Thanks in advance,Mmm_Daffodils

I've updated the section to reflect Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-US-patent-no notice and inform that technical patent drawings published after March 1, 1989 should be always assumed copyrighted. --hydrox (talk) 23:56, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Museum photographs[edit]

I am in strong disagreement with the "museum" section on this page. We are currently discussing this at Commons talk:Licensing#Metropolitan Museum of Art. --Elonka 23:04, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

  • (The conclusion was that the current wording is accepted by the community) --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:19, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
if the museum has a private policy giving it the rights to any photographs taken at museum, and such is a condition of entry, then copyright would be I question. Precident was established by how images at "Burning Man" are treated. Consensus was term and conditions of tickets to Burning Man create copyright to ticket issuer. This section needs to be reconsidered in light of Burning Man consensus.
Nope. Copyright transfers require an explicit, written, signed statement, per U.S. law, which cannot be accomplished by a ticket stub. There was no such consensus -- in fact it was the other way around. (Special photography tags at Burning Man may be different, since those involve signed contracts, but not ticket stubs). Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:56, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Fireworks displays[edit]

Are fireworks displays performances? If so, I think we'd need to state that people should not upload videos of fireworks displays. (Photos may be fine, though, in analogy to this.) Lupo 13:42, 17 May 2008 (UTC)


I find the argument here regarding graffiti very unconvincing. Please see discussion at the Village Pump. Superm401 - Talk 02:54, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

I have improved the wording. --MichaelMaggs 06:27, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
What a coincidence! Just yesterday William Patry posted about copyrights in illegal art here! Note that the case mentioned is not a blanked "uncopyrightable" decision, there are quite a few specifics attached to it. The comments to the post appear to be going in the other direction. Maybe we should try to contact Mr. Rychlicki to get his paper? Lupo 11:33, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Sounds interesting. I have emailed him. --MichaelMaggs 16:44, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
No reply. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:28, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. However, it appears the focus of the English v. BFC&R East 11th Street LLC decision was moral rights, and that copyright was addressed only tangentially. I still disagree with the graffiti exemption described on this page. Superm401 - Talk 23:00, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

After being directed (as of this rfd) to the Graffiti-"exemption" and reading it the first time, I have to say that's really of the style "they can't sue us, so we don't need to follow the law". Was this ever checked by the Wikimedia lawyers? --Túrelio (talk) 08:19, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

There is more at #Graffiti policy (2). It is not nearly as simple as you think; there are common-law maxims against profiting from crimes which very well may apply to some extent in these cases, at least in many countries. Certainly pre-1989 graffiti was PD in the U.S. because it lacked a copyright notice, but it has gotten cloudier since I'm sure. Patry's article (linked above) shows a case where the provisions of VARA (artist's rights) were disallowed, even though they may have otherwise applied, because the works were installed illegally. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:11, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Plaques in public places in some countries?[edit]

Are plaques in countries without a Freedom of panorama acceptable? I am concerned about my upload of this World War II memorial. There are two plaques: one made in 1944 the other in 2001. I also added the text to the description page.

Could plaques be considered in the casebook? See Category:Plaques by country for more examples.

I interpret the panorama rules to allow plaques in Switzerland, but I see difficulty in Italy (and Belgium for that matter). -Wikibob (talk) 16:03, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Generally not OK, I think - even if permanently in a public place (unless PD). Most of these examples will have copyright on the text (as "literary works") which is an entirely different class of copyright to the type of copyright usually included within FOP: "works" is normally restricted to "artistic works", of which buildings are one example. Needs more research, though, and we may need to build a country-by-country list (oh dear, not again ..) Lupo should be able to help on Switzerland. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:34, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
The Swiss law says exactly what is written in English at COM:FOP Switzerland. There is no restriction to "artistic" works, the law just mentions "works". I take it that this means that Swiss FOP also applies to 2D works (graffiti, murals, plaques). Same for Germany, BTW (COM:FOP Germany is incorrectly worded): the law generally allows the reproduction by painting, graphics, photography, or film of "works"; there is no restriction to "artistic" or "3D" works. Austria explicitly excludes graffiti and murals (generally: paintings), Austrian FOP applies only to "works of the fine arts" and buildings, which presumably excludes plaques and their text. Lupo 07:52, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Inside Rome station with posters and logos as example[edit]

Rome station ticket machines

Could my photo taken inside w:en:Roma Termini railway station (designed by a team in 1947, built 1950) be used as a casebook example? Could an expert suggest changes? It does not matter if it is deleted as it's rather poor in any case, but maybe it could be modified to act as an example for countries which, like Italy, have no Commons:Freedom of Panorama.

  • Architecture - shows interior of building whose architect has not been dead for at least 70 years
    • building could be cropped away
  • Posters - background shows parts of two copyrighted posters (Star Wars)
    • after cropping the posters are practically unrecognisable and unusable?
  • Trademarks - several logsos are seen but are quite small

-Wikibob (talk) 16:49, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Why crop? Architecture: no significant part of the railway station is shown. I seriously doubt any court would consider this a derivative work of the building. Posters & trademarks: incidental and unavoidable inclusion, de minimis? People: agree. Also, it's not a portrait, these people just happened to be present at this public place when the photo was taken. If something like that were not ok, we'd have a hard time publishing any photograph of any public place. Lupo 08:00, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Graffiti policy (2)[edit]

I also think that current graffiti policy is legally questionable.

This is not that obvious that the illiceity of the support (the wall) would uphold the rights of the artist. A similar question has been raised in the case of exchange of music files, and is formulated as such: does the tribunal has to consider the liceity of the source of the music file to judge the right that the network user to use the music? (the user might have the right to possess the music file, for example if he owns a CD which was damaged and tried to download the equivalent music file)[1]. Government, specialised lawyers, politicians... disagree on that point and no tribunal at the moment had to decide on it. I just mean: it's not obvious that an illegal act would prevent the application of unrelated rights (the right to use a wall is unrelated to the right to create an artistic work).

But to be more specific, it has been judged that graffiti are eligible to copyright. See Court of appeal of Paris, Sep. 27, 2006. The Court recognized graffiti as a legitimate artistic movement,[2] even when painted without the consent of the support owner, with the restriction in the latter case that the legal owner of the support is entitled to destroy the artistic work by cleaning his property.

A specialized lawyer office notes that consequences of the decision includes that the publication of a derivative work of the graffiti without consent would infringe rights of the artist.[3] In other words, as far as we are concerned, pictures of graffiti created in France (as soon as they qualify as an artistic work as a consequence of their originality) cannot be published under a licence that allows derivative works.

In the special case of stencil paintings, the artwork previously existed in a legally copyrighted manner: the stencil metallic matrix is itself a copyrighted work. The fact that somebody (possibly not the artist himself) publishes new copies of the artwork by applying paint on the stencil matrix does not cancel copyright on the initial artwork. The stencil painting aiming at the fair reproduction of the matrix, and the picture aiming at the fair reproduction of the painting, our picture qualifies as a reproduction of a copyrighted material, or as a plagiarism is one considers that it is not perfectly identical.

I would then suggest to reason on a country-by-country basis to determine our policy:

  1. Does the country has a specific laws or case laws about graffiti?
    yes → follow those rules. End of questions.
    no → go to the next question...
  2. Does the graffiti qualifies as artistic for its originality?
    yes → go to the next question...
    no → can be published. End of questions.
  3. Does the graffiti display copyrighted material on which presumabily the graffiti painter does not own copyright?
    yes → do not pusblish. End of questions.
    no → go to the next question...
  4. Does the picture author show evidence of being allowed to publish such pictures of graffiti?
    yes → publish under a licenced selected by the picture author.
    no → go to the next question...
  5. Does the country where the picture has been taken have freedom of landscape?
    yes → publish under a licenced selected by the picture author, with explicit mention that the work displayed on the graffiti still belongs to its author.
    no → do not publish.

To begin the list with one country: France. It has been judged (see references) that graffiti attract copyright and that the person displaying derivative works should seek agreement from graffiti author. It is not clear whether an exact copy needs agreement or not, which implies that in the best case, graffiti are eligible for non-derivative licences on the projects allowing such content (which is not the case of Commons).

Please note that an administrator knowing French law deleted for copyright violation (on July the 2nd) a picture of a graffiti made in Paris, although the picture, by plain application of current graffiti policy, was kept just a few weeks before.

To give a few more examples in Category:Graffiti (and subcategories) of infringement of point 3 above:


(I will make an exhaustive listing and show infringement of other points later on when I have time.)

Jérôme (talk) 08:49, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

  1. See this report to the French minister of Culture: Jean Cédras, Le téléchargement illicite d'œuvres protégées par le droit d'auteur, April 2007, page 22. source.
  2. Jugement reads: « Le mouvement « graff » est né il y a environ quatre décennies sur tous supports dont des trains et avant même qu’une presse spécialisée soit née ; il est reconnu à la fois comme phénomène de société et comme mode d’expression artistique » which translates as (relevant excerpts): “The graffiti movement was born about forty years ago on all supports [...]; it is recognized as [...] an artistic expression modality” source.
  3. Relevant sentence is : « Si la juridiction de second degré n’a pas admis que la SNCF puisse s’opposer à la publication de photographies de trains tagués, qu’en serait-il de leur diffusion par la SNCF sans l’accord des tagueurs ? Cette publication, sans autorisation, serait une atteinte à leurs droits patrimoniaux, de même qu’à leurs droits moraux, si la SNCF modifiait, en les reproduisant, les couleurs des graffiti. » which translates to: “Although the appeal court did not agree that the SNCF [train company] could oppose to publication of pictures of trains showing graffiti, what would happen in the case of the publication of such pictures without consent of the painters? This publication without authorization would infringe moral and property rights if SNCF would change the colours of the graffiti in a picture reproduction.” source.
I would basically agree with this, with a couple caveats. First, the threshhold for originality is very low in most countries, and does not necessarily require what most people consider art. Second, freedom of landscape/panorama may not apply if the graffiti is not intended to be permanent. Superm401 - Talk 21:57, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
If you know better, be bold! The best would build a page like COM:FOP with country-specific rules. Jérôme (talk) 14:15, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
A page at Commons:Threshold of originality could be useful, but it would be more difficult to fill out than COM:FOP because this part of law is often bound by precedent more than statute. Superm401 - Talk 10:03, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Disagree on freedom of panorama -- they are permanent, since they can never be shown somewhere else. Sort of like an ice sculpture. Freedom of panorama should apply. Unsure about the stencil argument... that would imply that the stencil owner has a copyright ownership in everything where they are used, which may exceed the expected scope when you buy one (otherwise the purchaser has to get additional permission every time they used the stencil they bought... I think that is probably implicit in the purchase). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:23, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

I suspect it will be difficult to be more precise than we already are without some more case law on this. I'm fairly confident of the existing policy so far as the major Common Law countries are concerned, but Civil Law countries may indeed be different, and we should try to deal with that if we can. A country-by-country approach seems the best.

One difficult point is the distinction between murals (legally painted) and graffiti (illegal). We host many photographs where it is impossible to tell whether the painter had permission or not. At present, admins just have to guess based on any available information there may be, but is there any way of doing better? Probably not unless we decide to delete photos of all wall paintings, of whatever type, that do not have the artist's consent.

FOP is a red herring, in my view, as in almost all countries (with perhaps a very few exceptions) FOP does not extend to 2D works of art such as paintings, printed notices and the like. Even in a 'relaxed' country such as the UK, FOP extends to buildings, sculptures and to "works of artistic crafstmanship" only. The phrase "works of artistic crafstmanship" excludes both paintings and text.

I agree with Carl Lindberg that purchase of a stencil probably does carry an implied licence to use it, but that licence is unlikely to extend to using the stencil to make an illegal artwork. Also, bear in mind that stencils are not necessarily shop-bought. High-end artists such as Banksy make their own. MichaelMaggs (talk) 16:36, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Many countries which do not derive from UK laws have freedom of panorama which allows photos of 2D (and other) works if installed in public places; it would apply for graffiti in many places. Some countries have a narrow restriction on reproductions which can "be used for the same purpose as the original", i.e. making a 3D sculpture of a public sculpture, or taking a photograph of a publicly-displayed photograph (which amounts to more of a straight copy), but that should still allow photos of graffiti. There are probably other blurry lines, such as does the work almost count as part of the building (thus allowing photos where freedom of panorama exists for buildings), especially in cases where it is on more than one wall or on uneven surfaces (and thus not purely 2D). In the U.S., any building artwork (graffiti or murals) prior to 1978 would be considered published, so if there is no copyright notice actually on it, those would be public domain as well. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:05, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Medical patient images[edit]

Contributors to wikipedia medical articles are grappling with this topic. See Patient images and en:WT:MEDMOS, among others. --Una Smith (talk) 05:42, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

The correct link would be Commons:Patient images. --Túrelio (talk) 09:50, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

The US case of Ets-Hokin v. Skyy Spirits[edit]

Hmm, not sure I should be adding this commentary here, as this is supposed to be an easy-to-understand introductory guide. Maybe we should have a page or pages of commentary on frequently-cited cases that we can then link to? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:58, 19 September 2008 (UTC)


I've added a section on costumes that still needs to be refined. There is ongoing discussion currently at Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests#Commons:Deletion_requests.2FImages_of_costumes_tagged_as_copyvios_by_AnimeFan. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:17, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

“Costume” is IMHO a too general word. I don't know if Mike Godwin's statement will ever be applied to any photo of costume on here, but for example, only this statement permits the Category:Fursuits to exist, GreenReaper (talk · contribs) used some goods arguments, and asking for authorization from every fursuiter can lead to nonsense. Diti the penguin 00:02, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Material not subject to copyright.[edit]

What do you guys think about analyze this section and put some links on this page?

§ 202.1 Material not subject to copyright.

The following are examples of works not subject to copyright and applications for registration of such works cannot be entertained:

(a) Words and short phrases such as names, titles, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering or coloring; mere listing of ingredients or contents;

(b) Ideas, plans, methods, systems, or devices, as distinguished from the particular manner in which they are expressed or described in a writing;

(c) Blank forms, such as time cards, graph paper, account books, diaries, bank checks, scorecards, address books, report forms, order forms and the like, which are designed for recording information and do not in themselves convey information;

(d) Works consisting entirely of information that is common property containing no original authorship, such as, for example: Standard calendars, height and weight charts, tape measures and rulers, schedules of sporting events, and lists or tables taken from public documents or other common sources.

(e) Typeface as typeface.

[24 FR 4956, June 18, 1959, as amended at 38 FR 3045, Feb. 1, 1973; 57 FR 6202, Feb. 21, 1992]

From United States Copyright office

I would suggest having that on a different page, as it's more a summary of US law than a specific list of cases. It's useful to have but would fit better into a series of pages (not yet written) setting out in simple terms what copyright is and listing these sorts of exceptions. Of course, these points relate to US law only, and we must bear in mind that to be hosted here a file has to be free not only under US law but under local law as well. In many countries, the rules on non-copyrightable material are quite different from these. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:08, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, you're right. But it's good to have it archived anywhere if we need it someday. Brazilian law is not that different.

Art. 8º Não são objeto de proteção como direitos autorais de que trata esta Lei: (These are not subject of protection like copyright of this Law talks about:)

I - as idéias, procedimentos normativos, sistemas, métodos, projetos ou conceitos matemáticos como tais; (same as B from US law)

II - os esquemas, planos ou regras para realizar atos mentais, jogos ou negócios; (complementin B)

III - os formulários em branco para serem preenchidos por qualquer tipo de informação, científica ou não, e suas instruções; (same as C)

IV - os textos de tratados ou convenções, leis, decretos, regulamentos, decisões judiciais e demais atos oficiais; (same as D)

V - as informações de uso comum tais como calendários, agendas, cadastros ou legendas; (complementing D)

VI - os nomes e títulos isolados; (same as E)

VII - o aproveitamento industrial ou comercial das idéias contidas nas obras. (the industrial or commercial use of the ideas contained in the works.)

From If we gather some laws from several countries we can make things easier to upload or not. Mizunoryu 大熊猫❤小熊猫 (talk) 18:35, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Very few of those items are uploadable directly; most media is copyrightable. The ones that may not be come up with arguments surrounding the {{PD-ineligible}} tag (or {{PD-shape}} or {{PD-textlogo}}). Another aspect is discussed at Commons:When to use the PD-signature tag, and w:threshold of originality. It is a difficult concept to summarize across countries, and the edge cases can be decided in different ways in different countries when it comes to particular courts. Some countries have different copyright terms for "simple" vs "artistic" photographs, with widely varying definitions of those distinctions, which can result in all kinds of other complexities (User:Lupo/Simple Photographs tries to summarize that). Some countries try to not let trademark protection overlap with copyright, others (such as the U.S.) allow both on the same work. Most of the concepts above are the same across countries, but there can be some large differences, and the real problems usually come with the borderline cases which aren't explicitly spelled out by the laws. I don't want to dissuade you -- a page could certainly be helpful -- but it is an immense topic with a ton of subtleties. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:13, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, but there's still some simple typefaced/shaped logos and simple inelegible albuns/books covers that go for DR or Speedydelete. These kind of media files are very problematic. I actually think we should do a proper page for them. And there are countries who are very restrictive but their law can say that if the work is not nacional the mother country law is the one that must be applicable. Portugal for example has a law like that. You are right, I just posted these as examples. But I still think we should have a page for these kind of things. Mizunoryu 大熊猫❤小熊猫 (talk) 02:31, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

COM:CB#Concert photography[edit]

Please see Commons:Deletion requests/Bausch pictures. I think this particular RfD is a useful demonstration of the fact that the wording of COM:CB#Concert photography probably needs to be clarified and a more sure definition given. It would be of benefit if someone with the needed knowledge or expertise could chip in and provide this section of the page with a better explanation as to what falls under this branch and what does not. After all, a policy is useless if it is too ambiguous to be implemented with any rigour. Thanks, —Anonymous DissidentTalk 14:26, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Scale models[edit]

The current section only redirects potential uplaoders to Commons:Derivative works, which confuses them. A clear guidline must be added which must cover at least the following four cases:

  • Models of any type built by someone else.
  • Models built by the photographer from scratch.
  • Models built by the photographer from kits of parts.
  • Cast models and figurines only finished and painted by the uploader.

Sv1xv (talk) 09:56, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

In view of the broad disambiguation for en:Model you might get a little bit more specific. --Túrelio (talk) 10:34, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
The section (Commons:Image casebook#Models) refers to w:en:Scale models. I renamed the current header as well. Sv1xv (talk) 10:43, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Have a look at the files of the Category:Papenburger Werftsmuseum. The models of these ships are built to check the engineering drawings. That is the way to find out engineering mistakes in an early stage, not during the construction of the ship herself. [Saying that as former head of electrical engineering of a Shell petrochemical plant. In my time we built plants on scale before starting the real construction.] I cannot see why I am allowed to make fotographs of the original ships as a result of the engineering (the drawings will have copyrights) and not of the models. The same ships, built by the same drawings, but just on another scale, not 1:1 but say 1:100.--Stunteltje (talk) 10:29, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Logos in devices[edit]

Hi. What happen with this kind of images? (See their logos)

Are they unnacceptable in Commons? Thanks. Emijrp (talk) 17:24, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Usually they are acceptable and the display of a copyrighted logo is characterized as de minimis, See Commons:De minimis or COM:DM. Sv1xv (talk) 17:56, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks :) Emijrp (talk) 16:57, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Jewellery peices, Clocks and watches[edit]

In reading through the Image casebook, I've not found anything about what rules to apply in respect of the items mentioned in the header.

Although, some peices are too generic or simple, other peices may represent signifcant artistic effort on the part of a designer, and a lot of skill in respect of the Jeweller/goldsmith that manufactured the item.

Clocks and watches are related items.

The artwork on a watch face would presumably come under the same rules as any other 2D art? Sfan00 IMG (talk) 16:56, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Pre 1978 Advertisements in the US[edit]

I added a section on public domain advertisement from the United States. I have more details on my talk page. User_talk:Swtpc6800#Most pre-1978 magazine advertisements are likely in the public domain.

-- Swtpc6800 (talk) 04:04, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Press photos[edit]


I have just added a new section for press photos at COM:CB#Press photos. Please proofread or revert if you think this is not necessary. Teofilo (talk) 06:45, 27 August 2009 (UTC)


The section on antiquities is very unclear and appears to contradict itself. It says that some countries have laws regarding the protection of ancient sites, and implies that these laws may make images of them non-free in that country (e.g. photographs of Greek antiquities might be non-free in Greece). It then goes on to say that such photographs are acceptable to upload because they need to be free in the US, the jurisdiction where the photograph was taken and the jurisdiction they are being uploaded from. Obviously if an image taken in Greece is non-free in Greece then it isn't free in all three jurisdictions and so isn't allowed on Commons. Obviously an image cannot be both allowed and disallowed on Commons so this section needs clarifying. Thryduulf (talk) 01:32, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

I believe we consider those Commons:Non-copyright restrictions and thus they can still be "free". Internationally-recognized copyright has a limited term, which has obviously passed for antiquities, so they can't be protected via copyright really -- just other laws. It is an issue in that country, of course, but not enforceable anywhere else. Our definition of "free" is, generally, strictly as it relates to copyright; other restrictions are more case-by-case (such as privacy issues, which may make it illegal to publish at all), and usually are just noted with a tag if there are special issues we can warn about -- usually they just restrict particular uses. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:05, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
That makes sense, but the section on the page needs to be clarified so it says that. Thryduulf (talk) 01:18, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

I followed Carl's suggestion and have updated this section accordingly. --AFBorchert (talk) 17:53, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Re: Maps[edit]

Under Commons:Image casebook#Maps & satellite imagery, the advice seems pretty much to be no tracings or re-drawings of copyrighted maps, period.

Based on that, I argued on en:Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Banksia cuneata/archive1 that File:Banksia cuneata map.png is a copyviolation: the detailed coastlines are identical to the IBRA 6.1 and 5. The contents (maps and datasets) of the Australian Government website are copyrighted.[1] Hesperian, however, argued that data are non-copyrightable and he states that his use of the IBRA dataset is perfectly okay.

Searching around, I find that there is support for his opinion: Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 23#Using Australian Electoral Commission GIS data states that copyright only applies to expression, not data; Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 21#Potentially large problem with licensing states geographical lines are data, while state boundaries are knowledge. Hence, it seems perfectly fine to use the IBRA 6.1 dataset regardless of the government's claim of copyright.

However, Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 16#copyright of maps brings up copyrights on database. I also found that Australia permits copyrighting of databases (datasets) and a recent case law points that although you cannot freely reuse the entire database data, you can use an insignificant portion.[2]): "Any person who wishes to use all or a 'substantial part' (that is, any part that is important, essential or distinctive; it need not be a large part, and is judged more by the quality of what is taken than the quantity) of the database in any of the ways discussed above will need the permission of the copyright owner, unless copyright has expired (that is, generally the life of the creator plus 70 years) or a special exception applies." It seems that since the IBRA datasets are released in sectors of the country, File:Banksia cuneata map.png is not using an insignificant amount of the database.

Can anyone help to englighten on this? Jappalang (talk) 12:03, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

It is a fundamental tenet of copyright law that what is protected is the creative expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves. I obtained a spatial dataset, and rendered the spatial relationships specified therein into a raster image, making my own design decisions with respect to composition, background colour, line colour, line thickness, etc. Comments about similarity with some other image are irrelevant: the similarity is due to the same (or rather, very similar) spatial relationships underlying both; yet the map design, which is the copyrightable component, bears no comparison. Comments about "no tracings or re-drawings of copyrighted maps" are irrelevant; this has not occurred. Comments about copyrighting of databases are irrelevant; I have made use of data, not a database. And even if we did conflate "data" with "database", the spatial information embedded in a 699×936 raster image is surely an "insignificant portion" of the high-resolution vector data set. Hesperian 12:58, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Using geographical data to construct maps should not be an issue in Australia. Australia has no database rights, only copyrights. While it is true that Copyright law in Australia is more amenable to the "sweat of the brow" doctrine than in the United States, a map is not a "reproduction" of a database, it is a unique derivative of data. Here are some important quotes from the article you link to above which may help to clear up the issue:
  • "Australia has no specific law protecting databases so databases may only be protected if they fall under general copyright law."
  • "...copyright can subsist in compilations of data where the compilation is a product of a persons skill and labour in gathering the material for inclusion in the compilation and arranging that material in a unique way. However, copyright does not subsist in the individual pieces of data that make up the compilation."
Kaldari (talk) 18:23, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Sports strips?[edit]

Since I have no idea what a "sports strip" is I decided to look it up. As there was no information on Wikipedia, I searched Google. The top matches were all for little electrolyte strips you put in your mouth. Why exactly are these copyrighted and why do we care? Kaldari (talk) 23:32, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Interesting question; no idea either. But I think the "kit" is referring to the uniform; maybe "strip" is another term for that but I've never heard it. And I'm not sure about the conclusion in there, either, if that is correct. Logos may we be protected, but... clothes usually aren't. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:22, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Certainly in British English a "sports strip" is the design (team colours, team logo, ant sponsors logo, etc) used on the of kit a sports team. The team and any sponsors logos are very likely to be under copyright, but the question is whether the design as a whole is copyrightable. I would be surprised if it were different to the copyrightability (or otherwise) of designs on t-shirts, etc. My uninformed guess would be:
  • proabably PD-ineligable

  • Resenbrink.jpg

    probably PD-ineligible

  • possibly copyrightable

  • possibly copyrightable

  • I suspect that many clubs will claim copyright over their strip as selling replicas is big business. Thryduulf (talk) 14:13, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    They are most certainly a trademark, and making and selling replicas would not be a good idea without licensing that trademark :-) Some of the logos may be copyrightable, of course. Clothes in general are not copyrightable (they are utilitarian), and any photos of the players should be fine. Making a graphic with the design may hit a gray area for some of the complex designs, but should often be fine too. But thanks for clarifying the term; I had never heard that particular bit of British English before ;-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:40, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

    US Federally Funded Art[edit]

    Is a work of art that was entirely US federally funded in the public domain? (In particular, I am thinking of the federally funded murals during the depression area.) --Dtkinzer (talk) 20:59, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

    If they were employees of the U.S. government -- which I believe was the case with much of the depression-era stuff -- then yes, for works they did on the job. For works produced under federal grants, I would think usually not. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:51, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
    As Carl Lindberg says, the depression eras projects actually put the artists on the Federal payroll, so they are clearly PD-USGov. More recent projects may or may not be. While current US copyright law has a work for hire provision, we would have to look at the question of whether a particular work's copyright was owned by the government on a case by case basis.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 11:06, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
    We'd have to look individually at the question of whether the work was indeed a work made for hire for the U.S. government, in which case there is no copyright on the work and it falls under {{PD-USGov}}. If the work was not a work made for hire for the U.S. government, it does not fall under {{PD-USGov}}, even if the U.S. government should happen to own the copyrights on the work (for instance through assignment). The U.S. government may own assigned copyrights, but that doesn't mean that such copyrights cease to exist or to be enforcable. For such works, we'd still need a statement by the relevant U.S. government agency that they, as the owners of the copyright, place the work in the public domain or license it freely.
    For works resulting from the WPA's Federal Art Project, the artists indeed were employed by the WPA (not just contracted), and thus {{PD-USGov}} should hold for the works created under the FAP. But for instance the New Deal Art in U.S. Post Offices is apparently a different case, as the artists were not employed by the government. The crucial question is whether the artists were employed by a government agency, or whether they were just contracted. Lupo 14:27, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
    A clear example the artist retained copyright. He was given compensation (although he asked for 10% of 17million and got 5,000) QuentinUK (talk) 23:02, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
    News:(from en.): On September 20, 2013, The United States Court of Federal Claims awarded Gaylord $684,844.94 in damages. [3] …. Wait,… that's a dead link. vandalism? No. Real. --Elvey (talk) 03:36, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
    Local News: In enacting 17 U.S.C. § 105, Congress’ documented intention was to prevent a government official or employee from being able to restrain anyone from disseminating government works as a form of safeguard against censorship, and that special cases, where the production and publication of important works necessitates an override, will be handled by specific legislation, agency regulations, or contractual restrictions. Except in these special cases, "it can be assumed that, where a Government agency commissions a work for its own use merely as an alternative to having one of its own employees prepare the work, the right to secure a private copyright [is] withheld." This is documented at So, just because they're contracted doesn't mean they retained copyright. Based on this record of congressional intent, if there's no discussion of copyright, then, where a Government agency commissions a work for its own use merely as an alternative to having one of its own employees prepare the work, the work is in the public domain. I hadn't seen this record of congressional intent 'till recently, and I bet a bunch of regulars 'round here haven't either. It came to my attention via WMF legal staff. Looks like and the history section there need updating. @Clindberg:Whaddya think? --Elvey (talk) 03:14, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
    I'm not a fan of selective quoting. Just after the sentence you quoted, they continue: "However, there are almost certainly many other cases where the denial of copyright protection would be unfair or would hamper the production and publication of important works. Where, under the particular circumstances, Congress or the agency involved finds that the need to have a work freely available outweighs the need of the private author to secure copyright, the problem can be dealt with by specific legislation, agency regulations, or contractual restrictions." Which I take to mean that unless there are such "special legislation, agency regulations, or contractual restrictions", contractors' works are not PD-US-Gov. Lupo 06:43, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
    @Lupo:I'm not a fan of it either, when the intent is to deceive. And yet we've both quoted selectively. Every quotation is a quote without some context because you can't quote absolutely everything. I see why you bring up part of what I did not include. But I still take the whole piece (including the bit you quoted that follows the bit I quoted) to mean that unless there are such "special legislation, agency regulations, or contractual restrictions", it can be assumed that contractors' works are PD-US-Gov where a Government agency commissions a work for its own use merely as an alternative to having one of its own employees prepare the work. I think the phrase "However, there are almost certainly many other cases where" is important to understanding the whole, but you seem to ignore it. The phrase makes it clear to me that the part I did not quote is merely noting an exception to the rule. You haven't provided any argument for ignoring the part I did quote: "it can be assumed that, where a Government agency commissions a work for its own use merely as an alternative to having one of its own employees prepare the work, the right to secure a private copyright [is] withheld."
    On the other hand, I will grant you that the document's consistency would be greater if last sentence had read, "Where, under the particular circumstances, Congress or the agency involved finds that the need to have a work freely available is outweighed by the need of the private author to secure copyright, the problem can be dealt with by specific legislation, agency regulations, or contractual restrictions." As it stands, the report is quite a muddle of inconsistency. <sarcasm>Thank you Congress, esp. ! Good job creating more jobs for lawyers. </sarcasm> I think we need to look at the work product of some of those lawyers, of which I bet there is no shortage, to settle this. --Elvey (talk) 02:23, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

    Graffiti 3[edit]

    From the casebook:

    Graffiti are essentially murals that have been painted illegally. Photographs of graffiti have long been allowed on Commons. As artistic works, copyright in graffiti will theoretically belong to the original artist. However, it is unlikely that the artist would be able to enforce the copyright since that would require a court to uphold the validity of an illegal act as the basis for damages or other relief against a third party.

    I think that this goes against the other policies of commons such as COM:PRP, COM:L, COM:FOP and generally our rule that "just because the copyright holder probably won't try and sue us doesn't mean we should host unfree images". I accept that in countries where there is FOP for 2D images public graffiti can be considered PD, but in countries where FOP applies only to 3D works (eg the UK) then the graffitier clearly holds copyright of the image, whether or not they choose to exercise that copyright, and whether or not it is enforceable. Moreover, the rationale given, that such an act is illegal, would require statement that the property owner did not give permission (innocent until proven guilty) which, especially in the case of abandoned buildings or ones which have changed hands would be rather tricky to find. I would therefore like the note amended to something along the lines of:

    Graffiti is treated as with any other 2D public work - if there is a 2D freedom of panorama exemption in that country then it is OK, but if not it should be deleted unless it falls under de minimis guidelines.

    Comments? -mattbuck (Talk) 11:32, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

    There were news reports about the United Farmers Union sueing Corbis over murals in San Francisco (source). Probably, Corbis settled. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 11:51, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
    I think this is a tough issue, legal graffiti is copyrighted (as is any other legal artwork) with countries who do not have FOP for 2D artworks but illegal graffiti is the problem. I think it is an untested part of the law (IE: are illegal works copyrightable or gain copyright protection) in most if not all countries that don't have FOP for 2D artworks but we all know if a illegal graffiti artwork has say a cartoon character it is a derivative work (most cartoon character are protected by copyright, no question about that). Bidgee (talk) 13:08, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
    In the US, at least, any work eligible for copyright is protected from the moment it is placed in tangible form. That a work is illegal would have to be adjudicated, which would imply that it would lose copyright protection. And if the finding of illegality were overturned on appeal, one would presume that it would regain copyright protection. IANAL, but this doesn't make a lot of sense. I agree with Mattbuck that the current wording is based on "won't try to sue us" rather than any clear lack of protection.--Curtis Clark (talk) 13:38, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
    The essential problem with graffiti is the orphaned works problem. No illegal graffiti artist is ever going to license their work under a free license, or even sign it with their real name, as it would incriminate them. Even for FOP, it's difficult to argue that a work of illegal graffiti is "permanently installed" in any sense of the word, which is a requirement in most FOP nations. There are certain circumstances in which it's obvious that the work was created illegally, and if this does create a copyright exemption then I don't think we need to worry. If it doesn't, maybe we should look into getting a release from the one of those artists who paints on "legal graffiti walls" where people are allowed to paint graffiti. Dcoetzee (talk) 16:10, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
    It's a little more than that, even -- there is a general common-law reluctance to let people profit from crimes. Also, prior to 1989, there was no issue at all -- it would have lacked a copyright notice and thus would have been PD immediately. This is a rather new (probably mostly untested) situation in the last 20 years, for the U.S. anyways. In general, people were "used" to not worrying about copyright on such things. Anything done with permission though isn't "graffiti", they are murals, and would be copyrighted now. I believe User:MichaelMaggs was pretty confident about the existing policy in regards to the UK even though they don't have FOP for it (my memory of an older post of his; this has been discussed before). Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:26, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
    How about a modern day Sidewalk Sam who does "graffiti" in chalk? Sidewalk Sam, Robert Charles Guillemin, signed and dated his work. File:Sidewalk Sam Boston July 1974.jpg -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 20:16, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
    Today would be an interesting case. Could depend on where it was placed and how it was photographed (and it may not be illegal in the first place, done that way, either). In that particular case though, while signed, there was no copyright notice, so no copyright. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:38, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
    Hi. This has recently come up at Wikipedia, at the Public Domain guideline. I'd like to call attention to this 2007 article in the New York Times. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 19:52, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
    I'm not sure I lump artwork on the scale mentioned in that article as "graffiti". Those sure sound like murals, done with permission, and were apparently signed as well. Commons:Image casebook#Murals spells that out differently. Illegality is the only reason we could even think to keep them; "legal graffiti" we would consider "murals" for purposes of the guideline. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:39, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
    Thanks. I see the distinction better now. FWIW, I've managed to get my hands on this article in the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Pracitce, but due to stupid real life work (stupid real life! :P) have not had time yet to read it. I doubt there's anything definitive in there, but it may have some implications about its subject ("Legal questions about illegal art") worth considering. I'll bring back anything I take out of it, though since it's available to subscribers, others may have managed to read it and find anything worthwhile before I do. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:05, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
    William Patry discussed that article here, but I haven't seen the content. That was in the wake of the case where elements of VARA (artist's rights) were disallowed because the work was installed illegally. That was a case though where allowing VARA restrictions would seriously inconvenience a landowner when they didn't ask for the works in the first place; pure copyright may be different. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:54, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

    (resetting indent) Okay, I've read through the article. It's not as useful as I had hoped it would be. :) It is more by nature of an opinion piece with some summary of existing legislation. Rychlicki's opinion is pretty clear: "Each of these jurisdictions [Poland, UK, USA] defines an object liable for copyright protection quite broadly. It may thus be assumed that, if a piece of graffiti features individual, creative, and materialized characters, it is protected by copyright law. Additionally, neither moral nor public order circumstances, which might potentially determine whether a graffiti work is recognized as a protected work, are mentioned in them." He also argues that "It cannot be assumed that graffiti cannot be recognized as a work to which the author waived his rights on the sole basis that it is illegal and such works do not enter the public domain immediately. Nor is there any presumption that the author agrees to any licence in the absence of clear evidence of his consent." He points out that there have been legal challenges to copyright based on the legality or morality (obscenity) of content: English v. BFC&R E. 11th St. LLC is referenced (the case you mention above, of course), but draws no conclusion about the pure copyright issues. I can't access the court documents, so I don't know specifically if the court address the issue.

    I don't hang out much on Commons, but it seems like it might be useful to generate a licensing tag to be associated with images of graffiti, since the legal question has not evidently been resolved. (At least as of 2008.) This would facilitate addressing them if it should in the future be nailed down to permit copyright protection, and it would also alert reusers that there are unresolved legal questions that may impact them and their use in the future. That seems like responsible stewardship while at the same time not being overly cautious. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:42, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

    I have (belatedly) acted on this suggestion by creating {{Non-free graffiti}}, which I will advertise at COM:VP. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:34, 3 November 2011 (UTC)


    Commons:Image_casebook#Drawings_based_on_photographs says that "...A drawing made from a copyrighted photograph is a derivative work...Drawings based on several photos are derivative works of all of them...".

    Is the part about several photos correct? If you see Commons:Deletion requests/File:KGerstein.jpg and Commons:Deletion requests/File:Richard Perle-2b.jpg then most of the comments are something like "Keep" and "Stop this copyright madness". So either the DR's are wrong or the Image casebook is wrong.

    I also think that we should "demand" a source so we can verify that image is free. So uploader should either link to one or more images that has been used as source or claim something like "I met the person on the street and draw the picture by memory." or "Saw the person in TV and made the drawing based on that.". --MGA73 (talk) 21:07, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

    I don't see any derivative works there. Making a drawing using photographs to just get a general idea of what a subject looks like is fine. Copyright protects specific expression, not someone's general likeness -- i.e. the specific angles, lines, shadows, etc. specific to that particular photograph. A drawing would be a derivative work only if it contained those same specific lines, shadows, etc. from one (or more) source photographs. As for requiring sources... eh. While helpful, it's no different than other photographs where the author claims "own work" and gives no source. If we discover a source photograph too close to the drawing, nominate for deletion then. You can use photographs as general guides just fine -- they do not own copyright in objects or people they depict, only the specific expression in the *way* they are depicted, so drawings are only a problem if they copy some of that precise expression. As for the guideline, "based on" may be too vague. It really means if copyrightable expression is copied. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:09, 30 July 2010 (UTC)
    Strange. The legal situation is clear. Shephard Fairey was forced to settle with the photographer of the Obama portrait (the judge told them so). /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 21:00, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
    Yup, and these are different to me. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:16, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
    File:Richard Perle-2.jpg is probably based on - the angle, shadow, all that. It is the same for the drawing of Kurt Gerstein, where there are fewer photos known. The contributors to Commons are not in general greatly talented artists, they keep the same angle (maybe with a flip) and shadows, they cannot change much more than for example the pattern of a tie. They only make the drawing because they want to illustrate an article, but free photos are lacking. It is just trying to circumvent the rights that photographers have to their work. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 21:34, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
    I would disagree that that is a derivative work as well. Separate expression of the same idea to me. In looking at the small details, I don't see any copied. Vaguely the same angle of the face, and vaguely the same angle of the light, but that's it. I don't think that's enough to carry a copyright. I don't see any copying of the specific placement of hair, same shape to the eyes, etc., etc. You have to identify stuff specific to that photograph, not simply that a photograph was used as a reference to make a drawing. I don't see it on the Gerstein one either; again that seems to be an original drawing. It is certainly possible to make a drawing that is derivative of a photograph (we've deleted some), but these, to me, are examples of drawings that are OK. The Obama one is quite different; that is most definitely using that specific photograph as a source -- note that a very similar photo was thought to be the source for a while, but those two photos are not derivative of each other, and a drawing which differs by at least that much is also not derivative to me. The Hope poster however used many of the fine details and did achieve a similar look because of it. Photographers do not get a copyright on someone's face; something is derivative by copying the very specific expression found in the particular photo -- I'm looking at specific outlines, particular tufts of hair, that kind of thing, whereas different lines in vaguely similar positions does not do it for me since those are an artifact of the pictured person and not any expression attributable to the photographer. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:57, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
    @Clindberg:@MGA73: Sorry, but I have to dispute this. This is a complex issue that hinges on Commons:TOO. However, any drawing that strays from the original in minute details begins to build a more and more compelling argument (on Commons) for its own copyright. I think that's mistaken. Take Commons:Deletion requests/File:Susan Boyle.jpg, where, despite a clear majority electing to keep the painting, the reviewer found that it was a derivative work. And that was paint derived from video. I'm still shocked the reviewer approved the deletion request. In the above case, the author has said she drew them from various films and photos. However, I think there's a very compelling case in File:Richard Perle-2.jpg being derived from . What's the line? What's the exact wording regarding these policies? -- Veggies (talk)
    Of course once a drawing strays from the original it begins to create its own copyright. The question, when it comes to derivative works, is if there is any expression from the original *left*. If there is, it's still derivative. That is not to say the person making the drawing has not created additional copyrightable expression, but if there is more than a de minimis amount of expression left from the original, it's a derivative work and distribution rights are controlled by the author of the underlying work, at least until that copyright expires. I do not remember the Susan Boyle one at all, but it's very possible there was an issue -- if you can identify elements of the drawing that were definitely taken from that photograph, it could very well be a problem. Deletion requests are not votes -- there is no "majority", there is only "best argument". When it comes to a photograph, the copyrightable expression is generally in the specific angle chosen, the crop, the lighting (if under control of the photographer), and elements along those lines. The subject itself is not part of the copyrightable expression. So when looking to see whether a drawing is derivative, you are looking to see if some of the specific angles/lines from the photograph have been copied, or if it's the exact same angle, etc. It is very possible to make a drawing from several photographs (or even one photograph) as a reference and not have it be derivative. It's also possible to make a drawing based off of two photographs and have it be derivative of both of them. The Perle one... is kinda close, and it was most probably that photograph which served as a reference. However, what expression, specifically, is still present in the drawing? In a copyright context, "based on" means "copied expression from", and not "used as a reference". The angle is basically straight-on, that may not be enough for a copyright in the first place. The lighting is indeed similar, but none of the specific outlines -- and thus the specific lighting or angles -- seem to be copied. The drawing has blurred those lines enough. The photographer cannot prevent someone else from taking another portrait head on and with the light from the right side -- they can only prevent re-uses of the specific expression as fixed in their photograph in particular. There is a little bit of the facial expression replicated... whatever argument exists probably rests on that. You often are looking for the small details matching up, and not the generalities. As for the policy, we simply follow copyright law. If it's a derivative work per copyright law, then we need to delete (unless we have permission from the underlying work's author), and if it's not, then we can keep it (provided it's licensed of course). Now, copyright law itself is tangled and complex, which means there will never be a simple answer. Some links which might help are a Copyright Office circular, page on derivative works (though not really on derivatives of photographs; they may have other pages which get more into that), Section D on this page, Chapter 9 of the Copyright Compendium which covers visual art works in general, and Chapter 3, which (in section 311) goes over some aspects, though more geared towards how much expression is needed to add in order to create something copyrightable, instead of this question, which is when there is nothing copyrightable left from the original. There is some discussion at meta:Wikilegal/Copyright of X-Ray Images#Copyrightability of Photographs in General on what makes a photograph copyrightable; you would have to identify elements of that nature which still exist in the drawing for it to be derivative. That does happen a lot, but it's not necessarily true even when using a photo as a reference. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:06, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

    Thanks for that explanation. Very detailed. I'm mostly active on Wikipedia, and I've run across various paintings and drawings in biography articles (Susan Boyle is a good example) that I strongly suspected were there to get around copyright because no free picture existed. They drive me up a wall. And what was worse was that (especially for popular celebrities), a majority of editors would end up arguing for their inclusion. Crazy stuff. -- Veggies (talk) 21:45, 12 March 2015 (UTC)


    I've had to look this one up quite a bit. It would be really nice if someone knowledgeable on the subject could add it. Mainly I was referring to military medals, but we might want to include medals of all types just for clarity. My guess is that military medals will follow the rules for the military of any given country: from what I can tell, only the US grants PD status to military works (although works-for-hire are of course not PD). Magog the Ogre (talk) 05:48, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

    Butter sculptures[edit]

    Dumb question, but aren't the images in Category:Butter sculptures derivative of copyrighted 3D art? Most of these images were taken recently in the United States. Kelly (talk) 01:41, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

    Yes, yes they are - and they should be deleted unless the original artist released their sculpture under a suitable license. I've created a mass deletion request at Commons:Deletion requests/Images in Category:Butter sculptures. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:57, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

    Language subpages[edit]

    To foster translations and to make this more usefull to all people I suggest to move the individual topics to language subpages and to transclude them here so that any user

    • will read the casebook in their language, if available, and otherwise will read the image casebook in English (fallback language) if no translation exists
    • will be able to understand the instructions if a help link COM:CB#Album_covers will be given to them, and will not skip to read the help because of not understanding English language and continue copyvio uploading - so people can link to the relevant language without caring what language the user they try to inform speaks
    • can easily swith between languages without leaving the page, this can be done with a langswitch at the top of the page I guess
    • can translate a small portion of the casebook into their language

    To allow for maintenance I suggest not to move the cases into translated subpages such as Image_casebook/Werbung for a german version of /Advertisements but keep the original case in english and make it Image_casebook/Advertisements/en and Image_casebook/Advertisements/de and so on. Headlines can be part of the translation, we can and should set various {{Anchor}}s here on the main transclusion page to allow linking. This idea might be helpfull on this help page as their will not exist an "official" versions like in policy pages. --Martin H. (talk) 14:43, 7 January 2011 (UTC)


    I have created Commons:Image casebook#Slideshows with a recommendation to upload standalone photographs and then use derivativefx.

    For example File:UCET slide show-show0.ogv has just been uploaded, and it is very difficult to say if "own work" refers to the making of the slideshow or to the taking of each photograph. Apparently it is OK because at least one picture was provided as a standalone one, but the use of derivativefx would make such checking easier and systematic. Teofilo (talk) 15:07, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

    Request for Comment at CFD: Canned beverages[edit]

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be helpful: Commons:Categories_for_discussion/2011/03/Category:Canned_beverages. - Themightyquill (talk) 06:54, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

    Fixed medium - ice sculptures[edit]

    Much like butter sculptures (see above) - however, this is even less of a "fixed medium" than butter sculptures. I'm not terribly familiar with the term though - Commons:Copyright rules by subject matter#Fireworks displays states that something must be on a fixed medium. Would ice not qualify as "fixed"? Magog the Ogre (talk) 04:20, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

    Product Packaging[edit]

    Wikipedia has dozens of articles about various types of package structures. The articles discuss the package types and their functions but there is clarity added by pictures of the relevant packages. Often the pictures also have graphic content but the use of the picture is to show the package structure to Wikipedia readers. How can we both 1) use good descriptive pictures of packages to show package structures and 2) keep the spirit of copywrite requirements? Rlsheehan (talk) 18:39, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

    Photos of Banners outside[edit]

    Some questions on banners:

    1. Are Photos of banners outside on a building allowed on commons?.
    2. Which licence do i have to use ?
    3. What about the author? is it enought to name the organisation using that banner?
    4. Do there exist some helpful links on this topic on commons ?

    --OneDayPeace (talk) 21:35, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

    You're more likely to get a useful response if you head over to Commons:Village pump/Copyright, especially since the short answer is "it depends, tell us more about the photos." --Philosopher Let us reason together. 12:27, 3 November 2011 (UTC)


    For your information, there is a discussion about graffiti going on at Commons:Deletion requests/Template:Non-free graffiti. This partially seems to contain statements by people who want the current graffiti practice to be changed. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:03, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

    I made some minor clarifications to the Graffiti section. It seems to me that the act of painting graffiti in a public location, by its very nature, grants a license to the general public to view the work. Additionally, absent any clear indication of restriction on the license, we should assume the license broadly unless notified otherwise. Should a real person (i.e. an identifiable person not an anonymous user) object to their artistic work being displayed on Commons (and it is reasonable that they could be the artist) we should remove the artwork pending a determination of the competent authority for the jurisdiction in which the graffiti is located regarding (1) whether the artist truly owns the work, (2) and that the work is subject to copyright protection. --Trödel 15:46, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
    I don't see how a 'licence' to view the work is particularly relevant. What matters is whether it implies they are either giving up on the copyright, or allowing the artwork to be reproduced significantly freely that it would quality as free on the commons, or by their actions make their work ineligible for protection. Obviously in countries with a broad freedom of panorama for 2D artwork, it may be that freedom of panorama will make any claimed copyright of the artwork moot (although it may get complicated, e.g. in Germany is it considered a permanent display?), but this doesn't apply to all countries. In this vein, it's the same as in other cases. E.g. a public an advertisement on a billboard is clearly intended for the public to view, it doesn't mean that the advertisment has no copyright protection. In other words, as always, it's copyright that matters here, not whether the photographer was legally allowed to view whatever they were viewing.
    Note that the specifics of copyright protection of graffiti is sometime discussed on occasion, e.g. [4] [5] although I'm not aware of any specific case law. (It's not clear to me whether the graffiti on this was an anonymous vandalism or labelled and done with permission and [6] was settled and had a fair use consideration.)
    Incidentally, I've seen people elsewhere suggest elsewhere that by the act of painting on property without permission, the copyright is transferred to the owner of whatever it was painted on. I don't know if there's any real legal basis for this, but even if true, it doesn't help us unless the new copyright holders of the artwork agree to release the image under a free licence. In fact, it may make it worse.
    Nil Einne (talk) 14:24, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
    Granting a license is what we require on Commons - so it is very relevant. When someone allows the use of an image on commons they are not giving up their copyright or there is not a determination that that they are ineligible for protection - what they are doing is licensing their work for use on commons.
    Similarly, by painting graffiti in a public place, possibly illegally, one is granting a license to the general public to the work. Whether this license is broad enough (and specific enough) to qualify as a "free" license for commons purposes may be argued, but that the owner granted the license is relevant. --Trödel 19:45, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
    I wasn't intending to suggest people have to give up copyright to release work on the commons. My point was and is there's no evidence that someone painting graffiti is 'granting a license to the general public to the work' as you now state. All we have evidence for is (if you want to get technical) they are granting a 'licence' to view the specific instance of the work (unless further legal restrictions are imposed, as the owner of the work allows) as in most cases when a copyright holder makes or authorises a work based on their copyright (whether a painting, a building or a packet of chips) but that's irrelevant to the commons. (I feel this is a fairly confusing description but if you want to use it, so be it.) We IMO have zero evidence they are granting a licence that is sufficiently free for commons, which requires that they licence people to make reproductions, derivatives and doing this commercially etc and not just view the specific work which is obviously not even what we have on the commons (but rather a reproduction of the work). Nil Einne (talk) 18:28, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
    I disagree - we have evidence that the vandal clearly is licensing the work for public display by the very act of the painting graffiti. Secondly, who is the owner of the work, in the United States, in my legal opinion, it is the owner of the property that is vandalized, which, in the case of vandalism to public property, puts it in the public domain.
    Finally, we have no one that can exercise any right to the work. We don't know who the artist/vandal is, and they don't identify themselves: there is no one to protect - no one to exercise the copyright. Although notice/registration is no longer necessary to secure rights in a work. Howe can a right exist when there is no one to exercise that right. --Trödel 16:11, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

    There is now a second discussion at COM:UR#Graffitis. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:41, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

    Body art and tattoos?[edit]

    I came here partially because of Commons:Deletion requests/File:OC.jpg but I'm interested in the wider issue. We have a fair number of Category:Body tattoos but have we sufficiently considered the copyright issues here? From [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] issues surrounding copyright and tattoos haven't really been tested in court possibly in any country but there's it's not clear that they have no merit and there have been settled cases. Or to put it a different way, I don't know if you can say we have clear cut reason to believe tattoos are ineligible for copyright. Or that a person with a tattoo, where the intention is clearly to show the tattoo rather then simply an incidental appearance, is able to grant a free licence i.e. allowing reproductions including derivatives and commercial use without permission of the putative copyright holder (which would seem to suggest someone can base their tattoo designs on the image or otherwise reproduce it in contexts outside images of the original tattoo).

    Like in graffiti cases, I don't think we should ignore such concerns simply because of the unlikelyhood of being sued or the fact the artist probably didn't even think of their copyright. (And of course, unlike in graffiti cases, the designer is usually not initially anonymous and doesn't generally have to worry about criminal or civil action, except possibly for stuff like gang and prison tattoos.) Some of these may be works for hire or old enough that any copyright has expired, other's may be sufficiently simple to be ineligible for copyright and yet others may be designed by the uploader (I noticed in at least some cases the uploader appears to be a tattoo artist or something of that sort) or the uploader may have received permission from the designer to release their artwork under an appropriate licence. But I'm not sure if these issues have been considered in all cases, some appear to include fairly distinctive artwork and it's not clear the uploader is the designer or had permission of the designer to grant such a licence. In some cases multiple designers may be involved.

    Deleting current images may be controversial, but should we at least consider getting stricter with new images and perhaps including discussion in the casebook? (If we do, I think perhaps some brief explaination or links relating to work for hire would be helpful since it's often misunderstood, something we also get with professional photographs.) Or at the very least, perhaps a template similar to the graffiti one where we effectively tag those images as possibly being unfree. Some people may get angry if we tell them we have concerns about copyright over something on their body (although I don't think the person with the tattoo is always the uploader) but I don't think that's sufficient justification for us to ignore copyright concerns. For those having trouble thinking of copyright when it comes to the human body, perhaps we can provide an hypothetical example of a tattoo of some copyrighted content. (I tried thinking of examples but couldn't off the top of my head, as examples like Mickey Mouse aren't the best due to additional trademark concerns.)

    Nil Einne (talk) 19:14, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

    I would rather have court cases to point to when deleting stuff like that. There's all sorts of theoretical, possible stuff regarding copyright in lots of areas, but until something gets beyond that, I'd leave them be. I'd have to think they would be fair use in all but the most extraordinary circumstances, and even then it may be OK. Really, this is more sliding down the slope of copyright paranoia. It's a sticky issue there because tattoos are so personal; to suggest the tattoo artist has an ownership interest of something that's part of your own body is a very messy path to go down. Deleting pictures of statues and buildings is bad enough, and we do have court precedents for that stuff. There was a tattoo artist who sued Rasheed Wallace of the NBA for something surrounding a tattoo he did for him, but I don't think the case went well for him, and they settled. That particular case may have been more problematic, since Wallace may well have been considered a co-author, which changes things completely. But in my opinion, let's wait until someone proves there is a concrete, actual problem with such stuff in court, rather than giving legitimacy to all potential copyright claims. If a tattoo artist has an issue with a particular image here, let's deal with it individually. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:52, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
    Notwithstanding the lack of case law in this area, it seems evident that in the large majority of cases the bearer of the tattoo is not the copyright holder of the tattoo. I can only think of a few cases where they would be: if they did the design and the tattoo artist copied it with no embellishments; if a contract transferred copyright to them; or if it was a work for hire in a nation where such transfers occur implicitly (i.e. not the US). In many cases tattoo artists draw template drawings of the tattoos that are available and merely have the customer pick one - clearly in such cases the work was already in a conventional fixed form before it was ever tattooed. Complicating notes: Many cases, including kanji tattoos, should qualify as {{PD-text}}. In some cases, with particularly popular tattoos, tattoo artists share designs without a license (or even permission), or create tattoos that are derivative works of non-free copyrighted works or characters. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:27, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
    If the person wearing the tattoo had input on the design, they could very well be at least a joint author. That changes things significantly -- even under copyright law, they would not need the tattooer's permission for most things. But any such cases would involve a good deal of other common law stuff I'm sure; following copyright law blindly may end up with undesirable results -- judges may not go that far. Which is why I'd rather wait for actual court results before changing any policy on them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:00, 27 March 2012 (UTC)


    Recently, File:FGWL-train-with-London-2012-artwork-01.jpg and File:FGWL-train-with-London-2012-artwork-02.jpg were deleted as derivative works. To me, these two deletions to me set a dangerous precedent. They are images of a livery (admittedly nonstandard) which was applied to a train. Our policy has always previously seemed to be that trains are utilitarian objects, and thus ineligible for copyright, and we extend that to what is painted on them.

    As far as I am concerned, there is no difference between a nonstandard livery which advertises the London 2012 olympics, and a standard livery which doesn't, but is certainly not PD-simple. Take for instance the three images below, these are all standard liveries, and all clearly complex enough to not be PD-simple, especially given the low threshold of originality in the UK. The deleting admin later stated on his talk page I see a significant difference between a livery -- decoration of a utilitarian object to identify the owner of the object -- a bus, truck, train, airplane, or ship -- and applying an independent work of art to a surface that happens to be one of those. These images are essentially advertisements and I think we need to treat them as if they were on billboards, even though the billboard happens to be a train. That is different from a livery. I completely disagree with this. I mean, where do we draw a line. Is it still "just a billboard" if the same image is applied to all the trains of a particular operator? At what point does it change from mural to livery, and why does it being a livery mean it's ok? I hate myself for saying this, but we need to make a decision. Either we accept that anything you paint on a train is eligible for freedom of panorama, or we delete every single image of a train which is not a single colour, which, given accessibility regulations for colour schemes, is all of them. -mattbuck (Talk) 17:23, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

    I agree with you. These 2 images should not have been deleted. Yann (talk) 18:10, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
    A livery is utilitarian as a standard thing for identifying the operator. A special livery advertising the Olympics is still utilitarian, still carrying out that function, but additionally an advertisement. It's a grey area, and it's not unreasonable to apply COM:PRP. Rd232 (talk) 16:24, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
    Indeed, the deleted images were not photos of trains as such but close-up photos specifically of the non-free images on the sides of the carriages. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:51, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

    Does this meet the threshold of originality?[edit]

    File:Jayne and flowers.jpg
    The image in the picture-frame is a Playboy image (February, 1955)

    Please check. This would be a great help. The image was taken by the flickr uploader and released as cc-by-sa. I have uploaded it as the same. But, that doesn't say anything about the threshold of originality. I am aware that playboy is very sensitive about copyright matters, and rightfully so. Therefore, this needs and experienced or learned opinion. Mine will not do. Sigh. Aditya (talk) 09:47, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

    Unless the photo of Mansfield is public domain, I don't think that photo is OK here. Doubt it would count as fair use either. It's a very intentional part of the larger photo. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:19, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
    Since the image within is not in public domain (no Playboy image is), can someone help me to get it removed? It would be funny if I take my own upload to deletion request. I'll support a delete nonetheless. Aditya (talk) 22:27, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
    You mean you've checked the copyright was renewed on all Playboy images? It's a US image from 1955 - the copyright has expired if it wasn't renewed. Probably it was, but... Rd232 (talk) 16:20, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

    Marching band shows/formations?[edit]

    Please comment at Commons:Village pump/Copyright#Photos of marching bands?. So far we have two contradictory opinions. Thanks, cmadler (talk) 17:03, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

    Balloons, Batmobile, 2nd Life[edit]

    Recently an image was deleted of a hot air balloon in the shape of w:SpongeBob SquarePants. I just uploaded File:Energizer Bunny Hot Air Balloon 2009.jpg to kick around as well. We also have images in Category:Batmobile (1966). There was a court case that seems to state that it is copyrighted even though it is a vehicle. We also have images from w:Second Life that are 3D versions of copyrighted works from real life. File:Yellow Submarine Second Life.png is one example. Do we need new sections on the project page to clarify some of these issues? SpongeBob Second Life, Batmobile Second Life, Storm Trooper Second Life, Mickey Mouse Second Life.

    • Unique hot air balloons and FOP
    • Copyrighted vehicle designs
    • Second Life images of real life copyrighted works
    Thoughts?--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:22, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
    I can't see any reasonable grounds on which we could keep the images you mention as they all clearly seem to be copyright-protected. Are there any counter-arguments? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:33, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

    Purpose and format of this page[edit]

    The original purpose of this page, when first written, was to provide very simple and easy-to-use non-legal information on the acceptability of various type of subject matter. As the page has developed it has become rather more legalistic, and users have added details of court cases and links to deletion requests to back up the basic information. To my mind, that is all very good, and the addition of legal supporting material should always be encouraged. Not only does it help the more sophisticated users understand the basis for the guidelines here, it also helps to show that our rules are based on secure legal principles and are not just 'made up'.

    As more support material gets added, this page is in danger of getting very long, and unless anyone objects I'm intending to go through it and to try to separate to the text for each country into two parts:

    1. A short non-legal statement of what is allowed here, and
    2. Supporting material, including legal analysis where available, with links to court cases and to relevant DRs on Commons.

    --MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:47, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

    Graffiti 4[edit]

    If we are considering that the original graffiti artist can not enforce any copyrights as the act itself is illegal in most of the places, do we need permission from the photographer? Its a derivative art, but if the derivation is not worth of any artistic nature that it may be copyrightable, why do we require permissions from these photographers for their release? Indirectly, i mean two questions here. (1) Can i upload any pic of graffiti found on flickr, panoramio, or any website, even if explicitly copyrighted? (2) If the work is not copyrighted, shouldn't all the images of graffiti be in Public Domain rather than CC-BY-SA-2.0, 3.0 or whatever? §§Dharmadhyaksha§§ {T/C} 10:27, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

    The original graffiti artist often doesn't have any evidence of authorship, so this person is unable to enforce any copyright in most cases.
    In the event that the graffiti artist does have evidence of authorship, the copyright normally expires 70 years after the death of the graffiti artist. It would be unwise for the graffiti artist to sue anyone over copyright infringement during the first few years (say, 1-10 years depending on country) because this would mean that the graffiti artist would be sued for vandalism by the property owner. However, once that time has passed, the property owner can't sue the graffiti artist due to prescription, so the graffiti artist is free to sue anyone for copyright infringement during the remaining years of the copyright term.
    In some countries, graffiti may be covered by freedom of panorama rules. For example, in Sweden, you are free to take photos of artworks which are permanently installed in a public place outdoors. This should cover most graffiti. Also, in the United States, there was a court case (Leicester v. Warner Bros.) which concluded that artworks which can't be separated from a building are counted as a part of that building. This may mean that some graffiti is covered by freedom of panorama in the United States, at least as long as the building doesn't satisfy {{PD-US-architecture}}. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:42, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
    Thanks for the explanation. I have a questions now. So in cases where 2D art is not covered under FOP, there is chance that original artist may enforce copyrights. For example, in Australia, 2D art is not allowed and this graffiti File:Street Art Painting Retro Sign Richmond.JPG is on a board that is attached to a building and thus can be separated. So, we should delete this? §§Dharmadhyaksha§§ {T/C} 06:27, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
    Yes, I think we must. This is more akin to a poster than graffiti, and seems to me to be a clear copyright infringement. FOP does not cover this in Australia. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:24, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
    This is a case where COM:PRP typically is ignored and where unfree images are accepted. The topic is discussed once in a while (see for example #Graffiti above), and the typical outcome is to keep these images, at least if the art is anonymous. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:45, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

    Coming to the second part of my main question. What should be the license of most of the graffities? Many of these are 2D copying and hence the copyright holder would either be the creator, if known, or no one. In such cases, shouldn't all such images be converted to PD rather than other licenses where the photographer demands a wrongful attribution. §§Dharmadhyaksha§§ {T/C} 07:08, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

    When making a copy of a 2D work, the person making the copy is the copyright holder in lots of countries, so please don't remove any licences. Illegal graffiti is supposed to be tagged with {{Non-free graffiti}} unless the graffiti is in the public domain or the reproduction is covered by freedom of panorama. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:32, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
    A photograph could contain a graffiti work as an element in the overall work. The photographer could claim a copyright on the overall work. Here is an example File:Sidewalk Sam Boston July 1974.jpg -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 16:51, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
    @Stefan: No! I am not changing any licenses without discussing here with you. And even if you agree, i think i will require more people to agree on this before such licenses are changed. For 2D copying, if you say in some countries that can allow creating copyrights, it should be so mentioned at Commons:2D copying. This page of ours says that the copyier has no rights.
    @Swtpc: That example of yours is right. I myself have uploaded this image File:Jesus is coming, look busy.JPG which is not a 2D copying but more a image which has the graffiti in it. In such cases, the photographer can release under a license of his choice. But for images where its mostly like a 2D coping, like File:Detroit Graffiti.jpg, i don't understand how the photographer gets to decide the license. §§Dharmadhyaksha§§ {T/C} 07:25, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

    Hello @Dharmadhyaksha: @Swtpc6800: @MichaelMaggs: @Stefan4: I'd like to revive this discussion as at least for me, there is still some confusion. COM:GRAFFITI seems to imply that, under most circumstances, graffiti made in the United States after 1978 should be considered non-free and have the {{Non-free graffiti}} template. Yet while sifting through Category:Street art in the United States, I was unable to find any image with this tag. Also COM:L#Acceptable licenses states no non-free media other than WikiMedia logos should be on Commons... does this not apply if the {{Non-free graffiti}} template is used? Thanks — MusikAnimal talk 00:38, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

    It seems that Dcoetzee created the {{Non-free graffiti}} template in 2011, but it has not been much used. Photos of graffiti have long been allowed on Commons without any problems, and while you have identified a problem with the template, or its usage, I don't think the template's existence changes the community understanding that graffiti are normally OK to be hosted here. It's probably true that not all editors agree with that position, but in spite of the odd grumble there has so far been no serious attempt to overturn community consensus on this. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:55, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
    @MichaelMaggs: Are images of graffiti still considered non-free, then? If so there are issues that must be resolved on the Wikipedias, where use of non-free media must be minimal. However, since these images are on commons, I feel like they must be safe to use in any capacity? Thanks for the help! — MusikAnimal talk 17:02, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
    The consensus is that they are Ok on Commons, which means that they can then be used on the Wikipedias. As with any images, no guarantees are given to re-users, but I'm not aware of any particular issues in practice. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:23, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
    In regard to this, recently a number of graffiti have been deleted from Commons, see Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Graffiti in Ljubljana etc. Perhaps these should be brougt up for undeletion at COM:UDR, otherwise our general stance should be reviewed. --Eleassar (t/p) 17:39, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
    You're now talking about the specifics of certain images rather than the default position, and of course in any specific case there may be additional legal or factual information which can change the default. The DR you mention seems to have largely focused on local legal opinion, which is as it should be. I'm not familiar enough with local laws to say whether the closure was correct, nor whether you have any chance at UDR. The apparently knowledgeable opinions on local law may be difficult to overcome. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:47, 7 April 2014 (UTC)


    Notably absent from this list are various types of interfaces, esp. computer.   — C M B J   23:49, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

    They would fall within the Screenshots section. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 03:24, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

    Press photos[edit]

    Did we seek consensus that press photos released to newspapers for publication is actually considered publication even though the papers may not have printed a version? Sample: File:Jeanne Cooper 1977.JPG. See also w:Film_still#Copyright--Canoe1967 (talk) 14:10, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

    Publication before 1978 in the U.S. is very broad: Before the "new" copyright law took effect in 1978, "publication" was basically leaving an authorized copy (including the original) in any location where people could reproduce the copyrighted part of it, including any public display: See en:Chicago Picasso#History and the related court case Letter Edged in Black Press, Inc. v. Public Building Commission of Chicago, in which the sculpture, even though it had a copyright notice, lost copyright because the previous, publicly-viewable models of it had no copyright notice. Even from 1978 on, transferring authorized duplicates to outside parties is "publication". (But only publication before March 1989 makes a U.S. first-publication lose copyright; I haven't seen any evidence that works first published since 1989 are public domain.) --Closeapple (talk) 09:13, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

    FYI: Commons:Deletion_requests/Template:Non-free_graffiti[edit]

    I suggested the deletion of the above mentioned template, which would come along with a change of Commons:Copyright_rules_by_subject_matter#Graffiti. Feel free to join the discussion over there. --Isderion (talk) 23:06, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

    Replicas of PD artworks - 2D[edit]

    The section "Replicas of PD artworks" says "[...]However, the photographer still has rights to the work; see 3D art above." Shouldnt this include that Replicas of PD 2D artworks is PD? Christian75 (talk) 14:19, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

    A replica of a 3D work is in three dimensions, so a photograph of a 3D work can never be a replica of a 3D work. The page should not state that replicas of PD 2D artworks are in the public domain, since that isn't universally true. Many countries provide w:related rights for replicas created using certain replication devices such as photographic cameras (replicates light and 2D artworks), sound recording devices (replicates sound) and video recording devices (replicates light and light alterations). --Stefan4 (talk) 02:37, 30 October 2014 (UTC)


    @Gazebo: How can this page contain information related to copyright?    FDMS  4    12:36, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

    Indeed. I believe it's unrelated to copyright and therefore should not be listed here. OTOH, we must consider the links to this page to make sure users are aware that they not only have to respect copyright when uploading but also personality rights. -- Rillke(q?) 21:26, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

    Passports and other identification documents[edit]

    I think we need a section about passports and other identification documents. --Jarekt (talk) 03:54, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

    Is there anything sufficiently general we can advise about such documents, either on the basis of international copyright principles or how we approach them on Commons? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:40, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
    I think we can say that art work included in passports for preventing duplication are own by governments. Images from recent passports have very strict requirements, which prevent any artistic input. They are therefore in the public domain. Regards, Yann (talk) 10:13, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
    Modern passports contain very complex anti-forgery art, and sometimes other kinds of artworks, which can only be uploaded if an exception such as {{PD-USGov}} applies. For example, the interior pages of current Swedish passports contain lots of drawings of buildings. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:40, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
    I would agree with Stefan4. Virtually all modern passports are not in the public domain for the reasons given. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 12:47, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
    Sorry, I was not clear. I agree with you about the passport design. Regards, Yann (talk) 13:34, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
    I think we should mention the elements of such documents that might carry the copyrights: printed text (possibly {{PD-text}}), handwriting and signatures (possibly {{PD-signature}}), ID photographs made by unknowable photographers or in more recent times semi-automatically at the ID office. There might be Coats of Arms and other governmental symbols, some of them might be covered by Category:PD-EUGov license tags. There might be additional artworks used as the background. The documents might also be covered by other non copyright restrictions. Than people might take a photograph of the document which might carry additional copyrights. Some documents might just be {{PD-ineligible}}. Usually I advise new users to look up the licenses of other similar documents already on Commons to see how they have handled the license templates, but random sampling of Category:Passports shows a lot of just CC licenses. I am not calling for deletion of badly licensed documents there as most of them are likely in PD, but it seems like a lot of people are confused about those copyrights. --Jarekt (talk) 14:06, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

    Clarity about photos of copyrighted 3D art / sculptures[edit]

    This sculpture by artist David Cregeen has traditional copyright. The artist photographed it and applied a CC license to the photograph. Is it correct that the copyright of the sculpture is unchanged, and that other photographs of the work would not have CC licenses?

    Consider the section titled 3D art (sculptures etc.) Currently this section gives no guidance for how a copyright holder (the sculptor) may retain traditional copyright of their work (the sculpture), while applying CC-licenses to individual photos of that work that they choose, and maintaining the expectation that generally, photos of the sculpture would not have CC-licensing because the sculpture is traditionally copyrighted. So for example, an artist may release a single CC photo of their work for promotional purposes, but in general not wish for their work to be photographed freely.

    I am talking about this with some others at the village pump. The live conversation is at Commons:Village_pump/Copyright#Sculptor_wishes_to_donated_images_of_copyrighted_sculpture or see its present archived state. That discussion references a past discussion Photos of street art on Commons.

    I am considering adding the following text to the 3D art section here.

    The copyright holder of a 3D artwork may apply a free Creative Commons license to particular 2D photos depicting that work while retaining traditional copyright on the original 3D work. In doing so, the copyright status of the original 3D artwork does not change. Consequently, without additional permission of the copyright holder, other photographs of the same sculpture would not be eligible for free licenses because they would be an unauthorized depiction of a copyrighted work. This kind of licensing can be useful for sculptors who would apply a free license to a promotional picture of their art, but who generally do not want reproductions of their work created or distributed outside their control.

    Consider the images in Category:David Cregeen as test cases. Here the sculptor wishes to have photos of their work on Commons but not apply free licenses to the sculptures.

    Comments? To what extent is this an accurate interpretation of how CC licenses work? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:19, 2 July 2015 (UTC)


    I think I've read information about Lego and wether or not it is OK to upload photos of Lego and/or Lego sets, but I can't find it anywhere. What is OK and not? (That should be part of this page) -abbedabbtalk 04:14, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

    Lego bricks were once ruled uncopyrightable in the United Kingdom, see w:Interlego AG v Tyco Industries Inc. However, the source country is Denmark, and it is possible that the situation may be different there. I'm not sure what's more complex, a Lego brick or the copyrighted knife at COM:TOO#Denmark. If you combine Lego bricks into some object per someone else's instructions, then you will normally need permission from that person. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:51, 4 October 2015 (UTC)


    The current statement is:

    "Thus, images of posters cannot usually be accepted. It normally makes no difference if the poster is in a public place and is freely photographable since Freedom of Panorama, where it exists, typically does not extend to permitting photographs of 2D artworks. Even where it does, posters will usually be excluded since they are normally located temporarily rather than permanently in a public place."

    This is wrong in several respects.

    First, 13 countries allow FOP for 3D works. 40 countries allow FOP for all artistic works. (The rest either have no FOP or architecture only). Thus, "typically does not extend to permitting photographs of 2D artworks" is backwards -- 3 times as many countries allow FOP for posters as for 3D works.

    Second, it is generally assumed that "permanently" means "for the life of the work". Thus sand castles and ice and butter sculptures, if displayed in a place appropriate to the country's FOP rule, are covered by FOP despite the fact that they have short lives. Posters are, therefore, permanent since they are rarely taken down from one place and put up somewhere else -- they remain up for the whole life of the work.

    I propose changing this to read: "Posters have copyrights and therefore images of posters cannot be kept on Commons unless their copyright has expired or they fall within the country's FOP rules for 2D works. This is about 40 countries. Commons generally assumes that "permanently" in FOP terms means "for the life of the work". Thus sand castles and ice and butter sculptures can be covered by FOP despite the fact that they have short lives. Posters are, therefore, permanent since they are rarely taken down from one place and put up somewhere else -- they remain up for the whole life of the work." .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 21:03, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

    • According to COM:FOP#Permanent vs temporary, it's 'permanent' if there are no plans to move the work to another place, but 'temporary' if such plans exist. Someone who sets up a poster usually plans to move the poster from the place where it is displayed to a litter bin at some fixed, pre-defined point in the future. A poster is therefore not permanently installed. Note that COM:FOP#Permanent vs temporary only discusses German law, since the only known court rulings are from Germany. Other countries may define 'permanent' differently. --Stefan2 (talk) 22:33, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
      • If 'permanent' means that there are no plans to move the work to another place, then posters should be OK. One certainly doesn't plan to throw away posters when putting them up. If they end up in the dustbin, it is quite similar to what happens to a sand structure. I have seen quite often posters still displayed years after they were put in place, sometimes until the next election. Regards, Yann (talk) 23:04, 11 November 2015 (UTC)
        • In Sweden, the rule is that election posters are to be taken down shortly after the election, so election posters clearly have a fixed 'take down date' in Sweden and are therefore temporary exhibits. If the rule is that election posters remain for several years in other countries, then election posters might count as 'permanently installed' in those countries. Of course, the definition of 'permanent' may be different in different countries.
    Sand structures only seem to count as 'temporary' if you plan to destroy them but not if nature decides to destroy them for you, is my reading of COM:FOP#Permanent vs temporary. --Stefan2 (talk) 23:41, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

    Make things clearer[edit]

    Hi, We need to make things clearer: 1. give a general assessment for each subject category with ✓OK or X mark.svg Not OK. 2. List exceptions with a bold Exception:. Opinions? Yann (talk) 11:39, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

    Agreed. KDS4444 (talk) 16:15, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

    Building: Exteriors vs. Interiors[edit]

    The current copyright guidelines for buildings only appear to address photographs of building exteriors, a subject I believe should be considered (and have guidelines written) entirely separate from building interiors. My intuition is that building interiors are subject to the same copyright restrictions as other forms of art (life of artist/ architect +70 years in most jurisdictions), but this becomes complicated when we consider that many building interiors become greatly modified from their original, simply-architectural form (they become covered with wallpaper, furniture, and other art subject to its own copyrights) in which case it seems like the permission of the interior designer (whoever that may have been) would be necessary in order to upload such a photograph to commons. But then there's this: what about photographs of the interior of public buildings like train stations, post offices, and public libraries? These things can frequently be treated as de minimis when the actual subject of the photo is not the building's interior, but that is only a certain kind of workaround. If a building is a public building, paid for by the public both inside and out, do its contents not become public domain the moment they are created? And wouldn't this mean that photographs taken of the interiors of such buildings also qualify as public domain images? If so, I think that we should have a statement somewhere on this "Copyright rules by subject matter" page under the heading of "buildings" which addresses the nature of interiors and distinguishes it from exteriors. I would do it myself based on the above reasoning, but wanted to be more certain of my footing before doing so. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? Any examples of legal corollaries that might be useful as examples or as counterexamples? (e.g., US currency is made by the US government and is freely circulated and publicly owned but may not be photographed as public domain imagery-- are there other examples like this?). Thanks! KDS4444 (talk) 16:14, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

    For the most part, I don't think building interiors would be considered separately from the exterior, unless spelled out that way in the law -- they are part of the same work. Germany does make the distinction, I believe, but not sure there are many others. Separate elements inside (such as sculptures) would of course be different. I'm not sure an interior designer gets a copyright -- that is not in a fixed medium, for countries which require that, and I've never heard of such a copyright being enforced. So... I'm not sure there is a need to make all that much of a distinction -- it's just that Germany's law was used as the basis for a lot of examples, and that happens to be one place where it is spelled out differently in the law. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:36, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
    I find this very interesting. It seems, then, that the fact that there is no case law (outside of Germany) and no current copyright status for interior design (because it is not a fixed medium treatable separate from the exterior-- though I know some interior designers who would beg to differ and who do not know the first thing about architecture!) means that, at least for the moment, they are to be treated as one and the same. Very good. Do you think it would be worthwhile to include a note of some kind to this effect in the section on buildings? Because I suspect I am not the first person to wonder if interiors fell under a different legal/ copyright category from exteriors, and I suspect I will not be the last! KDS4444 (talk) 13:56, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
    There are a variety of things in a building interior that might have a copyright (subject to expiration and ToO):
    • Works of art
    • Wallpaper and carpeting
    • Some upholstery and furniture surface decoration
    • Some furniture in countries with copyright for utiliatrian objects
    • Original architectural features, including unusual fenestration and non-rectangular spaces
    On the other hand, I think that most ordinary rooms will not have a copyright for their architecture.
    I suspect that trying to write general guidelines for this will be very difficult, because the ToO and FOP rules vary so widely. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 16:35, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

    Category:Hood ornaments[edit]

    Are these part of the utilitarian use of the vehicle? What if they're custom? czar 00:23, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

    I would say that all hood ornaments have or had a copyright unless they became PD in the US for lack of notice. Therefore, almost all of the non-US ornaments in the category should be deleted. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 16:22, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
    Agreed. Hood ornaments have the primary, or likely only, function of being decorative and are accordingly not generally utilitarian. There are numerous cases where decorative embellishments to utilitarian objects (e.g., sculptural works--statues--incorporated into the base of a lamp in Stein v. Mazer) were found to be eligible for copyright. Эlcobbola talk 16:53, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

    Artistic stage design[edit]

    Beware of concert photos showing an artistic stage design: such photos are not ok, as they may infringe the stage designer's copyright.

    Do we have any working examples or precedent for this? czar 08:17, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

    I would be particularly interested in opinions on these, since I was hesitant to upload them for that reason:
    I would have to think that the first one, at least, would be ok because of the background being almost entirely obscured by fog, but the others? It's a simple design, but is it simple enough to pass? I understand that some of these may need to be removed after consideration, that's fine, no need for talk page notifications. :) --Junkyardsparkle (talk) 20:42, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
    I've added one to the end of your gallery also with fog, silhouetted lighting, and projection design, for consideration. It was recently kept but I'm not sure where the line is being drawn. czar 22:35, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

    Parade floats[edit]

    Do we treat them at artistic 3D works full stop? Looking for some guidance. See, for example, Category:2013 Taiwan Lantern Festival czar 21:08, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

    Tough call. I'm not sure I've ever seen a copyright case for a photo like that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:10, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
    Possibly relevant is this discussion I had about a very similar situation (a bunch of giant inflatable balls colored by an army of volunteers and left floating in a pond for a while). It seems like whatever would apply to one case would apply to the other... --Junkyardsparkle (talk) 01:35, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
    Yep. It may come down to whether the photograph is really trading on the expression on the surfaces. Certainly Getty Images etc. sells such photos all the time without any copyright issue. There is a dividing line somewhere. There is a ruling (Ets Hokins) where a label on a bottle does not cause a photo to be a derivative work unless the photo was focusing on the label, so a photo of the entire bottle is fine -- the label is incidental. There was a similar case of a photo of a motorcycle with copyrightable artwork on it -- same basic thing, the photo is not derivative, since the motorcycle was the underlying work and the artwork was incidental (i.e. just happened to be there). If you are taking a photo focusing on a float in particular, that might be a derivative work. If you are taking a photo of the entire scene, it may not -- the individual works happened to be there. There are rulings of photos primarily of particular statues are derivative works, and other cases of photos of toys which are derivative works, but I'm not sure the legislative record goes much beyond that -- photos of overall scenes are probably OK. The first three photos in that category are likely not OK -- those are photos directly of 2-D advertisements. Some of the others... it may be arguable. Can be a fine line between documenting a parade and making a photo which is a derivative work of someone else's expression. I would argue the photos of the balls would have been fine, BTW -- any individual ball's expression would be de minimis in the photo unless it was focusing on one in particular. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:20, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
    That's pretty much my feeling about the floating balls, but I'd rather not bother uploading things that are just going to be found problematic later on... maybe I'll just go ahead and dig one up to make a test case out of, though. These type of questions seem worth establishing some helpful guidelines for. --Junkyardsparkle (talk) 07:44, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

    Inconsistency with the map section (too restrictive with no good reason)[edit]

    The current section for maps states "You may not upload copies of copyrighted maps to Commons, nor may you trace or even re-draw such a map yourself. Any map you create yourself must be wholly based on public domain sources or on sources that have been released under a suitable free license." I bolded the part that I feel needs clarifications. For example, colors, place names, symbols, map keys, nor geographic or topographic features are not copyrightable (see Commons:Derivative_works#Maps). What can be copyrighted is originality (to quote from the DW#M: ". The court found that there was сreativity involved in the idea here was to bring together the available information on boundaries, landmarks, and ownership, and to choose locations and an effective pictorial expression of those locations. But the protection that each map receives extends only to its original expression, and neither the facts nor the idea embodied in the maps is protected"). While discussion of when a map becomes original enough would probably result in nothing specific (since this is really up for courts to decide in more precedents) I think it is clear that, at the very least, a simple map such as one consisting solely of administrative borders with colors and basic placenames (ex. File:District of Ansan.jpg) is not copyrightable. As such, the prohibition of uploading it if found on a website claiming copyright, tracing it or re-drawing it seems not baseless. I believe the wording cited above, therefore, is in contradiction with DW#M, and needs to be rewritten. It should say that simple maps cannot be copyrighted and therefore can be uploaded, redrawn and retreaced, but complex ones may meet originality threshold and those cannot be uploaded, and can be only redrawn/retraced partially, not in full (ex. even a very complex and clearly copyrighted map could be used for retracing/redrawing a simplified version, i.e as a source for something like administrative borders, like the Ansan map linked above). It seems to me this is a case analogical to Commons:Copyright_rules_by_subject_matter#Trademarks, and we should create a template equivalent to Template:PD-textlogo for simple maps. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:02, 29 January 2017 (UTC)

    You are overlooking the first half of the sentence that you emphasized. If a map is not copyrightable, it is by definition not copyrighted. —RP88 (talk) 23:17, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
    To expand my remark a bit, very simple maps lacking originality can be uploaded with a license of {{PD-ineligible}}, even if the source claims it is protected by copyright. —RP88 (talk) 23:23, 29 January 2017 (UTC)
    @RP88: Good point, but we need at the very least to clarify that some maps are ineligible for copyright even if its author/etc. claims they are. Because the sentence can be read as 'you may not upload any map that has the c symbol / is from a source that claims copyright over it'. If this is not the case, that's good but we should make it explicit. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 00:06, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
    The sentence in question is already followed by "For information on which maps are copyrighted, see Commons:Derivative works#Maps" which in turn lists "The map wasn’t eligible for copyright in the first place" as a reason that (amongst several others) a map might not be copyrighted. For that matter, the possibility of an author claiming copyright to something that is ineligible for copyright protection applies to all subjects and media types, not just maps. Why does the section on maps need to specifically call out the possibility of "copyfraud" in a way that none of the others do? —RP88 (talk) 00:27, 30 January 2017 (UTC)
    I have added one sentence to clarify this. Now, I also noticed that maps are not mentioned at Commons:Threshold of originality at all. Sigh. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:33, 31 January 2017 (UTC)
    Your addition looks fine to me. —RP88 (talk) 10:15, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

    what is the status of this page?[edit]

    it is not a policy or guideline approved by the community, so what is the "standing" of this page, within the community rules?

    & what oversight is there for adding/altering material here?

    Lx 121 (talk) 12:31, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

    Sound recording[edit]

    In light of the new MP3 support coming to Commons I think we should expand the "Music" section to clarify the status of sound recordings under US copyright law. I am thinking of adding:

    Most pre-1972 sound recordings created in the United States are not in the public domain. Under current US law sound recordings fixed or published before February 15, 1972 are protected under state law until February 15, 2067. After that date they will enter the public domain.[1] As such, US copyright templates like {{PD-1923}} do not apply to sound recordings. See Wikimedia Foundation’s legal summary at m:Wikilegal/Copyright Status of Sound Recordings Fixed Prior to February 15 1972 for more details.


    Thoughts? —RP88 (talk) 00:20, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

    Yeah, that sounds pretty good. We should have the Wikilegal link there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:22, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
    OK, done. —RP88 (talk) 01:32, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

    Legal advice on photos of tridimensional objects in Italy[edit]

    The legal status of photos of tridimensional objects in Italy is complex for various reasons. To help volunteer photographers of Italian cultural heritage and other providers of photos such as Commons partners, Wikimedia Italia would like to ensure that the community has all the legal advice it needs and wants to understand the various requirements for image uploaders to correctly place their media under a free license.

    Wikimedia Italia has a few thousands euro of budget available to support Wikimedia volunteers and WIR/GLAM projects and would be able to seek the services of one of the most respected law firms of Italy on this subject matter to produce a formal legal document suitable for Wikimedia Commons. (The case is too specific for WMF's m:Wikilegal, as far as I understand.)

    What do you think? --Nemo 09:49, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

    Symbol support vote.svg Support This problem (and similar legal issues) in very important for photographs and GLAMs in Italy. We need a continuing support of Italian law experts to ensure photos are legal and to enlarge the possibilities to portrait subjects. --Marcok (talk) 06:07, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
    Thanks. Some users active in Italian and having over 5k uploads may also be interested: Sailko, Discanto, G.dallorto, Jacopo Werther, M.casanova, Threecharlie, Massimop, Alex brollo, LigaDue, Iopensa, Moroder, Superchilum, Lalupa, Arbalete, SIG SG 510, Albertomos. --Nemo 09:48, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support As a photographer, we really need this. --Sailko (talk) 09:54, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support --M.casanova (talk) 12:26, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support It would be more useful to ask an advice to the related problem of FOP for recent buildings in Italy. 3D objects like sculptures are covered by copyright, wherever they are located. The external aspect of a recent building is very probably not copyrighted, and the law is fuzzy. --Ruthven (msg) 16:58, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support --Lalupa (talk) 14:29, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support --Wolfgang Moroder (talk) 18:07, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support Thanks.--Threecharlie (talk) 18:58, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support Thanks!--SIG SG 510 (talk) 19:18, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support Thanks!--LigaDue (talk) 21:41, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support What exactly do you mean for 3D objects? Does this terminology also include buildings, statues/object in public places, taxidermic samples and models of experimental prototypes never commercialized? --Bramfab (talk) 14:58, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
    We don't yet know what distinctions make sense in the Italian law, the lawyers will hopefully help us understand. --Nemo 13:28, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
    @Nemo bis: Maybe it would be a good idea to discuss with users experienced in dealing with Italian files on Commons before asking anything to a lawer, in order not to solve a problem that doesn't exist. --Ruthven (msg) 15:45, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support Good.Solve the problem! --iopensa (talk) 13:18, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support Absolutely yes MM (talk) 16:08, 24 February 2018 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support; I suggest also to ask about images published by Public Administration of Italy without license (see: Open by default). --Holapaco77 (talk) 16:23, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support Thanks.--Albertomos (talk) 09:24:58, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
    Symbol support vote.svg Support Useful. thanks, --iopensa (talk) 07:31, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
    Albertomos, Bramfab, Holapaco77, Iopensa, Lalupa, LigaDue, M.casanova, MM, Marcok, Moroder, Ruthven, Ruthven, SIG SG 510, Sailko, Threecharlie: abbiamo una prima bozza del documento. Chi vuole consultarla e commentarla prima che la pubblichiamo, per piacere mi scriva. Sono circa 4000 parole, quindi tenete da parte un po' di tempo per leggerlo bene. Grazie, Nemo 08:14, 13 July 2018 (UTC) P.s.: La discussione su eventuali impatti per linee guida e prassi di Commons deve necessariamente avvenire in Commons, dopo che abbiamo pubblicato il parere definitivo perché lo possano leggere tutti. In questa fase serve una lettura spassionata della legge e della giurisprudenza che aiuti la comprensione generale.

    Grazie a tutti coloro che hanno richiesto e letto il testo in anteprima e mandato i loro commenti, che sono stati usati per riscriverne larghi passaggi. Il testo è ora disponibile per tutti alla pagina . Credo che possa essere già usato come approfondimento a latere di varie linee guida e discussioni che magari finora si sono limitate a citare aridamente la legge. --Nemo 08:59, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

    • Symbol support vote.svg Support Can you please budget something extra to hire staff to make a serious effort to document this as a case study? Various Wikimedia communities worldwide run into legal problems and need regional legal opinions that outside the scope of Wikimedia Foundation concerns. If you sought to use Wikimedia community funding to hire a lawyer, then I would also support you in seeking some extra funding to document the community conversation about the problem and how you made the decision to seek legal advice. The way that you go through this process would set the precedent for other Wikimedia groups to do the same thing. I think that too many wiki community groups have hesitated to seek legal advice when necessary just because there is a mistaken belief that if the WMF legal team cannot address an issue then the Wikimedia community should not seek legal support for it. This is an error, and in your case, obviously Italian legal advice is the right kind of support. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:59, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

    Graffiti in Spain[edit]

    I think Spain can be added to the list. ({{FoP-Spain}})

    Commons:Freedom of panorama#Spain: Article 35 of the Royal Legislative Decree 1/1996 of April 12, 1996, and amended by Law 5/1998 of March 6, 1998, states: 2. Works permanently located in parks, streets, squares or other public places may be freely reproduced, distributed and communicated by means of paintings, drawings, photographs and audiovisual processes.

    Article 40bis further states the above law "may not be so interpreted that they could be applied in a manner capable of unreasonably prejudicing the legitimate interests of the author or adversely affecting the normal exploitation of the works to which they refer." No way the "normal exploitation of the work" can be adversely affected in the case of illegally sprayed graffiti. There is no exploitation, so it can not be affected. - Alexis Jazz 09:54, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

    @Dcoetzee: "Even for FOP, it's difficult to argue that a work of illegal graffiti is "permanently installed" in any sense of the word, which is a requirement in most FOP nations."
    I don't think that's an issue. If someone builds a tower, I take a photo of it the day it's completed and the very next day the owner decides to tear it down, my photo would still be covered by FoP. Exceptions might arise when a country requires a specified amount of time to have passed for FoP, but that would mean we could no longer have photos of buildings that were just finished. Graffiti is applied with the intention of it being permanent. I don't believe it should affect FoP if it gets removed by a cleaning crew or a tornado a few days later. - Alexis Jazz 10:01, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

    Fireworks: photo vs. video[edit]

    COM:CB#Fireworks displays reads "since a firework display in action is not so recorded it does not in itself attract protection, and such displays can be freely photographed (but not necessarily filmed)." If fireworks are not copyrightable, why they cannot filmed? What is the difference between photo and video, aside from the fact that the latter may not be silent? 4nn1l2 (talk) 07:20, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

    This references the Berne convention. Is there legislation about the copyrightability of any controlled explosion, or is this just for fireworks? So weird! Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:55, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

    Rules about devices[edit]

    What are the rules about for example computing devices? I'm assuming they are turned off when the picture if taken, so it would be only about the design of the potentially copyrightable device. There are still logos of the vendor on them. Initramfs (talk) 12:26, 12 March 2019 (UTC)