Commons talk:International copyright quick reference guide

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I'm having technical difficulties with this table; maybe it's easier if its inventor is adding the data, so I reverted my edit because I didn't find a solution for the case of Switzerland: Switzerland had a copyright term of 50 years pma until 1993, and the extension to 70 years p.m.a. made in 1993 did not restore already expired copyrights. Works from Switzerland by authors who died in or before 1942 were thus PD on 1996 URAA date. So, Switzerland had a 70 years pma term on the URAA date, which is, however, only applicable to deaths of 1943 and later. Gestumblindi (talk) 03:01, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Thanks! What you say is consistent with the table at en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights and I'll go ahead and add Switzerland, they're pretty easy to do. I believe the 70 pma in Switzerland on the URAA date for deaths 1943 or later won't begin to matter until next year (since those are still in copyright in Switzerland now anyway), so some rows will need to be temporarily hidden. They're pretty similar to Australia except for the date after which 70 pma applies. Dcoetzee (talk) 09:49, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
✓ Done. Switzerland added and new rows will appear next year for it. Dcoetzee (talk) 10:17, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you! There's an additional thing I didn't mention yet, but I think this is an inherently too complicated matter for a "quick reference guide"... I'm talking about {{PD-Switzerland-photo}}. This is based on en:Copyright law of Switzerland#Lack of originality. The photo File:Christoph Meili 1997.jpg has officially, per a decision by the Supreme Court of Switzerland concerning this specific photo, no copyright protection whatsoever in Switzerland due to lack of originality. And as Switzerland has also no separate protection for simple photographs (unlike e.g. Germany), this photo is free in Switzerland (of course there are personality rights of the depicted en:Christoph Meili). It's not clear to me what this means for U.S. protection, however. This photo is from 1997 - so it might be protected in the U.S. despite being in the public domain in its country of origin. But what about photos published prior to the URAA date in Switzerland? That's an interesting question Stefan4 asked at Commons:Village_pump/Copyright/Archive/2012/12#Some_odd_things_about_URAA - not answered yet... A photo lacking originality according to Swiss copyright had never a "term of protection" in its country of origin. So if published prior to January 1, 1996 - it was not protected at the URAA date. But as Stefan 4 wrote, If a work is below the threshold of originality, there is no term at all in the source country, so can you really argue that the term has expired? - Also, I personally wouldn't really dare to apply {{PD-Switzerland-photo}} to some arbitrary Swiss photo which to me seems to lack originality - "originality" is difficult to define, as the "Meili" and "Marley" cases at the English Wikipedia's page show. We can't be sure what a Swiss court would say regarding a particular photo. So, all things considered, I think this is something which can be ignored in the "quick reference guide", but I thought I should mention it... Gestumblindi (talk) 21:35, 7 January 2013 (UTC)
My opinion: Any work which does not meet the threshold of originality in either its source country or the US is okay for upload, and this applies regardless of any other attributes. The US does not grant copyright under the URAA or any other law on such works. However TOO differs between nations, and a work might be below the threshold in Switzerland and not the US, while another work is below the threshold in the US but not Switzerland. Unfortunately, with such limited case law, it's almost impossible to draw conclusions about what works are copyrightable in Switzerland. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:51, 8 January 2013 (UTC)


Thank you for this guide! But Spain seems to have been forgotten. Could somebody add it? --El Caro (talk) 13:24, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

I'll add Spain now. They're exceptional, being one of the few countries that actually decreased their term non-retroactively, but this won't actually matter until 2057 - we can simply treat them as 80 pma. (They do still need a custom explanation.) Dcoetzee (talk) 13:33, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you! --El Caro (talk) 19:53, 11 January 2013 (UTC)


This is a very useful page, but where can I find out about Mexico? --moogsi (blah) 18:27, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Never mind, it was as simple as reading {{PD-Mexico}} :) --moogsi (blah) 19:42, 9 March 2013 (UTC)


Hi! For Portugal, I missed {{PD-Portugal-URAA}}. Or it might be redundant. Anyway, just leaving the info... --Gunnex (talk) 13:50, 28 April 2013 (UTC)


I assume that the claim of "50 pma for authors dead before 1994" must refer to the final amendment of Act No. III of 1969 on Copyright, and before that amendment it was 50? This isn't reflected in our oter docs on this, and I'm still digging, so it would be helpful if you know of a reference for this –⁠moogsi (blah) 17:37, 10 May 2013 (UTC)