Commons talk:Licensing

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Commons discussion pages (index)

This is the talk page for discussing improvements to Commons:Licensing.

For discussions of specific copyright questions, please go to Commons:Village pump/Copyright. Discussions that do not relate to changes to the page Commons:Licensing may be moved, with participants notified with the template {{subst:moved to VPC|Commons talk:Licensing}}.

For old discussions, see the Archives. Recent sections with no replies for 14 days may be archived.

Archived discussions[edit]

Seven 2006/2007 discussions organized as subpages, ignoringincl. comments added in 2014:

Template protection after review[edit]

There are many country specific copyright templates on commons that need review and should be protected thereafter. Many images on commons use these templates and changing something in the template like accidentally adding a hot cat category would affect all of these and would require mass purging for all images. We should have a review department reviewing each available template and after discussion protecting it. We should discuss the layout of PD templates: Should they include why they are PD in the USA or should this be handled in another template like {{PD-Egypt}} and {{PD-Egypt-1996}}. With the URAA laws the copyright laws of a country doesn't mean that much without an explanation on why they are PD in USA. Something like {{PD-China}} doesn't work for commons because it doesn't specify why it's PD USA. And should there be templates for country specific templates for each case like found in Category:Egypt-related tags? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Diaa abdelmoneim (talk • contribs) 14:06, 2009 April 23 (UTC)

Creation for template of Indian Air Force[edit]

I propose to create a template such as that is created for Indian Navy Template:Indian_navy, to license the images that uploaded which have been taken from the Indian Air Force Website. Because the site features the copyright statement asː
Material featured on this site may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not being used in a derogatory manner or in a misleading context. Where the material is being published or issued to others, the source must be prominently acknowledged. However, the permission to reproduce this material does not extend to any material on this site, which is explicitly identified as being the copyright of a third party. Authorisation to reproduce such material must be obtained from the copyright holders concerned. It can be viewed in the usage policy of the website.Krishna Chaitanya Velaga(Citizen of the RoIN) Talk 10:04, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Unless they explicitly say they are licensing it under a CC-BY license, we cannot assume that. The tag needs to have the licensing text as-is. The fact they don't mention derivative works might make some users nervous about the terms, though even derivative works generally "reproduce" expression so that could be implied there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:20, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
The Navy licence doesn't appear to allow modifications, which is essential for the Commons. Hchc2009 (talk) 20:02, 26 May 2016 (UTC)
@Krishna Chaitanya Velaga, Clindberg, Hchc2009: {{Attribution-IAF}} already exists. Per the discussions on its talkpage (Carl Lindberg, you have a short memory :) ), the freedom of it seems to be disputed. Personally, I agree with Hchc2009 and think that the accuracy requirement is an NoDerivatives restriction – maybe the discussion should be revived in a request for deletion?    FDMS  4    13:12, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
Ah, right. The proposed template should be deleted then; that is a better one. "Accurate" usually refers to moral rights to me (don't make a misleading modification and claim it's the original, stuff like that) -- but I figured that is where there might be some opposition. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:46, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

Yep. There are licences which require "accuracy" (i.e. not misleading anyone) but allow modifications. But equally many licences allow reproduction, but not modification and derivative works - these are different rights. The IAF doesn't seem to allow derivatives. Hchc2009 (talk) 06:30, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

@Hchc2009: Actually, modification / derivative works are forms of reproduction -- you are reproducing some of the original expression in some form. A copyright license can certainly prevent those types of reproduction, but this one does not necessarily prevent them. The concentration on "accuracy" seems to point to moral rights in particular, which is OK. It's more a question if you read "reproduction" as more of strict duplication, or in the more general sense of any reproduction of the expression. It's not always an easy question, so there can be differing opinions. India's copyright law does include the concept of "adaptation", but that seems to be narrower than the concept of derivative works (which is not a term used in India's law). Rather that seems to be altering or abridging works for the needs of a different format -- seems to more often apply to literary, dramatic, and musical works. As part of the rights of copyright, it includes the right to reproduce the work in any material form including depiction in three dimensions of a two dimensional work or in two dimensions of a three dimensional work -- which would be a derivative work in the U.S. definition, but their law uses the term "reproduce" there. On the other hand, making "adaptations" and making "translations" are separately listed rights granted under copyright (with "translation" not having an explicit definition). Their law does not define "reproduce" either, though it does define "adaptation". So, the license they give is more a matter of how you interpret their wording -- they do allow reproduction in any format or media, which could imply "adaptations" as well as the quoted clause, and certain does seem to imply something beyond straight duplication. For graphic/artistic works, "reproduce" would seem to cover most stuff in their law anyways. But I can understand reading the term as being more restrictive, or at least ambiguous. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:14, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Help with image licensing[edit]

Hello. I'm here from English Wikipedia. Anyway, I've been communicating with a new user, w:en:User:Sandy Montoya, on my talk page, w:en:User talk:Gestrid about an article she's drafting, w:en:Draft:Scott Nute. She used images that she apparently uploaded to Commons (which is why I'm coming here instead of the English Wikipedia's counterpart) under the wrong license. At the moment, I'm not sure which license would be the correct one, but she says she has permission to use the images. I'm still communicating with her on the matter. Is there a template I can use to say they were put up under the wrong license and that the correct one will be up soon? Would it be best to delete the images so she can upload using the correct license? If it comes to deleting the images to re-upload them under the correct license, I'd rather that not happen until I've had a chance to notify the new user. Also, feel free to join the discussion on my talk page if you feel like you need to. -- Gestrid (talk) 01:33, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

@Gestrid: Hi, I tagged all their uploaded files as "no permission". The copyright holder of these files should send an email to the OTRS. Thanks, Poké95 03:25, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, Pokéfan95. I'll tell them to have the people who own the copyright to do that. -- Gestrid (talk) 14:11, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
How would he/she know who to contact, Gestrid, and why would the copyright owners do what they are asked – unless of course the editor has a w:WP:Conflict of interest? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 14:21, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure, Justlettersandnumbers, but she assures me she got permission. As I said, she's new to Wikipedia. It's also possible she herself has the evidence needed, but just didn't know what to do with it. Even I am confused by all the copyright policies, and I've been an editor on Wikipedia for several years. -- Gestrid (talk) 14:30, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
UPDATE: I've asked the editor if she has a w:WP:COI and, as a follow-up question, if she is being w:WP:PAID. -- Gestrid (talk) 14:38, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
UPDATE 2: The editor says they do not have a conflict of interest and they are not being paid. -- Gestrid (talk) 20:16, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
For Wikipedia in English, that is probably a good thing. For Commons, neither is relevant. We are glad to have people upload images for whatever reason (as long as the images themselves are in scope and properly licensed/PD), on free time or professionally. I hope you get the evidence (sent to OTRS or otherwise). The most common problem with "having permission" is having permission just for using the images on Wikipedia, not for releasing them under a suitable licence. --LPfi (talk) 13:08, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
While that may be the case for images on Commons, the COI and PAID questions were concerning the draft the user is trying to make, not necessarily the images they tried to upload. As far as I can tell, Wikipedia doesn't have a problem with COI and PAID unless it has to do with an article. -- Gestrid (talk) 16:03, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

Currency in Zimbabwe[edit]

I noticed we have Template:PD-ZW-currency which links to Zimbabwean copyright law from 1967; however, it seems Zimbabwe has a new law from 2004, and I am unable to find any similar clause limiting copyright on demonetized money and coins in the new law. Could somebody take a look and… either update the template, or IDK, nominate all Category:PD-ZW-currency images for deletion? --Mormegil (talk) 14:02, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

It would seem they would probably get the government copyright, which seems to be 50 years from publication (article 15). Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:42, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
Or somebody could send a mail to the authorities to check weather the old copyright law still applies until that date and so the currency is still PD or not.--Sanandros (talk) 20:37, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
The old law only said banknotes were PD when they were demonetized. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:23, 31 July 2016 (UTC)

Copyrighted before 1923 whether published or unpublished[edit]

Copyrighted before 1923 whether published or unpublished. Even if a work was unpublished but was labeled with a copyright notice, it is in the public domain. The same would hold true for works mailed to the copyright office prior to 1923 to prove copyright. All the rules on the page licensing page use the word "published". Unpublished but distributed copies, such as those distributed by news agencies and distributed by publicity departments before 1923 are also in the public domain. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 20:01, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

If a work was registered with the copyright office while unpublished, yes, that started the copyright clock. This is mentioned on the {{PD-1923}} template. I don't think putting a copyright notice on an unpublished work would automatically start the clock -- I think the law just says when published with notice, which was general publication, not limited publication. But it would be rare to put a notice on an unpublished copy (or one not meant for publication), so it's probably safe to assume that if one exists, then the copyright clock started at that year. Distribution, most of the time, would be the moment of general publication, so I'm not sure what you mean by "unpublished but distributed" distinction.
The issue was that unpublished works were not covered under federal copyright protection, but rather per-state common-law protection -- which could be unlimited in duration, but was much weaker. At the moment of general publication, common-law protection was extinguished and the federal rights took over, which had a limited duration but was much stronger with more explicit penalties. If an author wanted the stronger protection, they could register an unpublished work with the Copyright Office, which would then also stop common-law protection and become federally protected. I'm not sure the law allowed any other mechanism to switch over from common-law protection to federal protection. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:51, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that back in the day, a copyright notice on an unpublished work would have at least set the clock once the work was published. There was one movie that had a copyright notice that was 10 years too earlier, and the court ruled that that's when the clock started for renewals; I suspect if "unpublished" authorized copies were floating around with a copyright notice, that copyright notice would be taken as gospel. Modern courts seem more generous, though, even ruling on the same laws.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:31, 3 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, once published, if an erroneous year is there in the notice which is earlier than actual publication, then that becomes the starting date. If dated more than one year later than actual publication, then the entire notice was considered invalid. But if a work only saw limited publication, technically I don't think the presence of a copyright notice would matter. It's just that with a notice, the presumption is that it was published, and it would be rare to impossible to identify such a work (unpublished and unregistered) today, I'd guess. Limited publication was in some courts was defined as distribution to a limited set of people for a limited purpose with no further right of distribution -- all three had to be satisfied -- though some circuits had a slightly different definition. But overall yeah, I'd say the presence of a copyright notice would be all the evidence we need for PD-1923. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:41, 3 August 2016 (UTC)