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)

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)

Invitation to copyright strategy discussion[edit]

Hello! I'm writing from the Wikimedia Foundation to invite you to give your feedback on a new copyright strategy that is being considered by the Legal Team. The consultation will take the form of an open discussion, and we hope to receive a wide range of thoughts and opinions. Please, if you are interested, take part in the discussion on Meta-Wiki. JSutherland (WMF) (talk) 23:25, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

People in Pictures[edit]

Is there a special license to obtain before uploading pictures that I personally took of people in groups, for example a group picture of people attending a conference, or of people at a public event? Drbones1950 (talk) 02:35, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

Not from a copyright perspective, but you should read Commons:Personality rights. LX (talk, contribs) 15:55, 18 September 2016 (UTC)