Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 10

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Archive 9 |
Archive 10
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Statues in Portugal/Madeira

I Happened to see in the Category:Funchal images of statues. For example On the Commons:Licensing page I did not find a specific item about Portugal. As I have also a few photos of statues there, I would ask whether it is indeed allowed to upload these images to Commons. Thanks Wouter

Should be okay. See Commons:Freedom of panorama#Portugal. LX (talk, contribs) 00:09, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

TartanSaskatchewan.jpg File:TartanSaskatchewan.jpg

This image was deleted, but I am not sure why. The original web site said ok to use, and this was stated. If not a free use, then a some copyright reserved license could be used. I had posted the image for licensing help earlier, but I didn't think it would be deleted. And if someone did delete it without emailing me, so it could be learned from, why were the pages that were linked to it, not looked after, so now there are red links on wikipedia. Should it not be done right if it does done at all?SriMesh | talk 18:36, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

The image was deleted because commercial use and derivatives are restricted. According to the site, "Unless otherwise noted materials may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes. The materials must be reproduced accurately and the reproduction must not be represented as an official version. As a general rule, information materials may be used for non-profit and personal use."[1] And we never e-mail users when images they uploaded are deleted. →Яocket°°° 18:44, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
That's strange, as AFD on wikipedia are notified, and there are templates about images going away. And is not wikipedia using it for non-profit use? Not that a plaid is so much one way or t'other, but it tis curious. 23:28, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Images have to be okey for reuse by anyone beyond wikipedia.Geni 18:58, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Please see Commons talk:Licensing/Explaining why Derivative Work and Commercial Use must be allowed for more on a portion of your query. Walter Siegmund (talk) 21:21, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Victory for the Copyfraud-Lobby --Historiograf 00:30, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Image:Xbox 360 portal logo.png and Image:Wikiproject Xbox logo.png

I made these images for the Xbox Wikiproject and portal on Wikipedia and I'm not sure if they are free or not. (These are actually modified versions because the originals weren't free) Thanks for your help. Thingg 01:01, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Old photograph in a magazine

Yes check.svg Resolved

I've found a photograph of an individual (en:Herbert Armitage James) which was published in 1905 in "The Musical Times" (a UK publication). The photographer's name is given, but I don't know when he died. However, the copyright indication on the website where I found the magazine (JSTOR [ link]) is "The Musical Times © 1905 Musical Times Publications Ltd." and there's no indication that the photographer has a separate copyright. Is the picture out of copyright, since it's more than 70 years since publication of the magazine? Or do I have to upload it to en:WP under a fair use rationale? Any assistance gratefully received, as copyright/licensing issues bring me out in a cold sweat (which is why I'm only an admin on en:WP, not here!). Thanks, Bencherlite 12:42, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Moot - I've now discovered that the photographer died in 1919, so any copyright he had has expired. Bencherlite 12:59, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Microsoft restrictions on DJVU files

Many Djvu files digitised by Microsoft, such as this 1902 book, contain the following (on page 3 in this case):

Digitized for Microsoft Corportation by the Internet Archive in 2007. From University of California Libraries. May be used for non-commercial, personal, research or education purposes, or any fair use. May not be indexed in a commercial service.

and most pages have a watermark "Univ Calif - Digitized by Microsoft (r)".

What right do they have to impose that restriction, which is obviously an anti-Google clause. As the work is in the PD by way of {{PD-1923}}, the images and the text are PD. I'm guessing that they claim that the combined digital edition of both images and text is a new composition.

For Wikisource, it is very important that we have DJVU files for each work, as each page of text may then be display beside the image using the Proofread Page extension, allowing the text to be easily proof-read and to allow admins to easily check sneaky text alterations that deteriorate our texts.

Can these DJVU files be uploaded to Commons as-is? What about if I strip out page 3 (easy) and/or the watermark (not as easy)? What if I stripped out the text, resulting in only a series of PD images in the original order they appeared in print, and thus not deserving of any copyright. John Vandenberg (chat) 09:15, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

I am actually not sure if the PD-Art claim will work for ever. It worked when the claimant was a museum in the UK, but if the claimant is a major U.S. company such as Google or Microsoft, Bridgeman v. Corel might get overturned. "Several federal courts have followed the ruling in Bridgeman, though its persuasive legal authority, as a district court opinion, has not been confirmed. It has yet to be cited by any appellate-level circuit court, and has also not been reviewed by the Supreme Court. "
Fred J (talk) 20:10, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
On the other hand the ruling in Bridgeman v. Corel is actually case-law. Anything at odds to that ruling is pure speculation. Personally I have more confidence in case-law than speculation. Bridgeman v. Corel does not have anywhere near the sort of disapproval as Twin Books v. Walt Disney Co. for example. When it reaches that level, where it is regularly ignored in Copyright Office Ciculars, then we can start talking about ignoring it.--BirgitteSB 20:29, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure they could use copyright to enforce that restriction. I'm pretty sure the Supreme Court has ruled that "sweat of the brow" is not sufficient for copyright, so there would have to be sufficient original expression in the .djvu file outside the image scans (not having extensively used that type of file, I'm not sure if there is or is not). But, the page scans themselves should be PD (unless the watermark is copyrightable or something like that). It's always possible that Microsoft could claim some sort of common-law property right, or some other new legal theory, who knows. The "(r)" part is just to note that "Microsoft" is a registered trademark, so that is not part of any restriction. Carl Lindberg 02:28, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Satellite photos

Would a photo from a private satellite be considered copyrightable? [2] has a photo taken by en:IKONOS, which is a private, commercial satellite (not government). --UserB 00:30, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Can't think of why it wouldn't be. Somebody aimed the camera ;-) I would not upload those without a permission statement; the company typically sells their images from the looks of it. Carl Lindberg 08:18, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Hundreds of copyright violations from User:Nttc

Hi, I am very concerned by User:Nttc and their image uploads. Every upload (hundreds of them) are a direct copyright violation that should be subject to speedy deletion.

User:Nttc has listed the licensing on every image I've seen as:

  • "Copyrighted free use provided that Tourism NT is always credited as the image provider even when passing it to third parties and where possible a link is provided to the website".

However if you follow the link and look at the website you will find:

  • "Other material contained in Tourism NT web pages, including but not limited to text, images and sound, is subject to copyright. Copyright may be owned by Tourism NT or third parties. Other than as permitted by the Copyright Act, NO PART OF ANY MATERIAL contained in Tourism NT web pages can be reproduced, copied or transmitted in any form or by any means"...

I have put speedy deletion templates on some images, but I can go through all of them, review them and apply the template. Can an administrator(s) please help with these issues? Ansett 08:02, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

The user appears to be from the organization in question, so they may well have the right to license the images that way. Do you have reason to doubt that? It may be good to have them send an email to OTRS though. So, I would hold off on the speedy deletions. Carl Lindberg 08:15, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
And how do I do that? Ansett 08:28, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually, they apparently already did; see Commons:Deletion_requests/Darwin_images. Yep, I would remove the speedy tags, and I suppose replace them with the OTRS template mentioned in the previous deletion request. The user did represent the organization and licensed them appropriately. Carl Lindberg 08:46, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Yup. If that had not been done, here's how you would have proceeded to get their permission: Contact them directly at their e-mail (, point them to these uploads and ask them to confirm that they are the owners of the copyrights on these images and that these uploads were done with their consent. If they reply (positively or negatively), forward their e-mail to, or ask them to CC their reply to that address directly.
But since that already has been done, just remove the deletion tags and add {{PermissionOTRS|ticket=}} to the image pages.Lupo 09:01, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
This was also posted to Commons:Administrators' noticeboard#Hundrends of copyright violations from User:Nttc. Please try to keep discussions in one place to avoid duplicating people's efforts. LX (talk, contribs) 12:56, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Fair use or not?

I was just wondering: would an image like this one, but without the Dallas, Adidas, MLS and RadioShack logos, fall under fair use license as well? In other words: is a football kit design copyrighted? Luctor 20:56, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Fair use pertains to how you use it and is not a copyright status so technically anything can be used under fair use. And yes, that image you provided, sans the logos, would still be copyrighted. →Яocket°°° 20:38, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
All right, but you know what I mean. And I'm not talking about that specific image, but about creating an image of a football club kit, without logos. Luctor 22:23, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Hmm.. well, then it would probably be ok. It's hard to say without comparing images, but as long as you don't directly use the illustration to create the image and only use it as reference, it should be fine. Although sometimes it seems like it, ideas can't be copyrighted, just the expression of them can. The way the uniforms are illustrated is where the creativity lies and the reason it attracts copyright. As for the design itself, it's way too simple and common property to be copyrighted (although some design themes can be trademarked (e.g. Adidas and their 3 strips). Take a look at Category:National football kits and Category:Football kit templates, there may be something you can use. →Яocket°°° 23:03, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Images from Library of Congress

Hello all. There are some nice selections of Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Calligraphy at the Library of Congress [3] but I am not sure about their copyright status. From the rights notice it is not so clear to me. Could we upload them here? --Dada 21:05, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

I think we can comfortably say that 9th to 19th century calligraphy is public domain. As are the photographs made of them in the US. Yes you can use them here, and perhaps {{PD-Art}} is the best tag. Dragons flight 21:17, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Crafting my own license

I am considering using a different license on my future works (and adding the new terms to existing works). However, the license terms I have in mind are my original construction, and so I would like to ensure there are no complaints.

The terms (in rough outline) that I am proposing are:

This image may be copied, used, and redistributed provided that:
  1. The author is acknowledged.
  2. A reference or HTML link is provided to the original source.
  3. And either:
    1. The use is for a non-commercial purpose.
    2. The use is part of a document whose text is licensed under GFDL or CC-BY-SA.
In addition, you may create derivative versions of this image provided that references to the original author and source are preserved and you license the derivative version under exactly the same terms as appear above.

My main goal is to sidestep having to include full copies of the GFDL, etc. when using the images, while still preserving a sense of copyleft. I also intend to sidestep the pesky FSF Creative Commons position that CC-BY-SA on images does not extend to text by being explicit in addressing the text. Anyone have any objections to the terms outlined above?

Dragons flight 19:11, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

For starters, I think you mean HTTP link rather than HTML link, as HTML links look rather silly when printed, and there are a lot of others term you are using, like "non-commercial" and "part of a document", which would need to be clearly defined before the license could be useful. There has been discussion on various mailing lists about a CC-BY-SA+, which would extend to inclusion within a larger work. John Vandenberg (chat) 00:49, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I mean HTML since the intent is that an HTML link in a web document could substitute for a more direct reference to the source, hence the "or". Presumably, a print document would provide a more traditional print reference. As for CC-BY-SA+, I know, I have been one of the people who has been agitating for it. However, that's a hypothetical discussion that's not useful now since CC-BY-SA+ does not currently exist, and I don't plan to wait months in the hope something useful might happen. Dragons flight 03:36, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
You will have to allow standalone commercial use. As far as I understand your outline, you do not (i.e. you allow either non-commercial or use as a part of a [GFDL or CC-BY-SA] document). I also strongly advice you to use a standardized license instead, as homegrown licenses are usually ambiguous. --Kjetil_r 02:10, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
No, there is no intention to allow stand-alone commercial use, i.e. commercial use beyond that which would occur under copyleft licenses. To be clearer, the intention is exactly to exclude commercial uses unless they occur in a copyleft context. This is allowed in Wikimedia. For example, an image that is GFDL can only be used commercially when that commercial use is also copyleft. Dragons flight 03:36, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
No, a GFDL image can be used commercially on its own. I can use GFDL images for making post cards and selling them, but I can't use images licensed as you are outlining. Commercial use _must_ be allowed, as stated in Commons:Licensing etc. --Kjetil_r 14:44, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure if we are talking past each other, or you are simply confused. My intention is that if your commercial resulting work follows GFDL or CC-BY-SA, then that is fine and perfectly acceptable. However, it is not true that GFDL image can be placed on a postcard without substantial extra effort, since strict adherence to the GFDL has substantial documentation requirements. Including, for example, to distribute a complete copy of the license itself. My intention is to allow options that are actually less onerous than that. Dragons flight 19:49, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
We might be talking past each other. But does your license allow me to make postcards out of your images and then selling them? --Kjetil_r 20:23, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Could you not just multilicense, giving the user the choice of GFDL, CC-BY-SA, or CC-BY-NC? Commons just needs one acceptable license on an image, but you can add more for third-party users if you like. Carl Lindberg 02:15, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I consider all of those to be deficient in various ways. GFDL requires ugly degrees of documentation, and CC-BY-SA doesn't extend copyleft to the text of a document in which it is used (i.e. CC-BY-SA is a weak copyleft for images). CC-BY-NC is tolerable, but I still intend to include copyleft provisions (not least of which because that is necessary here.) The fact of the matter is that neither GFDL nor CC-BY-SA were well designed to extent copyleft provisions from images to text.
For the record, this is not merely academic. I created ~100 images used in a few thousand wikipages across the various projects. Currently those are GFDL / CC-BY-NC-SA, however I do not intend to offer those terms on new images or on updated versions of my existing ones. Dragons flight 03:36, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
If you don't allow stand-alone commercial use, your license is not free. Ditto if you restrict derivatives. See [4]. If your license fails that definition, works you publish under that license can only be used under an "exemption doctrine policy" at Wikimedia projects, and must not be uploaded at the Commons. See the WMF licensing resolution. Dual licensing GFDL/CC-BY-NC-SA is fine, as reusers can just opt to follow the GFDL terms for commercial uses. Please note that even if you "update" an image of yours, you should not retract the previous GFDL/CC-BY-NC-SA dual license. So either you update and keep the license, or you upload the image under a different name and license it differently. And if that different license is not free, then don't upload at the Commons. Lupo 15:56, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Besides, the viral nature of the GFDL itself is far from clear. And insisting on a viral license is, well, IMO strange. "Free" should be free, no strings attached.Lupo 15:56, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Lupo, I know you are a reasonable person, and so I am confused by your comments. Perhaps I am saying it wrong. My intention is to be at least as free than the GFDL (which is obviously allowed). The FSF position is that the GFDL is a strong viral copyleft, such that the use of GFDL images requires the accompanying text to be GFDL as well. I agree that this seems to be the most natural reading of the GFDL license. You may think it is silly, but that viral nature is important to me. It is one of the tools by which we create free content. By contrast, the Creative Commons takes the position that CC-BY-SA is a weak viral copyleft. In other words, their position is that CC-SA on images extends only to derivative images and not to derivative works as a whole. Some people (including myself, Gmaxwell, etc.) have complained that this is virtually worthless as a copyleft. Creative Commons has discussed adding a CC-SA+ with stronger provisions, but not taken any action so far.
My intention here is to bootstrap the strong viral nature on CC-BY-SA by explicitly requiring it. Beyond that though, I don't intend to be any more restrictive than the GFDL already is. In other words, if you are willing to strictly follow the GFDL or CC-BY-SA for your work as a whole, then that is more than adequate and commercial use is allowed. Dragons flight 20:04, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Maybe I misunderstood. I see combining a GFDL image with non-GFDL text as perfectly allowable under section 7 of the GFDL (aggregation with independent works, as any text is clearly not a derived work of a GFDL image), and there is no virality at all: "When the Document is included in an aggregate, this License does not apply to the other works in the aggregate which are not themselves derivative works of the Document." So I could even reprint a GFDL article in an otherwise non-GFDL compilation (such as a newspaper), and I would need to also reprint the text of the GFDL itself and mention the authors of the GFDL article and mention that the article is under the GFDL and so on, but I would not need to place my whole compilation under the GFDL. So much for that. I know other people think differently, but for me, the GFDL is clearly not viral. Your proposed viral license would require me to place my whole newspaper under GFDL or CC-BY-SA, and that's why I consider this unfree. Viral "free" licenses are essentially "non-commercial-only". Lupo 22:41, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
As I understand it, the section on collections of independent works turns on the meaning of "separate and independent documents or works". In the example you give of a newspaper, seperate articles do stand on their own and qualify as seperate. However, it is the FSF position that when an image is published alongside text that relies on, refers to, or otherwise builds upon that image, then this text does not qualify as a "seperate and independent work". And hence, in general, their position is that using GFDL images to illustrate text requires a GFDL release on (at least) the associated text. This is in line with the expansive notion of "derivative works" in the US, such that if material A includes and depends upon item B, then it is a "derivative" of B even if B was not changed.
I clearly need to think about how to clarify the language, but the goal I have in mind is similar to that. In other words, if article X relies upon image Y then, article X needs to by copyleft, but that newspaper Z that includes article X need not be copyleft as a whole. In broad strokes, how do you feel about that goal? Dragons flight 23:51, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Got any sources (except FSF opinions) for that expanded notion of derivative works? I highly doubt that any court would treat a text that refers to, describes, or discusses some image as a derivative of that image. Lupo 08:18, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Per the US copyright office [5]: "A 'derivative work', that is, a work that is based on (or derived from) one or more already existing works, is copyrightable if it includes what the copyright law calls an 'original work of authorship.' Derivative works, also known as 'new versions,' include such works as translations, musical arrangements, dramatizations, fictionalizations, art reproductions, and condensations. Any work in which the editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications represent, as a whole, an original work of authorship is a derivative work or new version. A typical example of a derivative work received for registration in the Copyright Office is one that is primarily a new work but incorporates some previously published material. This previously published material makes the work a derivative work under the copyright law." (emphasis mine)
As you can see from among the examples on that page, the US standard for counting new works as "derivative" includes the mere inclusion of previously published work, whether or not that previously published material was altered in the process. Dragons flight 08:42, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, the statute (17 USC 101) doesn't say anything about "incorporating previously published material". Like the term implies, a "derivative work" is created when there is some modification ("build upon, transform, adapt, ...") of the original, and that modification itself must be original. OTOH, including images in some text can equally well be seen as an act of compilation. Consider choosing several GFDL images from the Commons to illustrate some text (not necessarily a Wikipedia article, which would be GFDL anyway). The selection, choice, arrangement, etc. might be original enough to make the whole thing eligible for copyright as a collection of GFDL images, plus some added text under some other license. The U.S. Federal Judidcial Center says so, too, (Gorman, R. A.: Copyright Law, 2nd ed., U.S. Federal Judicial Center, June 19, 2006, pp. 33ff.) but also points out that there is some overlap between "republication as part of a compilation" and "derivative works". In general, this appears to be a gray area in U.S. law; and until there's a court case saying that a book were a derivative work of the images included in it, I'll consider text including GFDL images as aggregates, not as derivatives, the FSF opinion notwithstanding. (I should point out that in other jurisdictions, this is not a gray area at all. The German Urheberrechtsgesetz, for instance, uses the explicit term "Bearbeitung" for derivative works, which clearly and unambiguously requires some original modification of the original work. Including an image in some independently written text is not a "Bearbeitung" of the image, it's just a republication.) Lupo 14:04, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
I think the linguistic issue of what constitutes a "derivative" has carried us a little off-topic. Even if you view it as mere republication, one requires the copyright holder's permission (in some form) in order to accomplish that. So it is obviously possible, in principle, to attach conditions on the larger work in order to grant that permission/license.
As previously stated, the FSF takes the position that when creating inter-dependent mergers of GFDL images and text (rather than a mere collection) one of those conditions is viral licensing. I have also embraced that position. This has led me to send letters of protest when my imagery are combined with text without applying the GFDL to the merged work. In one case it also led to a substantial financial settlement with a commercial publisher. Appropriate application of copyleft is a right that I am committed to and prepared to fight for.
However, I am not looking to ambush people. That well meaning people, like you and I, can disagree on what the license means is a problem. In eventually crafting a new license statement, one of my hopes has been to make explicit the viral expectations (which the FSF and I already hold) so that this would be clear to reusers. You can argue that being viral about merged works is "bad", but as far as I am concerned (and unless a court says differently), this is already part of the GFDL and is one of the basic virtues of this copyleft. Thus, not being explicit about the expectations I have for reusers of my works is actively counterproductive.
As stated previously, in doing this I don't intend to be any more expansive than the FSF interpretation of the GFDL already is, but I have been hoping to draw out this issue to make it clear. However, it appears we have already expended a great deal of discussion because you (and probably others here) are surprised that the FSF believes the GFDL is more viral than you had thought. Some of you even seem to be suggesting that a license that explicitly embraced the FSF interpretation should not be welcome on Commons (which arguably leads to the absurd position that all GFDL works should be removed). Dragons flight 19:40, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
If the GFDL places conditions on the other work, it is not a free license in my mind. BTW, if you think that combining a text with a GFDL-image required the text to become GFDL, too, then that also works vice versa: combining a GFDL-Text with a non-GFDL image would require the image to become GFDL-licensed. But the CC-BY-SA does not list the GFDL as a compatible license that would satisfy the SA part. In fact, CC presently doesn't list any other license as compatible.[6] Hence we would have to remove all media that are licensed CC-BY-SA (and not dual licensed as GFDL). That's equally absurd. IMO, the much more reasonable position is to consider combinations of GFDL and non-GFDL items as aggregation (i.e., consider the GFDL non-viral). Then all these absurdities vanish. Lupo 21:17, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, CC-BY-SA and GFDL are plainly incompatible when mixed in the "same work", and though one may argue about the boundaries of "same work", neither license writing agency encourages mixing SA images and GFDL text or vice versa. As for all the "absurdities" vanishing, FSF and Creative Commons have been discussing making their licenses compatible (and perhaps interchangable) in future versions, but they freely admit that their two flavors of copyleft are largely incompatible at the present time. One of the stumbling blocks is specifically the difference in opinion between FSF and CC about how viral copyleft should be. Myself and others have agitated for strongly viral mixing to be explicitly added to some version of the CC-SA (i.e. "CC-SA+") before CC-SA could be considered compatible with the current GFDL. And yes, Wikimedia does play very fast and loose with mixing copyleft, but luckily few licensors actually care if you mix the two flavors.
However we have again gotten far from the original impetus, since it is not SA vs. GFDL that I am worried about but rather viral copyleft vs. generic copyrighted text. For the sake of argument, let's consider a simple (if perhaps extreme) hypothetical. Suppose Alice takes a photo, and because Alice loves freedom, she says: "This photo shall be a great symbol of freedom. You may use this image wherever you like, but every document it appears on must be free. You may accomplish this either applying a copyleft (CC-SA, GFDL, etc.) or explicitly waiving your copyright in the result document." Are you of the opinion that Alice's "symbol of freedom" would be unwelcome here, simply because she demands that it be used in free contexts? Obviously, I am being vague about the details. If necessary, please interpret this is whatever way is necessary to favor allowing it to be used here and specify what that is. Dragons flight 02:34, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Exactly, I'm saying that this is not free. See again the definition of "free" the WMF uses: "These freedoms should be available to anyone, anywhere, anytime. They should not be restricted by the context in which the work is used." Lupo 08:35, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
P.S.: It also makes more sense because the text and the image can both exist independently. OTOH, if I made a collage of several images, including a GFDL-image, it's clear that the collage would be a derivative work and thus would need to be GFDL, since the new work (the collage) could not exist without the GFDL image. If an image is used in a text for illustrative purposes, no such derivation occurs. (IMO, even thumbnailing does not make the thumbnail a derivative work -- the act of scaling an image is IMO not original enough to make the scaled version a "work" in its own right. If it isn't a "work", it cannot be a "derivative work", but is just a copy of the original work.) Maybe if I wrote a critique or a review of a GFDL image, the text might depend so much on the image that the law might consider it a derivative work, but then I could just claim fair use and again I could happily ignore the GFDL provisions on derivatives. Lupo 21:48, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Images and text clearly cannot be derived works of one another (unless the image contains the words of the text itself), as there is none of each other's expression in the other. They may revolve around the same ideas, but they are completely separate expressions, with independent copyright. But, keep in mind that the FSF has a very particular definition of free -- it refers to the "freedom" of the material itself, not the freedom of users to do whatever they like with it. As with GPL'ed code, they do not want the material re-used in a context which is substantially "unfree", as that would appear to "lock up" the material again (this is more true with GPLed code, since modifications to source code otherwise may not be made public). If you can find a way to use the material while keeping it "free", then fine. I don't know the details, but it sounds like the GFDL makes that a condition of use; you can't use it in a combined work if the other elements (even if they have a completely independent copyright) aren't "free" as well. In other words, they try to use their material as leverage to get other people to make other material "free" as well. That, to them, is more "freeing" for the material than the CC-BY(-SA) approach. Unfortunately other parts of the GFDL make using its licensed material in certain places virtually impossible; for example I don't know how you could make a postcard with a GFDL image.
It sounds like Dragons flight wants this new license to extend that viral, combined-work aspect to CC-BY-SA, mainly to avoid the encumbering parts of GFDL. He could then dual license under CC-BY-NC and his new one, as it sounds like he would like to allow usage under non-commercial or viral-license contexts. I guess if successful, we would accept it, since it would essentially be a less-cumbersome GFDL. Still, given that many people out there don't understand the differences between the various "free" licenses now (I see rather frequently items "licensed under a Creative Commons license", without specifying which of the widely varying types they mean), I don't know if I'd like to see yet another style added into the mix. You may not mean to ambush people, but that will often be the effect ;-) Carl Lindberg 03:43, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Using a GFDL work together with non-GFDL works under the assumption of aggregation does not "lock up" the GFDL work at all. Lupo 08:35, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
I would call that non-free also. It goes against the whole reason the GFDL was created in the first place and why Wikimedia chose that over the GPL. I think the most restrictive you can get on Commons is dual-license under GPL (not GFDL) and CC-BY-NC-SA. But why would you want that? How does that help the users? I understand the copyleft mentality and I value it too, but creating a license like that would only makes things less compatible and more confusing. How would the above terms affect derivatives? Would they have to be licensed the same? That's the last thing we need. Another non-compatible copyleft. What about going with GPL/permission? →Яocket°°° 09:32, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
The intent is to make the images more available and have more options for use than they are now under the GFDL, I'm not at all sure where you get the notion they would be less compatible. Dragons flight 10:15, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
The intent is clearly not to make them more available - releasing them to the public domain would accomplish that if it was really the goal. No, let's be honest here, not wanting your work being used commercially is not a shameful thing and that's the only reason I can see for having a license like this. Making the copyleft stronger is not the reason because non-commercial use is essentially CC-BY with no SA or anything. All you're doing is making commercial work extremely hard to do since the whole "document" text needs to be licensed a certain way. This makes things very incompatible which is the seems to be the point of the license in order to limit commercial use to such an extant it's practically impossible. This is why I call it non-free. I see this as an effort to circumvent the commercial use requirement on Commons and by doing so further complicating the legal situation here. →Rocket°°° 04:18, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
As repeatedly said above, the FSF position is that using the GFDL already requires text accompanying images to by copyleft. Hence asking for that can't be evidence of making things harder. Yes, it is hard to use the GFDL commercially, but I'm not trying to make it harder. I am however trying to make the images easier to use in general by opening up non-commercial use and CC alternatives, and limiting the impact of the absurd documentation rules attached to GFDL. No, I'm not making them public domain, or deeply free, but I do intend them to be more free than under the GFDL alone. Dragons flight 05:42, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
You are making it harder because are explicitly stating the text must be licensed a certain way regardless of FSF's position. Another question, what about commercial uses without accompanying text? Can I freely sell your images by themselves or re-license non-text-containing derivatives any way I want (since there's no SA)? →Rocket°°° 06:36, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
I just got an idea. I don't if it's possible, but since you remain the copyright holder when you license under GFDL, can't you waive the right to have the license stated in full (at least for non-derivatives)? If not, you can craft a new license based on the GFDL minus that part. →Rocket°°° 06:45, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Which countries laws do the projects have to consider?

I sent an email to foundation-l, but nobody has replied. Does anybody know if the Foundation has a policy on this? --Kjetil_r 20:29, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

The foundation has no global policy on this, except what can be inferred indirectly from the spirit of the licensing policy resolution and associated materials. Aside from the requirement that everything be legal on servers living in the US, other decisions about how to navigate potential conflicts in international copyright law are mostly left up to the individual projects. (Which is another way of saying that the WMF doesn't have the time or resources to navigate all the intricacies of every permutation of international copyright law.)
In general though, I think there is a "play fair" mentality. In other words, try to respect the rights of all of the stake holders involved to a reasonable degree. And if you do decide to use things that may be free in the US but possibly not free in some other jurisdiction (for example), then you should also document the potential conflict in a way that will be alert potential reusers of potential problems. Dragons flight 21:31, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Agree. Furthermore, if a Norwegian-language Wikimedia project chooses to operate under U.S.-law only in order to be able to reproduce things that are copyrighted in Norway, but not in the U.S., I think that would make that project rather unpopular rather quickly with the Norwegian rights holders. Something to consider... if you can use this under some Norwegian "fair use" equivalent, you could write an EDP and mark the image as "PD in the U.S. because of whatever" plus some "used under EDP in Norway" tag. Lupo 22:55, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I would love if Commons adopted that policy. I don't know if stated rationales are needed (like for fair-use images on en.WP) but if the source country's Wikipedia is using the US-PD image under EDP, why not have it here? →Яocket°°° 09:45, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Because we must not have EDPs per the WMF licensing resolution, and that EDP would apply in Norway, but not anywhere else. EDP content must be hosted locally, since EDPs are project-specific. Lupo 14:14, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
No, I mean what you said. We wouldn't have the images under EDP, but US-PD. The country were it's not PD would need the EDP to use it. Of course it wouldn't apply to other countries, but it wouldn't need to since it's PD in those countries. →Rocket°°° 04:27, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
PD-US applies only to U.S. works. You're not suggesting to drop the "PD in source country" part, are you? We've had that discussion. It greatly reduces the usefulness of the Commons for all non_English projects. In the particular case, note that the Nobel medal is a Swedish work and is copyrighted in all PD-Old-70 countries. And even still in all PD-Old-50 countries (the engraver died in 1966). In other words: just about anywhere, except maybe the U.S. No other country has that pre-1923 rule. If a work is PD only in the U.S., the right place to host it is at en-WP, and maybe locally at other projects that allow such works under some EDP. Lupo 15:41, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Australian government source

OK, so the Australian government has released photos documenting a Japanese whale hunt into the public domain. I uploaded one here, but wasn't really sure of all the details of how to justify it, not having ever had the need to upload files of this sort. So, could someone check to see what needs to be done to make this file legal and whatnot, and let me know if something needs to be done? Murderbike 02:24, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Maybe I'm missing something, but is there a statement that they released them to the public domain? The images I see are credited to the Australian Customs Service, which would normally be under Crown Copyright. I see a couple of other sites say they are public domain, but mostly I just see that they were "released". The tag to use probably depends on how they worded it. Carl Lindberg 05:40, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
In this article the third paragraph reads "They were put into the public domain by the eco-friendly administration of the new Labor premier, Kevin Rudd, accompanied by withering comments from Australian ministers." Is that good enough? Murderbike 05:54, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but it's not good enough, because that is evidently a misunderstanding of that journalist. The Australian Customs Service released those images to the public, but they did not place them into the "public domain". In fact, on their own website, they state an attribution/for-non-commercial-purposes-only license. Try contacting them and give them a nudge to license these a CC-BY-SA. Lupo 21:30, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
P.S.: If you really should succeed and get a truly free release of these images, by all means upload the full-resolution originals from the ACS website. Lupo 21:52, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

PD-old with unknown author

Dear community, I would like to ask if we have a rule for old files without an author. Since there is a difference between anonymous works and works where the uploader did not provide an author, we cannot assume a 70 years rule. On de, we use 100 years after creating of the work, however, this is far to early. I would suggest something between 125 and 150 years. Code·is·poetry 10:27, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I think it should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis like it is now. Using 125-150 (even 100) years is way overdoing it for most images. Sure, it would make things easier, but technically PD images don't even need attribution. If there's good reason to believe something's PD (like the LOC said there's no known restrictions) we shouldn't delete it just cause the author's unknown. And why so long? What country's laws are you using for the basis of this? In the U.S. it's only 120 years for unpublished anonymous works. (heh, "only" :) →Rocket°°° 04:42, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't like that approach of "keep as long as there is no problem". In fact, we will never get any problem with a piece of art made 1900 or 1930. We should rather try to assure the PD-ness of a file or use rules of thumb which give us statistical surety. On de, we use PD-old-100 because „Die Wahrscheinlichkeit für eine Verfolgung durch einen Rechtsinhaber ist jedoch so gering, dass die deutschsprachige Wikipedia die Datei duldet.“ ("There is only a remote possibility for a prosecution by the holder of rights, so the german wikipedia tolerates the file.") I don't think that this is a valid approach for a free media database. In fact, a statement by the LoC should be enough, but something like de:Bild:Albrecht von preussen.jpg or de:Bild:AntonThraen.jpg should not be kept on commons. Code·is·poetry 10:12, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Steamboat Willie is from 1928. Try publishing that and see how much trouble you get into.Geni 10:28, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
So, could we get some sort of concensus or shall I nominate some critical images and see what happens? Code·is·poetry 19:17, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, first, reaching consensus usually takes more than two days around here. "Unknown author" images are problematic because very often it just means that the uploader does not know the author and could not be bothered to do the research needed. Because of that, I would require a verifiable external source that says the author is unknown. Same goes for anonymous works.
If the work is evidently old enough that any conceivable copyright must have expired in PD-old-70 countries (and that gives us the about 150 years: 70 years since death of author + lived for about 80 years, with a safety margin for people who got older... created the work at the age of 10 and then lived to 90), we could basically host them. However, we also would need publication information because of the U.S.: before 1978, copyright on unpublished works was perpetual in the U.S. An unpublished work created before 1978 (yes, even if more than 120 years ago!) but then published 1978 - 2002 (inclusive) is copyrighted in the U.S. at least until 2047. See 17 USC 302 and 303. Although I must admit I have no idea who would own such a copyright in the case of a more than 120-year-old work with an unknown author. :-)
In any case, I think we should not host such images without an immediate source (where does the image come from?) or without a verifiable reliable external source confirming that the author is unknown in general, not just to us. BTW, doesn't have de:Bild:Albrecht von preussen.jpg a signature at the bottom center? Lupo 22:13, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Looks like the number 117 to me. --rimshottalk 08:24, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, whatever. There is something there, but I can't make out what. The image evidently doesn't show the whole original, so we have no way of knowing whether there was some author indication just beyond the bounds of this image. Anyway, this is a typical image. The uploader didn't give a damn about sourcing (see "Eine Quellenangabe ist also überflüssig, ich weiß nicht mal eine. Sagen wir, ich habe sie am Wegesrand gefunden.", "Bild von anno Piefendeckel") and was operating under a mistaken assumption that images from before 1959 were PD in Germany! Yuck. Ok, that was 2003... later, this uploader learned and even became a Commons-Admin, see his log. Well, maybe he didn't learn enough ("show people from the 19th century... are PD, obviously"—well, it ain't obvious at all!). Some of his unsourced, undated images still remain, however, e.g. Image:Erbprinz-alfred-von-sachsen-coburg-gotha.jpg, or also Image:Johann-Albrecht-zu-Mecklenburg.jpg...
de:Bild:Albrecht von preussen.jpg has since his upload at de-WP also copied to here (earliest copy at dates to 2004, half a year after the upload at en-WP). It is possible that the image dates to 1879,[7] but without seeing an image of the engraving they are selling at that URL we cannot be sure. Another, similar image of the subject exists here (linked from here); that image does have a signature (albeit unreadable for me again). The image may or may not be PD, I'm not convinced the author is really unknown in general, there's no source in sight, and there's no information on publication at all.
Image:Johann-Albrecht-zu-Mecklenburg.jpg (mentioned above) is another illustrative example of why I distrust "unknown author" claims. The original source is here; the image is signed (which isn't visible in our low-resolution version) "Paul Moennich fec. 1906" ("fec." is Latin "fecit", i.e., "made it"). The source claims this was a photograph, but to me, it rather looks like a drawing. (Paul Moennich was a painter; he was born on September 9, 1855 and died 1935.[8]) BTW, it appears to also have the subject's signature in the lower right corner. The image is PD in Germany, I presume (published on December 31, 2001, according to the source, so I don't think we have to worry about the publication right). BTW, see here about the collection this image comes from. In the U.S. it would be PD only if it was originally published before 1923. Otherwise, if published before 1978, it'd be copyrighted in the U.S. until 95 years after the publication. If that 2001 publication was the first one, it'd be copyrighted in the U.S. until the end of 2047. Lupo 12:33, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Licensing question

So I want to use that photo found here, which is a NOAA website. At the bottom, there's credit to a photographer and her publisher, but no copyright or anything. Does this mean that the photo is fair game? Murderbike 05:01, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

The photographer doesn't appear to be a NOAA employee, so PD-USGov would not apply. We cannot use this image without knowing the licensing (PD-USGov cannot apply, though its possible PD-self does). An email to the contact address should clarify things with respect to this image.--Nilfanion 10:17, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
It looks like the photographer is an author of lighthouse books; her contact page is here. You could try going through the address on that page, to find out if she considers the photo released to the public domain, or just donated to the NOAA for educational use (if the latter, we cannot host it). Carl Lindberg 14:23, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

GFDL Self?

A number of my images have been migrated (by other editors) from en:Wikipedia to Commons with {{GFDL-self-with-disclaimers}}. I am happy to go through them and change the copyright tags to remove the disclaimers but am unsure which tag to use. As the original photographer and uploader on en:wiki can I use {{GFDL-self}} on Commons, or does self refer only to the uploader on Commons, which is not me in this case? Thanks…. Oosoom Talk 20:41, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I would suggest using {{self|author=[[:en:User:Oosoom|Oosoom]]|GFDL}}. That would make it completely unambiguous. --Kjetil_r 21:40, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks. Will do. Oosoom Talk 21:42, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
There is also {{GFDL-user-en-no-disclaimers}} which you can use, with your en username as the argument. Carl Lindberg 00:18, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Metropolitan Museum of Art

I was looking at the MET's website, and they are pretty clear that any photos taken of material in the museum are not allowable for public or commercial use.[9] And yet, we seem to have many images here on Commons that are from the MET: Category:Metropolitan Museum of Art. How are we justifying this? Did the MET give permission for use on Commons? Or do we have a lot of cleanup ahead of us? --Elonka 22:41, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

First: Would you please consider that MET has no right to claim non-existing copyright on photographs of 2-D objects? Bridgeman v. Corel is clear enough. MET is in the US. Second: If an uploader decides to make the photograph available here it is his decision. MET has no copyright on its objects. If there would be a valid contract it would bind only the parties of the contract. --Historiograf 23:34, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree with images of 2D objects, that Bridgeman v. Corel is pretty clear, and that as long as it's a "faithful reproduction", it's probably not a problem. But we seem to have a lot of images of 3D objects. --Elonka 01:01, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
That is a problem if the museum photographed them, and we copied their photographs here. But not if the uploaders were the photographers, since they would own the copyright to the photos and can upload them (without violating any copyright at least). I think that is the situation here; Bridgeman v. Corel has nothing to do with it. If the photographs contain a work of art which is still copyrighted (and is the central motif of the photo), then that would be an issue too. But, most or all photos in that category look like they are of very old pieces. Carl Lindberg 03:17, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
It could still be a problem for the uploaders, since it sounds like the photography rules are part of the conditions of entry (provided this information is displayed prominently to visitors). Thus, photographing for purposes other than those permitted could constitute a breach of contract or even trespassing. However, the redistribution itself of such a work cannot be prohibited, so the risk rests entirely with the photographers. If it's not one they're willing to take, I think we should honour deletion requests initiated by the photographers. LX (talk, contribs) 14:42, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Agree with LX: looks like a condition of entry issue rather than a copyright issue. Does Commons have a policy or precedent regarding that? Durova 02:31, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
We've always been handling it in that way. Now written up at Commons:Image casebook#Museum photography. Lupo 07:22, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Almost all museums I know try to prohibit public and commercial use of pictures taken within their walls. It looks like a blanket prohibition, although the wording here is a bit severe indeed. I'm unsure whether museums truly intend to enforce it.
The British Museums for instance restricts photography to private use. Yet I've been asked by a member of the BM staff for the reuse of a picture of a BM exhibit (Image:Misfired clay lamps BM GR1926.2-16.127.jpg) for a book that will be published by the BM press. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 08:27, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
I think this is really dangerous. If I'm understanding the above comments correctly, we're basically telling the public, "Go into museums, take pictures of everything you can, and then upload it here to Commons. You'll be breaking your agreement with the museum, but we don't really care about that, we only care about copyright." If that's what we're saying, this is a really really bad idea. Museums often rely on sales of images for their revenue. If we at Commons declare open-season on everything in a museum, that's going to come back to bite us. --Elonka 20:40, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
We don't tell people to do anything, but we have long had the rule that we don't enquire into any contractual agreements made between the photographer and the owner of the object. --MichaelMaggs 21:28, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Apart from what Michael said, there's a huge difference between an amateur photographed equiped with a digicam (or even a talented amateur with a dSLR) and a professional photographer with a view camera, who can move the exhibits and light the set correctly. I often see museum management for my daily job. Commons is not their ennemy. Getty and Corbis are their enemy. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 22:02, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Michael, I understand about not inquiring into contractual agreements. However, where we have a situation where the subject explicitly says that they do not give permission, isn't that something that we should honor? I mean, if PHGCOM (or whoever) were to say, "I have permission from the museum to publicize these photos," then I agree that we could take him at his word. But if he says, "Nope, I don't have permission," and the museum website says that they don't give permission, then I can't see as it is reasonable for us to continue accepting the images as, "Well, we don't know what the contractual status is." I don't think it would pass the "reasonable person" standard. The MET goes to the trouble of saying, "You can't use the photos." If the museum wanted pics to be used, then they could say as much on their website, like, "Low-res images are okay for publication". But that's not what they're saying, they are very explicit: No publication, no commercial use. Which means these images should not be allowed on Commons. --Elonka 22:32, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
And what would give the MET the right to control use of someone else's photographs? They do not own any of the copyright in question. They could ban the photographer from future visits, and I suppose charge them with trespass if they came back anyways, but I'm not sure what other rights they have. Reading this PDF Legal Rights of Photographers], especially the "An Example" section towards the bottom, seems to indicate that the photos themselves are legal (and may not be trespassing at all, unless they were previously asked to leave the premises). We have no idea what signs were visible to patrons on the day the photos were taken, if they got separate permission, etc., etc. If the uploaders are comfortable uploading them, then I think we should keep them. I do agree that we should honor deletion requests from the uploaders if they want these types of photos deleted though. Carl Lindberg 00:51, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree. You mention "contractual agreements". First, an agreement between two parties is not opposable to a third party, so Commons is not actually concerned. Second, how binding can be some terms and conditions the visitor never explicitly agreed to? I asked the question informally to a legal counsel who answered "not much" (his domain was IP, so maybe it didn't know much about contract law). Besides, the MET owns its exhibits. What rights does it have in that respect? Can the MET really control the image of its property? Can you forbid someone to take a photo of your car, for instance? Jastrow (Λέγετε) 08:00, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
(I'm not a lawyer. I've studied some contract law during business studies in Australia.) The main question is whether or not the terms have been prominently displayed (such as on a sign that one has to pass when entering the venue or printed on a ticket). If they have been, the act of entering the premises is widely held to constitute acceptance.
There are some ways to restrict photography in a venue with the right to refuse admission, but I believe the ability to control the use of such photographs after they have been taken is rather limited unless it violates privacy, discloses trade secrets, or similar. LX (talk, contribs) 15:55, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
I sense that I am on the losing end of this, so I will bow to consensus, even though this policy makes me extremely uncomfortable. I've also read the Wikiversity page on Museum photography, which on this matter basically boils down to, "Ignore the museum's wishes, and if you are challenged by their guards, lie to them."
It seems counter-intuitive to me that we at Commons would spend a lot of energy debating the ethics and copyright of using someone else's single photograph, but where it comes to wholescale publishing of thousands of images from a museum, we roll over and say, "Oh, that's not a problem, go right ahead, just ignore the museum's rules."
This also seems counter-intuitive to me because I've seen some images of "outdoor" art deleted, such as images of sculptures in clearly public spaces such as parks. Plus there's the issue of cities forbidding the commercial use of images of their buildings! I just can't get my head around it, why some things are "okay" and others are "not okay."
My feeling is still that if the museum says "you can take pictures, but you can't publish them or use them commercially", that we should honor that. Especially on the Commons, it's not just about whether or not we're using the images for educational use, it's the fact that any image on Commons is assumed to be okay for any use. Other non-Wikipedia folk routinely harvest images from Commons for other non-wiki purposes. So if we're hosting images of a museum's entire collection, I think that eventually this is going to cause problems. A museum's legal department may come after us, plus I also think it's going to cause PR problems in the future, if/when word gets out to the press that the Commons and Wikiversity actively encourage people to go and take pictures of museum exhibits under the principle of "Don't get caught." :/
However, if everyone disagrees with me, I guess I'll have to honor that. I will bow to consensus and say, "I disagree, but the community has spoken." I've given my dissenting opinion, and I'll move on. --Elonka 16:34, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
There is a subtle distinction between saying "you can take pictures, but you can't publish them or use them commercially" (which they can't enforce) and saying "you can take pictures, but you can't do it if you are going to publish them or use them commercially".
I firmly believe that Wikimedia itself is not doing anything illegal by redistributing faithful reproductions of public domain works. I agree, however, that we should not encourage people to breach contracts to which they are a party.
As for PR problems, I hope for the museums' sake that they are wary of how it would look if they used their (often public) funds to limit the public's access to public domain works. The reason libraries and museums receive public funding is to deal with the costs of maintaining original works in a physical location so that they can contribute to an enlightened society–not to hoard and restrict access to our common cultural heritage. LX (talk, contribs) 18:58, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I think the right/wrong determination is a decision for each uploader. Museums often make money by selling books with photos of their collections, so they are likely trying to protect that revenue stream. However, none of that gives them the legal right to control photos they did not take (and thus own no part of the copyright). Museums (and other institutions) often claim mistaken, or downright fraudulent, copyright to try to maximize their revenue (or use other "rights" claims). I think it's up to the individual (and copyright owner) to determine whether or not to upload them, either respecting the museum's wishes (or not). In no way do I think we should have a blanket rule to delete any photos taken in public areas just because the property owner of that area wants them gone. If the photos violate privacy rights, others' copyrights, or similar, then yes they should be deleted -- but as far as I can tell the property owner does not in any way control photos of their property. Personally, I would probably often respect museum's requests like that, though it may depend on the photo (I may feel different about a photo showing a wide-angle view of an entire room, giving a feel of what the museum is like, as opposed to a closeup of one of the artifacts). However, I do not want to impose those same feelings on each photographer, who may feel differently. As mentioned, I would support deletion requests for photographers who were unaware that their photos were counter to the museum's (or other institution's) wishes, and want to delete them after learning of that.
As for photos of statues in public... yes, that gets tricky. If the statue is copyrighted, then the photo can be a derivative work, and so would also need the permission of the statue's sculptor for us to keep it (since they would own a portion of the copyright of the photo). That most certainly holds true of museum photographs too -- if the photos are of a copyrighted work, then those (usually) can't be kept either. Similarly, buildings can sometimes be copyrighted too, and thus the same logic may hold true. This differs quite a bit country by country; many places explicitly say that photos of works in public places are not derivative works, so in those cases we can keep them (assuming a valid license on the photo of course). If the copyright on the statue/building has lapsed, then of course photos are OK too. In the U.S., it is generally presumed that photos of statues are derivative works, but on the other hand, even though buildings have been copyrightable since 1990 the law explicitly states that photos are OK (i.e. the architect's copyright does not extend to photos of the building; it mainly prevents other architects from using the same design for other buildings). Many countries allow photos in both cases, some don't allow it in either. See Commons:Freedom of panorama if you want the gory details. I must admit though, I'm interested in knowing which city claims rights over photos of their buildings? That is a new one to me... Carl Lindberg 03:49, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

And if the claim would be based on a national law? Please help to find examples. MET is'nt an Italian museum but in Italy photographic reproductions of museum objects are controlled by a law --Historiograf 20:42, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Your link doesn't work. I can only guess that you refer to this. Are the "Legge urbani" copyright laws or a modification of the Italian copyright law? I don't think so. Decreto Legislativo 22 gennaio 2004, n. 42, "Codice dei beni culturali e del paesaggio, ai sensi dell'articolo 10 della legge 6 luglio 2002, n. 137" seems to be the law. Article 107(2) forbids the reproduction (including photos) of cultural heritage items, and article 108 contains the provisions on permission fees and royalties.
There's Greece and Egypt, too. Was this you, too?
And then there's Australia: commercial photography of Indigenous, environmental and heritage sites is restricted. These provisions are not related to copyright law. See Information sheet G011.
There also was some discussion (IIRC, even here on-wiki somewhere) about the U.S. requiring permits for professional filming in state and national parks and national forest lands. That also was unrelated to copyright law.
Methinks at least in the Australian case (and the U.S. case, but IIRC, this didn't apply to individuals taking photos anyway; the intent was to avoid that large film crews invade protected sites and trample every plant in sight), this is like a state-enforced house rule. Breaching it is the photographer's risk, not ours. No idea about Greece and Egypt, and I don't know how serious the Italian situation needs to be taken—but they did receive several take-down requests through OTRS. In any case, I have the feeling that all these extra provisions can be enforced only within the respective countries. (But I don't know that for sure!) Lupo 22:57, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
P.S.: somewhat related: "domaine publique payant"... the idea that PD works become state property, and users have to pay royalties to the state for uses of such works. Exists in several countries, but didn't really catch on (surprisingly). Don't know if it's enforced where it exists, though. Not enforceable internationally, AFAIK. Lupo 23:03, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Historiograf's link fixed: Commons:Village pump#Antiquities laws et al. Lupo 23:11, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Is there a definition of "Commercial Use?"

In talk about licensing, there is a lt of talk of commercial use, but I cannot find a definition of what that is. I figure that selling an image to a magazine is a clear commercial use. But what else? What about using an image in a banner for a website that happens to have Google ads embedded on it? How about on a website that is selling stuff? Where is the line drawn, or where can I find a definition? I am asking not only in terms of the Commons, but also for general use of my own photos. If my photos contain images of something copyrighted, what is commercial use? Thanks! — Epastore 22:53, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

There is no universal definition that I'm aware of. It could be defined differently by a particular license, and could easily be subject to different interpretations. Fortunately, we avoid the question, by only allowing licenses that make no distinction between commercial and non-commercial. Sorry, if I misunderstood your question though. --Rob 04:20, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
The main question he is asking is what, for our purposes, means commercial use? Does this just mean the DVD's we sell on Wikipedia or people putting ads on Wikipedia mirrors? User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 07:44, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
The CC-by-nc licence defines commercial use as use in a manner "primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation. The exchange of the Work for other copyrighted works by means of digital file-sharing or otherwise shall not be considered to be intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation, provided there is no payment of any monetary compensation in connection with the exchange of copyrighted works." I think this definition would include both publication with revenues from advertising and publication in exchange for direct monetary compensation such as DVD sales. LX (talk, contribs) 17:01, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Photo of a cemetery monument by hans schuler

I want to upload 2 photos I took of public cemetery monuments by hans schuler (sculptor) for the Wikipedia on article Hans Schuler (1874-1951). Can someone please tell me what the tag/permission/etc. is? How can i upload this? And why has this uploading thing become such a big headache? MarylandArtlover 23:27, 15 February 2008 (UTC) MarylandArtlover 23:39, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Is There A Way To License Some Of My Collection?

I have thousands of aviation photos that were taken at an aircraft engine manufacturer's flight test facility since the late 1940's. All of the photos were collected by various employees who are now retired. The company does not claim ownership of any of them (I've asked for permission and used them for print articles). I am in contact with the photographer who took a majority of the photos. I believe many of the photos can enhance several articles on Wikipedia. Is there hope for these photos, or should I forget about trying?N747ge 02:50, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

It sounds like there is a good chance. Were these photos from a U.S. company? I'll assume so. Usually photographs made by company employees (as part of their job) are owned by the company, but if they are disclaiming ownership, then the photographers would have owned the copyright I guess. The next question is if they were published or not, and if so, when. Any photos published before 1964 would have needed to have their copyright registration renewed, and if not, they are now public domain. Normally doing a renewal search is pretty hard so we usually don't even try, but if you are in contact with the photographers, you could ask them directly. If they were published without a copyright notice before 1978 (and probably even before 1989), they would also be public domain. Anything published after that, or never published at all, would still be under copyright and you would need the photographer to license them. See this chart to help see if any photos are public domain already, and Commons:Email templates for help with the permission email we'd need if they are not. If nothing else works, you could upload them with a "fair use" rationale on the English Wikipedia (as opposed to here on Commons), but in that case the images would actually have to be used in articles or else they would be deleted. Good luck; it sounds like an interesting collection. Historical photographs from that era are relatively rare here, due to the above complications, so they would probably be very good to have. Carl Lindberg 04:08, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Anyone know why these aren't free: Image:Debian-OpenLogo-nd.svg, Image:Debian-OpenLogo.svg, Image:Debian.png. They even created a separate logo so users would have a free use one. Trademark laws still apply somewhat but I would still think it would be alright. If not, one of us is doing something wrong. →Rocket°°° 05:50, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Page-break up

Commons:Licensing is probably the most important page on the project. However, I feel it is becoming unwieldy and is leaving out stuff that could be made explicit. For instance, the page typically only quotes laws as opposed to giving an interpretation useful to users unfamiliar to the subject and predictably some nations have more info than others.

Given this I'd suggest it might be useful to break out the individual country sections into their own page, such as Commons:Licensing/United States. These individual pages could give somewhat greater detail on the classes of images, not just do little more than quote the laws. For example, the US page could list: Media that is PD everywhere, PD in the US (but not everywhere), subjects that can have freely licensed photos and those that cannot be accepted on Commons under any circumstances. Thoughts?--Nilfanion 11:42, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Yea sure good idea. I had the same idea earlier and created Commons:Licensing/Germany but it didn't get too far (an expert would be useful). These subpages could also be expanded with references and interpretations as you say..
Fred J (talk) 14:32, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree the main page is rather unwieldy and needs to be split.--Jarekt 18:13, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Yet another logo question

Would en:Image:Logo PQ 2007.png be okay here? I believe it would be, but thought I'd double check first. Anrie 08:54, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

George Bush's Military Service Records

Bush's service records are maintained on this US Department of Defense site in a collection of PDF files. Referencing individual records is not very convenient since they are not at all in good order in the PDF files. I've been contemplating extracting the records as image files and then uploading them to Wikipedia Commons for better reference in regards to the Bush related Wikipedia articles. Recently two of the PDF files went bad or disappeared, fortunately I had copies of them, but that made me think I ought to do this sooner rather than later. I think there are no licensing issues here, but I thought I ought to check first. Also I'm thinking of using a image extractor program rather that do it manually. If anyone has any particular software recommendations in regards to this, that would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance. -BC aka Callmebc 06:46, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

This would seem to be fine, though might I suggest that Wikisource may be a more appropriate home for these documents. Dragons flight 19:44, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Ah, that does look more appropriate, thanks. -BC aka Callmebc 21:26, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't know a lot about it, but w:DjVu would seem to be a good format. I definitely don't know about authoring tools though... which operating system are you using? Carl Lindberg
I think tools can be found here.Geni 11:31, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
I never saw that before -- I was just going to separate out the PDF pages into individual image files, label them based on where they are in the PDF collection, date (if available) of file, and a brief note about the content. I'm not sure if this DjVu is applicable here, but I am intrigued nevertheless. Thanks again. -BC aka Callmebc 23:02, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

In Cat De Wikisource books we have lots of PDFs and Djvus --Historiograf 00:34, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Licenses and Terms thereof

I really don't know what the different licenses in the "My own work" section mean. What do the all the different ones mean and allow for? M173627 01:12, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

An overview of the licenses is available here with links to information in detail. --GeorgHHtalk   01:56, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

German logos, once again

As probably some of you know, according to German copyright laws, many images, especially logos, which would be copyrighted in much of the rest of the world, are effectively free (copyright-wise) in Germany, because of the so-called Schöpfungshöhe (Threshold of originality). However, after some discussions, it has been decided (AFAICT) that we won’t accept those images here on Commons. See Template:Logo-Germany (redirecting to Template:Copyvio), Template talk:Logo-Germany (linking to Commons:Deletion requests/Template:Logo-Germany).

However, we seem to keep quite a number of such images, marked as {{PD-ineligible}}. I have noticed this today, on Deletion requests: User:Nard the Bard nominated Image:FiSh Rostock.png (among others) for deletion, because it is “not ineligible”. On the same day (! Shouldn’t every request last for at least seven days, unless it is an obvious copyvio?), User:ChristianBier closed the deletion request, keeping the image, because “It is PD-Ineligible!”

So: I believe that we should either decide to accept all those images, restore {{Logo-Germany}} and mark all relevant images with it, instead of the generic {{PD-ineligible}}, or say clearly and visibly that we do not accept such images, delete all of them, and explicitly educate our users (e.g. on Commons:Licensing), and especially admins, about this rule.

--Mormegil 16:55, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

From Commons:Licensing#Interaction of United States copyright law and foreign copyright law: "Uploads of non-U.S. works are allowed only if the work is covered by a free license valid in both the U.S. and the country of origin of the work, or if it is in the public domain in both countries." Thus, the high threshold of originality applied in Germany is irrelevant. The deletion request should not have been speedy closed. {{PD-ineligible}} states that the image "consists entirely of information that is common property and contains no original authorship", which does not apply to Image:FiSh Rostock.png by US standards. LX (talk, contribs) 17:12, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
It is nonsense to restore a Template like Logo-Germany. We have {{PD-textlogo}} and {{Trademark}}, thats enough. I closed the deletion request of the most of the requests of User:Nard the Bard because his knowledge about Treshold of originality is about 0%. it is not irrelevant, that Treshhold of originality in Germany applied. If a logo or a trademark only consists of typographic signs or simple gemotric shapes, it's PD. When we accept images at Commons, which are PD in U.S. and nowhere else, then we should also accept images, which are only free in Germany/Austria/Switzerland, like these logos and images do. Commons is an international project and if there is a free licence for this images, we could accept them. Maybe, the wikipedias of those languages, which countries don't accept these images, won't use this images. Hundreds of Images, which are PD in the U.S. also won't be used at german wikipedia. ChristianBier 17:44, 27 January 2008 (UTC) BTW: Please read Commons:Licensing#Simple_design
You seem to omit one important point: The servers are located in the U.S., so that everything hosted here must be legal according to U.S. law. --Mormegil
I say it again: Please read: Commons:Licensing#Simple_design. And then overthink what you wrote. ChristianBier 18:50, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
You wrote: “we should also accept images, which are only free in Germany/Austria/Switzerland”. That is what I am disagreeing with, and explaining to you, that we cannot accept images which are not free in the US, regardless of their status in Germany.
There are two different issues: 1. There are images that are simple enough to be PD even in the US. That is what Commons:Licensing#Simple design is about. 2. There are images that are free in Germany, but copyrighted in the US. That is, IMO, the case with e.g. Image:FiSh Rostock.png, and that is what we are talking here about. --Mormegil 19:02, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
In which way Image:FiSh Rostock.png didn't match with Commons:Licensing#Simple design? It only contains text and some parts of circles. ChristianBier 19:04, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
By the way: Commons accept PD-Russia, PD-Brasil, PD-Argentina, etc. and most of them didn't match with U.S. Copyright laws. ChristianBier 19:06, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Ah ha I find I am being bashed and nobody gave me a courtesy notice. I do know plenty about threshold of originality. Using US standards most of the files I tagged should be deleted. They consist of more than simple typography and shapes. -Nard 05:01, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
One note -- in the U.S., almost any typography is not copyrightable ("typeface as typeface" is the exact wording; this differs outside the U.S. which I think is why PD-textlogo is worded the way it is). And the standard is "common" shapes, not "simple" -- the fleur-de-lys is given as one example of a non-copyrightable symbol. Carl Lindberg 05:54, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Keep this logos. I agree with Beer Bier. Simple shapes are common. There is no originality when creating a simple logo and therefore no copyright protection in the US. Please cite a bulk of court decisions dealing with simple logos before claiming unproofed facts about the copyright protection in the US. I do not think that we will be sued when a logo is some nanometers aver the "threshold of originality" barrier. It's only our "all free orthodoxy" which prevents us to have this on Commons. --Historiograf 02:25, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Delete. I disagree. If they can only be safely hosted on German Wikipedia, keep them on German Wikipedia. There's no reason to move them here! There is a logo-template on German Wikipedia that has been succesfully used for at least a year, and it says "you may not be able to upload this to Commons". A good solution that I think is the best.
The Simple Design of the licensing page refers to simple design. It does not apply to anything created with creativity, such as the FiSH logo. So the licensing page does not grant them allowance on Commons.
Fred J (talk) 11:01, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Your wrong, the german template de:Vorlage:LogoSH was created as a combination of PD-ineligible and the logo template. So, that only 1 template is needed. It was created in the design of {{Trademark}} here at commons. The notice, that this graphics won't moved to commons, was an action by one Admin and it was only a warning mark, not a rule. When Logos are in ineligible, they are free at commons too. We should go forward and look at the laws, for example in this way, Historiograf mention. Historiograf is an expert in copyright laws and his position also in my opinion is the right way we could interpret the actual laws. ChristianBier 13:31, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
I've had this subject discussed before, at the time when the Logo-Germany template was deleted, and it was discussed both here and on the mailing list. It was recommended to delete them, and that is current status quo on Commons I guess.
But okay, personally it's not a big deal to me...
Fred J (talk) 23:05, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Are we even sure these PD-ineligible-in-Germany images are copyrighted in the U.S.? I thought countries usually respect other countries' copyright laws if they don't conflict with there own. Just like how PD-USGov images, which definitly could not be considered PD-ineligible anywhere, are still PD outside the U.S. (other laws may prevent free use but that's different). Rocket000 00:25, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Are we even sure these supposedly PD-ineligible-in-Germany images are not copyrighted in Germany? I seriously doubt it.
The label should only be used when the image is either prima facie not copyrightable or when the claim that it isn't has been tested in court. That's only true for a small fraction of logos labelled as "ineligible" on the German-language Wikipedia. IMO, the label is often abused as an excuse to use images that would, if labelled honestly, fall under fair use or fair dealing. --  (talk) 19:20, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
No, it's extremely clear that these logos can't be copyrighted according to the very high threshold of originality needed for copyright protection in Germany. Even the image de:Bild:Laufendes-Auge.jpg isn't copyright protected according to a decision by the highest German court concerning this logo. I would consider it to be pretty original (a walking eye, distinct design), but nevertheless the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany decided that trademark protection is enough for such images and they aren't eligible for copyright protection. Gestumblindi 18:09, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Or what about countries that have shorter copyright terms than the U.S.? Do we extend those too? Rocket000 00:42, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Usually, countries protect copyright for relevant acts done on its own territory (lex loci protectionis) regardless of the work's country of origin. In other words, if you do something in the U.S. (e.g. make the work available from the web server), you have to respect U.S. copyright law for any work. If you do something in another country (e.g. make the work available by uploading it to a web server), you have to respect the other country's copyright law. This is true for all works of authors from countries who are a member of the Berne Convention. Different rules only apply to works from countries who are not members of the Berne Convention or works that predate the implementation of the Berne Convention. --  (talk) 19:20, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, am I correct that we were not able to find anything more conclusive than before? I.e. no definitive guide which we (or, I) could use in determining whether something is or is not acceptable for Commons. Or, does somebody have another summary of this debate? --Mormegil 16:15, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

So I did what I didn't oughter

So I uploaded an 1863 sketch here and now I think I should not have. Can someone please walk me though whether this sketch is acceptable, and how I can tell in future --Geronimo20 03:58, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

I also think you probably shouldn't have. The drawing is signed "A.H.M., 1924", taken from a book first published in 1922 in New Zealand.[10] The artist was Arthur Herbert Messenger[11][12]. Without seeing the original 1863 sketch after which this was drawn, there's no way to tell how close the drawing is to the original sketch. We thus must assume that it is original enough to get a new copyright. Arthur Herbert Messenger was born in November 1877 and died in July 1962.[13] The copyright term in New Zealand is 50 years, counted from the end of the year in which the artist died. Thus, this drawing is copyrighted in New Zealand unless its copyright had already expired by January 1, 1995 (which is the date the current Copyright Act of new Zealand (1994) entered in force). I don't know what the earlier Copyright Acts of 1913 and 1962 and their amendments said, so I cannot tell you whether there was any copyright on that drawing on January 1, 1995. I also don't quite understand the transitional provisions in the "First Schedule"... I also cannot explain why an apparently 1924 drawing (unless I misread that signature) appears in a 1955 reprint (without amendments!) of a 1922 book. Maybe it reads "1921"... If this drawing was already in the 1922 book, it would be at least in the public domain in the U.S., but since we require that "public domain" works must be in the public domain in both the source country and in the U.S., we still could not host this image (again, unless there was something in the old copyright laws of New Zealand that made it "public domain" there). Lupo 15:32, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Help with supposed copyright violation

Someone deleted Image:KAL007747-2.png as a copyright violation. It was an image I created (using AutoCAD and Paint Shop Pro in addition to the references listed on the old page.) of a Korean Air 747 shot down in 1983, real world objects aren't supposed to be subject to copyright. (If they are then someone has a heap of files to delete:My images) Anynobody 04:29, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

I think I see what happened, they thought the image was a screen grab from Microsoft Flight Simulator which is an honest mistake (if Google understood the conversation here Image talk:KAL007747-2.png) I really did create the image in question though so could someone please resurrect the deleted page (for the revision history/etc. I re-uploaded it because it's used on several other Wikis and figured fixing the red Image links on those pages was a priority) Anynobody 05:08, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Dear all!

I have question conserning .

For me the wowwiki license statement on their mainpage is quite doubtful, because although they say that all content is licensed under {{GFDL}}, for instance the Image:Cenarius color.jpg says, that "all rights are reserved" which is not compatible with Commons. User:Kainwhisper has uploaded quite a lot from this site and I do not know what to do with this site and his uploads. --ALE! ¿…? 08:12, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Their disclaimer is pretty clear about the fact that the GFDL licence obviously doesn't apply to World of Warcraft or Warcraft art, images, and lore. LX (talk, contribs) 08:29, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Meaning all WOW-Art submitted on Commons are fair-use and thus not permitted. I'm not sure about the WOWwiki Logo though.--Yamavu 09:29, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
With this disclaimer it is clearly to delete. Only images with a OTRS-ticket from Blizzard should be allowed. Image:Wow board game.jpg seems also critical. Image:WoWWiki logo.svg seems ok. --Kolossos 09:55, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Proper Tag for Inherited Family Photos

What is the proper tag for pictures from a deceased family member? The intent is to relinquish all rights. Thanks. RogerTaft 16:28, 20 February 2008 (UTC)Roger

Depends if you are the sole Heir to the deceased family memember's interlectial property.Geni 18:29, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

What's the tag for a sole heir? RogerTaft

If you are the sole heir of the author and the copyright has not yet expired (it probably hasn't unless they passed away more than 70 years ago, depending on your jurisdiction), you are the copyright holder, so you can use {{self}} with a licensing tag of your choice. State your relative's name in the author field of the {{information}} template. It's probably a good idea to mention that you are the author's sole heir in the permission field as well. LX (talk, contribs) 19:41, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Photos of magazines

I have taken some photos of magazines that I've bought, and published these photos on Commons. However, these have been recently deleted. Why? After all, I don't see why a photo I've taken, portraying a paper magazine and wome background behind that magaxine, should be a violation of any copyright. It is a material item and I take it's picture...

Can anyone answer? Bjoertvedt 21:07, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

You should try to get an overview over what the word "copyright" means. Owning something does not mean owning the copyright to it. You can start reading here. --rimshottalk 21:14, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
I do understand what copyright means. But by studying these rules at Commons I interpret this clearly as a grey-zone case. What if I take a picture from the front, of someone reading a magazine, and the layout of that magazine is clearly seen, but together with the person and maybe some background. Would that be a violation of copyright? Would be illegal to upload any picture with any content where, for instance, the front of a cover, newspaper or, say, a CD; is clearly visible? regards, Bjoertvedt 23:02, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
I see. It really depends on how much of the magazine is seen. You are free to publish it if the magazine front is incidental to the picture. As you say, this is a gray zone. If the image can be used to illustrate the magazine, it is probably not ok. If the magazine cover is the main focus of the photo, it is definitely not ok. It might be ok, if it is seen only small and out of focus. --rimshottalk 23:11, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Thx. But what would be the case if someone published a close-up photograph of a (well designed) Adidas running shoe. Would it violate aswell? Bjoertvedt 01:05, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Utilitarian objects are usually not copyrightable. You may wish to read Commons:Derivative works. LX (talk, contribs) 08:07, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Please read Commons:Derivative works. --EugeneZelenko 15:33, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Copyright status of photos of LEGO?

Is there anywhere on here that discusses what it is. I recall reading somewhere on en that the patent has expired, which isn't the same thing. I'm not as concerned with artistic depictions of buildings or the like using LEGO bricks, but with derivative works like Category:Lego Star Wars and their Bionicle line launched in 2001. Wouldn't those be non-free? --BrokenSphere 21:03, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

It depends. LEGO bricks themselves are fine, but if you can make something out of it that attracts copyright, then it would be treated the same as any sculpture. Like photos of those huge LEGO exhibits aren't allowed unless the LEGO builder gives permission or there's FOP. →Rocket°°° 05:54, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually all bricks in recent set (#6187, cars/road machinery, end of 2007) which are more complex then rectangular form were marked as copyrighted by LEGO. --EugeneZelenko 17:28, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Hmm.. interesting. Well, yeah, I guess if it's complex enough it's the same as if it was created with many pieces. - Rocket000 10:50, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

I have speedy deleted all of them as obvious derivative works. --MichaelMaggs 19:09, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

There are 4 Legoland categories, how about the items in there? Or is it OK if it's a replica of an existing structure/sculpture, e.g. the Statue of Liberty or the Reichstag? --BrokenSphere 16:22, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
The UK ones are OK, as the UK has full Freedom of panorama for artistic works. The other countries don't, and I have tagged several obvious derivative works for deletion. Many are borderline (eg copies of existing buildings etc), and those I have left. --MichaelMaggs 20:02, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
Legoland California prohibits usage of photos and videos made in their ground for commercial purposes without authorization. This restriction was printed in Legoland brochure, somehow missed it (only one side of brochure were presented in downloadable PDF as of January).
In general USA doesn't have freedom of panorama for statues.
EugeneZelenko 15:32, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
If that's the case wouldn't that make only photos taken from outside the park be legit here? BrokenSphere 17:35, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
We typically don't attempt to enforce here any contractual restrictions that a site may try to enforce on a photographer. See Commons:Image casebook#Museum photography. --MichaelMaggs 18:03, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
As far as I remember, Legoland claimed copyrights as reason for protection. In any case will be good idea to ask website to put photo/video policies online for each Legoland. I asked at January, but without success. --EugeneZelenko 15:58, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Free images with disclaimers

I was once pointed out at enwiki that free images with contact disclaimers (like "If you are going to use this image, please mail me") were not accepted. However, I cannot find that guideline right now, and I need it as someone uploaded such image here. I would also like to know which deleting tag should be used in this specific case (the image in question is Image:EpicaGroupShot Live 2007.JPG, which is found at enwiki but cannot be uploaded here because of that disclaimer) and if there is a special user talk message for this case. Thanks in advance. -- ReyBrujo 03:09, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

You can't require notification, but you can request it. The statement on that image may be on the more forceful side of "request", but that is what it seems like to me. Carl Lindberg 06:18, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
@ReyBrujo, instead of an rfd, you might contact the uploader and explain the "problem" and/or show him examples of a more acceptable wording. -- Túrelio 13:44, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
The original uploader at enwiki first used an only-Wikipedia tag. After his image was deleted, he uploaded the same with the license but the mail disclaimer. So, I believe he wants to keep track on the amount of times the image is being used. I can contact the uploader at enwiki and ask him if the request is a requirement or optional, to clarify whether the image can be uploaded here or not. However, I am also interested in finding that guideline or policy, for future reference. -- ReyBrujo 14:24, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Tags of copyright

I was reading again the request for deletion of the coat of arms of Israel, estated by some as copyrighted due to Israeli internal laws (in this case, the State Copyright). However, seeing that Israel, as well as a lot of countries, is a member of the World Intelectual Property Organization, should not be considered that Israeli national symbols are automatically in public domain? Specially by what disposes the 6th article? If so, which would be the utility of this tag in a case like that? Cheers.
P.S.: I beg your pardon if someone has already asked a similar question. --Tonyjeff 02:13, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Article 6ter of the Paris Convention is about trademark resgistrations, not about copyright. For copyright, see also en:Wikipedia:Copyright on emblems. Israel also recently got a new copyright law; do they still have "state copyright"? Lupo 13:29, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

PD-USGov-* question

According to en:Copyright status of work by the U.S. government, works are in the public domain when they were "prepared by an officer or employee of the U.S. government as part of that person's official duties". I'm now wondering about the scope of the "part of that person's official duties". Are photographs of (e.g.) soldiers public domain per default or are they PD only when the pictures were made for army purposes (intelligence etc.)? I ask because i found some rare colour pictures of the dachau concentration camp at Search for photograph #62237 for an example. Those pictures were made by an US army soldier (medical as far as i see). The labelling of the pictures reads as follows: Alexander Zabin was an American soldier from Malverne, Long Island, New York, serving with the 4th Auxiliary Surgical Group in the US Third Army when he visited Dachau in mid-May 1945. He had landed in Normandy on the day after D-day and moved with the Third Army through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, and Czechoslovakia., in addition: Credit: USHMM, courtesy of Colonel Alexander Zabin, Copyright: USHMM. Now can they be regarded as PD-USGov?--Wiggum 16:45, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I can’t answer your question, but want to call attention direction to files in Category:People of Afghanistan – most of them were taken by soldiers, many of them not as part of their duty. Regards, Code·is·poetry 16:49, 23 February 2008 (UTC)


What is real OTRS ID for permission from Ubisoft? #20051200210003144 is missing in system. But there is #2007100310001327. What is real situation? Alex Spade 21:19, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Are you sure? I could find this searching the first number. My de-0 level does not allow me to compare both tickets, I'm afraid. Patrícia msg 22:55, 22 February 2008 (UTC) links to a ticket in which Ubisoft allows every usage as long as it is correctly attributed. The client worried about discrediting use of the files in wikipedia articles, but our agent could calm him down with regard to NPOV. Regards, Code·is·poetry 23:50, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
What?! You mean we can upload screenshots from the Myst games? Anrie 08:43, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
That's the way i interpret that ticket (but i do not know whether myst is from ubisoft ;) ) --Gnu1742 10:23, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Careful: as far as I understand, it's games manufactured by Ubisoft, not by others and then sold by Ubisoft (someone correct me if I'm mistaken). Patrícia msg 18:53, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes. You are right. See en:Template:Ubisoft-screenshot. Alex Spade 16:46, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
And the permission most likely does not apply to games that contain characters copyrighted by others, like Disney or Star Wars games. --Kam Solusar 15:06, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
That would be appropriate. It would allow us to upload screenshots from Assassin's Creed or other Ubisoft-owned IPs (but as far as I know, only when you were the one who took the screenshot, screenshots released by Ubisoft can't be relicensed to upload them here). -- ReyBrujo 17:04, 24 February 2008 (UTC)


I am a little bit confused about the copyrights on banknotes. On the Dutch wikipedia some scans I made of banknotes of Honduras and Nicaragua had been removed because of copyrights. One year ago I saw a 1000 Italian Lire banknote here on commons being removed because of the same matter. Meanwhile I see on commons an entire Category:Bills, a Category:Banknotes by country and a Category:Money by country on which many subcategories with banknotes can be found. Inluding the challenged Italian ones. Does this mean Italian Lire banknotes are permitted after all? May I conclude that I can upload my banknotes from Honduras and Nicaragua again as well? If not, which banknotes are permitted and which are not? How can I know the difference? Hjvannes 11:18, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

It varies from country to country. See Commons:Currency for some examples. Please add any information you have, including references to relevant deletion discussions (Italy is conspicuously absent), and if you find any images that are not free according to this page, please tag them for deletion. LX (talk, contribs) 12:36, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Fact is that I have no information at all. That's why I'm asking. In the categories I mentioned I find many countries that are absent on Commons:Currency. Should I tag them all? Hjvannes 14:03, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Not for speedy deletion, but possibly for regular deletion if there is no explanation on the image description page as to why the image would be free. Images of currency from countries explicitly listed as non-free in Commons:Currency should usually be tagged for speedy deletion, unless they're free for some other reason (such as age). LX (talk, contribs) 16:05, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Right, but it is not my aim to discuss banknotes that are already uploaded. I am not an expert in this matter and therefore I do not consider myself competent to open a discussion about uploaded banknotes. Still I do not know what to do with banknotes in my possesion originating from countries which are absent on Commons:Currency. How can I know which banknotes are permitted and which are not? Hjvannes 13:23, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Specimen over modern USA currency

Is Commons required to place "specimen" over images modern USA currency? See revert war in Image:US10dollarbill-Series 2004A.jpg as example. --EugeneZelenko 15:36, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Edit/Revert-Wars should be reported to the responsible Unit first of all. See Commons:Watermarks for Wikimedia Commons policy on watermarks, however depending on the country the legal restrictions on copying money vary greatly. This thing could be kind of a problem in the future.--Yamavu 11:48, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Not according to Commons:Currency#United States, but the edit comments reference an OTRS ticket... not sure what that says. It's possible that the Secretary of the Treasury has requested something like that, but I don't commonly see it (though the Treasury's web site does do that sometimes). Carl Lindberg 12:36, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Русский: Оправдывать нанесение на изображение банкнот (10 долларов США и др.) надписей "Образец" - глупость, ибо у любого фальшивомонетчика в руках будет настоящая банкнота, зачем ему скан из Википедии - он что, совсем больной на голову, даун?--Vizu 14:08, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
  • English (with some rephrasing): I don't think that it's wise idea to add "specimen" over USA banknotes, because every counterfeiter can access genuine banknote and he/she don't need scan from Wikipedia. --EugeneZelenko 16:14, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Photo of Patricia Richardson

I am trying to find out how to get a photo of Patricia Richardson...............Hawk2220

Commons has one photo, here: Patricia Richardson, you can find many more at google image search, of course. --rimshottalk 16:20, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Video Game Screenshots

Image:Portal17.jpg and Image:Portal_rueckkopplung.jpg are both screenshots of a commercial Video Game and are licensed with Template:Copyrighted free use. I believe this cannot be correct, but in w-commons things I'm an absolutly newby... So could somebody take a look at this please? Thanks --Marcl1984 10:31, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't think this could be right at all? Screenshots of a commercial programm contain many graphics that are not free to use, maybe fair use, but that's not an option here anyway. Since the uploader is not the creator nor the copyright holder, he can't put it on commons for the next decades except if he has an OK from the software creators or the license of this software allows screenshots to be shared freely. See also: Commons:Screenshots--Yamavu 11:20, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Smithsonian Institution pictures

Since the en:Smithsonian Institution is a US Federal government organization, do pictures qualify for US-PD-GOV license? I ask because of prior uploading this picture: -- 14:16, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

No, this has been a big source of controversy. See en:Smithsonian Institution#Controversy. howcheng {chat} 05:30, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

CC-BY attribution

I just added optional parameters to CC-BY and CC-BY 2.0 and 2.5 templates (they already existed for the 3.0 templates). A little curious about the wording however. Currently, when the optional parameter is passed (e.g., {{cc-by-3.0|Joe Bloggs}}), this adds the text, "Attribution: Joe Bloggs". It's been brought to my attention that this language may be too ambiguous. Is this standard Creative Commons language, or would anyone mind me changing it to, "Please credit work to: {{{1}}}" instead? howcheng {chat} 05:38, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

The text in the already-existing "green" tag (the tag can be seen here) reads as follows:
  • "The copyright holder of this file allows anyone to use it for any purpose, provided that Flickr user: mune67 (the photographer) and (Flickr user: mune67's Flickr page) are credited."
Such a text would be very clear, and work quite well. Badagnani 07:57, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but not everyone wants to be credited that way. That's why you need some format with greater flexibility. howcheng {chat} 17:28, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
And, as another note, could someone unprotect {{Cc-by-2.0}} and {{Cc-by-2.5}} so I could add alt language templates? {{Cc-by-3.0}} is currently unprotected. Patstuart (talk) 17:31, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
Put what you want to be done on the talk page and add {{editprotected}}. Someone will come along to make the edits (safer than me unprotecting it for you and having it vandalized during that time). howcheng {chat} 23:13, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
The photographer can be credited however s/he wants. I don't see the problem with the text I provided. It's certainly much clearer than the way it is now (with simply one word and a colon). Badagnani 22:23, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

EBI licensing

Hello, I'm trying to understand if I can upload this image (linked from this page). The terms of use governing the image appear to be here. Although it does not state that the images are released under one of the preferred free licenses, it appears that the terms are consistent with free use with attribution. Can I upload this to commons, and if so, how would I tag? Feedback appreciated... Cheers, AndrewGNF 18:35, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I wondered about "The public databases of the EBI are freely available by any individual and for any purpose." too. I would be inclined to take that as {{Copyrighted free use}}. But of course it's unclear whether they mean "free of charge" or "free" as in "free license". So maybe it'd be an even better solution to ask them directly to use CC-BY for their databases and their contents? That would resolve all abiguity. Lupo 08:01, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Pictures of logos etc.

Is it OK to like this: Image:Unilever logo Delft 21juni2006.jpg? Is it OK to take pictures of a flag/sign/building with a logo from a certain distance or something like that? /Natox 09:00, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

It depends very much on the country the picture is taken in. There is a thing called freedom of panorama. It means that works in public view may be photographed. It does not exist in all countries, and in some countries it is restricted to pictures of buildings. --rimshottalk 09:11, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
So, since i live in COM:FOP#Sweden, it's ok to take pictures of works of art that are located permanently at public places outdoors? /Natox 09:26, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's what it looks like. --rimshottalk 10:00, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Okey, good, then I know. What license should I use in that case? I mean, can I publish it as "own work"?/Natox 10:50, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes. Also use {{FOP}} if the subject is copyrighted but included per freedom of panorama and {{trademarked}} for images where the subject is protected by trademark laws (which it can be regardless of whether it or the resulting image is protected by copyright and which is not a hindrance to uploading it here). LX (talk, contribs) 11:56, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
Delft is not exactly Sweden. -- Bryan (talk to me) 15:09, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Tornado image

I am hoping to upload a photo of a tornado in 1982 that struck Marion, Illinois. Even though this image is on this National Weather Service page (the large picture) and technically in the public domain, it says the National Weather Service was given consent to use this photo. I thought I should ask if I can upload it, and if so what license I should choose. Thank you, Southern Illinois SKYWARN 01:34, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

  • It says Don Fisher owns the copyright. The NWS is only using the image with permission. That permission does not extend to us. You'd have to contact Don Fisher and ask for a free license release. -Nard 21:34, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Are these images really PD US?

Recently I stumbled over 6 images by photographer Kay Chernush dealing with human trafficking (Image:9.000919 Pattaya streetscene5.jpg, Image:10.3010 Torino-nightlife.v2.jpg, Image:11.02450 Brothel-girls-11.jpg.gif, Image:8.0995 Pattaya.jpg, Image:3.2519 Nepalese-mother1.jpg, Image:HongKongStreetSignTrafficking.jpg) on Commons, that have been tagged as "PD US DOS" by the uploader. It is highly questionable whether these images are simply PD US. Though they are on a US government website, the photographer[14] isn't an employee of the US government and each of the images on the original website (go to [15] and click on sexual exploitation) carries a copyright caption (C) Kay Chernush at their right side. The source website[16] states: You do not have to contact the State Department in order to use the photos in this Web site (, but they must be used with the credit: "Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department." IMHO that translates into “attribution tag”.
As the discussion on the Village pump didn't lead anywhere, I bring it up here, in hope of a more productive discussion. -- Túrelio 08:34, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure what your question is. PD is PD. - Rocket000 09:22, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
I thought the header made that clear: Are these images really PD US? -- Túrelio 22:43, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
We have to credit the photographer and also the source regardless if the license is public domain or not. For all we know, this could be a work for hire. Regardless, the images are made with authorization from the US State Department, and the credits are given, so the license is correct. User:Zscout370 (Return fire)
We don't have to if it's PD. There are no rights reserved. That's why we have things like {{CC-BY}}. - Rocket000 10:59, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
No, these images are not PD-USGov as she was no government employee. She made these images and granted usage rights to the State department and to all others if the kept the image credit byline. These images have to be changed to {{attribution}}--Denniss 12:38, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
In case the images are not PD (which I think they aren't), You do not have to contact the State Department in order to use the photos is not free enough for Commons. -- Bryan (talk to me) 15:08, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Work commissioned by the US Government can be interesting... some situations amount to "work for hire" and are truly PD-USGov, but the copyright status in other situations is often based on the contract. It would appear in this case the photos had to be made freely available, but the credit line is required. Note that moral rights laws often require attribution even for PD works, so that's usually not something we can ignore. In this case, since the photos are still marked as copyrighted on the image pages, I would agree that they are not completely PD and {{attribution}} is the best license. I do think they are free enough for commons though. Carl Lindberg 15:32, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Even looking on the main page says this is a work for hire. I quote "The Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons assigned a U.S. photographer, Kay Chernush, to take these photos in India, Thailand, Italy, and Hong Kong in 2005." User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 17:37, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Ok, emailed State Dept. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 17:41, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
A work commissioned to an independent contractor (as opposed to an employee) is only a work for hire if the contract explicitly says so. See LX (talk, contribs) 19:13, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

RE: work for hire: The website says: The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP) assigned a U.S. photographer ... I'm not sure whether "assigned" is legally equivalent to "hire". Nevertheless, as each of the images carries a copyright caption (C) 2005, Kay Chernush, IMHO that should be honored on Commons. --Túrelio 08:53, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

All of the images I saw did credit the photographer, but it doesn't help that the State Dept isn't saying much for now. It's the weekend, so I expect to get a response soon in the next few days. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 09:32, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Given that they still note copyright on the images, which should not be possible if they were pure works for hire, I don't think they are PD-USGov. However, if permission of the photographer was needed for distribution, reuse, etc. the copyright info page would most definitely say that too, and it does not (US government websites are normally very careful about that sort of thing; for comparison see the tornado image question in a previous section). Reading between the lines, it is reasonable to assume that the images on the State Department site are freely reusable provided that the credit statement is given, probably per the contract with the photographer. Carl Lindberg 14:45, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Disappearance of digital photo of "Cripta"

Two times I have uploaded an old digital photo that I have done in the "Cripta" of the Salerno Cathedral and two times suddenly and without warning has disappeared. The problem -according to a discussion in the talk page of the Salerno Cathedral in the Italian Wikipedia- seems to be related to the fact that my digital photo has been done "from a similar position" of a bigger BUT NOT DIGITAL photo done by the Salerno City Hall and copyrighted. But my photo is ORIGINAL and I have demonstrated this reality with all the data from my digital Kodak. Can someone help me to solve the strange disappearance of my digital photo? The second upload -just disappeared today- is File:000 0099.JPG and was posted yesterday in Salerno Cathedral in the English Wikipedia. Thanks. --BDA 21:25, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

I add below the data appeared in Commons of my original digital photo:

  • Camera manufacturer EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY
  • Exposure time 33571/1000000 sec (0.033571)
  • F Number f/2.73
  • Date and time of data generation 20:04, 12 January 2003
  • Lens focal length 5.77 mm
  • Orientation Normal
  • Software used Version 1.0000
  • Y and C positioning 2
  • Custom image processing Normal process
  • Exposure mode Auto exposure
  • White Balance Auto white balance
  • Digital zoom ratio 0
  • Focal length in 35 mm film 43
  • Scene capture type Standard
  • Contrast Normal
  • Saturation Normal
  • Sharpness Normal
  • Subject distance range Macro
  • Exposure Program Normal program
  • ISO speed rating 200
  • Exif version 2.2
  • Date and time of digitizing 20:04, 12 January 2003
  • Image compression mode 3.21
  • Shutter speed 4.89
  • Aperture 2.89
  • Exposure bias 0
  • Maximum land aperture 2.89
  • Metering mode CenterWeightedAverage
  • Flash 16
  • Color space sRGB
  • Exposure index 200
  • Sensing method One-chip color area sensor

I really hope this strange disappearance can be solved.--BDA 21:31, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

If you cannot see my deleted file, I could upload again it for the third time and post here so you can see the difference.--BDA 22:48, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Do not do that, for the people who run Commons (administrators) can see the file, and they usually punish people who "violate copyright" by re-uploading deleted files. It is better to make an explanation at Commons:Undeletion requests/Current requests and let one of them make the decision. -Nard 23:01, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the information, N, but I have already uploaded for the third time. Anyway I am going to explain it all on the commons site you just indicated above. Thanks anyway. Sincerely.--BDA 23:19, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
P.S.: You can see now my photo at Image:ThirdCripta.JPG the preceding unsigned comment was added by BDA (talk • contribs) 23:19, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
That camera doesn't take photos with that kind of angle of view. Please note that taking a photo of an existing photo does not make the resulting photo free. It's a {{derivative work}}, and the original work's copyright still applies. Your reproduction has been deleted once more. Please don't do that again. LX (talk, contribs) 00:19, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Copyright of these images

I am not sure about these images - they all cointan comic characters, that are copyrighted by DC or Marvel (and it is clearly stated anywhere these characters appear - in book, film, anywhere)...

well, the last one is requested for deletion already, but for a very long time and nobody is doing anything with it... pardon me for bad formating, I dont know how to enter these images correctly :( -- 01:24, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Family pictures & anonymous photographers

What would be the status of a portrait of Joan Salvat-Papasseit taken in 1920 by an unknown photograph (one of those family photographers you pay to make you a picture)? There is no way to check whether the photographer died more than 80 years ago. Could it be considered that the owners of that picture are the heirs and if they give permission then it is ok to publish?

If this would be the case, is a verbal/email permission ok for the Commons? I'm in contact with a friend of the family of this writer (died in 1924) and I could get such picture in informal terms - but I don't want to bother them with formalities. --Qgil 05:15, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

I have similar problems at the Afrikaans Wikipedia - we have a number of pictures dating from the turn of the (previous) century, which the uploader got "from the family archives" (often not even his own family). I'm wary of transferring them here, but not sure what, if anything, I can do about them (the uploaders are usually long gone, as well). The idea of asking some of these people to provide permission by email is quite laughable (imagine 80-year old ladies who've never even heard of the internet). Anyway, hoping you get an answer soon, it might just shed some light on my problem as well. Anrie 07:29, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Which country were the images taken in? If the images are from the US and predate 1923, then Template:PD-1923 might just apply. I don't know what the copyright conditions are in Spain, but you can ask at Commons talk:Copyright tags, if no-one answers here. Anrie 16:12, 5 March 2008 (UTC)


This tag seems to be wrong. See Template talk:PD-Sweden-photo. Lupo 08:20, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Those issues seem to have been previously discussed in Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-Sweden-photo which resulted in a keep. I don't know enough about the technical issues to have an opinion myself... Carl Lindberg 13:00, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Nope, that deletion request discussed the second part (the "pre-1969" bit for "simple photographs") and the question whether that EU directive mandated a uniformly low threshold of originality. It did not discuss the "1944" part for works at all. Lupo 13:07, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Agree with Lupo --Historiograf 16:50, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

This applies world-wide

I have a problem with the "This applies world-wide." wording in 3 templates {{PD-Japan}},{{PD-South Korea}}, {{PD-Taiwan}} ([17]). I have a feeling one template was used as a basis for making the other two and contained that inapropriate quote. Unless there is a reason that I am unaware that would make public domain material in those 3 countries PD world-wide this should be changed. {{PD-Japan}} is currently protected so I will need some help here. Luccas 14:26, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

There are few cases of "world wide" acceptable PD cases. Due to the not-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term in the US post-1922 foreign works are often considered protected in the US. I would be inclined to say that I would like not regarding the US as part of the world but that would be nonsense ... --Historiograf 16:54, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

See above. We are required to follow U.S. law, regardless of how inconvenient you may personally find that. Superm401 - Talk 18:12, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Well taking this image as an example Image:1 hwan 530217 obverse.jpg. Permission is given by the copyright owner to use and since it's been published over 50 years ago by an organization it's PD in South Korea, but not PD in US. I read throught some english translation of the Korean Copyright Act and didn't find any detail that PD should apply worldwide. My question here is is the "world-wide" part in these templates misleading and should it be removed? Luccas 05:28, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it is misleading and should be removed. Money is a special case, though. If the copyright onwer (the state of South Korea) says his banknotes were PD (note: I don't know if that is true!), then that's a case of {{PD-author}}, and such releases indeed apply world-wide. A better counter-example is Image:Old Korea-Keith-BRIDE.JPG. See its deletion request: the author died in 1956, and this image is therefore not PD in 70years p.m.a. countries that do not apply the rule of the shorter term. Since the author was British, it is a British work in the UK, and thus copyrighted in the UK, and thus also in the whole EU. Because it was apparently first published in Japan before 1923, it is PD in the U.S. If it was published 1923 or later, it'd also be copyrighted in the U.S., because it was still copyrighted in South Korea (and in Japan, I think) on January 1, 1996. So it's not "world-wide" at all. The "world-wide" misconception arises because people think that whatever is PD in the source country was PD anywhere, which simply and sadly isn't true. I recently removed such a mistaken "world-wide" claim from {{PD-Polish}}. (Which is a rather problematic template anyway, see my comments to Jarekt above.) Lupo 09:28, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Lupo, I find it ironic that if I had done the search posted above mere hours before I would have turn out {{PD-Polish}} too. I just wanted to make sure some one else oversee this matter since {{PD-Japan}} is protected and I'm no administrator. Thank you. Luccas 12:02, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I've removed the line from all three tags. Lupo 12:20, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
And from {{PD-Sweden-1969}}, and from {{PD-Philippines}}. Searched for "worldwide" instead of "world-wide" in the Template namespace... Lupo 12:27, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

User:Cecil bot

What page do I bring up bots which maybe deleting pages which should not be deleted? I got a tag from User:Cecil bot on several images

All of the images I uploaded either:

a) have their copyright expired, taken before 1923 Example: Image:Artukraine_com_sea_port_postcard_of_early_1900s.jpeg, Image:Odessa Lighthouse2.jpg, Image:Duke closer.jpg, Image:Philharmonic historical.jpg clearly have the {{PD-US}} tag or
b) are from other wikipedia projects, as clearly stated in the explanation.

If you respond, please give me the page which I can raise concerns about bots.

This is the reason I no longer upload photos, because zealous laypeople, who have never taken a copyright class in their lives, consistently misinterpret copyright law, making those who create and add content have to do extra work. Odessaukrain 04:02, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

I think the main problem with those images are that they contain little/no source information. For instance, you make no mention whether Image:Philharmonic historical.jpg was scanned from a book (if so, which book? (title, year, authour)), if you scanned it from a postcard (if so, what date/author information is given on the postcard?) or if you found it on the internet (if so, what is the URL?).
The idea is for people to be able to verify that the licensing information is correct and to credit the author (if known). One place where you can ask for your pictures to be undeleted is Commons:Undeletion requests. Anrie 08:01, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't have a bot. All images are checked by personally (both here and at the given source). And just for your information. At Commons proper sources are requested. Wikipedia is not a source. If the image at that wikipedia had a source, than that has to be given (you can too mention that it was previously uploaded at another project but that statement alone is not enough). If not than it never had a proper source. All the images you uploaded didn't have a proper source, so the descriptions here are just invalid fakes. Second, age has to be proved. If you say that a image is Pd-Old, you have to prove that the author has died before 1938. Therefor please read the description of the pd-old-template, which states that. -- Cecil 08:44, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
One other thing -- PD-US is only valid for U.S. works; if these came from another country then they also need to be public domain according to that country's laws, and the 1923 rule does not apply in that situation. That is why we usually need to know as much source information as possible, as those laws usually are based on the date of the author's death (even if it is OK to keep, that information can be useful for third-party users in still other countries which have differing copyright terms). Which country are these postcards from? Carl Lindberg 20:17, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
The Economist has a wonderful article about how shitty wikipedia has become. Many users are leaving wikipedia because of users like Cecil, who create little content and are deletionists and who use wikilawyering to push their view. From the Economist:
"The behaviour of Wikipedia's self-appointed deletionist guardians, who excise anything that does not meet their standards, justifying their actions with a blizzard of acronyms, is now known as “wiki-lawyering”."
Anyone with half a brain that God gave them would realize that these images are from the late 1890s but regardless, wikiusers like Cecil and his ilk enjoy deleting the work of other people. There is no copyright laws anywhere in the world of images before 1923. All of these users, User:Clindberg, User:Anrie waste my time arguing stupid wikipolicy instead of correcting the image.
Fuck you Cecil, you are wasting so many wikipedians time by wikilawyering and adding nothing of any value to any of wikipedia. Go ahead and get me banned, because of worthless wikilawyering trolls like you, I won't be using wikicommons anymore anyway.
From the economist:
"Unofficial data from October 2007 suggests that users' activity on the site is falling, when measured by the number of times an article is edited and the number of edits per month. The official figures have not been gathered and made public for almost a year, perhaps because they reveal some unpleasant truths about Wikipedia's health."
Add me to this list of those who left. I came here to add content, not dispute stupid rules with volunteer police laymen who add nothing of value to wikipedia but conflict. Odessaukrain 17:34, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
If they were published before 1923 -- and those seem likely -- then they are public domain in the U.S. However, no other countries follow that rule, and instead usually base it entirely on the date of death of the author. The bad part is that there is very little law dealing with images where the author is unknown, so we are left with legal uncertainty on those, usually erring on deletion. For works known to have been published without an author listed (anonymous rather than unknown), there are often laws (70 years in Europe). The more information known about the image therefore, the better. But there are most certainly works from the 1890s still under copyright in countries outside the U.S., and we can't just unilaterally declare them as PD. The German wikipedia uses an ad-hoc rule where images more than 100 years old where the author is unknown are kept; maybe commons needs something like that. Carl Lindberg 19:08, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

I have blocked Odessaukrain for his comment above. I had warned on being uncivil previously. I have only blocked for a week as a cooling off period but I would welcome other input on my actions & I am quite happy to review the block myself in either direction based on the views of others. The behaviour is plain offensive --Herby talk thyme 17:49, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

You actually think he will change his behaviour? I don't think so. He got away with calling me a nazi without any consequences and now he accuses me of harming this project and calls me names and gets one lousy week to "cool of". He was that way one week ago, he will be that way next week. If you accept him treating me that way, it's ok. I use too much of my spare time for this project anyway. It will be strange to not take my camera with me everywhere I go, but I'm sure I will enjoy concerts much more if I don't see them through the lense of my camera anymore. -- Cecil 19:36, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Just some remarks from a casual observer: Herby obviously did not "accept him treating [you] that way", otherwise he wouldn't have blocked him. Surely you're not going to leave the project simply because you disagree with the length of the block?! The blocking administrator erred on the side of caution, which is a Good Thing. If Odessaukrain does come back and has cooled off by then, we all win. If he doesn't come back, no harm done, I supposed. If he comes back and his attitude remains the same, then he'll be blocked for a longer duration. Simple as that. Although, I do think a "cooling off" period will benefit you as well - you really wil enjoy concerts more if you don't seem them through the lense of a camera. Wiki-vacations are important and if you feel the need for one, take it. You'll be able to return with a fresh mind and renewed enthusiasm for the project. Anrie 20:07, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, maybe I should be thankful that he was blocked at all. After all there were no retributions for the nazi-comment, even though I requested it. And I have said nothing of leaving the project, because I can't. Commons is still my only option for uploading scans for the german Wikisource, at least right now (they are rethinking that decision). -- Cecil 20:47, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Users aren't blocked as a means of punishment, retribution or eye-for-eye justice, but to protect Commons and its users from other abusive users. Odessaukrain's conduct has been utterly unacceptable, and I don't think the length of the block should be interpreted as a suggesting the contrary. We tend to hope that disorderly users come to their senses, but if they don't, an indefinite will come sooner or later. Those who, like you, become targets of incivility when we are too optimistic can hopefully take solace in the knowledge that this kind of filth only sticks to those who sling it. LX (talk, contribs) 23:34, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
I know that blocks are not for punishment. But if I act here as an admin, I have to trust that I get bolstered in such cases by the community, and currently I don't have that trust anymore. In the Unknown-Category are right now several pictures which should get deleted because of missing a source and most probably having the wrong licence. But I will not touch them. They are showing Nazi thematics and me deleting them will call for users to insult me. And the discussion last week showed me that something I was rather shocked to see. After getting what I consider the worst insult of all, I got asked why I haven't asked that user to please remain civil. That kind of moral support makes me loose my trust. And I know of other admins who will not touch those pictures for the same reason. -- Cecil 00:02, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Vandals should not be shown mercy or asked politely to desist. It is useless to reason with people dedicated to ruin the project. -Nard 00:12, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Vandals? I don't see any vandalism. Just some name-calling, incivility, whining, Wikipedia/Commons confusion, and misunderstandings. I hope I'm not "wikilawyering" by throwing this acronym out there: COM:MELLOW. ;) - Rocket000 04:29, 9 March 2008 (UTC) I know it's not an acronym. - Rocket000 04:31, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

I do object to the idea that I am "accepting someone's behaviour" when I warn & then block them. I have no idea what other issues Cecil may have - as far as I know I have seen no postings on admin boards which are always on my watch list. We can only help one another if we keep one another informed.

I certainly would not object to increasing the block on this user whose behaviour is totally unacceptable to me. However, despite having a block log substantially longer that most admins, I do not block those who contribute (or try to) at all lightly. So, if others feel that the block is incorrect I will happily amend it. This is a collaborative community, we are here for each other & communication is the only way that will happen. --Herby talk thyme 09:45, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Public domain question

Is it possible for the original copyright holder to return the license of an image to a CC license AFTER you released it into the Public Domain? For example for self made pictures. Switchblade 18:11, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

No. "Public domain" does not mean "public domain until I change my mind". Actually, whereas with a CC license, the author is free to stop distributing a work under those terms and publish it under new terms so long as he does not try to revoke other people's right to continue distributing it under the old license, attempting to distribute a public domain work and claiming that it's copyrighted may be a criminal offense under USC 17 Circular 92 Section 506 c. LX (talk, contribs) 18:45, 6 March 2008 (UTC)