Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 14

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Archive 14



Hi, I have a problem: I've found an image on Flickr, the license is cc-by-sa, but I'm not sure that the uploader is the original author, the image seems to be copied from another site, and on that site is copyrighted, can I upload the Flickr version on Commons, or it's a problem?--SuperSecret 22:02, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

It is a problem yes. Flickr images should only be uploaded when you are pretty sure that the flickr account owener is the copyright holder.Geni (talk) 22:27, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Diorama problem

Hi, I've got a problem: I've just uploaded an image, for which I've got the ticket OTRS (it's released in cc-by-sa 3.0). After the upload, I've seen this page, where it's written that the work is protected by copyright. Now, my ticket allows the reproduction of the photo, not of the diorama, but several dioramas are instead present in the category. I'm quite confused, can you tell whether I can continue in uploading? Thanks for your help (and sorry for my english). --Qbert88 (talk) 15:39, 20 August 2008 (UTC)


Image:BD-propagande-2 (en).jpg needs to be removed. It contains multiple misspellings, it's too huge to read actual size and too small to read resized, it misinforms ("Thanks, but it would be better if you", rather than "You must"), and it's slightly dishonest (presents the fact that images remain free and can be shared as countering the wish that others not profit from the work). 16:15, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Chemist William Hoskins and family ca. 1885.png

Why was this deleted, and how do I get it restored? I'm actively working on the article to which it will pertain: en:User:SMcCandlish/William Hoskins (inventor). Something that old clearly has no copyright issues. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 10:21, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

It wasn't deleted at all. You've got the name wrong. It's not Image:Chemist William Hoskins and family ca. 1885.png, it's Image:Chemist William Hoskins and family ca 1885.png (no period after "ca"). Lupo 11:03, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Also, it's not as clear as one would wish that there are no copyright issues. The rationale given is:
Flagging as PD, because picture is approximately 122 years old (i.e. even if photo was taken by a 20-year-old photographer at the time, would now be 102, ergo very, very unlikely to be alive, and family portrait photographers do not retain copyright to the images they sell to portrait sitters in the first place.) NB: It also predates 1923, so it's PD anyway.
I don't follow this at all. If the photographer was 20 at the time the picture was taken then he would be 143 years old now but that's completely beside the point, copyright doesn't expire at the death of the creator. And it's not enough for the photograph to have been created before 1923 - the key thing is whether it was published before 1923. When and where was it first published? What is your source for it? Haukurth (talk) 11:17, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, my math must have been way off that day (it went backwards!), and I guess I can't read. :-) The point was that even if the photographer had somehow retained copyright, the copyright would be expired by now (copyright doesn't expire at death of the owner, but at a fixed period of time after that event), and it predates 1923 anyway (I guess the cut-off is 1924 by now; I uploaded that probably a year or more ago). As far as I can determine it never was "published" in any meaningful sense; it's just a family photo. I got it off a web page devoted to him, who probably got it from his family (I have been in touch with them myself, and they like to cooperate with researchers/writers interested in him and his work). I am highly skeptical of what seems to be the logical conclusion of what you are saying, which would be that if I found a picture from the late 1800s (clearly public domain by now, whatever copyright it might once have been invested with) in a box in an attic that I could claim a brand new copyright on it simply by including in on a web page or in a magazine article ("publishing" it), and thereby prevent others from using it without my permission. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 15:51, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
That's exactly what you could do - if you were in Europe. It's called en:publication right. In the US things work a bit differently (and the 1923 date will not move until 2019) but the date of publication is always important. Check this handy chart for some of the details. Haukurth (talk) 15:59, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Was the original source this page? If so, then it appears the image was printed in the May 1927 w:American Magazine (which, of course, does not mean it was not published earlier as well). Much larger version of the image there too. Here is where things can get fun... according to this page, the American Magazine itself never had any copyright renewed. That does not preclude individual articles from being renewed... but according to I don't see that the article was renewed either (that link points to an article from that issue which was renewed). The article author though was probably not the copyright holder of the photograph... which creates more uncertainty, naturally. If the image had been published before 1923 (quite possible), then it is PD. If that was the first time (i.e. an unpublished photo provided by Hopkins), then there is an outside chance the photo individually had its copyright renewed, and is copyrighted until 2023. If not renewed, then PD. If it was put in that article without authorization, then it could even be technically unpublished still (and as a work for hire, PD since it has been more than 120 years since creation). Lot of twisty possibilities... I think it is safe to consider it published, and so is most likely PD-US or PD-US-not_renewed, but it is hard to be sure. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:41, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Wild. I'll go with PD-US-not_renewed, I guess... Any objections? And, yes, it came from the article (which must have been upgraded; the version I uploaded was the highest-resolution copy available there a year or so back). — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 10:56, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
PS: Now I remember; the big TIFF of the image available at that web page is not actually higher resolution at all, it's just a pixelated-to-hell blow-up; the one I uploaded is approximately the orginal size. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 14:30, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Copyright Expo star of Expo 1958 in Brussels

I have put a number of photos of Expo 1958 in Commons and avoiding all photos where the Atomium is visible because of copyright. Now I just read that the Expo star may also fall under copyright although there is no real evidence shown by the owner. This would mean that Image:Expo58_ontvangsthal.jpg should not be in Commons? Below the text I found at

The Atomium copyright was a common knack but nobody knew about the protection of the Expo Star, designed by Lucien De Roeck. This year there are no copyrights on the Atomium but obvious 2008 is for a grandson of De Roeck a convenient moment to claim royalties. During interviews he kept silent about the rights, even his website is silent on that point. Because he charges the full rate, many unsuspecting people using the Expostar, now getting a steep bill. People who consider to negotiate and requesting for certificates and legitimations are still waiting. To avoid this swindle, please reduce the use of the Expo star.

Does somebody has an opinion about it? Wouter (talk) 08:08, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Sadly, Belgium has no Freedom of panorama. If it's true, what's written on the website mentioned above, we should be really cautious about these images. --Túrelio (talk) 08:19, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Ukranian and Soviet copyright ...

Creator:Aristarkh Lentulov is tagged as PD-Ukraine. The artist was born, died and worked in Russia, though. Is it still possible to apply Ukraine law? At the time, both Russia and Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union. --rimshottalk 16:22, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

No. Source country would be considered to be Russia. (Within the Ukraine, one could of course apply Ukrainian law. But the Ukraine is not the source country for these works). Unless someone could provide evidence that these works were published (distribution of copies to the general public with the consent of the painter) originally in the Ukraine... Lupo 14:05, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Copyright question

I've found an image which I would like to upload (Not an image that I've taken or uploaded) but unsure if I should. The image can be found here and seems to be that the site as a whole is CC-BY-SA. Bidgee (talk) 09:47, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

All WritingTravellers texts and images are 100% free. No copyrighted work can be included in WritingTravellers without the express permission of the copyright holder to license it under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License 3.0. [1] I believe that you can upload it on Commons using {{Cc-by-sa-3.0}}. Further, freedom of panorama is allowed in Australia.--Trixt (talk) 10:47, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok I've uploaded it however the photo has no metadata which means I can't add a date. Image can be viewed Image:Smith Street Mall - Darwin NT.jpg. Bidgee (talk) 11:47, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Image license for picture of a document

Hi! I've taken a picture of a document at a museum and would like to inquire what license, if any, applies to it, and if I can upload it to Commons or English Wikipedia. The document is from the en:Percentages agreement in 1944 so it is more than 60 years old. I took the picture at a museum in Romania. There is another picture from an Austrian museum in External links [2]. Thank you. Vints (talk) 09:17, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

The document was written by Churchill, so it falls under Crown Copyright. It's also never been published. According to w:Crown_copyright#United_Kingdom, that means it can't fall out of copyright until 2040 at the earliest. You could make the argument it's just facts and figures and thus uncopyrightable, but the UK has a very low standard so this is dubious.
Thus, I don't think it can be uploaded to Commons yet (it could probably be fair use on en wiki). Superm401 - Talk 17:32, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Have uploaded it to the English WP but don't know which fair use template I should use. There are templates for fair use here: Vints (talk) 13:37, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
The most appropriate would be Template:Non-free fair use in. As an aside though it makes little practical difference for us, I'm not sure that that is covered by Crown copyright. Just because it was written by the PM doesn't automatically imply its a government document after all.--Nilfanion (talk) 13:59, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
It is possible that PD-ineligible may apply to the original document... only doubt is the sentence at the top, since the UK does have a pretty low threshold. If that was the case, then a personal photo would be OK for commons. Otherwise, I'm not sure the original could be anything other than Crown Copyright... it was written by a PM in his official duties, and was an international treaty to boot. But, at the very least it is certainly valid as fair use on en-wiki. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:48, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
I just looked at the picture you uploaded... that does not contain the sentence which was in the image at the museum website linked above. It is just a list of country names and the Russia/Allies percentages of influence. I'm not sure how that could qualify for copyright, even under UK rules (unless Crown Copyright has special rules on that matter). It does contain a one-sentence description by the museum, but I don't think that would qualify either. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:52, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
So it might be in the Public Domain after all. However I will change to fair use for now. (The image location is here.) Vints (talk) 13:23, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

The official site of the Russian president has the following notice on using its materials:

All materials on the Presidential website may be reproduced in any media outlets, on Internet servers or on any other information supports without restriction on the amount of material and time of publication. This authorisation covers equally newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV channels and Internet sites. The only condition is that any reproduction or broadcasting of the website’s materials contain a reference to the original source. No prior approval from the Presidential Press and Information Office is required to reprint information from the website.[3]

Can Template:Attribution be used on images form the site? --M5 (talk) 21:47, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

No - because their license does not allow derivative works from the pictures. --h-stt !? 11:09, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
You can read more about website and the usage of their images at Commons:Deletion requests/License tags of russian websites. --Kimse (talk) 21:48, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright

Is this image and image copyrighted? If copyrighted, then who will be the copyright holder? The images are obtained from here. --Otolemur crassicaudatus (talk) 09:42, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Both image are not hosted on Commons but on the English wikipedia with a fair use rationale. Both images seem still to be copyrighted and can therefore not moved to Commons as already observed by Lupo here and here. --AFBorchert (talk) 10:12, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Foreign FOP for 3D artwork also valid in US?

In this deletion request we have a complicated (looking) situation. A sculpture by a living Danish scuptor was temporarily shown in Kenya in 2007 and photographed by a photographer working for a Brazilian agency who released the photo under CC-BY 2.5, which was then uploaded as Image:Crucified Jens Galschiot.jpeg on Commons. As the original artist is still living, the sculpture is copyrighted without any doubt and any photo to be considered as a derivative. But the image of it was taken in Kenya where, according to Kenyan copyright law §7(1)(c) [4] (with thanks to User:Carl Lindberg) the “artistic copyright does not include the right to control reproduction … of an artistic work situated in a place where it can be viewed by the public.” Contrary to the Freedom of panorama laws of other countries, the Kenyan seems not to specify the requirement of a permanent installation of the artistic work. Assuming the photo falls under the Kenyan version of FOP, would it then also be legal in the USA and thereby o.k. for Commons? --Túrelio (talk) 19:02, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Probably not - but it was my impression that we were ignoring the legal status in the US for FOP pictures anyway. See this discussion. Haukurth (talk) 13:08, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
That was my impression too, I think due to the complexities and lack of case law. However, many times I think a case for the US can be made too. In Itar-Tass Russian News Agency v. Russian Kurier, a precedent was set for the U.S. where copyright ownership is determined by the country of origin, but U.S. laws are used to determine if infringement occurred and remedies. For many countries which have FOP, the law is pretty clear that the copyright of a sculptural work does not extend to photographs of that work if (usually permanently) placed in public, and so the photographer would own the full copyright of the photograph, and therefore the sculptor would have no grounds to sue in the U.S. over the photograph itself. This is similar to the U.S. limitation where an architectural copyright does not extend to photographs of the building. This does appear to be the case with the Kenyan law as well, but given the twisted list of nationalities involved for this image, "country of origin" may be a bit hard to determine (but would probably be either Kenya or Brazil). Without any case law though it is close to impossible to guess how it might turn out, and fair use defenses make it quite likely that lawsuits would not be brought in the first place (since even if it was determined to be a derivative work, in many cases fair use would mean there was no infringement). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:21, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

South Korea

Can someone double check this? The sources are given, and we hashed out the details at Commons:Deletion requests/Image:박향림 오빠는 풍각쟁이.ogg. Still, it's my first time summarising copyright. Adam Cuerden (talk) 12:55, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Relatives Photos from Bagdad in 1941

I haven't seen this question asked before. The eldest surviving grandchild has shown me an album of personal photographs taken by a civil engineer and amateur photographer, of engineering works in Bagdad in 1941. It was under the British mandate. The photos are of fascinating historical interest. How would she register the source, and the copyright of these images, what else needs to be taken into account? I think this raises a few general interesting points. How does one release a deceased relatives photographs? ClemRutter (talk) 10:41, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

If they are the heir, they would own the copyright. They can upload using whichever license they want, as normal (though some explanation of the situation would be helpful). Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:12, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the copyright is owned by the set of all the heirs, so all grandchildren need to agree to release the images under a free licence. A single one isn't enough: this lady is going to need to give her cousins (or cousins heirs) a call. Pruneautalk 15:50, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
That would depend on the will. If jointly owned with others, then yes, agreement of all the copyright owners would be needed. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:20, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure that very few people indeed take the trouble to specify where their copyrights should go in their wills so I would think that the default assumption is that the agreement of all (in this case) grandchildren would be needed. Haukurth (talk) 19:31, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Is it really owned by all of them jointly? Isn't it more common for minor assets to be divvied up by the executor? Superm401 - Talk 00:25, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Images on old books

I've got a book, which was published in Vienna in 1936. It contains a lot of pictures of city landscapes where the most recent seems to be from 1826 (the oldest from 1541).. How does the copyright law(s) works in this case?? Is it possible to upload this pictures or not? --Skafa (talk) 04:56, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

If the images are indeed from 1826 or older, then their copyright has expired. Just putting them in a book does not constitute new copyright (at least not in Austria). Therefore, you may upload the images here as PD-old. --rimshottalk 20:52, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Thank you! Well, now I'm also sure that the writer died in 1920 (so I think my book is a re-edition published in 1936), so the book copyright has expired too.. So uploading I could put both the Template:PD-old-70 and Template:PD-1923 (in order to make clear that there is no copyright infringement). --Skafa (talk) 23:43, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Old Picture Post Cards

Hello, I went through license talk have not found the right answer. I have some old (b&w) picture post cards showing e.g. our village in the 1950s and want to implement copies (scans) in Wikipedia. These postcards were obviously very often bought and sent around as I know more people who have exactly the same original in their archives. Furthermore, the common images were already published several times in misc. print media (stories about the history of our village) without mentioning a copyright or similar. Obviously it was also not very common at that time to state dates or publishers (printers) onto the cards. Means that in most cases a source is completely unknown. However, I believe a picture post card is a non-protected, free thing but because I´m not 100% sure I ask. Can I use PD-old (or maybe PD-ineligible)? For your kind assistance thank you in advance. -- 13:51, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, I was not logged in. I'm --Sums (talk) 13:54, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
No, you can't. Unless you know who the photographer was and can show that he died more than 70 years ago. But that's not possible yet for postcards from the 1950s. Lupo 14:20, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Since you seem to live in Austria you're probably out of luck. Someone in the United States could, at least in theory, have a case. Haukurth (talk) 14:36, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Hard to believe because these picture post cards have been - per original intention - already mass-published, maybe all over the world. Can you please, please re-check.--Sums (talk) 14:45, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
In many cases you can legally republish content that is copyrighted and in even more cases you can get away with doing so even when it isn't strictly legal. Commons, on the other hand, tries to accumulate only material that is not encumbered by any copyright restrictions. Haukurth (talk) 14:56, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
If there are still concerns I think best thing is to respect it. I will only upload older images (from around 1900). --Sums (talk) 15:24, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Okay. But keep in mind that a lot of stuff from around 1900 is still under copyright. See for example en:Image:Valkyries with swan skins.jpg which was deleted from the Commons. Haukurth (talk) 15:33, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Panoramic view on Brussels from the Atomium in Brussels

Because of the copyricht limitations of photos of the Atomium I have a question about the photo Image:Brussels_view_A.jpg I took from the toplevel in the Atomium. You can still see a small part of a sphere. Does this photos cause problems? Thanks. --Wouter (talk) 11:38, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

No, I think it does not. Belgian law explicitly allows reproductions of copyrighted works if the copyrighted work is not the main subject of the image. See article 22(2) of the Belgian copyright law. Thus, a panorama of Brussels showing the Atomium would be fine, and a panorama taken from the Atomium also is fine, even if it shows a small part of the Atomium. It's similar to the situation in France, actually. Lupo 13:43, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Dodgy releases

And while we're on the topic of dodgy releases, what do you think about You are welcome to copy our stamps as "public domains".? Haukurth (talk) 12:36, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

That most people do not realize the meaning and implications of "Public Domain". It happens both ways: either they claim copyright on public domain material or they want to give a limited license (usually non-commercial) and call it PD. Sv1xv (talk) 19:33, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, exactly. Their website still says: "The texts and graphics on Faroestamps are in Public Domain and can be copied and cited, as long as Faroestamps is mentioned as a source. The texts and graphics may not be used for commercial purposes, or mechanical reproduction without permission from the Faroese Philatelic Office." That's almost amusingly contradictory. Can be copied but not mechanically reproduced? What does that mean? Haukurth (talk) 19:37, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Image:Google.png = {{PD-textlogo}} ? Spellcast (talk) 13:04, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

I would say no. It's stylized and not plain text. Also, Google itself claims copyright on it.[5] Rocket000(talk) 19:25, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
I disagree; the U.S. Copyright Office says "mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring" are generally not eligible for copyright. Adding shadowing (variation of ornamentation) and adding coloring does not seem sufficient. I don't see that the Google page link explicitly says the logo is copyrighted; it, rather, lumps it in with other IPs (the logo is most certainly trademarked, thus the TM - no ©, however). ЭLСОВВОLД talk 19:56, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough about the linked page, but I still think this passes the creativity threshold. At least in the U.S. Rocket000(talk) 20:30, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
The problem with applying the creativity threshold (I assume you mean the threshold of originality) is that the reasoning underlying the Copyright Office's statement is that text is a "useful article". Imagine, for example, all of the creativity and design (originality) that went into this car; it doesn't amount to anything copyright-wise, however, as the creative elements cannot be separated and recognizable apart from the "intrinsic utilitarian function"; so, too, is the case with text. ЭLСОВВОLД talk 20:37, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
The only thing that might qualify as copyrightable is the 3D effect they use, probably a Photoshop bevel effect. Borderline, at best. There is a Wired article on the logo's creation... not sure if the copyright statement there is something that Google is actually claiming copyright on the logo (most of the versions there would qualify), or just a typical statement to put there out of habit. My guess is PD-ineligible, but it is a pretty high-profile one to claim that on ;-) The non-3D version would most certainly be PD-textlogo, and we could probably get an SVG of that one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:40, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
If the typeface wouldn't be copyrightable, the logo wouldn't be as well. But according to that article it seems to be a commercial font. →Christian 16:39, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
"Typeface as typeface" is not eligible for copyright in the U.S. Font files can be copyrighted as a computer program, but not the visual appearance (i.e. result of using them). Other countries are different, but that is the long-standing U.S. position. That is also why Commons can host the SVG samples used in that article ;-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:48, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, maybe it is. I agree the typeface itself isn't the copyrighted. Color doesn't matter. That leaves the shadows/styling, which is borderline in it's originality (IMO, it shouldn't be anywhere close to passing that threshold, but I don't decide these things). BTW, we have Google wordmark.svg Googleplexwelcomesign.jpg Wikipedia (google).pngFile:Google g.png Rocket000(talk) 21:49, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I've nominated the Wikipedia one for deletion. As for the others, I think they're all copyrighted except the word-mark. However, my position has always been that it's ridiculous to claim heavily protected trademarks are free content. Superm401 - Talk 22:32, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
User who often confuse trademark protection and copyright protection should be blocked immediately ... We cannot host any photo of a living person because it isn't free in a dogmatic sense --Historiograf (talk) 15:01, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Are you referring to me, Historiograf? I assure you that I am not confusing trademark and copyright protection. However, you seem to be confusing personality rights and trademark. Superm401 - Talk 19:44, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I think you're quite mistaken on that topic... otherwise all of the photos we have of living people, such as Jimmy Wales will have to be deleted. Tabercil (talk) 20:04, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Who are you talking to? Neither I nor Historiograf am suggesting deleting personality rights images. Superm401 - Talk 20:46, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Um, what? lol I though this was about Google's logo. Rocket000(talk) 21:35, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Xcitement magazine photos

I've been trading emails with the publisher of Xcitement magazine regarding him licensing the images for use on Wikipedia, and what he's done is created a webpage by which he can place images which I can then move over to Commons. He's placed the page at xcitement[dot]com[slash]pictures (link partially disabled to prevent webspiders from casually finding it), but he's placed this as a header on it:

Xcitement Photos Licensed For Use By Wikipedia On Wikipedia using the Creative Commons (Attribution, ShareAlike) license” in exchange for link-backs to our site only. As is Wiki Policy Any way. Any one else If you landed here by accident This is a private page PLEASE LEAVE AND USE NOTHING!!! These Rights are granted to Wikipedia ONLY!!!

I'm just a lil' nervous about the final text; in one statement he's clearly stated that everything is CC'd; on the other that last sentence seems to kinda work against the Commons. I mean, he genuinely wants his photos to be used on Wikipedia; from his very first email to me:

"I would be very happy to work with Wikipedia. similar to haw you work with I love Wikipedia, I use it and link to it often."

Any advise on what I should do? Is his statement on the header of the page acceptable? Also, when I upload, how should I tag the source for the image?? Should I link to the actual image page on the xcitement website? To the master page which I provided earlier? Or to the website, and if we go with this choice, how do I prevent the uploads from being tagged as {{nosource}}? Tabercil (talk) 23:26, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

"These Rights are granted to Wikipedia ONLY!!!" indicates he doesn't accept that the license is valid for all third parties. In my opinion, the images should not be used. Superm401 - Talk 02:08, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Okay, he's dropped the last sentence and changed the sentence before to read "This is intended to be a private page..."; That clears up half the problem I had. Now, how do I credit the source for the image? Any suggestions?? Tabercil (talk) 23:56, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
I think you should credit the source as, as requested by the author. To avoid the {{No source}} issue, we could use a system similar to the Flickr review process (I've posted on the talk page). Otherwise, you could go through OTRS: it would probably take him the same amount of time to send the images by e-mail to you and OTRS than it will take to upload them on his website, so you could use that system instead. Pruneautalk 10:39, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
  • These images are not acceptable. The page says still "Licensed For Use By Wikipedia On Wikipedia" and "in exchange for link-backs to our site only". Forget it. That's a clear "Wikipedia-only" arrangement: images uploaded under these terms will be speedy-deleted here. Furthermore, we cannot promise any backlinks, especially not "backlinks to his site only". Either the images are released under CC-BY-SA, no strings attached, or the deal is off. Note that CC-BY-SA requires that the source be credited (on the image description page), but we cannot promise any exclusive backlinks. What if someone else adds a "See also these related pictures at competitor[dot]com"? Lupo 11:19, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Lupo that the words "For Use By Wikipedia On Wikipedia" need to be dropped. As for only I'm not sure he meant it like Lupo understood it - I think he meant "Wikipedia can only use these images if they provide links to us". Haukurth (talk) 11:35, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
That won't work either. If these images are plain CC-BY-SA, they can also be used in print publications outside of Wikimedia projects, where no backlinks are even possible. They can, however, define how they should be credited, as say that for online publications, a backlink should be used, and for print publications, they want the URL mentioned. But then that would apply to all reusers who wanted to reuse these images under CC-BY-SA, not just to Wikipedia. Do they know about "nofollow"? Lupo 11:46, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Good points all but I think the part about giving credit can possibly be explained to their satisfaction. The "Wikipedia only" aspect seems much more likely to be a deal-breaker. Haukurth (talk) 12:17, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I understand this the same way as Haukurth. The header states "For use by WIkipedia on Wikipedia using a CC-BY-SA license in exchange for links back to our site only. As is Wiki policy anyway." That last part shows that the only refers to the linking, not to a WP-only licence (WP-only licences are certainly not "wiki policy anyway"). But it certainly is worth making sure he understands what a CC licence means. Pruneautalk 23:42, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

I've been trading emails with him since the start trying to get the license issue settled out and I'd like to keep the amount of follow-up emails with him to a minimum. We've traded about a dozen so far and his last email contained the comment: "I am fedexing out a small vial of blood from my pointer finger and two spits of saliva on tuesday!" so he seems to getting a lil' tetchy at the moment. He's offering what could be an extensive collection of images as the magazine has been around for 16 years so I would really like to make all this work. As a result, I want to keep the number of future emails to a minimum so... what is the least amount of change that is needed to make his license statement work? Tabercil (talk) 14:59, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, understanding is kind of the key thing. If you make sure he understands that the CC-BY-SA license (and any other license we will accept) allows anyone to use the images, allows derivative works and allows commercial use and he still wants to contribute then we're all set. It's not as if we want to trick him into putting certain words in a certain order to achieve a magical effect. For wording I'd suggest something like: "I release the following images under the CC-BY-SA 2.5 license. Users of the images must attribute them to website X." They're perfectly entitled to specify the manner in which they must be credited. As far as I can tell they can certainly insist that a specific URL be used, even in a print publication. Haukurth (talk) 15:21, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I had already sent him a link to one of the videos hosted on the Creative Commons website as an attempt to enable him to see what the Creative Commons license means - specifically this one. Tabercil (talk) 16:38, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia "W" eligible for copyright?

Just curious whether the Wikipedia W like Wikipedia-W-bold-in-square.svg or Wikipedia-W-visual-balanced.svg is copyrightable or {{PD-textlogo}} or {{PD-ineligible}}. Could someone please take a look at it? Thanks. (I'm no expert on this subject, please don't bite me if i didn't get it.) --Nerzhal | ?! 21:05, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I think these two images should not be copyrighted and could easily be tagged as {{PD-textlogo}}. --Kimse (talk) 21:50, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Easily PD-ineligible. If anything does, that fits the definition of "text in a general typeface". Rocket000(talk) 22:28, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
I changed them to {{PD-ineligible}}, let's not promote copyfraud even it's freely licensed.Rocket000(talk) 22:41, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
✓OK , thanks for attending to it. --Nerzhal | ?! 22:53, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

FOP in Italy

Italy has no freedom of panorama. Does that mean that most photographs of Roma are copyright violations and aren't acceptable on Commons? --Kimse (talk) 21:30, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Oh, it's possible that there may be a few copyvios on that page. I don't know when the architects of all these buildings died. A few images might merit checking, but mostly, it's really old buildings, built before there even was copyright, or where the architects must have died more than 70 years ago. Images of modern buildings or sculptures would not be ok. Lupo 22:20, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the info, Lupo. I'll check the modern buildings and sculptures to see if I can find out the time when they were built. --Kimse (talk) 21:47, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
The important question is "when did the architect die?" Lupo 22:00, 2 September 2008 (UTC)


I will address this in English, so that a wide range of editors can view it if needed. The old Kremlin template was deleted, due to the Kremlin website not clearly allowing commercial work etc.

I uploaded a number of photos from the Kremlin website, using Template:PD-RU-exempt, and these were deleted from Commons using the above deletion discussion as a reference. Some of the photos I uploaded were from here (use these photos as a guide for this discussion)

A point in the deletion discussion mentioned that:

  1. The website usage allowance doesn't allow for derivative, etc
  2. Photos on the site are credit to Joe Smith.

These photos are different, in that they are not authored by and/or credited to individuals, but are clearly credited to Photo: the Presidential Press and Information Office.

As you can see from Template:PD-RU-exempt, official documents of state government agencies are not subject to copyright; the Presidential Executive Office (under the Directorate of the President I believe) being a State Government agency. As these photos are in effect official documents of that agency, they are not subject to copyright, and hence may be used on Commons without restriction, regardless of how vague the right to use on the site is.

Discussion needs to take place on this, as it is imperative that these free works be used by Commons and WP. Cheers --russavia (talk) 02:02, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

An additional comment, it is the same licence (PD-RU-exempt), which allows for the Ukaz (President Decree) on South Ossetian and Abkhazian independence to be uploaded to Commons, and Medvedev's speech to uploaded to Wikisource. --russavia (talk) 02:11, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Use frame from a movie

Hi, What is the copyright status of a single frame I take out of a movie? lets say I want to add photo to a page about some personality. It is ok to take single frame from a movie made about him and add it to the page?Assafn (talk) 21:56, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

  • No, not unless the copyright law allows it. Usually this will be because the entire movie is out of copyright. Please do not upload anything still under copyright. -Nard the Bard 01:51, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Mentioning name of company of modelgardens

I have taken photos of plants and flowers in a park of modelgardens. For commercial purposes the name of the company should be mentioned with the photos. In the description I will mention where the photos have been taken. However what license should be used so that the user of the photo also mentions that?--Wouter (talk) 06:30, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

What do you mean by this: for commercial purposes the name of the company should be mentioned? Nichalp (talk) 09:33, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
For example a photo of one of the modelgardens is used in a publicity picture where the garden is in the background with an overlay of garden tools to be sold by a company that sells the garden tools. An other example is that a photo of a fairly rare plant is used in the catalog of somebody else. In both cases the owner of the modelgardens may say "no problem when the photos are used but we want that always is mentioned 'this photo was taken in modelgarden XYZ'". I hope that this answers your question.--Wouter (talk) 14:51, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Derivative licences

I want to make a derivative graphic from three/four icons. The problem is one is licenced under cc-by-sa, another under GFDL, and a third under GPL. So, how do I release this derivative work? Nichalp (talk) 09:31, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

I think you're just screwed. Any chance of contacting the authors and getting them to multi-release? Haukurth (talk) 10:56, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Did this (Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-12-03/License compatibility) ever materialise? Nichalp (talk) 13:51, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Flag of NATO

In English Wikipedia there is an excellent SVG file of the flag of NATO (w:Image:Flag of NATO.svg), created by en:User:Mysid. However it is labeled as "Non-free image data" and has Fair Use Rationales for inclusion in some WP articles. There is a claim that the source is from the NATO web site (page ), which is not true, as the NATO page only includes two poor quality bitmaps. Is it perhaps the result of confusing copyright with trademark and similar restrictions?

My personal view is that, if the copyright owner en:User:Mysid agrees, it can be given a free license (GNU or whatever) with an "Insignia" qualification to cover possible restrictions of use. In this case it would be possible to transfer it to Commons.

May I have your views on this subject? Sv1xv (talk) 08:15, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

w:Image:Flag of NATO.svg is a derivative work of the proprietary NATO flag, and is not free. Superm401 - Talk 00:17, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Also see Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Flag of NATO.svg. Superm401 - Talk 00:22, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
My guess is PD-ineligible... that is a pretty standard representation of a compass, with a couple of extra lines. However, as noted, it was moved to en-wiki earlier because it was previously deleted from commons, so they would be pretty gunshy about moving it back. My guess is that it is protected under trademark or other laws typical of national insignia. If someone independently drew it, especially a design this simple, they should own the copyright if any exists, I would think. Trademark and insignia laws obviously would prevent most usage. I think it is OK to host it here (since I think the non-commercial restriction is not copyright-based), but others may disagree. If you want to try, I would post the image at Commons:Undeletion requests and see what others think. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:23, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

An SVG file is not a derivative of a poor bitmap, it is original creative work. The reverse could be true: a PNG bitmap produced from an SVG is derivative work. And all this discussion about proprietary flags has nothing to do with copyright, it is a trademark-related issue and could be covered with the appropriate templates. Sv1xv (talk) 04:54, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I disagree. I don't think the design is PD-ineligible, which means the flag would be both copyrighted and trademarked. Superm401 - Talk 14:41, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I believe the "PD-ineligible" assumption is difficult to prove or reject in an informal discussion and it's better to avoid using it. However I do not accept that the SVG is derivative work and that it infringes on a copyright. Sv1xv (talk) 19:10, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

So your argument is that he created a "flag of NATO" without basing it on the flag of NATO? Derivative include all forms of work created from and inspired by other works. It's not pixel for pixel, but it is obvious that Mysid's version is based on NATO's version and hence by definition is derivative. The fact that his version is an improvement in terms of how it renders is irrelevant. Dragons flight (talk) 08:44, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Not "inspired by"... ideas are not copyrightable. A derivative must be recast, transformed, or adapted from an existing (copyrighted) work. You have to include some of the original expression in the new work. Going back to my original point though... do you consider this image a derivative work of the NATO flag? If not, what are the elements that make the SVG derivative but not that image? Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:05, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I overstated that a little bit, though the point that this example is still derivative holds. Dragons flight (talk) 17:51, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Dear Carl, I am really diasappointed with the views expressed by some users here in Commons. Instead of supporting freedom of expression, they try to enforce even more restrictive views than the current copyright laws. I wonder about their real motives. This "inspired by" is plainly wrong. It implies that if I see a nice painting or photo of the local lighthouse and I take my camera and tripode to produce a roughly similar photograph, I am violating the copyright. Sv1xv (talk) 16:35, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Commons must operate successfully within the current copyright laws, not the laws as we may prefer them to be. Your photograph example is a non-sequitor. The images on NATO's site and the images on en wiki are not created independently from some external reality. They are both designed to copy an original NATO flag, which is copyrighted. Superm401 - Talk 17:12, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I still believe that your view is an extreme and rather biased interpretation of the copyright laws. I feel that I made a mistake when I subscribed to Commons in the first place. Sv1xv (talk) 19:25, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
And again, I disagree that the NATO flag is copyrighted. Trademark/insignia is an entirely separate matter. I don't see any original authorship in that flag whatsoever... it is a stock version of a compass. Which goes back to the question I posed above... can you answer that? SVGs can certainly be derivative works of bitmaps (particularly if they are traced), but not when it only involves only common symbols. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:30, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Seems creative enough to me. The fact it is a flag for one thing, the presence of the broken and slanting connector on the thin parts of the points, the relative positioning and sizes of the circle and lines to the star. The standard for creativity is minimal, and this combination of elements is sufficient for me to believe copyright applies. Dragons flight (talk) 17:51, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
The standard is low, but it is not minimal. From the Copyright Office: Copyrightability depends upon the presence of creative expression in a work, and not upon aesthetic merit, commercial appeal, or symbolic value. Thus, registration cannot be based upon the simplicity of standard ornamentation such as chevron stripes, the attractiveness of a conventional fleur-de-lys design, or the religious significance of a plain, ordinary cross. Similarly, it is not possible to copyright common geometric r. figures or shapes such as the hexagon or the ellipse, a standard symbol such as an arrow or a five-pointed star. Likewise, mere coloration cannot support a copyright even though it may enhance the aesthetic appeal or commercial value of a work. For example, it is not possible to copyright a new version of a textile design merely because the colors of red and blue appearing in the design have been replaced by green and yellow, respectively. The same is true of a simple combination of a few standard symbols such as a circle, a star, and a triangle, with minor linear or spatial variations. To me, this is a pretty standard compass symbol with maybe a couple of minor variations, and a simple addition of a couple of lines (which are often present on compasses anyways). I don't think it approaches creative expression. The fact it is a flag doesn't mean anything at all (though it means quite a bit for trademark or insignia law, of course). Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:34, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually the Supreme Court (Feist v. Rural) repeatedly and explicitly describe it as a "minimal degree of creativity", allowing for almost anything that is not either a mere copy of an existing work (as simple geometry is) or created through a mechanical process. To me, the NATO design, though limited, is sufficient to meet the historically very low standard. Dragons flight (talk) 02:27, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
Right... but there needs to be creativity. The Copyright Office guidelines take those decisions into account, and say that making slight alterations to common symbols is not creative at all. You need to create something new, something original, something not seen before. To me, the NATO design does not do that at all; it is a minor variation of a quite common symbol. The broken connectors do not always appear (see this version), so even if you consider that a copyrightable change (I don't) then they would be the property of the wikipedia contributor who drew that particular version. It might even have been a function of sizing down an image which had a very thin line to start with (look at the flag in the image on this page). Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:37, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Image:Girl sufferedwithburnwounds.jpg

Hello, I recently uploaded an image on commons and would request some clarification for use in commons for image Image:Girl sufferedwithburnwounds.jpg. There may be potential disputes so wanted to present some facts for your opinion.

  • The source of the image verifies the identity.
  • Whether she is a christian can also be varified by a third party RS. See Reuters enclosure of images. [Reuters story in pictures]. It verifies the community background. I have not taken the image from Reuters as hat would be copyright violation.

Rather it is from a release by AICC. It is available on the AICC website for usage. See [AICC page] Please advise if I need to provide any more information. Of course, there can always be more for the sake of more but would appreciate if I have sufficient information or not. The original photographer is known to me. Please advise. Thank you so much for your help in advising. Recordfreenow (talk) 17:32, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

What I want to know is where that GFDL license comes from. I don't see anything on that site and there's no OTRS release. Haukurth (talk) 18:24, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for responding. Much appreciated. Since this is a local photographer, I needed to upload the photo myself and determine the best License for use. Based on the information available, do you propose any other license? I am not very well versed with licensing. All I know is that a) I know the photographer, b) the image is for release, c)image versacity is authenricated by Reuters as well and d) as long as the organization he is part of (AICC) gets the credits. Recordfreenow (talk) 18:38, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Releasing a picture under the GFDL license irrevocably allows anyone to use the picture for any purpose, including commercial purposes. It also allows anyone to produce modified versions of the image. If the photographer is (verifiably) on board with that, that's great. If not, we'll probably not be able to host the image here. Note, however, that since this is a photograph of a person personality rights can come into play. Haukurth (talk) 18:45, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
(EC) If attribution is the only condition the photographer asks for, any CC-BY license would be fine. But if you know the photographer and/or are in contact with him you might ask him whether he wants to be credited by personal name (for security reasons eventually not) and if he agrees to a possible commercial use of that image, because that is a condition on Commons. Commercial use can be intentionally made more difficult by choosing the GFDL license as this requires to print the full license text besides the image, what is nearly impossible if you want to print the image on a t-shirt. --Túrelio (talk) 18:51, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I seriously wouldn't recommend putting this one on a t-shirt. Haukurth (talk) 18:59, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Didn't you understand why I wrote this? Photographers asked for a permission to upload their image on Commons sometimes hesitate when they hear or read that the image must be free also for commercial use. And they may be right to fear that their image is put on a jar or on a t-shirt and sold for money, as is fully view of the license. In this situation it sometimes helps to explain what disadvantage a GFDL license has for re-users and to propose to use that license, and that can get you the consent of the copyright holder. --Túrelio (talk) 19:17, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
One point I'm trying to get across is that personality rights may be a limiting factor even with no copyright restrictions. Haukurth (talk) 23:14, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
True, I've tagged the image with PR. Also see my remark below. --Túrelio (talk) 06:54, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
That is actually very helpful and does respond to my concern. Well above the facts stated above, I know that the little girl is a villager from a remote village in Khandamal. I know her name and a lot of othe details. These can be disclosed but I rather not if I dont have to. The pastor, who is the photographer but not the owner of photo, is also the regional secratary (equivalent to an area representative) of an advocacy group called wikipedia:All India Christian Council (AICC). Now since the photo is actually owned by AICC, would an e-mail from any AICC authorized representative with a Commons:Email templates to be sufficient? Thanks for your time and effort. Much appreciated. Recordfreenow (talk) 19:32, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it should be fully o.k. to ask the permission from the AICC as the photographer has an official function in that group. The name of the girl should NOT be disclosed. But it might be interesting to know whether she is Christian. As the image was taken by the pastor, we are probably right to assume that her parents consented to the publication of the girls image. In the current situation it would be surely to much to ask for their consent. --Túrelio (talk) 21:00, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Túrelio, Done! E-mail sent by AICC to OTRS and permission received and follow-up also completed. Thanks for all your help. Recordfreenow (talk) 10:37, 6 September 2008 (UTC)


An article using this logo has been nominated for GA on english wikipedia and I want to be sure it does actually qualify under the liscence the uploader has used. My instinct would be to say no, and it should be being used as fair use because it seems to have a deffinate design about it. However I would not claim to be an expert in this particular area of copyright by far, can anyone advise? Million Moments (talk) 17:24, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

USAD is not a US federal organization, if I'm not mistaken. Therefore, the logo is protected by copyright and not freely licensed. The logo is not simplistic enough to be licensed under {{PD-textlogo}} — the design of the letters A and D don't look like simple geometric shapes as mentioned in the license. I'd suggest to move it to English Wikipedia under fair use. By the way, Image:Nebraska USAD Gold medal.jpg cannot be hosted on Commons either as it is derivative work. --Kimse (talk) 21:26, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
So that image will also need it's copyright changing? Ok is their a procedure for me to move these images, or should I just nominate the image here for deletion and upload it to english wikipedia? Million Moments (talk) 21:52, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, just copy it back then nominate the Commons copy for deletion (PD-textlogo is definitely not applicable here). It will be accepted as a fair use logo at en wiki. Superm401 - Talk 03:02, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your help everyone! Million Moments (talk) 07:35, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
I probably would have said PD-textlogo would apply -- otherwise you could argue that it is a derivative work of Image:17pStar.png or something similar. I don't think the jagged lines really qualified, as pretty much a section of a regular geometric shape, and color choice would not either. That would, to me, fall under the "aesthetically pleasing" but not copyrightable area. But, obviously, others disagree :-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:44, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Bot uploads incorrectly tagged

Images such as Image:PBB Protein APC image.jpg are being uploaded but the license info does not seem to be properly formatted. These come from the PDB and are freely licenced, (see PDB Usage Policies) this for example is the source for APC. Is there any way to fix this automatically? They should be under a CC-attribution license to fit best with the PDB requirements. TimVickers (talk) 19:17, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

I know bots are to blame for many of our problems, like adding additional tags or rewriting history, but we can't blame them if it was incorrectly licensed to begin with, which was {{PD-release}}, aka {{PD-self}}. Unless the uploader is the author, this should have been {{PD-author|PDB}}. And we can never say something is under a certain license if it was never released under one, even if the terms are exactly alike. For things to be CC, the copyright holder must explicitly say it is. Rocket000(talk) 20:12, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your response, Rocket000. However, I'm still a bit unclear about what you recommend we do. Do you mean that {{PD-author|PDB}} is the correct license? I wasn't sure about that, since the site seems to request attribution. TimVickers (talk) 22:09, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
It's says it's "free of all copyright restrictions", which I would interpret as {{NoRightsReserved}}. They say "Users of the data should attribute the original authors", but they don't try to make that a requirement. Superm401 - Talk 03:00, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
OK, thank you! TimVickers (talk) 15:36, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
I've corrected the current transfers manually. The bot uploads have been using the Wikipedia template en:Template:PD-release, will this cause problems when other images are transferred to Commons? TimVickers (talk) 16:27, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Ideally, it should be corrected, but it's not a huge deal because they're both the same ultimate status, PD. Superm401 - Talk 02:14, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Image:Stretford end 1992.JPG

I am currently in the process of trying to get en:Old Trafford to Featured Article status. However, one person who commented at the FAC nomination had concerns about this image's licensing, particularly the fact that the uploader felt it necessary to say "use it free" in the description, despite uploading it as a public domain image. Can someone please help me with this, as it's quite important in getting the article to Featured Article status. PeeJay2K3 (talk) 08:51, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

The licensing seems all right to me and I thought I was a license hawk. The uploader hasn't been active for some months but s/he does have e-mail enabled. You could write to her/him to clarify what your FAC friends want clarified. Haukurth (talk) 09:21, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
I do not know the uploader IRL, but my experience from no.wikipedia is that he is trustworthy and a serious editor. I have no reason to doubt that his uploaded images are his own. He might not care too much about which license to use and seems to pick a license at random when he uploads his photos, but he certainly wants other people to use his photos (he states here [In Norwegian] that he «just wants to share them»). He knows that all images must be freely licensed and he is obviously willing to do that. As his major in college was computer science, he should know what a free license is. --Kjetil_r 17:41, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Cheers for the replies guys. I think that should be enough to sate the FAC reviewers. PeeJay2K3 (talk) 18:24, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
The public domain is not a license. However, he seems to have no objection to releasing all his rights. Superm401 - Talk 01:40, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Of course I know that, but it is usually too cumbering to write “… he might not care too much about which license to use or if he releases it into the public domain and seems to pick a license at random or release into the public domain when he uploads…” etc. Crystal ksmiletris.png --Kjetil_r 13:51, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Uploading structure and diagram from a college book for a wiki book creation

I am new to wiki commons. There are so many licensing when it comes to uploading images. I am trying to upload images from a book that I will shown in my wiki book. What is the most efficient way to do that? and under what licensing will I used to make images available for everyone else to view?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Kdv2754 (talk • contribs) 15:20, 11 September 2008 (UTC) (UTC)
Posting in the middle of this page is normally a good way to have your question overlooked.
  • Have you made these diagrams yourself? In that case, you must choose a license, we cannot do it for you. Start by reading this very brief overview, and then read the linked pages there to learn more about licensing.
  • If these are not your own creations, the license is determined by the source where you got the images from. Assuming you're talking about the text at b:Metabolomics/Metabolites/Lipids/Energy Storage:
And so on... images scanned from a book can be uploaded here only if you state which book it is, and if the images are out of copyright. For recent publications (and I presume any text on lipids on that level will be recent), the images are not free unless explicitly stated so, and thus must not be uploaded here. Lupo 15:51, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

NATO multimedia

Judging by these stipulations, what do you think about the possibility of uploading photos from NATO? --Adoniscik(t, c) 23:14, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Nothing, we need free pictures, not pictures with clear restrictions --Historiograf (talk) 23:28, 12 September 2008 (UTC)


Hi, what is the difference between CC-BY and CC-BY-SA? Is it only that CC-BY-SA imposes that any further use of the document is still licensed under CC-BY-SA? Second question, if a picture has been uploaded on Commons under GFDL/CC-BY, is it possible to change its license to GFDL/CC-BY-SA or does it violate something? Thanks in advance. --Eusebius (talk) 14:48, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

To answer the first question, BY-SA imposes that any derivatives must be licenced compatibly, ie using CC-BY-SA. To answer #2, you can always make a licence of a derivative work more restrictive than the original, but you must always comply with the licence of the original, so you can't remove restrictions. That is, unless you were the creator of the original work as well. -mattbuck (Talk) 14:56, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer. Regarding my second question, you seem to say that it is ok to change from CC-BY to CC-BY-SA, but not the other way, right? But since the picture was once released without the SA restriction, isn't it necessary that a copy of it remains available without this restriction? I only want to be sure I'm not going to make mistakes here. --Eusebius (talk) 15:10, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
cc-by has only one restriction: all further uses must be attributed. It does not say you cannot add the sharealike restriction. -Nard the Bard 15:21, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I understand that: the picture under CC-BY-SA is a derivative of the first one (under CC-BY), and it is allowed. My question is more Commons-specific maybe: is it necessary that the first one remains online with a CC-BY tag, or can I just change the license tag to CC-BY-SA in all my pictures? --Eusebius (talk) 15:29, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
It's not necessary that they remain online with the original licence, but remember that these licences cannot be revoked - if you release an image under CC-BY, then anyone can use it under that licence, even if your derivatives are more restrictive. -mattbuck (Talk) 16:28, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Obviously, there is no problem with changing CC-BY-SA to CC-BY, since that is just removing restrictions. There is also no problem with adding additional licenses. Anyone which used this image though under the CC-BY license can continue to use it under that license. For example, if there is a derivative work which uses it, you can't force that to become CC-BY-SA. Also... what would you say if someone used the original uploaded version of the image with a CC-BY license, since that is how it was provided? That would be considered fine, I think. I would say changing is highly discouraged, at best. Maybe if you uploaded a different version, that new version could be CC-BY-SA, but since the CC-BY is irrevocable you really can't add restrictions on the original version. That said I'm sure many people have done it (though at least we have the edit history). Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:47, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
OK I understand better, except Carl's remark about changing CC-BY-SA to CC-BY, which is in conflict with what was said sooner (that removing restrictions is not allowed). --Eusebius (talk) 17:54, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
The difference is on derivative works, which contain additional copyrightable content, which can be licensed differently than the original (sometimes). CC-BY-SA forbids that, so you can't make a derivative work of a CC-BY-SA item and then use CC-BY as the license for the new work (unless you are also the copyright owner of the original, in which case you can do whatever you want there). You aren't changing the license on the original in this case. As for existing works with the CC license, once you give away rights you can't bring them back. You can always give away more rights (e.g. change CC-BY-SA to CC-BY) but not the reverse. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:36, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
OK. And now, on WM Commons, if I edit the license info about a picture, is it considered a derivative work or an attempt to change the license on the original one? Is there a policy about that? --Eusebius (talk) 19:28, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
No, the work itself has not changed. That is just changing the license. A w:derivative work is a new work based on the image, say a drawing based on a photograph, or a translation of a book, or a movie based on a book. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:17, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
OK, thanks! --Eusebius (talk) 19:00, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Question about attribution at English Wikipedia

Please help out at this English Wikipedia copyright question, which I believe untimately affects all wikis here. Od Mishehu (talk) 13:27, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

I replied there. I think I understood the question... rootology (T) 13:37, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I think that either you misunderstood the question, or I misunderstood your answer. The question is about non-PD images which are displayed with no way to find out who created them. I don't see how that can not be a problem. Pruneautalk 15:10, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

What is this pics status

Hi. I downloaded a satalite image from Nasa, then re-sized it and cropped the newly re-sized image. I then added the distribution markings myself. Is this now original work or derivitive work or neither? I dont want to add any other distribution maps until the question is clarified. Hope you can help.Andrew massyn (talk) 18:09, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Dist Map P Cynaroides 3.jpg
  • It is not "your own work" nor is the correct license "pd-self". Cropping adds no creative design to the work, so a derivative is not created. You should use the original license {{PD-NASA}} on this image. Even if you did do something creative to the image, you would still need to cite the source and use correct licensing for the original image. -Nard the Bard 21:23, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Ta. I'll re-licence it. Andrew massyn (talk) 19:14, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
You still need to list where you got it from (link or picture number). -Nard the Bard 19:27, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Oh bloody hell! I'll find it in due course. its late at night, and I wont find it now. Andrew massyn (talk)
I fixed it, maybe you should take a look that everything is ok. --Martin H. (talk) 17:52, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks very much. I will use this as a template for any other maps I may want to upload, although it might be easier to adjust some of the municipal maps that are all over the place....Andrew massyn (talk) 12:11, 18 September 2008 (UTC)


While browsing through the uploaded images of Ferditje, I found this Dutch postcard. It is from 1899 or earlier (see the date on the postcard), and created or printed by N. J. Boos in Amsterdam (according to the tiny inscription Uitgave van N.J. Boos in the lower right corner). I googled somewhat for "N. J. Boos" and some other terms but was so far unsuccessful. I am not sure about the policy at Commons regarding old images where the author and/or his or her death is not known. Do we have a rule stating that something that was published years ago is considered PD for some ? --AFBorchert (talk) 14:49, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Actually, it appears to say "N J Boon", not Boos. Googling that shows that N. J. Boon was a Dutch printer / publisher active at least until 1919 [6], but nothing more specific so far. --dave pape (talk) 15:29, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for fixing this spelling error. I've meanwhile tried to locate some of his works in multiple Dutch libraries but was unable to find anywhere a lifespan. The Koninklijke Bibliotheek which acts as a national library and which attempts to provide lifespans where known fails here as well, see here where the lifespan of his co-author is given. This points back to my original question: How do we proceed when we now the name of the author, we know when it was published but we have no idea when the author died? --AFBorchert (talk) 17:12, 17 September 2008 (UTC) Link fixed. --AFBorchert (talk) 22:00, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
We don't have a fixed "n-years" rule. Certainly not one with n=100. See Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 13#Old images without an author. Personally, I set n=150 for such cases (except for U.S. stuff, where pre-1923 is fine). Others have advocated n=170 or n=160. Some people think all three of these choices were too high. And in any case, this N. J. Boon is only the publisher (the Google results indicate that he had a publishing house in Amsterdam); I don't think he's the photographer, so even if we should be able to find his death date, it wouldn't help us at all. Lupo 18:00, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
N. J. Boon is apparently not just a publisher but also an author. He is named as an author of a book with prints in a description of a book seller (see above), he is named as a photographer for this image, and he is also mentioned as an author in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. It wouldn't surprise me when he also published his only prints.
I think that we are in the need of some guidelines for such cases. I would suggest to define and with such that works at least years old require no further discussion and works at least but less than years old require some reasonable research effort regarding the author and a review. (The latter is currently practiced in the German wikipedia within a trial period, see here.) --AFBorchert (talk) 22:00, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I think he was a publisher. I haven't seen any evidence yet that he was a photographer or author. This "old "book" is not a book at all: "De Prins: der geïllustreerden bladen" ("The Prince: the illustrated newspaper") is a collection of bound newspapers (vol. 20). Also see here (vol. 10): "diverse auteurs". The Royal Library says that N.J. Boon was the director of that newspaper.Brieven van Tijdschrift De Prins, door N.J. Boon, directeur, geschreven aan Jan te Winkel (1847-1927) ("Letters from the newspaper "The Prince", by N. J. Boon, director, written to Jan te Winkel"). And frankly said, I wouldn't trust the claim at Image:Louvain Library WWI.jpg; in view of this (and related Google results that also indicate that he was a publisher) I consider it more likely that the NYT got this image from Boon's publishing house and thus gave "Boon" as the provenance. Just like newspapers today, which often just say "Reuters image" instead of giving the photographer's name. Lupo 07:35, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
regarding your n1/n2 proposal: I'd set n1 to 150 or 170, and n2 = zero. The discussions will take place at COM:DEL. Lupo 11:07, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
I am one of those who thinks 150 years as a hard rule is extreme... I would probably use that as an upper limit, and use 120 or 130 as your lower limit (at least for 70-p.m.a. term countries). But, each image can have its own unique set of circumstances (is the author known, how well known (the more information we have the more likely we could find a date of death, and should not claim it without research, or if we at least know a period of activity we can get a better handle on the likely lifespan). Unless we know what the back of the postcard says, I'm not sure we could claim this as being anonymous. If we feel that N.J. Boon is the author, then I think we should find actual documentation of when he died, as if they were active in 1920 it is rather likely they were still alive in 1938. I agree with Lupo though, it seems more likely that Boon was just the publisher for the postscard, and not necessarily the author -- there are lots of images of Boon postcards on the web. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:14, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Older Picture Postcards clarification needed

This directive sets the duration of copyright to 70 years following the death of the author (for multiple authors, of the last author; for collective, pseudonymous or anonymous works, following the date of publication)

The above is from Commons:Licensing#European copyright law. Could an expert expand on what "collective" and "pseudonymous" mean? Would it apply to German postcards published by a company or organisation which uses staff photographers? For example, this 1908 German postcard was deleted because the photographer's name and date of death could not be found. Here is the deletion log and here are attempts to find more information (the postcard is marked "Louis Glaser, Leipzig").

I also tried to follow the logic in w:en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights#Subsisting copyrights - would a 1908 German publication have been in the public domain before January 1, 1996, and so still in the public domain? -Wikibob (talk) 02:51, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

I think a collective work is one which brings together multiple, separately copyrighted elements -- such as an encyclopedia or newspaper (where each article has a separate copyright, but the selection and arrangement of all the articles is copyrightable in itself). Not sure of the exact definition in EU law though. Anonymous is published without an author name, pseudonymous is published with a pseudonym (i.e. not the author's real name, with the real author's identity undisclosed). These laws are there more often for books, pamphlets, and other materials where authors often wanted anonymity. It is normally obvious, since those items all have places where the author's name is supposed to go when it is published. Pictures are harder, since there is no such location, so determining "anonymous" instead of just "unknown" is very hard (unless you have a copy of the actual first publication). If an author's name is not on a postcard... that means it was published anonymously, for sure. Now, simply by disclosing the author sometime in the following 70 years, the copyright term would then become the full 70 years pma (since it would no longer be anonymous). If we have an actual postcard though which does not have the name... that, to me, should swing the assumption towards being "anonymous". If the company still exists, it would probably be a good idea to ask though. As for the second question... the U.S. part of that would be OK since it was published before 1923, so it is PD in the U.S. regardless. Foreign copyrights which were restored are essentially considered to have been registered and renewed, so anything published 1923 or after would still be copyrighted in the U.S. That is where the 1996 date comes in -- if it was PD in the country of origin in 1996, then the U.S. copyright was not restored, and so it is still PD in the U.S. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:43, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for that extensive answer. So, since the postcard (published in 1918 due to postmarked stamps on the rearside) only has the publisher's name that makes the author anonymous, until the author's name is dislosed, if ever? The image was deleted with the reason "if author is unknown, we cannot determine if they died before 1938". Should Commons policy be more clearcut? If the author is anonymous (and not unknown) do we allow the image or not? Should we allow it until the author's name is "announced", so to speak? Or, should Commons forbid images that are now anonymous in case the author is announced in teh futire, maybe decades later?

As to the image, it was restored once before so I am reluctant to request it be restored a second time, but there are more images affected. It was used by several language wikipedias (which have broken links now). The company was Verlag Louis Glaser, Leipzig (Verlag means publisher here) and appears to have been active from 1880 until the late 1920s, but I could find no more details. Commons holds at least 13 postcard images from Louis Glaser (not yet deleted) and the web has many of its postcards from various collections. This is an archive of the one deleted from Commons. I admit this is quite complicated for me, but is it worth me requesting a Deletion review for that image in order to determine how the policy should be implemented (given that the same logic would apply to the other 13 images)? (See also: Commons:Village pump#Deleting images without informing projects? ) -Wikibob (talk) 18:07, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

I am now more confused about Commons policy after reading this long debate:


I could not find any definite decision in that debate. The consensus (if there was any) might have been to strictly enforce the legal meaning of Public Domain for anonymous works. This means something like 150 to 170 years must pass since the anonymous work was published.

If that is the case, then there are several "old" images (back to 1860 even) that will get deleted eventually. So I propose that before they get deleted that they get moved to (or even de.wikipedia.orf where they have a pragmatic 100 year rule). Unless someone can reduce my confusion? -Wikibob (talk) 19:42, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Personally I think we should go with US laws and accept everything published before 1923. Failing that, I think 100 years is too lax. Lots and lots and lots of images published 100 years ago are still under copyright outside of the US. On the other hand I think 150 years is too stringent and deprives us of too much stuff that is >98% sure to be in the public domain. For comparison, how sure are you that a random photograph uploaded by a random pseudonymous contributor is really what it is claimed to be? Are you more than 98% sure of that? I'm not. To take a concrete example, what odds would you give that this (not-worksafe) image is actually a free image? I certainly wouldn't give it more than 90% odds and yet it keeps surviving deletion attempts. As to the number of years, I think the sweet spot is probably something like 130 years. Haukurth (talk) 22:02, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes... there is no consensus there. Commons policy, unless otherwise freely licensed by the copyright holder, is "PD in the U.S. and the country of origin". Since laws in the country of origin vary significantly, it is not really possible to have a guideline for all possibilities. The laws do take into account anonymous works though, so we can use those if appropriate. If claiming PD-Old, that does get harder. Taking an image off the internet without knowing its provenance does not mean "anonymous" though, so that really can't be applied. In the case where we have an actual old postcard, and the author's name does not appear anywhere (including on the back), would show that it was indeed published anonymously. Usually if the author's name is disclosed within a certain time frame (70 years in the EU), then the term reverts to the known-author term. In most cases, "anonymous" is hard to argue, but in such cases where we do know the first publication was indeed anonymous, and have no information about the author being disclosed later, then the presumption should swing to being anonymous, and can be tagged with {{Anonymous-EU}}. If it turns out the author was known before 70 years were up (asking after 70 years would not matter), then we would delete it then, since the claimed reason would be invalid. I would not claim this unless we are pretty sure about its first publication though (a postcard image without knowing what the back said would not be enough for me). As for PD-Old, that should not be claimed on a 1918 work. I am of the opinion that 150 years is too long, but 100 years is probably too short as well (I think there may be a 100-year provision in German law for "simple" photographs, so the de-wiki policy may in part be based on that, but the definition is somewhat vague and the applicability to the rest of Europe is uncertain, so I don't think we use it even for German photographs). I feel we should have a very good reason to believe a work is PD in the country of origin according to law, and not just hope it is, but trying for absolute 100% certainty is not realistically possible. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:50, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
The German rule for Lichtbilder (photographies that are not considered works) is 50y since creation. BUT: Judicature practically eliminated the Lichtbild, as any photography that could have been taken differently by a different photographer is considered a work now. Only medical X-rays, aerial and satellite photography are the last remaining realms of the Lichtbild. --h-stt !? 14:51, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to work on an Old Postcards policy

Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Konigstein81.jpg is very interesting, and it would be nice if we could extract from it some useful policy or at least guidance as to how old postcards should be handled. I have hundreds which I could upload, but many will raise the same issues as this, and I don't want to have to go through the same old arguments every time. Even better would be to work out some rules on anonymous images generally, but I suspect from past discussions such as this that that will be much harder. I am thinking of working up a policy page on postcards, at least. If you have any thoughts on the general principles that should apply, or if you would like to be involved, could you leave me a note on my talk page? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:19, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

An enquiry about a photograph of a 19 C engraving of a portrait

I have tried to post (my own) photograph of my own copy of an engraving of a portrait of a Scottish 19C Engineer called Robert Bald. The engraving is by a man called Thomas Dick, after a portrait by Sir John Watson Gordon. My photo was taken down, so which copyright should I claim? I have no idea who owns the copyright for this image. The only other copies of the engraving that I know of are in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, but I don't think they own the copywrite. Please help. --Evenmadderjon (talk) 16:11, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

I've restored it, see en:Image:RobertBald.jpg. The two authors died more than 70 years ago so it's almost certainly in the public domain. The only thing remaining is to establish a publication date. Do you have that information? Could you add that to the image description page? Haukurth (talk) 16:25, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks very much. Yes, during my researches into the picture I found a slip in the archives at the National Portrait Gallery in London that said the picture had been exhibited at the Royal Academy of Art in 1843. I will add that to the image description page. Thanks again for your prompt help. --Evenmadderjon (talk) 16:32, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
That's good to know and by all means add it to the page but copyright law (perhaps counterintuitively) doesn't count public display as publication. But I think we can be pretty sure that the engraving was published sometime in the 19th century, people didn't commission engravings to keep them under their bed. There would only be a copyright problem if the engraving was first published in 1978 or later.
Going forward - the information you usually need to have to establish public domain status is a) the artist's year of death and b) the publication date of the work. If the artist died more than 70 years ago you're usually in good shape and can use a template like {{PD-old-70}}. Haukurth (talk) 16:43, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Also - what sort of engraving is it? It doesn't quite look like an engraving to me, am I crazy? Haukurth (talk) 16:51, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Modified Flickr images and licensing

I've been coming across a lot of unsource Flickr images that are actually images we already have w/ confirmed flickr licenses that someone has just retouched. Often this retouching is as little as cropping. With cropping I usually find the same license, but sometimes people change the license, and I'm not sure what to do (this one I changed to the Flickr license). Does cropping or other retouching pass the threshold of originality, or should these images keep the same Flickr license they had before?--Chaser (talk) 02:03, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Cropping certainly carries no originality, the same applies to adjustment of contrast, color balance, noise reduction, retouching of the background and so on. In those cases the new image must have the same license as the original one. --h-stt !? 12:52, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
If the original license is CC-BY-SA, then that must be the license on the retouched work (even if there were enough changes to qualify for additional copyright as a derivative work). If CC-BY, then that license should at least be mentioned along with a pointer to the original, so a third-party user knows how much of the image is CC-BY and what aspects/portions (if any) are covered by the new license. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:08, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Machine-readable identification of Transparent copies for GFDL

This query is prompted by a recent exchange at Image talk:Hello World Perl GTk2.png.

Certain media files may not count as "Transparent" for purposes of the GFDL. In that case, anyone distributing the file under the GFDL (except in limited quantity) also needs to distribute the Transparent copy. And I see that we even have a specific template (Template:Source file please) that can be used for requesting the Transparent copy. But once said transparent copy is provided, do we then have a means to identify its location in a machine-readable way? I ask this not as an issue of our own compliance with the GFDL, but so that we can make it easy for mirror sites to do the right thing as regards Transparent copies of Opaque images. Alan012 (talk) 12:27, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

LibriVox public domain license

Hello, can all LibriVox audio books be uploaded with permission {{LibriVox public domain}} without further checking copyright issues? The thing is: I started uploading the ogg files for a Spanish recording of Aesop's Fables from LibriVox and realized that the Spanish text is based on material from which doesn't clearly specify who translated the fables to Spanish (in fact, it doesn't even clearly state whether the text is based on the English translation by George Fyler Townsend although LibriVox claims that it is; the first fable appears to be based on the translation by Townsend apart from the moral). The web page states that some of the morals were added by Jorge R. Rodriguez of and are copyrighted. The note on the web page clearly prohibits commercial use of this copyrighted material. As the audio files at LibriVox include these morals, I'm not sure whether LibriVox had the right to put the audio recordings into the public domain. As the translator to Spanish is not really known (Rodriguez might only have added the morals as far as I understand the note at, which doesn't specify the translator), I'm not sure who owns the copyright of the Spanish translation and whether has the right to publish the translation on the internet. What should be done in such a case? --Martin (talk) 21:29, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

I contacted the LibriVox user who is currently in charge of the recording of the collection of fables at but she couldn't help me with these issues. I'll do some more research on the source of the translation of the fables but this will take some more time and it is likely that at least the added morals have to be removed from the recordings. I think the audio files I have uploaded so far should be removed; thus, I nominated them for deletion. --Martin (talk) 15:14, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

V for Vendetta mask

Recently it come to my attention that we have a lot of images with the model of the Guy Fawkes' mask of the graphic novel and movie V for Vendetta. What I want to ask is, do this specific model existed in real life before the 80's or it's an original creation by David Lloyd? I've got an image of a Guy Fawkes mask used in 1986, and it's quite different from the V's one. Categories regarding this issue are Category:V for Vendetta (not all of them) and Category:Protesters wearing V masks. Cheers, Gizmo II ¿Eu? 18:51, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

within the UK might be posible to argue that it is a work of artistic craftmanship. Then there is the issue that you cannot copyright clothing in the US.Geni (talk) 16:01, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Thing is, Commons should host content free everywhere not just in determined country. US allowes Fair Use, we dont, same case applies here. Still, dont know if this particular design was designed specificly for the comic or not. Cheers, Gizmo II ¿Eu? 17:54, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
It is not clothing that can't be copyrighted in the US, it's useful articles and masks are generally not treated as useful articles, thus they generally may be protected by copyright in the US. See, e.g., Mosquemde Novelty v. Unique Industries, 912 F.2d 683 (3rd Cir. 1990); Pusillon v. McDonald's Corp., 927 F.2d 400 (9th Cir. 1991). Even when an article of clothing is a useful article, such as a shoe, there is another issue of separability that must be considered. Normally a part of an article is treated as useful if the article is useful, but not always. See Animal Foir Inc. v. Amfesco Industries. Inc. 820 F.Supp. 175 (D.C. Minn. 19851. affd mem., 794 F.2d 878 (8th Cu. 1988) (copyright upheld for a slipper depicting a bear's paw - the artistic components were separate from the function)--User:Doug(talk contribs) 03:15, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, I have appointed that this was not the issue, since we are not uphold by US laws only. The real thing is: are these masks copyrighted by David Lloyd/Alan Moore or this is a commons model of the Guy Fawkes mask used in the Bonfire Night? Any user from England can answer this, I hope. Cheers, Gizmo II ¿Eu? 15:15, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Right, but even if it's not protected in Great Britain, Commons only accepts material that is either 1) freely licensed, or 2) public domain in BOTH the United States AND the Source Country. The mask would seem to fail option 2 as not being PD in the US.--User:Doug(talk contribs) 17:06, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
But US singned the Berne Convetion wich says that they have to attend the copyriht laws of the other nations.--Sanandros (talk) 17:51, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
No, the Berne Convention says that each country must give the same protections to nationals of other countries (that are parties to the Convention) as they give to their own. Under the Berne Convention we do NOT apply the law of the country of origin but the law of the country in which the copyright is claimed. If the images of the mask were published (or performed in the case of the movie) in the US, the protections of US law are available, even if the UK offers no protection for masks. It is still relevant for Commons what the law of the UK is, but we know that the mask is protected at the very least under US law and therefore are most likely not free. See Art. 5 §§ 1&2 of the Convention.--User:Doug(talk contribs) 00:30, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
So, should we delete them? Cheers, Gizmo II ¿Eu? 19:13, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I would say "yes", but whether there is some exception based on the use of the masks that is taking place I don't know for sure. It's somewhat odd in that the copyrighted item is being used in public in this blatant manner. Certainly I suspect it would get on Wikipedia under fair use but unless there is some other exception that someone can point to, it shouldn't be on Commons in any form.--User:Doug(talk contribs) 03:41, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
So be it. I started the purge. Cheers, Gizmo II ¿Eu? 20:12, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

See also Administrators' noticeboard thread

Please see this discussion here Commons:Administrators'_noticeboard/Attention#Deletion_of_Scientology_images. This is silly, I agree with David Shankbone, Stevenfruitsmaak, Brianmc, Gopher65, and DragonFire1024. These images should not have been deleted and they should be restored. Cirt (talk) 20:56, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Copyright status of Turkish stamps

I have translated into Russian en:Postage stamps and postal history of Turkey and I notice that all images of stamps in the article are uploaded only to, not to the Commons. Most of the stamps were issued before 1923, e.g., en:Image:Turkey_J61.jpg. So my questions are: (1) Can such stamps be uploaded to the Commons and if yes, under what license? (2) Can stamps issued by the Ottoman Empire be uploaded with the template "PD because defunct government"? (3) What does the current copyright law of Turkey say about the copyright protection period (50 or 70 years)? (4) Is there any specific copyright law regulation covering postage stamps in Turkey? Thank you. Leonid Dzhepko --Л.П. Джепко (talk) 09:35, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

It is my understanding that according to Template:PD-TR, the copyright protection period expires 70 years after the year the stamp was issued. --Л.П. Джепко (talk) 12:47, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I believe you are correct, Leonid Dzepko. The current copyright law of Turkey provides that copyright owned by a legal entity lasts for 70 years from first publication, and that copyright owned by an individual lasts for 70 years from death. See Law No. 5846 (12 May, 1951, as amended), Art. 27. That law provides that the creator of a work owns the copyright, except where the creator is employed by someone else, including an entity, in which case the employer or entity owns the copyright. Id., Art. 8. The copyright for stamps designed by employees of the Turkish government therefore should belong to the Turkish government and should last 70 years from publication. Thus, any stamp issued 70 or more years ago is public domain.
I do not know when copyright first existed in Turkey or whether copyright acts retroactively created rights, but one is safe in assuming that stamps issued before 1938 (2008 less 70) are public domain. I will try to upload the stamp images in en:Postage stamps and postal history of Turkey to Commons.
By the way, Leonid, thank you for translating en:Postage stamps and postal history of Turkey into Russian. I am the primary author of that article. Also, I apologize for stating in that article that Turkey was the first independent country in Asia to issue postage stamps, when that honor belongs to Russia. I have corrected that in the article and hope that you do so in the Russian translation. Ecphora (talk) 01:58, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I uploaded to Commons the four stamps in the gallery of cancellations, but do not know why they do not show in the Russian article. Ecphora (talk) 02:20, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Ecphora, thank you for detailed answer and for uploading Turkish stamps to the Commons. Also I appreciate your effort to describe stamps and postal history of Turkey; I have thought that Russian readers would read this interesting article with much pleasure. As for Russia's role, we Russians consider ourselves Europeans so much that it hasn't occurred either to me or to the other Philately Project team that Russia is omitted in this case. I will keep an eye upon your article updating the Russian version, and accordingly if new facts are added in Russian, I will try to translate them into English. --Leonid Dzhepko (talk) 10:07, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Millennium Challenge Corporation images/maps

Are Millennium Challenge Corporation photos, maps, text United States Government/Public domain?

Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a United States government corporation designed to work with some of the poorest countries in the world, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces good governance, economic freedom, and investments in people that promote economic growth and elimination of extreme poverty. press release

The rub comes in on the sub entities, like MCA Mali. These, as I understand, are entirely funded by the US Government, but based in and staffed by citizens of the nations in question. Is their work created by employees of the US government, and hence PD?

If so, this opens up a large amount of PD material ( on 40 of the world's poorest nations, many of which have governments which operate under unclear copyright status, and hence their government material is unusable here.) If this work is PD-USGOV, can someone point me to whomever codes the little templates: it would be nice to have a tag making this clear. T L Miles (talk) 14:07, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

For MCC itself, yes, I think so (they have the usual government-site links at the bottom of the page). Their policy says: Unless a copyright is indicated, information on this Web site is in the public domain and may be reproduced, published or otherwise used without MCC's permission. We request that MCC be cited as the source of the information and that any photo credits or bylines be similarly credited to the photographer or author or MCC, as appropriate. If a copyright is indicated on a photo, graphic, or any other material, permission to copy these materials must be obtained from the original source. So, check for copyright statements on any material. As for the sub-entity... that web page has a copyright statement. On the Mali page, MCC says each country with a signed Compact establishes a government entity responsible for implementing the projects within the Compact and for overseeing its Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). These organizations are called MCA Entities. So, it sounds like those are government agencies of the countries in question, and material there would not qualify for PD-USGov. If there is a lot of material available on itself, then it may make sense to create a PD-USGov-MCC tag, but otherwise PD-USGov alone should work just fine (just separately note MCC as the source). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:31, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Seems very reasonable, Thanks. I went back and read through the agreement documents, and while a lot of the work on the ground is done by US Gov employees, the national websites are mandated in the agreement to be created by the domestic governments. There are some photos on the site, but not the treasure chest I was hoping for. The rest will have to wait until I can get a clear wording from the Malian government about copyright. T L Miles (talk) 04:30, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

A few questions about licensing

Hi, I have some questions about licensing and I will be very grateful if somebody could answer them:

  1. Suppose I modify an image under CC-BY 2.5. Under what license I am allowed to distribute the derivative work and do I have to attribute the author of the original? And who is supposed to be attributed as an author derivative work?
  2. Same as above, but now the license is GFDL.
  3. Same as above, but now the license is CC-BY 2.5 GFDL
  4. Same as above, but now the license is CC-BY-SA 2.5 GFDL.
  5. If an image is published under CC 2.5 license for example, may I distribute it under CC 3.0 licesence?

Thanks. --Chech Explorer (talk) 16:49, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

I am not entirely sure, but this is how I understand it. CC-BY 2.5 does not require a "Remixed" copy be released under CC-BY 2.5. GFDL requires it be released under GFDL and CC-BY-SA 2.5 requires it be released under any compatible free-license. As for #5, yes, I think so. J.smith (talk) 21:14, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Keep in mind that you need to add enough creative expression to your work to qualify as a derivative work; many basic modifications (like cropping) would not qualify, and the license (and author) of the resulting modification is identical to the original. That said, for an actual derivative work, this is how I think it goes:
  1. You must attribute the author of the original, and maybe mention the original license. Your license (which technically just covers your additional expression) can be whatever you want (or multiple licenses).
  2. The GFDL mandates that derivative works also be licensed as GFDL. You also must attribute the original author (which you must always do with these licenses).
  3. The original is dual licensed, so you can use the terms of either one. If you need to use the GFDL terms, your derivative must be GFDL too.
  4. Similar, but you must choose either CC-BY-SA or GFDL as your derivative license (or both, if you want to give others the same choice). CC-BY-SA allows "compatible" licenses, though the GFDL is not one of those, at least currently due to some technicalities.
  5. Yes, I think that is fine per the terms of CC-BY. You can distribute the original that way too, by the same terms.
Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:01, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Very well said. Especially the clarification about derivative copies. J.smith (talk) 03:32, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Proper licensing of donated images

If someone wishes to give me photos they have taken, as well as all rights to the photos, with the understanding that they are to be uploaded to Wikimedia as public domain, what is the easiest way to achieve this? Tim Ross (talk) 20:58, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Get them to email COM:OTRS saying they release those photos to PD, and that you'll be uyploading them. -mattbuck (Talk) 14:28, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks very much for the advice. I can certainly handle that. One minor question, though: all of the various templates I located seemed to assume that an internet-accessible photo was involved (insert link), but these are paper. Can I just use something like "the 23 photographs I made in August of 1971 showing volcanoes of Asia and Oceania" in place of a web link?
Yes, I can't see why not. Haukurth (talk) 14:33, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
If they're your photos that you took in 1971, obviously there's no need for a link. If they're someone else's photos, please have them email OTRS for verification (even if there are no digital copies yet). Superm401 - Talk 17:08, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Why must a copyright transfer be attested by both parties? It is not the usual practice in publishing. Also, some copyright holders cannot or will not e-mail OTRS. What if the author (original copyright holder) prefers to be anonymous? --Una Smith (talk) 05:36, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, somewhat -- if the uploader is the copyright owner, then they should be able to upload as normal (tags like {{Self}}, PD-self and GFDL-self etc. all apply, since they all specify the copyright owner, not necessarily the author). If the photos have already appeared on the Internet though, we generally do require external permission, to make sure the uploader did not simply copy them from elsewhere. If you are uploading photos from someone else who has not given over copyright ownership, an email from that person to OTRS would be a good idea, I think. Usually a signed, written agreement is necessary to transfer copyright I think (per 17 USC §204). Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:42, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
A signed written agreement of copyright transfer is ironclad, but not necessary for our purposes. That is because if there is a dispute it lies entirely between the two parties (giver and receiver of copyright). So in that sense it is not any business of ours. Have there been cases here on Commons where copyright transfer (or lack thereof) has been an issue? --Una Smith (talk) 05:31, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
If the giver didn't really transfer copyright, than the "receiver" has no right to license it to downstream reusers. That would certainly be an issue. Superm401 - Talk 02:57, 29 September 2008 (UTC) Upload of public domain picture from archive website

Could someone read the correspondence regarding my request for use of a public domain image published online by SK archives, and the subsequent use on Wikimedia advise about uploading... before it is uploaded thanks..... Kind Regards SriMesh | talk 03:17, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

It seems Miss Wagner does not know the meaning of Public Domain. If the picture is in the public domain (because the photographer died before 1938), they cannot prohibit secondary distribution. Sv1xv (talk) 04:54, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
It looks like the secondary statement is if you purchase a larger-size print through them (trying to enforce that as a contract, I guess). It would not apply to the image you can get off their website, which looks to be PD, and can be used freely. I think it was included just to give an example of how to give the credit. Or did you order a larger image through them? Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:16, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Commons:Upload/Unknown author or license - misleading title

Sorry if the subject has already been discussed (it should have been) but, imo, it won't hurt raising it again. I wouldn't get to this page normally, but due to todays hiatus with ordinary upload channels (dead as a dead parrot), I tried this upload form and guess what? "any works with unknown author or copyright status (license), will ultimately be deleted". This is misleading to say the least. It means that the images of Pyramids of Giza or the Stonehenge or (name your favorite antique) must be "ultimately" deleted, but apparently it won't happen. Why would anyone place such a statement? NVO (talk) 15:57, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Because anything less than an absolute warning would give people who are seeking to skirt copyright an "out" to upload questionable works. Perhaps it could be tweaked a little to talk about works less than 150 years old with unknown status being deleted. Anything newer is generally subject to at the least a discussion on its status. -Nard the Bard 16:36, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Works of US Goverment Employees must be within the scope of duties

I have concerns that {{PD-USGov-Military-Army}} may be being misapplied, such as in this case: Image:82nd_AB_Mosul.jpg. The fact the person taking the photo was in the military is not sufficient, we must have evidence that the person taking the photo was working within the scope of his or her duties in taking the photo. If a soldier took this picture with his or her personal camera, it is not in the public domain under the provisions cited.--Doug.(talk contribs) 05:55, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

  • I agree that an image taken with a private camera off-duty would be the person's own. Images taken on duty with a private camera are more of a grey area (especially since the military forbids military members from taking private photos of sensitive areas) In any case the picture here is from, but the sourcing wasn't all that clear. I reworked it to emphasize the proper source of the picture. As it is from and credited to a soldier, it should qualify as public domain. -Nard the Bard 12:05, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
  • That was merely an example and the taking of photographs on duty with a private camera is not generally prohibited. The Army is quite clear in it's own field manuals (I'll look for the specific cites, it will take me a bit though) that it doesn't get the copyright to a soldier's personal pictures taken on-duty. If they are of sensitive areas, etc. they are subject to seizure but the Government would have a difficult argument to say that the photo shouldn't have been taken but we're now going to release it! Soldiers often take pictures while on duty, these are rarely of sensitive things. BTW, the soldiers are constantly on-duty, even if they are not accomplishing a specific assignment. I don't know's current policy, but they probably require relinquishment of all copyrights on upload (or the soldier who took the photo used an official camera - may even be an Army photographer). Again, that was just one example, and I didn't have the source available (here's another, Image:Saddam_Mosque_Mosul.jpg, which I've nominated for deletion).--User:Doug(talk contribs) 14:36, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Again I agree. Photographs from military websites are generally PD, with caveats (mostly by permission of images). And maybe my views are a bit warped. Where I work (a navy base) no photographs at all are allowed and security has been known to just take your camera if you do. Also you are right. That photo has no source or proper license. -Nard the Bard 14:56, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Yeah, I originally tagged it for "no source" but neither of the tags seems to really fit. The tag just says you haven't said where it came from to which the response is, yes I did, so I sent it for discussion. I'm with the Army and we're not so strict as the Navy and the Air Force, our equipment is generally as sensitive, normally you can't take pictures of the installation, but that doesn't mean you can never take pictures on the installation, at least if you are a soldier stationed there. And in Iraq many many photos are taken - unless they showed the layout of an installation or troops practicing new tactics there wouldn't be much concern normally. My photo Image:Saint_Elijah's_Monastery_1.JPG was taken on en:Forward Operating Base Marez, of course there were no security concerns with this photo, but I wouldn't want someone to claim it was PD just because I took it! This tag is getting way overused and misapplied.--User:Doug(talk contribs) 15:27, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with which camera is being used. As you said, it has to do with whether the picture was taken in the course of the official duties. I would assume anything on was indeed taken as part of official duties. Similarly, any photo taken while armed and on patrol I would assume is also part of official duties. An off duty photo would be more likely taken between deployments, or during R&R, mealtime, or a break at the base. Superm401 - Talk 04:01, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Is on the web site any official comment on copyrightstatus?--Sanandros (talk) 13:36, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
It has everything to do with whose camera is being used. The army does from time to time issue cameras to units, if a soldier has one of those cameras then it is part of his duty to take photos for the unit, if he does not have one then it is not part of his duty. A soldier on patrol does not take photos in the course of his duties normally. If it were part of his duties then the army would have issued him onea camera. Being at work does not make everything a gov't employee does a gov't work. As far as the copyright status on the website, we can probably rely on that but it doesn't really tell us the right answer, take a look at Commons:Deletion_requests/2008/09#Image:Rolla.2C_North_Dakota_Tornado.jpg where NOAA posted a photo and said that it was PD simply because it was on their website, it was courtesy a TV station and therefore was not PD. The Gov't can't simply post something on their website and declare that it is therefore PD, if they didn't create it then the owner has to cede his or her rights. Oh, and BTW, a break at base is not off duty, particularly if the base is in Iraq or Afghanistan.--User:Doug(talk contribs) 21:27, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

But the status of the website is ancillary, it does not directly deal with my main point here and only happens to have arisen here because the image I initially questioned turned out to be from, this was not clear at the time I raised my concern here. The concern is a general one that images created by government personnel are not PD unless made in the course of their duties. If you look at the legislative history for the Copyright Act of 1909 from which the current provisions of US law derive (the Copyright Act of 1976 simply repeats the 1909 act without new discussion), the Congress was quite clear that the point of importance is for whom the work is authored (at the time photos were of much less concern than documents). If a soldier uses his or her personal camera, it is safe to assume that the work is being created for private use (in fact it would technically be a violation of US fiscal law for a soldier to use his or her personal camera for the benefit of the Army).--User:Doug(talk contribs) 21:50, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Nowhere does the law give any importance to whose equipment is being used. There is no personal equipment/government equipment rule. If your argument were valid, then an official government document written on a private laptop would be copyrighted. That's an absurd conclusion. Obviously, the TV station's image is not PD, and I don't see how that has anything to do with my point. You may be right that someone is liable for a fiscal violation if a personal camera is used, but that's not our problem. Superm401 - Talk 00:35, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
You are right that those matters (fiscal etc) don't directly affect copyright, I included them only to demonstrate that it would not be normal for someone to use their own equipment for Gov't work. Ownership of the equipment helps to inform us as to whom the photos were created for; it's not dispositive, but duty status is of little importance. It's much more likely to produce something for private use on Gov't equipment (though probably subject the employee to discipline for misusing gov't time and equipment) than something for public use on private equipment. The whole point though is that saying that the person who created an image was in the military on duty is not sufficient, if the image wasn't created for the Gov't it isn't PD. And if it was a private image, just because the Gov't now has it, doesn't mean that it's PD. The creator would have to have to have expressly given up his or her rights and normally that is done by giving a license. In order to put in the public domain the creator would have to disclaim the copyright, generally by using words like "I dedicate this work to the public". --User:Doug(talk contribs) 01:55, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Similar questions apply to medical images. See for example, Commons talk:Patient images, where one contributor maintains that medical images of patients at US VA hospitals are public domain. Sources would be appreciated. --Una Smith (talk) 05:30, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

If the personnel at the VA hospital are federal employees, that may be correct -- those are certainly within the scope of their normal duties. However that is just "public domain" from a copyright standpoint only -- privacy rights of the patient and medical records laws would still fully apply, so they are not "public domain" in the sense that anyone can do anything they like with them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:56, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I was only discussing copyright there. Privacy issues are separate. Superm401 - Talk 02:39, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I reviewed that discussion, obviously Una Smith and Superm401 were talking right past each other as Superm401 and I are here. "Public Domain" is simply a phrase to describe works in which there is no copyright, either because it's expired, been relinquished, or in the case of the U.S. Gov't - the works simply aren't protected from the outset. It doesn't change any other rights to them. Nor is it somehow magical, if you aren't in the scope of your duties when you create something for the U.S. Gov't it is still protected and the cases are pretty liberal in favor of allowing the copyright. Unless your gov't job is to take photographs and you were on duty taking pictures of the subjects you're normally employed to take pictures of (e.g. Combat Camera) you may very well hold the copyright. Una is right; it is complicated, fact based, and the U.S. Gov't itself gets sued all the time for copyright infringement for making the wrong call on these and other copyright issues. Many military members may be happy to have their photos published on AKO or some similar website and may have even consented in writing; however, this doesn't mean they have dedicated the photos to the public domain.--User:Doug(talk contribs) 02:09, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
The concept is the same as "work for hire" in regular companies; works done for the company are owned by the company. For federal employees, then the corresponding works are public domain. Personal works in either situation are copyrighted by the individual, of course. I don't think anyone is arguing; if you see an image wrongly tagged PD-USGov then nominate it for deletion (such as the second of the two you mention above, now deleted). Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:37, 4 October 2008 (UTC)


Some images have been deleted from Commons because they came from I am wondering if deletion is appropriate. Here is Radswiki's license:

The copyright holder of this file allows anyone to use it for any purpose, provided that the is properly attributed. Redistribution, derivative work, commercial use, and all other use is permitted.

What do you think? --Una Smith (talk) 05:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Is Radswiki the author of the images? They mostly look copied from external sources, so you would expect copyright statements should come from the original source. The license above would be perfectly fine (it is basically {{Attribution}}) if it does in fact come from the copyright holder, but it holds no weight at all if it comes from someone else. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:02, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I've always argued radswiki images have no proper sourcing, as the phtographer/place/time aren't credited. Deletion requests for them have closed both ways (keep/delete) though. And to be honest, x-rays and such aren't really copyrightable because of the lack of creative intent that goes into them. So I'm not sure. -Nard the Bard 14:11, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Sourcing on Commons is Author anonymous, Copyright holder anonymous, source Radswiki. Radswiki asserts that the copyright holder has given a license, and that license seems to be compatible with Commons. Various US agencies have public domain image libraries on the web, and they often do not identify the author or copyright holder (if any prior to the image being put in the public domain). We trust those agencies, but not Radswiki. Why? What makes them different? Is the difference of any concern to us? Consider also that these are medical images; anonymity of the author and/or copyright holder guards the privacy of the people from whom those images were taken. --Una Smith (talk) 05:21, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
I found several of those images on Flickr galleries marked "All rights reserved". If they have users create accounts at radwiki and upload (their own) photos under the above license, that should be fine. There may well be images there like that. But several others were available from other places with contradictory license statements, and in addition it did not appear to be those users who uploaded those images (but rather another radwiki user). On the other hand... if the images are inherently PD-ineligible (which may be the case; it is an interesting point), then all of that would not matter. That is the generally the case with images found on US federal government websites; they are known to be PD-USGov. We do assume good faith that people are uploading their own photos, but once we find (earlier) copies elsewhere on the internet, that assumption tends to change. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:03, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Why should assumption of good faith be voided if there is an earlier copy on the web? --Una Smith (talk) 19:47, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant earlier, copyrighted version on the web. If the version on the web is also under a free license or is public domain to begin with, that is fine, obviously. But if a copyrighted image elsewhere is uploaded here under a free license by another user, we usually need additional assurance that the original author has allowed the licensing, or has transferred copyright. That is often in the form of an email to OTRS. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:47, 4 October 2008 (UTC)


uploader and author doesn't seem to be the same. Picture should be deleted. -- 21:06, 29 September 2008 (UTC)


Image:Vandalism.PNG is marked as {{Pd-self}}, however the text in the background is derived from an old version of a Wikipedia article on landscape art, which is GDFL. Thus, shouldn't the image be tagged as GDFL as a derivative work? Mendaliv (talk) 01:47, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

It is a derived work, yes, but the question is whether that piece of text in the background which can hardly be read as it is cut out of a text block and sprayed over is eligible for copyright. I have added your link to the description of the image and think that this could be sufficient. --AFBorchert (talk) 05:52, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Фазиль Гадалов contributions

I've misgivings concerning licence cleanliness of the contribution of user Фазиль Гадалов (talk · contribs) aka Фазиль Гадалов 2 (talk · contribs). Generally, the photos loaded by Фазиль Гадалов are not belong to him, and licences of CC group are used. --Vd437 (talk) 07:26, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Signatures - copyright Paranoia Please give court decisions in which countries signatures are copyrightable. I do not believe that they are protected in any country. The deletion request is IMHO pure nonsense and German law (concerning one candidate) is quite clear: Signatures aren't copyrightable --Historiograf (talk) 22:01, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I've provided a citation in a legal reference book about copyrights for the UK where they may be copyrightable. J.smith (talk) 00:31, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
That appears to be speculation by a book author -- and even then the author doesn't seem to have an opinion. Do they give a reference to back up why they think they may be copyrightable? UK law does tend to follow "sweat of the brow", more specifically takes in to account "skill and labour" involved with making a work, but those would not seem to apply to a signature either. But, it would be interesting to know what the author bases that speculation on. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:58, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I do not have access to the book to check. :( J.smith (talk) 20:20, 5 October 2008 (UTC)


Does Commons have a page with guidelines or substantial discussion about when photographs of graffiti can be free licensed? If so, a pointer would be appreciated. -- Infrogmation (talk) 19:07, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

This graffiti has been shot in Berlin under application of the freedom of panorama.
In some of the countries that provide freedom of panorama, the upload of photos with graffitis shot from public places is permitted, provided they are permanent, i.e. not wiped out shortly after creation. But take care that some countries provide no freedom of panorama, or if they do, exclude murals. Also please consider that the definition of a public place may be defined differently under the individual legislations. Please do not forget to tell where it has been shot and to tag your image beside the usual license tags with {{FOP}} to make clear that you took advantage of the freedom of panorama. --AFBorchert (talk) 19:51, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
There is a section on Commons:Image casebook#Graffiti. But, there are also sections (#Graffiti and #Graffiti policy (2)) on the talk page which discuss some of the issues. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:44, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the pointer to that section. I think that this section misses several points. Firstly, graffitis are not necessarily illegal and, at least according to German law, the legality of a graffiti is of no concern in regard to copyright. If a graffiti is illegal, the owner of the house or the wall is just free to destroy it according to German law. Secondly, the assumption that graffitis are anonymous is not always correct. There are some graffiti at my home university which I considered illegal for a long time period until I learnt that they were created by Gérard Zlotykamien (fr) who is a well-known graffiti artist. Thirdly, I do not think that it is policy at Commons that we can upload images despite possible legal issues if we are likely to get away with it. --AFBorchert (talk) 06:12, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Agreed that many paintings which may appear like graffiti are indeed painted legally -- those have a different section, Commons:Image casebook#Murals. I'm not completely comfortable with the Graffiti section myself but as with most anything in this area, there is a large range of possible circumstances, and each case may be different. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:22, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, I do not see a point in having two sections regarding the legality of a wall painting if it does not matter in regard to copyright. Or do you know a legislation where it matters independent from the privilege of the owner of a wall to destroy it? --AFBorchert (talk) 06:57, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
As a matter of practicality, prior to 1989 if a U.S. graffiti author did not put a copyright notice on it (unlikely if it was illegal), then it was automatically public domain. For legal murals, presumably there is a notice (or the author is known), so the same presumption cannot be made. Other than that, not sure -- I guess we have been permitting those uploads for a long time so that section more documents current practice (and implied policy). If graffiti is built up by a multitude of people spraypainting over time, that is not really attributable to any person nor copyrightable. Murals would more often be done at one time, and be copyrightable. From a copyright perspective... not sure there is much of a difference, but "graffiti" covers a wider range of possibilities and there many more extenuating circumstances possible with it. I suppose in some places there may also be the common-law concept that you "cannot profit from a crime"... not sure if that would prevent copyright protections though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:29, 5 October 2008 (UTC)