Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 15

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Archive 15


US Safety / Regulatory codes become PD when accepted as statutory law

Issue: I would like to upload illustrations scanned from the United States National Fire Protection Association's regulatory code known as the National Electric Code. (wikipedia articles)

Background: Building and construction safety codes have long been published by standards organizations that charge people very high fees for access to the material, or restrict access to the content in various ways. The NFPA for example has an online viewer for its NEC editions that does not allow the reader to Copy, Print, or Save the text. The NFPA only makes the material available as either printed books or PDFs on CDROM which must be purchased. For an example of the steep access fees these standards organizations demand for document access, here's the Underwriters Laboratories list of document fees:

Legal argument: In 2002 the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals case Peter Veeck / RegionalWeb vs Southern Building Code Congress International determined that once a code has been accepted as law, the code loses its copyright protection and becomes public domain, like all statutory law. It was also determined that standards organizations can retain copyright so long as the material is just a coding model and is not yet accepted as law by any jurisdiction.

Reference: Link to text of the court's decision for 293 F.3d 791, Peter VEECK, doing business as RegionalWeb, Plaintiff-Counter Defendant-Appellant, v. SOUTHERN BUILDING CODE CONGRESS INTERNATIONAL, INC., Defendant-Counter Claimant-Appellee., No. 99-40632, United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, June 7, 2002

Solution: For this it would appear a new licensing template needs to be created to cover this new form of public domain content. I would like to suggest something like Template:US-PD-Codes-and-Standards-as-Statutory-Law

Free content access: -- Complete free downloadable access to various editions of the NEC and other standards from local governmental building codes across the United States

DMahalko (talk) 13:10, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and created a new template, using this text itself to create the template, and from looking at a few other existing templates. I don't know if there's really anything to discuss about this topic, but I do not know how to make a proper upload template so please fix any formatting problems:
I realize this situation could change if a standards organization appeals their case to a higher court and gets this case overturned, but I guess we go with the 293 F.3d 791 ruling as it stands, for the moment.
I am going to wait another week or so for any commentary on this before I go forward with uploading anything. DMahalko (talk) 02:08, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Image:MD-RGB.gif & Image:MD-RGB.gif

These two images were uploaded by User:Franbreciano under the {{self|cc-by-sa-3.0|GFDL}} tag. User:Jayvdb has tried to contact this user via her(?) talk page. The user has not responded. User:Jayvdb also sent an e-mail(via OTRS) to the company who owns the trademark and has not received a response. At this point we should assume that the licensing is not legitimate. However, are these images even eligible for copyright protection? Should we delete them or keep them under PD? J.smith (talk) 20:26, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

I think it would qualify as {{PD-textlogo}} under U.S. rules. However, I have no idea about Argentina. BTW, I think you meant Image:MD-CMYK.jpg as the second one (which does not display well for me). Image:MD-RGB.gif is fine though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:13, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that was it. Forgive me for my inattentive use of copy/paste. :) J.smith (talk) 02:13, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
They were intended for use on a Wikipedia article that has since been deleted; Mindset_Designs, so they are of little use. Ive deleted Image:MD-CMYK.jpg and Image:MD-RGB.gif. John Vandenberg (chat) 01:37, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, ok. Guess that clears it up! J.smith (talk) 02:13, 6 October 2008 (UTC)


I wanted to add photos of Big Shoals State Park from Florida's Official Government Website (Photo page link} under {{PD-FLGov}}. However the website's copyright policy disagrees with the template's explanation.

Copyright Policy

Can I upload the images?

Thanks in advance, Natl1 (talk) 00:03, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Weird. IaNaL, but it seems to me that is full of crap. On the other hand, if they say they have copyright over the material the safe bet is to take their word on it. J.smith (talk) 02:26, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Old maps downloaded from website: PD or Creative Commons?

Several images at Special:Contributions/Geezalou (a blocked user) are images of old maps acquired from An example is Image:1910GWBromleyMap2.JPG. These are old maps and they are tagged as PD, but claims an "Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic" Creative Commons license. Which license claim prevails? Are these OK for Commons? --Orlady (talk) 03:48, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

From my understanding is that the site would own the rights to the digital version but not the map itself (Map itself would most likely be in the PD but IMO the digital version is a copyvio since the site clearly states "Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0" but others may have a different view). With any PD image I turn into a digital file I keep it as the PD to the photographer and/or source. Don't take my word for it but that how I understand it if I'm wrong I will no doubt be corrected. ;) Bidgee (talk) 04:52, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
For me that sounds like Copyfraud. In some cases (e.g. new edition of a PD-book with minor chances) you can create a new copyright, but a simple digitalization without any artistic work by the digitalizer does not do that. But still it is a common practice. As a contributor to Wikisource-project I often see that librarys scan the old books and then reserve all rights. At least at German Wikisource we usually ignore this kind of claim as unlawful. -- Cecil (talk) 06:43, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
This is also the position at Commons. If the original map is PD and you are you are uploading an image of it taken elsewere, tag it {{PD-art}} which is at Commons always accepted independent from the jurisdiction where that image was published. --AFBorchert (talk) 07:32, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. That clarifies that these image licenses are OK. --Orlady (talk) 20:17, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Non-free policy for icons in screenshots being disregarded

There is a queue of images several months long that are requested for deletion, but the deletions are being held up while disputants discuss what the policy should be: See Commons:Deletion requests/Screenshots with non-free logos and Commons:Screenshots. —Danorton (talk) 19:26, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Policy confict: De minimis

The newly adopted De minimis policy statement conflicts with this policy statement. Specifically, the "Crops of de minimis images" section there conflicts with this statement's assertion that Commons only accepts content "that can be used by anyone, for any purpose" —Danorton (talk) 20:57, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

There's no conflict. You can crop it as you wish, but you may not be allowed to use that crop freely. The image itself can still be used for any purpose you wish, and there's nothing to stop you distributing crops if you wish, you just have to be aware that some crops may be copyvios. -mattbuck (Talk) 21:01, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Such a transformation from loss of copyright protection by de minimis back to protection by cropping seems magical. It creates a "de minimis wormhole" through which any copyright image can travel freely through Commons. At the same time, it restricts subsequent use and allows it to be used for any purpose. —Danorton (talk) 21:14, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Don't panic. There is no real conflict and there is no problem. I suggest keeping the discussion in one place where you originally started it, namely Commons talk:De minimis#Policy Conflict: Crops of de minimis images. There is no point in discussing this in three separate places. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 22:12, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
The two policy statements conflict, so unless there's consensus here that the new and subordinate policy statement doesn't conflict with this superior and pre-existing policy statement, the discussion (also) belongs here. Is there a policy statement to which both of these statements are subordinate? —Danorton (talk) 22:18, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Should the {{Policy}} template be removed from the De minimis statement, the policies would no longer conflict and the discussion could be isolated there. —Danorton (talk) 22:26, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
  • There is no conflict. I see you are rather new to Commons. (Otherwise you would not have deleted my comment from your talk page without addressing it and instead nominated the file for deletion, and you will see I am ultimately right). Preventing a photograph because it may contain a de minimis copyrighted element ignores both jurisprudence and practicality. It would mean it would be very simple to prevent a photograph of any modern or city scene just because there was an advertisement or architectural masterpiece. Or photographs of someone because they always wore logoed shirts. Rather, de minimis is derived from sound jurisprudence (and the advice of Wikimedia's lawyer, see en:WP:MGS) which states you may take pictures of these things when the copyrighted portion is minimal (or de minimis) and is not the main focus of the scene. If you crop the image to show the copyrighted object then you are making the copyrighted object the focus of the scene, which defeats the de minimis doctrine. -Nard the Bard 22:34, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Please see my reply in Commons talk:De minimis regarding absolute sizing and relative context. (I imagine that people here would prefer that de minimis-specific discussion remain there.) Thank you. —Danorton (talk) 23:10, 7 October 2008 (UTC)


In Israel copyright expires 50 years after the picture was taken. In the US 70 years after the death of the photogrepher. according to art. 7.8 of the Berne convention the longer period is the law in the US, even if copyrights were expired in Israel. How can 50 year old Israeli pictures be considered public domain here? Please answer for I have uploaded here dozens of old pictures before someone told me to look up article 7.8. Almog (talk) 14:25, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

The term for new works in the U.S. is 70 years after the death of the photographer, but the new copyright laws were not retroactive, meaning the old laws (which were based on the date of publication) are still used for older works. Foreign works are another matter; many foriegn copyrights were restored (see en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights). For Israel, if a work was PD in Israel on January 1, 1996, then the U.S. copyright was not restored, and it is public domain there as well. If it was copyrighted in Israel on that date, then inside the U.S. it would follow U.S. copyright laws: if published before 1923 then it would still be public domain in the U.S., otherwise the U.S. copyright is still in force for 95 years after publication (even if the Israeli copyright has since expired). If never published until very recently, then the 70-years-after-death term would apply. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:12, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
There is no reason why we should be submitted to US copyrigth law in the case of pictures taken in Israel.
If a picture is in the public domain at the place it was taken, it is free.
Ceedjee (talk) 22:28, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Images from

There are some images taken by Jona Lendering and M. Prins, from, such as Image:Vologases iv s.jpg. These images are tagged with cc-by-2.5, but there is a condition set by the authors, that "no fees are asked for distribution". I wonder if this could be considered a "-nc" (non commercial) limitation to the license. --TcfkaPanairjdde (talk) 10:50, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

The copyright page at [1] also states that these images cannot be used on commercial websites. This is not acceptable on Commons, unfortunately. Pruneautalk 11:40, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
IIRC we have an OTRS ticket from Jastrow (Λέγετε) 19:05, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Under what license? --TcfkaPanairjdde (talk) 23:11, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm not an OTRS user, so I don't know for sure. According to Category:Images of Persepolis from, the ticket number is 2006112210022386. User:Pentocelo, who handled the discussion with, seems to use {{GFDL}} for pictures from that website. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 12:11, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Drawn Images

I dren an animation character. So, i uploaded it because i drew it.
But, it was deleted...
Doesn't copyright apply to self-drawn image?

But, it's not my character

I doubt it, you might want to check on COM:DW. --Kanonkas(talk) 18:10, 10 October 2008 (UTC)


There are a lot of photos attributed to Robin Wong like Image:Duff 4.jpg but there doesn't seem to be an OTRS thing for them. May want to check it out. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 20:45, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Magazines and journals

Hello, I would like an opinion on the copyright on magazines and journals in France. Gallica (French National Library) hosts scans of magazines up to 1937 [2] and the IA hosts scans of the NRF magazine [3], which would be very interesting for Wikisource. Can these be uploaded here? Yann (talk) 20:57, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Gallica is a library. They also have Le Figaro online up to 1942. But they don't say it was PD. They just say here that they view this as an alternative to consulting the newspapers in their reading rooms. Libraries may do things we are not allowed by law to do.
In general, the copyright for the individual contributions (articles etc.) runs to 70 years after the death of the contributors (journalists etc). Lupo 21:08, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for the answer. It seems a bit weird as a valid justification, because I think that if it is not really PD, the BNF should restrict access to the files from outside of its premises. Yann (talk) 13:06, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Commons in general

Hello. I would like to know how an induvidual may protect the authenticity of his rights on his work uploaded if it is of a digital camera. Since digital cameras do not include films that could prove the copyright status of the work's holder and photos are easily circulated throughout the internet, how can an uploader of a picture here assert that he is the original uploader of a picture that may be viewed on a different source as well? How is it possible for him to reuse it for a personal reason (for example in a book of his published later) and asserting that it is his and not copied from the internet? If he doesn't upload it in a lower resolution but the original, in order for it to be characterized as a quality image, how can he be sure someone else may not claim the same original work as of his own? Does the nickname play a role in this, instead of the uploader's real name? How can someone be sure that a file in commons is really not copyrighted and available for use? Even if someone is sent a file through a mail, how can he be sure it's not copyrighted and he may use it?

-- 13:00, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

You ask a lot of questions in one paragraph. :)
First of all, I connect my on line handle (user:J.smith) with my real life name/identity though a process that is called a "Committed Identity". It's a one-way encrypted hash generated from information about myself including my name, phone number, street address, etc. If for some reason a situation came up and I was legally required to prove my ownership of this account I could provide the exact string needed to generate the particular hash I use. You can see this hash at the bottom of my user page here and on Wikipedia-en.
This dovtails into the next part of your question... how can I prove I am the one who owns the picture? Yes, there is no physical negative... and there is even a good chance that I've wiped any given picture off of my memory cards. However, this is the first place I've published the images and the image page-log gives a date and the username of the person who first uploaded the image. If I need to, I can use that date in concert with my provable identity as user:J.smith to show that I published the image before someone else. That would be a very successful tactic to protect my rights in a situation where a magazine or newspaper isn't attributing me appropriately (or something like that).
How can you verify that any paticular image is uploaded to commons legitimately? Well, do your research and look at the situation. Is the user who uploaded that image a respected member of the community? Have they consistently uploaded images of similar quality or does this user upload pictures taken at different resolutions and from different cameras? Do the smell test... if it smells legitimate, it likely is. If not, don't risk re-using the image since it will be your ass on the line if the lawyers come knocking. J.smith (talk) 03:44, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Also a note, if you do see something fishy, please tell someone about it - here, COM:VP, an admin's talk page, COM:AN, whatever. -mattbuck (Talk) 03:49, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Οκ, that's been helpful, but you didn't tell me whether you upload in full resolution or lower.

-- 10:57, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

I upload in full, but if you slightly crop the image or upload in slightly lower resolution it could provide a measure of protection. J.smith (talk) 17:16, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Carleton Watkins Stereoview

Carleton Watkins was a photographer well known for documenting gold-rush era California. Carleton passed away in 1916. has a huge collection of Carleton's images. However, they claim copyright ownership over every image in the collection and forbid re-use[4]. Does have the right to restrict re-use of these images? I think it would be amazing if we could mirror the collection here on Commons. J.smith (talk) 03:52, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Seems very unlikely they are under copyright -- they would have had to be previously unpublished, but then published after 1977 but before 2003. If that was the case they may actually still be under copyright until 2047, but I think in all other situations they are PD. It seems as though they did not start until 2003 or 2004 though, so that would eliminate that possibility. They could possibly hold a copyright in the arrangement, annotations, or selection of their collection; not sure. Otherwise it sounds like they are trying to invent new rights to protect the work they have done in digitizing the images, maybe through a en:clickwrap license or something like that. Seems kinda dubious, but it would be up to the uploader to assume the risk I guess. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:42, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
All of the pictures were published within the lifetime of Carleton. None of his negatives or unpublished work survived longer then he did. J.smith (talk) 07:46, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Euphonia plumbea

Hello, I found this image on Internet... What kind of rights is there on ? (Sorry, certainly a classical question ?) Totodu74 (talk) 19:07, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, it's a forum, so I'd assume the person who uploaded it didn't have the rights to do so, so don't upload it here. -mattbuck (Talk) 19:09, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
OK, thank you Totodu74 (talk) 19:11, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Category:Ice sculptures

Are we sure these are free contents ? Teofilo (talk) 06:34, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm not 100% sure on this but I belive that, incountries with FOP for scupltures, they will usually be free as long as the ice sculpture is in a public place for its entire life (so if it melts after one day but its always in a public place it may be free. Anonymous101 talk 19:44, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes. I believe there is a German case on that. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 21:19, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
So the pictures from countries where FOP applies only to architectural works, like the USA or Japan should be deleted ? Teofilo (talk) 14:19, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I would think so, yes. -mattbuck (Talk) 14:49, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:39, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Commons:Deletion requests/Ice art in the USA Teofilo (talk) 07:46, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Commons:Deletion requests/Ice sculptures in Japan Teofilo (talk) 12:00, 19 October 2008 (UTC)


I wonder when the sentence "It appears that Afghanistan has no copyright laws at all." was written. This might have been prior 2005 and probably outdated : according to en:Afghanistan and copyright issues, Afghanistan acceded to the WIPO treaty on 13 September 2005, which came into action at the end of the year. Even if there is no law written by the local legislator, an international treaty "is law" isn't it ? See also Commons:Deletion requests/Image:500 Afghanis closeup - 06092008.jpg. Teofilo (talk) 07:37, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

I also removed the first sentence of the Wikipedia article : see en:Talk:Afghanistan and copyright issues. Teofilo (talk) 07:39, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Actually no, generally speaking a treaty isn't a law. A treaty is an agreement between nations saying that all parties will do something. In general, the things promised in the treaty are not actionable within the member nations until they adopt laws to actually implement whatever it is they have promised to do. So joining the WIPO treaty does not, in itself, establish any copyright in Afghanistan, but rather it amounts to a promise by the government of Afghanistan that they will implement WIPO compliant copyright laws at some point in the near future. Seeing as it is now 2008, they may well have adopted an actual copyright law since then. On that point I don't know.
In general though, we treat non-treaty countries as if they had treaty compliant copyright laws, since that is likely to happen at some point anyway. Dragons flight (talk) 08:04, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Anyway, the "WIPO treaty" is the WIPO Convention, i.e., Afghanistan became a member of the WIPO (entry in force was, BTW, 2005-12-13, three months after the accession). But they did not yet implement the copyright treaties: neither the Berne Convention, nor the WIPO Copyright Treaty, nor the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. Their joining the WIPO Convention doesn't mean anything at all: "There are no obligations arising from membership of WIPO concerning other treaties administered by WIPO." [5] (emphasis added). The WIPO Convention is only the treaty establishing the WIPO. It has no bearing whatsoever on copyright issues. Lupo 10:33, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Addendum: there are currently 184 WIPO members, of which 164 have implemented the Berne Convention, of which only 67 have implemented the WCT and 66 the WPPT. (Implementation of the Berne Convention is a prerequisite for the WCT and the WPPT). That gives 20 WIPO members that are not members of the Berne Convention. Lupo 10:38, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I think this has been around the block a few times, and as Jimbo has said, we shouldn't violate copyrights from rogue nations just because we can. (OTH I can think of a deletion request for a work from Laos, which similarly has no copyright law, and the consensus was that government works in such a country might be fair game, because the government can't very well claim copyright on its works if it doesn't provide protection for anyone's works.) Just my personal opinion, non-government works from such countries should be treated to minimum Berne standards in the interim (25 years for photographs, no automatic protection for phonograms, and pma+50 for anything else) -Nard the Bard 17:39, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
OK thank you for this. For the time being my deletion request at Commons:Deletion requests/Image:500 Afghanis closeup - 06092008.jpg will remain withdrawn. (I think the same sort of reasoning should apply to COM:CB#Graffiti  : we should not violate copyrights of rogue graffiti writers who infringe the wall owner's right to choose the colour of his wall). Teofilo (talk) 11:07, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Films tagged with Template:PD-US-no notice

Has it been tested in courts that films up to 1977 without a copyright notice are in the public domain ?

What I have in mind is that until films could be sold in VHS or in DVD, films remained usually unsold. I think I heard somewhere that the film copies remained the property of the film producer and were merely rented to the cinema theaters for a fee. Therefore §12 of the 1909 copyright law : "works not reproduced for sale" might apply. Teofilo (talk) 11:29, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Night of the Living Dead is the best known example of a film going into public domain because of lack of copyright notice. This is a very marketable film, and certainly if copyright were enforceable for it, it would be enforced. The release of a film in theatres is generally considered its "publication". That said, most of these film stills are from no-notice trailers to copyrighted films (which were released before the films), and though there is a least one business that is built around these trailers, I don't know if their public domain status has ever been tested in a court case.--Pharos (talk) 12:28, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
What I understand is that the producer of Night of the Living Dead probably made two mistakes : he failed to affix a copyright notice (failed to comply with §10) and failed to register according to §12. He could have saved his copyright if he had complied with §12, even if he had forgotten the copyright notice. My feeling is that we should have a tag Template:PD-US-no notice and no §12 registration rather than a "no notice" only tag. Perhaps the probability that someone who made a §12 registration forgot to affix the notice is small, but who knows ? Teofilo (talk) 12:38, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
He could have gained copyright had he registered, but he would have then lost copyright if he failed to comply with §10. Notice was one way to obtain copyright, but was then also mandatory to keep it. No notice, no more copyright (except for limited accidental omissions, see §21). The idea was you had to inform potential infringers that it was a protected work; by default works were in the public domain. Motion pictures I think were deemed published when screened by distributors (i.e. not the original makers) so notice was required by that point. You can see this circular for current rules on "published" for motion pictures; they are similar (screenings are irrelevant, but the simple offer to distribute a film is when it is published). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:05, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
en:Ignorantia juris non excusat, so I don't see why the potential infringer may ignore that the "works not reproduced for sale" can benefit copyright protection provided they are registered as mentioned in §12, which does not require a notice. The words "may also" in the opening sentence of §12 sound like a clear indication that works registered under §12 do not need to comply with §10. Teofilo (talk) 15:52, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
The notice was mandatory. Existing copyright protection was lost and the work became public domain without them, even if previously copyrighted. See this Google Book, page 421, for more information and a long list of case law. §12 was so people could get federal copyright protection on works which remained unpublished, so they could sue for the extra damages allowed by that act (otherwise, unpublished works were under common-law copyright, which had some protection but not nearly as much as statutory copyright). Once published however, a notice was mandatory on all authorized copies (unless §21 applies, but even then the lack of notice prevented any damages from existing infringements). From Circular 3: Works published before January 1, 1978, are governed by the previous copyright law. Under that law, if a work was published under the copyright owner’s authority without a proper notice of copyright, all copyright protection for that work was permanently lost in the United States. In other words, even if previously registered under §12, if it was published without a notice then all protection was lost (including common-law). As you say, en:Ignorantia juris non excusat, so anyone publishing a work should have been aware of that requirement. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:38, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, that does bring up one aspect of PD films -- even if the film itself lacked a notice, or copyright was not renewed, oftentimes the (unpublished) screenplay was registered under §12, and the film is still a derivative work of that screenplay, so distribution could still be prevented. The same goes for a movie based on a still-copyrighted book (in that case the screenplay is a derivative work of the novel). This would not prevent stills from the movie from being uploaded (since the visual film itself is PD), but could prevent audio clips and video clips which contain still-copyrighted dialog. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:56, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
§12 was so people could get federal copyright protection on works which remained unpublished : §2 provides a broad and costless protection of unpublished works, although it leaves open the question of how an unpublished author might prove that he is the creator of a given artwork. §12 provides a deposit procedure (a reliable way to prove that one is the author of a work) but it is selective, naming mostly performative arts, and rejecting most book manuscripts, for example novel manuscripts. Teofilo (talk) 07:31, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes; unpublished works retained their common-law rights, which is all that §2 says. Published works lost their common-law copyright, so you were required to use a notice after that point (§9 says such notice shall be affixed to each copy thereof published or offered for sale in the United States by authority of the copyright proprietor, and that part was not optional). You could not bring lawsuits under the Copyright Act though, so penalties for infringement were very different. §12 allowed a way to get statutory (federal) protection for unpublished works. According to what you say, it was also intended for forms of works which generally aren't published (movie screenplays, scripts for Broadway plays, etc.) where the derivative works are. I'm not sure if common-law copyright protected derivative works or not, or if it did, to nearly the same level. Maybe suing for infringement on a play script and the like was very difficult under common law (and would vary by state anyways, so was less predictable). Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:26, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
A motion picture may be copyrighted either under the general provisions of the law governing published works - if in fact it is published - or under the provisions of section 11 [later labeled §12 after the 1947 amendment] relating to works not reproduced in copies for sale. The leasing systeme under which most motion pictures are put in circulation permits of contruction as publication, on the authority of decisions relating to books so circulated, but it may equally well be regarded as a dessimination of "copies not reproduced for sale". Richard C. De Wolf , "an outline of copyright law" Wm. S. Hein Publishing, 1986 Google books link. Teofilo (talk) 07:04, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
And it goes on to say So many questions have arisen regarding the construction of that section, however, that it is suggested copyright proprietors of motion pictures will be safer to follow the procedure required for published works and deposit two copies required in case of publication. Since "publication" was not defined in the 1909 act, it was up to courts to figure it out -- and courts are not always predictable. It sounds like most courts went with distributors screening films as the moment of publication, but it is always possible that a particular court would rule another way. Going with a strict "sale" interpretation would mean that motion pictures would never be officially published, which seems counterintuitive (VHS and DVD didn't exist, so that avenue was not there). It is possible that courts considered that leasing copies the film to distributors (the only way money was made from motion pictures, at least until TV) would be the equivalent of "sale". In any event, it sounds like the 1976 act made official the most common interpretation that movies were published when distributed (and actually, upon the offer to distribute). Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:49, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Category:Buddy Bears & Category:CowParade

Does anyone have information on whether these are permanent or temporary exhibitions ? I guess this is temporary, and therefore COM:FOP does not apply in most countries.

According to en:United Buddy Bears, During the same year [2001], approximately 350 bears were creatively painted by as many artists to be shown in the city of Berlin for two years. Afterwards, many of the bears were sold at auctions in aid of child relief organisations. So maybe some of these were later installed permanently by their buyers in different places, as perhaps Image:Buddy Bear Hoffentlich.jpg (photo taken in Berlin in 2006) but I understand that when the photo was taken during an exhibition, like Image:2008-05-12 United Buddy Bears, Warsaw Old Town.jpg (captioned United Buddy Bears, Exhibition Warsaw 2008 on en:United Buddy Bears), the picture should be deleted. Teofilo (talk) 12:43, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Flickr image with conflicting information

Today, I noticed, Image:Ngozi okonjo-iweala world economic forum.jpg, which was uploaded from flickr from . From the flickr page, everything looks good - the flickr user, "World Economic Forum", appears to be acting on behalf of the organization and all of this user's images are uploaded under CC-BY-SA (meaning, they didn't accidentally pick the wrong item from the combo box). But if you scroll down to the bottom of the uploaded image and look at the the uploaded image section, the image terms say, "Copyright by World Economic Forum by +++No resale, no archive+++". Those restrictive terms are incompatible with the CC-BY-SA license and incompatible with our own usage. So my question is how do we treat an image like this where the content author has provided conflicting licensing terms? --UserB (talk) 22:40, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

I'd think AGF, people do licence images differently in different places. -mattbuck (Talk) 22:46, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
What in the world does AGF have to do with it? I'm sure the uploader uploaded it in good faith - that's not an issue. And I'm sure that the World Economic Forum is acting in good faith, but that doesn't mean that they intended to license these images under the CC-BY-SA, when the images themselves say they are subject to copyright. --UserB (talk) 22:50, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
CC-BY-SA is still copyrighted, just with some (and not all) rights reserved. There is nothing contradictory in claiming copyright, as it still exists with CC-BY or CC-BY-SA or GFDL. It appears the copyright owner is the one who posted the image to Flickr and licensed it, and they would have every right to change their mind from what was originally in the metadata. Feel free to contact the Flickr user to clarify, but it appears to me that the images are legitimately licensed and there is no problem at all. They can't prevent resale anymore, although effectively it would be hard to sell (anyone trying to sell it would have to give notice that the original is available for free by the terms of CC-BY-SA). Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:59, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
The CC-BY-SA tag on the Flickr page overrides the exif info, which was likely inserted from a template without understanding of current WEF policy. Superm401 - Talk 13:35, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
See Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Medvedev at Davos.jpg and {{WEF}}. WEF originally intended a non-commercial license for all their photos, but after a few times around they finally licensed their work CC-BY-SA with the full understanding that that allows commercial reuse. --dave pape (talk) 16:47, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Pre-1978 album covers

I'd appreciate it if I could get a review of my PD claims on two new uploads: Image:Anna Russell Sings Again - cover.jpg and Image:Are You Experienced - US cover.jpg. I'm raising this as a general question because I believe that there could be a lot more worthwhile U.S. album cover art that is {{PD-US-no notice}}, but want to make sure I'm not missing something major before proceeding further. I think the Anna Russell case is fairly solid, since the 1953 publication means any copyright would also have needed to be renewed circa 1981, and that would show up in's database. Are You Experienced is another good test case, as the cover's creation is relatively well documented - we know that the photo was specifically created for the U.S. release of the album.

So what I'm looking for is - is there anything I'm missing, some reason these covers would not be PD? One though I had was what if pictures of the covers were published in catalogs before the release? Although based on recent discussion at Template talk:PD-US-statue/proposal, perhaps this is not a concern. In any event, please be skeptical - I'd like to know the justification is sound. --dave pape (talk) 20:26, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Might want to slap a trademark notice on them. I'm sure it's still against the law to re-use the covers for a competing album. -Nard the Bard 00:33, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
    • I'm not sure that they would count as trademarks in the normal sense, but maybe trade dress? --dave pape (talk) 04:21, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
      • Common-law trademarks can still exist, even if not registered. Not sure it is worth a trademark tag though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:27, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
  • It is an interesting notion -- anything copyrighted between 1951 and the end of 1963 would have needed a renewal notice in 1978 or after, which is when the records start, so those should presumably be searchable. On the other hand, who are you searching for? Was the copyright owned by the label, the musical artist, or the individual photographer, or a combination? It can also be fun if ownership was transferred during the no-online-records period, meaning the name to search for may have changed. "No notice" may be a bit difficult too -- it could have been on the back, or inside the booklet, etc. We have no way of knowing just by the cover photo. A copyright on the entire "collective work" of the album jacket/liner notes/booklet would likely encompass the photograph though (see § 3 of the old law), so if there was a copyright notice anywhere on the packaging that may well have been enough. A P in a circle (for a copyrighted phonogram) may not have been enough, since that would be specifically for the phonogram. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:56, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
    • I'm regarding the records search as sort of a backup to the basic no-notice claim (i.e. the search is additional evidence, if not conclusive in itself); you're right that a transfer of ownership could muck that up, but in theory it shouldn't matter, if there was no notice. I gave a brief summary of my search terms on the Anna Russell image page; for Are You Experienced I searched for "Karl Ferris" (0 results) and for "Are You Experienced" (many results, but all specifically for the words & music, or for other releases with different artwork). As far as looking for the notice goes, I am specifically dealing with the original albums, which I either own or borrow from the library, so that I can carefully check every possible notice location. Several of the albums I've checked have notices in different places (front, back, inside); in one odd case (a PDQ Bach album), there's a copyright notice on the LP itself though not on the cover; in another case (Uncle Meat, I think), a slightly wordy notice was clearly meant to refer just to the music and lyrics; in every case where there's any sort of copyright notice (except the P-in-circle, as you mention), I'm taking the conservative approach of regarding it as not usable. These two that I've uploaded had no notice anywhere, and there was no indication that anything (like a booklet) was missing. --dave pape (talk) 04:18, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
      • Okay, sounds good. If it is not there on the (pre-1978) packaging at all, that does seem fine for U.S.-originated albums. 1979-1989 can work too, although they had five years to file a registration, so an additional search is required for those (and given the multitude of possible claimants of copyright, a search is a bit difficult). Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:27, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Letters of President Lincoln

Am I correct in believing that images of Abraham Lincoln's letters that he wrote in his capacity as President, such as this and this, are in the Public Domain? I figure that between them being 144 years old and also being created by an officer of the Federal Government acting in his official capacity that they qualify despite the rather high prices the originals got at auction. —Ashanda (talk) 01:21, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

  • They should, yes. I'd tag them {{PD-US}} since the they may have been written in his capacity as a private citizen, instead of as president. -Nard the Bard 01:58, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
    Thanks! —Ashanda (talk) 21:02, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Canadian topographic maps

Is this a free license? Despite the requirement to place "© Department of Natural Resources Canada. All rights reserved." as the source, it appears that they do not in fact reserve all rights, and grant "a non-exclusive, fully paid, royalty-free right and licence to exercise all Intellectual Property Rights in the Data". --NE2 (talk) 07:20, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

  • the license appears to provide all the protections a free license would grant, including derivative works, non-revocability of the license (by them), sub-licensing, and no royalties required. It also has standard indemnity clauses and attribution requirement of a free license. My only concern is the one year terms. What if the Crown chooses not to renew them? The license implicitly states this will not happen by stating renewal is automatic, but does not explicitly prohibit the Crown from choosing not to renew the term. On the whole looks pretty free to me though. The one year terms are probably a way to avoid a en:perpetuity clause restriction, rather than an attempt to reserve the right to non-renew the license. -Nard the Bard 17:41, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
    • Well, the license shall automatically be extended, and "may only be amended in writing, signed by both parties, which expressly states the intention to amend this Agreement." This seems to say that it is in fact perpetual as long as no breach occurs; the Crown has no way to amend the license to avoid renewal. --NE2 (talk) 00:46, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
      • I agree. What I meant was the Rule against perpetuities can make an otherwise enforceable contract invalid, because the rule says nothing can be forever. Using automatically renewable terms is one way against this. It's a difference of semantics but it's an important one under the law.. I believe this was the intent of the way the terms are set up. In any case only the licensee can revoke the license, so I think it qualifies as free enough. -Nard the Bard 01:30, 23 October 2008 (UTC)


Are we sure these are free contents ? Aren't the robots copyrighted like toys or like sculptures ? Teofilo (talk) 05:50, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, but I am not 100% sure that they are leigable for copyright protection. Thanks, Anonymous101 talk 19:46, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
The problem is whether we can consider these robots as "useful articles", like a chair or a table : Commons:Applied_art#Isn.27t_every product copyrighted by_someone.3F_What about_cars.3F_Or kitchen chairs.3F_My_computer_case.3F. Aren't they mostly employed in shows, and almost never used in "real life" ? Teofilo (talk) 14:29, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
They are avialible for hire but there isn't much they can actualy do.Geni (talk) 14:51, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I believe hiring out a useful article is one of the ways it can lose copyright protection, at least under U.S. law. -Nard the Bard 17:01, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Creative Commons swiss

Hello, I would like to ask if it's possible to add the swiss version of the CC licenses to the licences with copyright-tag, the austrian and german versions are already here (yes I know I can give this license also without a license-tag). Greeets Fundriver (talk) 06:18, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Is there nobody who can answer to this or can i simple create this copyright-tags? --Fundriver (talk) 06:33, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
We already have {{Cc-by-sa-2.5-ch}}. Feel free to create templates for other licences if needed. Pruneautalk 15:39, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Sculptures by Edoardo Rubino (1871-1954) in Argentina

Before I nominate these 3 pictures for deletion, could anyone confirm that there is no freedom of panorama in Argentina ? I read the Argentinian copyright law quickly, and I couln't find anything relevant. Teofilo (talk) 15:13, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't see anything specific in the English version, though Article 12 does say: Intellectual property shall be governed by the provisions of common law, subject to the conditions and limitations established in this Law. That would indicate that there are limitations present in case law not listed specifically. Since I don't see any of the explicit list of limitations to copyright typically present in copyright laws, which is usually where freedom of panorama shows up, it seems likely that such freedom would be based entirely on common law... meaning we still don't know if they have FOP or not, without knowing case law there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:33, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
According to es:Derecho común, "Derecho común" "se usa habitualmente como sinónimo de Derecho civil" (is usually used as a synonym of "civil law"). So I don't think this has anything to do with anything similar to the English or the American common law. It might only mean that the basics of the civil code of Argentina apply for any question left open in the present law. Teofilo (talk) 16:43, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Okay, that could just be a mistranslation (although that section may date from 1938). I do find it odd though that there is no list of limitations at all; usually at the very least there are clauses to give rights to libraries for archival purposes, and things like that -- and near those is typically where you find freedom of panorama rights. Virtually every copyright law I have seen has some exceptions or limitations, but I don't see anything at all in there. Argentina is an associate (not full) member of the en:Andean Community of Nations, which apparently does have freedom of panorama in member countries though. Doubt that would legally apply in Argentina though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:59, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
I think the part of §36 on "performance and recital of literary or artistic works already published, in public acts organized by educational institutions" or §10 on quotes up to 1,000 words are exceptions and limitations. Teofilo (talk) 18:15, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Derecho común or Derecho civil does mean common law or civil law, but in this case it would be Napoleonic Code, which most former Spanish colonies have as the basis of their legal systems. Looking at other Napoleonic Code countries, such as France or Italy, I see that FOP is not a well-recognized right in such a system. OTH Spain and most Latin American countries have FOP. So, I don't think this is a very constructive avenue of approach. However, it turns out Argentina is an associate member of CAN through a reciprocity agreement with MERCOSUR, which Argentina is a member of. I found a Mercosur accord on trademarks, but I can't find one on copyright (derechos de autor y conexos if you want to Google). -Nard the Bard 19:35, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Belgian stamps

I have seen that there are images in the Category:Stamps_of_Belgium where the licence is wrong. I have seen a message at Category:Stamps_of_Bulgaria {{NoUploadsStamps}}. How can I create such a message that points to the more specific page Commons:Stamps/Public_domain? --Wouter (talk) 19:34, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Go and edit Template:NoUploadsStamps to add the additional link, I would guess. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:09, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I did not know it was that easy. --Wouter (talk) 08:31, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Photo of print of drawing - PD or not?

I took a photo of a Bristol City Council noticeboard detailing the history of Cotham Park and Redland railway station in Bristol. The board had a picture of a drawing of the station in 1912 by Samuel Loxton (d 1922). The photo is (meant to be) a faithful reproduction of the original, but as the noticeboard is not PD (and not covered by COM:FOP due to UK laws) I'm unsure as to the copyright status of my photo, and whether I can upload it here or not. Any help would be appreciated. -mattbuck (Talk) 21:58, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

  • I only know US law not UK but you didn't take a picture of the noticeboard, you took a picture of the print, there appears to me to be no creative content to print or your photo. I mean this in the best of ways - that is to say copyright attaches to neither the print nor the photo, the only protection under US law would be for the original drawing, which has expired. As for differences for UK, no idea.--User:Doug(talk contribs) 02:26, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
To me, that would be fine with the {{PD-Art}} tag since it is of nothing but the drawing itself (which is PD-Old). It is possible the noticeboard authors could claim some sort of "skill and labor" which would give them a copyright on their version of the drawing, and/or your photo itself may be copyrightable in the UK -- I'm not sure. But for Commons, I think it falls under the Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag guideline. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:04, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, PD-Art is fine. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:06, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Stupid question?

I'll freely admit to being a bit of a noob when it comes to the ins and outs of licensing, so forgive me if this is a daft question. Regarding photos that I've uploaded here under a {{PD-self}} license, is there any problem with me uploading them elsewhere (specifically Flickr and/or Geograph) under a more restrictive {{Cc-by-sa-2.0}} license? Small-town hero (talk) 01:20, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

No, no problem at all. -mattbuck (Talk) 01:28, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, there's the problem that you have released the copyright completely, so technically you no longer have any copyright so your license means nothing. But no one can do anything about it nor can you do anything about it if they don't follow the cc-by-sa.--User:Doug(talk contribs) 02:43, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Template:PD-Israel vs. Template:PD-Israel-Photo

Is there a reason why shouldn't these two templates merge? They're basically stating the same, so I think there should only be one. {{PD-Israel}} is updated according to the new law of 2007 so it's the one that should stay, but it's first clause needs expending that will cover the case of government work prior to May 25, 2008, something like the second clause of {{PD-Israel-Photo}}. Alonr (talk) 20:19, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

The new and the old law say exactly the same thing about images owned by the state. I am not sure whether the new statute applies on state-owned pictures taken before 25 May 2008, but it does not matter, because the new statute changes nothing regarding these images. The new statute changes the rule for privately owned images, and for this case there is a special paragraph in the new statute saying the old law still applies for images taken before the new statute came into force (i.e. 25 May 2008). Drork (talk) 09:40, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
I thought the difference between the old and new law regarding state owned images is date of publication in the old and date of it's making in the new. If that's not the case, it's even better and we don't have to change anything. Alonr (talk) 10:40, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Confusing permission or copyright.

I have a book that was copyrighted in 1997 but credit for the photo I would like to use here was given to the US Navy. So I'm confused as to the proper way to use this pic or if I could use it at all. US Navy photos are public domain but can someone claim copyright on it if published in a book? --Brad101 (talk) 20:26, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

No they can't but you have to make sure you don't get any other parts of the book in your image. If there is no creative content in their reproduction, so it's just a faithful reproduction of a photograph, then you can freely copy it. The best tag would sound like {{PD-USGov-Military-Navy}}.--User:Doug(talk contribs) 02:51, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
(ec) No, they cannot, unless they alter the photo which enough so that the alterations qualify for copyright on their own. If the photo was PD then, it is PD now, and you should be able to scan/upload it. It would only be PD if it was taken by US Navy personnel though, as opposed to a photo that the US Navy happened to possess (there are some captured WWII photos that fall in this category, for example). Give as much credit info as you can though (which book and page, and if the book lists image credits elsewhere, mention what those say too). Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:53, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks; will do. --Brad101 (talk) 00:32, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Photos taken inside the British Natural History Museum

I'm wondering where we stand with regards to photos taken inside the British Natural History Museum. Currently such images are tagged with {{NHM}}, which suggests that the matter is up in the air. Previous discussion seems to be inconclusive, and as noted here does not take into consideration the fact that tickets are not issued to visitors as the museum is free to enter.

Do we actually know that the museum "restricts commercial use for any photo taken inside it", or to what extent? Neither the template or the past discussion link to or quote anything from the museum, and for what it's worth I could not find note of any such restrictions on their official website. Has anyone from Commons contacted the museum for clarification on the matter?

As an aside, are we free to use these images on Commons? Small-town hero (talk) 23:11, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

For photos that you take yourself, you own the copyright (unless, depending on jurisdiction, you are photographing a copyrighted object). It is up to you whether to ignore the wishes of the museum and upload them (and assume any possible legal risk -- I don't think anyone here is qualified to determine if there is (or is not) any risk in any particular jurisdiction (such as an implied contract). See Commons:Image casebook#Museum_and_interior_photography. As for the other images you mention, no, we cannot use those. A "media-only" license does not meet our licensing requirements. Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:01, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
So it's a bit of a minefield, basically, and I won't know for sure unless ask the museum myself about certain images? Is it wise for Commons to allow images that may or may not be OK to use? If this is a generic problem, it begs the question why we need a warning template specific to one museum. Small-town hero (talk) 00:38, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
You can look at v:Museum_photography#House_rules:_legal_and_psychological_aspects for more detail. You own the copyright to photos you take, so generally you have every right to do what you want with it. However, the museums may have reasons they don't want photography -- up to you how much to respect them. Many times it is mainly to avoid flashes, since (cumulatively) that is very damaging to many types of artwork or other objects. Sometimes they make money by selling books of photos and don't want any competition. I think usually the most they can do is make you leave (and not allow you entry in the future), but the law of every country is different so that is a decision best left to the uploader. We are generally only concerned with copyright in particular, so we will accept such images if you want to upload them (as again, we have no idea if those restrictions were made obvious to the photographer or not, or were in place at the time at all, etc.). I have heard of people uploading museum photos here, and then the museums later asking if they can use them -- so quite often they may not really care. I have no idea why there is a template specific to that museum, but maybe someone thought that stated restrictions posed a copyright restriction as well. The template is incorrect; it is not a violation of our policy from what I have seen. Looks like it was left as-is after the discussion. It could be changed to note their preferences, or just removed (I read that as mainly them not wanting "professional" photography with tripods, lighting etc. done -- that is sensible, as that can damage things or interfere with normal patrons, and is quite common). Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:43, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. So if I understand this correctly, one is free to ignore the house rules of a museum by taking photographs and uploading them here, and there is little the museum can actually do about this, if indeed they care at all (though it would probably be in the interests of all concerned if one were to obtain permission beforehand). Is that a fair summary? And so the issue of permission is entirely seperate from that of copyright? To what extent is a museum display likey to be copyrighted, or is this not really a concern? Is there likey to be a problem with something like this, for instance? Small-town hero (talk) 00:11, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that is a fair summary -- permission is an issue between the museum and photographer, and Commons does not want to take sides. Every country's laws are different, so it is unknown what options the museum has -- usually limited to making you leave, but (if they made the restrictions clear) they may try to argue some kind of implied contract, though that probably requires proof of damages too. I've never heard of such a thing happening, but there is always a first time :-) Basically, it is on the uploader's conscience. Copyright is with the photographer though, that is true, so Commons will accept the uploads. As for displays, yes, that is quite often a concern. Any exhibit made by museum personnel is almost certainly copyrighted, and many museums display modern works. This gets into "freedom of panorama", which varies wildly by country but is usually limited to permanent outdoor artwork (if anything), but as it happens COM:FOP#United_Kingdom shows that this sort of thing is OK in the UK. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:47, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's a fair summary. Any private restrictions are not Commons' concern. So as as those restrictions are concerned I think they are there mainly to give the museum a basis on which to prevent the use of flash and tripods, which is fair enough. There is little risk of the museum being able to claim damages after the event as they would need to establish the existence of some implied contract/agreement which in itself would mean proving the restrictions were brought to the photographer's notice in advance, or that the photographer knew about them. The template has - correctly in my view - been nominated for deletion: Commons:Deletion requests/Template:NHM. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 20:19, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

If the photography involved special access (such as opening a display case, or permission to go inside a display, or a specimen not on display), in many museums the photographer will be required to agree in advance that copyright belongs to the museum. --Una Smith (talk) 15:01, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Images from Bulgarian department of defense

I came across some uploads of contributor User:Tourbillon, who uploaded for example Image:Bulgarian Panther 2008 01.jpg. The image is wrong licenced but thats not the matter here. The question is about works of the bulgarian ministery of defense and maybe we can extend it to other images from the bulgarian government. The website of the bulgarian ministery of defense (english) says: The information in this site is public and can be copied and distributed.

  • Distributed in any way? (commercial use? i think: yes)
  • Are images included? (i think: maybe yes, but im not sure, so: no)
  • Are Derivative works allowed? (no information, but it says: copied, so i think rather: no)

Can anybody take a look at the website? Note, that most of the galleries are not working with the english but the bulgarian version, if this images are free the bulgarian DefDep would be a good source for bulgaria related images. --Martin H. (talk) 10:35, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Google translate gives this for the Bulgarian version: "

© 2008 Ministry of Defense. Information on this site is public and can be copied and distributed. Unauthorized attempts to add or replace are strictly prohibited. There are statistics on all visits." I'm not sure if that's a warning against trying to hack the site or if it's a prohibition on derivative works. But since derivatives are not explicitly allowed, it's questionable at best. -Nard the Bard 16:18, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

It's actually "Unauthorized attempts to add or replace information are strictly prohibited." and, yes, I think they mean hacking the site.
As for the first sentence, I think that they mean "the information on this site is not classified". :D So it has nothing to do with copyright.
And "information" (facts, numbers) does not mean "content" (text, images), so as far as I am concerned, images from this site should not be tagged as free. --Daggerstab (talk) 21:36, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and I just found out that Tourbillon had uploaded some pictures with dubious copyright information. Example: Image:L-39BG.jpg has Template:Copyrighted free use, which is justified with "The image is a work of a Bulgarian Air Force employee, therefore it is in the public domain.". This is not true - unlike US copyright law, Bulgarian copyright law has no such provision. It states that "normative and individual acts of government bodies and official translations thereof" "shall not be considered objects of copyright", but this just means that the text of laws, decrees, orders, etc. is not copyrighted.
(And by the way, Bulgarian copyright law sucks. It's unclear, it's overtly restrictive and the local equivalent of "free use" is, well, anything but free. That's why the Bulgarian edition of Wikipedia disabled local uploads. Unfortunately, that means that you guys here have to sift through all the crap that we upload. ;) ) --Daggerstab (talk) 21:56, 29 October 2008 (UTC)


Our main licenses are GFDL and various CC-BY flavours.

Both these license families seem to allow commercial use, derivatives and combining with other media. Now all that is fine with me.

But occiasionally I get questions from people who want to use my pix but do not want to bring their entire work under such a license. And my understanding is that both licenses require any derivative work to be under the same license. In that sense both licenses seem equilly contagious.

What I am looking for is a way to add a note that the usage of my media is allowed in normal copyrighted newspapers, books, etc, as long as proper credit is given.

I have designed Template:AttributionND for such a purpose, and i would welcome your opinion on this.

Another thing is liability. I provide my images free of charge, but i would like to avoid being held responsible for anything that goes wrong. What preambles do we have to protect ourselves (=uploaders).

Teun Spaans 08:25, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi Teun, this licence is not allowed at Commons as the only licence so you shouldnot make a seperate template for it. Maybe you should create something like this, otherwise we're sure to run into troubles in the future: Multichill (talk) 11:50, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following licenses:
GNU head Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.
w:en:Creative Commons
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
You are free:
  • to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • to remix – to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:
  • attribution – You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

You may select the license of your choice.
Hi Multichill,
I purposely added that the notice that the template should not be used by itself, which judging from your remark you may have overlooked. I agree that a combined template is better, i was thinking of it my self but lacked the template knowledge to create it. Thank you for adding it!
Now what remains is the matter of warranties. When it comes to media (pix, movies, mostly), in what respect may authors here be liable in court for stuff posted here? Suppose I post a picture of an insect here, make a wrong identification of the insect, and my picture is printed in a book, and after printing of 100,000 copies in turns out that the cover with my pic shows the wrong species? Could that publisher sue me? And of course the same applies for buildings, if one of our users puts of thousands of images of buildings, and accidently attaches the wrong name to one of the buildings, etc. Teun Spaans 13:23, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Teun, I'm not sure what you're trying to do with this license. First off, PD and CC-By do not require that derivatives be under the same license at all. The only licenses that require that are CC-BY-SA and GFDL. CC-BY only requires attribution and PD requires nothing (though attribution may be considered a moral right). Your {{AttributionND}} doesn't seem to address attribution though, only derivative works and even then it says "derivatives are allowed in the sense of cropping" - only problem is cropping doesn't generally result in a derivative, there isn't enough creative content. I don't see how this addresses liability either nor what liability issues you are afraid of, I don't see much chance that anything could be passed back - i.e. to say if you publish an image on here that is a breach of someone's rights there is nothing you can do to protect yourself against that. If someone else relying on your PD or CC-BY tag publishes the same image, you probably could get dragged in in theory but 99/100 times the other user would simply remove his or her use of it; and since he or she did not pay you for the license it would be very hard to quantify your portion of the liability. If you're publishing images that aren't yours and you're not sure of the license, you shouldn't be; otherwise you should be safe.--User:Doug(talk contribs) 01:39, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Doug, let me first state that i am talking about images of which i am the sole author, so there are no claims form others involved, and I am aware that things like Panoramafreiheit do not exist in all countries. So i dont expect any copyright infringements problems. (I did upload pix here while moving them form the nl:wiki here years back, but these are not the images i am talking about now)
PD, as you point out, does not require any attribution. And though some publishers like brittanica attribute the photos, this is not a requirement. Thank you for pointing at the Cc-by|CC-BY license - I had overlooked that possibility in the license list - the GFDL and CC-BY-SA licenses are featured much more prominently, and template Self does not list this option. Also my version of commonist does not have this option, i will go and see if a newer version does have this license.
You state "the other user would simply remove his or her use of it". What I am concerned about are the cases when the other can not easily remove his usage - books printed, large advertisement campaigns, and so on. You are probably right that it would be very hard to put the blame on me, but if my identification is incorrect, it is easy to TRY to put the blame on me, and to sue me for a few million bucks. In some countries in the world managers are pretty quick to sue others, even if it is hard to justify. Teun Spaans 18:58, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Copyright on a bank check

Hi, I remember reading (I think it was on commons, but it may not be) that standard bank checks (such as this one) where not copyrighted; however, I can not find the reference anymore, and using unspecific words such a "check + copyright" is not very helpful for an internet search... Anyone has a reliable source on this question ? Thanks ! Schutz (talk) 21:37, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Try +"blank form" +"copyright law". The check does bear a notice "© Clarke American", but it appears any remotely copyrightable elements have been pixellated so as to be unrecognizeable. What remains is a filled-in form, composed of a blank form (not copyrightable in the U.S.), Don Knuth's writing (not a "literary work"), and his signature is not copyrightable in the U.S. per COM:SIG. Should be fine as {{PD-ineligible}}. Just my $2.56 :-) Lupo 22:38, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
I'd say that one is ok but this isn't ./Lokal_Profil 02:07, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

French chateau under PD-US

Image:Chateau de Celles 003.jpg has a PD-US tag. Could someone have a look and tell me whether this is correct, editing from the UK of FR images stored on a US server-- I have mentally lost it! ClemRutter (talk) 21:32, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Marked as no source, the current licensing is not correct. There's no way that's PD-US and 1984 as a date is probably wrong, maybe 1884 but it's not our job to fix the info. -Nard the Bard 06:16, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
1984 seems to be meaning "I founded it in a book published in 1984", not that the picture was taken in 1984. I couldn't find the picture in the Mérimée nor in the "Mémoire" databases. Both are databases of the ministry of culture collecting data on architectural heritage and their pictures. Mérimée database has a few picture of the manor, old postcards and so on, but I can't say any of them looks like an exact copy of Image:Chateau de Celles 003.jpg. Even if it were, I could not find the photographing dates and the photographer's names. In France posthumous photographs are protected 25 years from the publicating date, even if the photographer has died more than 70 years ago. If the first publication occured in 1984, and the photographer died more than 70 years ago, the work would enter the public domain in 2020. Teofilo (talk) 09:16, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Another worry. We seem to be getting a bit heavy on this newbie, who has only been with us for 10 days. (WP:BITE?) Is there any buddying scheme, where we can suggest in simple English or better still French how he should fill in the upload form. He is providing nice material from an area of France that is not well covered. I think what he was trying to find was a PD-FR template and the nearest he could find was PD-US. Do we need a PD-FR-POSTUMOUS template. In fact you are going to need one for some of my photos in 120 years or so!ClemRutter (talk) 09:46, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
The picture is used here in a blog, with further information. It comes from a 1984 publication which is part of the Inventaire général des monuments et richesses artistiques de la France. No information on the age of the image though. -- 10:13, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Stained glass in the United States

I Doubt that the stained glass artist is a member of the Air Force. Is it PD-US-no-notice, or a copyrighted work ? Teofilo (talk) 01:47, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
  • The window does appear to have been designed by a private artist[6][7]. I'd claim it's "no notice" though since there's no documentation of a registration (or notice) for it. -Nard the Bard 06:15, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
In order to see a small engraving on the metal frame of the window, one would need to climb on a ladder and use electric lighting. So we are relying on a mere supposition. Teofilo (talk) 10:32, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
If that was considered a work for hire, then maybe the licensing is correct. It would depend on the contract. Considering this was very specific to the Air Force (including their seal, and several insignia), it may be reasonable too. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:29, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Per Sherr v. Universal Match Corp, if the notice is not visible to an ordinary person standing on the ground it is invalid anyway. -Nard the Bard 17:47, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/Image:KurtGerstein.jpg

I don't understand this deletion as this portrait was an original drawing (on paper) and not a Derivative work of a photo. There is a serious misunderstanding here, somewhere. -- Perky (talk) 09:32, 1 November 2008 (UTC)


Are conditions like those here Image:Sperm whale1b.jpg allowed? Shyamal (talk) 05:55, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Looks like standard attribution clause to me. -Nard the Bard 03:34, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
If someone can impose conditions on what the caption of the image should be I guess the idea of removing watermarks must be made illegal. Since people who do put watermarks want the watermark to show in the image. Shyamal (talk) 01:29, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Bulgaria lack of freedom of panorama

As part of a FAC review on WP, I came across images used in an article about a city in Bulgaria which used building photos (for example, Image:Chiprovtsi-centre.jpg). According to Commons' Freedom of Panorama's page, Bulgaria's law does not allow these to be used as free image (non-commercial use only). I've notified the authors of the FAC about this, but I think there may need to be a review of the images in Category:Bulgaria. Bulgaria, since part of the EU, uses 70+life on copyrights, so obviously older buildings are ok, though these likely need to validate when they were (roughly) built, but images of newer buildings in this category may need to be purged. --Masem (talk) 23:46, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Maybe you would like to read or add your comments on Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Botevgrad Botev Memorial.jpg. Teofilo (talk) 15:18, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Can academic degrees be copyrighted by the university?

What do you think? see Commons:Village_pump#Copyrightability_of_academic_degrees. NSK Nikolaos S. Karastathis (talk) 04:11, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Sure, if the work must contains at least a certain minimum amount of original pictorial or graphic authorship (from here). Straight-line borders, white backgrounds, and text-only content (regardless of font) wouldn't qualify though. Countries other than the U.S. may have either higher or lower thresholds (e.g. they are definitely copyrightable in the UK, albeit with a lower term of 25 years, the typographical copyright). Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:29, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
"text-only content" might not be the best way to phrase that - most books, poems, etc, are "text-only content". --dave pape (talk) 17:22, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Sure, that was under the assumption that degrees only have short phrases and that kind of thing. If there are paragraphs, that would be copyrightable as a literary work. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:53, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

New template:PD-Col tag request

In updating the Spanish wikipedia I have been working in filling image gaps of famous events and people from the Republic of Colombia, so I am making use of the copyright law that qualifies said images as public domain.

I want to discuss here if it's possible people in charge can create a new PD-Col tag accounting for this along this lines:

English: This picture was first published in Colombia, and is in the public domain because it's covered by law 36 of Colombia (Law 23 of 1982, Article 36) copyright regulations, according to which the publication of a portrait is free, when related with scientific, didactic, or cultural purposes in general or with facts or events of public interest or that have been performed in public.

Español: Esta imagen fue publicada por primera vez en Colombia, y es del dominio público puesto que por la Ley 23 de 1982, Artículo 36 de Colombia, la publicación del retrato es libre cuando se relaciona con fines científicos, didácticos o culturales en general o con hechos o acontecimientos de interés público o que se hubieren desarrollado en público.

-- Many Thanks. Fefogomez (talk) 03:48, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Sorry but that is a fair use law. Commons requires works that are free in any context. What if I wanted to take the portrait and sell it on a t-shirt or mug, or make it into a painting and sell it for big bucks? Those are not public interest uses. But Commons requires a work to be free for anything, per Commons:Licensing. -Nard the Bard 04:31, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Hi. I am looking for someone knowledgable who can work out the tag request I posted, leaving no doubt that the image is free and you could use it in a mug and sell it for millions. For that purpose I would need all of your patience and care in going through the law I quote, and reword the text I wrote so such doubts are shear firewalled against. The law (chapter III) stipulates that the author ceases to have any right at all on the image, under the conditions I tried to describe . This image was posted under the same rationale Image:Ernesto Samper 1.jpg, so if I fail to convince whomever is in charge it should be deleted too. Thank you. Fefogomez (talk) 05:27, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
As Nard said above, article 36 does not make images free. It says "retrato", which means "portrait". It does not say "fotografía". All that article 36 does is curtail the personality rights of a person photographed. People shown on a photograph cannot object to the publication of the photo if that publication is for "scientific, educational, or cultural" purposes, or if the photo was made in the course of events of public interest or in a public place. Article 36 restricts the rights granted by article 87 and is valid only in that context. It is not a general provision that would make any photo taken in public copyright-free. Therefore, we will not create such a tag, and if one is created, it will be deleted again. Lupo 10:51, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Image:Beth Truman cropped.jpg

How do we know that this is a federal work ? Delete ? Teofilo (talk) 11:15, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

  • It's an LoC image[8] and it looks more like a case of PD-US-not renewed. -Nard the Bard 11:52, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. Googling on the copyright holder's name, I found the following : Harris [...] died in 1964 at age 92, leaving some 700,000 negatives to the Library of Congress : Teofilo (talk) 13:05, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Yep. The LoC page on the collection is here, and the rights information page is here. It would appear this was one of the prints (i.e. not a negative) acquired outside the collection, where copyright was never renewed. So, {{PD-US-not renewed}} is the correct license it would seem. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:43, 6 November 2008 (UTC)


Currently, the template {{PD-Cuba}} is being used for works from Cuba that are public domain. The problem is that it involves a list of 4 possible ways a work would be PD, wich may be useful for a tutorial but not in the template itself, as it isn't clear wich of all the options would the image fall into. To solve this, I have created 3 new templates: {{PD-Cuba-photo}}, {{PD-Cuba-Anonymous}} and {{PD-Cuba-Other}}. I have omited the one about the goverment: for Commons images must be PD in both the US and the country of origin, and if goverment-made images have perpetual copyright, then they are perpetually beyond Commons scope.

By the way, the original template was made at the begining of the year, and I don't know if it was ever checked here or wherever new copyright tags are proposed; if there are issues about the original template, it would be a good time to discuss them as well. Belgrano (talk) 17:03, 6 November 2008 (UTC)


I want to upload images from "South Indian Railway Illustrated Guide; Printed by Hoe and Co, Madras, 1913". The images there are not anonymous works. The images are by the following photographers:

  1. Wiele & Klein, Madras [9]; [10]; [11]; from these linksit is obvious, that Klein died in the 1940's
  2. Nicholas & Co, Madras [12]
  3. W.A. Cross
  4. A.D.G. Shelley
  5. J.A.D. Lloyd
  6. Charley Brown, Madras

If I read this:
"Anonymous works, photographs, cinematographic works, sound recordings, government works, and works of corporate authorship or of international organizations enter the public domain 60 years after the date on which they were first published, counted from the beginning of the following calendar year"
photographs don't need to be anonymous, they just need to be published more than 60 years ago.

Before I make the upload I just want to make sure if I am right and not just lead by wishful thinking. --Wuselig (talk) 19:37, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Right. A straight 60 years from publication. -Nard the Bard 19:51, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Wiele & Klein are German, therefore the German law (life of author + 70 years) applies to them. "German nationals shall enjoy copyright protection with respect to all of their works, whether or not they have been published and regardless of the place of publication." : Article 120. Teofilo (talk) 16:48, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
  • If the other people are British, we need to know what the British law says regarding the works of British nationals published "abroad" (as far as "abroad" might apply for 1913 India). Teofilo (talk) 16:53, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Country where first published is the "country of origin" per the Berne convention, and those are the laws which should be followed. If the images were first published in Madras, as it sounds, that would seem to indicate that PD-India is appropriate. Germany may extend further protection inside its borders for its citizens, but that does not apply to the "country of origin and the U.S." commons rule. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:23, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
user:Wuselig is German, and I guess that what he wants to know is not only if he can upload the pictures on Commons , but also if he can use them safely on the German Wikipedia. Teofilo (talk) 17:57, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Anyway, if they are British, the same article 120 says that they are protected by the German law as EU citizens. Teofilo (talk) 20:08, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
    • (edit conflict) I dispute Commons would take such a harsh approach, if the works were taken in India and solely published in India. Commons:Licensing#Country-specific_laws doesn't mention nationality of the author as a factor, and indeed we have PD-US works for authors whose works are otherwise still copyrighted when the work was published solely in the United States. (Whether or not they are copyrighted in Germany is moot for us, under Berne the country of first publication is the key). Obviously, of course, if the works were simultaneously (within 30 days) or previously published in Europe I would of course have a different view. -Nard the Bard 17:24, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Commons:Licensing#Interaction of United States copyright law_and foreign copyright law mentions the copyright law of the country of the uploader : If material that has been saved from a third-party website is uploaded to Commons, the copyright laws of the U.S., the country of residence of the uploader, and the country of location of the web servers of the website apply. Teofilo (talk) 20:14, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

We are not talking about uploading from a website. We are talking about uploading from a book published in 1913 in India. In the Indian Empire which was ruled by British Monarchs as Emperors of India. So I think we can stick to Indian jurisdiction. Or should it make a difference if a book is brought to whichever other country and scanned there before being uploaded to Commons? --Wuselig (talk) 21:57, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

I am not the one who wrote this section on the country of residence of the uploader, and I don't know exactly what he had in mind. In my view, if you are German (or even if you are not German), you should not break the German law. You should refrain from making protected works available to the German public without a permission from the copyright holder. Teofilo (talk) 00:08, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Then you put into question the Template:PD-India. Because the Image is either PD-India, and can be uploaded to Commons, or we have to modify PD-India and exclude works published in India by Non-Indian Nationals. But under what jurisdiction would you then put people of British decent living and working in India before August 15, 1947? --Wuselig (talk) 10:54, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes I put in question Template:PD-India. An other example is a photographic work published in 1940 in India. You can republish the work freely in India in 2008, but not in the United States (you need to wait until January 1 2036), because it was not PD in India as of January 1 1996 : See , section "Works Published Outside the U.S. by Foreign Nationals or U.S. Citizens".

I would say that British people who lived in India before 1947 are retrospectively considered EU citizens, because of this : The Federal Court of Justice of Germany had doubts about whether the non-discrimination clause could be applied to authors deceased before the EU existed and referred the question to the ECJ, who fully confirmed the plaintiff's reading : Source : en:Rule of the shorter term#EU case law. Teofilo (talk) 14:59, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
The point I wanted to make regarding the British people (note I am not talking about citicens) is that they were under the jurisdiction of the Indian Empire living in India around 1913. Does Indian Independence in 1947 suddendly make their works Non-Indian works. Than indeed we would have to sack all PD-India photographs, because 95% of the photographers at that time in India probably weren't of Indian ancestry. I don't follow that view. So the only pictures that might be in question are those by Wiele & Klein, because they were German Nationals and thus considered foreigners even before 1947.
If I look at your link , section "Works Published Outside the U.S. by Foreign Nationals or U.S. Citizens, all I can see there is that all works published before 1923 are PD in the US.
So the only open question for me is: Does PD-India apply to works published by people that were not part of the British Empire before 1947. --Wuselig (talk) 17:02, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
The law which matters is the law of the country where you publish the work, which means, where you make the work available to the public. If you plan to sell the work in a bookstore in Berlin, you must read the German law. The German law says that there is no difference if the author is German or a EU citizen. Article 120 : "(2) The following shall be deemed equal to German nationals: 1. Germans in the meaning of Article 116 (1) of the Basic Law who do not possess German nationality, and 2. nationals of another Member State of the European Union or of another Contracting State of the Convention Concerning the European Economic Area". Teofilo (talk) 21:01, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
So that means all the images published in Madras (as it was called at the time) in 1913 are clearly PD-India and can be uploaded to Commons.--Wuselig (talk) 23:00, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Why would you want to upload the images on Commons if you can't insert them in Wikipedia after that ? Teofilo (talk) 00:50, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Either it is PD, or it is not. You can only loose your virginity once.--Wuselig (talk) 01:24, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I wish that the interaction between copyright laws of different countries were as simple as that, but unfortunately, it isn't. Teofilo (talk) 08:36, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
It is an interesting situation -- the work was published in India, and is PD there, and is also PD in the United States. In general, this would mean that Commons would accept it. If you were in Germany at the time you made the copy and uploaded it, then that act would likely be a copyright violation in Germany, and you may be liable there. I'm not entirely sure if we would delete the image (i.e. consider it a copyvio) in this case or not... if it was uploaded by someone not in Germany (or you were outside of Germany when you copied and uploaded), then there would not be any doubt at all. Kind of a weird situation. The German wikipedia may very well be able to use the image anyways under some sort of fair use provision -- I don't know the policies there at all, but that is a question for them. The usual issue comes from third-party re-users, and this is why it is a very good idea to document all possible information about the work -- it may affect some of those users even though it is PD most everywhere else. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:38, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

I am proposing a few deletions on Commons:Deletion requests/PD-India images still copyrighted in the USA. Teofilo (talk) 22:09, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Careful... India extended their term from 50 to 60 years in 1994 I believe, and that may not have been retroactive. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:27, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I found this : In India, the Copyright Act, 1957 prescribed a term of author's life plus 50 years. Effective from December 28, 1991, the term was increased to the author's life plus 60 years. It is common knowledge that this increase was triggered because the literary works of Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, was otherwise to enter the public domain on January 1, 1992., 2002/12/04. And this : it was [...] decided to extend the term of copyright generally in all works protected by the Copyright Act, 1957 from fifty to sixty years. This was, however, not to apply to works, which had already entered the public domain before 31st December, 1991 [...](Statement of Objects and Reasons of Act 13 of 1992) Dr. Bharat. B. Das, "Significance, history and development of copyright law", Central India Law Quarterly, Vol 18 (2005) p.352, html (reference page), pdf (full text). Teofilo (talk) 08:30, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Nice work, I tried for a bit to find the detailed information but did not. I updated en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights with this info. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:51, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Let's get back to Commons business:
Commons policy says:

Commons is an international project, but its servers are located in the U.S., and its content should be maximally reusable. Uploads of non-U.S. works are normally allowed only if the work is covered by a free license valid in both the U.S. and the country of origin of the work, or if it is in the public domain in both countries. The "country of origin" of a work is generally the country where the work was first published.

So we have PD-India, which says:

Anonymous works, photographs, cinematographic works, sound recordings, government works, and works of corporate authorship or of international organizations enter the public domain 60 years after the date on which they were first published, counted from the beginning of the following calendar year (according to the above discussion this has to be ammended that this only applies to works published before 31st December 1991)

So the next question is: Is this also public domain in the US. According to this: , section "Works Published Outside the U.S. by Foreign Nationals or U.S. Citizens, they are in the public domain in the US, if they are published before January 1st, 1923.
Therefore the PD-India tag (and probably many other such national tags) needs to be ammended to say that the works need to be published before January 1st, 1923 to be elligable both in the country of origin, i.e. India and the U.S. and therefore are elligable to Commons.
These images can than be used according to our policy in any Wikipedia project.
The use outside Wikipedia is of course always a different matter. If the images should be extracted for use in another Non-Wikipedia, private publication, that user has to observe the laws of the country where he makes available that new publication. But that holds for any of our images on Commons. --Wuselig (talk) 10:03, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Commons is available to all countries connected to the internet which speak a language in which Commons has a Main Page. Commons has a main page in all the languages of Template:Lang-mp. Teofilo (talk) 10:59, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
And what do you want to tell us with that? --Wuselig (talk) 11:08, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Commons is "outside Wikipedia". Teofilo (talk) 11:10, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Now that is News to most of us. Commons is the common image and media repository for all Wikipedia projects. If you link Image:xyz.jpg in any language version of Wikipedia or the relevant translation of the word image as in Bild:XYZ.jpg you will get the Commons image, if it is available. If it is not available on Commons because it does not confirm with Commons policy but should be okay according to the national law it will apear only in this national version, usually with an additional banner "Do not move to Commons". If you think PD-India should only apply to India, you will have to move all PD-India images off Commons an make these Images available only in the relevant Hindi, Tamil, Telegu etc. versions of Wikipedia with an expressive banner on each image "Do not move to Commons". You will not be allowed to even make these images available in the English Wikipedia, because - as you claim these images don't adhere to EU-law. Of course if we follow this principle, we can close Commons, because the majority of all images will be against the law in one country or the other. Just think about images of Muhammad to start with. --Wuselig (talk) 11:47, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

To me, it seems that you two are a little bit talking at cross purposes. On one hand it's true what Wuselig wrote. On the other hand it's also true that Commons is not "Wikipedia". The latter often comes into action when we find "permissions" such asfree for Wikipedia use or free for the Wikipedia article ..., which we usually don't recognize as sufficient for Commons. Just my 2 ct. --Túrelio (talk) 12:02, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Well back to basics: Are images published in India prior to January 1, 1923 okay in Commons because they are PD both in India and the U.S.?
The second question is (if they are): Will national Wikis be willing to use these images. Or even more restrictive: Will national laws forbid, that these images be used on national wikis? Just as Wikis with a Muslim background won't use images of Muhammad, there has been voiced reluctance in the German language Wikipedia to use the images produced by the German nationals Wiele & Klein even if they are available at Commons.
A new discussion can be had about what assumed citicenship subjects of the Emporer of India (Victoria and her succesors till 1947) would have, because if we assumed they were British and not Indian, we could also not use most of the other PD-India images older than 1923 in the English language Wikipedia unless these were genuine anonymous works.--Wuselig (talk) 13:09, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
In general, photos first published in India prior to January 1, 1941 are okay in Commons. India was a separate country/colony with separate laws, so I don't think that Indian nationals would count as European. I've never heard of us deleting images based upon the location of the uploader, but seemingly according to German law, some of these photos are still considered to be under copyright there and you could be liable, and third-party users in Germany may need to consider if they should use the works. I have no idea if the German Wikipedia would have their own rules about this or not, but I think they are fine for Commons (since they were published before 1923, they are definitely PD in the U.S. no matter what). Just be sure to document as much as you can about the authors, such as their nationality and when the died, even if that is not directly relevant to the PD-India tag (which is the one you should use). Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:51, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Is the copyright explanation sufficient?

See Image:Kantareto – ĉeĥoslovakaj popolaj kantoj 001.djvu. Is the copyright explanation sufficient or I need to prove the indicated facts somehow more verifiable (I do not know how)? --PAD (talk) 22:17, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Who is Miloslav ŠVÁČEK ? Teofilo (talk) 11:07, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Miloslav ŠVÁČEK is the president of the International Union of Catholic Esperantists. An article about him: Miloslav ŠVÁČEK. --PAD (talk) 13:15, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I think a better description of the nature of the release (a link would be fantastic) would help. -Nard the Bard 15:20, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
So Miloslav ŠVÁČEK is not a relative of Jan and Karel Filip. We need a permission by Jan and Karel Filip's estates (their heirs : their spouses, children, etc...). At least for publication within the territory of the Czech Republic (and perhaps on the territory of the Slovak Republic too), the publisher who published the book in 1948 might still hold exclusive publishing rights. So we need a permission from this publisher too. On page 30, there is an illustration, and we need a permission from the illustrator, if we want to publish this page (and the other illustrated pages if there are more than one). All permissions should be written permissions sent to Commons:OTRS. I am afraid that gathering all permissions is really complicated. Perhaps it is better to wait for the work to enter the public domain : january 2072 for the text without illustrations. Teofilo (talk) 16:12, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
It is really extremely complicated. The release was oral, not written. Both the authors and owners of the copyright were Roman Catholic priests, thus without a spouse or children. The publisher František BUHR died 1966, his family is not findable. The picture was drawn by Pavel ŠNEBERGER, the person is also not findable. Nevertheless, the picture could be removed. All the dead persons were Esperantists and I am confident they would be pleasant that the work can be published in this way and used by anybody. It really would be a pity to wait more than 60 years. --PAD (talk) 19:29, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
The initial set of Creative Commons licenses was published on December 16, 2002 : spiritus-temporis. So it is impossible that Jan Filip, who died in 1971, and Karel Filip, who died in 2001, could give their consent, even orally. Teofilo (talk) 11:42, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
What matters is the copyright owner, not (necessarily) the relatives. If the Filips willed their possessions to the International Union of Catholic Esperantists... that would probably be OK (and may be a reasonable assumption, though I have no idea what Czech law or church custom would be in this situation). Otherwise, things get ...cloudy. It would be good though to have an email, to make sure that the owner understands they are making the work available to *anyone*, for most any use, and not just Wikipedia. You can see Commons:Email templates for an example, which tries to make sure there are no misunderstandings of which rights are being given up. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:58, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
The authors really did not said verbatim that they release their piece secundum Creative Commons. They made their pieces over to the Internation Union of Catholic Esperantists (IKUE) for any purpose (but the dedication was only oral, not written). If it would be sufficient, I could ask Miroslav ŠVÁČEK or the Central Office of IKUE to send a confirmation of agreement with the releasing to OTRS. --PAD (talk) 13:13, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't know for the Czech Republic, but if the same problem occurs in France (i.e. an author dies without heirs), the publisher must go to court and ask the permission to publish from a judge . (Valérie Massignon, « La recherche d'images: Méthodes, sources et droits », De Boek université, 2002 p.142). Perhaps you could try to contact the people at and ask them for help. Teofilo (talk) 14:54, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Letter received from Getty Images demanding payment

Today I received a letter from Getty images informing me that the photo on Wikipedia here ( is actually owned by them and that I now owe them 650 Euros. We used the picture on our website for a Paris Liberation page. The photo is listed as being in the public domain on Wikipedia. The letter states "Getty Images recommends that your company contact Wikipedia to see if any licenses from Getty Images surrounding the specific use of the image in question exist. Please provide an invoice number or sales order number and Getty Images will research as appropriate." Does anyone know how I would go about this? Posted on November 5, 2008 at 5:25pm Chicago time.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 23:24, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Getty Images have the image in their collection as #2696317. They even credit another image by the same photographer from the same set to US Army/National Archives (and then some). I don't see what right they have to claim any credit for it, since it's in the NARA database (ARC id 531209) and website, without a mention of any other organisation but the US Army. --Para (talk) 00:30, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Tell them the National Archives say the Army produced the image and to shove off. -Nard the Bard 03:37, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
The price is given in Euros. Does anyone know if PD-USGov works could qualify for copyright protection in France or in Germany. Teofilo (talk) 14:24, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes they can - but that can't be the basis for Getty's claim. Haukurth (talk) 15:03, 6 November 2008 (UTC) See Template talk:PD-USGov for some discussion. Haukurth (talk) 15:08, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for this interesting link. But do you have any idea why Getty is asking for Euros instead of US dollars ? Teofilo (talk) 18:18, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
The U.S. government very occasionally claims an "international copyright" -- though I think it is unclear how much weight that would have. Other countries could claim "rule of the shorter term", since the U.S. term is zero years, so who knows -- I'm not aware of such a claim ever being tested (and since that would involve an argument between two governments, the situation would probably be more political instead of legal). But Getty can't make that claim, I don't think.
Back to the image... the National Archives page is here; they list the creator as the Army Signal Corps and the use as "Unrestricted". However, they do note that a "Poinsett" is the photographer, which is the same one that Getty claims (Poinsett/Stringer), and is part of the "Hulton archives" (and a similar photo with the same author associated with a Time/Life collection, but also mentioning it is from the Army and National Archives). If Poinsett was a press photographer, it may get interesting -- on the other hand, the National Archives page says it owns the negative, which would seem to indicate that it was an Army photograph and prints made their way to news agencies and eventually to Getty (who, if so, cannot claim copyright on it, and would be in violation of 17 U.S.C. 403). Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:25, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
A Flossenbürg Holocaust Memorial site and a related photo catalog mention the photographer Sgt (or Cpl) Fred Poinsett of the 165th US Signal Corps in 1944–45. Time mentions in their article War through a Lens that the 165th had 62 men in 1944 – is Poinsett a name common enough to create confusion? Anyway, even they admit who the credit goes to, despite the name of the related Getty collection. I remember seeing some time ago a discussion here about some military photographers supposedly selling photos to the press, as if they were not made on government dollar, but I can't find that now. This "private time" copyright question probably comes up every now and then. --Para (talk) 17:12, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Interesting... yeah that is pretty much definitive. Nice research. Given that the Army (and now the National Archives) has the negative, I doubt it was a "private" photo, and so was almost certainly within the scope of duties, and PD-USGov-Military-Army. I'm guessing Getty obtained a print through an archive, which probably got a copy via the Army at the time, and assumed the copyright was owned by that archive. Of course, nothing stops them from trying to get royalties anyways. It is also interesting that they updated that other photo with the correct source information, as presumably someone brought it to their attention, and yet they still call it "rights-managed". Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:00, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
The last version of the French law gives civil servants a private copyright, which they can claim whenever their work is being marketed outside their official duty L131-3-1, but I think I read somewhere that French judges don't use the French law, but the US law pertaining to "works for hire" to determine who is the copyright holder of works first published in the USA. And in Germany : a U.S. work was copyrighted in Germany according to German law irrespective of the work's copyright status in the U.S, and it did not contain a "rule of the shorter term" : Lupo 11:44, 30 May 2006 (UTC) Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 4. Teofilo (talk) 18:18, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, individual treaties can change things -- but government works are a special extra twist and I doubt there is too much case law on that situation in particular (which is rather different than normal copyright expiring)... as far as I know, all the scenarios are pretty much hypothetical right now. It does not appear as though any foreign copyright is being claimed in this photo anyways, and there should be no way that Getty could claim it anyways. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:00, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Image:Mamie Eisenhower color photo portrait, White House, May 1954.jpg

I can't find the source page on

Perhaps there is more than one "white house photographers", but one of them was Joe O'Donnell : References to O’Donnell as an “official White House photographer”: Family members say that the “official” moniker was attached to O’Donnell by the media in stories about him starting in the 1990s, when an earlier version of his book came out in Japan. O’Donnell did use the term “White House photographer” to indicate he worked there (the term appears in his book) but not to imply that he was on the White House staff, they say :

Are we ready to challenge this sort of claims, or should the picture be deleted ? Shouldn't we suspect that the reason why the picture can no longer be found on is a copyright problem ?

That website has some kind of disclaimer saying that not all their contents are public domain/federal works. Teofilo (talk) 12:49, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

You want, not -- huge difference. The source page appears to have changed but is now here, though without the higher-resolution versions. It has an identifier number (67-74) that looks something like a NARA identifier, though I can't find this image elsewhere. NARA only has just over half their holdings documented in ARC, and just a small fraction of that with digital copies online, so that doesn't mean too much. The photo was taken at the White House, and does look like an official portrait, but no photographer listed. I know Abbie Rowe (NPS employee) often did photo work for the White House during some of those administrations, but who knows. But no, websites change all the time, so once-valid URLs don't always stay that way, so source pages no longer existing is not grounds for deletion. It would be nice to have more info though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:56, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
I didn't mix up and, but as I didn't find the page on the former, I thought I might find the 2007 version on the latter. The reason I ask all these questions is that the en:Tribune de Genève, one of the major French speaking Swiss newpapers is having a gallery of USA first ladies, and credits its photographs both to a swiss photo agency and... "Wikipedia". This is really nice that "Wikipedia" is credited in such a way, as an equal with a major photo agency (they claim they are the largest in Switzerland), but I prefer to make sure that no copyright problem is hiding behind theses photos. Teofilo (talk) 18:54, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Whoops, my bad, you're right -- I misread it. Sorry about that. And actually, the original upload version has the direct URL mentioned in the comments, and that one still *is* available at (here). I was wrong on the page though -- the actual portraits page has moved here, which has a mix of private and government photos from the looks of it. The page for this exact photo is here, but there is no further information. They have another photo taken during the same shoot here (Eisenhower is sitting in front of an Edith (wife of Theodore) Roosevelt portrait). All the photos which start with "67" do have the look of an official photographs, but it is pretty hard to say for sure. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:11, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, thank you for the research. Image:Mamie Eisenhower color photo portrait, White House, May 1954.jpg is being used on the cover of this book, published 15 november 2007, but as I don't live in the USA, I am afraid I am unable to find it in a library or book store, and check how the photo is credited/copyrighted in that book. Teofilo (talk) 10:26, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Austrian Book from 1924: are we sure it is PD in the US??

Are we sure this book is Public Domain in the US, as stated in the page? It was firts published in Austira in 1924, so while it is PD in the country of origin, it might not be in the US, where the "rule of shorter term" is not applied. So it will be PD in the US only in 1924 + 95 = 2019. Where am I wrong?

The author of the book is Arthur Schnitzler, who died in 1931, which is more than 70 years ago. Post mortem auctoris 70 (as requested by PD-old) results is 2001. I think, 2001 has already passed in United States too, not only in Austria. So only editio princeps could really cause problems, but not in this case. -- Cecil (talk) 13:31, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Well yes, but according to this table of Cornell University we should not look at Post Mortem in case of foreign works fist published between 1923 and 1977 (go down to: Works Published Outside the U.S. by Foreign Nationals or U.S. Citizens Living Abroad (Includes works published both in the U.S. and abroad by foreign authors))
You're not wrong. If it was under copyright in Austria on the URAA date (and it sounds like it was) then it is under copyright in the US until 2019. In practice, however, we don't usually delete such images. See Commons:Deletion requests/PD-India images still copyrighted in the USA for a recent example. Haukurth (talk) 13:44, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
You can stick Template:Not-PD-US-URAA on it. Haukurth (talk) 13:52, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
When did the European union institute its 70 year rule? Because that was pretty recent, wasn't it? It could easily have been out of copyright in 1996, then temporarily regained some later. Adam Cuerden (talk) 10:15, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
July 1 1995 articles 10 and 13 (1). But many works were copyrighted in Germany (which had an 70 years pma rule at that time) so even if it was not copyrighted in Austria at that time, it almost certainly was copyrighted in Germany (which makes the work copyrighted in the whole of the EU, as a consequence of the EU directive). Teofilo (talk) 10:52, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Proposal for images PD in one country but copyrighted in another

Why not implement a "select your country" menu as they do on ? Teofilo (talk) 09:56, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Image:Darin2.jpg - correct licence?

The image has been uploaded by User:HenHalv under a Creative Commons licence. I doubt that this is possible, because the image has been taken for some sort of Swedish fashion magazine. Even if user HenHalv was the real author of the image, Henrik Halvarsson, could he release the image under the mentioned licence? --ChrisHH (talk) 12:13, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

If the uploader is the actual photographer -- sure, unless he actually transferred copyright to the magazine (pretty rare if it was not a direct employee I think; usually the magazine would get their own license but not copyright ownership, though I have no real idea if customs in Sweden are different). On the other hand, this is the only contribution by that user, and is an apparent copy of Image:L e8acfce3a78017184ad960ca06f94f48.jpg, so it may have been just an attempt to avoid deletion. I see you are the uploader of Image:Darin.jpg (did you take that?), which the uploader of the middle image changed the description/author/license info at one point (maybe just a mistake, which was meant for the image they uploaded). Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:02, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I did take Darin.jpg, and I was actually quite upset when some user replaced it with this - on the first sight - copyright violation. --ChrisHH (talk) 05:58, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

United Kingdom : publication right before 2039


Do you have any idea why Commons:Licensing#Publication_right says that this is impossible before 2039 ? Teofilo (talk) 13:47, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

You must follow the chart at for the current ccopyright status of artistic etc works in the UK. Sv1xv (talk) 14:03, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Having followed that chart through its various paths, it appears to me that, for our purposes, the 2039 date applies mainly to non-photographic works. For photographs from before 1 June 1957, 70 years PMA (or 70 years post-creation if anonymous) applies. As old photographs are a major area of interest on Commons, the statement ought to be clarified - "virtually impossible" is kind of an overstatement. --dave pape (talk) 20:26, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
How about writing "this is virtually impossible until 2039 for litterary and artistic works other than photographs"? The consequence of all this is that uploaders who upload "PD-70" photographs, should always provide evidence that it has been published more than 25 years ago if it is a British work (or a French work, as the French law is almost similar), because otherwise the work is still protected by its current owner or publisher. Teofilo (talk) 01:36, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Image:Jc ajax belle photo 01.jpg

It's the only contribution of the user, and it is very close to the player. ¿Should I doubt about its authory? Jarke (talk) 01:57, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

After looking at more pages of Johan Cruyf then I ever care to again, I haven't been able to find where it was lifted from, if it was. It seems that he very rarely wears that shirt, but I did find a few with a similar uniform. Yeah, it looks suspicious, but I can't figure out where it's from. J.smith (talk) 03:44, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
The uniform is apparently for Ajax, a team he was with for a decade. I also could not find this photo elsewhere; it looks like an anonymous IP user tried to add it to the fr-wiki article the day it was uploaded, but was apparently inexperienced, and the change was reverted so the image was never put on that article for good until recently. The photo does look as though it may have been taken through some sort of screen, and a I suppose a decent lens from a fan a ways off could have taken it in 1972, and tried to upload a scan when he saw the article without a photo. It certainly could have been grabbed off the net as well, from some obscure corner, but at this point I think we would have to find the pre-existing copy on the net to cast actual suspicion on it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:46, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
OK, thank you very much for your answers. Jarke (talk) 11:23, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Image license

Hello, first I apologize for my bad english : i'm french... My question is about this picture : [13] I want to use it in a wiki article, but i don't know the lisence. I found a text on the site [14], but my english level is too bad, and i don't understand anything. Maybe i don't need the author agreement according to the terms of use??? Thank you for your help Mitch-mitch (talk) 19:08, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

All images on that site are fully protected by copyright, and cannot be uploaded here, sorry. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:10, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Text-only record label with copyright notice

I came across Image:ConversationWithAMule.jpg at the Graphic Lab School (see prior discussion there). This image would seem quite likely to be {{PD-ineligible}}, since it consists solely of text describing the content of the record. Certainly it seems no more creative than the SKYY Vodka label.

On the other hand, the image also bears a very prominent copyright notice stating "LABEL COPYRIGHT 1936 BY BRUNSWICK RECORD CORP.", so obviously someone at some point though it likely enough to be eligible for copyright to bother with the notice. Of course, anyone can slap a copyright notice on anything, and we have no obligation to honor such claims if they're clearly baseless. Yet it does seem to me that such an assertion of copyrightability at least suggests that we ought to get more eyes on the matter, and that we should be really sure the label isn't eligible for copyright before going ahead and essentially stating that whoever put the notice there was wrong or lying.

So, opinions, please. Is the image suitable for Commons or not? —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 20:27, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Of course it is. Text only, and the photograph is just a reproduction of a 2D-object. So there is nothing wrong with {{PD-ineligible}}. --h-stt !? 13:50, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
By current standards, it is easily PD-ineligible, I think. Prints have to have some pictorial component to be registrable. The 1909 Act... less sure, but while less clear (it specified "all writings of an author" as copyrightable) I don't think there was any real difference to the line between what was copyrightable and not -- I think the Copyright Office practices have been similar. Even before the 1976 Act, apparently the Office had a circular which said that an "appreciable amount of original text or pictorial material" was required, a practice which apparently went back to the 1800s. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:54, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Category:Kakadu National Park and other Australian commonwealth reserves

According to : Legal information : Street Photographer and Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000, §12.38, all pictures taken after the regulations were enacted are non-commercial, unless a commercial use permit has been delivered. Teofilo (talk) 00:01, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

That would be one of those Commons:Non-copyright restrictions. Nothing we can do but note the issue so that Australian users are aware; maybe a template. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:54, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
{{Australian Commonwealth reserve}}. Teofilo (talk) 12:13, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Thats a silly law. :( J.smith (talk) 19:36, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Is there a sign stating that on entry, because from memory I believe they have to warn you of entry conditions like these before entry into a public place. 02:13, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
This is the law in Australia; why would they need to erect notices? The way I see it, all Commons images taken in a national park after 16 July 2000 need to be deleted, as they are non-commericial in the country of origin. John Vandenberg (chat) 03:23, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
All areas where images may not be captured must be published in the Gazette. see s12.24: Capturing images or recording sound and s12.05: Publication.
In other areas where images are not prohibited, images cant be used for commercial use. See s12.36: Commercial activities s12.38: Deriving commercial gain from images captured.
So, delete. :/ John Vandenberg (chat) 03:42, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I think this is going to be a touchy issue. I think deleting the images could be a rather big problem since the photographs are needed for the articles on Wikipedia. Yes commercial use is somewhat limited but is still possible only by a permit. I think all of us on Commons needs to read the law (all of it) in question to see if it does have any exceptions ect. Also a similar law (How ever I think it's a Local or State law of NSW) for Sydney Harbour. Bidgee (talk) 03:50, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree that we should be absolutely sure about this before proceeding to a deletion phase. If there is a "Non Commercial" tag which an Australian book publisher could use to automatically remove any NC images when they create an edition of Wikipedia for print in Australian schools, then there is hope. John Vandenberg (chat) 04:17, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
The idea which emerged above, was to keep the pictures on Commons, albeit tagging them with {{Australian Commonwealth reserve}}, by the same token other pictures are tagged with {{Personality rights}} or {{Trademark}}. Teofilo (talk) 11:27, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I suspect that what it means that the pictures cannot be taken with the intention of commercial use, so that television film crews will have to request permission. For the wikipedia photographer it will mean that they cannot sell the picture. The photography was originally non commercial, but it probably does not limit what can be done with the photo later on. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:11, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
This is wrong. (2) states: "captured image" includes an image that was not captured for a commercial purpose or in contravention of the Act or these Regulations. enochlau (talk) 15:36, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I believe it came about because aborigines have several sacrosanct areas of Uluru that they do not want photographed or published; not sure how this sort-of-compromise law got extended to all areas of all reserves, but there you go. But anyways, no, the "non-commercial" restriction on Commons is only if such restriction is part of the copyright license itself, not other laws like this, because in that case there exists the possibility we could still obtain similar photos without such a restriction. That is not the case with an all-encompassing law like this. WIkimedia's usage is not commercial, so it is not in violation of that law anyways. A tag to warn Australian re-users would be nice, though they should be aware of those laws anyways. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:04, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Just add this law to our growing list of international laws we ignore. This is not a copyright issue, but a "property release" or in this case a "stewardship release" issue. And we never accede to demands for property releases because we strongly believe that ownership or stewardship do not give the right to restrict the use of images. Only creative authorship does. We might recommend that images that might raise legal questions should be uploaded under an account that can't be traced to any user but we should never delete images for non-copyright issues. --h-stt !? 19:34, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Can we get around this with a conflict of laws issue? Wikipedia's servers are located in Florida, so it woul dbe the law of Florida which applies to images on their server, not the law of Australia (presuming copyright in the US is a state issue). Is this not a media issue anyway rather than a copyright restriction? I really suggest we do anything to stop these being deleted - the copyright nazis on Wikipedia will do anything to delete them if they have to be fair use images there. JROBBO (talk) 22:53, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Teofilo (talk) 14:57, 15 November 2008 (UTC)