Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 16

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Is facial hair enough?

Say I published a slavish reproduction of the Mona Lisa with facial hair cheaply drawn on it, would that still be PD? ViperSnake151 (talk) 21:43, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

There is enough creativity in the facial hair to qualify for copyright.Geni (talk) 10:52, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
See also en:Derivative_work#Examples_of_derivative_works_under_US_law, where it says this work is studied in law schools as an example of the subtle changes that are needed to create a derivative work. The LHOOQ is copyrighted everywhere but the US, because it is from before 1923. -Nard the Bard 14:07, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Old portraits in a book from 1904

I have a book which is published in 1904. This book contains several portraits of politicians from early 19th century (more than 100 small pictures). The pictures (heads/faces, printed in black/white) are probably taken from old drawn or painted portraits, but the book gives no attribution to the actual artists. Are such pictures acceptable to wikimedia commons without further investigation? Oceanh (talk) 20:43, 10 November 2008 (UTC).

Where was the book published? Works from the early 1800s are almost certainly fine anywhere, but in later works it may depend on the country of publication. Carl Lindberg (talk) 08:02, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
We would still want to attribute the artist, but it sounds like those would be fine. Where were they first published? --J.smith (talk) 19:34, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
The book I have was published in Christiania (Norway), 1904. (Author= Yngvar Nielsen (1843-1916); Title= "Norge i 1814"). It is a historical review of the year 1814, and contains portraits of most of the members of the Norwegian constituent assembly in 1814. The portraits were most likely drawn early in the 1800s (A book about painting states that there exist very many portraits from this time period, of which the artist has not been identified), but some might be copies of earlier works made by later artists. I do not know if any of the portraits were published in print earlier. The "required 70 years" seems to be satisfied for the book and its author. The problem is identification of the artists (for attribution and copyrigth issue). Oceanh (talk) 04:20, 12 November 2008 (UTC).
Forget this book and try to find another book published in 1853 or earlier. (1853 = 2008-70-100+15) (100= the author/artist died at 100 years old at most ; 15= youngest thinkable age of a mature author). Teofilo (talk) 11:51, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Teofilo is the deletionist here. Work anomously published more than 70 years ago is fine according to {{PD-EU-no author disclosure}} or the equivalent for Norway. However, it is not certain that the work of scanning and uploading will survive deletion requests on commons. So, unfortunately, your work would be safer on the Norwegian wikipedias. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 13:48, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't say that I would make a deletion request on that line. The above is an informal answer to the question "what should I do to be 100% comfortable with copying from a book which does not not provide enought information on the authors". To make a deletion request of pictures taken from the 1904 book, perhaps I would need some sort of hint that the picture is not a mechanical copy of an earlier PD work (like, the caption says that it is made after a statue). Teofilo (talk) 14:37, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
See also Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-EU-no author disclosure. Teofilo (talk) 16:52, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
If the portraits are from the early 1800s, they are PD-Old, no question. Since we have external documentation to the effect they were published in 1904 and the artist was not known, Norwegian law (§41) has a similar section stating that copyright lasts 70 years after being issued if there is no author named (or 70 years after creation if not issued in that time). Interestingly, that does not seem to be the case for pseudonymous works. §41a gives a 25-year publication right for old works being published for the first time, but even if that applies here that would have expired anyways. PD-Old under the assumption they were contemporary (1814ish) portraits should probably be enough, but be sure to include all the other info (the book they were taken from, and all credit information in that book). Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:29, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Anything published (legally) before 1923 is in the public domain in the United States and can be uploaded to the English Wikipedia. For works whose author we haven't identified, Commons is not very consistent. Yesterday I uploaded Image:Valkyrie and raven.jpg which would not survive Teofilo's strict 1853 condition but I don't think it will be deleted. Haukurth (talk) 13:56, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Thank you all for the thorough answers! I interprete the conclusion as that the pictures can be used, applying {PD-old}, giving the 1904 book as source, and name of artist unknown. There is some possibility that the artist's name or other details can be revealed through other sources than the book, which may affect the use of the picture. I have one additional question: If another source states the name of the original artist (say, if the portrait is in a gallery somewhere), and the picture from the book is "clearly" a derivative work of the original portrait, is it then recommended to say "After X. X.", or "Probably after X. X", to give a proper attribution? Oceanh (talk) 23:34, 14 November 2008 (UTC).
Oh, yes, definitely give attribution to the artist if at all possible, even if the conclusion is tentative. Haukurth (talk) 10:36, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Two possible coyviols

Sorry if I'm not in the right place and for my bad english. I found a pair of images that I think are copyright violations, but I'm not expert of these questions. The first is Image:SO VE dt gro§ R TZ.jpg, that I think is a trademark, so it's strange there is a GFDL license. The second is Image:Chess Lasker - Schlechter Title Match.jpg, which seems to be a screenshot from here, so hardly in the public domain. Thanks for the attention.--Dr Zimbu (talk) 12:17, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

The second one is probably PD-ineligible. I agree that the first one looks like a problem. The trademark issue shouldn't stop it from being on Commons (appropriately tagged), but this trademark involves enough creativity to almost certainly qualify for copyright. - Jmabel ! talk 18:09, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
The reasons that make the second image PD-ineligible also make it pretty useless, though. It's a screenshot of a simple HTML table, and can and should be recreated as one. I don't think it's in scope. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 21:00, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Ostwind (generally german pictures from WW-II)

On the dutch wiki a picture from an ostwind-air-defence tank was nominated for deletion. The copyright-info on that picture was incomplete, so i won't contest it. However, it did strike a chord. I seem to remember some exception-status for german images taken as "spoils of war" in 1945 and being released into PD. Is this accurate or mere wishfull thinking? If the latter, what is the copyright status of pictures like these? Kleuske (talk) 01:31, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

There are grounds for that in the U.S. (and maybe the U.K.), but they don't really apply elsewhere (which would probably respect the German copyright). Thus, those are typically uploaded to en-wiki (which follows U.S. law) and not Commons. The exceptions would be material actually captured by the U.S., where the copyright would be owned by the German government today (i.e. was Nazi rather than privately-owned material). Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:06, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Which seems to apply to the picture mentioned. Keyword being "seems", since i suppose you've got to have rocksolid evidence. Could you point me to some document tackling the latter situation? Kleuske (talk) 08:57, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Some questions about old photos (U.S.)

I am scanning images from a book published in 1986. There are at least two photographs that may be public domain, but I'm unsure. Everything was done in the U.S., so only U.S. law would apply.

  • Taken in the late 1880s by W.C. Cochran, who died in 1936; from the Cincinnati Historical Society
  • Taken in 1884; from the Cincinnati Historical Society; uncredited (can we assume that if the historical society doesn't know the author, it's anonymous?)

The main question is whether their publication in 1986 affects their status as otherwise unpublished works. --NE2 (talk) 05:37, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

If they were both published for the first time in 1986... bad news I'm afraid. They would be copyrighted for another 39 years, due to a loophole around changes to the copyright law in that era. See this chart for the details. If they were published earlier, then things are considerably different (and the 1986 publication wouldn't mean anything). Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:55, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't think they were published before then - so by being published in an unrelated work, 100 years after they were taken, their copyright was extended? Does it matter that the only copyright notice in the book is the main one covering the writer's copyright? --NE2 (talk) 05:58, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
That's a point I've never been clear on. See the Hirtle chart: [1] Before 1989, a copyright notice was required but I'm not sure exactly which kind of copyright notice is enough. Haukurth (talk) 10:34, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Their copyright wasn't extended by being published, it was shortened. Under the old US copyright scheme copyright was a certain number of years from publication. Unpublished works had perpetual copyright. -Nard the Bard 12:25, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but if they had been published today they would be out of copyright. So it depends on how you look at it. Haukurth (talk) 14:29, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
That is an interesting point -- I believe a copyright on a "collective work" can apply to the contained works if copyright is not separately specified -- but if the images are obviously not related to the overall copyright claim, then a notice may have been required. Between 1978 and 1989, the situation could be corrected by registering the work at the Copyright Office in the subsequent five years though. Those records can be searched online. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:02, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Given that the author of one is unknown by the historical society, I don't think a search would help. I can't find any photo results for Cochran or Cochran, W. So the question is whether a separate copyright notice for the photo was required. --NE2 (talk) 23:21, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

If an example helps, see en:Image:CL&N passenger train at South Norwood.jpg. --NE2 (talk) 16:00, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Does "de minimis" apply to this picture ?

When I read the conclusion of this section, I can say it's not a de minimis photograph. To me, the photograph cannot be uploaded here, since the logo plus the instructions sign does contain significant graphic work that are more likely to be copyrighted, thus not falling within the public domain. Diti (talk to the penguin) 01:09, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
On the other hand, it's the sort of thing where it should be very easy to get the zoo's permission. - Jmabel ! talk 05:12, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you. I decided to nominate the picture for deletion on Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Cosley Zoo sign.jpeg. Teofilo (talk) 08:06, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Image:Georgia Guide Stones.jpg

The monument could be regarded as too simple to be copyrighted, but I was wondering if the text is copyrighted. It was dedicated in 1980, according to SIRIS. Teofilo (talk) 16:14, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Is the text written in ancient script (I don't know this language)? If yes, the script itself pre-dates the modern concept of copyright, so the image is allowed. Otherwise, I don't think it is. Diti (talk to the penguin) 21:13, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
The script looks more like Hebrew. The question is whether the depicted text is eligible for copyright, but as we cannot read it, it is hard to decide. Anyway, I think that the monument itself does qualify for copyright protection. After all, it is not that simple. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 22:31, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
It's actually printed in 8 languages on different sides[2]. The text is eligible for copyright. I think a more pertinent question is whether it was published with notice. Just erecting a statue post 1978 doesn't necessarily constitute publication though, so this work may be unpublished, and hence protected for 70 years after the author's death. -Nard the Bard 23:41, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
In 1980 it would have required a copyright notice actually -- and SIRIS says the whole thing is unsigned, thus no notice. I don't see any related records in the online Copyright Catalog either (they would have five years to register in that era). It's not really possible to argue that the text is unpublished -- no way it exists in only one copy. The text seems like it should not be a concern. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:16, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you. See also Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Georgia Guide Stones.jpg. Teofilo (talk) 08:17, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Ceramic dishes

Look at Image:QN ceramics.jpg. Would you say that this is :

  • A) non copyrightable because it is a "useful article" ;
  • B) copyrightable because it is a "work of applied arts" ;
  • C) the design is too simple to be copyrighted ?

Teofilo (talk) 16:25, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Almost certainly C. It's possible that the little logo at the center of the plates would be copyrightable or trademark-able (but that presumably falls under our "de minimis" policy). Other than that, I can't imagine a court upholding a copyright claim even if the cups and plates were duplicated in the same medium. - Jmabel ! talk 19:17, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
OK, I think I agree with you. Teofilo (talk) 23:57, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Unidentified bronze bear

Unless someone can help me identify this sculpture : Image:SLO_Bear.jpg, I think I will tag it as {{No source}}. Googling "bear + sculpture + San Luis Obispo" gives another sculpture (the bear and the child), leaving this one unidentified. Teofilo (talk) 23:57, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Template:PD-Australia

Why restrict this template to images "created in Australia" ? Doesn't it apply to images created by Australian people during their holidays abroad before 1955, or by Australian journalists abroad during world war I and world war II ? Teofilo (talk) 13:55, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

I think it's images created in Australia and images created by Australians aboard (Before 1955 of course) though I think FOP may apply in some counties still (FOP is somewhat an issue since some of the laws are post 1955). WWI and WWII images are in the PD. Bidgee (talk) 14:05, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Please have a look at Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Frank hurley on Endurance.jpg (picture taken in the Antarctica). Teofilo (talk) 14:35, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Floats

Should everything in Category:Floats and all other media showing parade floats be deleted? Recently a number of images of floats, some of which have been on Commons for years, have been listed for deletion and quickly closed and deleted, and other such images have been speedy deleted with no notice. (Previous discussion at Commons_talk:Licensing/Archive_5#Floats_in_public_parades_in_the_United_States a year and a half ago was unconclusive but suggesting photos of 3-d floats might be okay but 2-d details not...?) Personally I suspect we are creating a new and hypothetical type of copyright violation contrary to common practice of long standing. I fear Commons is in great need for some type of policy. (We are either holding thousands of copyright violations which are prominently used in articles throughout Wikimedia and have been for years, or alternatively are in danger of having thousands of useful images suddenly speedy deleted without notice.) -- Infrogmation (talk) 23:57, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it would be useful to have a more detailed policy on these. I would suggest something along the following lines, but it would be helpful to get some case law, especially from the US. Most important is to know whether the US courts would consider something like Image:Gasparilla Pirate Boat Float (Tampa).jpg a work of art attracting copyright protection (I suspect so). The same legal analysis would apply to Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Batmobil - Batman & Robin.jpg. We will need to consider separability of artistic design and function, as described at en:Copyright#Useful articles.
  • ✓OK to show:
    • The float vehicle itself, even with added 3D elements such as a stage/superstructure provided that the 3D elements do not in themselves amount to a separable copyright work of art. In such a case, the float is little more than a decorated useful article, eg Image:VancouverPrideFloat.JPG.
    • Simple 3D decorations such as flowers and balloons
    • Costumes that are not in themselves copyright works of art, such as normal fancy dress
  • X mark.svg Not OK to show:
    • Float vehicles that are in themselves 3D copyright works of art having aesthetic features are separable from its utilitarian features, eg Image:Gasparilla Pirate Boat Float (Tampa).jpg
    • 3D structured costumes (eg taking the form of a sculpture, or in the shape of a toy: COM:L).

In each case, these would be subject to COM:DM.

Comments and improvements welcome. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 01:10, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I think that floats, as a concept in itself, fall in the category of everyday objects of utilitarian use that don't pass the treshold of originality needed for copyright protection. However, a float representing or parodying a protected work, could be easily considered as a derivative work and deleted as such. Belgrano (talk) 01:04, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Clearly, a float having a giant Micky Mouse would not be allowed. But what about where there are figures that are not derivatives of other works, but which may represent works of art in their own right, such as Image:Car06 6 256.jpg? (I am assuming just for the sake of argument here that that the figure is entirely original). Surely they should go as well? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 01:20, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Also, it should be made clear that even though parades are generally public, and that photography may be expected, there is no implied licence by the artist that allows any photos taken to be uploaded here under a free licence. Permission to take photographs is not the same as granting a free licence or putting the artwork into the public domain. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 01:25, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
No FOP in the Us. That's not a new law... it's specificity to protect artists. I really wish we had some better FOP laws here, but we can only work with what we have. MichaelMaggs makes a good case for what is protected and what is not. I'd also add two more cases where the pictures are fine: 1,) if the focus is on the crowd or performers and the float just happens to be partly viable in the background & 2,) aerial photos showing a large section of the parade where not individual elements are the focus. --J.smith (talk) 04:01, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, those should be covered by de minimis but are definitely worth mentioning specifically. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 04:36, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Everyone seems to be writing as if there were only statute law and no such thing as case law. Leaving aside the case where the float is itself a derivative work, has there ever been even a single case in which someone has challenged a photographer's rights to publish such pictures? Newspapers, for example, publish such pictures absolutely routinely.

I really don't like where this is headed. It seems like soon we will be saying we cannot use photos of political demos if any protest sign rises to the level of the copyrightable, that we cannot use a photo of a musician performing if he is wearing a t-shirt with a copyrightable image on the shirt, and that we cannot use a photo of a lecturer if there is an event poster on the wall behind them. Indeed, even many works that are normally considered to be in the public domain as works of the U.S. government will not meet such criteria. For example, in Image:20060911-3 d-1376-515h.jpg we'd have to determine the copyright statuses of the pictures on the table behind Bush. Clearly we could not readily take pictures on urban streets, because there is usually at least one (copyrightable) advertising sign somewhere in the field of vision (consider Times Square in NYC for an extreme example): do we really want to say we can't have pictures of Times Square? Do we want to say we can't show this dosa cart because there are visible newspaper clippings posted on the side? If we adopt such restrictions, I will probably confine my work here to uploading only materials published in the U.S. before 1923 (where there can be no question of copyright) and completely stop trying to do use the Commons as a venue to post my original photography, because I'm not willing to be quite that careful about how I shoot. I think this is going way beyond reasonable precautions and into the realm of copyright paranoia. - Jmabel ! talk 06:24, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

All the examples you have given will be ok under COM:DM, but the same cannot be said of eg Image:Gasparilla Pirate Boat Float (Tampa).jpg. What about that one? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 14:34, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I do not like where this is headed either. Do Krewes get revenues from postcards of their creations? This is not just a US issue: will Commons allow pictures of European carnevals, Chinese dragons, Mexican fiestas, etcetera? If the Prinzipienreiterei here is the norm, lots of stuff is in danger of deletion. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 06:53, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Agree. MichaelMaggs sets out a good argument for what the policy should be if floats are legally considered the same as sculptural artworks -- but is there any evidence whatsoever that they have been so considered in real life? In the example of parades I'm most familiar with, Mardi Gras here in New Orleans, there are a great number of published works with images of floats-- postcards, calendars, posters, books, etc. There is generally a copyright credit to the photographer or to the company which produced the "derivative work"-- I have NEVER seen a single example with a copyright notice crediting the float builder or the parading organization. Are there counter examples elsewhere? -- Infrogmation (talk) 12:07, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Oof. This is getting close to copyright paranoia... I'd love to find out if there has been case law -- ever -- for photos of parade floats. I can't fathom how a photograph would affect the "potential market for or value of the copyrighted work", i.e. in virtually all circumstances I would think it would be fair use in the U.S. (though making money on them, if you can show the money was made because of that particular float rather than just because it was a photo of the parade, that may be different). Obviously on Commons, we don't use that exception, so we get into heavily theoretical territory which is rather unlikely to ever have any case law for guidance. Also, since parade floats are quite often made for one parade and then destroyed, they may qualify as permanent works of a sort (like ice sculpture) in countries which have freedom of panorama. Doing a search on the U.S. Copyright Catalog... I do see several registered "designs for parade floats", and one actual parade float as sculpture (a GI Joe float). Technically then... some floats may qualify as sculpture and so are protectable, and designs on floats could certainly be "separable" too (though in most cases, that would be de minimis on a photo of the entire float). If deleting anything, MichaelMaggs' guidelines are probably accurate -- if the entire float could be considered sculpture, then photos of just that float may not be OK, and if photos focus in on a separately copyrightable aspect of a float, those may also not be OK. Photos of an entire parade (and not a single float in particular) and photos of an entire float which has smaller copyrightable items on it all probably qualify as de minimis. Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:57, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Again: I think this is crazy. I don't think we amateurs should be moving the line this far for ostensibly legal reasons without consulting Wikimedia Foundation's lawyers. At the rate we are going, we'll end up with a policy that says you can't take a picture of someone in a room with wallpaper, unless the wallpaper design can be shown to predate 1923 or you can get a release from the company that owns the rights to the wallpaper. We are going to end up saying you cannot have a picture of a decorated birthday cake, or a musical instrument with ornamentation that is not essential to its function. Or, as someone remarked above, a Chinese dragon. It probably means - to give an example close to my heart - that for each of the vernacular objects I photographed at Category:Museum of the Romanian Peasant, with the museum's permission (after paying a fee), we would have to determine the age of the object, or somehow find the unidentified peasant artisan who made it and or the exhibit designer who arranged it, because even though these are objects of day-to-day life, precisely what makes them interesting is their design, or how the museum chooses to display them, and even though none of their creators nor the museum itself have ever claimed these as copyrightable, one could theoretically make such a claim.
I do not believe this is what anyone intended when Commons was launched. I do not believe it is the intent of any large number of our contributors of original photographs, nor of the creators of the "works" whose copyrights are ostensibly breached. Nor, I might add, of the congress that passed even as extreme a copyright law as the DMCA. - Jmabel ! talk 15:39, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Somewhat agreed... "fair use" is generally the common-sense balancing side of the copyright law, but since we don't use that here... we are sort of in a weird, different position. I definitely don't think we should be policing these based on fear of lawsuits either -- Mike Godwin did say In general, a photograph that happens to include all or part of a copyrighted image or a trademark does not raise significant intellectual property issues. Occasionally, copyright or trademark holders attempt to assert claims regarding such photographs -- these are best responded to on a case-by-case basis. It is, in my view, a bad idea to be pro-actively policing photographs that happen to include a copyrighted work or a trademark, absent some evidence of an actual claim or dispute. However, there is the "freedom" issue, which is more philosophic -- I'm not sure how to reconcile that, since in very particular cases (generally making money directly off the photograph) there may be valid copyright cases against re-use, and we try to only hold images where that is not true (and which could cause GFDL or other licensing incompatibilities). I've long thought that there should be a different regime for photographs of copyrighted objects where the photo itself is freely licensed but is a derivative work, as they don't fit into Commons guidelines but en-wiki's fair use policies seem far too extreme for them (since it is not possible to get any "freer"; very different from where the photo itself is not free), but I'm not sure what that should be. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:33, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I'd have no problem with adding a template that indicates the possibility that there are underlying rights, much as we already do where trademark issues (but no copyright issues) arise. But, as I said above, if Commons decides to narrow what it will host far enough to say "no parade floats", I'm not waiting to see what will fall next (various possible examples mentioned above). I'll start contributing my photography elsewhere, rather than wait to see if it will be essentially thrown away because of continually shifting interpretations of policy. If I'm alone in that, then I suppose it's no great loss to the project... - Jmabel ! talk 17:43, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I know I might be a little late to the party in my response here, but Jmabel, all of the examples you have given are examples of works covered under de minimis. I think if we applied de minimis more widely we would be better off. I tried to find some case law on Google, but I came up empty. :( --J.smith (talk) 19:30, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Agree with MichaelMaggs suggestion. If, for example, ice sculptures are considered artwork, why floats should be treated differently? Aren't creativity involved in the process of their creation? --EugeneZelenko (talk) 15:58, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Please restore Image:NaginWetDreamBlancoCenterfold.jpg. It was deleted after less than a day of discussion. By undeleting it, everybody will be able to see what we are talking about and what the consequences of legalism annd rigidity and copyright paranoia will be for commons. The image will make it clear that these issues cannot be resolved by appeal to "de minimis". /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 20:37, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I've seen the image and I think it is actually a matter of "de minimis", in terms of value, not in terms of portion of the image. The float is probably technically subject to copyright, but it was never intended to have any economic value, and it's almost impossible to see how our (currently deleted) image would have any significant economic value, either. So I'm pretty certain it is not the sort of object where a court would ever care about the nominal copyright.
Again: newspapers have been publishing images of parade floats as long as there have been newspapers with pictures, and I've never heard of anyone challenging that as a copyright issue based on the rights of the floatmakers. - Jmabel ! talk 00:24, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Where idea of "de minimis", in terms of value will be applied next on Commons: CD/DVD/book covers, advertisement, posters, etc?
If copyrights laws are bad, it's necessary to fix them, not Commons. Or at least try to influence changes such as RMS do.
EugeneZelenko (talk) 15:47, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
It's not a matter of changing laws. I believe there is no question that it is entirely legal for Commons to host these images. The question is whether, for images of subject matter where there inherently cannot be an "absolutely free" image, Commons should host them (quite possibly with a tag indicating such limitations) or not. This is a policy matter, not a legal matter for Commons, though it could be a legal matter for certain re-uses.
I personally think it is completely in line with Commons' overall mission, though perhaps not its current policies, to host such images, most likely with a caveat. These are the freest images that can be created of subject matter with clear educational/documentary value. Our contributors are making free license available on the images themselves, and it is in an area where it is unlikely (though admittedly not impossible) anyone would ever want to make a claim of underlying copyright for any but the most blatantly commercial uses. The situation is very similar to the "personality rights" issue, though in this case the rights involved are part of copyright law. - Jmabel ! talk 16:13, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I've brought this up in conversation with some friends and aquaintances including float builders, krewe members, and professional photographers. The reaction has generally been incredulity that some think this is a problem. Thus far I have yet to find anyone here who thinks taking a photo of a parade float is a copyright violation. -- Infrogmation (talk) 17:24, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Flag as PD-self

Image:Flag of Honolulu, Hawaii.svg, a recently-uploaded file, is currently tagged as {{PD-self}}. Is this appropriate, as the uploader created the specific file? I'm tending toward finding it a fair-use file suitable for Wikipedia (after all, you can't replace the flag), as most US cities don't release all their creations as PD or under free licenses; and as such I believe that this needs to be deleted. Nyttend (talk) 00:11, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

I haven't found anything about licensing of US flags. So, waiting for another person to confirm what its licensing is, I put {{PD-ineligible|PD-self}} and {{Insignia}} as a permission. Diti (talk to the penguin) 09:22, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

PD-Russia → PD-Ukraine

After some changes in Russian copyright law, we have many old Russian / Soviet images that may not be PD anymore. So each image tagged as {{PD-Russia}} needs to be reviewed to see whether it's indeed PD or copyrighted again.

But in the past months, there have been some users (newly created accounts and anonymous users) mass changing {{PD-Russia}} to {{PD-Ukraine}}. Many of those images were either taken in Russia, other soviet countries or don't even have any source information, so there's no reason why PD-Ukraine would apply to them. IMHO, this was done as a quick way to keep lots of those old PD-Russia images, no matter what their real copyright status is. Examples: Special:Contributions/Български, Special:Contributions/68.155.183.233 and Special:Contributions/Shtanga. So what would be the best way to deal with these changes, just revert all their contributions? --Kam Solusar (talk) 14:39, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Is this a derivative work?

Hi, sorry if this is the wrong place, but I was wondering if the following free licensed images:

Are derivative works of this copyrighted image. I know that derivative works are still subject to approval of the copyright holder, right? Does the fact that these images are parody somehow get around that? I'm not a copyright guru so I thought I'd ask here. Thanks. --Rividian (talk) 15:22, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Usually, parody, caricature and pastiche are allowed derivative uses, but they are more some kind of "fair use", though (they must be used with some kind of political or humoristic message, and they must not become a source of further derivatives which would have no caricatural or parody purpose). So I would say that the pictures should be uploaded on the English Wikipedia, but not on Commons. Teofilo (talk) 15:57, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure it's "parody" because it doesn't use any copyrightable elements of the original. It's more like a meme, which is just an uncopyrightable idea. It's like the Mastercard "priceless" commercials. The basic style "x, foo dollars, y, foo dollars, z priceless" isn't copyrightable, and if you re-create it using entirely free content I don't see how it infringes copyright (trademark, possibly). -Nard the Bard 16:25, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Symbol keep vote.svg Agree the parts Image:Homesewing.png borrows from the other picture (bones, letters) are too simple to be copyrighted. Teofilo (talk) 17:23, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

COM:L#Israel and Template:PD-Israel contradict each other

Government works in Israel :

Which is right ? Teofilo (talk) 19:57, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Shalom,
COM:L#Israel is right but it doens't state what you write. It states :
"[Pictures] taken before May 1st. 2008 (...) are protected for 50 years from the day the picture was taken, unless the pictures were taken by a public authority (the government) in which case the pictures are protected for 50 years from the day of publication"
Ceedjee (talk) 21:14, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't understand what you say. Teofilo (talk) 22:55, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
In short, you must differentiate the “50 years after the photo” for regular pictures, and “50 years after its publication” if it comes from a public authority. It implies, for instance, that a picture taken now by the Israeli government, but published in 2010, will be within the public domain in 2060, not 2058. Diti the penguin 23:56, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
This is what COM:L#Israel is saying. But on Template:PD-Israel, #3 reads : If owned by the State, and there is no special agreement between the State and the photographer - 50 years after the creation of the photograph. And what is your opinion on Commons:Deletion requests/Image:JSP1.jpg ? Teofilo (talk) 00:13, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Previously marked as possibly unfree, now free Flickr reviewed image

Image:Indianapolis USA2.jpg was checked as Non Commercial by the Flickr review bot in 2007. Today, It seems that the "NC" was removed (and replaced by "SA"). What should I do ? Teofilo (talk) 13:58, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

It's BY-SA on flickr, so change licence appropriately. -mattbuck (Talk) 15:11, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
We could just change the tag back to {{flickrreview}} so the bot checks it again (and documents the license). Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:29, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Photo from 1927 Unknown Author

I canot find a FAQ for unsuccessful copyright searches. I have a photo taken in Australia in 1927. The print was given to me 40 years ago from a man (now deceased) who receieved it from a friend (now unknown). As far as I know, it has never been published, but I have restored it and put it on my fotopic site (uncopyrighted). Can I use it in an article I am writing?Mav62 (talk) 09:20, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm not absolutely sure but Template:PD-Australia seems to suggest any photograph taken before 1955 is in the public domain in Australia. Haukurth (talk) 13:53, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
But it would be still copyrighted in many countries. Especially if its author begins publishing it in another country. Teofilo (talk) 14:38, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Not many countries. It would be PD in the country of origin -- if that is considered to be Australia -- and the U.S. It would be fine for commons. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:56, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
If the work is first published in the United States, without simultaneous publication anywhere else, is it not a "United States work" per section 101 of the Copyright Law of the United States ? Teofilo (talk) 12:08, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
If published with permission maybe. That doesn't sound like it can even happen now... and any inherited copyrights have now expired. The U.S. copyright was not restored by the URAA either, for the same reason. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:30, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks all. The author cannot begin publishing in another country because he/she is dead. What is the rule where copyright cannot be discovered - this happens in publishing. Is there a person or panel in Wikipedia to decide?

It was said that the author is unknown, so perhaps whether he is dead or alive is not known either. And if he is dead, his rights are transmitted to his heirs. When the copyright status of a work is unclear, discussions take place on pages like Commons:Deletion requests/2008/11/29. The details on how decisions are made are written on Commons:Deletion requests. Teofilo (talk) 12:08, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Arilang1234 New user asking for help

Hi everybody, I am new here. I have upload quite a few images onto Commons with no previous experience. Majority of the images I have used photo-shop to digitally alter them. Would I still have problem of copy-right? Someone please help meArilang1234 (talk) 07:32, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Two old maps (maybe PD)

Hi. Could someone please have a look at Image:Imbris 1829 year map.jpg and Image:Imbris 1910 year map.jpg, check their copyright status and fix the license templates and author information. Both files have been uploaded by Pamporoff (talk · contribs), I presume in good faith, but he seems to have little knowledge of copyright and the way Commons works. --Daggerstab (talk) 12:12, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

The first one is PD, the second one (from 1916/1918) is unclear, as we have no life dates of the authors. Lupo 12:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
The bottom margin gives some names. The most junior one is probably J. Kempter. There is also an A. Telicka. The other names do not seem to be complete. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 13:19, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
We have the names, I had already added them to the image description page (though I had missed Aspir. (Aspirant?) J. Kempter). Lead cartographer for the survey was one ObOff (Ober-Offizier?) R. Dokaupil. A "Führ. A. Telicka" is also credited for the survey, and the terrain cartography (shading, colorization, etc.) was done by "Technischer Rat E. von Mor". But we don't have any life dates for these people. Dokaupil is credited with maps as early as 1883, but v. Mor's name appears only on maps done around 1915 or later. And on Telicka or Kempter, I didn't find anything at all. Lupo 14:01, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps the Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics (who uploaded these maps on the web) should be contacted for information about the copyright status of these maps. Their e-mail address is zetor@ludens.elte.hu . Sv1xv (talk) 19:28, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Pictures from BioMed Central Open Access Article

What is the exact procedure if I want to upload a picture from a BioMed Central article which is OpenAccess according to BioMed Central. What exactly does proper attribution involve: The author(s) or copyright owner(s) irrevocably grant(s) to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the research article in its entirety or in part, in any format or medium, provided that no substantive errors are introduced in the process, proper attribution of authorship and correct citation details are given, and that the bibliographic details are not changed. If the article is reproduced or disseminated in part, this must be clearly and unequivocally indicated. Regards, --Burkhard (talk) 20:13, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

You should copy the text at the bottom of the page [3] (A DIC image of the poserior... Samuel et al. BMC Developmental Biology 2001 1:8 doi:10.1186/1471-213X-1-8) into the Commons page, preferably using the information template. You shall be prompted for this when you access Commons:Upload. Sv1xv (talk) 20:38, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for this explanation, but what license tag should I supply? None of the tags I find in Commons:Copyright_tags seems to fit the BioMed Central Open Access Charter. Do we need a new tag for BioMedOpen Access? Regards, --Burkhard (talk) 18:55, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Image:Frontons.png

i imported from fr:Image:Frontons.png, tagged “Image dans le domaine public”, scan from “Larousse 1922”, which i suppose Larousse universel en 2 volumes 1922, fr:Éditions Larousse still existing (published Bibliorom Larousse 1996) - editor ed. 1922 was fr:Claude Augé, who died 1924, but we do not know author of the drawing - what to do? analog is Image:Plan-acropole.png, uploaded here by same french autor who did original fr: img --W!B: (talk) 18:02, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Copyright question

I was reading a discussion at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_talk:Nedor_Comics_superheroes, which combined with this upenn.edu page, seems to be saying that the first two issues of Whiz Comics (and some other comics) are in the public domain. Anyone have a clue? Can http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Whiz2.JPG be uploaded to commons, for instance? If you could leave me a note at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Peregrine_Fisher if you respond it would be awesome. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 18:31, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Pywikipediabot

Pywikipediabot is distributed under the MIT License. but most of these images are now public domain. Aren't they under the MIT License?—Preceding unsigned comment added by Kwj2772 (talk • contribs) 08:55, 5 December 2008 (UTC) (UTC)

The source code may be under the MIT license, but that usually does not apply to the program's output. If a screen shows a good portion of a wikipedia article, it would have to be GFDL, but if the output is pretty basic, then it probably doesn't qualify for copyright anyways (and would be public domain for that reason). If the output includes only short phrases, etc., that would be the case. Text-only output could not qualify for a graphic copyright either. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:29, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Image:Deaerator2.png is either a copyright violation or advertsing spam

Image:Deaerator2.png was uploaded by anonymous User:BerkeleyLab and claimed to be copyrighted by him/her. I believe it is either a copyright violation or was uploaded simply to advertise a deaerator manufacturer.

(1) There is no such user as User:BerkeleyLab either here in Commons or in the English Wikipedia. So a copy violation template cannot be posted on that user's page.

(2) It is an exact copy of a drawing from a presentation by Stork Power Services (a company in the Netherlands) who manufactures what is known as the Storq Deaerator. See the following websites and scroll down to the see their drawing which is exactly what was uploaded here as Image:Deaerator.png:

I don't know if this is the correct place to post this message. If not, could someone get the proper person to read this message and take the necessary actions to delete the image? Mbeychok (talk) 21:53, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Try User talk:BerkeleyLab; the user exists (and it looks like a similar image was deleted a while ago). Or, just nominate the image for deletion (using the link in the sidebar on the image page), which does all the work. Doesn't really look like spam, and it may have been useful anyways (thus we would probably keep if that were the only issue), but it does looks like an obvious copyvio. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:12, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Letter from state government program

I scanned a letter received from the state I live in regarding a government program. It was regarding legislation that affects someone I know and was sent to that person. This contains no confidential information or anything that would identify anyone aside from the general population of those to whom the letter was sent.

A link to the scan:

http://brian.kmkmedia.org/img/25bucks0001.jpg

Is this OK to add to Wikipedia, and what license should I indicate?

That is copyrighted by the state of Wisconsin and cannot be uploaded to Commons. Stifle (talk) 09:53, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Freedom of Panorama Image

What kind of permission would you need to upload an image from a CIS country that doesn't have a freedom of panorama. To be exact, I would like to upload an image of Armenian Genocide monument that is located in Yerevan, Armenia. Number of free images have been deleted in the past, because of the no freedom of panorama. The monument is under the ownership of Armenian Genocide Museum. So, I'm guessing they would be the ones to contact. But before I do, I would appreciate it if someone can help me figure out what kind of permission they would have to give. Or where that permission should be sent. Thanks VartanM (talk) 10:06, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

The permissions should be sent to COM:OTRS. In most countries, the copyright holder is the architect or the sculptor, not the owner of the work, unless the architect or sculptor transmitted (sold) his copyright to somebody. Teofilo (talk) 20:20, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Image:Motya.jpg

I came across an image of the island Motya and noticed that the license seems wrong. It's licensed under PD-old, but has a date of 2006. I assume the user simply didn't know how to upload correctly. It's used on many wikipedias. Uploaded by Pradigue (Talk | contribs). --Ojan (talk) 12:30, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Or, maybe it came from this page, where it says it is copyrighted. It has been there since at least late 2004, so presumably that predated its upload to pl-wiki. I've nominated it for deletion. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:56, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Personality rights

Do we need an agreement of the persons on the picture Image:Johano Paŭlo la 2-a kaj la Esperanta Meslibro 005.jpg? If yes, of which persons concretely (Ioannes Paulus II and Giovanni Locatelli died)? There is Ioannes Paulus II, Antonio DE SALVO, Miloslav ŠVÁČEK, Giovanni LOCATELLI and Duilio MAGNANI. --PAD (talk) 18:52, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

If these people are making a public appearance at some event, as seems to be the case, we don't need permission. -- Duesentrieb 20:49, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Scanning Dover Facsimiles

What is the status of images in books published by Dover Publications, New York. These books are often facsimile reproductions of 19th Century books. For example: Handbook of Ornament, by Franz Sales Meyer Lib Cong No. 57-14417. The Authors preface to the first edition says: Strictly speaking this is a book reissue of my collection of Ornamental Forms published in folio as Ornamentale ¨Formenlehre¨.(Carlsruhe March 1888). In 1892 it was in its Fourth Edition, with a few ´trifling´ corrections. Now it get interesting: This Dover edition, first published in 1957, is an unabridged and unaltered reproduction of the English translation of the last revised edition. (The one that contains the preface to the fourth edition: I presume. It was manufactured in the United States of America, and published in Canada by General Publishing Company, Ltd Toronto and In the United Kingdom by Constable and Company. So how do we tag it? It appears to have four dates: before 1888 (when the folio plates were first published in Germany), 1888,1892 and 1957, and four possible jurisdictions: US, UK, Germany and Canada? ClemRutter (talk) 23:35, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

If the images were first published in Germany in 1888... it would depend on the German copyright I think. Franz Sales Meyer died in 1927 (born in 1849), so the copyrights would appear to be expired. The translation could have a derivative copyright, depending on who did it and when and where it was published, but unless the images qualify as derivative works of the original (i.e. are not straight copies) then the images themselves should be PD. They are also PD in the U.S. by virtue of being published in 1888. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:09, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
So I use the tag {{PD-old-80}} or what?

Making svg images of an illustration in copyrighted material

A svg file is text data stored in XML format, that will render into an image, thus it is information that cannot be copyrighted, but the render is an image so I claim copyright as a CC-BY. Now if I use inkspace to make an svg, by the simple method of importing a jpeg of the image, and on the layer above build up the SVG data. When satisfied that I have a true likeness, I delete the jpeg layer, flatten My image and save. Is there a residual copyright issue? If there is- how far does my image (or the instructions to create this image) have to differ from the original.Do I leave a ref. to the original, in the same way I would leave a ref to source book on :en:wiki? Whats the syntax to the citation?

Yes, you can't get around the copyright by just chaining the format of the data. There is no "sweat of the brow" recognition. See Commons:Derivative works for when they are ok and when it's not. --J.smith (talk) 00:58, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Thx for the answer, I have no experience of US laws. The question I wish to investigate is whether an xml representation, of an authors visual representation of facts can be copyrighted- Section 106 doesn´t appear to address that- and the Commons:Derivative works addresses works of art rather than representation of fact. iIn the UK, I would ask is there any known case law? -ClemRutter (talk) 11:33, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure. I've often wondered the same thing. My rule of thumb is to evaluate SVGs based on what they look like and not to worry about the possible secondary copyrights. ~--J.smith (talk)
I´ll copy this over to Licensing and see if we can get further opinion. -ClemRutter (talk) 01:15, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
The textual representation of an SVG file is basically irrelevant I think -- It would depend on how much of the artistic expression of the original is still present in the SVG (when looking at the visual result). This is supposing the original is copyrightable, of course... which would depend on how creative its representation is. Is it a graphic image, or a representation of textual data? Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:19, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
If the original is copyrighted then your svg would be a derivative work. Whether you can claim any additional copyright on the vectorisation depends on how much originality went into the process. As for svg's being text that shouldn't matter, so are Harry Potter books and they are copyrightable. /Lokal_Profil 16:54, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
So the question becomes was the original copyrightable? I an interested in producing Geological cross-sections such as Image:Geologyofglossop.svg. Most of the original data for this diagram would have come from surveys done in the 1860s, that were collected together to form the source diagram I used, there is a good supply of source diagrams in pdfs produced by the water authorities describing Catchment Area Management Plans. I dont have access to the earlier surveys. -ClemRutter (talk) 22:34, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

French collective works

Dear all. I'm here at the suggestion of User:Durova [4]. The licensing page at Commons here states that, under French copyright law: "if the work is anonymous, pseudonymous or collective, it is 70 years following the end of the year of publication of the work (unless the authors named themselves).". I guess that would properly cover uploads for Commons of such works as the 1897 Encyclopedie Larousse Illustree, in which most of the images are not signed or attributed? Could somebody confirm if this is OK? If so, what kind of License tag should be used? Best regards. PHGCOM (talk) 18:58, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

This is a very difficult question. Whether individual contributor's names are mentioned or not is not an issue. What matters is whether the person who was a "federator" of the works gave directions to individual contributors or not. If individual contributors were free to express themselves, the quality of "collective work" is denied. Usually the quality of "collective work" is recognised for a dictionary or an encyclopedia (but I don't know if this applies to the text only or if it includes illustrations), but it does not apply to a collection of contributions to an academic symposium, where participants are free to say what they want. Teofilo (talk) 22:45, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
If the pictures come from a photographic agency selling its pictures to the dictionary, I would say that it is unlikely that the pictures are part of the collective work. If the designers or photographers are salaried employees of the dictionary, the presumption that their contibution is melt into the collective work is stronger. Teofilo (talk) 22:56, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
See also this article on the website of the French trade union of journalists : their view is that a collective work like a newspaper is at the same time a collective work and a reunion of individual works. (l’œuvre collective ne permet pas aux éditeurs de s’attribuer les droits des œuvres qui y sont reproduites). If this view is correct, the individual copyrights continue to survive after the copyright term of the collective work has elapsed. Teofilo (talk) 17:39, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

File:Semey Medicine Academy.jpg

File:Semey Medicine Academy.jpg was uploaded from [5] under CC-BY-2.0. On the website it says, "Есле вы хотити исползовать материалы с этога сайта - берите, мне не жалко, но будте любезны оставить ссылку на него." In English this means, "If you want to take content from this site - take it, I don't mind, but please add a link back to the file. However, their is no indication of the use of a CC-BY-2.0 license. What license should the file be listed under?

I used {{Copyrighted free use provided that|a link back to the source is provided}}, according to your translation. Is that correct? Diti the penguin 18:30, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that "use" ("исползовать") is not ambitious in Russian. Will be good idea to ask author to explicitly license image under Creative Commons license terms. --EugeneZelenko (talk) 18:54, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Newly prepared set of copyright licenses

After I have had successful uses on Chinese and English Wikisources, I would like to introduce a newly prepared set of copyright licenses that will not require manual updating because authors have died for longer periods:

  • {{PD-anon-1923}} is for anonymous and pseudonymous works published before 1923.
  • {{Pd/1923}} is for works with known authorship published before 1923. Entering {{Pd/1923|author's death year}} will automatically pick {{PD-old-50-1923}}, {{PD-old-60-1923}}, {{PD-old-70-1923}}, {{PD-old-75-1923}}, or {{PD-old-80-1923}} depending on how long an author has died. Once died for more than 100 years, {{PD-old}} will be automatically picked. s:zh:user:Wmrwiki made the code Pd/1923 but I have been unable to merge the function to {{PD-1923}}, so I would like to request any experienced users to try if a merger may be made.
  • {{PD-anon-1996}} is for anonymous and pseudonymous works public domain in the USA with the same reason as {{PD-1996}}. Entering {{Pd/1996|year when work was published}} will automatically pick {{PD-anon-60-1996}}, {{PD-anon-70-1996}}, or {{PD-anon-80-1996}} depending on how long an anonymous or pseudonymous work has been published. If any experienced users know how to incorporate the extra features from Template:PD-1996, please do so.
  • {{Pd/1996}} is for works with known authorship public domain in the USA with the same reason as {{PD-1996}}. Entering an author's death year automatically picks {{PD-old-60-1996}}, {{PD-old-70-1996}}, {{PD-old-75-1996}}, or {{PD-old-80-1996}} depending on how long an author has died. Once died for more than 100 years, {{PD-old}} will be automatically picked. s:zh:user:Wmrwiki made the code Pd/1996 but I have been unable to merge the function to {{PD-1996}}. I would like to request any experienced users to try if a merger may be made as I have problems doing it by myself. As I tried the new function at Image:Spelterini Al Ashraf.jpg, the category PD-old-75-1996 would show, but the author's death year would not show in the template.

I also posted this message on English Wikisource s:Wikisource:Scriptorium#Newly prepared set of copyright licenses on 21 November 2008 with the advantages. Some changes are hereby made to better fit Commons. Please help improve as blaming alone does not help.--Jusjih (talk) 23:22, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

{{Pd/1923}} and {{Pd/1996}} also do not work properly when enclosed in {{PD-Art}}. {{PD-Art}} cannot enclose two copyright tags. Some programming is so tricky and I cannot always figure out how to solve the problem.--Jusjih (talk) 23:29, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
I have generally debugged the above tags. However, if no one else wants to allow proper enclosure of {{Pd/1923}} and {{Pd/1996}} in {{PD-Art}}, I will just put my automated tags outside and in addition to {{PD-Art}}.--Jusjih (talk) 02:22, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Photographs from British/U.N. Controlled Palestine

Does anyone know if photographs taken in British and/or U.N. Controlled Palestine in the late 1940s fall under British, Israeli or some other copyright law? Thanks, IronGargoyle (talk) 22:05, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Do you mean "first published" instead of "taken" ? Because if a picture is first published in the USA, the US law applies, regardless of where the picture was taken. Teofilo (talk) 22:21, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Palestine had its own laws I think... the copyright law dates from 1911 (see here) and is the basis for current Israeli copyright law. As always, changes to current law can retroactively change how old works are handled, so photographs from Palestine-but-not-Israel territory could be different -- I have no idea. But I don't think British law would apply in any case (directly anyways... the 1911 law was heavily based on the UK's). Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:11, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Massive updload of perhaps copyrighted pictures

Hello, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Aylaross, has upload a lot of pictures "from trailer" using the licencing information : [6] and [7]. Perhpas he's right but it seems not obvious to me for films such w:en:Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (film), w:en:Sabrina (1954 film), w:en:The Towering Inferno, w:en:Written on the Wind, w:en:Mary Poppins (film) --GdGourou - °o° - Talk to me 07:33, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

This is for example discussed at Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Trailer Screenshot (34).jpg. I believe sabucat.com is right. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 07:42, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Pre-1978 U.S. copyright rules were pretty strict... if the trailer was legally "published" with permission of the copyright owner (i.e. distributed to theater owners for display), and did not have a copyright notice, then frames from that trailer itself should (almost always) be OK, since they became public domain (regardless if they were previously copyrighted or not). All copies needed the notice, not just the first one. Obviously this only applies to frames directly from such a trailer known to be published before 1978, not to more recent trailers or non-trailer frames lifted from the film itself. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:06, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Quick question

I was looking at Image:AL03425.jpg, Image:AL03420 lrg.jpg, and Image:37th3.jpg. Other than the bad naming, how can the Ohio Historical Society say the images are free use, and then go on to say that you can't reproduce them. Do these images even qualify for commons with the current copyright type notice in the Infobox? Thanks. Stepshep (talk) 23:44, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Quick response: I've just taken a look at these terms and these indeed do not appear to be free. --AFBorchert (talk) 23:54, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. What would be the correct way to go about getting them deleted? Stepshep (talk) 00:05, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
The terms are not free. On the other hand, some appear to be U.S. Army photos -- if that is the case (and they were not private photos taken by soldiers), then they are PD-USGov and the Ohio Historical Society cannot claim copyright on them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:19, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
To delete them, just tag them as {{speedy|reason}}. Stifle (talk) 16:41, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

User talk:Ezagren

All images uploaded by User:Ezagren does not have proper url to support the license tag used. Please verify. Borgx (talk) 06:11, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

about PD-art and already published reproductions

Hi, please forgive me if the question has been answered already. What is the license status (according to WMF position on PD-art) of a scan of a faithful reproduction of a PD painting published in a recent book? Does PD-art only applies when the photographer herself releases the file on Commons, or could there be derivative works (possibly protected outside Commons and independently from the WMF statement) in the chain? --Eusebius (talk) 16:11, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

The image is still PD under US law no matter how many levels of failful copy are gone through.Geni (talk) 21:46, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, agreed: see COM:ART#Photograph of an Old Master scanned in from a recently published book. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 22:02, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
So it is ok to scan a recent book, mention it as the source and release under PD-art? I just want to be sure. Had not seen MichaelMaggs's reference, thank you. --Eusebius (talk) 22:17, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Mongolia: Scope corrected

I have just fixed the section on Mongolia and the template. My original interpretation was incorrect: It doesn't matter where a work was created, but the Mongolian law applies to all works first published in Mongolia. --Latebird (talk) 21:09, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

The scope of Mongolian copyright is in article 5 of the law. "First published in Mongolia" seems overly simplified, and no real improvement over "created in Mongolia". /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 09:53, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what oversimplification you mean. But even if it was one, that would certainly still be an improvement over being plain wrong, wouldn't it? --Latebird (talk) 11:08, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

License searched for Rockband-Logo on Commons

Hi! There's a Logo of the british Band Marillion [8]. A user from georgia maid it. I asked him to move it to commons [9]; so I would be able to use it in the german article of Marillion as others maybe do in their own Wikipedia. —actually he moved back his de-1-babel?...  ;-) — He's willing to do so but asking for the correct license in commons. [10] I've no idea. Would someone be so kind to give us a hint? Thanks and greetings --Sir James (talk) 07:00, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, but no chance unless you obtain a free license of the owner of the logo/name/trademark (iow: of the rock band Marrillion). ---jha- (talk) 08:11, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. --Sir James (talk) 09:13, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
For the record... technically the owner of the trademark is not relevant, but rather the copyright owner is the important one (obviously, these are usually the same). Even if a Georgian user made it, it would still be considered just a "copy" (or at the very least a derivative work), so you would need permission from the copyright owner. This is actually pretty close to PD-ineligible in the US, but this is a UK band, and it is probably eligible there (which would make it not OK for commons). You may be able to upload it to de-wiki directly; I believe German copyright law has a higher copyright eligibility level than the US in these cases. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:52, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Image review

I know about Flickreview. Is here something like this for free images from another sources? For example, somobody can delete this image at original source and if it won´t be in web.archive.org, I (or somebody else) have no chance to prove in deletion request, who is the author and that it was under cc-by-2.5. --Dezidor (talk) 12:30, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Idealy yes. But since it can't be done by bot since such sources are not standardised it would pretty much have to rely on people adding some kind of review template in passing.Geni (talk) 13:38, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
You could try archiving the original at webcitation.org and posting the archive URL on the image page. That way anyone can check the archived page to confirm the license status. For example, I just had the source of the image you mentioned archived as http://www.webcitation.org/5dMVggD4S. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 19:17, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

French film trailers

Hello! As everyone knows, film trailers (for movies produced by any country) released in the US between 1923 and 1977 inclusive, without a copyright notice, are in a Public domain. I was wondering if there's a similar law for French film trailers. I don't think that French theatrical trailers were ever released in the US. To be more specific, I have several French (not American) trailers for the films with Brigitte Bardot made between 1956-58 and released without copyright notice, and I'm wondering if these may also be in a public domain. I'm thinking about {{PD-1996}}, but I know nothing about that URAA thing. Thanks for explaining in advance.--Betty Kerner (talk) 01:03, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Nope, French copyright law has none of those possibilities (few if any other countries do). Copyright lasts 70 years after the last of the principal authors dies. From the translation[11]: In the case of audiovisual works, the calendar year taken into account shall be that of the death of the last survivor of the following joint authors: the author of the scenario, the author of the dialogue, the author of the musical compositions, with or without words, specially composed for the work and the main director. It's pretty safe to say that the copyright still has a few decades to go... Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:00, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

American picture of Japanese pottery

Would this image be eligible for Commons?--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:31, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Sure, under {{PD-user-en|Prosfilaes}} (or {{PD-self}}, if you are the uploader). The vase would be PD in the U.S. (published before 1923), where the photo was taken, so the photographer should own full copyright in the photograph and can license it as they want. "Country of origin" of the photograph would be the U.S., so that satisfies the Commons requirement. (Country of origin for the vase itself may also be the U.S... sounds like it was made for the 1892 Chicago World Fair. But, that is not directly relevant for the photo.) Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:30, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

how minimus is de minimus?

(Copied from The Village Pump):

Status of compilation images

Are these images okay?

These are probably examples of a larger problem of "panorama images" of product packaging. Is there a good solution when finding such images in the commons? Is transwiki-ing them to the wikipedias that use them the right thing to do, or is it best to just leave them here and hope for the best?

Also, where is the best place to go to ask such "can I do ___" questions? Davidwr (talk) 01:04, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Those look to be all de minimis use of any contained logos. File:Dogfood options-1.jpg is the only one with even a possible concern, I would think. Commons talk:Licensing is one (other) place you can ask. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:23, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Photos nominated for deletion because of “no COM:FOP in Belgium”

Five photos in Category:Expo 1958 I took during the World's Fair in Brussels 1958 have been nominated for deletion by a user with the comment “COM:DW, no COM:FOP in Belgium”. For example File:Expo58_building_URSS_night.jpg and File:Expo58_building_USA_inside.jpg. I wonder whether that is right, because then many, many photos of buildings in Belgium within Commons should be nominated for deletion. Wouter (talk) 09:50, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

The problem is nl:SABAM, which aggressively controlls copyright of the Atomium. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 10:01, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
In a general way, I wonder how aggressive we should be about pictures with no-FOP issues. There are A LOT of pictures that could be requested for deletion on this basis, but I'm always uncomfortable when I nominate one... --Eusebius (talk) 12:24, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
We should of course be "agressive" or dilligent. It sucks, but it's still copyright infringement. Anrie (talk) 13:56, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Just because of what Pieter Kuiper mentioned I avoided to upload all photos I took of the Atomium. On my user page user ViperSnake151 mentioned "Unfortunately under local copyright law, the rights of photographs of buildings and artwork are reserved by the copyright holders, which means that we cannot host them on Commons." The local copyright law mentions "The modern pieces of art cannot be the central motive of a commercially available photographs without permission of the artwork copyright holder."
I looked in the French and Dutch laws and indeed they talk only about "Dispositions particulières aux oeuvres d'art graphique ou plastique" or "Bijzondere bepalingen betreffende de werken van grafische of beeldende kunst.". Nothing is mentioned about "photographs of buildings". Wouter (talk) 15:32, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
In the Belgian relevant law, buildings are not once mentioned, only literary or artistic works. Lycaon (talk) 15:55, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Does that mean that French/Belgian/Dutch building pictures are OK even though there is no "FOP", or simply that there is a threshold of originality for protection (which we know already)? --Eusebius (talk) 22:43, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

It is a common(s) misunderstanding that "counrty of origin" means "country of photographed object". CoO is the country of the photograph. If a German makes a picture of Atomium it has to be OK here (US OK and CoO). Another interpretation has to be set up as official policy regarding a FOP exception --Historiograf (talk) 21:55, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the precision... I thought the country of upload was relevant as well, though. --Eusebius (talk) 22:43, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
The country of origin of the Atomium is Belgium however. Would Germany not respect what Belgium considers a derivative work? In FoP countries, the derivative rights typically do not extend to such photographs, so there are no such entanglements, and the photographer is the sole rightsholder of the photograph (where, as you say, the country of origin depends on where it was first published). Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:06, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Maybe Historiograf could elucidate with a legal source for that opinion. If the intention is to say that the nationality of the photographer determines the country of origin, I do not think that is right. But maybe I have misunderstood what was intended? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 23:08, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Photo tagged with speedy delete by an IP

The photo File:Pennsylvania State Police SUV.jpg was tagged for speedy deletion by an IP, because, as the IP stated, the logo of the PA State Police happened to be visible on the side of the vehicle. Would there be a legitimate copyright problem with it? Or is it just a strange form of vandalism? --Dtbohrer (talk) 23:23, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

It's fine (de minimis use of whatever logo is there). There are people who over-interpret what derivative works are, so I'm not sure I would call it vandalism -- just mistaken. I would just remove the speedy tag. The are cases which are more borderline, but those are almost always best as regular deletion requests and not speedy deletions. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:26, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
What do you know, I've heard something about the trival use of copyrighted material, but never knew the name. I figured I'd defer to an expert, as I'd dare not the touch the tag unless I was certain and it looks like someone already removed the tag. --Dtbohrer (talk) 06:57, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Own photo of (USSR?) memorial in FRG

So, I think I'll finally use this Commons account of mine! I made one ages ago to upload a file (which I now see has been deleted as it apparently wasn't even licensed to be on the it:WP, so go figure) from the Italian WP so I could use it on en:WP. Now, I've been re-figuring-out how to upload files, because I have several photographs which I took recently in various places (starting with the FRG) which I'd like to upload. However, as I made my way through the various helpful pages the preface the upload page, I read this : 'Works which contain other copyrighted works (derivative works) - these are not permitted [...] Photographs of art, statues, commercial packaging and often toys.' First of all, the language is slightly unclear to me: are works (eg pictures) which contain 'photographs of art, statues, commercial packaging and often toys' forbidden, or just 'photographs of art, statues, commercial packaging and often toys', or both? This I ask merely because I'm a grammar pedant and I like to be sure I'm parsing things correctly. Moreover, though, I'm curious: the first photograph I'd like to upload is of a small (two columns, ca. 3 m high, on a pedastal ca. 2 m x 0.5 m) memorial, located in w:Angermünde, and evidently (due to the Cyrillic inscription on it that reads 'eternal glory to heroes!') constructed by the Soviets sometime after the Second World War (although that's OR ;), I can't find an authoritative explanation of who built it). I suppose it's not precisely a statue, but you might consider the memorial art, and I really have no way of knowing (given the discussion above about some 1958-era Belgian building being copyrighted!) whether or not the memorial is copyrighted. So, ... do you think this is legal? And what licence is recommended, given that I took the photograph myself and wish to put the file on en:WP, no attribution required? Beobach972 (talk)

Sounds fine. According to COM:FOP#Germany, it does not matter that the original author may not have been German.
Many licenses are ok. {{PD-self}} means no attribution required, but if you prefer a license reviewed by a German lawyer, perhaps {{Cc-by-3.0-de}} is ok.
--InfantGorilla (talk) 23:45, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

copyright of maps

This may be answered elsewere, but I didn't find it: What would be the legality of tracing two or three copyright maps of the same area, cross referencing them, and coming out with a version based on all of them with a free license? It sounds too good to be true, but I thought I'd ask. I guess a more general question would be how could one make a free map of an areas political boundaries?--207.6.243.186 02:17, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Creating a new map by copying data from existing maps is derivative work, so subject to copyright by the creators of the source maps. For simple maps which contain only political boundaries and location of cities it is frequently possible to find free sources. This is especially true for the United States, as maps created by the Federal Government are PD. Sv1xv (talk) 06:54, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't believe that is exactly true. Facts, such as "the road from A to B goes through points X, Y Z, etc., as given by these co-ordinates", are not copyrightable, although a compilation of them might be, as a database, under some jurisdictions. That caveat notwithstanding, the primary copyrightable elements in maps are their creative presentational aspects, such as the placement of labels and the choice of colors and symbols. If you extract only factual geographic data from a map, omitting all such presentational elements, and limit the scope of your data mining to some relevant and objectively defined criteria (such as "the boundaries of entity X") rather than copying the entire map, you're unlikely to violate any copyrights.
Even so, of course, it's always preferable to work entirely from free sources. For political boundaries that are not physically marked on the ground, one possibility, assuming you cannot locate an existing free map, would be to consult the original documents defining the boundary. Depending on the specific boundary, this could be surprisingly easy (for example, many nautical boundaries are simply defined as "X miles from the nearest land belonging to Y") or quite difficult, but one should at least consider it. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 14:30, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Scotland topographic map-en.svg
Quality maps cannot be created with "simple facts". Of course it is trivial to create a small scale political map showing borders and a rough coastline without infringing anyone's copyright.
However, in order to create a good quality map, like this one of Scotland, the designer needs access to high quality data (coastline, rivers etc), which tends to be copyrighted. There are some good PD sources, like CIA maps and NASA World Wind
Sv1xv (talk) 18:23, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Even "high quality data" of coastlines, rivers, etc. will be PD in the United States, if it merely seeks to accurately represent actual terrain. Note, however, that this may not hold in jurisdictions that subscribe to the "sweat of the brow" doctrine. Also note that corporations may well try to claim copyright on data even if they can't legally enforce it. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 21:01, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Mapping data from European Union cartographers will be protected for 15 years by database copyright. However there are many sources of databases of old public domain maps, such as UK ordnance survey with expired crown copyright. Choose carefully which maps you trace. --InfantGorilla (talk) 11:14, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Japanese movie posters of non-Japanese films

Is the Japanese movie poster at [12] public domain? It is a Japanese movie poster of 1940 movie en:Rebecca (1940 film) fistly released in USA in 1940 and released in Japan 7 April 1951 [13]. There are marks of Toho (Japanese company) and of S.R.O. (French company [14]). Can it be public domain according to Template:PD-Japan-organization as other 50 years old Japanese movie posters of Japanese films? See also en:Japanese_copyright_law#Length_of_protection and Commons:Licensing#Japan. --Snek01 (talk) 21:54, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Couple more versions here; it is a derivative work of a photograph (publicity or movie still maybe). This one is tangled. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:05, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Please also note, that template was made by me so feel free to improve it if needed. --Snek01 (talk) 12:37, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Australian War Memorial website

I'm having an issue with image from this website. Nevfennas (talk · contribs) has uploaded a lot of these, dating from WWII (at least for most of them). According to Australian copyright law, the original of these pictures are {{PD-Australia}}. Indeed, on the website the image are captionned with the following mention:

“Copyright: Copyright expired - public domain Copyright holder: Copyright Expired”

However, the images on the website are derivative works from the originals. A watermark and a logo are added, sometimes the URL of the website. The general copyright notice of the website says that:

“You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only for your personal, non-commercial use or use within your organisation. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, you must not copy, adapt, publish, distribute or commercialise any material contained on this site without the permission of the Australian War Memorial.”

As I understand it, the original pictures (not available on the website) are indeed PD-Australia, but the available pictures are derivatives disclosed under a non-commercial (and more broadly, too restrictive) license, and thus should not be hosted there. On this basis, I have speedily deleted a few images of the lot, before realizing that the issue might not be so simple (these files might have to be undeleted depending on what is said here). I would like to have other opinions here. I think the AWM should be a bad source, but maybe I'm wrong. Thanks in advance. --Eusebius (talk) 12:42, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

You may also like to see Wikipedia:Australian Wikipedians' notice board#Australian War Memorial photos now labeled as being in the public domain. Bidgee (talk) 12:52, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
Oh, thanks. But is there a conclusion to that? To me, the PD caption is still in conflit with the website copyright notice. Apparently what I'm saying is more or less the same as Graeme Bartlett's last remark. --Eusebius (talk) 13:00, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't see how the watermarks are creative enough to create a derivative work, so {{PD-Australia}} looks ok. Despite en:User:Nick-D/Australian War Memorial Email, uploads are not infringements, and won't be breach of contract as Wikimedia itself is non-profit. However, since AWM participates in Flickr Commons, using those images will avoid watermarks. http://www.flickr.com/photos/australian-war-memorial/ and http://www.awm.gov.au/about/copyright/index.asp --InfantGorilla (talk) 11:33, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Glad to see it's possible to get some of their pics (not much, though...) without a watermark. For information, here are the AWM files I've deleted based on my assumptions:
--Eusebius (talk) 13:42, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Their statement does say "Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968", so presumably everything is fine for PD-Australia works, since all use is permitted for those works under that Act. It is possible that they may have some of the UK's "skill, labour, and effort" copyright considerations, but given our position on PD-Art, I would think that we consider digitized photographs as copies and not new works (watermarks don't count either, I don't think). I would undelete them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:33, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
The relevant advice on online photo copyright on the AWM's website appears to be the 'duration of copyright' section at: http://www.awm.gov.au/shop/legal/copyright.asp which specifically covers the ' Australian War Memorial's Public Access Databases' (eg, the photos which are available online). In short, this states that photos in these databases are not covered by copyright 50 years after they were made if they were taken before 1 May 1969. Given that the images are specifically labeled as 'public domain - copyright expired' in their records in the AWM's database, it seems pretty clear that the AWM is not asserting copyright over these images in any way and is confirming that they're PD, and there should be no problems with uploading them here (note that this is not an automatic classification, as more recent images in the database are generally labeled as being 'AWM copyright' or copyright of whoever took the photo). Please note that this issue has been discussed many times in the past, and the conclusion has always been that the images - with or without watermarks - are PD - even before the AWM corrected the images' copyright status in the database and started uploading images onto Flikr with no restrictions. These conclsions have been based on a reasoning that the AWM has no legal right to limit use of copyright exprired photos in their collection, and this appears to be even more clear-cut now that the AWM has labeled old images in their database as being PD. Nick-D (talk) 21:31, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, let's close the case then. Thanks to all for your comments and explanations. I restore the few deleted files. --Eusebius (talk) 21:48, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

scanned documents displayed on auction sites or online stores

Dear Wikimedia,

I have noticed there are historical documents for sale on various websites, including auction sites. A prime example is this:

http://www.empiremilitaryauctions.com/detail.asp?id=298

It is a certificate of promotion of a nazi party official in 1936.

Most of these websites display photos of these documents, some of which are pprobably rather important to history.

Im trying to figure out the license on this sort of thing. Can you just copy the picture and paste it into wikimedia commons? Do you have to attribute it? Or, at least, wouldn't it be polite to attribute it?

What would be the license of

  • 1. the jpg files on the auction site itself
  • 2. a picture of the document itself
  • 3. the document itself
  • 4. the text of the document, only.. (ie, if you typed it up)
  • 5. the translated text of the document

Thanks!!! Any answer to any one of these questions would be helpful. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Decora (talk • contribs) 01:11, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

For scans of documents that are old enough to be in the public domain (both in the U.S. and in the source country, if different), use {{PD-scan}}. (See also Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag.) Unfortunately, that generally doesn't apply to Third Reich / WWII documents, many of which still remain copyrighted. (Ps. I moved your question down here to the bottom of the page. The usual style on Commons is to put new comments on the bottom, so that things stay roughly in chronological order.)Ilmari Karonen (talk) 04:13, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
In the particular case of such official documents it might be possible that the original would be considered an "official work" (Amtliches Werk) and thus be eligible for {{PD-GermanGov}}. I'm not sure, though... If so, the license for the original would be {{PD-GermanGov}} and that for the digital reproduction would be {{PD-Scan}}. Lupo 07:46, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
The license for the original text would then be the same as that of the original (i.e., also {{PD-GermanGov}} if that applies at all). The copyright of a translation would be held by the translator. So, either the translator licenses his translation under a free license, or otherwise you'd have to translate it yourself and release the translation under a free license (or get someone else—such as a fellow Wikipedian—to do so). Lupo 07:50, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Unlisted license : e-puck Robot Open Source Hardware License Version 1.0

Hello,

I've got some pictures to put on commons which are licensed under the previously cited license, typically this on : shematics.png. The whole text can be found here : Licence. I think this licence fits the requirements for Commons but I don't know how to publish these files under this specific licence. Can someone help me please ?

Trolli101 (talk) 16:28, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

It does appear to be compatible. It also seems like we'll end up with very few pictures under this license, as it mostly deals with robots. Most likely the best way to deal with this would be to upload it using the custom form and using a custom made license template. --J.smith (talk) 18:25, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
The language seems heavily inspired by the GPL. I don't see anything particularly problematic in it either, at least not from our perspective. (I wouldn't personally use it, even for publishing robot specifications, since it seems to provide no advantage over just using the GPL itself (with an explicit note that hardware built from the specifications, insofar as it counts as a derivative work at all, should fall under the GPL's definition of "object code"). But that's rather irrelevant for Commons.) Note that any license template ought to comply with, and prominently inform potential reusers of, the notice and disclaimer requirements in section 3. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 07:28, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Using email template

A question as I don’t understand fully the email template on page Commons:Email_templates.
On my request I have received from somebody - lets call him John -a photo of a man who died in 1980. I want to put that photo on Commons. What I have to do is:
Send John an email asking him to send me an email with the text as in the box on page Commons:Email_templates but then filled in. For the sentence “I hereby assert that I am the creator and/or sole owner of the exclusive copyright of WORK [    insert link   .”, the part “WORK [    insert link   ” is replaced by the file name of the photo for example “Praag JP van 01.jpg”.
The sentence “I agree to publish that work under the free license LICENSE” should be for example “I agree to publish that work under the free license LICENSE CC-BY-SA”. If that email shows that the permit authorized by the copyright is appropriate to the Commons, I upload the photo with the same file name that becomes Praag_JP_van_01.jpg and add {{OTRS pending}}. I forward the email of John to permissions-commons-at-wikimedia.org including a link to the image I uploaded. Is this all correct? Thanks Wouter (talk) 20:11, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Almost.
  • The words "WORK" and "LICENSE" should not appear in the email reply as they should be replaced by the name of the work and the specific license.
  • For avoidance of doubt, the version of CC-BY-SA should be specified, e.g. CC-BY-SA-3.0-Netherlands.
  • While it's fine for the copyright holder to send you the email and you to forward it, it's even better for the copyright holder to send the mail directly to permissions-commons, copied to you.
I hope that answers your query. Stifle (talk) 13:55, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Check user contribs

Hi, please check User:Towpilot/sv:Användare:Towpilot contributs, files as File:I_Rossellini_A_Hopkins.jpg, File:Matthew Broderick.jpg, File:Sylvester Stallone.jpg don't look much as attributable to him. It's hard. --79.22.91.95 16:14, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Do you have any evidence that these images are from elsewhere? Please read the discussions at User talk:Towpilot and look at the long history. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 23:29, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
No, I don't. But I don't see the real name of this user too. How to solve eventually legal problems? How to avoid everyone do the same thing? --79.27.32.201 17:26, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
What legal problems? By all appearances the user is scanning his own old negatives, of which they are the copyright owner, and uploading them under an appropriate license. This is perfectly OK, and in fact encouraged... not sure why we want to avoid others doing it. Also see Commons:Deletion requests/Image:I Rossellini A Hopkins.jpg where this was hashed over again. They certainly look attributable to him as far as I can tell. File:Sylvester Stallone.jpg in particular was re-scanned at much higher resolution a couple of years after its first upload... certainly looks like a scan of a negative to me (indicating ownership). If you have specific information other than a general doubt, then bring that up (though it is always best to first ask the user on their talk page). Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:57, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Ambiguous permissions

I learned today that the Croatian Wikipedia has a "permissions archive" here. One image using a permission stored there is File:Liza saliens.jpg. If I run their permission e-mail text through the google translator, it appears to me that they just state that they want to include materials from the contacted party in (the Croatian) Wikipedia and then say "Your materials would be used under the terms of the GNU-FDL license (link)."

Is this a Wikipedia-only request? I find it also a bit strange that they don't spell out the consequences of releasing material under a free license, as e.g. in our Commons:Email templates. Personally, I think this borders onto tricking people into releasing files. (Especially combined with the "We'll link to your site; this will certainly increase your page's [Google-?]rating.", which likely isn't even true given the "nofollow" policy...) When I ask for permission, I always avoid the "include in WP" bit, and I spell out exactly that anyone may use the work, provided he complies with the license (which requires attribution and including the full text of the license), followed by a link to the actual GFDL text.

Also, why don't they just use OTRS?

Thoughts, anyone? Lupo 12:08, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

work of an employee in Hong-Kong

Will a work of an unknown employee of a company in Hong Kong expire after 50 years? I would like to upload a poster image of 1956 film en:The Legend of the White Serpent (1956 film). The poster was made by unknown employees of Japanese company (Toho Company) and by Hong Kong company (Shaw Brothers Studio). It is public domain according to Template:PD-Japan-organization. But what about the Hong Kong?

Section 17 in Chapter 528 says: If the work is of unknown authorship, copyright expires (a) at the end of the period of 50 years.

Section 14 in Chapter 528 says, that employer got the copyright.

Did the copyright of employer expired allready?

See also: Commons:Licensing#Hong_Kong and Template:PD-HK and the whole 528 Copyright Ordinance. --Snek01 (talk) 13:08, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

What is the proper licensing for a picture of a logo plaque

During a recent driving vacation I came across an old banner for a now-defunct American Motors dealership in Hawthorne, Nevada. It's in remarkably good shape considering it hasn't been taken care of since the dealership was closed and bulldozed in (at the latest) 1987, so I snapped a few photos. I have no qualms about releasing the images for free, especially if they can be of use for projects where free images are a must, e.g. the German Wiki. Before I go merrily uploading the images though I figured I should check and make sure that pictures of a banner bearing a company logo (albeit for one that's now defunct) are suitable for Commons. Please let me know. -- Yukichigai (talk) 21:10, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Hmm... generally, the fact that a company is defunct does not make their logo free: someone still owns the copyrights. For American Motors, the copyright to the logo probably got bought by Chrysler Corporation along with the rest of the company.
However, if it's the same logo as en:File:American-motors.svg, you might have an argument that it's {{PD-ineligible}} under U.S. law, consisting solely of "common geometric figures or shapes" (U.S. Copyright Office Compendium II, section 503.02(a)) in a simple arrangement. You should still tag it with {{trademark}}, though. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 06:42, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Also keep in mind that anything published before March 1, 1989 in the U.S. required a copyright notice to retain its copyright... ;-) If not visible on the banner, it would probably be PD-US-no_notice. Carl Lindberg (talk) 08:28, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Yep, the banner doesn't have a copyright notice visible at all. Now, mind you, I say "banner", but it's because I can't think of a better term for "large metal-and-plastic lit-up post-thing". Not sure if the difference from just a normal flexible strung-up banner means PD-US-no_notice can't be applied. I'll apply the tag because I'm 87% sure it's right, but please take a look and correct my tagging as needed. I'll link to the photos once I've uploaded them. -- Yukichigai (talk) 00:43, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
UPDATE: Photo is located at File:AMC-post-1.jpg. I have more, but until I'm certain Commons will take them I'm not going to upload the rest. -- Yukichigai (talk) 01:07, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Look good to me, except that you should explicitly release the photo itself under a free license — it's original enough to sustain a copyright separate from that of the depicted sign. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 13:21, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Licensing of coats of arms & family standards

I'm sure this has been answered countless times before, but I seem to be at a bit of a loss in tracking down the answer on my own. I'm interested in uploading an image of my family's coat of arms & family standard. What is the licensing of such works for the following conditions: (1) photos/scans of property I own, such as a signet, tapestry, or wooden wall fixture; (2) computer image created by someone else; and (3) computer image created by myself? Thanks! --Bossi (talkgallerycontrib) 00:53, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

I think someone wrote up a piece on it for English Wikipedia, but I can't recall where. In brief:
  • If the computer image was created by copying something else, then it is a derivative work, and the copyright is at least as strict as that of the artwork that was copied.
  • If the computer image was drawn from the artist's imagination using a written blazon, and then freely licensed by the artist, then we generally accept it.
  • For the property you own, if the engraver/textile designer/sculptor died less than 70/100 years ago (depending on your country) then you are probably out of luck, unless you can meet the special conditions of freedom of panorama in your country.
--InfantGorilla (talk) 13:25, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Gotcha, so basically vexillogical items are just like any other. Thanks! --Bossi (talkgallerycontrib) 13:50, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
You are actually in a better position than many other items, because it is actually reportedly quite easy (for an artist) to make a free equivalent from the written blazon. --InfantGorilla (talk) 16:57, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
Here is one place where volunteers make free vexillogical items suitable for Wikimedia (based on blazons): en:Wikipedia:Requested pictures/Graphics#Flags & Heraldry --InfantGorilla (talk) 17:07, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Flexible Licensing Template

I recently saw an option for licensing that I found very inspiring. Do you think it would be worth making a general template out of it? --Yamavu (talk) 19:38, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

by-nc-sa is no free license. Ask to uploader if to delete such unfree images.
  • If you are asking about text: "If you want to use this picture with another license than stated below, contact me", then it is useless.
  • If you want to use more licenses, use template for example like this {{self|GFDL|cc-by-2.5}} --Snek01 (talk) 01:12, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
No need for deletion if a non-free license is dual-licensed with the GFDL. --InfantGorilla (talk) 09:12, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
In such self made template there is need to write if both licenses are necessary or only one can be chosen. --Snek01 (talk) 14:04, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I am not aware of that need, as the terms of the licenses themselves usually mean that the re-user is permitted to choose either one. It is dealt with in a little more detail at Commons:Licensing#Multi-licensing. --InfantGorilla (talk) 14:42, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Are these military decorations PD-ineligible?

Old contributor (no longer active, no e-mail address) uploaded images of South African military decorations (for example af:Lêer:MTDGlint.gif and af:Lêer:MTDBlint.gif). Are they PD-ineligible (meaning I can transfer them here), or would they have to go to the bin? Anrie (talk) 08:51, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I'd say simple ribbon bars like that certainly ought to qualify as {{PD-ineligible}}. Of course, IANAL. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 12:17, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Question about {{Agencia Brasil}}

The template builds on the cc licensing of http://www.agenciabrasil.gov.br/. However we have a lot of images here from different websites. Im interested in transfering the last image of this website to Commons. The image is very similar to File:Paulo Godoy e Lula.jpg: Comes from the same domain, same author, same attribution. Is the image ok or is File:Paulo Godoy e Lula.jpg allready a copyvio? The webiste http://www.imprensa.planalto.gov.br/ where both images come from does not say anything of Creative Commons, just Todos os direitos reservados, so does the Creative Commons permission from http://www.agenciabrasil.gov.br applie. If not: there is a lot of work checking the other images with this license. --Martin H. (talk) 15:43, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

"PR" is very probably standing for "Presidência da República", meaning that such images come from the presidency press team and are not created by Agência Brasil. Tagging with {{Agencia Brasil}} was not correct, then. I don't know how many images are wrongly tagged with {{Agencia Brasil}}, but I suspect that this is not the only template being misused on Commons... Patrícia msg 16:12, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Hi PatríciaR and thanks for your answer. I dont think it is missused, maybe the template is to restrictive: {{Agencia Brasil}} says: The content of their website is published under cc-by-2.5-br, http://www.agenciabrasil.gov.br/canal_do_leitor (nr. 2) says in my translation that all content provided by ABr can be used under cc-by-2.5-br. Thats an important difference and it confirms our usage of the template for photos we take from other re-users. The only question is: Where is the borderline of content created by ABr and not ABr, in this example: Why should the author of File:Paulo Godoy e Lula.jpg (and the other image i wish to transfer to Commons) Sr. Stuckert fall under the ABr licensing? --Martin H. (talk) 17:06, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, on other images that are created for Agência Brasil, those are usually credited "Photographer"/ABr. In this case there is no evidence that this image even went close to Agência Brasil's website, so no evidence that the image was created for Agência Brasil. I don't know if I'm missing something here :). Patrícia msg 20:14, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
If you care about the subject on that picture you can get it here. Images published in the Agencia Brasil website, the news agency for the federal government, are cc-by2.5-br as said in the footer. As well are the agency images posted in the previous website of the agency: http://img.radiobras.gov.br.--Pediboi (talk) 02:19, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for this image, i will use this weblink because your link can be manipulated very easyly, you can change the caption yourself with your link :) The result is File:Pascal Bodjona with Lula da Silva, ABr 60037.jpg, what a great source of images!
I try to formulate my concern more clearly:
  • {{Agencia Brasil}} says that images from the webiste are cc-by, according to the mentioned copyright section of the website i would say that images created by ABr are cc-by, no matter where they are publicated.
  • What about images not or not obvious created by ABr? We have many images that have not Author name/ABr as caption but Author name/PR. Are this images also cc-by? Thanks again for the image.
--Martin H. (talk) 03:24, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
The copyright sections doesn't say

"created by Agencia Brasil" but "of Agencia Brasil", only by asking them one can be sure about the PR/ pictures, but they might have cared about what they publish under a cc-by-2.5 license (since it applies to the whole website).--Pediboi (talk) 03:47, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

PD-Ukraine and works from other former soviet countries

Recently, licensing tags on a lot of old soviet images were changed from {{PD-Russia}} to {{PD-Ukraine}}. In most cases, the image description did not include any indication, that these images were made in the Ukraine, taken by a ukrainian photographer or published in the Ukraine. Therefore, I reverted a lot of those changes, but now one user undid my reverts and complained on my talk page.

So, I'd like to get some clarification, whether {{PD-Ukraine}} can be used for works from all former soviet countries. Or do we need proof that those works are PD under current copyright laws of the respective (former soviet) countries of origin? For example, if an image was taken in Belarus or Moldova, is it really sufficient to assume that the image was published in the Ukraine back then to make it PD?--Kam Solusar (talk) 17:18, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

We'd need proof of a first publication in the Ukraine. Not just a sale, by the way—let's clarify this by way of analogy: American books by American authors published by American publishing houses are sold in Europe. That doesn't make these "European works"; they remain "American works".
Following the mainstream of the legal literature, we've been applying a strictly territorial approach to copyright. Michiel Elst (Copyright, Freedom of Speech, and Cultural Policy in the Russian Federation, Martinus Nijhoff, Leiden/Boston, 2005; ISBN 9-004-14087-5; a comprehensive 700-page treatise) emphasizes the strict territoriality of copyright laws. Also, the internal structure of the USSR and its legal system seem to support this view. Union-wide federal laws had to be implemented at the SSR level by individual laws in each SSR. All these SSRs had their own copyright laws! These republic laws could not contradict the federal law, but they could go beyond the federal law and they could and did differ between SSRs. The efforts of Russia after the demise of the USSR to coordinate the copyrights on Soviet works amongst the CIS nations (the Moscow agreement in 1993) further corroborate this strictly territorial view.
In this Moscow agremeent in the framework of the CIS of 1993, the CIS states agreed to be considered UCC members as of 1973-05-27, the date the USSR had joined. The UNESCO lists them all as member of the UCC (Geneva text, 1952) as of 1973-05-27.UNESCO list, see the footnotes The CIS nations also agreed to apply the UCC amongst themselves for Soviet works, even for works published before that 1973 date.
Newcity (Copyright Law in the Soviet Union, Praeger Publishers, New York 1978. ISBN 0-275-56450-9) writes (p. 49): "These Fundamentals of Civil Legislation [referring to the 1961 Fundamentals as amended in 1973—Lupo] [...] constitute detailed standards to which the civil codes of the 15 union republics must conform. Under the Soviet federal system, the central government of the USSR is empowered to adopt such legislative standards, but the final responsibility for actually adopting laws rests with the individual republics. [...] The RSFSR is the largest of the 15 union republics that make up the USSR and includes the two major centers of publishing in that country, Moscow and Leningrad. The overwhelming bulk of Soviet publishing is done in the RSFSR. Thus, in most cases, the copyright law of the RSFSR [i.e., the 1964 RSFSR Civil Code, as amended up to 1978 when Newcity wrote this—Lupo] will be the statute governing disputes concerning authors' rights. ..."
In two legal cases I've come across that considered such Soviet copyrights in the U.S. (thus treating the problem from an international angle, exactly like we do), en:Itar-Tass Russian News Agency v. Russian Kurier, Inc. and Films by Jove, Inc., and Soyuzmultfilm Studios v. Joseph Berov et al. (154 F. Supp. 2d 432 (E.D.N.Y. 2001)), the courts considered mainly the copyright law of the RSFSR, not the Federal USSR Fundamentals.
Based on Newcity's assertion that "the overwhelming bulk of Soviet publishing is [was] done in the RSFSR", we apply Russian law for Soviet works unless someone can prove that the first publication of a particular work actually occurred in some other SSR. Lupo 13:14, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Dunno... if a photo was taken in the Ukraine, or by a Ukrainian, then there is probably a reasonable case for using the Ukraine as the country of origin. Soviet government stuff probably makes sense to use Russian law, but not necessarily all works made in the Soviet Union. But obviously... I think there needs to be some tie to the Ukraine, not just a convenient tagging to avoid the new Russian copyright law. I'm sure that the images are PD in the Ukraine, but there needs to be some explanation as to why a country in (for example) Europe would consider the country of origin to be the Ukraine when calculating the rule of the shorter term. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:06, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Agree mostly, but some care has to be exercised concerning the "taken in the Ukraine" bit. In general, that doesn't make a photo an "Ukrainian work". Consider WWII photos taken there by German soldiers... Concerning your last point: whether a third country would consider the Ukraine as the country of origin for a certain work would in general depend on whether the work was originally first published there. But I fully agree that there should be (strong) ties to the Ukraine. Tagging e.g. photos from Latvia as PD-Ukraine doesn't make much sense. Yes, such a photo may well be PD in the Ukraine, but the Ukraine is unlikely to be the "country of origin", and thus such tagging is irrelevant for us. We only care about the country of origin and the U.S. Lupo 07:41, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
The country of origin would be the Soviet Union... to which there are now a number of successor nations. Not sure what Berne Convention would actually say about that, so I would just try for some common-sense reasoning. If an otherwise Ukrainian work was first published in Moscow due to the structure of the government of the time, I'm not sure it should necessarily be considered a Russian work. Obviously, yes, this only applies to material first published in the Soviet Union -- works first published elsewhere would have the country of origin be that country instead. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:19, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, that is where the Itar-Tass and the Films by Jove cases and Newcity's comment about how the union-wide fundamentals did not have the force of a law but only defined the scope within which the individual republics had to implement the provisions of these fundamentals in their republic laws fit in. (I know, there is a strange discrepancy between the theoretical "federation of republics" structure of the USSR and the de-facto centralization. Elst (referenced above) goes into quite some detail on that.) It appears that at least U.S. courts considered the law of the place where the work was published. In these two cases, since the works were published in the RSFSR, they used the copyright law of the RSFSR, not the union-wide Fundamentals. Had they been first published in the Ukrainian SSR, the courts would have presumably had to consider the copyright law of the Ukrainian SSR in making their determinations. Lupo 15:42, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Those two cases involved the Soviet government newspaper TASS and a Moscow-based animation studio; I don't think there is much question about which is the country of origin there. It may well just be whichever successor country whose laws the copyright owner (or original author, if different) is currently subject to, without any regards to place of first publication. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:26, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Our esteemed colleague Lupo never ceases to amaze me with his prodigious verbosity. He seem to be able to throw all kind of pixie dust in the air and add some smoke and mirros to that to make a truly dazzling display of spinning half truths and guesstimates handsomely lining themselves up in any way that Lupo heart desires to form some sort of legitimate sounding argument. What was the question? Oh yeah.. What is the PD in the independent from Russian federation Ukraine and and why some files that were made in the Old USSR seem to have two mothers (countries of origin). Why it just ain't natural! Right? Wrong. But before we get in to that. What is the PD in Ukraine. It is by LAW the soviet files which were made before 1951 (if anonymous). So its written and so it ( PD status) shall be done. Pretty simple Right? Now what is the ones again according to Ukrainian Law the PD - really old soviet files. But one can ask in dismay- why Soviet and Russian its the same thing and we have Russian federation. so Soviet=Russian federation! Wrong again. Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 and Both Russian federation and Ukraine claimed same old files as their property just like family pictures during the divorce are divided and taken by both parties with them. Now what about Ukrainian laws during the good old USSR and how they differed from RSFSR laws? Of course there were minor differences in the criminal code but there no practically no body of regulation dealing with intellectual property laws outside of penalties for plagiary which ones again found in the criminal code. Since the state had the rights to all published material and there there were no private interests to squabble over the property rights, there were no internal, domestic caseload requiring republics to register or even consider copyright, so whole idea of courts even considering republic of the first printing as a base for the determining the "country of origin" within USSR is ludicrous. However one might ask did not Ukraine had its own, flag, constitution, representative in the UN and other trappings of statehood? well ones again external chest puffing of the huge but really poor USSR is not in any way made Ukraine in to an independent State during these years, it was but a province. I challenge LUPO to find ANY reference to a copyright on any soviet publication that were not meant for export. About CIS and now it comes in to play. It don't! Ukraine did not ratify the accord and even if she did 1993 accord does not proclaim and sanctify the eternal primacy of Russian federation over the former USSR and strict adherence of CIS countries to vagaries of Russian legislature. Ones again the whole issue of Ukrainian PD have so far not been addressed here largely becouse the Russian federation had made that debate moot by allowing more liberal use of old soviet files than Ukraine. However people of Ukraine have the right and the privilege to have in the PD certain files available to them and therefore to all wikipedians. Whatever or not these files were uploaded under then current Russian federation laws is not relevant to the case. So now we have to examine the the powerfull argument that supposedly "the overwhelming bulk of Soviet publishing is [was] done in the RSFSR". If by "bulk" we are talking about metric tonnes of paper and millions of gallons of ink that went into that enterprise then one must agree with that. However USSR had 14 other republics with either russian or national language publications pumping out truly vast amounts of printed material. Newspapers in the republican centers dutifully published the same available material as the Moscow papers. Only in 100 different languages. Under Soviet/Russian legal understanding in order to be considered "published" material must be "open to the public" ( in russian "обнародован") . If you never been to the local library in one of the republics then you probably don't know what its like to be surrounded with hundreds of local magazines, newspapers and publications which one never did and will never see in Moscow. Yes they were not as popular and were not published in the millions of copies, like russian language counterparts but in the proportioanlly smaller numbers. But its not at all a point since Lupo is trying to convince us that a truly stupendous number of regional publications be that publishing houses, or industry publications or childrends magazines, that served perheps a third of the polulation of the Soviet Union, and overwhelming MAJORITY of its nations numbering in tens of millions of sitizens, should be simply ignored as "underwhelming" Screw them! Right? Thats is NOT a very serious aattutute toward adresing the problems and conserns of wikipedians of these, now inderpendant nations! And finaly about court cases mentioned as a proof that Ukranian laws should be simply swept under the rug in favor of cringing before the mighty fist of the Russian burocrat. Both of these cases don't deal with issues covered by Ukranian PD timeline. (up to 1951)Shtanga (talk) 11:49, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

First, calm down. Discussing copyright is never meant personal. Second, please note that copyrights were not covered in the criminal code. Third, the whole thing is not about whether the images are PD in the Ukraine, but about whether that matters at all. You are right about the distinction in Soviet copyright law made between "publication" and "making available to the public" (which included non-tangible forms). This dichotomy indeed caused quite some strange effects regarding copyrights, because as far as any international treaties (since 1973) were concerned, the term "publication" (distribution of tangible copies) was applied, but for intra-Soviet copyright determinations, it was "making available to the public" which counted. Fourth, "bulk" just means "most". Fifth, contrary to what you say, there were copyrights held by non-state entities (such as authors) in the USSR—even if these copyrights were not as far-reaching as modern copyrights, were limited by broad "fair use" exceptions or mandatory licenses, had a shorter duration, and royalties were limited by state-issued remuneration schedules. Sixth, of course applying Russian law by default is an imperfect solution. Show some evidence (with verifiable sources) that these images were taken by Ukrainians, or were first published in the Ukraine, or at the very least were simultaneously published in the Ukraine, and we might perhaps use PD-Ukraine on some of them. Lupo 12:28, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure these old Soviet works are indeed PD in the Ukraine. The larger question is its legal status in countries around the globe, which have all signed copyright treaties. If a work is only PD in the Ukraine, it is not of much general use, and therefore not appropriate for Commons. It is somewhat of a fuzzy question to decide on which successor nation would be the "country of origin" of a work, in Europe necessary to determine the rule of the shorter term, in the U.S. to determine if a work was PD in that country on its URAA date, and so on. If a work has no ties to the Ukraine whatsoever, I don't think there is any reason for thinking the Ukraine is the country of origin for those purposes, and therefore PD-Ukraine is not a valid tag for that work on Commons. If there is some actual tie to the Ukraine, that is different. This is the main question though -- determining the "country of origin" for a non-standard case like this. Non-Ukraine Soviet material could probably be uploaded to the Ukrainian Wikipedia directly if it is PD under Ukrainian law... for Commons though, we need to try to figure out what the international treaties would say. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:19, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
In responce to Lupo. Plagiarism was and is covered in the criminal code in Russia - in article 146 where it stated that its punishable for up to years imprisonement, however you are not really adressing any of the issues covered in my reply. As i stated due to spesifics of Soviet law 'territoriality" of the uncopyrited material within the Soviet Union is not easy to determine and therefore is pure speculation. And no amount of conjecture about how many tonns of printing paper went to Moscow versus to Alma-Atla or Riga is relevant to the issue, since printing the item was NOT the only way for the item to "made available to the public". Next point is that in the Soviet Union there were no private property rights granted to non govermental entities, therefore your assumption that images where copyrighted is incorrect. "Authothership rights" of course existed for authors and inventors, but where primerily moral rights in the same vane that academic credit is given to the scientists. Copyright however is a tool which allows an entity to ensure private property rights over the the intelectual property. Since government owned all the intelectual property in the USSR only time the copyright issues were looked in where when the Soviet intelectual property was traded with forein entities, which was rather rare. In other words when correspondent submited his pictures to the ministry of propaganda, it was then filed under a humber such and such and made available to all publications in the Soviet Union. If it had a name of the photographer on file, then his was given credit and if the picture was really popular with press, then may be there were a 50 publes bonus for him in the end of the month. Thats it. If the jornalist needed to use the archives of a given ministry then he did so without any need for "authorship rights" holder permission since the archive and its contents were property of the Soviet Government. How the leadership of USSR organized its archives and where they were located had NOTHING to do with were they came from , who took them, and where they "made avaiulable to public" in whatever form they were. Also arhives of "enforcement" ministries and organizations operated in the "need to know" mode and who took these pictures and under what circomstanses was classified. Needles to say in the Stalinist USSR probably good half of population worked for these types of organizations. Therefore the people of Ukraine having considered these facts have long ago decided that soviet based files do NOT belong to the Government of Russian Federation as Lupo is trying so hard to make sure of, but belong to ALL of the former soviet people who were equals under the soviet authority and therfore remain qeuals after becoming the sitizens of democratic and independant states such as Ukraine. Opinion of whatever analist, that Lupo considers to be above the opinion Ukranian Law and its people is interesting, but it seems it reflect merely an opinon stating that Russia now, is more desirable to cringe before due to its "bulk", then before any other former soviet republic. Now if there were a need to make a choice beetween the tsar Putin the First and some no name democratically elected president like Yushchenko, then one can see that it would be much easier to lick the Imperial Russian boots then being trampled under them defending the rights of some small independant nation and its people, who merelely want to have an equal access to common well without the international passport, full body cavity search, the poll tax and their skulls measued. But there is no need to make the choice since there is no conflict exists here exept perheps the opinion of some members of Pro-Russian clique. Therefore i don't see any point in setting up checkpont Charlie and yelling an eqivalent "papers or we will shoot" to all the Ukranian users while wellcoming the Russian with happy smile and playfull wink. Lets be fare now people. What good for Ivan is oughta be good for Mikola and vise versa. Either all users must equally deal with Cpt. Conundrum and prove that anonymous files were not "made availbale to public" in places that history long since forgot or nobody should.Shtanga (talk) 12:16, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Politically charged and motivated unstructured rants are not helpful at all. Besides, nobody claimed that soviet based files belonged to the Government of Russian Federation. You seem to be severly confused. About there not being copyright in the Soviet Union, would you please discuss this with Mr. Elst, Newcity, Gavrilov, and other copyright scholars that were already active in Soviet times? Thank you. Lupo 13:44, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Come now. Putin and his cronies own good deal of Russian economy and it seems that with Imperial coffers swelled with oil profits and the ability to play with europian gas supply oil they can browbeat not jst Mr Gavrilov and whoever you are refering to as a reason to deny People of Ukraine their rightfull place at the wikipedia commons but even many democratically elected europian leaders who are willing to tolerate Russian backsliding in to the arrogantly soviet like behavior. The question HERE is not whatever its "advisable" to "join em if you cant beat em" from pureley selfish reasons, since you dont want to mess with a bully, question HERE is whatever or not we even need to start discriminating against national minorities based on the remote possibility of Russian political mashinations somehow entering in to the fray. Ones we do have any eveidence that violating the rights of people of Ukraine to choose their own laws and their own destiny, in the context of this here discusion, that deals with nothing more then a handfull of old soviet files and nothing else, can somehow lead to seroius political reprecussions for the project and its founder then and ONLY then should we allow any national or racial bias enter in to consideration. So far i have not heard any such evidence. Once again lets not assume the role of the Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates, but instead let just follow the letter of the law which states that the PD is PD if it is PD in the country of origin and since the files under discussion are doubtlessly Soviet and soviet files are in Ukraine and doubtlessly considered ukranian and not strictly Russian (and rightly so) then who are we to dispute that? Shtanga (talk) 20:42, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
If it is a Ukrainian work, PD-Ukraine is fine (provided it applies). If however it has nothing to do with the Ukraine -- e.g. it was by a Russian and not Ukrainian author -- then likely it would be considered to still be copyrighted through Europe (for example), since neither the Russian nor European copyright term (70 pma) has expired, and the author could sue under copyright grounds in all those countries, as well as Russia. This situation is why we need to determine "country of origin" since that is what international copyright treaties are often based on. Commons is for files which are widely free in many/most countries, not just one -- if one of these Russian images is fine in the Ukraine but nowhere else, then it could possibly be uploaded to the Ukrainian Wikipedia (though I have no idea what their policies are). But it really shouldn't be on Commons. This is purely a legal copyright issue, not about Russian/Ukrainian relations. We can't tag all former Soviet pictures with a PD-Ukraine tag unless there is reason to believe it had some ties there (Ukrainian author, taken there, first published there, something). Russia has the perfect right to redo its copyright laws; it is no different than what Europe did in the 90s when they retroactively extended the copyright terms. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:26, 8 January 2009 (UTC)


  1. Is it any possible to retag of {{PD-Russia}} by {{PD-Ukraine}} for Soviet works as a whole, not? From some POV - yes. From some POV - no. This is subject of discussion .
  2. But... It's inadmissible totally to do such things in automatic or automatized procedures. Typical examples are File:Ussr0356.jpg or File:Ussr0269.jpg - it's easy enough to find out the autoship of overwhelming majority of Soviet poster arts with the help of Internet and literature. Their authors died after 1946 - and these works was copyrighted in both RF and UA on Jan.1.1996, as also in other CIS-members.
    Others examples:
    • (a) Works of authors, who died between Nov.7,1917 and Dec.30,1922 - they could be citizens of RSFSR or Ukraine or Belarus or TSFSR (and puplished their works in respective countries), but they couldn't be citizens of USSR (or published their works in respective countries).
    • (b) Works of authors, who died between Nov.7,1917 and Dec.25,1917 (communist POV) - they could be citizens of RSFSR, but they couldn't be citizens of Ukraine. There is also POV of Central Rada about separation from Soviet Russia (October,1917).
    • (c) Works of authors, who died between Nov.7,1917 and Jan.1,1919 (communist POV) or Match,1918 (Belorusskaja Rada's POV) - they could be citizens of RSFSR, but they couldn't be citizens of Belarus.
    • (d) And etc.
    1922 + 70 a = 1992 PD in every 70pma country and in the USA. No problems at all. sугсго 10:41, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
    You are incorrect. You have fogot about unpublished works and works of authors, which were subject of repressions. Alex Spade (talk) 12:28, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
    • (e) An Russian artist, who was born, lived and died in Theodosia (born in the Russian Empire, died in the RFSFR). A few years after his death, his hometown was gifted by Stalin to the Ukrainian SSR. sугсго 12:55, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
  3. Moreover, if retag of {{PD-Russia}} is possible in principle, it must be done not by {{PD-Ukraine}}, but by {{PD-USSR-before-1946}} (name is preliminary) - because not only UA, but also some other post-soviet states have 50-years' time of protection - in addition some of them haven't expansion of time of protection on account of Great Patriotic War and repressions. For its possible rules see Template:PD-Armenia - it is only necessary to add the phrase about shots from non-amateur cinema or television film or television broadcast (as in #3 in Template:PD-Russia-2008). Alex Spade (talk) 17:46, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
  4. Back to the retagging. The motto of such retagging is: "Works had been publicated in USSR, had been publicated in all 15 republics" - in other words because according to Berne Conv. the CoO is country with minimal time of protection - the old Soviet works are copyrighted 50 years after author's death without any expansion of time of protection on account of Great Patriotic War and repressions. Hmmm... Really?
    The copyright is determineв by three basic rules: (1) country of publication at the moment of publication, (2) citizenship of author at the moment of publication and (3) interstate and international compacts.
    Let's see concerned case with citizenship of author - for example, the Constitution of RSFSR (1978) says "Citizens of RSFSR are also citizens of USSR" but the reverse ("Citizens of USSR are also citizens of RSFSR") is mistake - because "Citizens of other republic have same rigts" (but they are not also citizens of RSFSR) - these theses were confirmed after USSR-collapse in respective Laws on Citizenship (with except for Baltic states with their "features").
    Same theses have been written in Copyright Laws - they say only about citizens of respective republic, and all other people (including citizens of other USSR-republics) are subject of interstate and international compacts. Similar theses have been written in Copyright Laws about state of publication at the moment of publication - they say only about respective republic, and all other states (including other USSR-republics) are subject of interstate and international compacts.
    If the motto is true, the increasing of time of protection from 50 to 70 (made by RuFed, Ukraine and Georgia), GPW-compensation (RuFed and Kazahstan) and repression-compensation (RuFed and Ukraine) are useless even in respective countries because of Berne Conv. (they all are BC-members now). But these increasing and compensations are working. Alex Spade (talk) 20:49, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
  5. NB. One of the main rules of lic.policy of Wikimedia projects is "Work is unfree as default, its freedom must be proved". In other words, the motto of rettaging (no its impropriety) must be proved/cheked. Alex Spade (talk) 08:40, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
In response to Carl Lindberg. Let me state here that i do not bring in to this discussion any political bias. However when i hear people constantly repeit the same old fallaces about Russia and russians, and how all Soviet deeds need to be asumed to be "russian" while representatives of all other nations in the Soviet Union need to "prove" that their contribution is really real, i find it very offensive. Understand that only becouse we here speak english, do not make us english or anglo-american either in loaylties or in culture, or in citisenship. Same goes for Russia and russians. So please spare me the condensending tone of voice and keep your advice, to go with my issues and play on the parking lot, outside, by the exit sign, to yourself. We don't have to use Commons or Wikipedia ot even use the internet. Nowever when we do use the publicly avaivable resorces we must learn to respect other peoples god given rights and don't discriminate against them, becouse it's deemed convinient, or becouse somebody "could sue under copyright grounds in all those countries", as though discriminatory practices could help us to avoid lawsuits. The best policy to avoid lawsuits for Jimbo and the wikipedia is eighter to close down the wholle project or to apply rules equally to all users regardless their nationality. As to purely copyright issues, i think no one here disputes that images in question are PD in Ukraine. So there are are no copyright violations here to speak of. The debate as i see it, is basically about existing practices. Since Wikipedia Commons based in the common law country, being based in Florida (or is it California these days), then the question of how the existing policy deals with everpresent doubts regarding the legal status of each given file, is the question, which we must answer in order to avoid sinking in to the bottomless pit, which is proverbial Dickensian legalistic hairsplitting. As far as one can see the standart here is to asume that the files barely old enouth to be PD in the Country of origin (in this case USSR - not Russia mind you) are indeed PD and the assumption which one must use - is an assumption that author dies right away after making these pictures, or at least in the same year, unless there is a verifiable reason not to, and of course it to assume that the authour is not and will ne known since its been a good long time since the event transpired. We are of course talking about OLD files. Same "problem" with recent files made under GFDL license. We must asume that its actually made by uploader and he is, who he claims to be, which of course anyone's guess whatever he/she is not. Consequently the equal standard must be applied to the files whatever they are made (or appear to be) by whites or by blacks or by arabs, and assuming that blacks who are "considerably more likely" according to some statistics to be criminals then whites, are lying more often when whites while uploading pictires, and therefore demanding that all blacks must submit the sworn witness statement, that they are indeed have taken these pictures, while allowing whites not to do so, will be obviosely discriminatory and therefore illegal to do, regardless of how "justified" one may feel in doing so. We need to assume that people do what they do honestly and out of purely good intentions regardless of what and who is on the file and therfore we must divorce ourselves from the idea of attributing the file to a certain group of people, who must do more then everyone else here to justify it presense in the Commons solely becouse they look certain way. In other words your idea that only "ukranian looking" people need to apply for the PD-Ukraine license is really behind times. Shtanga (talk) 06:02, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
In response to Alex Spade. I 'v read your reply and i must confess that i, just like Carl the Slingblade "understood a great deal of it". I must say that i thank you for a detailed and interesting take on the topic. However i feel that you and i are not on the same page. I think you are trying to blow this debate out of water by adressing issues of Kyrgiztan and Armenia, instead of just giving us your perspecting on one topic, that we came here to discuss which is Ukranian PD in the Commons. Nothing else should be entering this debate. If you feel the need to start another debate about the dillema of Kyrgiztan vs. Armenia, then we can always debate THAT there. Also i feel that although the Russian issues with extentions for veterans and repressed, while interesting to talk about, merely reflect your bias toward the russian perspective on the topic, while not adressing the issue of why there is an uneven playing field, when applying Ukranian Law is concerned, compared to Russian regulations, which we should not be even talking about here, but somehow constantly have to! Let not expend this debate in to your opinions and attitudes toward political repression in the Stalinist Russia, and how we all must pay for it by giving up our Ukranian rights, to have Ukranian law, that differs from the Russian law, as though it made any sense at all. It makes sense to a Russian politicians, who want to kill two birds with one stone, that's to give their political bosses, who are deep in the oligarhs pockets, something tangible, like state control over PD files on one hand, and to appeal to sensibilities of war vets who would also rather have something tangible, but instead, that are given and "extention" to copyright as though it helps even a handfull of these people to buy a loaf of bread! Same old Russian BS thats what that is! Besides one have to also look at the other side of the coin and ask a question about whatever Ukranian people will benefit from Russian extentions. Answer is they will not. Ukranian people already figured that out for themselves a good long time ago. Therefore please stop trying to apply russian laws to Ukraine and to meet Ukraine half way. There is no requirement here to analize and to ponder the regulatory framework of post soviet timespace in order to merely follow the same rules of Wikimedia Commons in the same way they are always followed. As to proving the unprovable i think its obvious that i already covered that in my reply to Carl Lindberg. Shtanga (talk) 07:17, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
As long as we're randomly assuming nationality without evidence, I think that most people are actually citizens of Afghanistan and documents were first published there. If we're working seriously, we have to assume that the stricter of the applicable laws apply, unless we can prove PD-Ukraine. Your political repression really sucks, but it's completely irrelevant here. (And it would be easier to take your arguments seriously if they were cut down from a thousand word block (literally) to, say, a hundred.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:36, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
We are talking Soviet files here Prosfiles. Not Afgan files. These are PD in Ukraine whatever you feel its "right" or "wrong" or "unethical" or "random". As to political repression it actually sucks really bad and we dont need to perpetuate it here by not taking it seriously, but rather assuming the arrogantly pro-russian stance. Laws in the western culture do not stand alone like they were in days of the tsars, but measured against the natural rights of the person and should never be applied not in the strictest, broadest and overreaching way but in the equal, fare, and meausured form.Shtanga (talk) 21:10, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with law; the law Wikmedia Commons runs under, US law, doesn't care much about copyright status in other nations. It has to do with Wikimedia Commons policy, that policy that says they only accept works "that are in the public domain in [...] the source country of the work." (It's a pointless policy IMO, but it is what it is.) The question is, what does the balance of evidence say the source country is? The Tsar and other Russian politicians are completely irrelevant to this.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:02, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
It does have something to do with the law -- there are reasons behind the Commons policy. For the U.S., the copyright was restored if the work was copyrighted in its country of origin in 1996. So... which is that country? If the USSR was the original country of origin, now there are a number of possible successor nations, so we need to pick one -- not sure there is much precedent, but it may well just be where the author/copyright owner currently lives, or lived at the time. Similarly, when countries in Europe try to determine the rule of the shorter term, what is the term in the country of origin? Which country's term do they use? Commons really shouldn't be using "whichever successor's copyright laws are most convenient for us" (and likewise, it shouldn't also be "whichever one is most restrictive"). Should we ignore a former Soviet copyright for a Ukrainian author who died in 1953 because it happens to be PD in, say, Armenia? Obviously changes to Russian law have no effect in the Ukraine; the question is what would countries outside the former Soviet Union consider the "country of origin" today. Common sense would seem to dictate that would be works first published in the Ukrainian SSR, or by Ukrainian authors, or maybe photos taken in the Ukraine if the author is not known. If the copyright owner was the Soviet government itself... well yeah, that does get interesting since there are 12 successor governments. I would think the Ukrainian Wikipedia itself should be able to use any Soviet files regardless of which SSR they were from per their law (though I don't know what the uk-wiki policies actually are -- do they allow images to be uploaded locally?), but the same really isn't true for Commons. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:56, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
There is good reason to use "whichever one is most restrictive" instead of common sense; common sense may or may not accord with the law as it would finally get interpreted, but whichever one is most restrictive certainly will. If having the set of materials Commons host be Free is high on our priorities, we should reject materials where there is a reasonable doubt that they're free, and there are a lot of documents that common sense says one thing but there's reasonable doubt to the contrary.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:10, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
I understand what you are saying, but in this case I disagree -- it is much too cautious. Otherwise you are arguing that if, say, Moldova changes to a pma 100 term we then have to treat all Soviet works (Russian, Ukrainian, or other) that way. That would be using the law of one country to affect how we treat works of other, separate sovereign nations, which I think is an incredibly bad idea. For the URAA restorations, the "source country" is the country of first publication (and if not published, then the country where the copyright owner currently lives). However, Soviet works could easily be considered to be simultaneously published in 15 separate current countries, and the law then says if the restored work is published on the same day in 2 or more eligible countries, the [source country is the] eligible country which has the most significant contacts with the work. So, I am basically suggesting to use common sense to determine "most significant contacts", unless there is a law or actual court case which strongly suggests using another approach. If using the Berne Convention itself, it may actually go the other way: in the case of works published simultaneously in several countries of the Union which grant different terms of protection, the [country of origin is the] country whose legislation grants the shortest term of protection.

Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:07, 13 January 2009 (UTC)


Good point. However all this reasoning is pivoting on a prerequisite of having proper foundation for making any kind of determination regarding, the time, place of publication and "most significant contacts" of the files in question. Since there is no way to determine any of that in way way save guesswork and racial profiling of the faces and accoutrements pictured on them then we should go with Ukranian Law and do way with existing policy of national discrimination of Ukranian users.Shtanga (talk) 21:10, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
And what about the national discrimination against Azerbaijans? Or are they just not cool enough?--

Prosfilaes (talk) 05:17, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I am sympathetic to the struggle of Azeris against national discrimination, BUT here we are merely trying to adress the issues of PD in Ukraine and not to find the cure for cancer, recepie for world peace and solution to global warming. I think that any debate can be derailed with inflammatory and irrelevant comments. Also i dont think there is a real Azeri or Armenian issue at hand and therefore i kndly ask you to stay within the parameters of the ongoing debate regarding just one question, which is a common misconception or Russian origin of Soviet works. However if there is ever a REAL and not imaginary reason to raise the issue of discrimination in the Wikimedia Commons against any national minority, be that Azeris or Armenians, i think we sould definately look in to it.Shtanga (talk) 07:47, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
There is only one successor nation to the USSR, that being the Russian Federation. The RF is considered the legal successor of the USSR in terms of all international treaties and obligations, and as Russia is a signatory to the Berne Convention, the ultimate authority is Russia. Whilst Ukraine may claim copyright over all Soviet works, this is not recognised internationally, and whilst they may be PD in the Ukraine, they are not PD in Russia unless they meet the requirements of the Russian laws, and as Russia is considered the legal successor of the USSR, they are not recognised as being PD anywhere else, except Ukraine. So they may be fine for Ukrainian WP, they aren't appropriate for Commons. --russavia (talk) 10:10, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Not really true... The USSR never joined the Berne Convention; rather all the successor nations did so independently (which also complicates things if we are using the Berne Convention to determine "country of origin"). The USSR was a member of the UCC, and 12 of the 15 nations are considered legal successors to that agreement (including Russia and Ukraine), and thus their UCC membership is considered, internationally, to date from 1973. Five of the nations were considered successors to the ABM treaty, including the Ukraine (before the U.S. pulled out of it). The USSR had a 25 p.m.a. term when it dissolved, so each of the successor nations could pass their own laws after that point -- though since all or most joined the Berne Convention, they would have to at least have 50 pma terms on most works. The US URAA restorations have some fuzzy language which indicates some common sense needs to be applied... if a work was done by a Ukrainian SSR author I'm not sure that post-USSR Russian laws are relevant, and PD-Ukraine should be fine if it otherwise applies. I just don't think that any single successor country can claim to be the "country of origin" for all former Soviet works... seems best to use some common sense to divide them up, probably by nationality of author or something like that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:14, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
There is only one successor nation to the USSR - not true. Only 3 Baltic states declined to name theirself its successors (but they are still legal successors of respective SSR (with some reservations) and also pre-Soviet republics). According to post-collapse compacts 12 of the 15 republics are legal successors of USSR and each republiс is also of legal successor of respecive SSR, but for simplification of entering into world community they agreed that RuFed would borrow the place of USSR (union) in international organisations and internation treaties. If some post-Soviet republics were participating in international organisation and internation treaty directly, respective post-Soviet republics have taken their places automatically (as Ukraine and Belarus in UN). Therefore RuFed confirmation of UCC membership was formal respectful action unlike other 11 republics. Also RuFed is legal successor of USSR in questions of union level, but civil legislation was subjest of republican civil laws, at union level there were only frame documentaion about their harmonisation (similar to Directive on the harmonisation in EU) and internattional treaties. Alex Spade (talk) 08:01, 13 January 2009 (UTC)