Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 18

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Contents a reliable source for copyright info?

I just inadvertently uploaded a number of images under PD-US when the book was actually published in Britain in 1900. However, the book has been digitized by Microsoft and listed as "OUT OF COPYRIGHT" at Can I therefore make the assumption that the work is out of copyright in the US? If so, what copyright tag should I use, since the Wikipedia PD-1923-abroad-US tag doesn't seem to work here? Gatoclass (talk) 08:33, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

If we stick to the rule "Uploads of non-U.S. works are normally allowed only if the work is covered by a free license valid in both the U.S. and the country of origin of the work", you should not upload the files here, or ask an admin to delete them, whenever the author/photographer/graphic designer died in 1939 or later. I don't think we should trust Microsoft or anybody without information on when the author died. Teofilo (talk) 11:48, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Having taken a closer look at the site, I have to disagree with that. The book is clearly listed as out of copyright and I see no reason for us to start second guessing professional organizations. My real question is in regards to what tag I should use in place of the PD-1923-abroad-US tag, which doesn't appear to be recognized here. Gatoclass (talk) 14:13, 6 April 2009 (UTC) follows U.S. copyright law -- anything published before 1923 is public domain here. But, for a book published in London, Commons would require that the UK copyright (which is the country of origin) has also expired before allowing it. So, find who the credited author is of the photo. If not credited, it may qualify for {{Anonymous-EU}} or {{PD-UK-unknown}}. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:17, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Oh, okay, you are saying that archive org is basically using the same copyright rules as That makes sense. I guess the pics may only be eligible for then. The authors of the pictures are unnamed, as for many of these old books, I will take a look at the tags you mentioned but I suspect I may have to move the pics back to Thanks for your help. Gatoclass (talk) 14:26, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I think I'll list them under Anonymous-EU. Thanks once again :) Gatoclass (talk) 14:30, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Stamps of Independent India


I uploaded the first three stamps of Independent India issued in Nov-Dec 1947 to commemorate independence:

As per Indian copyright law, the copyright for such material lasts 60 years, so anything post-1949, as most Indian stamps are, still are under copyright. See WM Commons policy on this issue. Conversely anything pre-1949, such as these particular stamps of 1947 should be in public domain.

However the Department of Posts of India vide [1] states:

Re-production of stamps is allowed for illustration purposes in Philatelic Publication or in an article relating wholly on postage stamps which may appear in any magazine, newspaper or publication of a general character. Such reproduction should however, be only in black. If stamps are to be produced in colour for publicity purposes, prior permission of the Director General of Posts must be obtained. To avoid similarity with the postage , such reproduction must be distinctively in smaller or larger sizes than the actual stamp and must be without perforation on the edges. Further, across bar will also be placed on one- corner of the stamp, obliterating the denomination. It must be noted that reproduction of the stamp in colour of the actual size of the stamp with perforation of the edges may be deemed to be taken as production of the actual stamp..

So does public domain supercede the departmental regulation? I think the public domain should prevail.

AshLin (talk) 18:56, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

The {{PD-India}} clearly indicates, and links to the appropriate law, that post-1949 or 60-year old images, such as government works, are in the public domain. The Indian Post office are much less likely to be specific if they claim blanket copyright of all images even though the law says otherwise. (There is a term for this but I don't recall it right now). I would even be surprised if the 1957 law was retroactive but I have not read it in detail nor am I a lawyer either. Ww2censor (talk) 21:00, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Follow up: While there may be a debate about whether Indian stamps are "Government works" which I think they are in many countries, the act states that: "Government work" means a work which is made or published by or under the direction or control; the Government or any department of the Government; (and other govt detail)" and in relation to government works it states: "Term of copyright in Government work.- In the case of Government work, where Government is the first owner of the copyright therein, copyright shall subsist until Sixty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the work is first published." Seems clear to me. Ww2censor (talk) 22:56, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

I think there is little doubt that Indian stamps are government works, so PD 60 years after publication (pre 1949 in 2009). Yann (talk) 10:03, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

"Ineligible for copyright"

I have tagged this bookcover from 2004 as ineligible for copyright since its design is so simple. Please let me know whether I made the right decision or whether it is actually a fair use image. Thanks. Awadewit (talk) 17:47, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

You don't actually mean "fair use," you mean "public domain." The answer is, in my opinion, that it is not, because of the original bird silhouette design (the stylized ampersand is probably still PD-text). Dcoetzee (talk) 18:24, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
No, I mean is it PD or should it be fair use? So, you believe it should be used under fair use because of the bird image? It has been suggested to me that this is such a basic image that it cannot be copyrighted. Awadewit (talk) 00:21, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
The standards for copyright are pretty low; I have no doubt that that bird image qualifies for copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:42, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Ok. If someone could delete this file, I would appreciate it. I'll stick with the fair use version I have over at Wikipedia. Awadewit (talk) 19:00, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Done. Yann (talk) 09:59, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

My photos

Hello. I just added to some of my photos the following sentence:

Is this all right, or have I to change it anyway? I am the author of the photos and added them to the linked pages in 2006 and uploaded them here in 2009. Greetings --Tlustulimu (talk) 14:08, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Hi Tlustulimu, I changed two things on the first image:
First i made a cleanup, there was a lot of redundant (bot created) information on the page. The original uploaddate is duplicate, it is not interesting so the original log is enough. You uploaded the file manually and seleceted some more licenses, thats ok, but i removed one section. I internationalized the sections and clearified the source. That was a normal maintenance edit.
Second i moved your statement to the "other_versions" section, thats the correct place for something like this. I changed the wording to make it more clear. Better in German: Mein Englisch ist nicht sonderlich gut, aber die Begründung hörte sich auf deutsch übersetzt unsinnig an. Das Bild ist nicht auf der Webseite weil du der Autor bist, sondern weil du es da veröffentlicht hast. The other_versions section is the best place do indicate different websites using the image. It is a good idea to prevent irritations about the copyright status. Feel free to revert my edits if you dont like it. --Martin H. (talk) 14:06, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Hallo, Martin. Danke für deine Korrekturen. Ich habe gerade den besser formulierten Satz für die anderen beiden Bilder entsprechend übernommen. - Sollte ich eventuell auf den gelinkten Seiten ebenfalls einen Hinweis anbringen, damit keiner denkt die Wikipedia bzw. Commons hätte die Bilder stibitzt? Ich bin ja deren Autor seit 2003 und kann das problemlos ergänzen. Gruß --Tlustulimu (talk) 17:31, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Das ist dir überlassen, ich würde sagen: Nein. Als Urheber steht es dir frei wo du deine Bilder verwendest oder veröffentlichst. Hätte ich die Webseite erstellt und wäre in deiner Situation würde ich keinen Hinweis hinzufügen: Ich wollte das die Webseite so aussieht, es ist mein Bild, also bleibts auch so. ;) --Martin H. (talk) 17:47, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

New public domain templates

Also posted to Commons:Village pump

I've created the following new public domain templates to cover some legal ground our existing templates do not:

Any feedback is appreciated. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:17, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

GFDL and CC-by-sa

Question regarding wikipedia's policy on compatibility of GFDL and CC-by-sa licences. I volunteered to create a banner for French wikipedia and I used several photos that had different licences. Upon trying to upload the final result to wikicommons via derivativeFX, I've encountered a small problem (see discussion here). After all, Luxo drew my attention to the fact that GFDL and CC-by-sa licensed files, present at the derivative work, are incompatible. After doing some research on the internet I've found the following Resolution on the issue, which was approved back in 2007. So my question is whether my derivative work is illegal and when will such a transition finally come into forth, if it is even intended to? --Ahnode (talk)

Is anyone available for explanations? --Ahnode (talk)
They are technically not compatible with each other. So, you can't create a work which is a derivative of both. If it is considered a "collective work", then you are just copyrighting the selection and arrangement of the collected works, with the individual works' copyright being unaffected -- but if you are adapting or transforming those works (a subjective definition) then they are "derivative" and you would need to comply with the provisions in the original licenses. You can use them together in the same collective work (since you aren't altering the collected works in that case), but if you are significantly modifying both works as part of making a third, technically that would be a violation of the GFDL I believe. The resolution you linked to is the one-time ability to change the license GFDL works to also be CC-BY-SA, but I don't think it deals with the fundamental incompatibility. Your banner is in the gray area of collective vs. derivative, since you did crop the images some, and it is impossible to answer that definitively. You could ask the author of the one GFDL image to dual-license with CC-BY-SA, or use another PD/CC-BY/CC-BY-SA image, if you want to be sure. Oh, and if *is* derivative, then your license must be CC-BY-SA-3.0, since some of the images you are using require that. You have CC-BY right now, and even if you consider it a collective work, you must list the licenses of all the contained works. You can see the definitions of "adaptation" vs "collection" in the cc-by-sa-3.0 legal code. I do know a U.S. court once ruled a collage (which modified things more than you did) was a derivative work and not collective. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:05, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Thank you very much Carl. --Ahnode (talk) 17:53, 8 April 2009 (UTC)


I've just created this template. Someone should probably check that it is ok (and tell us whether it can apply to currency). It's currently not autotranslated. --Eusebius (talk) 12:01, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Barcode images

I can't see any original authorship in these images. Is it OK to reclassify them as {{PD-ineligible}}? -- Sakurambo (talk) 11:49, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I would not personally consider these PD-ineligible - there are too many design choices going into the work (width, height, font choices, the text being encoded, etc). It's very borderline though. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:31, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
The real barcodes are as ineligible as the numbers they code. The same principle is for other straight codes. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 23:36, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Some of them probably aren't eligible. But if they are freely licensed anyways, I would just leave it -- that removes all doubt. Some countries may be different on their PD-ineligible line but GFDL etc. should work everywhere. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:00, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

What does "properly attributed" mean?

An image uploader recently edited the English-language Armadillo World Headquarters article to include his copyright notice in the image caption, claiming that it was required according to the image's license.

That raises these specific questions that I don't see addressed anywhere:

  • Is such credit on the page where the image is used required to satisfy the "properly attributed" requirement?
  • If it is required, is there a recommended or required format?

Danorton (talk) 19:20, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure wikipedias have decided that the attribution on the image page is enough (since you can click through to see it); I'm not sure a credit style can be mandated to that extent. Creative Commons licenses have a similar clause. That is more of an en-wiki policy though; Wikinews typically puts the credit on the main page. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:34, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I found related guidance at Commons:Manipulating_meta_data#Purpose_for_using_EXIF_at_Commons, but I don't see any claim that the practices described are official policy. —Danorton (talk) 03:36, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
The English-language Wikipedia Manual of Style guidance on this issue is at W:WP:Captions#Credits, but that doesn't necessarily apply to Commons content (which is subject to different law). —Danorton (talk) 03:43, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I was thinking of. There should be no difference between local wiki and Commons images; in general they don't want the credit on the article page, and believe having the credit on the image page only is enough to satisfy the licenses. I'm not sure what you mean by "different law"; the technicalities of the creative commons etc. licenses need to be fulfilled no matter where you are. Wikinews goes the other way though: n:Wikinews:Style_guide#Image_captions. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:44, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
There is one major difference between US law and the law generally applied to Commons content: Fair Use. That might be the only meaningful difference, but there is a difference and I'm not familiar enough with the law to know if that's the only difference. The English Wikipedia has its own media area for such media that needs to remain separate from Commons. Consequently, the problem with relying on such comments from the English Wikipedia is that it might not apply to Commons media. Absent a specific clarification, it's not safe to assume. —Danorton (talk) 23:04, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
If someone wants their name credited in a Commons article or their name in the filename, go right ahead, this is not a big deal. The decisions of the individual Wikipedias are not ours to make. As for other differences with US law, there are quite a few; in particular, the law for which works are public domain vary widely between nations. There are also different standards for what constitutes originality (see Commons:Reuse of PD-Art photographs) Dcoetzee (talk) 01:47, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Commons uses U.S. law too; the differences between Commons and en-wiki typically have to do with copyright terms in different countries. For a specific copyright license though, all that is mostly irrelevant -- all projects must follow the terms of the license (and if the terms are too onerous, it may not qualify as "free"). It doesn't matter where the image is hosted, commons or on the local wikipedia directly (often that is the same server anyways); the terms of the license must be followed. You were talking about an edit on en-wiki, and it appears their policy is to just have the credits on the image page (which would apply to linked commons images too). Wikinews does it differently. Commons is mostly made up of image pages only, so there is not much of an issue here. Since it is a pre-1978 work, when the rules were very different, I could maybe see the author wanting to be careful about having the copyright notice visible, but that has not been necessary since 1989. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:58, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
SUMMARY Commons currently has no formal policy on this specific issue.
  • For Commons-only material, there is some guidance that is not official policy so, should there be a dispute regarding a specific issue, it would need to be worked out on a case-by-case basis.
  • For Wikipedia content, see the specific policy (if any) for the particular language-specific Wikipedia in which the content appears. —Danorton (talk) 13:41, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Copyright question

Over the past year, I have uploaded many files very similar to each other (seen on my Wikipedia gallery), I released most of these in the public domain, but I realise now, that the image I used originally (thus all mine are derivatives) File:Equipamento Genérico Branco01.svg has a Share-Alike licence. Should I re-licence all my material to avoid any complications?  The Windler talk  10:32, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

It would appear that your original public domain release and your claim that it was your original work were false and never valid, so it's not really a re-license as much as it is a withdrawal of the public domain release and the addition of the required license. The images must be deleted if they are not corrected (no one other than you can legitimately correct that) so, yes, you must correct them if you wish for them to remain. You must also reference the source image in the descriptions of your versions.
There are possibly, however, other intellectual property issues that you might review, Trade dress and Trademark, that might make the images ineligible for Commons, but possibly eligible for the English-language Wikipedia. (Here's a lengthy discussion of the related law as it applies in the US.) —Danorton (talk) 17:34, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Thankyou for your reply, I think they are eligible for Commons, as they would still be free, and they were derived from a free source, I will change all the licences over the next day. Thankyou for your response as I was unclear.  The Windler talk  22:34, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Typically trademark and trade dress are not issues for keeping images on Commons (see Commons:Non-copyright restrictions). But yes, the licenses on these should be changed, as required by the source license. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:17, 11 April 2009 (UTC)


Starsovertexas (talk · contribs)

This user has uploaded several old images of planes and airports. I've found one obvious copyvio and I suspect others are copyvios too, but I can't find their source. The names of the images seem to be taken from a database or gallery. --Panther (talk) 11:39, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

File:Local ban notes-reus-tanger 0001.jpg

The above is an image of a spanish bank note from 1937. Would a GNU liscence be appropriate for this? It is a derivitive work so don't you need whatever the liscence for an old banknote is? Million Moments (talk) 13:57, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

This talk page is for discussions on how to improve this article. Unless you have a specific question or comment about this article, you are likely to get a better response if you post your query at the Help desk. —Danorton (talk) 15:43, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks must have clicked the wrong button :S Million Moments (talk) 16:40, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually, this page has also turned into a forum about more general licensing discussions. As for that image... no, a GFDL license is not appropriate. Probably someone thought making a scan meant they own the copyright to that scan, which really isn't true (though often claimed as such on the web). Unsure if there are special terms for Spanish government works. Commons:Currency doesn't say. The pictured person is Juan Sol y Ortega, apparently a Spanish politician who was born in Reus (1849-1913 I think).[5] Could be {{Anonymous-EU}} but I'm not so sure about that... Spain may have had a longer term initially that would not have been reduced. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:22, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Questionable photograph licensing

I notice that there's a flickr photographer named Kristin who licenses her photos with a suitable copyright for Commons. Kristin's flickr profile says "Photos taken by Kristin and her reporters while covering TV." So that means that Kristin's photographs may have been taken by her, but we can't be certain who actually took the photograph. Does Kristin have the ability to license photographs as CC-by-SA? Not if she didn't take them, except if the real photographer has given permission. I see several photographs in Category:Flickr_images_needing_human_review, including File:Kate Flannery 2009.jpg that I just approved before noticing. Here's some more photographs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. I'm not convinced that these images should remain. Royalbroil 13:05, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Should be all right. If the actual photographers were working for Kristin, then she owns the rights, even if she didn't take the photos personally. It's like with any other TV program - the individual cameramen don't own the rights to the program, the company producing the show does. --GRuban (talk) 13:34, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Kristin Dos Santos, who is senior reporter for EOnline, might not have taken a single photograph among those mentioned (and numerous other that have been previously uploaded). I think it would be fair assumption that being a senior reporter the job taking photographs lies on her subordinates in most situations. But as GRuban points out, and I agree, she owns the rights for those photographs. LeaveSleaves (talk) 14:13, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Good, thanks for your attention. Royalbroil 15:46, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

URAA and foundation-l --Historiograf (talk) 12:21, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

I can't explain this terse post (or the terse post in German it references), but it refers to a U.S. law that had restored copyright protection to works previously in the public domain. A U.S. District Court ruled the law unconstitutional, returning the works to the public domain. This is probably not the final word on this case, but some background analysis is at —Danorton (talk) 13:36, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
That'll be interesting to watch. Not too much effect on Commons, other than media which have expired in their source country since 1996 while still being "restored" in the U.S. Whole lot of ways that could turn out, some which could make the situation a little better for us, and some that would make it a lot worse. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:41, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
It seems that it is completely free of deeper knowledge what you writes --Historiograf (talk) 12:50, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
I can't see how it would make a lot worse. It's a debate about files we currently shouldn't be hosting any way, so the worst case is that nothing changes for us.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:55, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, if that invalidates the treaty, it is hard to predict what responses could be to "rectify" the situation. There was one court which ruled (in a highly-criticized decision) that foreign works were deemed "unpublished" until the authors knowingly published them in the U.S.; if that logic becomes more prevalent it could extend U.S. copyrights to pre-1923 works. It could also mean the U.S. is no longer complying with the Berne Convention (causing pressure from U.S. interests if their work is no longer as protected overseas, in addition to pressure from non-U.S. interests whose old work is no longer protected at all in the U.S.). Basically, if it becomes a political issue (and it very well could), it is hard to predict what responses could be -- it very easily could turn out worse than the current situation. Any change to copyright law could always have non-related stuff added by special interests too. It could also be better -- maybe we end up with a "rule of the shorter term" in some cases. Or, maybe the decision is simply overturned by a higher court and the status quo remains. It is sure to be appealed, and it probably won't be a big issue unless it is upheld by those higher courts, but it'll be interesting to watch. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:45, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
That's very interesting. There are potentially 1000s of files affected. See Category:Works copyrighted in the U.S., and I think only a small part are in this category. Yann (talk) 20:03, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Indian copyright law

I am calling for help, concerning Commons:Deletion requests/File:Loktak Lake view 1.jpg, Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Man_Project.jpg and generally all the files uploaded by this uploader.

It is still difficult at this point to understand exactly how the files have been generated, either using a camera or by scanning paper documents, and if the number of problematic files is small, like less than 10, or bigger.

My concern is that perhaps most of these documents are government works, therefore copyrighted as is the case in India.

So if you have a little time, some knowledge of Indian copyright law and of Commons' licensing requirements, don't hesitate to take part in the talk, or review more files from this uploader. Teofilo (talk) 15:03, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Is sidewalk art from 1974 public domain?

The image File:Sidewalk Sam Boston July 1974.jpg was drawn with chalk on a Boston sidewalk in July 1974. Robert Charles Guillemin, Sidewalk Sam, created a two-dimensional copy of Renoir's The Dancer. This copy was published in a public place before 1978 without a copyright notice. I released my photo, complete with the artistic placement of cigarette butts, to the public domin. -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 03:48, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Sure.--Prosfilaes (talk) 12:15, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Renoir himself died in 1919, so there's no issue of it being derivative of a non-free work. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:37, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
For that particular chalk drawing, see {{PD-US-no notice}}. —Danorton (talk) 06:19, 14 April 2009 (UTC)


I found a picture showing French singer Julien Doré on Commons. There seems to be no license given, actually no information exists at all. Should it be deleted? --Paulae (talk) 20:29, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for spotting it. It will be tagged as missing legal info, and deleted after 7 days if the issue is not properly addressed (or it will be speedily deleted if somebody finds a source and it is copyrighted). --Eusebius (talk) 20:43, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

CoA copyright exemptions and copyright on representations

In the case of copyright exemptions like the one in {{PD-UA-exempt}}, which says that "State symbols of Ukraine, government awards; symbols and signs of government authorities blah blah blah" are PD, should we consider that any representation of a coat of arms is PD, or that the blazon is PD (as we usually assume anyway)? I'd say the latter, and maybe also the official representations; I'd say that artists can retain copyright on their interpretation of the blazon. But I'm not 100% sure.

As an exemple, I'd tend to nominate File:Zvenig r.gif for deletion (incompatible copyright notice on the source website), but it has been brought to my attention that it could be covered by the exemption above. I'd like some advice here... --Eusebius (talk) 15:15, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

I would suggest that PD applies to the blazon and any drawings of the CoA in official documents, on revenue stamps etc. Sv1xv (talk) 15:44, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Google LIFE images

I'm engaged in a batch upload of some excellent images from the LIFE photo archive, published by Google. The trouble is, many of these photos are anonymous works for hire, without a credited author, and according to Google "only a very small percentage of these images have ever been published." Another source says "[a]round 97 per cent of the images have never been seen before." Google unfortunately does not indicate whether each work has been published, or its publication date if it was; Google supplies the country where it was taken, and the date it was created, and that's it. I need to determine which of these are public domain.

Right now, the only applicable template I know of is {{PD-US-unpublished}}, which will get me US works created prior to 1889, but that's only a small portion of them. For additional complication, some of these might not even be {{PD-US-unpublished}}, even if created prior to 1889, because LIFE may have first published them between 1923 and 2003, and Google does not report the publication date. What can I possibly do? It seems like my only recourse is to exclude anonymous works entirely. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:05, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Update: there are many images already uploaded from this archive that may have to be deleted if they were in fact first published in 2008. In particular, it's clear to me that {{PD-1923}} does not apply to works merely created before 1923. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:22, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, wouldn't it be appropriate to link here the discussion in the Village pump on this topic??? --Historiograf (talk) 12:19, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

I really should have read that thread... I commented in it but didn't look at it very closely. It's at Commons:Village_pump#LIFE_Photo_Archive. Nevertheless I think there are some cases we're not considering here - if all the images were unpublished, it would be much simpler, but 3% are previously published and we don't know which 3%, or when. Dcoetzee (talk) 13:51, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
If the images come from non-LIFE sources, they are virtually certain to have been published -- but that also opens up a slew of is-it-PD-in-the-country-of-origin issues. LIFE did not start until 1936, so none of their "unpublished" material is public domain. They bought another magazine of the same name which started in 1883, so there may be a sliver of "unpublished" material there, but not much. The images we could use would have come from non-LIFE sources, but we then have to dig up the date/author info usually, many of which came from non-U.S. sources and so would have to comply with those countries' copyright laws. There are certainly some usable images there, but almost none that would qualify for PD-US-unpublished. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:07, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
If I understand you correctly, then it seems reasonable to assume that:
  • Any work of known author whose death date can be determined to be prior to 1939 is okay ({{PD-old}}).
  • Any US work in this collection dated before 1923 was probably published pre-1923 and so is okay ({{PD-1923}}).
  • Any European Union work dated before 1923 that is anonymous or pseudonymous is probably PD in both its source country ({{Anonymous-EU}}) and the US ({{PD-1923}}).
  • Any Canada or India work dated before 1923 is probably PD in both its source country ({{PD-Canada}}, {{PD-India}}) and the US ({{PD-1923}}).
Does this sound like a fair assessment? Generally we tend to assume for most works that the creation date and publication date are close together. Or do we have to work harder here to dig up the original publication dates? Dcoetzee (talk) 22:09, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I think that this is right, but we can go even further. Looking at some images of Gandhi from India and South Africa, it is clear that 1. These images were published (they are widely available on the Net, but with a lower resolution). 2. LIFE would mention the photographer if he was known, so we can consider them anonymous. 3. So images dated before before 1948 (from India) and 1958 (from South Africa) can be considered respectively {{PD-India}} and {{PD-South-Africa}}. Yann (talk) 08:49, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
See the note at the bottom of PD-South-Africa. Images must be PD in both the source country and the US. These images would not be PD in the US unless it was published before 1946 and never registered here. A similar restriction applies to India works. There's no reason to believe they weren't registered here. Am I mistaken? Dcoetzee (talk) 10:58, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, that is another completely different issue. Upto now, Commons didn't care about that. See the discussion URAA below. Yann (talk) 16:10, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually it's always been our general policy that works have to be PD in both the source country and the US. Category:Works copyrighted in the U.S. is a category for recently-identified "problematic" images that were never properly tagged in the first place. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:40, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
AFAIK an image was never deleted on that ground. This seems even more unlikely with the recent case concerning URAA. Yann (talk) 08:51, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Per discussion below, I have elected to not upload any images that are not PD in the US. You have the option of uploading these images yourself, at your own risk. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:55, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Sorry I didn't get back to this. Pretty much all of the LIFE pictures are still under copyright; that includes all the "unpublished" ones. The only way those could be PD is if they were published before 1964 and LIFE forgot to renew the copyright -- fairly unlikely, and there certainly will be no indication of such on their pages. On the other hand, any images they got from other sources can be presumed published (that would be the only way they could get copies), with the possible exception of material owned by the previous "Life magazine" which they bought. However, I don't think lack of author information here can be considered evidence of anonymous -- they probably got prints etc. with little of that information on it in the first place. I looked up File:La révolution au Chili L attaque de Valparaiso 1891.jpg, which doesn't mention any source at all, and found it was from an 1891 French magazine -- but could find no info on if the magazine had any author credits. So... while there is a lot of material there which is OK, I don't think it is much different than finding such images elsewhere on the web -- some may require research before claiming PD status. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:28, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, I see the problem. In that case I can eschew the EU works and just upload US or Canada/India works that are pre-1923, right? The burden of per-image research for a set of images this large is completely overwhelming - it would take weeks just to get through a few hundred - and uninteresting to me, in light of their low resolution and low average quality. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:33, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
@C.L.: I think that your reasoning is wrong. Further you contradict yourself when you say "images they got from other sources can be presumed published" and your example. That image has a copyright owner and a source: the French magazine. Then this is nonsense: "lack of author information here can not be considered evidence of anonymous". If LIFE who owns the copyright doesn't mention the author, it necessarily means that the image is anonymous. If they would know the author, they would mention it. If nobody knows the author, the images are anonymous, that's the definition of the word. Yann (talk) 09:41, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
With all due respect, Yann, you don't understand Carl's response or the situation. Some of the images were produced by LIFE staff for LIFE, but nearly all of the ones old enough for us to actually care about were pre-existing published images which LIFE acquired but does not necessarily possess complete information about. The point of Carl's example was to illustrate that there was source information publically available about the image that was not supplied on the image page. Dcoetzee (talk) 09:44, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
I understand this all very well. I just contest the reasoning. Images produceded by LIFE staff are easy: photographers are known. Carl himself says that old images have to be published in order that LIFE could get them. LIFE didn't grab images from the web. They got them from producers and copyright owners who have all the information about these images. Why saying that images are not anonymous when all the evidence shows otherwise? Yann (talk) 10:04, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
1/3 of all images in the database are not credited. I don't believe that 1/3 of them are actually anonymous works. In any case the issue of anonymous images only affects whether EU images can be uploaded - you're primarily interested in India images, for which the primary restrictions are imposed not by India rules but by the need for the image to be PD in the US. Dcoetzee (talk) 10:19, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Maybe I didn't explain that well enough -- any LIFE-authored images are not old enough to be public domain, regardless of who the photographer was. All other images they presumably obtained from other (published) sources, and thus would not own the copyright (despite whatever claims they make). Certainly any of those pre-1923 works are PD in the U.S., but if they are from non-U.S. sources, then they will often require research to determine a) what the country is, and b) if it is PD under the terms of that country. The example I gave was obviously published, but the LIFE archive gave no information whatsoever about when and where it was published. I did Google searches using the title, and found the source -- a French magazine from 1891. To know if it was "anonymous" or not, you would need to see if that issue of the magazine gave any credits for the engraving (I did find authors named for other engravings from other issues of that magazine). The LIFE archive mentioned none of this detail, and (seemingly like a lot of media companies back then) probably didn't get that type of info back then when they obtained copies of works through various cross-licensing channels (or just taken, given that almost all foreign works were essentially PD in the U.S. back then). So, I basically disagree that no mention of an author on the LIFE record means "anonymous" -- they were not the original publishers, and may well have no such info. If pre-1923 photos are from Canada or India they should be fine, though LIFE also has a lot of non-photo works (like printed engravings) which have longer copyright terms than photos. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:01, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Prohibit revoking license

It's probably obvious to most here, but it would be nice to have a section that explains that licenses can't be revoked (generally). I'm going to restore a license that was recently changed and it would be nice to put a link to a policy/guide section that elaborates on this issue to avoid escalation. Is there a section somewhere? If not, shall we add one? —Danorton (talk) 13:05, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

When we say that licenses cannot be revoked, it has to be taken as “if someone used the file under a license, it is a regular use”. IMHO, users are authorized to select whatever license they want, no matter whether it is more restrictive. Use common sense, people won't like to contribute any more if their wishes aren't granted. To quote the Creative Commons wiki—once again—, “you cannot stop someone, who has obtained your work under a Creative Commons license, from using the work according to that license”. Someone who obtained a file, under a license which has changed afterwards, is still able to prove (thanks to the history) that the use is regular. Now, the real question is: why do you (or “we”) absolutely want the uploader to be unhappy? Diti the penguin 13:26, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Should I mention the user we're talking about, Jean-Pol GRANDMONT (talk · contribs), is French and thus has legally the right to revoke the license, per L121-4, French Intellectual property code. Diti the penguin 13:30, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
In the instance of the image I just changed, the license he originally selected was cc-by-2.5 which is a perpetual license. In assigning that license he waived his right to subsequently revoke it. While Commons allows for certain specific restrictions, it doesn't allow for subsequent license revocation. —Danorton (talk) 13:46, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Technically, the French law mentioned says that if the owner wants to re-publish it, they must offer it to the previous rights holder under the original terms -- it sounds like it is just a right to withdraw something from publication. From what I see though, the license was originally changed from cc-by-2.5 to a dual license of GFDL and cc-by-3.0 -- that is barely problematic, and could be fixed by just changing to dual licenses of GFDL and cc-by-2.5. User:Danorton removed GFDL and added cc-by-sa-3.0 without any justification that I can see -- maybe it was just misread?. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:26, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
It's not prohibited to change a cc-by-2.5 license into a dual-license with GFDL and cc-by-2.5 as this does not change the original CC license form. It may also be possible to upgrade a CC 2.5 license type into a 3.0 version (but not vice versa, only by the original author or approved by him) but I have yet to find this info on the CC website. --Denniss (talk) 17:03, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

The specific problem we need to address is users revoking the original licenses for their images and replacing them with more restrictive licenses. With the pending CC license migration, lots of editors are revoking the GFDL licenses from their images in an attempt to prevent them from being CC licensed. We're talking about hundreds of images mostly tagged with customized user tags, such as User:Fir0002/200. See also this Administrator's noticeboard discussion. This is both legally deceptive (as the images were originally published under perpetual licenses) and potentially very disruptive to the license migration process (which we will have less than 3 months to complete if approved). We need to put a stop to this sort of behavior. Since explaining that the licenses are unrevokable to the editors has thus far been unsuccessful, I would like to second Danorton's suggestion that we add a specific prohibition here. The policy should be modified to state that an editor cannot revoke an image license unless replacing it with a more permissive license. Kaldari (talk) 18:28, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

See discussion two headers lower... Kaldari (talk) 21:55, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

The Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL) license

Could somebody check that this license it acceptable on Commons? It looks ok to me :allows derivative works and commercial use, requires that the license is attached to any distributed copy in a GNU-like way (it is based on GPL). I'm a bit unsure about what the section 4 means: "You may not copy, modify, or distribute the Edition except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, or distribute the Edition is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License." Is it only "you may not violate the terms of the license"?

Second thoughts: "You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy", is that really enough to authorize commercial use? I do not see any restrictions, but... --Eusebius (talk) 20:41, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

This is a bit off-topic from your question, but I tried to click on "random page" on their website, and found the following text : : although it is quite clear that the original French text is in the Public Domain, it remains unclear why the English translations are in the Public Domain (as stated at the top of the page) or under their specific license (as the bottom of the page may imply). The trouble is that the uploader's names and the translators' names are different, so that it remains unclear whether the translators have given their consent. On the other hand, these translators might be dead for more than 70 years or these translations might be US works published before 1923.
Some discussions took place on nl:Overleg_gebruiker:Effeietsanders/project:Wikimusic#English ; We are also having File:CPDL logo.gif strangely tagged with GFDL, used on en:Choral Public Domain Library. From what you are saying, and what I read, this license seems to be OK to use on commons. Teofilo (talk) 23:40, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Regarding the "You may not copy, modify, or distribute…" part, substantially identical text is found in all versions of the GNU GPL and GFDL. (In particular, the versions in GPLv2 and GFDL are almost word-for-word identical.) It doesn't quite just say "you may not violate this license": it acts as an auto-termination clause, meaning that, if you violate the license once, you lose all the rights it grants to you, and therefore any further redistribution by you also counts as a violation even if it would otherwise have been compliant. Essentially (disclaimer: IANAL), it's a legal force multiplier: if someone violates the terms of the license, you can sue them not only for the direct violation, but also for any and all copies they've distributed after the violation, and they may not legally resume distributing the work before you've explicitly reinstated their license. In particular, it means that, if they continue to distribute your work after you've notified them that they're in violation and that their license has been terminated, that will count as a deliberate violation, which is something a judge wouldn't be likely to look too kindly upon if you were to sue them. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 21:36, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for the clarification. You have any opinion on whether the license as a whole is Commons-compliant? --Eusebius (talk) 21:40, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't see any obvious problems. There are some odd bits and pieces which make me suspect that the text has not been very carefully reviewed by an IP lawyer (which seems to be a common problem with the various GPL clone licenses), but the intent of the license seems clear and compliant with our licensing policy and the Definition of Free Cultural Works. I can't off-hand think of any particular reason to prefer this license over, say, CC-BY-SA, but I see no problem with accepting works that use it. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 00:31, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
OK, I'll make a license tag when needed. Obviously, my concern with this license is about importing existing works, not about licensing newly created works. --Eusebius (talk) 07:00, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Adding subst:npd on Commons:Deletion requests/Speedy deletion


I have just added one line about {{subst:npd}} on Commons:Deletion requests/Speedy deletion. I hope this is correct. Teofilo (talk) 13:57, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Er, I don't like that addition. There are lots of situations where the specific author is not needed (PD-USGov, very old works, etc.). Speedy deletion should be for obvious violations, and many times those are not obvious (maybe they got permission via private email not realizing about OTRS procedures) and I think regular deletion is more appropriate as it gives a better chance for uploaders to respond. Sometimes they may be obvious (flickrwashing) but an overbroad statement like "Files with a source and a licence tagging while lacking evidence that the original creator or copyright holder gave his/her consent" may lead to many valid files being deleted without any chance of response or discussion. Speedy deletion is pretty cold and unfriendly, and I think its use should be limited to truly obvious cases. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:43, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
a) So why do we have this {{Npd}} template in the first place ? If you think this template is no good idea, perhaps you should propose its deletion. Do we have guidelines on the use of this template anywhere ?
b) A message must be posted on the uploader's talk page, so that dialogue takes place.
c) Deletions can be appealed and reverted through undeletions. Teofilo (talk) 13:45, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
For example File:CRLogo300x300.jpg. What should be the way to deal with this case ? An E-mail from that radio is needed to confirm the identity of the uploader. Should I use subst:npd or a deletion request ? Teofilo (talk) 14:54, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
I think it is more for when the source shows an obviously copyrighted image, with no indication of the license at the source. Your edit seems to imply that permission is required, for all situations -- that is far too broad, I think. There are plenty of situations where the nature of the image (old, U.S. government, etc.) does not require permission. Most uploaders are not familiar with OTRS requirements, so it is often best to do regular deletions anyways. For uploaders with a poor track record, speedy is better. In the case you mention, it is claimed self-authored, which I think is dubious but the uploader should be given a decent chance to respond. I would nominate it for regular deletion, under no-indication-of-permission grounds (and scope, for that matter -- the source is a facebook home page, and redirects to the facebook page). It is likely a derivative of some other work too. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:14, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
A)Can you think of any situation when {{subst:npd}} is needed ? Can you write an alternative guideline text for the use of {{subst:npd}} ? Teofilo (talk) 09:52, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
B 1)If I make a regular deletion, basically I will write a message aimed at the community members, with very short sentences and keywords understood by the community, but probably less known by the average uploader. When making a regular deletion, I use the "nominate for deletion link" and I have only one line to explain my opinion. It is short. Adding internet links is not an easy task because you have to write in a popup window with little visibility of what you are writing. On the other hand, if I use {{subst:npd}} the uploader will receive a nice explanation of what we expect him to do. I think the uploader has more chances to understand what we require him to do with {{subst:npd}} because the information message on his talk page is more substantial. Many times I saw regular deletion makers who didn't care explaining the uploader what an OTRS ticket is, and failing to give the link to COM:OTRS to understand this "OTRS" keyword. Sometimes people use the keyword "permission" which is easier to understand, but it is useless if the OTRS Email address is not given.
B 2)The information message on the uploader's notice in the case of regular deletions is that horrible coffee-color message containing 3 internet links. There is little probability that many uploaders understand that they have to click on the so-called "its entry" link to know more about what we reproach them. Teofilo (talk) 10:18, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
A) When the source image is obviously copyrighted, and has no indication of the license claimed on the page here, and there is no indication of OTRS or anything like that. B) The explanation is much nicer, yes. That is a good point. On the other hand, then basically only the uploader is given a chance to look at it -- if they are on vacation for a week, or have stopped looking at their commons account, then it will virtually always get deleted without anyone else having a chance to look at it. I would only use it for obviously modern photos with no indication of a free license. As for the message... maybe a template could be made which can be subst'ed in that little message box for regular deletion. Maybe the "its entry' link could be made more obvious too. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:42, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Wrong license

How do I flag images that may have been uploaded under the wrong license? Astronaut (talk) 23:58, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Good question. I suggest we create a new template - something like {{license-review}}, to draw attention to suspicious licenses that don't by themselves rise to the level of justifying deletion. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:30, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
{{Wrong-license}}? Rocket000 (talk) 02:02, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
Er, yeah. I didn't know about that. :-) Dcoetzee (talk) 02:12, 17 April 2009 (UTC)


This image is listed as having this license - CC attribution share-alike, but the source on Flickr says it has a non commercial CC license [6]. Maybe an issue? Guest9999 (talk) 11:14, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Maybe, but there is a tag saying that proper permission has been sent to OTRS. Asssuming that it has, the image is OK. An OTRS volunteer will check in due course. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 11:23, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Looking at it it's pretty clearly a screenshot from a television programme, it seems unlikely that it would be released under a free license, additionally the only other contribution the uploader has made is this file of the same subject matter by a different author - this time a press agency - which is listed on Flickr as copyrighted with all rights reserved. This file, like the other one was created with an OTRS notice but to me it seems borderline implausible that the uploader has the authority to release either images under a free license - they'd have to be high up in both a press agency and a television production company. Guest9999 (talk) 13:33, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Commons:Deletion requests/File:SusanBoyle2.jpg. Deleted. Samulili (talk) 16:02, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Banknotes question, esp. EUR

Someone please could direct me to any page or discussion which justifies the current state of Euro banknotes in Commons? As far as I can see commons:currency#Euro say, among others, that "The resolution of the image must not exceed 72 dots per inch (dpi)." (and this is in par of my informations about the subject). As far as I see almost all banknotes are scanned around 200dpi here. I'm sure there is an explanation, but I am not able to find it. Help appreciated. --grin 15:56, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

This is probably a counterfeiting law constraint, rather than a copyright constraint. Generally, with non-copyright constraints, we indicate the issue on the image description page with a suitable tag, so that content reusers will not use it at full resolution in the EU. But since it's not illegal in the US, we can host it. Dcoetzee (talk) 13:44, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
I do not think it is that simple. Reading the linked documents makes me believe that the quoted constraints are in fact copyright constraints, since there is no mention about any possible usage without these constraints. The question arise after a discussion with the Hungarian National Bank (which owns the copyright of the Hungarian money) when they told me that they most probably would give copyright permission provided it matches the conterfeiting constraints, which (not) accidentally happens to be the same as for Euro. My fair guess would be that there is no copyright permission for copies of bills not conforming the conditions.
My basic poblem is that 75dpi scans are marginally useful even for illustrations, but you can see for yourself that even EC official page conforms the said restrictions: [7]. --grin 12:13, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Why must they be copyright constraints? There's a lot of fuss about counterfeiting, even in countries that don't copyright their money, like the US. Just because someone wants to impose this as a copyright constraint, doesn't mean it's always or usually used as a copyright constraint. (BTW: this is horribly stupid. Any crook that can make a passable imitation of a bill will have no problem making their own scan.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:25, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

As far as I know licenses are usage permissions under given circumstances. Also as far as I see there seem to be no permission given for any possible usage beyond the circumstances quoted. I do not state this is the case, but I kindly request anyone who already closely and really examined the case to prove me otherwise. You do not have to convince me about how stupid it is, since even the local national bank itself does know very well that if you actually own a bill you can copy it any way you want, you have got the 2400dpi originals, hey-how. But as far as I know Commons try to be careful about contradictory cases, and unless I'm proven wrong this seems to be the case. I'll try to look up the guys behind the euro templates, maybe they do know something, apart from wishful guessing. Still, any info appreciated. --grin 12:58, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

But usage permissions are only given force by law or copyright; if it's law then we just need to worry about US law (or worry about whether we're going to care about EU law here), but if they have copyright, then they can extend broad usage restrictions anywhere in the world their copyright is accepted (including the US).--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:37, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
We do care about EU law here - images must be free in both the source country and the US. If this is part of their license, then by all means we should host reduced resolution versions, but such a constraint in unpredecented on Commons so let's be sure. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:25, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Scans from photos in book/journal

I came accross the images File:Vase.jpg, File:Kellia.jpg, File:Statuette.jpg and File:Coptes.jpg. These are in my opinion scans from photos in a published paper or book because they have all the typical raster pattern. These images are all used in an article on the French Wikipedia. They are apparently uploaded just for that article. I added a note to the description of each image and a question on the user page. Anything else to do? Thanks, Wouter (talk) 07:43, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

The last one looks like you could claim PD-Art. For the others, they're most likely not okay and will have to be deleted, unless the book is old enough to be in the public domain (which we can't determine unless the uploader tells us what book the used). Dcoetzee (talk) 07:56, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
If you can provide a link that clearly identifies the image and that it has no Commons-acceptable license, put {{copyvio|source=URL}} at the top of the image description. Otherwise, if you feel that it should be formally reviewed, place {{delete|reason=reason}} at the top and follow the instructions for creating the deletion discussion page. —Danorton (talk) 00:48, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

about DSS2 images from wikispy

Many DSS2 images from wikispy (see File:Veil Nebula DSS2 WikiSky.jpg), is cc-by-3.0, but wikisky:Copyright - DSS2 images not found cc license. Why? --shizhao (talk) 02:59, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

It is an obvious copyright violation and I have added the {{copyvio}} tag to it. —Danorton (talk) 23:12, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

PD-NZ update

I updated {{PD-NZ}} to include not just crown copyright but others, according to Copyright act 1994. Needs a review. -J JMesserly (talk) 05:46, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Check license

Please, could you check if I put the right license on the following images? File:Penne01.jpg FIle:Arrosticini.jpg File:Centro storico.jpg

User talk:Stefano Delle Monache 19.20, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Hi Stefano, you are the photographer of this photos? So you are the holder of copyrights and you can select any license you want, everything ok with the {{self|GFDL}} you selected. --Martin H. (talk) 00:36, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Are fabrics PD-Art?

I have a collection with a number of photographs of tapestries, carpets, or other flat fabric artifacts which date to before 1923. My main question is, do these qualify for PD-Art, e.g. are they subsumed by the interpretation of Bridgman vs. Corel? Or should these not be uploaded? Thanks. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:31, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

If they really are flat, then I see no problem. However, I might question the picture of a carpet as a whole, as a three-dimensional object instead of for the two-dimensional art on it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:43, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Some are just flat, and can be cropped right up to the edges. The ones I'm particularly concerned about are the ones that are torn and tattered, lending them a sort of texture. These probably would not qualify, since although the tattering has no author in particular, the photographer could be said to be capturing that damage. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:50, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
I think they could be uploaded at least with your own license (because your photos are free) and with the tag {{Copydesign}} (because the carpets may not be reusable easily). Diti the penguin 09:50, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
The situation is quite the opposite. :-) The carpets are firmly established as PD-old, but the photos are not mine. Dcoetzee (talk) 10:01, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

<outdent> Thanks for bringing this up; I also have some concerns. I uploaded this image File:Adoration of the Magi Tapestry.png, since it seems rather reasonable to consider it a "two dimensional work of art". On the other hand, I have refrained from bringing this image w:File:English cope.jpg over from English Wikipedia because I am not certain that it should qualify. There are always going to be edge cases that require a judgment call. I'd appreciate comments from experts. - PKM (talk) 02:12, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Hmmm, I dunno. We're certainly allowed to have PD-Art images that are funny shapes - like coats of arms, oval portraits, etc - I think the bigger concern is whether the internal area contains texture, such as raised embroidery or cut-out sections. It's all pretty fuzzy though. Dcoetzee (talk) 03:34, 22 April 2009 (UTC)


When Commons has started to accept non-commercial CC-lincenced images? Just wondering after I saw this one: User:Ralf Roletschek/Lizenz. -- 15:31, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Since at least one free license is provided. That's the case here. Diti the penguin 15:57, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
See also Commons:Licensing#Multi-licensing, thats section 1.1. of our licensing policy ;) --Martin H. (talk) 00:33, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

PD file with restrictions and requirements?

The text at {{UN_map}} seems contradictory. How can a file be public domain and also have restrictions on use and require attribution? —Danorton (talk) 21:22, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

They can't. Their description of the materials as "open source" shows only that the person giving the permission was ignorant of actual issues of copyright, and we need to more carefully verify that they are actually PD. However, it's possible that this was merely a strongly worded request with no legal backing, or at worst, a non-copyright restriction, in which case there really is no need to worry. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:31, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Later versions of the license

When i uploaded images to commons i usually picked the recommended license - GFDL+CC-BY-SA.

The latest developments with the discussions about the transition of all Wikipedia to dual licensing made me think harder about this.

Take a look, for example, at File:Low-2008-09-11-Barby-06.jpg. The recommended license says:

  • This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License.
  • Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version

I suddenly noticed that the GFDL part explicitly states "any later version", but the CC part only says 3.0.

Is it implicit in CC that the work is released under version 3.0 or any later version, or are those images now stuck with 3.0, unless i, the creator, change it somehow? I looked for a way to change it and could not find anything.

Also, the template is {{self|cc-by-sa-3.0|GFDL}}. CC is specifically 3.0, while GFDL is is just GFDL. What will happen to it when the FSF releases a new version? --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 18:39, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Currently, if a new version of the CC licenses comes up, the creators will have to update the version. When the FSF release a new version of the GFDL, from what I see on the current template, works under the GFDL will be automatically updated. It would be a good idea to change the CC license tags to version-independent tags. Diti the penguin 19:21, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Huh?! Am i really the first one who noticed that?! ;) --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 19:27, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Shouldn't be a problem, because the license is share alike, not share exactly the same, so later versions of the license are automatically okay:
You may Distribute or Publicly Perform an Adaptation only under the terms of: (i) this License; (ii) a later version of this License with the same License Elements as this License; (iii) a Creative Commons jurisdiction license (either this or a later license version) that contains the same License Elements as this License (e.g., Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 US)); (iv) a Creative Commons Compatible License. (emphasis is mine). –Tryphon 05:49, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Oh, so it is implicit.
Thanks. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 05:59, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Nevertheless, I think it would be a good idea to have a version-independent tag that always transcludes the latest version of the license. Right now, {{cc-by-sa}} redirects to {{cc-by-sa-1.0}}, which doesn't make sense (to me). –Tryphon 06:44, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Since only the author/copyright holder can change the license, the legacy {{cc-by-sa}} tag must forevermore refer to {{cc-by-sa-1.0}}. Also, as licenses are not revocable and the file description should enumerate all licenses, a "latest" template would interfere with that unless it could enumerate them starting from when the tag was first added. —Danorton (talk) 17:15, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Sure. What I meant is that currently used {{cc-by-sa}} should be replaced (by a bot) with {{cc-by-sa-1.0}}, and then we could use {{cc-by-sa}} as a "shortcut" for the 3.0 license. When 3.5 or 4.0 comes out, we can do the same, so that {{cc-by-sa}} always points to the latest version (thereby encouraging uploaders to use it) without changing the license of existing work. –Tryphon 07:44, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Can we tag all the Flickr images with CC 3.0 license tags then? Diti the penguin 14:28, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
No. Only the author or copyright holder can add a license. —Danorton (talk) 17:09, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Tryphon, you are partially incorrect. The license grants you the right to create and distribute "Adaptations" (i.e. derivative works) under all future versions; however, if you look carefully one is only allowed to distribute verbatim copies under the exact license specified (it's the immediately preceding section to the one you quote). So CC-BY-SA partially allows the use of later versions. Arguably allowing derivative works under future versions is the most important part, but one does need to be mindful that verbatim copying is limited to the current license version only. Dragons flight (talk) 05:33, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
You're absolutely right. For reference, this is the part that prohibits changing the license of the original work:
You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only under the terms of this License. [...] You may not sublicense the Work. You must keep intact all notices that refer to this License and to the disclaimer of warranties with every copy of the Work You Distribute or Publicly Perform.
So to Diti's question above, it's not possible to relicense flickr images with a later cc license as is, but it's okay for derivatives. I wonder about how that works exactly though. Cropping a picture is technically derivative work (although it bears no originality), but it seems sneaky to just remove a few pixels and then update the license. –Tryphon 07:44, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

World Digital Library

Can documents from the World Digital Library be uploaded to commons or the English wikipedia? bamse (talk) 23:29, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

The short answer is "sometimes." From [8]: "Content found on the WDL Web site is contributed by WDL partners. Copyright questions about partner content should be directed to that partner. When publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in a WDL partner's collections, the researcher has the obligation to determine and satisfy domestic and international copyright law or other use restrictions." Dcoetzee (talk) 00:21, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
I see, so I should ask the WDL partners about it. How about old material and this discussion? Is it public domain? Specifically I am thinking of these 18 century maps: [9] [10]. bamse (talk) 03:11, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
Any faithful reproduction of a public domain two-dimensional work is okay, regardless. See Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag. Dcoetzee (talk) 04:04, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Templates on Licensing

Should the templates of Each country be added to the List?--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 15:03, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Commons:Copyright tags Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:52, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Propose explicit condition of perpetual and non-revocable license

Although not clearly specified, it seems evident that an acceptable license must also be perpetual (non-expiring) and non-revocable. The lead sentence should read:

Wikimedia Commons accepts only free content, that is, images and other media files that can be used by anyone, anytime, for any purpose.

And a license must also meet the following conditions:

  • The rights granted by a license must be perpetual (non-expiring) and non-revocable.

Comments? Concerns? Do all of the stock licenses explicitly specify this? —Danorton (talk) 19:00, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure most of the licenses do specify that. The text you are referring to though comes from, so I'm not so sure that it is a good idea to change it in that way. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:09, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm not talking about changing policy, only clarifying it. In any case, I expect that the definition you reference will soon contain this same clarification: —Danorton (talk) 02:23, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
I support this change, however, it should also be noted that some editors (and even one admin) are claiming that putting a license tag on an image is not the same as actually licensing the image. They claim it is only offering the image for license, and that Commons is merely a host for their images, not a licensee. Obviously we need to address such absurd claims in the policy here. Specifically we need to state that "By adding a license tag to your file, you are irrevocably licensing that file to Wikimedia in perpetuity. You cannot revoke a file license on Commons unless replacing it with a more permissive license." Kaldari (talk) 19:19, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I'd leave out "unless replacing it with a more permissive license", because that's problematic: it requires a determination of what is "more permissive" (which might be impossible, except in court). Adding a license is never less permissive and it's easy enough to simply enumerate all the licenses that have been granted. —Danorton (talk) 20:27, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. BTW, I noticed that the phrase "anytime" in the free cultural works definition has been added and removed several times over the years. I wonder why it's inclusion is so inconsistent. Kaldari (talk) 20:31, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I guess because it's so obvious to most people. If you release certain rights, you, by definition, no longer have those rights.. Rocket000 (talk) 21:11, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
And I don't know of one license that's revocable. That doesn't even make sense. Rocket000 (talk) 21:14, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
As everyone seems to agree that this is a clarification rather than a policy change, I've gone ahead and added the wording to the policy. Feel free to tweak it further if necessary. Kaldari (talk) 21:55, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Er, users are not licensing them to Wikimedia Commons, they are licensing them to everybody. Other than that, looks fine. As for changing licenses to more restrictive... obviously discouraged, but I'm sure it happens, and there is also nothing preventing another user from re-adding the old license as an alternative. If anyone can show that they obtained the file under the original license (pretty easy given the history on the image pages), then they are perfectly able to use those terms too. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:09, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Believe it or not, there are editors and even a Commons admin who insists that is not the case. In particular they are claiming that Wikimedia Commons is NOT a party to the license, and that the license tag is only an "offer" of license, not an actual contractual agreement with anyone. By stating explicitly that Wikimedia Commons is a specific party to the license, hopefully we can avoid such ridiculous claims. Everyone else is, in effect, sublicensing from us (same as we do for Wikipedia text). Kaldari (talk) 22:32, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
That might stop claims like that, but it's incorrect. There is no special or exclusive relationship between Commons (WMF, really) and the uploaders. We must be careful not to give that impression. Rocket000 (talk) 22:46, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but the wording I added doesn't say anything about the relationship being "special" or "exclusive", it simply states that the relationship exists (which is important). I admit the wording may be confusing though. Any suggestions on improving it? Kaldari (talk) 23:02, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I've removed the sentence for now. Kaldari (talk) 23:07, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
They are not contracts... they are licenses. There is an old groklaw article which goes into the differences. The author is affirmatively relinquishing some of their rights, according to the stated terms... there is no need for any relationship. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:53, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
True, but I'd still agree with Kaldari that it would be helpful to explicitly note, just to avoid ambiguity, that when you upload a file under a free license (or change the license terms of an existing file) you are indeed conveying a copy of the file to the Wikimedia Foundation under the terms of the license you have chosen, and that, even if you were to exercise your right to cease distributing the file under those terms, the Foundation remains entitled to continue to do so under the license it has received from you. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 05:56, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
I think what may require clarification is that this is not a new and unusual condition being imposed by Commons, but an existing property of nearly all free licenses used in practice. I suggest something like the following:
No media license accepted at Wikimedia Commons permits license expiration or revocation. If you do not wish to surrender rights to your files permanently, do not release them under such a license.
Dcoetzee (talk) 06:28, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
That sounds OK, but it totally fails to address the problem. The problem is that several editors (at least 3 that I know of) are claiming that putting a license tag on your image is not actually licensing it and that removing the license tag is not revoking the license. Basically, they don't understand the difference between a license and a contract. Thus the wording above would have no effect on their behavior. See for example this or this or this. Kaldari (talk) 16:02, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
You know, when you remove a license tag or replace it… do do not revoke the old license, you replace it. If people obtained your work under a certain license, they can still continue to use it according to the terms of that license. Diti the penguin 23:10, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you are correct, but we want to discourage both revoking and replacing and also assert that Wikimedia has the right to use the media under the original license (and not just 3rd party reusers). Kaldari (talk) 00:15, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
And, me, I personally don't want to discourage this, insofar as it's against the uploader's wishes and discourages the talented uploaders to contribute. Also, the fact that Commons acts itself as a “reuser” is not proved, and I see no votes officially stating that the community want the licenses to be the less restrictive possible, regardless of the uploader's wishes. Diti the penguin 00:39, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
We don't allow text contributors to change the licensing of their contributions, and yet people still edit articles. If photo contributors are so interested in maintaining complete control over their work, how can they be called "free"? Those contributors should be uploading their images to Flickr, not here. Kaldari (talk) 19:49, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I understand we don't want to seem to be antagonistic to uploaders, but I feel it should still be strongly discouraged (unless it is a recent upload, or something like that). Otherwise, it is very unfair to people who reuse these works in derivatives. For example, if someone used a group CC-BY images in a collage, and claimed the source license was CC-BY, then later had the source image change licenses to GFDL, then the derivative work is suddenly in danger of being deleted because someone looks at the source work, sees GFDL, and claims (rightly) that the derivative cannot mix CC-BY and GFDL images, and therefore the derivative now needs to be deleted -- all because the original (still-valid) license is buried in the page history. It is effectively taking back rights... while it happens I'm sure, it still should be discouraged. Now on the other hand... even if Wikipedia changes from GFDL to CC-BY-SA/GFDL dual license, I do not see the need to change licenses on the images on Commons. We may want to since it seems to be within rights and would often make things easier (though GFDL images obtained from other sites may be problematic), but if someone wants their license to remain GFDL only I don't see why that is a problem. They are just as usable on wikipedia etc. projects as CC-BY-SA images are now. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:12, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Would it be more obvious that Commons was a reuser if they burnt the collection to a disk and sold it? They're offering a valuable collection of free art, whether on disk or via web.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:36, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

The way I see it, when someone makes a creative work of some kind and publish it, it is granted standard copyright protection, unless there is a explicit licencing with a free licence. Well, when I upload a photo I have took with my camera to Commons, am I no publishing it, taking it out from the privacy of my own hardware into a medium the mass public can see? And if I add a free license to it, by my own will, isn't it that something explicit? Belgrano (talk) 18:57, 16 April 2009 (UTC) PD: Have those mentioned users been told about the existence of this thread?

Can't we simply say that once you release something under a license it is forever under that license until the copyright expires? I don't think we should mention Commons or WMF because they don't matter. They are no different than you or me. It doesn't matter if they are considered a "reuser" or not. Think of it this way. If you upload something here under license A, I now am able to upload it here (or anywhere else) under License A. If you change it to License B, I still can upload under License A. So Commons is out of the equation. If you don't like what some user changes their license to, upload your own copy of it under the old license. You have every right as they do. (Yes, I know it's silly, but for some reason we continue to let users change "their" licenses without ever just saying too bad.) Rocket000 (talk) 01:48, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

This is a bad option for the obvious reason that having two copies of an image can lead to forking (e.g., one is cleaned up or restored, and the other is not). I suggest we create a new tag that says: "Note: this image has been previously released under other licenses. See the edit history for complete information." That way the "new" license is the conspicuous one emblazoned across the image page, so the author is happy, but the old license doesn't slip under the radar and vanish. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:40, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
But depending on the status we give to Commons (re-publisher or not), new users have the right or not to use this old license. --Eusebius (talk) 10:06, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, that's not really up to us. We can't prevent reusers from using the old license. We can help conceal the fact, but that's all we can do (and obviously I don't support oversighting past revisions to hide previous license info). Rocket000 (talk) 23:21, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Changes from {{GFDL}} to {{GFDL-1.2}}

The current issue is the expectation that images now licensed under {{GFDL}} will foreceably be dual-licensed to a CC-BY-SA 3.0 licence assuming the WMF licensing proposal is approved. Some users, including one of our high-quality contributors (and admin) Fir0002 have been changing {{GFDL}} to {{GFDL-1.2}} on the basis that the latter will not automatically be dual-licensed to CC-BY-SA 3.0. The real argument is I think that the images were originally licensed {{GFDL}} deliberately to make commercial re-use difficult, and that the proposed dual-licensing to CC-BY-SA 3.0 is in conflict with Clause 10 GDFL which requires new versions to be "similar in spirit to the present version". As mentioned above, there is a long discussion about this on my talk page, at User talk:MichaelMaggs#Policy for changing the license of an image. Changes such as this need either to be approved (perhaps as a one-off), or policy needs to be clarified and the changes rolled back. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 21:11, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Personally, I don't see an issue with that particular change. Changing image licenses is IMO a bit different than changing the licenses on wikipedia etc. text. Allowing users to keep GFDL-only should not affect our ability to use such images on Wikimedia projects (any more than CC-BY-SA causes problems now), and they are just as "free". Changing GFDL images could also be slightly problematic, if they were obtained from other websites which don't fall under the license-switch criteria. Presumably GFDL will also continue to be allowed as a license, after the window for dual-licensing expires. I really don't see any reason to prevent uploaders from keeping their images GFDL-only; it can only generate bad blood for very little reason. However, changes from (say) CC-BY to CC-BY-SA, or CC-BY-SA to GFDL, I would consider problematic. Obviously licenses can always be added. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:39, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

WMF, FSF, CC and their various legal counsels believe we can legally accomplish this migration even over the objections of individual parties. However that leaves open the question of what we should do. Personally, I am open to the idea that as a community we may want to be accommodating to contributors' concerns when that can be accomplished without disrupting the existing projects. Actions such as Fir0002's, though not maximally aligned to our free content interests, would not appear to damage the existing projects. Dragons flight (talk) 02:15, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I am not opposed to Fir0002's change from {{GFDL}} to {{GFDL-1.2}}. He actually has a good valid reason. If I really wanted GFDL for a specific reason (like to make commercial use harder or because I think Creative Commons is evil and would rather support GNU/free software than some misguided movement lead by an organization with a questionable standard of freedom that exists to feed global capitalism with free labor) and had no reason to believe the FSF would do something like they did, then morally a change like this should be allowed. In other words, it's not what he signed up for. It's not really a legal question, but an ethical question. In the world of free licenses, I would argue that the GFDL and CC-BY-SA are not "in the same spirit". They're only in the same spirit if your talking about copyright in general. The point we need to make is that users may change licenses, but only because we are understanding and appreciative of our valuable contributors. Even though the principle behind it is the same, on a human non-lawyer level, there's a big difference between what Fir0002's doing and someone who simply changes their mind and wants to revoke any kind of free license on their uploads. Rocket000 (talk) 00:24, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Yeah I agree that this is primarily a moral issue as I pointed out straight away when Slaunger first started this discussion. Given this change is explicitly overturning the wishes of the uploader by forcing them to adopt a dual-license which they deliberately did not choose is extremely disrespectful and sneaky. And, as already mentioned, given I'm still using a license which is accepted by commons and is useful to support it's educational goals. I would strongly suggest some kind of amnesty period for uploaders to decide whether or not they want to participate in the migration (as opposed to having third parties decided for them).
Although I do feel the moral issue is the primary one here, I would suggest that there are in fact significant legal problems - something which is acknowledged here. I think it's reasonably clear that this dual license has fundamentally altered the spirit of the GFDL, as it has in essence robbed the GFDL of any real identity (or "spirit"). It will no longer be a distinct license - it's merely CC-BY-SA with another name. See also issues with attribution --Fir0002 www 13:30, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
But the problem with saying it's a legal issue is that if a bunch of lawyers say it's ok, who are we to argue? We always have the ethical argument regardless of what the policymakers say. Rocket000 (talk) 18:10, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Well hang on just because a few lawyers say it's OK doesn't mean anything - they are paid to say it is OK. Their argument hinges on whether v 1.3 retains the spirit of the GFDL. And as I have already indicated its pretty obvious that v1.3 is not in the spirit of the GFDL - if anything it is in the spirit of CC-BY-SA. Put simply, 1.3 was created solely to push through this CC migration. Furthermore if you look at the link to "oppositional arguments" you'll see there are other legally problematic issues concerning attribution. --Fir0002 www 00:00, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Is there any argument that an image, once licensed, can't be unlicensed? I don't think explicitly stating that WM is a licensee is a good idea, because that makes WM a party to copyvio and kiddie porn and whatever (I may be wrong). I also don't think it is necessary. I definitely don't think deleting revisions to hide a license should be allowed, because that is sneaky. You released some of your rights, deal with it. I think that "any later versions" is pretty clear. You released some of your rights, deal with it. Those rights are gone. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 06:49, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
"Any later versions" is subject to "which retain the spirit of the previous versions". This clearly doesn't. If WM is not treated as a licensee then I'm free to offer a different license to new users. Please familiarise yourself with the entirety of the discussion starting from my talkpage to MM's talkpage. --Fir0002 www 00:00, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Stangely, in some juristictions it is possible to withdraw a license but not for all types of works. It is allowed in Greece and I suspect in other European countries as well. I quote: "The moral rights shall confer upon the author notably the following rights:... (e) in the case of a literary or scientific work, to rescind a contract transferring the economic right or an exploitation contract or license of which his work is the object, subject to payment of material damages to the other contracting party..." [11] Sv1xv (talk) 07:38, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Still, it's not a legal issue since the servers are in the U.S. We don't even know what moral rights are here. Rocket000 (talk) 08:39, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
In many cases it could be, as media on Commons should be free in the USA and in the country where they were published. It does not apply to en-Wiki though, there the files need only be free in the USA. Sv1xv (talk) 09:32, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
What was the major straw poll recently (about PD-art)? Everyone voted that they didn't care about other countries laws as long as it was legal in the US. It was only one tag but it sets a precedent. Also, I think it's a bad idea to have separate "free" image policies on EN and Commons, but that's another discussion. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 17:16, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Quite true, and France has a similar clause, but in both cases the retracting user must pay damages (which would be interesting in the case of free works, though there is loss of volunteer time to fix up any articles using such images), and also prevents the author from allowing anyone else to exploit the work without first offering it back to the original contracting party under the original terms. It is mainly a right to withdraw something from publication, not to get out of a contract. However also note that they refer to contracts, not licenses, which are different. If you place a work in the public domain, it cannot be brought back. With these licenses, authors are similarly dropping some (though not all) of their rights permanently, and are not considered contracts. I don't think they can be undone. The main issue is that some people chose the GFDL license because its terms happened to be quite onerous for re-users of images and other media, which I don't think is any particular goal of the Free Software Foundation, so apparently they (the FSF) have no big issue with allowing content to be dual licensed with CC-BY-SA under these particular circumstances. The problem is that those unintended-by-the-FSF onerous terms are a goal of some uploaders :-) Legally, I doubt there is an issue with moving to dual licensing for these images, but I see no reason whatsoever to force it, most especially if not wanted. The images would remain just as "free" as they have always been. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:57, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Of course we should force it. This is our one and only chance to get rid of GFDL-licensed media with onerous requirements for reusers. The GFDL was never built to be abused to prevent reuse. The fact that some people used it that way does not change the spirit of the GFDL, which does allow easy commercial reuse. Retracting licenses is against Commons policy (and against the law in most countries, I presume), so allowing people to do this is a no-go. By the way, the images would not be as free as CC media, because they are basically not reusable outside of an encyclopedia or similar project. This is not the freedom the GFDL and the FSF stand for. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 16:41, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
But can't you see the flawed logic in that argument? You are not in a position to force a less restrictive license off the original uploader through section 10. If you are claiming that GFDL is "less free" than CC you are admitting to the fact that version 1.3 contravenes section 10 and is therefore invalid. The only person capable of granting a "more free" license would be the original uploader; i.e me. Furthermore please show me the commons policy against retracting licenses - Kaldari has already tried in vain --Fir0002 www 00:00, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. If the users really wanted a free license that is "future-proof", isn't that CC-1.0? Content in CC-1.0 is stuck in 1.0 forever (see Wikitravel), but still very usable, right? ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 17:20, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
The "later version" part of Creative Commons is only for derivative works. Straight copies of a work should always be distributed under the originally specified license, I'm pretty sure. It does look as though CC-BY-SA-1.0 did not have such a "later version" clause. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:15, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
I would imagine we would still accept GFDL uploads after the switch (and the window in GFDL 1.3 expires), as they are still "free" according to our definitions -- or are you arguing that the GFDL does not meet the standards of -- so it seems a bit overboard to force current authors to cross-license (giving them less control than authors who come later). Going beyond the requirements of that definition is not part of Commons' charter. The authors do still own the copyright, and they have the right to license it on their terms. So while I would prefer the Creative Commons licenses (or dual-licensed even better), I don't see a reason to forcibly change licenses against authors' will. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:15, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

I support the clarification that free licenses (e.g. cc licenses) are perpetual. It's true anyway, but it would be nice to let people know this unambiguously. Quadell (talk) 13:29, 27 April 2009 (UTC)


I think the current licensing templates of PD-Egypt are confusing. Could we decide on one template to be used for out of copyright egyptian works? The templates in question are {{PD-Egypt}} and {{PD-Egypt-1996}}. The first one is legally incorrect and is currently being depreciated. I think merging the {{PD-Egypt-1996}} with {{PD-Egypt}} would solve confusion. Specific templates are also questioned for usefulness: {{PD-Egypt-author}} {{PD-Egypt-folklore}} and {{PD-Egypt-unknown}}. The information in these templates are from {{PD-Egypt-1996}} which should be removed if all information are already available in other templates. {{PD-Egypt}} should be the only general template available for Public domain images of Egypt. After deciding on those things the template should be protected because changing something in it like adding a category would result in massive problems.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 11:02, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

It also seems that {{PD-Egypt-unknown}} is wrong. Why restrict to works published before 1946 where it could be 1959? The current law clearly states that collective and unknown works are copyrighted for 50 years after publication.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 13:00, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

The US doesn't have the law of the shorter term, but anything out of copyright in the US in 1996 (which was most non-American works) that was out of copyright in the source country at that time wasn't returned to copyright. If it was first published in Egypt in 1959 and in copyright in Egypt in 1996, it will be in copyright in the US until 1959 + 95 = 2054.--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:12, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand that. Egypt is an autonomous country with its own specific laws that state that collective works published in Egypt 50 years ago are PD. Assuming the works were not published in the US but only in the source country, the copyright laws of this country applies.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 13:18, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
You fail to understand what it means to be an autonomous country. The US is an autonomous country, which means that within the United States, which is where Wikimedia is, the US copyright law is the law that matters. The reverse is also true; within Egypt, despite the works of George Bernard Shaw being British and under copyright in England for another decade, they aren't under copyright in Egypt, since Shaw died more than 50 years ago, no matter what the law is in the UK.--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:27, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes but the image has not been published in the US but in Egypt, thus the copyright law of the country applies. If George Bernard Shaw published his work only in Egypt, then it would be out of copyright. They weren't though and that's why the copyright of the publication country applies.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 13:32, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
For Commons the works must be free of rights both in the source country and in Florida. --Eusebius (talk) 13:36, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
OK, I understand the concept. Why do we need the 2002 copyright law of Egypt then? They don't apply to the US so why even look into the new copyright law? The only law that should be concerned with is the 1954 law. The PD-Egypt-1996 is the license that should be used instead of {{PD-Egypt}}. I think replacing the old one with the new one is the way to go. Having a template about pictures of Egypt is also needed as this is probably the most important of all. --Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 13:49, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
They need to be PD per the current country law in the country of origin... would seem logical that the 2002 law is the most relevant. If newer laws are not retroactive, then the older laws can remain relevant for older works, which should be explained in the tags. As for the entirely separate question of copyright in the U.S., the details of whether the U.S. copyright was restored per the URAA treaty or not depend on what the copyright status (and thus the law) in the country of origin was in 1996. In many cases, the U.S. copyright was restored in 1996 and still exists even if it has since expired in the country of origin. You can see en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights for detailed information on those complexities. (Also note that a lower-level district court has ruled those URAA restorations unconstitutional, which will surely be appealed, so future decisions there could also change the landscape). So, both current and as-of-1996 Egyptian law can be relevant for Commons. You could almost argue that both tags are needed (PD-Egypt to show that it is PD in the country of origin, and PD-Egypt-1996 to show that is is PD in the U.S.). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:35, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
The {{PD-Egypt}} is therefore useless, because works that are out of copyright in Egypt aren't PD in the USA.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 14:55, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
(as far as I understand them, IANAL, etc.), per the Bern convention, a work cannot be protected by copyright longer than it is in the original country. The files are thus PD in the USA too. Rama (talk) 15:32, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
So what now? This is not just about PD-Egypt it's also about {{PD-China}}, {{PD-Iran}} and the rest of PD countries. If the USA has done this URAA copyright restoration, all PDs for countries should only be restricted to PD prior to 1996. We should in general look for PD of other countries, regarding the publishers being in the other country and complying with the laws of this country and not the US. --Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 16:03, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Bern saya: Article 7 - Term of Protection: {....} 8) In any case, the term shall be governed by the legislation of the country where protection is claimed; however, unless the legislation of that country otherwise provides, the term shall not exceed the term fixed in the country of origin of the work.. The US copyright law provides otherwise. United States Code/Title 17/Chapter 1/Section 104: (c) EFFECT OF BERNE CONVENTION. No right or interest in a work eligible for protection under this title may be claimed by virtue of, or in reliance upon, the provisions of the Berne Convention, or the adherence of the United States thereto. Any rights in a work eligible for protection under this title that derive from this title, other Federal or State statutes, or the common law, shall not be expanded or reduced by virtue of, or in reliance upon, the provisions of the Berne Convention, or the adherence of the United States thereto.. sугсго 17:24, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
The Berne Convention does not require protection longer than in the source country (i.e. the rule of the shorter term is just fine), but it does allow for it. It has been hashed over before (see Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 11#Source_country_and_U.S. and Commons:Deletion_requests/All_images_not_PD_in_the_US); there is also a {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} tag to mark them in case more of a resolution is found. I'm guessing uploads of such media is discouraged but many people do not want a mass deletion of existing images either. PD-Egypt as it stands seems perfectly valid in Egypt, and any country using the rule of term -- the question is what to do with works which have expired there since 1996, which are an issue in the U.S. only. Maybe just add a Not-PD-US-URAA tag there, if they are kept. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:05, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Wasn't all the URAA thing ruled unconstitutional? Belgrano (talk) 17:59, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

There is one ruling against it, but it's still being litigated.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:33, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Due to the URAA, the general restriction is, for any foreign work, it must either have been PD in its source country in 1996, or it must have fallen into the public domain in the US according to normal US rules (pretending like it had been correctly registered and notice provided at its original date of publication). Commons' general strategy has been to include two tags, one showing PD in the source country (which occurred after 1996) and one showing PD in the US (for example {{PD-1923}} or {{PD-old-70}} - other US tags like no notice, defective notice, etc. are not allowed here as URAA restored works are exempt from this). Dcoetzee (talk) 21:25, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
So {{PD-Israel}} can't be used because it has to be 50 years before 1996 which is 1946 (before there was an Israel.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 10:38, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
That is from the British Mandate law, which is still applicable. Governments inherit the same copyright law from previous governments (they are successor nations). Also I don't think we apply the URAA stuff to government work usually if they have a special term set; that is really a case of an author declaring their works to be public domain. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:22, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
There have to be a policy regarding this. When will which one be agreed on?--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 12:01, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Road Sign Image

I have created a SVG image of a road sign used to mark the Dragoon Trail, a historic auto route in Iowa. To create the SVG, I took a picture of one of the signs in the wild, corrected the perspective using Hugin/Gimp, and traced some graphic elements using the "trace bitmap" function in Inkscape. I also used a commercial font (BitStream Solid 721 Bold) to re-do the text on the sign because the traced text didn't come out quite right. The text was converted to a path so the original font is not needed to render the image. The original sign was created by the state of Iowa. Is this image something I can legally upload to the commons? I'd put any of my contributions to the image into the public domain or some highly permissive license. jcollie (talk) 16:27, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

While works by the U.S. federal government are in the public domain, this does not automatically apply to works by individual state governments. Thus, any copyright on the sign likely belongs to the state of Iowa. If the sign consists entirely of simple text and geometric shapes, it might not pass the threshold of originality, in which case you could tag it as {{PD-ineligible}}. Alternatively, depending on the age of the sign, it might qualify under {{PD-US-no-notice}} or {{PD-US-1978-89}}, assuming it doesn't actually have a copyright notice printed on it and assuming it actually counts as a published work, which is not a trivial issue in cases like this.
In any case, assuming your own work was intended to be a faithful reproduction of the two-dimensional sign, it would not in itself be eligible for copyright protection under U.S. law per Bridgeman v. Corel and related case law. Of course, given that it's your own work, it would still be a good idea to explicitly disclaim copyright in it, e.g. with a license such as {{PD-ineligible|PD-self}}. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 15:25, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Uploading images not PD in the US

I have a significant number of images (several thousand at least) that are public domain in the source country but probably not in the United States. It's been my understanding that such images are not permitted on Commons and that I should not upload them, per Commons:Licensing. However, the existence of the template {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} seems to imply that this aspect of policy is under debate, in light of recent legal changes, and that I may upload them as long as I include this tag (although they may be later deleted). My question is simply: should I upload these images? If so, should this page be updated accordingly? I am extremely hesitant to do so without specific consensus. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:41, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

I doubt you'll get consensus :-) It is a touchy issue, as the situation can exist where media is public domain virtually everywhere in the world except the United States, and for some images it may feel like overkill to zealously follow that reasoning to the very end. It can be hardest on wikis which do not allow local uploads, and have images which are public domain in their country and most others. How do you define "free" for media which is public domain in most countries but not a few? We have that situation in many cases; it's just there those "few" do not happen to include the U.S. or the country of origin. There is also the recent court ruling on the URAA, so for one U.S. judicial district anyways, they are "free" there ;-) On the other hand, it is the law, unless that ruling gets upheld by higher courts, and I'm guessing its use should probably not be promoted. I also doubt that many are in favor of hosting images which are "free" in the country of origin but nowhere else, so it is probably an image-by-image thing (and they are always at risk of being deleted). I generally like the free-in-the-U.S. rule, as it usually works to ensure that works are more broadly public domain than just a single country, but there are some cases where it feels over the top. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:12, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
I see - in that case, since I have no particular stake in the images, I will conservatively constrain myself according to the current PD-in-the-US rule. I'll hold on to the images in case the URAA ruling is upheld federally. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:53, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
@C.L.: Where did you see that "it is the law"? That ruling about URAA is by a Federal court and copyright is a Federal matter. So the most recent ruling just says that these images are public domain. I think it is really not wise to make our policies on future rulings which may never exist. AFAIK no image was ever deleted here on that ground any way. Yann (talk) 09:23, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
It was by a federal district court, not the Supreme Court, which means it's only binding precedent on that judicial district; any judge outside that district is free to rule otherwise. Secondly, even that court said it was the law; they merely said that the law was unconstitutional and hence unenforceable. --Prosfilaes (talk) 23:48, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Additionally, it appears that the 10th Circuit and the D.C. Circuit disagree with eachother as to the validity of the URAA. (SeeWikipedia:URAA#Challenges to the URAA restorations.) --Philosopher (talk) 22:57, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Keep in mind that several hundred of italian pictures that were PD in Italy but may have not been PD in Germany, have been deleted a couple of years ago, hence don't expect luck with your case. 15:11, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: Let's not also forget that Bridgeman v Corel was only adjudicated at the district court level, and we base our entirely PD-Art policy on that ruling. howcheng {chat} 16:11, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but Bridgeman v. Corel wasn't overturning blackletter law, for one. Just as importantly, Bridgeman was not appealed, and other district courts have accepted it and expanded on it. It's impossible for the Supreme Court to overrule the district court on Bridgeman, and unlikely that it will take up another case and overrule the principles of Bridgeman. Golan v. Gonzales, on the other hand, is being appealed, will be looked at by a higher court, and it's quite possible that the Supreme Court will rule on Golan and rule for the URAA. Bridgeman may just be from a district court, but time, citations from other courts and general approval from the legal community have solidified its position. Golan is still up in the air.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:32, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

pd dispute

Hi, I see no reason to mark this image File:Radon_and_Cancer_by_Cohen.GIF as government work, in fact I think the user must think that the University of Pittsburg is a USG operated facility (which it is not), or perhaps that it is operated by some government (it is private) or something else, but the pint is that the document makes no claim of copyright or non-copyright, so i see no basis to claim it does not have copyright. What should I do? 23:44, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

The author (which the source also states) appears to be an employee of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (a federal agency). Am I missing something? The chart is probably PD-ineligible anyways, unless the raw data is copyrightable. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:35, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

New template PD-modifications-ineligible modifications-ineligible

I've created a new tag {{PD-modifications-ineligible}} {{Modifications-ineligible}}. The purpose of this tag is for situations where we obtain an image with minor modifications from the original, to explicitly assert that those modifications are ineligible for copyright. This can be handy in some situations - for example when uploading a cropped detail of a PD-old image. Just running it by everyone to see if it makes sense. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:16, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Well it shouldn't be a license tag, as it doesn't say anything about the license of the whole image, and can't be used without a proper license tag. Maybe a wrapper around a license tag (something like {{PD-Art}}) or just an information template. –Tryphon 06:42, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm, that's true. I can change the icon easily enough, if nothing else. Not sure what the best way to structure it is. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:45, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
It needs to be renamed, also (drop the "PD"). --Eusebius (talk) 07:23, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, good idea, done. :-) Dcoetzee (talk) 09:03, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Is stained glass PD-Art?

I have a number of books containing straight-on photographs of public domain stained-glass artwork. My question is, are these sufficiently lacking in originality to be public domain themselves? In this deletion discussion, the answer seemed to be "yes", but I want to be real careful and get a second opinion before uploading a bunch of these. I still have reservations about the practice, because of the possibility that the photographer may have installed artificial backlighting (or simply waited until a certain time of day to achieve the proper natural lighting). Dcoetzee (talk) 04:36, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

I would assume that most professional photographs of paintings, includes the ones that were being litigated in Corel v. Bridgeman, would have photographer-installed artificial frontlighting. Unless the lighting is particularly creative, I can't see it as an obstacle to PD-Art.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:52, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I recall here the opinion I've expressed in the DR: I think it can be PD-art if nothing but the (flat) glass window is shown. However, just like the presence of a frame prevents PD-art from being applied to a painting picture, the presence of the stone structure around the window can be an obstacle to PD-art. For instance, in a picture like this one, the stone structure is shown together with the glass (because it's part of the overall work of art), making the whole stuff 3D. For a picture like this one, a PD-art status would be fine (if it weren't my own work) because the "framing" is invisible. --Eusebius (talk) 06:33, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback. :-) I've uploaded the works I'm talking about at Category:All Souls Chapel. Dcoetzee (talk) 07:26, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
(ec) The essential point of Bridgeman v. Corel is that faithful reproductions of PD artworks are not eligible for copyright because they involve no creative choice: anyone attempting to faithfully reproduce the same artwork should, subject to limitations of skill, inevitably end up with an essentially identical result. That's IMHO a good guideline to fall back on in uncertain cases: for stained glass windows, a reproduction that merely accurately documents the relative placement of the various pieces of colored glass and lead would be {{PD-art}}, while one that involves potentially creative choices of e.g. camera angle, framing or non-uniform lighting would not. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 07:56, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
That means a crop is an obstacle to PD-art? --Eusebius (talk) 08:24, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
The way I think about cropping is that if the complete piece is PD-Art, then a crop of it is a {{modifications-ineligible}} derived work, so also PD. I'm not sure if this is sound. Dcoetzee (talk) 08:49, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
I would agree, though of course one can never be really sure until a judge rules on it (and the appeals are exhausted). A crop could, in principle, be creative, but I can't see any way in which a simple rectangular crop by itself could ever rise above the threshold of originality, low as it may be. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 18:05, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Italy by Frank Fox

Hi everyone,

recently I have uploaded a series of pictures from the book "Italy" written by Frank Fox and published on 1918. Frank Fox died in 1960 but he is the author of the text and not the author of the pictures that, according to the signatures (most of them unreadable), were realized by different painters.

The book was scanned by and, according to their copyright information on the book ( is not anymore in copyright. But, obviously, it doesn't mean that the book is in public domain as in facts Tlusťa suggested ( ).

What do you recon? Keep or speedy deletion?--Giorgiomonteforti (talk) 10:24, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

It is public domain in the United States (which is the law that uses), due to being published before 1923, but that book apparently was first published in London in 1913 (Fox himself was Australian) so I think that makes the UK the country of origin. That makes it even less likely the illustrations are PD, unless they are considered anonymous (if they are signed, then they are not anonymous). Carl Lindberg (talk) 11:45, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Flag of Okinawa

An image of the Flag of Okinawa was deleted by the following reasoning: "The Okinawa Prefecture was established in 1972, after the end of the US occupation. (1) According to Japanese Copyright law, Copyright lasts for 50 years after publication for works published by an organization (2). Flags are, except for some cases, eligible for copyright." There is no Law regulating the flag in this area.

  • The flag itself is a representation of a design set down in law. The law of Japan specifically states here[12] in Article 13 "(Works not protected)" of the Copyright law that nothing issued by the "government, organs of the state or local public entities" is protected.
  • Next: The Copyright law of Japan here[13]in Article 38 "(Performance, etc. not for profit-making)" further goes on to explicitly allow a free license for all non-commercial use.:
  • Next: Article 46[14]"(Exploitation of an artistic work, etc. located in open places)" adds a unique privilege in that it even goes so far as to allow for 'commercial use for profit' of works located in "Public Places".
I can assure you that the government flag is prominently located at the epicenter of the prefecture's most "Public Place". There is no basis for prohibiting the display of this flag. 16:38, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Upload a replacement of José Antonio Navarro image

If you look on this Wikipedia article of José Antonio Navarro, it has no picture and I badly have to get an image for it. I found my image from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission But the only problem is the licensing. I dom't know if it came from a US federal government source. Globalearth (talk) 23:24, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

(I fixed your links for you.) Considering this is a state government website, I'm afraid that's very unlikely. However, as he died in 1871, this image is public domain in the United States as long as it was published close to the time it was taken, which we may reasonably assume (see {{PD-US}}). The {{PD-Scan}} tag may also apply here, since it's not your scan of the original photograph. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:01, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Another problem, That website does not give the author of who created this picture. Globalearth (talk) 23:24, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

We do not require authors or sources for works that are known to be in the public domain due to other information. That would be silly. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:49, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

"Products of daily use"

Can we clarify what this phrase means? Most of us live in a manufactured environment full of industrial designs. Is this referring to an image of the keyboard I'm typing on? Of a car's hubcaps? Of a specific cell phone? Of specific tableware? What makes one image such acceptable and another not? Without identifying the criteria, it does little good to say that it's "questionable". Consider 200px as a case in point, but we need to establish some guidance. LeadSongDog (talk) 15:36, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

A similar issue is raised by my current deletion listing Commons:Deletion requests/File:Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder.jpg. Is a showroom car a product of daily use or utilitarian object? Dcoetzee (talk) 19:23, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
See Commons:Applied art. Under U.S. law, a "useful article" is defined as "an article having an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information." Such articles are generally exempt from copyright protection, at least in the U.S. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 20:08, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
Interesting read, thank you. So precisely because the Spyder's exterior is an aerodynamic form (and therefore functional) its images are not excluded, but purely decorative details such as hood ornaments and painted advertising change that. My keyboard and cell phone would be excluded unless I obscured the makers' trademarks, which are the only "purely decorative" elements. Can we make this succinct for the text?LeadSongDog (talk) 21:37, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
The ornaments and trademarks would usually be de minimis if it is a photo of the entire product. Keyboards and cell phones are also utilitarian. There are always gray areas (see some of the court cases in section A here). Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:47, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

License contradiction

The file's File:League of Arab States members.png permission and license apare to contradict each other or at least the permission is badly phrased.--IngerAlHaosului (talk) 05:04, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

What about it? The statement seems accurate. Both GFDL and CC-BY-SA require that derivative works be under the same license. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:11, 4 May 2009 (UTC)


I have concerns over the validity of the GFDL release on the image File:NadineVelazquez1.jpg. The actress agreed to release it only on the condition that certain details were removed from a Wikipedia article - the emails are described on the image page. Could someone familiar with licensing please take a look? Best, Toon05 (talk) 18:52, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

I think that image is not ok. Yes, image has been released under GFDL (her request doesn't metter, she released it under GFDL, that is enough), but... Is she the copyright holder of the photo? I don't think so. A RFD should be open.--Trixt (talk) 19:19, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, she's certainly not the copyright holder. Moreover, pasting emails on the image page is not enough; they should be forwarded to OTRS. But even then, I doubt it would be accepted, she never explicitly agrees to a particular license. And given her requests about her article on wikipedia, I don't think we can assume she fully understands the implications of having this image on Commons. –Tryphon 19:25, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
I opened a DR, please leave your comments there instead. –Tryphon 19:29, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

✓ Done --MichaelMaggs (talk) 10:15, 4 May 2009 (UTC)


I hope this image has been correctly transferred from the english wikipedia because it is used in many pages. It may be that in 2003 or 2004 permission was granted and it's Ok. The original photographer (I assume from this 1998 usenet posting) appears to grant free use to his other animal pictures (except for some from a certain zoo), but I was concerned that his name does not appear as author of this one.

I have asked in more detail at w:en:Talk:Protist#Collage image correctly licensed? where I also noted that collage image File:Protist collage.jpg uses the above image without attribution. Note that the Paramecium.jpg file contains text from the usenet posting but the image data is not bitwise identical to the image on (small colour differences). 84user (talk) 03:05, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Copyrightstatus of graph

Surely a graph such as en:File:Hockey stick chart ipcc large.jpg cannot be copyright-able? It contains purely factual data, with no creative input whatsoever. Anrie (talk) 09:54, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

A chart contains many stylistic decisions, trivial though they may seem, such as font type and size, organization of elements, colors of various things, and the type of chart used. As such, it is an original presentation subject to copyright. You can feel free to either use a table of data or create your own different-looking chart based on the same data. Dcoetzee (talk) 10:10, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure it is that clear. The U.S. does not support copyright of the arrangement of type on a page, color choice typically is not copyrightable, and fonts aren't copyrightable either. At some point the arrangement may become copyrightable (maps are specifically listed in the copyright law; those have enough representation possibilities to grant copyright). The U.S. does accept copyrights of "prints", but they need to contain some copyrightable graphic or pictorial element. You can read some of the examples in this document to see where you think the line on graphs would be -- it is not too clear to me. Particular collections of data can be copyrighted though, I'm pretty sure, so I would be careful about copying that graph. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:11, 6 May 2009 (UTC)