Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 19

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Archive This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.


Motor logos and dubious OTRS permissions

Please see Commons:OTRS/Noticeboard#File:Kerry_logo.jpg_and_lots_of_others, form your opinion and act on it. (Summary: most of the motorbike logos have an OTRS permission about the image, but not about the logo it contains.) I'm not sure what'd be the proper way to handle it. --grin 09:37, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Start with pinging a Dutch OTRS-er ;-). Sorry, must have missed that one: I'll take a look. Ciell (talk) 11:47, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

DW of GFDL works: CC-BY-SA ok now?

Is it ok for a DW of a work under GFDL to be licensed under CC-BY-SA? The GDFL has been amended to allow that, if I understand well? --Eusebius (talk) 13:35, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't think so, not exactly. The GFDL has been amended to allow certain GFDL works to be dual licensed with CC-BY-SA. Works which do get dual licensed would then be fine, but the basic incompatibility has not been resolved, I don't think. I do not believe that Wikimedia has yet performed any of the dual-licensing (and future GFDL uploads would still be GFDL-only). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:40, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
OK thanks, my question was not WMF-related though, there's somebody on OTRS wanting to license under CC-BY-SA a DW of a GDFL document, and I wanted if I was right in asking him to change to GFDL. --Eusebius (talk) 15:08, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
AFAIK, the right to convert licenses from GFDL to CC-BY-SA applies rather specifically to Wikipedia, and not to anyone else. Dcoetzee (talk) 19:53, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Specifically, the site operators for a "massive multiauthor collaboration site" (read: wikis) can choose to dual license existing GFDL content (subject to a few restrictions). This migration has not occurred yet, though a decision may be made in the next 2-4 weeks. See also: m:Licensing update. For the moment, a derivative work of a GFDL work must also be GFDL. Dragons flight (talk) 21:38, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Thank you all for your clarifications. I must confess I've been too lazy to have a thorough look at the issue... --Eusebius (talk) 21:51, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

May DW of CC-BY-SA be PD?

Two years ago I made photo with town COA and licenced it with CC-BY-SA. Then I cropped COA from photo and licenced with CC-BY-SA. Now another user made SVG image and claims to license it with {{PD-UA-exempt}} as COA of the town. But it is DW of CC-BY-SA images. So, may it be PD-UA-exempt or should be CC-BY-SA?--Anatoliy (talk) 13:29, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

You were not the author of the seal representation, so your "crop" really isn't CC-BY-SA anymore. The copyrightable expression in the photo itself is no longer there. It sounds like Ukrainian law makes all governmental seal representations exempt from copyright (without which possibly your photo, and definitely your crop, would have been a derivative work of the seal representation and you would not have been able to license it CC-BY-SA in the first place). The SVG no longer has any of the expression that you contributed to the photo, so it is not a derivative work of your photo and it can be licensed as the author wishes (which apparently is PD, though it would always be PD inside the Ukraine). You could argue your crop is your own "representation" and could have an extremely thin copyright, but not the SVG. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:57, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I think something like the PD-Art policy applies here (see Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag). A faithful reproduction of a two-dimensional public domain work cannot be permitted to acquire a new copyright of its own. In fact, I'm tempted to say the original photo may be a copyvio, as I'm uncertain whether the sign taken as a whole is a copyrighted work. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:00, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
It is a basic tenet of copyright law... derivative works do not "re-copyright" any pre-existing public domain works. Only the additional expression is copyrighted. In this case, his photo can be copyrighted, but that doesn't mean the photograph gains rights over any pictured works. The SVG does not contain any expression specifically from the photograph, so it is not a derivative work of the photo. It is a derivative directly of the representation seen on the sign... but since that is public domain, that is fine. Likewise, someone else can take a photo of the same sign, and it is also not a derivative work of your photo -- the other photo has a separate copyright, despite any similarity to yours. PD-Art was about something completely different -- whether a photograph of a painting is a "derivative work" or a "copy". Most countries (and now Commons in general) treat them as copies, but some countries (the UK in particular) draw that line a little bit differently. And no, I don't think the rest of the sign is copyrightable at all (and is probably just as copyright-exempt as the seal representation). Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:03, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm, just out of curiosity, could you explain in more detail what makes this different from the PD-Art case? I don't see how it's different from, say, a photo of a painting together with its frame, which is subsequently cropped. The question in both cases is whether the portion of the work portraying the two-dimensional public domain image makes a significant enough contribution to surpass the minimum threshold of originality. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:22, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Okay, you could make a case that his version of just the seal (more than just a crop; all the background was removed) is a case of PD-Art. I was referring to the original photo mainly; that is certainly copyrightable, but even if the SVG had been made directly from that, the SVG would still not be a derivative work of the photo, since the only copyrightable expression in the photo is no longer present. PD-Art is about determining what is a "copy" vs a "derivative work"; we treat them as copies thus having the identical copyright status as the original work. The SVG isn't really an exact copy; in some jurisdictions the SVG may be separately copyrightable (most likely as a very thin copyright preventing direct coping of that exact SVG; the basic drawing and outlines are still PD and so any other slightly modified version again would not contain the small amount of expression specific to the SVG). Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:03, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Dual licensing?

Are there any pitfalls in persuading a pubic sector copyright holder in the UK, to release to Commons, low-res versions of previously published high-res images as CC-BY-SA- while maintaining a CC-NC licence on the high-res version? --ClemRutter (talk) 21:11, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

No, we've done this sort of thing before with professional photographers. As long as the permission statement and image description page are clear about what version of the image the license applies to, it ought to be fine. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:26, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

1905 question

I've been uploading images that are licensed cc-by-2.0 by the Seattle Municipal Archives. On most of what I've been interested in (e.g. Department of Engineering photos of streets and buildings, city-issued brochures), it is pretty clear that the Archives have a right to release it: these would have been work for hire, paid for by a department of the city government. I'm wondering about, though, and hoping to hear others' opinion before I upload. They don't really indicate who took the picture, and Rainier Beach was not yet part of Seattle at the time this was taken, so it was clearly not done for the City. The picture was taken in 1905, but there is no indication that it was published before the magic date of 1923.

Now, if the picture was taken for the Rainier Beach gov't of the time, the City of Seattle would inherit the rights and could release them, but the Erlyn Jensen Rainier Beach Collection, to which this is credited, appears to be a privately donated archive. A lot of it is newspaper clippings and the like, so clearly not all of the materials were ones that were made by people who left Erlyn Jensen as their heir. Furthermore, I can't find any explicit indication online anywhere of what rights were granted when this collection was donated.

The Seattle Municipal Archives seem to be confident enough that they have the rights to this to release them under cc-by-2.0 (and, for what it's worth, they seem usually to slap an "all rights reserved" on things they post online for which they clearly can't grant rights: e.g. a post-1923 newspaper clipping, menu, etc.) Should I trust their confidence & upload the image to Commons, citing their cc-by-2.0 release, or should I err on the side of caution and not upload? - Jmabel ! talk 00:26, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

This is a really difficult one. In the past I often assumed that images are published close to the date they're taken, but in a case where an image is taken for a private archive, there's reason to doubt this. As soon as it's over 120 years old, in 2025, {{PD-US-unpublished}} will be sufficient. Meanwhile, you either need to obtain author information, or you need to determine whether any copyright in the materials was transferred to the Archives. I recommend contacting the Archives directly regarding the terms of the acquisition (hopefully, they won't ignore you), and/or contacting the keepers of the original collection to get more data about the image. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:26, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
If it is a print, that means it was published (unless they also own the negative). But their info page says their original is a print, and they don't have the negative. I would guess it is PD-US, which is why they probably felt safe to mark it cc-by (since they can't mark it PD). Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:10, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

OK. I'll upload it and copy the above exchange to its talk page. - Jmabel ! talk 00:37, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Short excerpts of jazz and other melodies

I'd like to ask for comments on Commons:Deletion requests/Sheet music and MIDI files by Bottomline. I filed this deletion request in March, after stumbling across a bunch of short MIDI and sheet music excerpts of contemporary jazz and other songs which seemed possibly non-free to me. The ensuing discussion, while interesting enough, did not really seem to provide anything conclusive on the main question of whether or not these excerpt are actually eligible for copyright.

Since then, then nomination seems to have fallen through the cracks — it hasn't been closed, but it also hasn't received any comments for a month. I'm of half a mind to just withdraw it, per avoid copyright paranoia, but I feel I should try to get some more eyes on it first. Any comments would be welcome, but I'd be especially glad for some from people more familiar with U.S. copyright law and how it applies to short excerpts of possibly originally improvised melodies. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 23:18, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Ordinary Copyright UK. Which template to use?

In an effort to understand UK ordinary copyright. I produced this page Duration of Copyright (UK) flowchart . So I have a series of book engravings from 1885- artist unknown. When quickly consulting the available UK copyright templates - I find only 3. (PD-Uk-known and PD-UK-unknown and OS-old) and reading the text find that engravings are excluded and to follow the reference which brings me back the source document I used for Duration of Copyright (UK) flowchart. Help me understand-PD-1923 sorts out the US but

  • What do you use for Engravings published in the UK over 100 years ago?
  • If you look at my flowchart- it would be useful to publish here the copyright tag needed in each case?
  • Should these templates be reworded?
  • If I am having difficulty- what about the poor newbie?

I do hope I have missed something obvious.--ClemRutter (talk) 21:05, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Generally if the work is old enough (1860 or older) I use {{PD-old-70}}, with the text "author presumed dead by 1939", but these aren't quite old enough for that. Keep in mind that if you're just talking about reproductions of engravings, the original engravings may be older. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:15, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that, and the one below. The text from the flowchart in this case says-Copyright expires: 70 years after first publication rather than 70 years after presumed death so it is not exactly {{PD-old-70}}- so do we need to consider a series of templates that more accurately reflect the arcane UK wording? --ClemRutter (talk) 08:19, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I think your flowchart is correct but is simply eliding the "engraving" exception - per {{PD-UK-unknown}}, most anonymous or pseudonymous works do expire 70 years after first publication. I don't know much about the engraving exception or where it comes from, but if PD-UK-unknown truly does not apply your only recourse is to fall back on a good guess of when the author would have died. This is an unfortunate limitation. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:44, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Simply, my aim is to provide a foolproof way of helping users to find the correct tag. If we take Tim Padfield work as definitive- and I have faithfully reproduced the facts in my flowchart we are left without tags to express many of the obscure outcomes. One way of addressing this is to write a tag {{PD-old-70-pp}} post publication. Another is to modify the wording in {{PD-UK-unknown}} to explain the conditions- which may be simpler- even including the flowchart in a collapsed state. I do think that as we have got the facts, it will save time by working out the fix- whatever it may be. --ClemRutter (talk) 10:41, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
UK works are generally 70 pma, so {{PD-Old}} is the usual tag. I guess we have PD-UK-known as essentially a synonym. If it is anonymous, then {{Anonymous-EU}} or {{PD-EU-no author disclosure}} may apply. Was the author credited in the book? Otherwise, PD-UK-unknown might apply, as it is a bit different than anonymous, but those usually need some sort of indication (author not noted when published, or indication of some research done, etc.) Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:11, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Tell me if I am wrong, but I can't see that the EU route is helpful, I am not sure whether the UK even has bought in to this lwa. I suspect it will be one of the exemptions. I don't wish just to discuss this book particularly but sort out the generalities once and for all. I have seen how much effort you put into this talk page, and wish to save you time in future! All discussions seem to revert to Duration of Copyright Padfield,Tim but we cant express
  • Copyright expires: 70 years after creation or 70 years after the work was first made available to the public if within 70 years of creation
  • Copyright expires: 70 years after first publication
  • Copyright expires: 70 years after the work was made available to the public
  • Copyright expires: 50 years after first publication
(as a simple computer scientist) I created my version of the flowchart, using normal conventions, to help me navigate through Tim Padfields work, bringing a text in WP, inhouse so to speak. I see it as a first step to nailing this business. So now we have four cases without an effective tag. If creating 4 tags were the way forward it would be a few minutes work to create them. I suspect it is not that simple. Suggestions? --ClemRutter (talk) 10:41, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure there are exemptions, unless you are talking about government (Crown Copyright) work. In general, if the author is known, the term is 70 pma. I think the complications are that under previous UK copyright law, unpublished works retained copyright forever, and implementing the EU directives did not shorten those terms, so there are special situations for works published well after the author died... protection may be there for 50 years (the term at the time) from when the law was changed (in 1989). It is more complicated if they were published before 1989; terms under the 1956 copyright law are in effect and they would expire sometime before 2039. I don't understand the full intricacies here however. If the author is not known, it does get more complicated. But PD-UK-unknown is basically the UK version of Anonymous-EU; they have some special provisions for "unknown" vs "anonymous" over and above the EU directives. I guess I hadn't noticed the "this tag does not apply to engravings" bit on that tag -- I'm not sure why that is there actually... the UK "unknown" sections seem to apply to all artistic works, which would include engravings. I guess if they were published prior to 1989 then provisions in the 1956 Act may come into force, but I don't think those could be any longer then 70 years after publication (rather they were probably 50 years after publication) but I could easily be missing something. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:24, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
The exemptions were exemptions to the Treaty of Accession- just ignore for the moment. I have revised Duration of Copyright (UK) flowchart, after doing some simple maths, worked out that most of the difficult cases will only apply after 2039, so at present are irrelevant. However we are still left with three cases that are not accurately represented by {{PD-UK-unknown}} or {{PD-UK-known}}. {{PD-UK-known}} does seem to be a limited subset of {{PD-old-70}} which could be used on all cases on the flowchart. We need to resolve the issue of known engravings then the wording of the templates could be changed to explain and include the missing cases. If I knew enough I could suggest rewordings! --ClemRutter (talk) 20:01, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Flickr help

I have one question concerning some rules for uploading new pictures from Flickr. I am in contact with one photographer that has photostream on Flickr and I have asked him whether he could give me (to Wikimedia) a permission to use that pictures. Maybe because of lack of time, the user marked the pictures as "All right reserved", but he gave me/ us a permission for the pictures via mail. My question is whether we can upload the pictures, taking in mind the permission, although the pictures are not marked as free? Also I will provide a screan shot of the mail with the permission.--Raso mk (talk) 21:36, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, the images do not need to be marked as free on Flickr as long as we have a release; but unlike images that are marked free on Flickr, we need to send the permission mail through OTRS (see Commons:OTRS). As with any e-mail release it must explicitly release it under a free license that is permitted on Commons. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:35, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
The permission must be sent only through OTRS, or can I do it?--Raso mk (talk) 06:49, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
You can request it and forward the permission e-mail to OTRS, per standard process. All previously published works that do not either bear a public license statement or have fallen into the public domain must go through OTRS at some point. Dcoetzee (talk) 07:15, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
OK. I have few e-mails and permissions, and all are in macedonian language. Do you have a OTRS user who knows the language? If you do not, what should we do? --Raso mk (talk) 17:16, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd say forward the mail along with your translation, and a statement that your translation is intended to accurately convey the intention of the original. Dcoetzee (talk) 07:36, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Photos from British embassy websites

I would like to upload photographs hosted on the websites of the British embassies in Egypt and at the UN. The copyright notice on the websites states that: Material featured on this site is subject to Crown copyright protection unless otherwise indicated. The Crown copyright protected material may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium provided it is reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context, except the designs, graphics, logos, FCO crest, maps and the travel advice notices. Where any of the Crown copyright items on this site are republished or copied to others, the source of the material must be identified and the copyright status acknowledged. Photographs thus appear to be OK. Is such a copyright statement free enough for Commons, and is it OK to upload the photographs using the {{Attribution}} tag? --BomBom (talk) 00:52, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

It's not okay; the demand that it be reproduced accurately means that we can't edit it and thus it's not Free Content.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:06, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Screenshots of free software can be copyrighted too?

I dispute a little bit of our practices. Even though a screenshot of free software may be considered to be under the same license as the software shown, could you make distinct and regulation copyright claims over the arrangement and placement of free software within a screenshot of it? If this can be considered non-free, we may have to require that all screenshots of FOSS be self-made. ViperSnake151 (talk) 00:19, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

While it would theoretically be possible for such an arrangement to rise above the threshold of originality, and thereby create a derivative work with a separate copyright, I find it highly unlikely that this could ever occur with an ordinary screenshot merely showing the standard user interface of a program in a typical arrangement. The exceptions, perhaps, might be things like screenshots of 3D games showing deliberately composed scenes. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 00:15, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Selection and arrangement is subject to copyright - one can imagine arranging windows to make interesting pictures or something. Some nations have a very, very low threshold of originality. This sort of thing has never been tested, but still I'm with Ilmari - a typical ordinary screenshot of software would usually be of the default window layout, with no other applications running, a scenario where creativity is minimized. On the other hand, these images would be very easy to replace with self-taken images, if we need to, since only open-source software is usually eligible for free screenshotting. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:31, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Combination Text/Image

Hello, I will upload a number of Flickr images in a few minutes althhough I'm in doubt whether the text/image combination is allowed. The files are licensed as cc-by-2.0, the source is here. Is there anyone who will check this and delete if necessary? Or inform me, if the images must be cropped and uploaded again? Thanks. -- Sozi (talk) 14:26, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

They're fine - provided that Etter Studio is the copyright holder of both the images and text, they have effectively released both the text and the images under cc-by-2.0. You should go ahead and upload these and mark them with the {{extract}} tag so that the individual images can be cropped out and uploaded. Note that the text can't be currently used in articles as prose, since it's not GFDL - I don't know how the impending license switch will affect this. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:14, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

I've done so. Thank you -- Sozi (talk) 07:39, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

File:Stanley Kubrick 1968.jpg

I have removed the GFDL tag attached to File:Stanley Kubrick 1968.jpg because I have doubts as to its validity. Here is what I added:

This image is bitwise identical (every bit matches) to the poster attributed to Dmitri Kessel (1902 – 1995) at Director, Stanley Kubrick, During Filming of His Movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" Premium Photographic Print by Dmitri Kessel at The caption there reads "From the archives of LIFE magazine, this image is digitally printed on high gloss premium photographic paper resulting in a unique silver pearlescent finish with stunning visual impact and depth that is suitable for museum or gallery display." Either Allposters has incorrectly attributed this image or Dmitri has returned from the dead, or there has been a mistake, which is it? 84user (talk) 21:00, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

The Allposters image has a copyright LIFE notice in the bottom right corner (illegible in the upload, but can be seen in the higher-res version at their website). No idea if Allposters has permission from Time Inc. or not, but it is irrelevant here. Copyright expires after 2061 (95 years after presumed publication date of 1966). Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:13, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, I see you have already added a copyvio tag.84user (talk) 21:20, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

    • Deleted, clear copyright violation, false claim of authorship. As noted, the publication copyright notice was even still on the image (though in tiny print)! -- Infrogmation (talk) 01:27, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
      • And now it has been reuploaded by the same user. Then re-nominated for speedy by that same user. Odd. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:45, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

more doubtful licenses for Stanley Kubrick photographs

This user has uploaded what look like photographs of a poster and placed a PD tag on two and then a GFDL on the third (bitwise identical to the first). I have asked the uploader for clarification. 84user (talk)

  • Source admitted as yoinked off the web on one; deleted. In such cases you don't need to start a discussion here on Commons talk:Licensing. Just list them at Commons:Deletion requests if they are suspected copyright violations or particularly dubious looking information; if it is a clear copyright violation (eg, if you recognize the source or real author as being not per the uploader's claim) you can simply tag it with Template:Copyvio. Cheers, -- Infrogmation (talk) 01:37, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

what do i do when a commons image isn't attributed?

on wikipedia, there's a section for listing mirrors and obvious duplication of their articles without proper attribution or licensing. what do i do if i find an image hosted somewhere that has an attribution licesense, but the site owner is not properly attributing the image? -Zappernapper (talk) 22:59, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

It's a good question. There was a partial answer at Commons talk:Reusing content outside Wikimedia#Reuse abuse? It is up to the image copyright holder to enforce the license. It also seems one can add the image to Category:Commons as a media source, for example by adding template {{published}} with the "legal=" parameter set to "no" onto the image talk page. I guess we could extend that template, or create a new template to place such "abused" images into a specific subcategory. 84user (talk) 00:44, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I've struck-through my "guess" because I've just seen that using "legal=no" will place the image into Category:Images used by media organizations but violating license terms, which should serve as a centralized section. 84user (talk) 00:55, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Copyright image?

I don't know much about copyright and such but this image, with a Allposter watermark, makes me wonder if there is a copyright violation. File:Hans Burgkmair Brazen bull.jpg Aristiana (talk) 09:07, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

The artist who created the image lived in the 16th century, so copyright has expired. Further photos, photocopies or scans of the original do not create a new copyright. Sv1xv (talk) 09:14, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Is Attribution revocable?

I don't know whether this has been already discussed; if so, please direct me there.

A fellow wikipedian raised the problem that [he believes that] some licenses (basically anything not-well defined like CC, GFDL and alike) are simply revocable, which would mean the "free" picture suddenly can become completely non-free, all permissions terminated, so the picture had to be removed from use and distribution, including printed material, DVDs, etc.

  1. Is that true? (If not, why?)
  2. If yes, how come Commons support such risky "licenses" (time bombs)?

Thanks. --grin 13:57, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Commons and the Definition of Free Cultural Works requires that all free licenses be non-revocable. ViperSnake151 (talk) 14:14, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

{{attribution}} and {{copyrighted free use}} simply say that you can use the image. I see no reason why the copyright owner could not just change his mind. I also don't see any such requirements in the definition of free cultural licenses. (Commons:Licensing, on the other hand, is quite clear about this point: The license must be perpetual (non-expiring) and non-revocable..) --Tgr (talk) 15:06, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

I would assume the reason why a copyright owner couldn't just change his mind is the same as the reason why someone who gives you a car can't just change his mind and take it back. I don't say this with good legal grounding, but I don't understand why, outside jurisidictions that make revocablity clear, it would be the assumption.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:33, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Obviously authors can stop distributing their works under such licenses, but anyone who obtained a copy under such a license (such as Wikimedia) can certainly keep using it under those terms -- they were fully licensed without any such qualifications. Licenses aren't the same thing as contracts. Once a work is in the public domain, it can't be reclaimed -- the style of these licenses are similar, except that just some rights are being given up permanently, not all rights. It would certainly be possible to write a license allowing permission to be withdrawn, but that would not meet the criteria necessary for Commons. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:28, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Same topic on the free license definition wiki: [1]

I don't see how a license saying "you can use this work" could be taken to mean "you can use this work forever". Use of a copyrighted work requires permission. An attribution license means the author gives that permission. Removing the license means the author does not give the permission anymore, and you have to stop using it. I don't see what could stop the author from doing so.

See also the Stanford University's Copyright and Fair Use page: If there is no express limitation on the use, you are allowed to use the material for as long as you want or until the copyright owner revokes the permission. Some agreements prohibit the copyright owner from revoking rights by granting permission "irrevocably." Sometimes an agreement states that it is "in perpetuity," which means that rights are granted without time limits.

--Tgr (talk) 23:07, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

"I don't see how a license saying "you can use this work" could be taken to mean "you can use this work forever". On the contrary, I don't see how such a license (unless it has some explicit notice that permission can be revoked at any time without warning other other disclaimers) could mean anything else. For much the same reason as it doesn't say "only one person can use it". Say I upload an image I created to my own website with a free license (eg, any reuse allowed as long as Infrogmation is credited) explicitly stated. Person B can copy my image to B's website with attribution and the same license. Then person C copies it to Wikipedia. Person D copies it to Commons. Person F copies it to use in their article the website of the University of Foo. And so on. Perhaps in the meantime, the isp my website was on went out of business. Are any of the copies, as long as used with the same attribution and license I specified, less free than the one I first uploaded? Say the day before my website went down, I "changed my mind" and edited the description to "copyrighted, no reuse without explicit permission". Person B didn't happen look at my website during the 24 hours it had a different license before it went off line. Person C had no knowledge of my website, only of my image and authorship attribution which C copied from B. Does it make a difference if this happened before or after F copied from D? I say no. As long as they were obeying the licence I had at one time authorized as seen in whatever down stream location it spread to, my original license was not violated. It seems to me to be impossible for a truly free license to be revokable. -- Infrogmation (talk) 01:57, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Not realizing that you are infringing does not somehow make you not infringing. If for example I upload something with a fake CC license and you reuse it in the belief that you are free to do so, both of us are responsible for infringement. --Tgr (talk) 18:39, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with both your points, but I don't think they negate mine. I released my image under a free license. B copied with that same license. C copied from B and so on. Accurate and truthful copying obeying exactly the license I wrote were observed by each and every party. There is no violation. Expanding my example, maybe the my image is copied (with proper attribution and a copy of the original license I authorized) millions of times over decades. Can I suddenly say years later "today I change my mind", and the millions of copies in use suddenly become copyright violations? Absurd. If it is free licensed, it has been released. -- Infrogmation (talk) 22:11, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Here is an 1999 NY article about the issue: Copyright Law: How Long Is Your License?. According to this, case law is mixed: Rano v. Sipa Press, Inc. held in 1993 that licenses of unspecified duration can be revoked after 35 years as per 17 U.S.C. § 203. Four years later, Wathal v. Corey Rusk d/b/a Touch and Go Records essentially said that Rano v. Sipa Press, Inc. was rubbish and that licenses with unspecified duration can be terminated at any time as per Illinois contract law. Korman v. HBC Florida Inc. (not mentioned in the article) came to the same conclusion. TV Globo Ltda. v. Brazil Up-Date Weekly, Inc. said in 1999 that, the in absence of evidence of a contrary intent, unspecified duration should be taken as the full duration of copyright. The article's conclusion is that whenever possible, clients must be instructed during the pre-negotiation phase of a venture involving a copyright license to reduce to writing the key elements of the deal, including duration. It cannot be blithely assumed that a license will last for a particular period, such as the term of copyright, unless that period is specified.

Of course, this is US law. For a license to be acceptable on Commons, it must be irrevocable in the source country too. Continental copyright law tends to guard the rights of the author more than US one; for example Hungarian copyright law says that whenever there is a disambiguity in the license, the reading that is the most beneficial for the author must be accepted. So I still think free licenses that are not explicitly perpetual and irrevocable are problematic. (And they are not limited to the above two - the BSD license doesn't mention a duration either.) --Tgr (talk) 18:39, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

As a sidenote, Mike Godwin (of WMF) told me his opinion, that: "Generally, free licenses are regarded as nonrevocable. But nobody has tested this interpretation in court, so far as I know." --grin 08:13, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Legality of irrvocable licenses

It is also worth noting that irrevocability is not necessarily legally possible in every jurisdiction. --Tgr (talk) 15:08, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

I'd argue that we should avoid license tags for poorly-defined licenses such as {{attribution}} that have good well-written complete licenses with effectively equivalent terms, like CC-BY. Why don't we deprecate these licenses? If nothing else, it might be worthwhile to add a sentence to them explicitly stating that the license is nonrevocable, no sense second-guessing their intentions if we don't have to. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:59, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
It is discouraged for uploads I think, but it is sometimes seen with images posted on the net -- those are still OK, but cannot be tagged with a specific CC license without the author's explicit permission, which can often be hard to get (or more work than people want to go to). As for irrevocability... yes, some countries allow works to be withdrawn from publication, as part of moral rights, but I'm pretty sure they would have to pay some of the damages incurred as part of withdrawing it from publication, and the author cannot then publish it elsewhere without offering it back to the original licensee under the original terms -- if I remember the relevant bits of those laws correctly. That could get rather interesting when authors have essentially licensed such works to everyone in the world... Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:20, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
The licenses are not revocable. {{attribution}} and {{copyrighted free use}} say that the holder of copyrights offer this image for free use, Commons and Wikimedia projects already use this images and one cannot revoke the permission. The author is free to stop providing his work under free license, but he can not force reusers - like Wiki - to remove the permitted content. Same with cc and GFDL, authors can stop providing licenses but they cant stop reuse. See #7.b: [...] stop distributing the Work at any time; provided, however that any such election will not serve to withdraw this License [...] --Martin H. (talk) 12:41, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Some countries' versions of moral rights (perpetual, and cannot be waived or transferred) include the right to withdraw a work from publication... France (see Article L 121-4) and a couple others at least. Not really sure how that would interact with licenses like these, though, where *everyone* is licensed, not specific other parties. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:24, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

There can be many different problems, for example Hungarian copyright law says (loosely) that the author can ask a court to the change the contract if the work rises in popularity and because of that the value of the work and the compensation received became disproportional. Anyway, that was meant as an interesting side-note only, it is not relevant to the problem of attribution licenses. --Tgr (talk) 23:07, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Image published 100 years ago in either UK or US, but don't know which

I uploaded File:TowerBridgeLondonStereo.jpg to Commons back in 2004, when we were using the simple license tag "PD". I noticed the tag hadn't been updated, so I just did so. While I think I did so accurately, I would like some feedback or possibly other suggestions.

The image is my scan of an old stereo-view card from about 100 to 110 years ago. The photo view was taken in London. The card, however, has no information on publisher, authorship, etc. As I aquired it in the USA, it quite likely was first published there, but it might have been published in the UK for all I know. So I settled on tagging the image as being either {{PD-US-no notice}} or {{PD-UK-unknown}}. I don't see a plausible case where the image wouldn't be PD, and I think that describes the situation, but an either/or license tag seems perhaps... awkward? Pondering, -- Infrogmation (talk) 22:41, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

I often run into cases like this (e.g., when the creation date but not the publication date is unknown, but was either long ago or very recent). It'd be nice if we had some kind of wrapper tag to say "One of the following reasons applies". Dcoetzee (talk) 23:05, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikimedia Commons accepts only media that are explicitly freely licensed

This project page says that "Wikimedia Commons accepts only media that are explicitly freely licensed". Does 'explicitly' mean that we don't accept images from websites with the kind of license that just says "You are free to use these images"? That's ok with me but I just want to be sure. I'd also like to know what to do with such images. Samulili (talk) 19:05, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

That's technically an explicit license, but the question is whether it's free: it doesn't say anything explicit about redistribution or the creation of derivative works, and it's not really clear whether those fall under the intended meaning of "use" or not. That said, something like the WTFPL does certainly qualify as an explicit (in more than one sense) free license. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 19:31, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
To get more feedback, I nominated an image for deletion: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Jyrkikatainen.jpg. Samulili (talk) 11:39, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

GFDL to pd-ineligible

I uploaded five files that were a derivative of this file (this had the {{GFDL}} permission template), the derivatives I uploaded were:

  1. File:Gurmukhi kakka.png
  2. File:Gurmukhi khukha.png
  3. File:Gurmukhi gugga.png
  4. Gurmukhi ghugga.png
  5. Gurmukhi ungga.png

currently the files I uploaded have the {{self|GFDL}} permission template. But I was wondering if this should have the {{pd-ineligible}} template instead. Since the files I uploaded were of the Gurmukhi script alphabets, so would they need {{pd-ineligible}} template instead of {{self|GFDL}}. Gman124 (talk) 03:22, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
(Copied from my talk page. Lycaon (talk) 06:44, 21 May 2009 (UTC))

All of them, including the original, need the {{pd-ineligible}} template, there simply is no individual originality and therefore no copyright that could be licensed under GFDL. --h-stt !? 07:09, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I changed the license to {{PD-ineligible}}. Yann (talk) 07:38, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Ideally, you should mark these images {{PD-self}}. That ensures that they are public domain without having to worry about whether or not they turn out to be eligible for copyright protection. Dcoetzee (talk) 08:33, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I would do the opposite: I would mark them {{PD-ineligible}} not to worry about the creator's opinion about the license (especially because it seems that he didn't know that these files are not eligible for copyright). Yann (talk) 10:07, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I was speaking to the original poster. Of course you cannot mark them PD-self. Dcoetzee (talk) 10:21, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
OK, Thank You everyone. For your help. Gman124 (talk) 13:44, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Is a hand-made musical instrument okay?

I want to contribute a picture of a Polynesian slit drum I purchased, but it was hand-made and it does feature simple etched designs (no people or animals or anything). I've seen musical instruments uploaded here but this is hand-made so I'm feeling unsure about it. I don't know anything about the guy who crafted it so I wouldn't be able to get permission if its necessary. Koffeinoverdos (talk) 06:09, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

The drum itself is functional and so okay. The etched designs, I'm less certain about - they might have to be obscured in post processing. Dcoetzee (talk) 11:30, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Yeah I guess if I use an angle where the design can't be clearly seen as opposed to head-on, that should be fine. I'll just do that, thank you. Koffeinoverdos (talk) 15:03, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
If the design is not the focus of the image, it may be de minimis. Depends on the photo though. Simple designs may not be eligible for copyright either. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:21, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
This is what I was originally thinking; the designs are quite primitive patterns, nothing special about them to the point of what I think could be copyrightable (that's probably not a word but whatever). I get the idea of what de minimis is so I'll go for that, I'm pretty confident I can do it in a way that nobody will have a problem with. Koffeinoverdos (talk) 22:52, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
If the craftsperson applied the decoration while making the drum, then they don't suddenly turn into a seperate work. The complete drum including any etchings is one piece of functional design. Besides that, in most cases, such decoration just follow traditional patterns. It would take a unusually high level of purposeful individual artistic creativity to establish something that could be copyrighted seperately in such a situation. And even then, de minimis would probably apply. --Latebird (talk) 11:46, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
If this is the case, I'm free to get a real beautiful shot here. I mean it's just traditional patterns, so I'll re-shoot and get a picture that is both useful and beautiful.Koffeinoverdos (talk) 06:04, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

A Commons version of Wikipedia's Possibly Unfree Files

Is there a version here on Commons of Wikipedia's Possibly Unfree files? For example to verify if a license is correct or not.--Rockfang (talk) 02:03, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Edouard Baldus's pictures

Hello, Édouard Baldus is a french photographe who died in 1889, so technicaly his pictures are in DP. So do you thing that i can download pictures that are on the top of this website page of the Metropolitain Museum of Art description of Baldus (permission). Or you thing that we need to send us an email to know if we can download on Commons ? Mikani (talk) 13:00, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

You can download the pictures with no need for their permission. Please create creator:Édouard Baldus and use {{PD-old-100}}. --Jarekt (talk) 13:13, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Should I informe them that we are going to use these pictures on commons how numerous user, say to me on IRC ? Mikani (talk) 13:34, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
No need to do so. BTW, one of these images File:Toulon Railway Station-1861.jpg have been submitted for PD review. If successful, you may submit the ones you upload as well, by adding them to Category:PD files for review. Sv1xv (talk) 14:05, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Ok Mikani (talk) 14:13, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Four of the files in Category:Édouard Baldus have passed succefully the PD-review process. Sv1xv (talk) 20:06, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Why do half of those images have {{PD-Art}} tags? Kaldari (talk) 20:47, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
They all ought to have the {{PD-Art}} or {{PD-scan}} tag, unless a Wikipedian went there and photographed them themselves, which I think would be very difficult. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:49, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I have higher resolution versions of all images from the Metropolitan Museum. I haven't gotten around to uploading these yet. Feel free to upload these meanwhile if you like. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:49, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Do you have any idea of where and when the pictures were first published. I have en:Publication_right#France in mind, in case they are posthumous works. We also might need to know who is the owner of the glass negative. Teofilo (talk) 15:21, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
It is well known that Baldus published and exhibited his work during his lifetime, becoming quite famous. The railway photos were published in book form (album) in 1861. None of the photos appearing here was published recently for the first time. BTW, he didn't produce much after that year, although he lived until 1889. Sv1xv (talk) 15:39, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I guess that what you say is correct, but I would feel safer if someone took the time to go to a library, find the Baldus albums, and wrote down the page numbers where each photograph appears. Teofilo (talk) 09:57, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I believe the date of publication is irrelevant for authors who died more than 70 years ago, as long as the photos were not works-for-hire. Dcoetzee (talk) 09:37, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
No. Photos are no different from books in this respect; photos first published between 1923 and 2002 are still in copyright in the US, barring appropriate failures to renew. Cornell says that anything published between 1978 and 2002 that was created before 1978 will be in copyright until 2047 or life+70, whichever is longer.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:42, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Damnit, I think you're right... I will have to review all of my uploads now. :-( Unfortunately, since the publication date is not available for many images, this means effectively that all works published in the U.S. with unknown publication date are suspect. This is a huge collection of files, some of which are hundreds of years old. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:13, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Do you know what the rule is for the UK? I've uploaded large numbers of images first published in the UK whose authors have been dead 70+ years, but for which the year of first publication is unknown. Many of them were likely not published until recently. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:16, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I just realised many of my uploads are probably still in copyright in the U.S. due to the URAA, like all the works of Category:Lady Ottoline Morrell. I'm going to have to go back and delete these all. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:18, 26 May 2009 (UTC)


Since Commons doesn't have a deletion review process, I thought I'd raise this here. I'm very concerned that this image, which blatantly violates our Commons:Freedom of panorama policy, was kept at Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Rodina_mat_zovet.jpg. All the keep votes are from people who raised no reasonable objection to the legal issues. What should I do? Dcoetzee (talk) 02:50, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Well, in this case, User:S1 should be explained more clearly about the deletion policy of Commons, including: "The debates are not votes, and the closing admin will apply copyright law and Commons policy to the best of his or her ability in determining whether the file should be deleted or kept. Any expressed consensus will be taken into account so far as possible, but consensus can never trump copyright law nor can it override Commons Policy." In my opinion, anyone could reopen the deletion debate or any could just go ahead, change the result and delete the image. Samulili (talk) 07:09, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, I think that the application of copyright to derivative works is often too strict, and it is at least completely opposite to any common understanding of copyright law. That partly explains why this deletion process often leads to appeal. This image is clearly a DW, but what about this one and and this one (if the statue in front is not copyrighted)? Yann (talk) 09:00, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Maybe there is a way out. What did the law say about such photos when it was made in 2004? /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 09:19, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
en:Russian_copyright_law specifically lists the freedom of panorama provisions as part of the 1993 provisions (the next major overhaul would only come in 2006), so I'm pretty sure it was in force then. As for the other two images above, I do think they deserve separate deletion discussions. Dcoetzee (talk) 11:52, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I've reopened at Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Rodina_mat_zovet.jpg_(2nd_nomination). Dcoetzee (talk) 09:36, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

OMC Online Map Creation


Could you help me find out the copyright status of the maps available on OMC Online Map Creation. A small text appears on the bottom of the PNG map file : "OMC Martin Weinelt". It sort of reminds the notice "©1996 - 2006 Martin Weinelt" written on the main page of the website. So, is it safe to add it on Commons:Free media resources/Map ? Should it not rather be added to Commons:Bad_sources ? Teofilo (talk) 14:26, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

That copyright notice would probably only apply to the text and images used on the website itself, not to any auto-generated content which they don't even provide the parameters for (which by definition is pretty much non-creative). They are using the w:Generic Mapping Tools suite to generate the maps, which is GPL'ed software, though again none of the GPLed content is output so that is pretty much irrelevant too. The source map data could be copyrighted, making such maps derivative works but it appears it comes from the NOAA (a U.S. government source) so is OK too. The website author is giving himself a bit of a credit, which is fine, but I don't think it is really authorship. Don't know if they would be considered PD-ineligible, or if the choosing of all the options and the precise information to be mapped would be considered creative enough to have a thin copyright (which would need to be licensed). The map outlines and projections are basically derived from a PD source (without any further creativity) though so there is limited copyrightable stuff left. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:29, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your analysis. I think I will remove it from Commons:Free media resources/Map anyway, because what we need on a list of free media resources are unambiguously free sources, not sources free at the expense of a conflict with the website owner, even though the copyright claims of the website owner might be fragile. I won't move it to Commons:Bad_sources, though. Teofilo (talk) 10:05, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't see anything on the site where the site owner is claiming copyright on generated maps. The credit on the maps is not a copyright claim. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:08, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Impossibility of establishing public domain for works of unknown publication date

I'm concerned that, if any work whatsoever first published between 1923 and 1977 in the United States is still in copyright, this seems to imply that any work of unknown publication date that was first published in the U.S. is necessarily of uncertain copyright status. This is a big problem because catalogs of public domain works don't track or list dates of first publication - there are very few historical images indeed of whatever age for which we can firmly establish a date of first publication. The consequence of this is that public domain uploads become virtually impossible. What recourse do we have here? Should we establish a "reasonable assumption" practice regarding the date of first publication? I really don't want for us to have to delete almost all public domain images from Commons. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:27, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I thought maybe, since registration was required for works during this period, would it be sufficient to just search the U.S. Copyright records for the work to prove that it wasn't registered between 1923 and 1977. But works published with notice between 1978 and 1 March 1989 did not require registration, so there's no way to prove any work was not first published during this period, is there? Dcoetzee (talk) 18:41, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
There is a limit of 120 years since creation if it was first published after 2002. There has always been something of a common-sense approach... if the known information about an image makes it highly probable it is PD for a particular reason, then go with that. That was one point about the old copyright law -- the year that copyright started had to be marked on the work (which was either first publication or registration, whichever came first). As for registration... it has never been necessary. Provided that works were published with a valid copyright notice, they retained copyright for 28 years. Registration was necessary for renewal only. So yes, works published between after 1922 and before 1964 should have a registration on file if it is still under copyright. The problem is, to the best of my knowledge, the visual arts renewal records are not available online (book renewals are, but those were published in separate volumes). For works published between 1951 and 1963, then yes the renewal records should be searchable online, and maybe a failed search may be good enough reason to keep a work in those situations. I think the 1950 and 1951 visual arts renewals are online (as part of another volume), and that would cover works published in 1923. Outside of that though, it is very hard without paying the Copyright Office to do a search. Searches aren't foolproof (something may have been copyrighted as part of a book or magazine article which was renewed, without an explicit listing for itself) but they are much better than just hoping something wasn't renewed (which Commons has never accepted). Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:07, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

New Zealand autographs

Hello. I'd like to ask if I can upload an autograph of Sir Edmund Hillary. I originally thought that all countries belonging to HM Elizabeth II have a very strict policy about autographs, but now I see that Terry Pratchett's signature is here, so I hope it would be no problem to add a signature of the great mountaineer? --HTO (talk) 14:17, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Film public domain criteria

What are the Commons criteria for deciding when a film enters the public domain? Here I nominated Category:Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari for discussion because two of the main creators died less than 70 years ago. A user then asked a reasonable question: which of the crew are required to have died? I *thought* I had read here (maybe on English wikipedia, maybe even on German wikipedia to do with the Nosferatu or Max Schreck images) that the custom was to look at only the the three main creators: screenplay writer, director and chief cinematographer. In any case I could not find this discussed in the usual Commons pages. Should we add an agreed set of criteria to Licensing for films? 84user (talk) 14:28, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Article 65(2) of the German copyright law says: In the case of cinematographic works and works which are produced in a similar way to cinematographic works, copyright shall expire 70 years after the death of the longest-living if the following persons: the principal director, the author of the screenplay, the author of the dialogues, the composer of the music composed for the cinematographic work in question. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:20, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

What if creator doesn't care about attribution?

I'm working on uploading an original image created by a third-party who is not a Wikipedian. He will agree to releasing the image freely and doesn't even care about attribution (He will definitely identify himself when I e-mail his copyright permission to Wiki Commons.) All the licenses I'm finding require attribution. Is there another license we should be using if he doesn't care about attribution? Something that just puts it unequivocally in the public domain.--Tomaterols (talk) 17:53, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

You want {{PD-author}}. Dcoetzee (talk) 17:55, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. Responses don't get much quicker than that!--Tomaterols (talk) 18:04, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

adding photos of author and book

I just started a new page for a bestselling book, and want to add two basic images: the book cover, and the author photo. Both are on all sorts of sites on the web, including Amazon, the author's website, reviews by the New York Times, etc. They seem to be in the public domain. Can I just copy them from Amazon or the author's site and attribute them? There is a photo credit for the author picture, and the book designer. The author picture is also at a page on his site that says it is available for media. If not, what do I need to do? (Perhaps I could just start with the book cover, which is at every bookselling site, from Barnes and Noble to Powells and independent booksellers all over the country. Here are a few links where they are contained:


It would be extremely unusual for such images found on the web to be suitable for Commons; just because something is on a public website doesn't mean it's in the public domain. Of these particular images, you could probably upload a low-resolution image of the book cover to Wikipedia (not to Commons) under a fair use rationale. As for the pictures of the author, I don't see anything on the page to indicate that they'd be freely license, but you could always e-mail the author and ask if they'd be willing to release them under a free license (such as CC-BY-SA). Note that they'd also need permission from the photographer to do that, unless they own the full copyright to the photos. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 22:04, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

That's precisely what I'll do. I'll upload the book's picture now and then will email the author later. Thanks so much. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 22:11, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


I noticed that Category:Disneyland contains extensive documentation of Disneyland, which is private property and chock full of copyrighted characters (eg. these guys from Beauty and the Beast). Virtually all of these pictures were also taken from private property (that is, within Disneyland). Are these in line with Commons licensing guidelines, and if yes, under what justification? Jpatokal (talk) 05:03, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

i'm not sure about disneyland, but I know that Six Flags claims ownership of any photos taken within their parks, or of their parks. People may use them for non-commerical uses only, which falls outside of theis project's scope. -Zappernapper (talk) 22:56, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm quite sure Disney does the same. So is it time to delete everything in there? Jpatokal (talk) 02:34, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Nope. Neither Disney (nor Six Flags) would own the copyright to any photographs taken there; those always remain with the photographer. Copyright assignment requires a specific written, signed transfer. They are also public places by copyright law's definition. Some photographs of sculpture may be an issue, since the sculpture may be copyrighted (buildings are fine though). Photos really can't be derivative works of a "character" copyright either; that is literary-based. But, they could be derivative works of a graphical representation of a character, though the U.S. Copyright Office does not consider costumes themselves to be copyrighted (masks may be an exception). The photo you point out may be an issue (particularly if it is from a performance), but most of them are just fine. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:42, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Carl's right. Six Flags' attempts to control reproductions of their grounds is just another example of a company promulgating copyfraud to protect their own interests. Dcoetzee (talk) 07:56, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

So, the upshot is: Disney may send some angry letters filled with cease-and-desist language, but they probably don't have a solid legal argument? Powers (talk) 20:03, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

agree with Carl Lindberg. Deror avi (talk) 20:40, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Unless the photograph can be considered a derivative work of something they own the copyright to (which does not include buildings, but can include statues, paintings, scripted plays, and other works) then from a copyright perspective, then no. Note that characters (especially Disney's) are trademarked, and depending on how the photos are used, they may have a case there. This photographer's rights document illustrates some other "interesting" situations. Also note of course that almost nobody here (including me) are lawyers, so get a real one for any specific situation. The area of derivative works has immense gray areas, so there is a lot of room for creative legal arguments. If someone signs a contract stating that they won't publish such photos and uploads them anyways, they are taking the risk, as they are fully responsible. Similar to "house rules" prohibiting photography; the photographer still owns the copyright but takes any risk of it being considered an w:adhesion contract or something like that. But when it comes to deletion, Commons keeps strictly to the copyright status, using reasonable guesses based on Copyright Office guidelines and known case law (and sometimes, arguably, unreasonably conservative guesses, but that is the nature of this stuff). As for other, Non-copyright restrictions, most of the time that is not an issue here, unless simply hosting (i.e. publishing) the photos here is not legal (such as privacy rights in some cases). Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:01, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Carl's Right. I came here after reading "Not OK: Photographs ... of objects that are copyrighted by someone other than yourself like ... costumes and other copyrighted material..." and coming here to discuss correcting this, but the discussion has already occurred. (Additionally, Wikipedia's General Counsel has spoken about this multiple times on-wiki and on-list, saying that photographs of copyrighted costumes do not infringe legally on the costume design's copyright.) I'm about to edit accordingly.--Elvey (talk) 17:06, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Antommarchi, Copyright, Help


To the best of my knowledge, the images to the right are in the public domain.

Antommarchi Annotated Anatomical Drawing.png

However, there are many shades of gray in the Copyright arena and I would like an expert to ascertain this. Can anyone help? Thanks!


Hi, Sidna. I'm no expert but the case seems simple enough: those drawing are almost 2 centuries old. Their respective authors have died more than 100 years ago therefore they are public domain and you can give them a {{PD-Art|PD-old-100}} tag. I'm assuming here that the anatomy drawing is considered as a piece of art, else use {{PD-old-100}} for it. — Xavier, 00:48, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree, no problem with copyright. However the Antommarchi picture is signed, if someone can identify the artist from his signature, please update the "Author" field in the Summary. Sv1xv (talk) 05:15, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm guessing the caption is 'Le Dr F. Antommarchi". Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:35, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

The signature seems to be that of the subject of the picture, i.e. Dr. F. Antommarchi. That is my best guess. I really do not know the history of the picture other than having been taken in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. Sidna(talk)

On UK artists who died from 1923-1939

I've uploaded a large number of works by UK artists and photographers who died between 1923 and 1938, most notably Category:Lady Ottoline Morrell. My understanding of the URAA suggests that these images are not public domain, even though the author has been dead for 70+ years, because they were not public domain in the UK in 1996 (or at least, I'm not sure if they were PD in the UK in 1996). Is this correct? I have reason to be paranoid in this case, because the image source is litigious. If it makes any difference, many of these works were never published until very recently. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:00, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

It's really ambiguous. Until January 1st, 1996, the term of copyright in the UK was 50 years. A law extending that went into force on January 1st, 1996. The URAA only restored copyright if they were in PD on January 1st, 1996. Because of time zones, in the US, the works were both in and out of copyright on January 1st.
In short, ask a lawyer. You could probably make a very interesting test case. Adam Cuerden (talk) 21:05, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
The UK copyright term changed to 70 years per EU directive 93/98/EEC, which became effective in the UK precisely on 1996-01-01.[2] Unfortunately, the 70 years apply within the EU for basically all images, regardless of whether a previous copyright term had already expired. EU directive 93/98/EEC re-copyrighted such works if they were copyrighted in at least one EU member on 1995-07-01. The problem is that Spain (an EU member) was a member of the Berne Convention since 1887, had a copyright term of 80 years p.m.a. from 1879 until 1987 (still active for pre-1987 works), had a very low threshold of originality, and additionally the rule of the shorter term must not be applied between EU countries (see en:Rule of the shorter term#EU case law, the Phil Collins case). As a result, virtually all such works must be considered copyrighted in Spain on 1995-07-01, and thus they are protected for 70 years after the author's death throughout the EU. Even in the UK. Lupo 21:16, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Time zones, BTW, won't work. 1996-01-01 00:00 in New York is 1996-01-01 06:00 in the UK, and thus the new law was already in effect. But it's an interesting aspect nevertheless. I doubt we or anone else could rely on it. Lupo 21:25, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Actually, time zones do work. The United States has territories to the immediate west of the west of the international date line. The UK does not. IronGargoyle (talk) 00:00, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Problematic are works published 1923 or later by authors who died in the year 1926 or later. We usually just tag such images, if they are PD in the source country and if they were published at all, with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}. Works published before 1923 are PD in the U.S., regardless of the source country (except maybe non-U.S. works in the 9th circuit, but only if they were published in a language other than English). However, the fact that the works were published only recently makes a whole world of a difference.
For unpublished works, things work a bit differently. As I understand, unpublished works were before 1978 effectively copyrighted in perpetuity in the U.S. under state or common law, as only the author had the right to publish them, and that also applied to foreigners. (§2 of the 1909 U.S. Copyright law does not restrict its applicability by nationality or domicile, and §9 applies only to works for which U.S. federal copyright was sought.)
In 1978 things changed again. The term for both unpublished and published works created 1978 or later was set to 70 years p.m.a. But what about unpublished works created before 1978? The U.S. solution was to grant these works a special grace period: if a work created before 1978 and still unpublished was then published between 1978 and 2002 (inclusive), it got a U.S. copyright term of 70 years p.m.a. or until the end of 2047, whichever is later. See 17 USC 302,303. If such an unpublished work was published for the first time 2003 or later, the U.S. term is simply 70 years p.m.a.
Note that 17 USC 104(a) (not to be confused with the URAA provisions in 17 USC 104A with a capital "A") states that unpublished works are copyrighted irrespective of the nationality or domicile of the author.
Hence, while a work is unpublished, the URAA doesn't matter at all. The work is eligible to copyright in the U.S. When such a non-U.S. unpublished work eventually gets published, the URAA kicks in: if the work was still copyrighted in its source country on the URAA date, the U.S. rules apply. Which means, even foreign works created before 1978 and then published 1978-2002 are copyrighted in the U.S. at least until the end of 2047, if they were copyrighted in their source country on the URAA date. Works created anytime, copyrighted in their source country on the URAA date, and first published 2003 or later have a U.S. term of 70 years p.m.a.
In short, if by "many of these works were never published until very recently" you mean 2003 or later, just apply 70 years p.m.a. If it means "1978-2002", treat the work as copyrighted in the U.S. Lupo 21:16, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, as with most public domain works, I have no idea when exactly the work was published. In the case of Lady Morrell's photos, I suspect they come from the University of Texas's collection, described here, which were acquired from 1969-1990 and processed in 1998. Since they are evidently her private personal effects, I can only assume they were first made available to researchers sometime between 1998 and the present day. It's possible they were first published in the US, which might make a difference. This seems like a terribly confusing case and I suspect that there isn't enough evidence to establish that the works are public domain with any degree of certainty. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:39, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Yep, I'm pretty sure the UK had the same perpetual copyright for unpublished works; that changed at some point (1988?) but works unpublished until then had a long term starting at that date (which was not shortened when Europe unified their terms). The definition of publication can be tricky -- sometimes the sale of a work is considered publication, but not as sure if it was sale of an estate's entire contents. If there is a good chance that UK works were never published until relatively recently... it may be best to hold off. That gallery looks like personal photos. If they were first published in the U.S., it gets even more fun, since that becomes the country of origin :-) But the Texas collection description says their photographs are by other authors and sent to Morrell; they only have 34 photos of her family and friends. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:11, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

To reduce complexity and deal with common cases, I suggest we create two new public domain tags:

  1. For works whose authors died before 1926, from source countries where works enter the public domain 70 years after the death of the author. This is basically a combination of PD-1996 and PD-old-70.
  2. For works first published before CURRENTYEAR - 95. Regardless of whether these works received URAA protection, any such protection is now expired.

Does this sound good? Dcoetzee (talk) 19:03, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Actually, the NPG is right to be litigious in this case. For any UK photograph taken prior to 1st June 1957 or any photograph which was already published when the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 went into effect, the death date of the author is totally irrelevant. A grandfather clause in the 1988 Act states that such photographs (and this only applies to photos, not to other artistic works such as paintings) continue to be subject to the provisions of the old Copyright Act 1956. Under the 1956 Act, copyright in a photograph subsisted for 50 years starting from the date of first publication.
I was actually surprised to find out that no Commons template covered this, so I created a new {{PD-UK-photo}} tag. Any photograph published prior to 1946 is currently PD in both the UK and the US, regardless of the author's death date. However, since you state that most of the photographs have been published only recently, they are unfortunately highly unlikely to be PD in their source country (the UK) and it is thus not OK to host them on Commons. The good news is that any foreign work first published abroad after 1978 whose author died more than 70 years ago is currently PD in the US. You may host such works on Wikipedia, where only US law is taken into account.
So to summarize things, here is how you should determine whether a photograph is OK or not (keeping in mind that IANAL of course):
  • Published prior to 1946 (regardless of author's death date): PD in both UK and US (use {{PD-UK-photo}})
  • Published between 1946 and 1959 (regardless of author's death date): PD in the UK but copyrighted in the US (use {{Not-PD-US-URAA}})
  • First published after 1978 and author died more than 70 years ago: PD in the US but copyrighted in the UK (should be hosted on Wikipedia with the Do not move to Commons template)
Regards. --BomBom (talk) 22:57, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Keep in mind I'm concerned with paintings and other artwork as well as photographs (I assume the author's death + 70 rule applies to these in the UK). I'm also awaiting clarification from others on the UK photos because I'm suspicious that there may be caveats to consider. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:56, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Um... I'm pretty sure the UK later amended their copyright law and made everything (including photographs) fully retroactive to comply with EU directives. This copyright chart also seems to say that. I'm pretty sure that happened in 1996, as mentioned above. UK photographs are 70 p.m.a, and retroactive to boot. That PD-UK-photo tag is not correct. I'm not sure we need still more tags... CURRENTYEAR-95 is completely irrelevant, as anything published before 1923 is PD in the U.S. (the URAA did not restore those, or more technically, those works received the corresponding U.S. term which had also expired). Most URAA dates were in 1996, but not all of them -- countries have joined the Berne Convention after that date, and for those the URAA date is different. Most countries did not have this publication thing... mainly an issue for the UK and US only. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:18, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Besides, BomBom's last bullet ("First published after 1978 and author died more than 70 years ago: PD in the US but copyrighted in the UK") is incorrect. Check the U.S. rules for unpublished works and for works created before 1978 but first published after 1977. Lupo 06:04, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Ugh, every time I think I understand this it turns out I don't. Here is my current understanding:

  • Every work first published prior to 1923 is public domain in the US, without exception, regardless of where that first publication occurred. Hence any UK work whose author died before CURRENTYEAR-70, and which was first published prior to 1923, is okay for Commons. ({{PD-old-70}}, {{PD-1923}})
  • Every UK work produced by an author who died prior to 1926, is in the public domain in both the UK and the US. ({{PD-old-70}}, {{PD-1996}})
  • Every UK work produced by an author who died from 1926 up to but not including CURRENTYEAR-70, and which was first published in 1923 or later, should be marked with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}, {{PD-old-70}}, and may be deleted later.

Is this correct? Do these rules apply equally to photographs and artwork? Are there any other special cases to consider (such as for recently-published works)? Dcoetzee (talk) 03:02, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

I think you could split the last point into
  • Every UK work produced by an author who died from 1926 up to but not including CURRENTYEAR-70, and which was first published 1923-2002, should be marked with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}, {{PD-old-70}}, and may be deleted later.
    Actually: published 1923-1978: U.S. copyright term is 95 years since publication, so things start becoming PD in the U.S. from 2019 on; but if published 1978-2002, things will become PD only from 2048 on. Doesn't matter for us now, but may be an issue in ten years.
  • Every UK work produced by an author who died before CURRENTYEAR-70, and which was first published 2003 or later is in the public domain in both the UK and in the U.S. and may be marked with {{PD-old-70}}.
Also, the UK is in no way special; you could in fact substitute any country that has a 70 year copyright term. (I think all 70-year-countries have 1996-01-01 as the URAA date.)
These rules certainly also apply to artworks. They also apply to photos, modulo the notion of "simple photographs" (as opposed to "photographic works") that exists in some countries (but not in the UK). Lupo 05:56, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
P.S.: all this applies only to works where the author is known. Lupo 06:04, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I get it now. For some reason I thought the U.S. 70 p.m.a. rule retroactively applied to works published 1923-1977, like it seems to in other countries, but actually those works get the 95 years since first publication (if renewed), works published 1978-2002 get the special section 303 extension to 2047, and only for works published 2003 or later is the term based on 70 p.m.a. Any restored work acquires the same term. I'll try to make a chart. Dcoetzee (talk) 08:25, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Table for copyright status of UK works with known author death

First publication Author death Public domain in Acceptable? Tags
Before 1923 <= 70 years ago US Only on En {{PD-US}}
Before 1923 > 70 years ago US, UK Yes {{PD-1923}}, {{PD-old-70}}
Before 1926 US, UK Yes {{PD-1996}}, {{PD-old-70}}
1923-2002 Between 1926 and 70 years ago UK No {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}, {{PD-old-70}}
2003-present Between 1926 and 70 years ago US, UK Yes Only on En {{PD-US-unpublished}}
1923-present <= 70 years ago Neither No

Okay, assuming the above is all correct, can anyone explain the situation for anonymous and pseudonymous works? Dcoetzee (talk) 08:57, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

It's worth mentioning that the topmost category is acceptable on enwiki. Haukurth (talk) 12:59, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Unpublished works kept their copyright in the UK until the 1988 law change, and had a minimum term of 50 years from publication. In 1989, the 50-year period started ticking no matter what, so anything unpublished until then (by long-dead authors) will come into the PD in the UK in 2040 I think. Since the EU term normalization did not shorten any existing terms for specific works, I think those are still in effect. See this chart and w:Copyright law of the United Kingdom#Posthumous Works. I'm not sure if that covers works first published in the 70 years following the author's death -- those may get a pma 70 term like normal. The previous two links disagree on that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:25, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay, if I read your chart carefully, it appears that, contrary to User:Lupo's opinion, any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work published in 2003 or later by an author who died 70 or more years ago is actually still in copyright in the UK, and will be until 2040, and hence is not eligible for upload. These works were in copyright on the URAA date (being not yet published) but are PD in the US because they would be PD-US-unpublished if they were US works. Is this all correct? Dcoetzee (talk) 19:38, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
It may only be for unpublished works of authors who died before 1919; the text of the law may say only for authors who died more than 70 years before the law went into effect (1989, or maybe the 1996 update). Everything else may be 70 pma as normal. That part seems to be in disagreement between the wikipedia page and the chart. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:37, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Photo of manufactured pewter figure

Is it necessary to obtain permission from the original sculptor of a model that is mass-produced as a pewter casting by a manufacturer? I bought the miniature figure, painted it, photographed it, and uploaded it myself, but it was deleted. That doesn't make sense to me. It's not like anyone can reproduce the sculpture from the photograph. The manufacturer itself allows, and even encourages, its customers to post pictures online of its products, as they are painted by its customers. Was the deletion of [File:Lysette.jpg] correct? If so, why? MamaGeek (talk) 23:45, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, see Commons:Derivative works. Maybe the manufacturer encourages photos but its only important to scrutinize, for what purposes he allows. Encouring people to make photos for private purposes is somewhat different to the scope of Commons: Images here can be reused commercially under the terms of the selected license. If the manufacturers encouragement includes photos for commercial reuse you already have the needed permission, if not you must request it. --Martin H. (talk) 01:58, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Typically, manufacturers of models will informally encourage distribution of photos by merely electing not to enforce their legal rights. This is dangerous, because if for any reason they change their mind in the future, they can demand that the images be taken down at that time. We want our images to be safe in perpetuity. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:51, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

License migration: Should we allow users to opt-out their images?

The license migration announced by the Foundation will add CC-BY-SA to ~1.7 million images licensed GFDL 1.2 or later. Some authors feel that doing this to their works is unfair. Out of respect for these authors' concerns, the Foundation has given the communities the discretion to set opt-out criteria and exclude some works from the relicensing effort if the copyright holder explicitly requests it.

However, we can also choose not to permit any opt-out at all.

I'd like to gather the community's consensus on whether an opt-out provision should be allowed. Please participate in that discussion. Dragons flight (talk) 00:37, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Contributions of User:Toblerone

Someone who knows their way well around licensing policy might want to look through the contributions of User:Toblerone (none of them recent). Probably most are OK for us to have, but the licensing on several looks wrong to me. For example, File:Hkid-back.jpg is a photo or scan of a Hong Kong government-issued document, but is claimed as Toblerone's own work. I'm not sure enough of policy in this area to know exactly how to proceed, or I'd do it myself. - Jmabel ! talk 05:47, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

CC-BY-SA attribution request by User:Raboe001

Do you agree with the terms of attribution as requested in File:Rheinfall Schaffhausen 06 (RaBoe).jpg by User:Raboe001 ? Sv1xv (talk) 11:13, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I see nothing wrong with it—every condition appears in the license's legal text. Diti the penguin 16:22, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Question about File:Aenon rochester.jpg's copyright status

Is the information provided on the File:Aenon rochester.jpg description page sufficient to allow its inclusion here? Powers (talk) 13:41, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm afraid no. The artist licensed it only for use in Wikipedia. Sv1xv (talk) 14:00, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Non-derivative White House Flickr stream

  1. File:Barack Obama plays basketball at Fort McNair 2009-05-29.jpg
  2. File:Barack Obama runs away from the family dog 2009-05-12.jpg
  3. File:Barack Obama talks on the phone 2009-05-06.jpg
  4. File:Barack Obama and Joe Biden walk to the Rose Garden 2009-05-12.jpg

All four images above have the following sentence in the Flickr description: The photograph may not be manipulated or used in materials, advertisements, products, or promotions that in any way suggest approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House. Doesn't that mean they are non-derivative and non-commercial and therefore not within Commons scope? Wknight94 talk 13:53, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

This sounds more like a non-copyright personality rights warning issued by the model than a copyright restriction issued by the copyright holder (usually the photographer or his employer). (In the case of the president, he is at the same time the boss of the photographer and the model, so it makes things a little more confused, but...). Perhaps adding {{Personality rights}} on these pictures would be a sufficient response. In the case of NASA pictures, {{PD-USGov-NASA}} provides a link to the NASA images policy page saying that the pictures may not be used implying endorsement by NASA. Teofilo (talk) 14:51, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Correct, those are personality rights. As mentioned there is a tag for that, though it applies to *every* photograph of a living person (or even recently-living) and folks who that affects are generally aware of it (or should be). It is a non-copyright restriction for Commons purposes though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:11, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think they're even personality rights. The White House has a policy that the images of the President and VP not be used commercially and deceptively (Recall when Robert Zemeckis got a nastygram from White House Counsel Ruff for using footage Clinton in the film "Contact"; but the general consensus was that using an image contrary to White House policy might not be nice, but it doesn't break any law. In our case, I think our own policies would be entirely consistent with the White House policy and the requested restriction. TJRC (talk) 02:25, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Isn't that what personality rights are? Commercial use of someone's name or likeness? They are different than privacy rights. Maybe "publicity rights" is the more common term. That is probably harder to define for U.S. presidents as you note; they are just a bit more iconic than most. :-) Here is a page on some of those issues. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:40, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Irish government reuse of public information

There is a license that the Irish government gives for reuse of all information on its own websites and websites of statutory bodies. Is this license compatible with Commons? Stifle (talk) 11:10, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Has terms prohibitng some types of commercial use (4.1.4.a) and production of derivatives (4.1.6). Sv1xv (talk) 11:15, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Photos from 1936

I don't know how permissable these are - colour photographs of Hitler from 1936, which the Telegraph is featuring on its website. I'd be happy to upload them, but I don't know if they are permissable or what license I'd put them on. Photographer is Hugo Jaeger. YeshuaDavid (talk) 18:12, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

  • You can only upload them if the author died more than 70 years ago. According to the German Wikipedia, Hugo Jaeger died in 1970, so that's not the case. FunkMonk (talk) 18:50, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Probably not a NASA image

Image:060227comet.jpg (Comet Hyakutake) is tagged as PD-USGov-NASA, but it comes from another website that claims that it's from NASA. I couldn't find it on NASA's website, but it's hard to make an full search, as there are a lot of images. Any help or advice? --Daggerstab (talk) 09:48, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

I can narrow down the date the image must have been taken to between 1996-04-07 02:20 UTC and 1996-04-08 02:38 UTC when it was close to Algol in Perseus, by looking at background star patterns from [3], if that helps any. I also could not find it in NASA's APOD index (many of which are not freely licensed in any case). 84user (talk) 12:58, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I've just now nominated it for deletion. 84user (talk) 14:25, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Copy of my Question to Library of Congress (pref. German)

Hallo, Bo, ich habe heute diese Datei nach Commons hochgeladen. Ich war mir schon klar, daß ich mich da unter Umständen im Copyright verstricke. Mir ist nämlich nicht ganz klar, wie das hier gehandhabt wird. a. Die Datei steht auf flickr mit dem Tag cc-2.0-us-by; b. Im Einstellerkommentar wird sie als pd der Library of Congress und deren "Prints and Photographs Division" bezeichnet und davon der "New York World Telegram & Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection". c. Für diese finde ich hier und hier keine Lizenz. d. Wenn es hier nicht pd ist, sonderen copyrighted, dann dürfte es auf flickr eigentlich auch nicht cc sein. Kennst Du dich in der Materie aus oder kannst Du mir jemanden nennen, der das in Deutsch oder mid-level-Englisch erklären kann oder kennst Du eine Quelle zum Einlesen in das Thema. Wenn nötig, lösche bitte die Datei, aber gib mir bitte einen Tip, wie das allgemeingültig zu erledigen ist. Und viel Erfolg beim Kartenkrieg. Schönen Gruß -- Sozi (talk) 13:40, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Cc-2.0-us-by wäre ziemlich ungewöhnlich. Der Fotograf des Bildes müsste es persönlich unter diese Lizenz gestellt haben. PD-old fällt auch weg, da mit 1958 noch zu jung. Also bleibt noch eine mögliche Public Domain aufgrund der Führung in der Library of Congress. Die Aufnahme in diese Bibliothek führt offenbar nicht automatisch zur freien Lizenz. Auf der dortigen Seite des Fotos ist vermerkt: Publication may be restricted. Unter den weiterführenden Informationen findet man dann den Vermerk, dass nur jene Fotos zweifelsfrei unter der Public Domain stehen, die vom NYWT&S staff oder der US-Regierung aufgenommen wurden. Das von Rita Moreno wurde allerdings von einem Angestellten der Leo Burnett Company, Inc., New York City aufgenommen, eine Gemeinfreiheit ist also zunächst nicht zu vermuten. Möglicherweise hält diese Firma die Rechte an dem Bild, aber das muss man wohl näher recherchieren. Unter den hier aufgelisteten Namen finden sich leider weder der Fotograf des Fotos noch dessen Firma. Ob es andere Faktoren gibt, die zu einer Gemeinfreiheit führen könnten, weiß ich leider nicht. Vielleicht kann man ja bei Commons talk:Licensing nachfragen. Gruß--Leit (talk) 15:01, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Siehe {{PD-USNWR}}. Einfach: Das Urheberrecht an bestimten Bildern liegt/lag beim USNWR, dieser hat die Bilder incl. Rechte an die LOC verschenkt, im Gegensatz zu D wo Urheberrecht an den Autor gebunden ist und höchstens vererbt werden kann ist in den USA beides möglich. Bilder von den in der Vorlage genannten Fotografen können als PD-USNWR hochgeladen werden, siehe auch Category:PD U.S. News & World Report - das Bild von Rita Moreno gehört allerdings nicht dazu, die Angabe auf Flickr ist (wahrscheinlich) falsch, worauf man den Benutzer hinweisen sollte. --Martin H. (talk) 18:09, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Falsches Durchgestrichen, kleiner Fehler: Nicht USNWR sondern NYWT&S. Sachlich bleibt es aber das gleiche nur das es für NYWT&S keinen eigenen Baustein gibt. Eine Suche nach "New York World Telegram & Sun" zeigt einige Bilder die PD-because verwenden, was korrekt ist.
Wie kommt es dann, dass hier alle Bilder von einem Fotografen eingestellt sind, der zweifelsfrei noch keine 70 Jahre tot ist? Fingalo (talk) 08:42, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Ich sehe grad nicht, wass das Eine mit dem Anderen zu tun hat, aber nun gut. Die Quelle Fotothek versichert, die ausreichenden Rechte zu haben. Entweder weil der Rechteinhaber der Lizenzierung zugestimmt hat oder durch Erbe. Ich kann nur vermuten: Sie wurden an die Fotothek oder eine Vorgänger Institution vererbt (ja, ein Erbe muss keine natürliche Person sein, im Fall fehlender Erben ist es dieses sogar zwangsläufig nicht) oder die Erben haben der Nutzung unter der Lizenz zugestimmt oder nach ihrem Tod ihr Erbe wiederum an die Fotothek vererbt (siehe z.b. zu A.Pisarek hier und die information der Fotothek). --Martin H. (talk) 13:39, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Ok. Danke. Fingalo (talk) 20:08, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I've noticed there is a huge category Category:Company logos here at commons, that surprised me as I thought logos are invariably protected by copyright laws except for cases where copyright owner releases logo into public domain. Still there are logos (one, two, three, four) that are non-free but described as "containing only common fonts and simple shapes" and thus are not protected by copyright. How can I possibly determine if a logo (in my case Banpresto one) consists of common fonts / simple shapes? To my mind, Banpresto logo is in no way more complex than, say, FS logo. Will it be okay to upload it to commons? Or are there rules that explicitly regulate it? Ari Linn (talk) 11:39, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Some company logos are very old so copyrigt has expired, or it has expired due to peculiarities of old US copyright registration requirements. Others consist only of text (standard fonts) and/or simple geometric shapes (squares, triangles), so they are ineligible for copyright. However they are still protected by {{Trademark}} against improper reuse. Sv1xv (talk) 13:30, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
The Banpresto logo is a borderline case. Sv1xv (talk) 13:42, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
In the U.S., and some other countries, "typeface as typeface" is not copyrightable. Logos are invariably protected by trademark, but that is an entirely different regime of intellectual property than copyright. Logos typically follow any other pictorial work; the line between copyrightable works and those that are ineligible is different between countries, which often complicates matters here -- we are guessing based on posted info and known court cases. Some U.S. guidelines are here, if you are interested. Germany generally has a very high level of creativity required for logos, since they are already protected by copyright. The UK is generally very low, but I believe they don't protect typeface-only logos either. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:32, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Restorations by others

Is there Commons policy dealing with this scenario? Someone owns an old photo or map that itself is in the public domain, but is somewhat damaged. They scan it and restore it for the purpose of removing the damage - that is, making it match the original as closely as possible. But they claim copyright on the restored version, saying that there was creativity involved in the restoration, since they had to fill the gaps. Do we recognize that copyright claim? --NE2 (talk) 23:25, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes. However, they should upload both versions. That way any Commons contributor can create a different restored version under the license of their choice. If they choose to upload only the restored version, though, they hold copyright to their enhancements (unless they are so trivial that they are {{Modifications-ineligible}}). Dcoetzee (talk) 00:10, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm talking about a non-Commons contributor that claims copyright. We seem to assume that sites like don't do anything copyrightable to the images, but is this a safe assumption? What about art galleries that restore old paintings? This seems to be a rather large Pandora's box. --NE2 (talk) 00:21, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Generally, yes, I think we have to assume that websites and museums don't go to the trouble of making significant restoration of paintings unless there is evidence to the contrary. Physical restorations are particularly expensive, so these tend to be discoverable. Also, the risk is low compared to outright infringement of an entire work, because even if we turn out to be infringing it's only an infringement upon the restoration work. That said, we do sometimes ignore major restoration work - paintings that have received this type of treatment should be tracked down and deleted. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:29, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
So if someone claims to have done significant restoration, how can we know if they're correct without seeing their copy they worked from? I'm also still confused about how removal of damage to reproduce the original can be copyrightable. --NE2 (talk) 00:36, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Removal of damage to a painting, particularly digitally, generally requires an artist to recreate material that isn't recoverable, using some amount of creative ability. This may become greyer as mechanical inpainting algorithms begin to be used for this purpose. As for claims of having done restoration, well, that's more difficult - I'd generally assume they're telling the truth and nominate the images for deletion. If there's reason to doubt them I don't know what I'd do. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:37, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
If the damage to the original is such that two people doing restorations would produce works with substantive differences, then the restoration is creative and is copyrightable. For example, I could argue that File:Jesse spandrel beforeandafter.jpg shows the restoration of the Sistine Chapel to have been creative, in that any other restorers would have produced a clearly distinct result. I don't think it's in our best interest to worry about the Sistine Chapel and friends; I think that it's in our interest and the world's interest to push into the gray area and hold an guidepost against the expansion of copyright. At the same time, if someone is actively pushing a copyright claim on a restoration, especially digital restoration where safety of the original is not a concern, I'm not sure we should fight it, unless we can clearly show that's not substantive. (And, no, I don't have a sharp definition of what I mean by that word here either.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:42, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Now, an actual example: en:File:US Transcontinental Railroads 1887.jpg and the linked discussion. I don't see how there could be anything creative in the restoration. --NE2 (talk) 11:27, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

In particular, this version. Can someone please look at this? --NE2 (talk) 19:50, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Without seeing the original, it's impossible to tell whether this version is sufficiently modified to acquire its own copyright. However, just looking at it, I think it's rather different from any scan of an 1887 work I've ever seen. The white background, brightly coloured borders, and other signs point to substantial restoration. As such User:Centpacrr is entitled to withhold the higher-resolution version. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:49, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm. I'm still not convinced, but the law is an ass, after all. Looks like the lower-resolution version will have to do. --NE2 (talk) 20:54, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I would strongly encourage User:Centpacrr to upload the original unmodified scan of the original work - it's handy to have both. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:42, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
There is no single original unmodified scan of the map. I created the original digital reconstruction and restoration seven years ago by compositing multiple scans that I made at 600dpi of two damaged partial copies of the large (20.5 x 18.5) original map. After compositing these "raw" scans I had a digital image file composed of about 138,000,000 pixels to restore. I then recreated still missing sections virtually pixel by pixel, copied and moved elements of type to recreate missing words and names, digitally repaired tears and areas of discoloration owing to foxing and staining, color corrected the image, digitally removed crease marks, and made literally hundreds or other adjustments (many of which were also pixel by pixel) to achieve the final digitally reconstructed, composited, and restored image. I have done this kind of detailed work professionally for many years and you can see some examples of the kind of complex projects I have done here, here, and here. I have digitally restored literally thousands of damaged historic photographs, maps, documents, and other images over that time, and based on what I had to work with on this map it was certainly one of the ten most complex projects that I have ever done. As I recall I spent probably 25 to 30 hours working in this image, and if I had been doing it for a client as opposed for my own family's railroad history site would have likely charged a fee of about $600. (Centpacrr (talk) 00:16, 6 June 2009 (UTC))
It's certainly true that this constitutes copyrightable restoration - it still would be nice to have the original raw scans, even if the files are very large, and even if they comprise partial scans of multiple damaged copies. If these files are no longer available then don't worry about it. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:25, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
All of the raw files -- which together, as I recall, represented more than 100MB or uncompressed TIFF files -- were discarded after finishing the project which was seven years (and four Macs) ago. (Centpacrr (talk) 02:53, 6 June 2009 (UTC))
Okay. For future reference, Commons actually does routinely accept raw scans of public domain documents in either TIFF or PNG formats, if you happen to have access to any others that you'd like to contribute. :-) Dcoetzee (talk) 02:56, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
I do not agree with most of the claims here. Restoration if done according to today's standards is a craft, not an art. The restorer does not apply his personal creativity but tries either to restore a former condition or to add to the artifact in a way that is as much in tune with the original as possible. There is no originality, therefore no copyright. --h-stt !? 15:27, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Well I am constrained to observe that this is a surprisingly broad (and rather dismissive) view of the art of digital image restoration and reconstruction. Can you tell me exactly on what sources and authorities you base your position as I see none cited. The very first definition of the word "craft" that appears on is "an art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill, esp. manual skill." I have done this kind of detailed work professionally for many years and can tell you from experience that it requires a great deal of originality, artistic judgement, dexterity, and skill. (You can see some examples of the kind of complex projects I have done here, here, and here.) I don't know whether or not you have actually ever done digital image composition, reconstruction, restoration, colorization, etc, but based on your comments it seems to me that you have vastly underestimated what it entails. Even a relatively "simple" digital restoration often requires many hundreds of separate steps each of which requires artistic judgement and skill. The reconstruction and restoration of this map required many times that. (Centpacrr (talk) 01:40, 9 June 2009 (UTC))
I did my share of improving digital images, admittedly not on your level. But first and foremost I understand about the concept of copyright. Copyright is awarded to creative authors. It covers works of individual originality. So unless in your restoration is an individual streak of your own personality, I don't see how it can be covered by copyright. If someone saw ten restorations, including three or four by you, would he be able to identify the ones you made? Friends, this is about credibility: We simply cannot go out and snatch images left and right, telling everyone that this is covered by "Brightman v. Corel" and that is ineligible, when on the other hand we allow our own users to claim copyrights on their improving edits of restoration or whatever, even if they license "their works" under a free license. --h-stt !? 11:20, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
  • 1) The only digital file for which I claim any rights is the specific unique file that I created, or anything derived from that file. I make no claim, however, for either the underlying 1887 image from which it was in part derived, or for any other version thereof.
  • 2) As with the art (as opposed to "craft") of digital image reconstruction and retoration, however, I think your view of the subtleties of what constitutes copyrightability (especially as it relates to elements of "originality") is overly simplistic and so I invite you to read the user agreement on my family railroad history website where both topics (copyright and originality) are discussed in detail as they relate to that topic.
  • 3) In addition, you have also not responded to my question to you relating to the basis and support (if any) for your position that high quality professional digital image restoration, reconstruction, and manipulation is a mere "craft" the fruits of which should not be entitled to copyright protection of any kind as opposed to an "art" which you apparently believe would be copyrightable. (Centpacrr (talk) 00:24, 10 June 2009 (UTC))
  • Your user agreement makes a bunch of unproven assertions. Bridgeman v. Corel makes it clear that mere reproduction of an existing work (i.e. the intent of restoration), even if it takes Rembrandt and Picasso working together on a budget that could put a man on the moon, is not copyrightable, that the essence of copyright in the US is creativity. That's what we have to depend on.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:01, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
  • You will find the supporting documents and references for the what is contained in the language of the user agreement by clicking on the many hyperlinks throughout the text there. (Centpacrr (talk) 01:13, 10 June 2009 (UTC))
Let's not argue about this - some of Centpacrr's arguments are without merit, but in all likeliness most or all of his restorations are copyrightable, for the reason you yourself said: "if two people doing restorations would produce works with substantive differences, then the restoration is creative and is copyrightable." I think that's the case for the examples I've seen. Slavish reproduction is not entitled to copyright protection, but even a relatively small amount of originality is. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:16, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Whether or not "some of [my] arguments are without merit" is a matter for debate which probably does not need to be extended any further here, but at least they are based on and supported by extensive references to authoritative third party sources. The bottom line in the instant case here, however, is that digital restoration, reconstruction, and enhancement is not the same thing as "mere reproduction." (Centpacrr (talk) 02:20, 10 June 2009 (UTC))
The copyright claim made here is not to the underlying original physical map which is in the PD and anyone can photograph, scan, photocopy, etc, but is to the unique digital file which I created using my skill, experience, originality, and investment of 25 hours of my time and labor. This file exists only because I created it and would not have been exactly duplicated by another starting with the same physical partial maps. The original physical map(s) and the unique digital file (which is made up of millions of bytes of code) are two very different and distinct things. I make no copyright claim to any physical copy or version of the former or to what anyone else might be able derive from such objects. I do, however, claim copyright to the unique collection of millions of coded instructions that I wrote contained in the digital file that I created and which, when read and interpreted by the appropriate software, produces and "paints" a transient unique viewable image on a CRT, LCD, or other similar electronic device. (Centpacrr (talk) 18:30, 6 June 2009 (UTC))
You know, no offense, but this discussion would be a lot less confusing if you actually stuck to the one claim to copyright you have that actually has legal ground to stand on: that your version of the map is not, and does not aim to be, identical to what the original map would've looked like back in the late 1800s when it was new. Forget about skill and labor: no amount of that will earn you copyright under U.S. law in the absence of originality. And forget about "unique collections of coded instructions" too: that claim, even if it was valid (which is dubious for a raster image), would be too easy to circumvent (just print out the image on paper and scan it back in) to be of any use to you. But as long as your image contains any original elements that reflect your own choices rather than those of the 19th century mapmaker, you do have a valid copyright claim on those elements. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 20:19, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
My digital reconstruction and restoration contains many such elements and differences as described above and elsewhere, and thus is not (as envisioned in Bridgeman) a mere "slavish reproduction" which would presumably look something like this image of a complete physical version of the map that I acquired along with a complete copy of the five volume report a few years after making my original restoration that I had reconstructed from two damaged partial copies in 2002. Also please note that Wikipedia itself no longer refers to these as "images" (Image:) but as "files" (File:) in the URLs for the pages onto which they are uploaded. (Centpacrr (talk) 20:49, 6 June 2009 (UTC))
Let's keep the two relevant issues separate to understand commons policy. First you created a digital copy of an analogue two dimensional original. This we do no recognize as creative work and therefore we reject any claims of copyright based on digitizing 2D works. For the details reasons please take a look at Commons talk:When to use the PD-Art tag. Your second contribution was restoring your digital copy. This is the only way you could have created a copyright, but that depends on the scope and amount of your work on the file. In the vast majority of cases, restoration does not create a separate work that would earn a copyright, but exceptions are possible. Please show us the original input, so we can discuss if your restoration is such an exception. rdgs --h-stt !? 09:11, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
The original is not available here. The threshold for originality in restoration is low, even in the United States, whenever that restoration includes original elements and that are not intended to slavishly reproduce the original; that is clearly the case here. Ilmari has the right idea: let's not confuse this discussion with talk of sweat of the brow, which is irrelevant. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:11, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Outline traces of dinosaur images for which I cannot determine copyright.

Existing example of this type of image

I've created a number of SVG diagrams I'd like to contribute showing the scale of various dinosaurs by making silhouette outline traces of images of the dinosaurs in question, but I cannot determine the copyright of the images I am outlining. There are many other, similar images in the wikimedia commons, but their information pages do not give the copyright information for the reconstructions they are outlined from beyond an occasional credit for the original image creator, so I have been unable to determine the rules of copyright regarding such images. I've included here at the right an example on one such image here created by another user. Does anyone know what the legal niceties are for images such as this? BespokePalæontology (talk) 02:50, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

The Velociraptor outline seems to come from this page, which says it's released under CC-BY 2.5. (I found the page by following the link from the SVG to File:Vraptor-scale.png and from there Googling for "Matt Martyniuk".) —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 06:31, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Derivative work from copyrighted material?
Clearly your "google-fu" is superior to mine (I must have misspelled Martyniuk), so Velociraptor sp. was probably a bad example. However, there are other images of the same type which might still have a licensing problem as derivative works of copyrighted materials. A better example of this is the T. rex size comparison image to the right. The info page says this image is GFDL and CC-BY-SA, but also that it is "based on skeletal diagrams by Scott Hartman and Gregory Paul." Well I believe I tracked down one of the original skeletal diagrams it is based on at and it clearly says "Copyright Scott Hartman 2004" in the image. Since appears to be in the business of selling skeletal reconstruction images, I highly doubt these images are under any additional free licensing, and I can find nothing to that effect on either the website or any mention of special permission granted by the copyright holder in the T. rex image's info page. So is creating an outline silhouette of an existing copyrighted work considered derivative or original work for the purpose of licensing? I don't want to create any problems for existing uploaded media, but I want to make absolutely certain I have the right to release my own work into the public domain. — BespokePalæontology (talk) 10:03, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Any idea if this image would be OK in copyright terms?

Everett Public Library undoubtedly owns the physical photo. They are very vague about any basis for a copyright claim. Of the two buildings, the one on the right is still standing and is on the National Register of Historic Places, which is why I'd like to have the photo if we can. - Jmabel ! talk 16:59, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

It is a US work, so its copyright status depends in a complicated way on when it was first published. See this chart for details. Sv1xv (talk) 17:36, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Doesn't shed a lot of light on it for me in this particular case, but given the possibility that it might not be OK, I won't upload. - Jmabel ! talk 18:20, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Comment: this page at has about as much info on the photographers as a a quick google search turns up. It says the firm of R. King and D. W. Baskerville was disolved later in 1892. Corporate authorship per the chart above is 120 years from creation, so created in 1892 would put them in the public domain I believe 1 January 2013. They might already be public domain for other reasons. I haven't found death dates for either of the photographers to see if they're PD as life + 70. Any of the images which were published in the US pre 1923 are PD-US. The article notes many of their images were printed in the book William Whitefields’s “History of Snohomish County”, published in 1926. If the copyright of that book is shown not to have been renewed (twice), it would be PD-US-not renewed. Yeah, more likely than not PD, but without more info or some research, can't be certain for another 4 years. -- Infrogmation (talk) 19:25, 11 June 2009 (UTC)


Sometime ago I requested File:VB-stubbie.jpg for deletion but was closed as kept by User:H-stt with the closing statment of "The logo is ineligible for copyright." However I still fell that the centre of the logo wouldn't be ineligible (Text/Font maybe). Bidgee (talk) 09:50, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

It looks simple enough to me that it is hard to imagine that it would have any protection other than trademark. - 19:14, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Definitely ineligible for the U.S., though Australia may have more of a UK-style definition. The letters are likely not eligible there either though. Still, this is a photo of the bottle, not just a straight copy of the logo, so it is way less likely to be any sort of problem. I'd agree with the keep. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:04, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Foreign government works and URAA

Does the URAA restore US copyrights for foreign government works?

UK Crown Copyrights last for 50 years. The URAA cut off is 1 January 1996; thus if the URAA restores foreign government copyrights, then any UK Government work created in 1946 or later has its copyright restored/extended for 70 or 95 years(?).

David Newton received an email in 2005 from a HMSO employee, who declares, "material published in 1954, and any Crown copyright material published before that date, would now be out of copyright, and may be freely reproduced throughout the world." (note the term published compared to created). Later, arguments surface over the Berne Conventions,[4][5] but it seeems there is a sort of acceptance that the email could cover for "material published before 1954 and earlier".[6]

However, Lupo once commented on the URAA for a photo that was under Crown Copyright (which luckily was taken before 1946), but Carl Lindberg twice stated his opinion that governments are exempted from the URAA.[7][8]

So can we get a definite decision on whether government works are covered by the URAA? Jappalang (talk) 03:48, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes. The only exception is for "Any work in which the copyright was ever owned or administered by the Alien Property Custodian and in which the restored copyright would be owned by a government or instrumentality thereof, is not a restored work." On the other hand, if the Crown decides to place its works in the public domain, it would be like any other copyright holder deciding to dedicate their works to the public domain, wouldn't it? If a British Crown copyright work is PD in the UK, it should be okay in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:03, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Prosfilaes above. Taking my comment on this photo to say otherwise is a non-sequitur. Who said that photo was under Crown Copyright? Or that it ever had been administered by the Alien Property Custodian? The first may be possible, the second not. Foreign governments' works are not exempted from the URAA unless the works were ever owned or administered by the Alien Property Custodian. Carl's first comment at Template talk:PD-UKGov#Copyright restoration agrees with that (Crown Copyright is special because we do have a statement by the copyright owner that they consider expiration of Crown Copyright to apply world-wide, so indeed it becomes a case of PD-Author). However, I do not agree with Carl's second comment at Commons talk:Licensing/Archive_18#PD-Egypt, generalizing that to other governmental works. Lupo 06:08, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay, but what about Crown Copyright material that were created before 1954 but never published? David's HMSO letter does not seem to consider such a case, or does it? Is that letter also an authorisation for all expired Crown Copyright material or only for 1954 or earlier published works? Jappalang (talk) 06:24, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
We do interprete the HMSO e-mail to mean that once Crown Copyright expires in the UK, the copyright owner considers this to apply world-wide, effectively placing their works into the public domain in other countries as soon as they enter the public domain in the UK. Of course this is an unusual case that runs counter to normal practices. In theory, the "other countries" can decide themselves whether they'd like to consider such "expired-in-the-UK-Crown-Copyright-works" as still being copyrighted within their jurisdictions. But even if some countries might do so, this doesn't change the free status of such works in practice, because only the copyright holder could sue for infringement, and that copyright holder has told us he considers an expiration of his copyright in the UK to also apply elsewhere.
On the terms for unpublished Crown Copyright works in the UK, see this chart for literary, dramatic, and musical works and this chart for artistic works.
Does that answer your question? Lupo 13:37, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I believe that the initial question was largely motivated by a discussion on this file: File:Mountbatten Jinnah.jpg going on at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Hastings Ismay, 1st Baron Ismay/archive1. If I'm following this discussion correctly, then I believe that the general consensus is that that file would be in the public domain? Is that correct? Cool3 (talk) 16:04, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
If the photograph was created by "No 9 Army Film & Photographic Unit" in 1947, then it is PD. Sv1xv (talk) 16:18, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Partly because of that, Cool3. I am more motivated to be able to upload File:Mountbattens with Gandhi (IND 5298).jpg without worry. I take it the HMSO letter is a wholesale declaration that expiry of Crown Copyyrights apply worldwide. Jappalang (talk) 01:25, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Agreed with Prosfilaes and Lupo -- foreign government works were restored along with all others by the URAA. My statements had nothing to do with that really, just that the URAA stuff is generally irrelevant if an author later places their own works into the public domain. Particularly when governments have a different-than-normal term for copyright, I don't see it as any different than a regular author declaring those works public domain. In the case of the UK, we do have the additional email with the word "worldwide", which does help even more. Still, I feel that deleting an image on the basis that a "public domain" declaration does not explicitly include the term "worldwide" is a bit much. Several countries with a UK copyright heritage often have different, explicit terms for government works (Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, probably more) even if they don't all use the term "Crown Copyright" anymore. As for other governments who don't have a separately-defined term, it is fuzzier certainly, but also not as clear-cut as a regular author (who doesn't have the ability to define the law, and thus copyright terms, the way governments do). The image in question appears to be made by the UK Army, so it would seem to be just fine. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:35, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Verify copyright status

This image was uploaded on flicker and later here, but, for this kind of photo, I don't believe its free. Please check. Thank you. --BritandBeyonce (talk) 02:44, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Copyvio. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:00, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
    • Also since deleted from Flickr. Copyviol on Flickr; deleted. -- Infrogmation (talk) 19:32, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Contributions of User:Carlosu7

All of User:Carlosu7's uploads look dubious to me in terms of claims of either PD-Old or original authorship. I leave it to someone else to decide how best to proceed. - Jmabel ! talk 18:16, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Many were overdue to be deleted anyway for lack of license. I deleted those and another with an obviously wrong license tag. The last remaining apparently came from some web site but I don't read the language so I tagged with {{npd}}. Someone may want to delete now though. Wknight94 talk 20:21, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Channel Islands

I can't find anything on copyright of the en:Channel Islands (Guernsey and Jersey), especially in relation to stamps. I suspect that en:crown copyright applies for 50 years though I see that an independent entity issued stamps since 1969 according to this source. Ww2censor (talk) 00:15, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

According to this page, Guernsey uses the UK Copyright Act of 1911, amended by their own Copyright Bailiwick of Guernsey Ordinance 2005, and Jersey uses the UK Copyright Act of 1956. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:11, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I wonder what the "The Copyright Bailiwick of Guernsey Ordinance 2005" says in terms of a duration of copyright. I cannot see anything that helps us. Thanks Ww2censor (talk) 15:23, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Found a link here. They define a "States Copyright", separate from "Crown Copyright", which lasts 50 years from when the work was made. It sounds like this was not retroactive though. There was a previous 1989 ordinance which was repealed by this one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:51, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Is the following permission adequate.

I had sent the following message to the creater of an image:

Sir, Will you please donate this sketch of Nachiket Patwardhan to wikipedia, so that it can be uploaded to commons, and used in articles, such as

I have received the following reply,

hi, thank you for the interest u've shown in nachiket patwardhan sketch... you are free to download it and use it appropirately.... just keep me posted of the link where u will use it..., thank you, Dnyanesh

Can I now upload the image to commons? Yogesh Khandke (talk) 04:49, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

No, it's much too vague. It's best if they release it under a free license. See Commons:OTRS for full instructions on what to do. Dcoetzee (talk) 07:02, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

The Vatican

Related to the previous stamp question for Guernsay, I cannot find any information about copyright of the Vatican. For now I assume that only {{PD-old}}, with a 70-year copyright period, applies unless someone know differently. Ww2censor (talk) 15:28, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

My Italian is pretty bad, but this seems to mean that Italian law (70 years pma) applies. Pruneautalk 16:55, 12 June 2009 (UTC)