Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 21

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deleted license ?

I had taken the file File:Bodo sperling, "die transformation des pentagramms zu einem friedensstern in einem europa ohne mauern".jpg on my PC, to put it in an article of german wikipedia. the autor of the file deleted the license. May I use the foto in WP? see here. Best regards, --Robertsan1 (talk) 07:11, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

The revocation of {{GFDL}} is irrelevant, as it took place after August 1, 2009. From that date a CC-BY-SA license applies as well, so the picture can be used on de-wiki. Sv1xv (talk) 07:28, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. Regards. --Robertsan1 (talk) 08:02, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
You do not need to download images to use them de.wikipedia, just wikilink to them. But it appears that the uploader is probably not the real "Bodo sperling", nor the photographer, see --Tony Wills (talk) 22:47, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
The file has been deleted. What does this mean? Regards --Robertsan1 (talk) 06:27, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
It wasn't a valid free license, see [1] - all rights reserved. Even if the uploader is really the artist (as his username seems to claim) we would also need the permision of the photographer who is cited on that webpage which seems to be the source of that version of his photo (with the frame around it). --Tony Wills (talk) 08:45, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I do understand. The artist is not to be asked, because it is a public space, and artwork in public space is free in Germany.The photographer has to permit. So we have to forget the foto. thanks. Regards --Robertsan1 (talk) 09:37, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
There are other photographs of it on the web, eg [2], but you'll have to work out what the copyright is, or contact the photographer and get permision. --Tony Wills (talk) 09:49, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

MAN Bildarchiv

User:Strandgut23 has uploaded some pictures (e.g. File:MAN Diesel Viertaktmotor.jpg) from MAN Bildarchiv. These pictures have been released under these conditions: Usage only for press purposes ("redaktionellen oder journalistischen Berichterstattung") without any charge ("honorarfrei"). Pictures need to be taged with "MAN-Pressebild". While using the pictures in print media a reference piece is requested. I assume, that these rules does not fit to commons licence requirementsKarsten11 (talk) 19:43, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

If the permission is as you describe, then you are correct. That would fail to meet the requirements for two reasons: (1) images must be free to use for any purpose, and (2) derivative works must be explicitly permitted. LX (talk, contribs) 19:54, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

files with old CC licensing

Hi, can anybody plz help me with licensing the following files:şier:Biserica_din_Pâglişa.jpgşier:Biserica_reformata_din_Dabaca.jpgşier:Stiuca_Timis.JPG the license is indicated as CC-BY-NC-ND-3.0, but I just couldn't find this option in the menu when uploading them to Commons. Thx, --Oguszt (talk) 00:00, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

That's because Commons does not accept non-derivative or non-commercial licenses. These images cannot be uploaded here. We should probably have an option in the menu for it anyway, just to "catch" cases like this (people often arbitrarily select another license if the one they're looking for is missing). Dcoetzee (talk) 00:55, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Advice on Copyright needed

Hi can anybody have a look at this and give me some help in understanding the boundary conditions?

I wanted to upload several graphs from First to Commons and then use them in Wikipedia.

Specifically: and digitized from the original work: Röll, V. Freiherr von: Enzyklopädie des Eisenbahnwesens, Band 2. Berlin, Wien 1912, p. 257 and 256 respectively. The first volume was published 1911 the last 1923 after the "main" author's death on Oct 12th 1922. Dr. Röll had about 200 authors contributing to the 2nd volume alone. For example Dietler, Direktionspräsident der Gotthardbahn a.D., Luzern was responsible for the entry that included the above two graphs. He was also listed as contributor to the last volume and presumably was still alive when it went to press since others were listed as deceased in this last list of contributors.

I realize that they did not only scan the pictures but also digitized the entries of this as well as several other older encyclopedias dating form ca. 1793 to 1913. They linked the entries not only within one encyclopedia but also with the entries from all the other encyclopedias. If I understand this correctly they did this under the assumption, that the rights of these publications have expired. However I assume they own the rights to the digitized pictures and now linked encyclopedic entries. Although they caracterize their work as "gemeinfrei" which I first understood as "generally free", they explicitly state: "A taking-over of all available contents, or of essential parts thereof, into another database is prohibited."

Checking their licensing under I found the following English Translation for "gemeinfrei":

According to our opinion, this work is free of third party rights. Before any further utilisation, it is imperative to examine whether this assessment can be maintained, as Zenodot refuses any liability and does expressly not indemnify from potential claims by third parties. In case of a confirmation of our assessment, the following shall apply: These contents may be copied, disseminated, publicly reproduced and be made available to third parties, as an individual work or as part of a work - also for business or commercial purposes. We ask you to refer to the origin of such contents as follows: Source: - Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH Copyright notes, trademarks or other reservations of rights by third parties may not be deleted. A taking-over of all available contents, or of essential parts thereof, into another database is prohibited.

I assume this does not allow for the download of any scanned graphs or pictures? Please let me know.

Thanks for your help!


PS: Several days ago I already put this request on the Commons:Help desk but did not hear back from somebody yet. So I want to give another try here. Please check there to see if somebody provided already an answer.


PasoAPaso (talk) 03:07, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Sorry there was an entry on the Help Desk page. I do not know how I overlooked this. Thanks

PasoAPaso PasoAPaso (talk) 03:14, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

US Federal Agency Seal with non-copyright restriction?

I was wondering about what you told me about non-copyright restrictions in some works, as logos, from governmental agencies. I just noticed that the Security and Exchange Commission Seal in commons has the following tag:


When I turned into SEC's website I noticed that they do have a restriction as follows:

  Please do not use the SEC seal or any of the other logos or artwork from this site. In addition, 
  please be advised that the EDGAR logo and the EDGAR and EDGARLink names are the SEC's registered 
  trademarks. You may not use them in connection with an EDGAR-related business without a license from the SEC.

Question: Does this file is qualified for removal from commons due to non-copyright restriction?

Regards --Kiam-shim (talk) 05:18, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

This question was asked on my usertalkpage first, I answered to my best knowledge. However, I would not have answered the question here on Licensing talk, other people know much more about this issue. Therefore I removed my answer from this page. --Martin H. (talk) 21:59, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
(Answering because Kiam-shim asked me on my talk page on enwp.) Yes, I suspect that there are no copyright restrictions on the logo- their advice is probably related purely to trademark concerns (and maybe even other laws about impersonating a government agency- I don't know, I'm not American, but we have laws about impersonating police officers and such in Britain). Commons is primarily interested in content that is free to use from a copyright perspective; we have other tags (like {{trademark}}) to notify users/reusers of any other restrictions. However, it is entirely possible that the logos' usage is heavily restricted in the same way NASA logos are (see this template.) Long story short, I don't really know- there are a few possibilities. J Milburn (talk) 22:05, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
I added tag {{Insignia}} on the description page to indicate that there are non-copyright restrictions. Sv1xv (talk) 03:01, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
All federal insignia are protected under laws other than copyright (and sometimes trademark too). They are Commons:Non-copyright restrictions. Adding the {{insignia}} tag is appropriate, but they can still be hosted on Commons. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:51, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Tks to Martin H., J Milburn and Carl Lindberg for all the information. It's more clear to me now. In other words: "You can have it, but what you do with it, is the real issue!"--Kiam-shim (talk) 03:35, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
I added tag {{Insignia}} to the description page of the SVG version.--Elvey (talk) 22:15, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Anonymous-EU and US and URAA

Would someone please help me out here? Please tell me (there) that the files bearing this template from 1926-1939 are indeed free! Nillerdk (talk) 19:46, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

They're still under copyright in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:58, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
OK. Now I have found I that we have many such files. Some (I guess only a small percentage of the total number of such files) are marked with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} Nillerdk (talk) 07:10, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

OK to require acknowledgement... or not?

On, it states:

Acknowledgment of all authors/contributors of a work may be required.

...AND yet this must not be the case:

Notification of the creator required, rather than requested, for all or for some uses.

It seems to me that this is contradictory. Which is the case? (...and--if, indeed, it's a contradiction--the issue needs to be resolved in the text on the page.)

Philiptdotcom (talk) 13:15, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Acknowledgment can be (and almost always is) required -- that just means making clear who the original authors are on any copies or derivative works made. This is often required by moral rights in many countries anyways. Notification is completely different -- that is getting in contact with the authors to actively let them know of any uses of the work. That cannot be a prerequisite to using the work. It can be asked for as a courtesy, but not required. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:55, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
I can see how it could be confusing, though, especially for people who might not have English as their first language. The words "acknowledgement" and "notification" have senses in which they're all but synonymous, but this page uses them in a specific sense where "acknowledgement of the author" means telling other people who the author is, while "notification of the author" means telling the author that you're using the work. Very different things, in that sense. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 19:15, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
Duh! Thanks for setting me straight on this. In retrospect, I have no idea why I confused these two ideas. Now that you point out the difference, I realize that I'm very aware of this distinction (which is sometimes why I don't contribute images to Commons). I am therefore ashamed, in this case, to admit that English IS my first language!  :) Aloha, Philiptdotcom (talk) 00:02, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Official White House photos from Getty

Is it OK to upload higher resolution versions of free {{PD-USGov}} images from non-free sources? For example, photo on (low resolution), same photo on Getty (slightly higher resolution) and just another version of the same photo (from Getty, cropped, resolution is pretty good). Trycatch (talk) 10:49, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

If the photo is {{PD-USGov}} because it was created by a U.S. federal government employee in the course of their duties, then all versions of it should be PD (presuming that they haven't been modified in copyrightable ways by others, of course). The author of this particular photo, Shealah Craighead, would appear to be a federal employee, so that seems to me to be the case here. However, it would also be possible for the White House to obtain rights to a photograph from a contractor or some third party and release a particular version of it under a free license (including PD), in which case other versions of the same photo could still be non-free. See w:Copyright status of work by the U.S. government for more details. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 11:17, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your help. Trycatch (talk) 11:39, 17 August 2009 (UTC)


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

Is there any exclusions for wiki logos? I'am really not sure about license of this file. Can anybody help me?

Besuglov.S (talk) 11:07, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

And statistics here:

  1. found: 613 KB, 1058x1058 pixels - not used
  2. - used on 2 pages [+]
  3. - used on 34 pages [+]
  4. - used on 40 pages [+]
  5. - used on 2 pages [+]
  6. - used on 1 pages [+]
  7. - used on at least 100 pages [+]

Besuglov.S (talk) 11:13, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes, currently there is an exception for logos owned by the Wikimedia Foundation. There was recently a proposal to move them to Meta Wiki, as it is now technically possible to source images from more than one projects. Sv1xv (talk) 11:20, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. Σε ευχαριστώ! Besuglov.S (talk) 11:33, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Where's this proposal? I want those damn copyvios off commons. -mattbuck (Talk) 02:54, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
It was on VP. It just lost steam I think. I think not enough people thought it was big enough of a deal. Feel free to re-raise the issue. Dcoetzee (talk) 03:31, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
I willing to bet most of the official logos are actually freely-licensed (well, were, but you can't revoke, right?) For example, Wikipedia's is GFDL. Wikiquote's is GFDL[3]. Some others are too but I don't feel like digging around for them. We're big on the hypocrisy regarding license revocation, huh? At least, MediaWiki's and Meta's are still labeled as free... Rocket000 (talk) 00:25, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Both Mozilla and Wikimedia restrict logo use because they think free licenses should not be used for branding/trademarks. However, MediaWiki's logo is a logo for open source software and not a Wikimedia project, and the Meta logo was made to be public domain on purpose since it is used as a logo for the "Wikimedia community". ViperSnake151 (talk) 03:08, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Did you see what I linked to? I know why they want to restrict use, but I was saying that some of these Wikimedia logos, like Wikipedia's, are actually freely licensed. The arguments you gave for the other two are incorrect. MediaWiki's software is GPL, so it doesn't have to be PD. Regarding the Meta logo, it seems some people were trying to "un-free" it like they did with the others. It was originally created as a free alternative to the foundation's logo; we can't help it that Meta started using it. That's one we're going to make sure stays free. And where did Mozilla come from? Rocket000 (talk) 02:56, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and MediaWiki most definitely is a Wikimedia project. Rocket000 (talk) 02:59, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Hold on a second...

"For digital distribution, use of open file formats free of digital restrictions management (DRM) may be required."

You say this, yet you consider a license that specifically forbids DRM non-free? Could we have some clarification here? ViperSnake151 (talk) 03:10, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

This is false logic. The file formats are required to be both open and free of DRM. Could we have some context here? Dcoetzee (talk) 05:46, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
ViperSnake151 is probably referring to {{ADRM}} and {{ADRM2}}. Apparently, it was discussed here back in 2006 and was concluded to be insufficiently free for Commons. It might well be worth revisiting the issue, though, given that e.g. (whose definition of free content the WMF has officially adopted) seems to list it as a free license. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 11:04, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm not too familiar with that license, but it seems like it should be allowed. 'Confused' is the right word for somebody that is confused. lol Rocket000 (talk) 03:10, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
"Confused" is definitely a pertinent state of mind. While the immediate issue is whether the anti-DRM clauses in them make them non-free or not, I'm starting to think that the real underlying problem is that the language in them is unusually confusing even for legalese. I suspect they were not written by a particularly fluent English-speaker; the grammar is simply contorted. Or what do you make of e.g. this sentence from version 2:
b. in conformity with this license, it is not allowed to prevent or restrict quantitatively and/or qualitatively access to, fruition, copy, modification, and/or sharing of works or derivative works through an access control mechanism and/or a copy control mechanism;
Had to read that twice to figure it out, didn't you? Having done that, take another look at the full license and observe that half of the terms in this sentence are in fact given their own special definitions, each just as convoluted.
I get the feeling that the reason it's so difficult to say whether these licenses are free or not is because it's hard to figure out what they're saying in the first place. Clearly they are intended to be free content licenses, but at least I'm finding it very hard to tell if their wording actually ends up matching that intent or not. It would be nice to rely on someone else's expert judgment, but there don't seem to be many of those around. The folks at Debian seem to consider it non-free, or at least haven't listed it as an approved license, but then again they're more strict than we are anyway. (They don't accept Creative Commons licenses before v3.0, for example, partly because of similar issues with badly worded anti-DRM clauses.)
Also, if you look further into the Debian mailing list thread, you'll note that it quickly degenerates. This seems to be a common occurrence for discussions involving these licenses: the talk page is full of more of the same. It looks as if somebody, using multiple usernames but a very distinctive style of writing and argumentation, has been pushing these licenses in various places and creating a royal mess in the progress. That sure doesn't make evaluating them on their own terms any easier. :( —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 23:35, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Images from the Seoul Metropolitan Government

Could someone explain to me why these images File:Gwanghwamun Square birds-eye-view.jpg & File:Seoul-City Hall Plaza-Skate-01.jpg in Category:Images from the Seoul Metropolitan Governmentare distributed under a free license ? Sv1xv (talk) 12:37, 19 August 2009 (UTC)


Can someone review this and add opinion here?

Add opinion here: Commons:Deletion requests/Photographs using Template:PD-CzechGov. --Martin H. (talk) 18:01, 20 August 2009 (UTC)


There seem to be some problems with the template {{PD-LosAlamos}}. First of all, files from the Los Alamos National Laboratory are not actually in the public domain: their copyright belongs to Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a private contractor who operates the LANL under a government contract. Thus, the template should be renamed, and definitely should not transclude {{PD-USGov-DOE}}.

The second issue is, are these files even free? The LANL copyright page says (emphasis mine):

Unless otherwise indicated, this information has been authored by an employee or employees of the Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), operator of the Los Alamos National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396 with the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Government has rights to use, reproduce, and distribute this information. The public may copy and use this information without charge, provided that this Notice and any statement of authorship are reproduced on all copies. Neither the Government nor LANS makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any liability or responsibility for the use of this information.

This does look pretty much like a typical free BSD-like license, but what it lacks, to be considered a free license, is explicit permission to modify the files and to distribute modified versions. This might seem like splitting hairs, but it's not actually clear if such permission is intended or not. Someone should at least contact LANS and ask them for clarification.

Comments? —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 21:33, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Charmed-dia-w.png: a similar situation with an image from Brookhaven National Laboratory; their patent lawyer specifically state the works are licensed to the government for any use, but are still copyrighted. Jappalang (talk) 02:08, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
This is a nd-license and therefore not free enough for Commons. delete them all --h-stt !? 08:16, 21 August 2009 (UTC)


Is it okay to upload such images? Aren't they violate copyright of the photographer? They are not a clean 2D-art. 4649 01:05, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

There is no "copyright of the photographer". Copying a two-dimensional work is a technical (mechanical/electronic) process without creativity. Sv1xv (talk) 04:41, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
This photo does have the frame, plus a color strip on the right. If it was cropped to just have the painting, then it would definitely be fine. As it stands, there is a little doubt. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:18, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
This was already discussed here: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Gogh, Vincent van - Memory of the Garden at Etten (Ladies of Arles).jpg. Yann (talk) 18:15, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
The pictures in Corel v. Bridgeman had color strips, so there should be no doubt there. The frames are generally de minimis; maybe a little doubt, but they're clearly axillary to what we really want, which is a clear copy of the PD painting, and are preserved in our copy for the same reason they were in the original--to preserve the highest quality copy of the painting possible. And given the deletion request, it's probably fine to let it lie for a while.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:15, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Interesting, didn't know that about the Bridgeman photos. And yes, if there has just been a DR under the same grounds, not much need to re-hash it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:02, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Greece: Monuments and antiquities

The Greek government has a paranoid approach on photography of monuments and antiquities which violates even their own copyright laws. While these rules do not affect inclusion matterial on Wikimedia Commons, reusers should be aware of the situation. Please do not remove this subsection, but feel free to add information to it. Sv1xv (talk) 09:21, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Just a pointer to the first time (as far as I know) this was discussed: Commons:Deletion requests/ΦΕΚ: Β 1491 20051027. --h-stt !? 12:18, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Pre-1894, but possibly unpublished.

How about the picture of Thomy Lafon (1810-1893) at It must have been taken before 1894, but I cannot determine if it was published then. It is attributed to the 1977 book Louisiana's Black Heritage by Robert R. Macdonald et als, eds. Is it public domain? --Apoc2400 (talk) 00:18, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't know for certain, but from my experience working with archival materials, it looks very much to me like the image on that page is a scan of a late 19th or early 20th century print copy of a period photo, rather than a scan of an original period photo itself. I think this would be rotogravure from a book or good print quality pamphlet or magazine, suggestive of a publication in the late 19th or early 20th century. Other thoughts? Infrogmation (talk) 03:16, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

File:Mao Zedong portrait.jpg

This photo is taken from Tiananmen Gate, and I'm not sure whether the portrait of Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Gate is copyrighted. Should File:Mao Zedong portrait.jpg be deleted due to copyright violation?--Wcam (talk) 06:51, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Well... China allows freedom of panorama per Commons:Freedom of panorama#China, People's Republic of. The artist has to be attributed per Chinese law for FoP, but his or her identity is a confidential secret held by the Chinese government. Now, whether the rotation of two copies of the painting constitutes a permanent installation is a question I cannot answer.[4] Anyone else? Jappalang (talk) 02:44, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
The Chinese law FOP exemption does not require permanent installation. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 06:18, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Interestingly enough, that is correct. I double-checked the law in Chinese (just in case their English version had a bad translation) and it literally states "installed or exhibited" (设置或者陈列) with no statement of permenance. The portrait qualifies under {{FoP-China}} then, and under attribution, it can be explained that the Chinese government has kept the artist's identity a confidential secret (sort of anonymous work). Jappalang (talk) 07:10, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't know about the copyright status of the poster shown, but I can say that the Flickr photographer certainly shouldn't be credited as the original source and author. Infrogmation (talk) 03:19, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Old sound recordings

Sound recordings fixed before 1972 are apparently not subject to US copyright protection, although the underlying composition may be. I'm looking at File:ODJB Livery Stable Blues 1917.ogg for one, the composition was pre-1923 so it is PD, and recording itself seems to be subject to template:PD-US-record. But the two templates don't seem to go together well. Assuming my understanding of the situation is correct, should we think about a new template(s) for old recordings? Thatcher(on enwiki) 16:29, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

In fact, I think Template:PD-US-record needs a rewrite. It notes that recordings made before 1972 are not protected by Federal Copyright law but may be protected by State en:common law copyright, which may last until 2067. Second, see this court case which says "we [*19]conclude that New York provides common-law copyright protection to sound recordings not covered by the federal Copyright Act, regardless of the public domain status in the country of origin, if the alleged act of infringement occurred in New York." Other states have not adjudicated this issue. So, if uploading the file to wikipedia is infringement, then as long as Jafeluv does not live in NY, there is not problem. On the other hand, if downloading or listening to the file is infringement, than any wikipedia reader in NY is infringing on the copyright, meaning that the sound needs a fair use rationale, that it is ineligible for Featured Sound status, and that the PD-US-record template needs to be changed. Any thoughts? Thatcher(on enwiki) 19:59, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
As you note, pre-1972 sound recordings are incredibly thorny. It is true they are not protected by federal copyright until 2067 (and in many cases become PD then). Instead, the protection differs by state and court case. While many states may be similar to New York, they may not all be perpetual. And it is not clear if URAA restorations (or lack thereof) would affect common law protection (it might, if it feels "wrong" to a court to uphold such protection in a particular circumstance). "public domain in the U.S." becomes a rather cloudy issue here... I'm not sure it warrants wholesale deleting virtually all pre-1972 sound recordings (which is what you are leading up to). If it can be on Commons, it can be a Featured Sound, I would think. Still, it is thorny, because if any of these recordings have had U.S. rights specifically negotiated before, common law may well respect those in many cases. I'm pretty sure the recording industry got this exemption because they liked the state of common law better than the federal protections (although common law can and does change over time). Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:21, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
The Copyright Office says that, yes, they are subject to URAA restorations. See Highlights of Copyright Amendments Contained in the URAA, search for "A Mexican sound recording".--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:53, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, restoration would only apply to US recordings after 2047, in that pre-1972 recordings that are still within life plus whatever of the artist would get the remainder of the copyright. Until 2047, state and common law applies. I'm not after deleting such files from commons but rather, #1 is it free enough to be a featured sound, #2 should there be a better template to differentiate between the copyright in the composition and the copyright in the recording. Thatcher(on enwiki) 02:20, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
No; restoration under the URAA only applies to non-US recordings, started as of 1996, and "Although sound recordings fixed before 1972 were not then protected by federal copyright, those sound recordings will receive the remainder of the term they would have received had they been protected by such copyright when published. For example, a sound recording published in 1925 will be protected until 2020."--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:40, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
I see, restoration is a concept that only applies to foreign works. Not relevant to this recording which is a US work. Thatcher(on enwiki) 02:47, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
I missed that. Yes, the status of most any U.S. sound recording made before 1972 is pretty ambiguous. may be thinking that the usual PD-1923 stuff applies but it really doesn't. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:29, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Interesting; that (the URAA restoration note on the Mexican recording) would imply that foreign sound recordings do not get common law protection -- but that is contradicted by the above court case. Using the Hirtle chart, common-law protection would be there either way until 2067 (it is no longer 2047), after which they are fully public domain. The Hirtle chart does seem somewhat confused about restored sound recordings though -- it does not mention the common-law protection for those (though it does if *not* restored), but still says they will not be PD until 2067. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:29, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

If you really believed...

If one really believed that sounds fixed before 1972 are only protected by common law copyright and state copyright, and that because New York is the only state to adjudicate this that such recordings are PD in every other state, then Jimi Hendrix' iconic recording of the Star Spangled Banner from Woodstock is public domain in the US except for New York. Someone should upload it, that would definitely be a featured sound! Not trying to stir up trouble, just pointing to an apparent inconsistency. Thatcher(on enwiki) 14:46, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Well, yeah. Common-law protection can certainly be pretty strong -- I'm pretty sure recording companies lobbied for this because they preferred common-law protection to the federal one. In many states it is perpetual, or at least was (common law can shift with the times... hard to say what every state would do these days). If there is any commercial value in a recording (i.e. there is a rightsholder who is selling it) you can be sure it is still protected in some way. There is a 2005 report on the tangled issues of copyright on commercial pre-1972 recordings, partly sponsored by the Library of Congress, and there is now another report which focuses on unpublished recordings. These recordings are tangled to say the least. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:54, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually, now I'm not sure about the lobbying thing -- apparently under the 1909 Copyright Act phonograms were not considered copyrightable, as they were not "copies" (they still aren't, but the copyright law now uses the phrase "copies or phonograms" in most places so they are treated equally). So, state law developed to protect them. They were made explicitly federally copyrightable in 1972 but that was simply not made retroactive. The underlying musical compositions were not "published" by being put on phonograms though -- so there is no argument of "no notice" for the copyright of the underlying work, unless it was published as sheet music without a notice. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:25, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

US Navy Band

see prior discussion at Commons_talk:Licensing/Archive_5#National_anthems

The US Navy Band has high quality recordings of National Anthems here, and other recordings here. Works of the US government as part of their official duties are public domain, but the site has a disclaimer, "The music files on this website are intended for official use by Department of Defense and U.S. government offices only. Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis." Any song that has a valid copyright on the composition can not be considered free or freely licensed. But, for compositions that are in the public domain, can we convert and upload the recording and consider it public domain, because it was performed and recorded by the US Navy in the course of conducting official government business? Thatcher(on enwiki) 14:49, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

There are already several Navy Band recordings uploaded to Commons. I personally can't think of a reason why they would not be allowed; if the compositions and arrangements are PD (or PD-USGov), then the recordings would appear to be PD-USGov as well, and everything should be fine. The Navy Band does sell CDs with some still-copyrighted songs on them; maybe the disclaimer is meant to cover those as well (although from what I could see they do not have .mp3 downloads for them). I can't think of a reason other than copyright that they may be legally restricted, but maybe it would be good to ask on what basis those restrictions are claimed -- copyright or otherwise. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:41, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
The Marine Band has a similar restriction; free for educational purposes but no commercial use, they say this is because their activities are taxpayer-funded. [5] Educational-but-non-commercial is an unacceptable license condition for us, but I think the copyright law overrules this position, at least with respect to works where the composition is also PD or PD-USGov. Thatcher(on enwiki) 16:15, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Those appear to be the terms for the actual CDs you order, not necessarily downloadable songs. The Navy Band does have some copyrighted songs on their CDs, so any use of those would be restricted, and maybe the Marine Corps band is similar. The Navy Band site actually has downloadable mp3s for the non-copyrighted songs (they do not have downloads for the others). It's possible those are just blanket statements which cover use of their performances of copyrighted songs. Or, maybe they have a separate reason. But yes, I still don't see any copyright-based reason that we can't host those files. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:15, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Photo taken in a museum

I doubt that File:DSC 0043.jpg is under Creative Commons. It was presumably taken in the Musée Grévin. Liorek (talk) 10:49, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Per COM:FOP#France this would be copyrighted. I've deleted the image. Bidgee (talk) 11:22, 28 August 2009 (UTC)


Hi everybody, I write from wikipedia italia and excuse for my awful english. I only wanto to know if it will be possible publish on commons these images from this site expecially the images of War Admiral. The photos were publishing from 1923 till 1963 but the 70 years old photos are legal to publish only in America with the Template:PD-1923 or in every wiki linguage? Thank you for time. Witchblue (talk) 12:50, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

The photo of Sir Barton is probably {{PD-1923}} (and safe for any wiki). The others may still be copyrighted, but it's hard to say. Kaldari (talk) 15:45, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

The photo of Sir Barton is the only one that don't have the signature of a photographer but I think that the others photo are however free of the copy because how it's write near the image. They were taken on the finish of the Triple Crown winning:

  • for Gallant Fox: 1927;
  • for Omaha: 1935;
  • fot War Admiral: 1937; (etc.)

I think that the measure of the copyright or the image are for all of them in public demain (in every wikipedia project), so long as from 1923 till 1963. Don't you think? (thank you for your patience about my english!) Witchblue (talk) 17:32, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't understand the point of bringing up 1963. Works published outside the US by non-American authors after 1922 are protected, unless they were out of copyright in their home nation on January 1, 1996 and several other conditions also hold. Works published inside the US after 1922 had to follow several restrictions to currently be under copyright, but I see no prima facie case to be made here that those restrictions weren't followed. As they are American works, Commons will accept those out of copyright in the US, but several countries, including Germany, Canada, and Mexico, don't use the rule of the shorter term, either at all or on American works.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:32, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

PD-textlogo with different colours?

File:Blue wordmark small.jpg is tagged as PD-textlogo, but I'm not sure that it falls under that. It's composed of two or three different colours (white, dark blue, and perhaps a light blue [can't tell easily]) that are clearly arranged in a specific format. It seems to me that there's a bit of originality with the placement of the line and the text, and the colouring of the background and the line. What say you? Nyttend (talk) 13:17, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

The light blue is not part of the design, it is the result of dithering. My view is that it is tagged correctly with {{PD-textlogo}}. Of course others may have different views. Sv1xv (talk) 13:29, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Agree. This is just white text on a blue background. Pruneautalk 13:53, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Nope, and I don't think it's anywhere close either. There is no U.S. copyright on the placement of text or a horizontal line. If there is a background pattern which has an actual pictorial element, that may be different, but this does not. This one seems to be about as plainly PD-textlogo as can be. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:55, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification; I thought that PD-textlogo was properly applied only to images such as File:MS Logo.jpg. Nyttend (talk) 01:20, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Potentially large problem with licensing -- multiple levels of derivation

Please consider File:Electoral map.svg. It is claimed to be in the public domain, but it is also claimed to be based on File:Map of USA with state names.svg, which is multi-licensed GFDL and CC-by-sa-all. If it is a derivative work, it must be licensed with a compatible license, not released into the public domain. Further problems arise when you consider that File:Electoral map.svg was itself the source for File:Blank US Map.svg, because the latter file was used (quite understandably) as the base for a very large number of additional files. My reading of the situation is that all of these files derivative of File:Blank US Map.svg need to be evaluated for license compliance with the original three-times removed ancestor image File:Map of USA with state names.svg. And those derivative files may themselves have derivatives that need checking. Powers (talk) 14:32, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

And if you look at the history of File:Map of USA with state names.svg, it was originally licensed GFDL and CC-BY-2.0, and the latter license was arbitrarily removed at one point. You also have to wonder if the original SVG was made from another source (say U.S. government), and the state names and other stuff added, and the original copyright claim was only for the added material (which would mean the blank map portion would indeed be PD). Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:10, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, these files have all been used and re-used widely. Virtually every SVG map of the United States on this site -- and that's a LOT -- were derived from File:Blank US Map.svg, so if that one is licensed incorrectly, we've got a big problem. Powers (talk) 20:07, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
File:Map of USA with state names.svg is the source of Blank US Map.svg (one level of indirection), according to the credits. So that one's licensing is pretty important, and unfortunately has been changed by multiple editors along the line. And like I said, I would not be at all surprised if the outlines themselves came from some other (uncredited) source. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:26, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I did a similar search for the source of other maps and uploaded File:StatesU.svg
which is a slightly striped down version of a map in a PDF from US Govt. Atlas site. File:Map of USA with state names.svg may well be a derivative of that (Hawaii etc moved though) or another from the same source. If the original is PD, derivatives can be licensed anyway the author wants can't they? --Tony Wills (talk) 20:14, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I'm not disputing the license of File:Map of USA with state names.svg, although its license seems to have been changed at least once since its original uploading. The problem is that File:Electoral map.svg is explicitly claimed as a derivative but claims to be in the public domain. Powers (talk) 18:13, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Which may be fine, provided the state outlines came from the U.S. government source. The cc-by copyright in the state names version would only be on the state names (rather more the placement/style thereof), none of which are present in that second file, so none of the copyrighted expression would be left. The question is really on where the original state outlines came from, which is sadly undocumented. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:49, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Map of USA with state names.svg

Map data itself is not copyrightable... the state outlines/borders are a matter of public knowledge. Only a particular representation of the information is copyrightable (c.f. a discussion we had a while back about NY subway maps... a map that was an accurate representation of the lines was not copyrightable, but one that used the NY transit authority's styliesd representation of the lines, which took artistic license, was) So worst comes to worst, the base map could be redrawn and would then be free of copyright issues if whoever did it licensed it freely. However, that's an in extremis solution, it seems to me. Do we have a clear understanding of who applied what licenses when for each of the relevant files (other than just slogging through the revisions?) ++Lar: t/c 04:24, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

The original of File:Map of USA with state names.svg was licensed with GFDL according to the copy of the upload log on en:wp (can someone check?), but the first version uploaded here was marked cc-by-2.0. Neither of which helps much. The original uploaded here has extra data such as rivers and state capitals (marked with stars) imbedded in it (these are stripped out of later versions reducing the file size by 2/3rds!) - it very much looks as though it wasn't original work by Wapcaplet, the original was probably PD-US but I expect only one person knows. The cleanest solution is probably just ask Wapcaplet to license it as PD. --Tony Wills (talk) 10:12, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Yep, the original upload has rivers, state capitals, and the federal highway system marked (there is even one interstate highway symbol left in). I would have to presume it is from a U.S. government source, and edited down. File:USA Counties.svg is very similar, but not quite the same, so that is not the source (but he probably used the same approach). Perhaps he arranged Alaska and Hawaii, or maybe copied the arrangement there from this version. If Wapcaplet can remember, that'd be great -- but this was originally uploaded in 2004 ;-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:24, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • After searching through a few thousand (literally) maps, I find File:USA Counties.svg
    USA Counties.svg
    , source "It was derived from this public-domain document published by the U.S. Census Bureau. Originally uploaded to English wikipedia as en:Image:USA by Wapcaplet". A very similar style of map, with a few differences (eg Alaska slightly rotated), but to me it says Wapcaplet's original is almost certainly a derivative of a PD image, and the differences are trivial and not copyrightable, therefore still completely PD. --Tony Wills (talk) 10:20, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
  • More searching (it's out there somewhere ;-), if you check the pdf source of USA Counties.svg you see that Wapcaplet moved Alaska and Hawaii and drew the dividing lines between and he deleted lots of things (scales colours, legends). It appears the the source of File:Map of USA with state names.svg was something like whatever SVG produced this census 2000 map- orientation of Alaska, depiction of St Lawrence river, exact cutoff position of Canada and Mexico, all exactly the same. --Tony Wills (talk) 11:37, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Of course the census bureau may have stolen it from us, uncredited ;-), just like the forest service here :-) :-) --Tony Wills (talk) 11:43, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Okay, so what's the upshot? Do we have enough evidence to say that the portions of File:Electoral map.svg that were copied from File:Map of USA with state names.svg likely came from a PD source? Powers (talk) 01:16, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

It would be nice to find the original to be sure, but that is the pattern the original uploader used on many other images -- start with a U.S. Government work, then modify it. In this case the uploader obviously started with a pre-existing work, and added the state names. The state outlines came from that earlier work; one question may be if the arrangement of Hawaii or Alaska was in the original or not. So, very likely a PD-USGov original, but it would still be nice to actually find it to be sure. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:31, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

How to interprete "The license must be perpetual (non-expiring) and non-revocable"?

Hi there, On April 15, 2009 Kaldari added this line


    • The license must be perpetual (non-expiring) and non-revocable.


to Commons:Licensing#Acceptable licenses. It has not been changed or challenged since, which I perceive as a sign that it is a stable and accepted part of our policies. The way I understand the objective of this line is that it is, e.g., not allowed to change the license for a file from {{GFDL}} to {{GFDL-1.2}} as you thereby revoke one existing ver. 1.3 perpetual license and you revoke any later version of the license. (The {{GFDL}} is ver. 1.2 and later, which at the time of writing means ver. 1.2, ver. 1.3 and any later version).

However, Fir0002 does not agree with this interpretation of the policy, as in his opinion you can set up a new perpetual agreement with a possibly more restrictive license whereas previous reusers who can prove that they have reused the image at a time the earlier license was on the file page, retain their perpetual rights they had at that time. (At least that is how I understand Firs view on this, I will notify him of this discussion such that he can refactor it if needed) (rephrased below) --Fir0002 www 23:55, 11 August 2009 (UTC). So different users can have different rights depending on the time of first re-use. Whereas I understand this is possible when you add more rights (by adding, e.g. a CC-BY-XXX license later on), it is not my understanding that the opposite is compliant to our licensing policy.

I am afraid that both of us are quite stubbornly stuck with our individual interpretations of this policy (cf. User talk:Fir0002#The GFDL to GFDL-1.2 thingie again again again), and I would like to ask uninvolved and license-knowledgeable users to step forward into this bag-of-worms and tell us how this line should be interpreted when it comes to changing from GFDL to GFDL 1-2 on already uploaded files? Thanks, --Slaunger (talk) 21:41, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

I'll rephrase my understanding of licensing in a hopefully succinct and clear manner.
  1. Commons is like flickr. It allows a person to upload a photo and offer it under a license to the world.
  2. A person accepts the terms of the license when they download it. They may use it according to its terms. This permission is perpetual.
  3. The IP owner may change the license they want to offer the image under. There is no such thing as "once published always published" insofar as the uploader must perpetually offer the image under that license. For example say I had been uploading my photos onto my own website and licensing under GFDL. There is nothing to stop me from changing this practice and providing them under GFDL 1.2. Flickr allows its users to modify their license (see opening para), there's nothing (legally) preventing the same practice on commons.
  4. In terms of policy considerations, as long as the license is still one which commons accepts, then the project does not suffer from a user changing their license. Similarly the end user does not suffer.
Final comments: seems as though the underlying issue here is probably not so much the relicense but the fact people aren't keen on the terms of GFDL 1.2. If I had changed from GFDL+ to CC-BY-SA (separate to the migration, treat this as a relicense) then no one would bat an eyelid. There would be no painful debates. And why? It's still a relicense. Some may argue the "more restrictive" point - but I don't think it's a strong point for two reasons. 1) "More restrictive" is a very subjective judgement. How do provide a measure of "restrictiveness"? For example some may find the more explicit requirement of attribution in the CC-BY-SA, and the fact the user may specify the manner of attribution, more restrictive than the weak requirement in the GFDL1. 2) The question of relicensing operates on a much more universal level. There is no difference, in principle, from changing from a more restrictive license to a less restrictive license and going from less to more. Also apologies in advanced (and now) for not replying to some comments, I'll make a effort but I just don't have time for this. --Fir0002 www 23:55, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
1Attributions as far as I can tell is only mentioned in section 4 where it discusses the requirements which must be met for modifying the original work and even there it specifies the manner of attribution - possible a more reasonable manner than what a user may demand under the CC-BY-SA --Fir0002 www 23:55, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Commons is not like Flikr. It is not a site for you to offer pictures to the world. Most notably, it doesn't let you delete your pictures at your desire; it's not designed to let you revoke your offering. It's a collection of free media for Wikimedia, not a toy for the uploaders. Relicensing your media here is just like trying to revoke your edits to Wikipedia; it's out of your control.
There is a difference, in principle, in going from a less restrictive license to a (strictly) more restrictive license rather than vice versa. The end user always has the right to treat a GFDL file as if it were GFDL 1.2, but not the other way around. (Or public domain file as GFDL, but not a GFDL file as public domain, etc.) If you had changed from GFDL+ to CC-BY-SA, it's possible no one would bat an eyelid, but that's because the issue is trifling at best.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:06, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
(ec) I don't want to belabor this more because I'm sure it's been argued ad nauseam elsewhere, but ...
  1. Commons is not in any way like Flickr. It is a collaborative project which users donate to; users do not control distribution after they upload. Under most circumstances works will not be deleted even if the original uploader wants them to be. Flickr is a site for personal uploads where the user still has pretty much full control.
  2. Commons accepts your terms when you upload it. We will also certainly accept further licenses if you wish to add them, but once some rights have been waived, they cannot be taken back. Commons needs to be able to build upon work it has, and not have people take away work which has been built upon. This is why we need to remove non-free works as soon as possible; they can only do more damage the longer they are here.
  3. The licenses we accept are non-revocable. We count on that fact. There is nothing legally preventing you from changing it, but there is also nothing legally preventing Commons from continuing to use the work under the earlier terms, nor another user re-adding the license which it is still (legally) licensed under.
  4. The project suffers grievously if you change the licenses. There may be derivative works which use yours as a source -- by changing your license you could possibly be affecting reams of derivative works which (legally) need to assume your original license. The only reference is to the image page we have here, and those licenses need to stay documented -- otherwise you could cause a mass of problems for those derivative works. The entire idea of the free software/content movement is to make works available to use under such terms, and to keep building on that body of work to make it better and better, and to never go backwards. Licenses like the GPL, GFDL, and CC-BY-SA use the derivative works clause as a wedge to ensure this, by forcing derivative works to also be "free" (and thus increasing the body of "free" work). Your concepts seem to be completely at odds with this philosophy, which also happens to be a founding principle of Wikipedia and Commons. See #Potentially large problem with licensing -- multiple levels of derivation for an issue brought about by an accidentally deleted CC-BY tag and a lack of documentation of an original (likely PD) source.
The main reason I supported the opt-out clauses is because we had always accepted the GFDL as a license, and I did not think it particularly respectful to suddenly disallow it, especially for works already uploaded under those terms. It is now strongly discouraged because, like the GPL, it is not meant for graphic media and some of its specific terms make re-use incredibly onerous (which is contrary to the aim, as also evidenced by the willingness of the FSF to allow them to be relicensed CC-BY-SA). Intentionally using those terms is not really following the founding philosophy... those terms make much non-commercial use just as difficult as commercial (i.e. anywhere outside of a documentation context). But, the GFDL will probably still conform to's definitions, so we may also keep allowing it too. But it should be strongly discouraged for new uploads, in my opinion. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:49, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes/Carl - that is a good point you make in distinguishing commons from flickr (the deletion issue). This does suggest that commons could, in someway, be considered a user (and hence licensee) of the content. However, there are at least three issues I still have with such a conclusion which I would be interested in your opinion on. 1) The definition of Commons is "Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository" (emphasis added) which suggests it's a "storehouse" which in turn suggests its a place where people can store their images (under a suitable license) for other people to access. 2) Commons accepts files indiscriminately - it does not at any point (as far as I can see) decide to use the image. In fact it doesn't even apply a very strict license test - I just uploaded [this image without a license. 3) If you treat commons as the licensee, then "commons" would need to be the one who reverts the license change. I.e. AFAIK it would not be sufficient (for the purposes of Carl's third point) for a user to re-add the license unless that user was also a licensee. Seems to me it would be awfully difficult to define what "commons" is for the purposes of being a legal person. --Fir0002 www 13:56, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
@Carl - As I suggested elsewhere, I think the onus would lie on the licensee to ensure they document the terms of their re-use (eg by making use of a date stamping application as discussed below). That point also leads back to issues with transclusion and "tidiness", but I think for clarity those can be safely kept separate from a general discussion on relicensing. As an aside, I think you'll find in the real world that the "snowball effect" of free licensing never eventuates - people treat free licenses as PD. Of the many derivatives I've seen, I've yet to come across an example of a reuse of my images where the derivative work was under the GFDL, let alone an example where it seems even remotely possible that the licensing of that derivative was influence by the original license (ie the person would have used GFDL regardless). But this is a separate issue. --Fir0002 www 13:56, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
1) The reality is that it is a collaborative project to build up a database -- users can make derivative works of yours, and add them to the database too (used or not). That in itself is a "use", really. It is geared towards supporting the various Wikimedia projects but it can be used by anyone as well -- there may be sites making (or even linking) to the images that you (or anyone here) is not aware of, and relies on the documentation/license on the image page. 2) We do not accept files indiscriminately; we have a defined scope and will delete files outside of that scope. However, that usually requires human intervention to make sure. As for the licenses, it is possible to write the text "This upload is licensed CC-BY-SA" in the image description area without actually putting in the license tag; while discouraged that is quite allowed and sometimes it is not possible to determine the presence (or lack thereof) of a license. So, the upload will go through, but bots/humans will find it, and determine what should be done. In the case of your File:Bw grad test image.jpg upload, the correct license in most jurisdictions is probably {{PD-ineligible}}, which could be added by someone else. But if there is no license at all, it should be marked with {{npd}}, and deleted after giving the uploader a week to fix it. (Unless it is obviously not eligible for copyright, or the copyright is obviously expired due to the information provided in the upload). Obviously some fall through the cracks, but that is the intended process. 3) The licensee is *everyone*. Every person on earth, and legal persons too, including the Wikimedia Foundation. Admins are the Foundation's agents I guess, who enforce policy, but every individual user is licensed to use uploaded works as well. That is kind of the entire point. Since *everyone* is a licensee, *anyone* can re-add licenses they are entitled to use it under, and the page history serves as evidence of that. 4) The image page is the documentation; that is how we keep a record. Every change will be there in the page history, with a date stamp, so we can show what the old licenses were (and, still are). Obviously we need to see the license come from the original uploader, if they are the copyright owner -- other people cannot just add other licenses. But restoring deleted licenses to the image page *should* be done, actually, because that is Commons' documentation. Third parties may be relying on that too. And yes, using images without following the terms is (distressingly) common. Overloading the term "free" was probably not the best idea. But given blogs and other online stuff, people also violate copyright on an immense amount of unambiguously copyrighted material as well these days. There have been people which have sued on inappropriate use of "free" images though, and won. In the U.S., there aren't many teeth unless you register the work though (otherwise you have to prove actual monetary damages, which is difficult to do in these cases.) However, by removing the license you are really hurting the people who actually try, and document the source, making it seem even less worthwhile to try in the first place. We need to show (and adhere to) the "right" way to re-use such media ourselves if we want to attempt to educate others. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:59, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
1) You haven't really addressed the issue here (IMO). Just because a person can make a derivative work does not have any real bearing on the character of commons and the extent to which it may be considered a user of the content. You're right that a person may make a derivative work and upload it to commons - but that just makes the uploader a user of the original work, not commons. I'm not 100% sure what you mean by other sites "linking" to the images here (do you mean a hard-coded image source link?). But again I'd suggest this isn't an issue concerning whether it is permissible to relicense - rather it's an issue of reuse convenience. 2) Well the servers do accept the files indiscriminately and therefore you can't claim that "commons" has "accepted" the terms of the license and become a licensee. Sure human intervention will eventually delete those files which do not comply with commons guidelines, but that does not appear to support the view that commons is a user. It would simply be an "abuse" of the commons resource. To return to the flickr analogy, it would be like flickr deleting a copyrighted image uploaded by someone without authority or an image which otherwise violates their guidelines. The important thing is, there appears to be no point in time in which commons could be said to decide to use an uploaded image/accept the terms of the license, and become a licensee. 2.1) Fixed the test upload - although I'll probably delete it soon since it was merely an illustration to facilitate this discussion. That said, I did notice something disturbing - the migration bot tagged this image as eligible for relicense when in fact it is not: it was not incorporated prior to Nov 1 2008 and the 1 August deadline has passed. How many other images have been inappropriately tagged as such?! 3) That is entirely incorrect. Until a person decides to use the image according to its license terms they can not be a licensee. What you are saying is that people who haven't even heard of the images are licensees which is absurd. It would also be suggesting that I'm a licensee of my own image! (and all other contributors are self-licensees)... According to the definition on wikipedia, a legal person is "a group of natural persons acting as if they were a single composite individual". So here the difficulty is what "commons" is as a "composite individual". I think one of the biggest issues with the "composite" individual of commons is that you'd probably require it as a whole to make a decision (eg the board of directors in a company must meet to make decisions - they are the composite individual AFAIK). 4) The image page is a (as opposed to "the") documentation. There's nothing stopping the reuser from using a date-stamp themselves. It's entirely analogous to what happens when a flickr user decides to relicense. Secondly, your point in "restoring" deleted licenses is dependent on the results of 3) - and, just to clarify, could you link to the documentation dealing with "restoring" deleted licenses? Finally, true copyright is infringed on a grand scale in the digital era, but that doesn't validate the naive snowball argument --Fir0002 www 11:47, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I wonder who's going to be game enough to revert this? :) lol --Fir0002 www 23:29, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
This change was actually made after Fir0002 relicensed his files. My intention was to prevent this type of action in the future by making it explicitly against our policies. It seems that (last time I checked) the consensus is that this change/clarification to the policy isn't retro-active, however. Of course the issue is now moot, since the August 1 deadline has passed, so I don't really see the point of discussing it further. Kaldari (talk) 23:00, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Just to clarify, it is not really the opt-out part and relicensing to CC-BY-SA I am questionening. Opt-out is done with {{GFDL|migration=opt-out}}, which is quite different to {{GFDL-1.2}}. However by going from GFDL ver. 1.2 or later to GFDL-1.2 you are also revoking an already existing ver. 1.3 of the license. Besides the new relicensing clause 11 in ver. 1.3 (which is now no longer relevant because we have passed August 1) there are other changes such as a more details on how license violations can be reinstated following compliance to the license, definition of the "publisher" role and a mentioning of a "proxy" role. More importantly, chaning from GFDL 1.2 or later to GFDL 1.2 only will also excluding the planned major GFDL ver. 2.0 update, which will apparently be a more thorough update of the GFDL license. The purpose of new revisions of the license is to quote from clause 10 in GFDL ver. 1.2 "Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns." So basically, going from GFDL 1.2 or later to GFDL 1.2 only is a matter of keeping an up-to-date license addressing new problems and concerns or keeping it in a freezed state which does not address new problems and concerns. IMO that is a pretty important distinction. --Slaunger (talk) 06:50, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
It should also be noted that Fir0002 doesn't particularly care about this wording since he has a unique interpretation of what "licensing" means on Commons. In particular he doesn't believe that uploading files to Commons and giving them a license tags is actually licensing them. He believes, erroneously IMO, that free licenses are a type of contract rather than a copyright declaration. Kaldari (talk) 23:08, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

A supplementary question. In clause 10 of the GFDL ver. 1.2 it is stated:

If the Document specifies that a particular numbered version of this License "or any later version" applies to it, you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that specified version or of any later version that has been published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation.

does the "has been published" (and not "will be published") formulation imply that the {{GFDL}} license we have today, which is a ver. 1.2 or later is equivalent with/could be replaced by those users who wanted to license according to "GFDL ver. 1.2 and ver. 1.3" (since version ver. 1.3 is the latest version which has been published) that it could be replaced by {{GFDL-1.2}} and {{GFDL-1.3}} if done now before ver. 2.0 of the GFDL license is published? I mean, can one get rid of the and later by replacing the license with all explicit versions that has been published until now? --Slaunger (talk) 07:13, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

The concept of users replacing their license with anything is the problem. They can add extra licenses, but simply once licensed it is meaningless to remove/change that license. All Fir0002 has done is publish his images under {{GFDL}} and now under {{GFDL 1.2}} as well. We need to stop playing the game of analyzing licenses as if we're lawyers, there has been far too much wikilawyering already. The intent and spirit of free licenses is clear, and apparently obvious to all but a few. --Tony Wills (talk) 08:37, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Regarding changing licenses, my attitude is:

  1. A person may at any time replace a license on their own uploads with a strictly more liberal license; similarly, they may at any time multilicense a work under new, additional licenses. For example, CC-BY-SA to CC-BY is fine. CC-anything to CC0 is fine. We should have an explicit page about this.
  2. A person may in good faith request to have the license changed on some of their uploads, if they performed the original uploads without sufficient understanding of the terms and requirements of those licenses, or simply selected the wrong thing from the dropdown box. But there's no guarantee this would be granted; it would depend on the circumstances.

Since these requests are rare, they can just go through the Village Pump, the Help Desk, and/or the Administrator's noticeboard. Dcoetzee (talk) 04:18, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Or 3. you can do like I did in [6] and add a license and note it as the preferred license of the author. No one has to follow it, but I would suspect a good number of the people who are going to care about your license at all will.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:32, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a variation on multilicensing, where the author notes a preferred option. Dcoetzee (talk) 04:34, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Side issue - discussion on suitability of GFDL

GFDL is not very suitable for a wiki, and was never appropriate for a multimedia file. At the time, we didn't have an alternative, but now we have. Some contributors who use "GFDL only" do so in the expectation that they might be able to sell rights of their images. This is in contradiction to the spirit of the project, and should not be allowed. Yann (talk) 16:18, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. The discussion we need to be having is "When do we deprecate the GFDL license for media files?" This will make all the other discussions moot. Now that the relicensing deadline has passed, there is no reason for us to continue using GFDL files, as it is not a free license when applied to images. If Fir0002 wants to be able to exercise commercial control over his images, more power to him, but he shouldn't be uploading them to Wikipedia in that case. We've tolerated this license double-speak for long enough, IMO. Kaldari (talk) 18:28, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
We must keep it, so that we can import images licensed under GFDL from other sources. However self-GFDL must be strongly discouraged. Sv1xv (talk) 19:03, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Where did you see images licensed under GFDL outside of Commons? Also this is a bit hypocritical... Yann (talk) 22:22, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Why exactly is it hypocritical? I never use GFDL for my own images, I always license them under CC-BY-SA or CC-BY. Sv1xv (talk) 06:00, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't talk about your images, but as the project as a whole. If we don't accept our contributors to license their images as GFDL, why do we accept images from elsewhere with this license. That's actually the only argument for still accepting GFDL works. Sorry if I was not clear. Yann (talk) 14:37, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Sometimes there are GPL-licensed images provided with GPL'ed software (say logos), and we typically accept those even though that license is also inappropriate for media. They are still "free", meet our charter, and can be used to illustrate articles -- are you saying we shouldn't allow that? The GFDL still meets the definition of "free", and meets our charter, and there are probably situations where useful images are found elsewhere "naturally" under that license -- should we disallow those? I don't like using the license intentionally for images either, and I'm not sure of the easiest solution short of strongly discouraging it, but barring it completely would mean denying some content which is definitely "free" (unless you are trying to argue that the FSF's own GFDL license, the one Wikipedia used for years, is not "free") and would therefore amount to a change in policy. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:52, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
They're around, but rather rare - they show up most often on other non-WMF wikis that adopted GFDL as their license and did not make the switch. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:50, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

I ... had cause to gather a list of a few recently ... :-)

--GRuban (talk) 14:56, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

    • Well, there are very few, and most of these images can't be imported, because this licensing is not reliable at all. Some are clearly a copyright violation. Yann (talk) 15:26, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Why the GFDL is not a free license for media files

Every time that the GFDL comes up for discussion here I see people repeating the claim that the GFDL is perfectly acceptable because it is a free license. However, just because something is a "free license" does not mean it acts as an effective free license in every situation. If I license an opera under the Berkeley Database License is that free? If I license a painting under the Apache License is that free? In order for something to act as an effective free license it must successfully impart certain freedoms on the work to which it is applied. Chief among these is the freedom to use and redistribute the work without being impeded by legal restrictions or limitations.[7] Critically, the exercise of these freedoms must also be practical:

  • "Whenever the user of a work cannot legally or practically exercise his or her basic freedoms, the work cannot be considered and should not be called 'free.'"[8]
  • "It is important that any work that claims to be free provides, practically and without any risk, the aforementioned freedoms."[9]

As the GFDL license was never intended to be used for individual images, sounds, or videos (or anything besides collaboratively written text), it is not a practical free license for media files. I will detail why in a second. The fact that numerous uploaders have been using the GFDL to maintain control over who can and can't reuse their images is glaring evidence of this. If the GFDL were truly an effective free license for images, why are so many uploaders fighting tooth and nail to avoid relicensing to CC-by-sa?

To most of us, there isn't much difference between GFDL and CC-by-sa, and until the relicensing came along, I don't think anyone realized that so many people were using the GFDL in a way that actually goes against its intended purpose. For most of us, we've just treated the GFDL as another generic copyleft license and ignored provisions of it that didn't make sense when applied to certain media. On the discussion lists, this was sometimes referred to as the "wink-and-nod policy". Those of us who were aware of these problems, however, worked for several years to lobby the FSF to make changes to the license to facilitate its application to other types of media. The proposed changes were all dropped from the GFDL 1.3 draft, however, in favor of the migration clause, with the understanding that all of those issues would be moot once we migrated everything to Creative Commons licensing. That was all well and good, except no one anticipated that some uploaders would oppose the migration so that they could continue using the GFDL as an effectively non-free license. Before I go further, perhaps I should explain the specific reason why the GFDL can be exploited in this way. According to the GFDL license:

Any copy or derivative of a GFDL document is required to include the full text of the GFDL license (5 pages of text, 3800 words) in the document. Simply including a URL to this information is not acceptable (although the practice was generally tolerated, if not endorsed, by Wikipedia). This means if someone wanted to include a GFDL sound on their radio show, they would have to recite over half-an-hour of licensing text to boot (@120wpm). If someone wanted to include a GFDL video in their documentary, they would have to include several minutes of scrolling text. How someone would include this information within an image, I don't even know. Perhaps they could just place the text next to or beneath the image, but obviously there are few situations in which this would be practical by any method.

Uploaders who do not want their images commercially reused have used this provision to force reusers to either remove or commercially relicense the images. This practice is widespread and openly discussed amongst certain Wikipedia photographers. These same photographers have campaigned for Wikipedia to accept non-commercial licenses as well, despite the fact that they do not meet the definition of a free license,[10] nor would they be in line with Wikipedia's goals and values. Just as Wikipedia deprecated the use of non-commercial licenses many years ago, we should also deprecate the application of free licenses to media for which they were not intended. In my view, that means deprecating the GFDL on Commons. Kaldari (talk) 20:43, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Disagree. We're first and foremost in the business of making a free encyclopedia, and being a free independent pieces of media repository is secondary to that. The encyclopedia can certainly include a 3 page document, and does. The fact that some parts of that encyclopedia are difficult -- but not impossible -- to cut out and use independently without that document is a shame, but not blocking. Compare to the "de minimis" rule, which allows us to call a photo of someone who happens to wear a T-Shirt with a brand logo a free photo. We can't cut out the part of the photo that just shows the logo from the T-Shirt and redistribute it as a free photo either. --GRuban (talk) 21:30, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
We are on Commons and our primary goal _IS_ being a free media library of educational stuff and _NOT_ building up an encyclopedia. Your argument should go on Wikipedia and might be a reason to allow GFDL uploads there, but not here. Your comparison with the de minimis rule is invalid: DM allows us to take pictures of objects that just happen to include a copyrighted object and where the copyrighted part is not the main focus of the image. This means that the character of the image does not change when the copyrighted part is removed. This is not the case with our media files. Most of them are important to the process of understanding the depicted stuff. Fully agree with Kaldari. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 21:43, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
And even on Wikipedia he'd probably not be met with much agreement either, in light of the recent license switch to CC. --Dschwen (talk) 21:56, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Kaldari's argument is thoughtful and I'm swayed. I thought the acceptance of GFDL media would be important for uploading existing GFDL media from third-party sites, but not only is there very little such media, but the existence of such an option can be exploited by those attempting to control commercial reuse of their works. Even if we make an express prohibition about the uploader uploading their own work under GFDL, it's not hard to publish your stuff elsewhere and get someone else (or a sockpuppet) to upload it, and these people seem determined enough to attempt such shenanigans.
I suggest that we retain all existing GFDL media, but expressly forbid any GFDL uploads in the future. Of the extremely limited set of useful GFDL images out there, most of them we can surely get re-released under CC-BY-SA just by talking to the author. Keep in mind, most of these authors see GFDL and CC-BY-SA as basically the same thing, so they're unlikely to disagree unless control is their goal.
I'm reminded of the original BSD license, a license that contained terms that seemed reasonable but proved to be utterly impractical. Following fierce opposition by the FSF and others, the license was modified, and the old license retired into obscurity. The same should occur for GFDL licensing of media. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:05, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Dcoetzee here: we retain all existing GFDL media, but expressly forbid any GFDL uploads in the future. Yann (talk) 23:30, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
I tend to agree as well, though I'd say we should probably include an exception for derivatives of existing GFDL-only files on Commons, on the basis that it makes little sense for a repository of free media to retain certain files but not to accept derivatives of them. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 23:44, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like we have an actionable idea. Anyone want to put it to the community for wider discussion? Kaldari (talk) 00:20, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
You pretty much already have - we are a small community - but something big like this should also hit the Village Pump, with links posted on the Administrator's Noticeboard and Commons talk:Upload. I suggest a straw poll, and I suggest you write it yourself. We will also want to notify the other Wikipedias, so that they can independently decide whether they will also reject GFDL media or whether they'll allow local uploads of GFDL media (I'm wary of how such a discussion may go on En but I'd be happy to launch it there anyway). Regarding an exception for derivatives of existing GFDL-only files, I agree - we need that for image cleanup, and any attempt to exploit such a provision in bad faith can be dealt with as it arises. I also think we should continue to talk to authors about getting our existing GFDL content multilicensed. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:29, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

This won't work. What about the GPL and LGPL? We currently accept these too. I've never seen a user actually use these themselves but they would if the GFDL wasn't an option. I really would hate to see these stop being allowed. This means practically every image file (e.g. GNOME/KDE icons) and screenshot of open source software (including MediaWiki) wouldn't be allowed. Rocket000 (talk) 00:03, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

The solution is to persuade our OSS friends to multilicense these UI elements under CC-BY-SA. This doesn't seem so farfetched to me. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:49, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Maybe for icons and stuff (original Tango went PD because of so many licensing issues), but don't count on getting much else out from the iron death grip GPL. And why would they want to? Most people that write GPL software are doing it to support free software, not any use. They want a very strong copyleft restriction for a reason. That's what's important to them—keeping things free. The new wave CC people are like the old BSD crowd and just want to see their name everywhere. There's a big philosophical difference between the two. For media files, it's less of an issue, but things that are actually part of software aren't likely to ever be relicensed just because a couple people on a media website said it's not free enough. I mean, start with MediaWiki and try and persuade them. :) Rocket000 (talk) 08:36, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Hrm, I dunno. Obviously they shouldn't release code under CC-BY-SA, but bitmaps stored independently from the code may be another matter. On the other hand, their layout may be determined dynamically, and layout contributes to screenshot copyright, so I dunno. If all else fails, could we just have a rule that "the GPL license can only be used for screenshots of software?" I would hope any abuse of such a rule (e.g. uploading screenshots of your photos being viewed in a photo viewer application) would be patently obvious. Dcoetzee (talk) 11:46, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Why is this different than how we treat screenshots of copyrighted software? If they don't want to release their graphics under something other than the GPL, we should only allow them as fair use, i.e. not on Commons. Free culture and free software have different goals. We needn't bend over backwards just so we can get some screenshots. Kaldari (talk) 19:56, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
The issue as I see it is that the content of screenshots of software is in part determined by code dynamically at runtime, and just as media should not be released under a license intended for code, code should not be released under a license intended for media. This is a special case. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:12, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Agree that we should also disallow GPL files. If local projects think those are free enough, they can upload them locally either under GPL or under Fair use. Let's face it, the GPL imposes basically the same restrictions on re-use as the GFDL does. There's really no reason why we would accept one of them, but not the other one. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 22:34, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh, it's worse than the GFDL for media files. I was just pointing out they would have to go too. And some other software licenses as well. This would be a bigger change than what I think some people are thinking. We are basically creating a new definition of "free". The arguments above notwithstanding, it will be very different than what people currently regard as "free" and we would be on our own with no one telling us what licenses are free for us and which licenses are free to the rest of the world. Like it or not, the GFDL was what Wikimedia was built on. Rocket000 (talk) 02:44, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
I think we should not create an entirely new definition from scratch. We could use the definition and match our licenses against it. We should basically just deprecate licenses when we find out they are not really compatible with our mission, even if they are free by the freedomdefined definition. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 12:47, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

GFDL is not a bad license in itself, it is fine for ebooks, f.e., but not for images, sounds, and videos. GPL is fine for software. At each type of media, there is a most appropriate license, with the same objective: that the author is attributed and the media stays free. So our mission is best fulfilled if we use the best license instead of an inappropriate one. Yann (talk) 21:01, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

FULL ACK. The problems only arise when we use derived works, like GPL screenshots. But I'm afraid we cannot do anything about that right now; maybe the WMF can once again petition the FSF to allow screenshots of GPL tools to be used under a different free media license. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 23:23, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree. GFDL is a terrible license for media. And enwiki has a proposal to disallow GFDL for media uploads now too. Stifle (talk) 16:02, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree with what seems to be the general agreement: ban the GPL and GFDL on media files, except for (a) already-uploaded files under those licenses, (b) their derivatives, and (c) screenshots of GPL software (because maybe one day someone will figure out what the legal status of GPL screenshots actually is). Rspeer (talk) 20:53, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

File:British Railways 1956 logotype.jpg

What is the copyright status of this image? Is it, perhaps, under expired Crown Copyright? I have a similar image of my own ([11]) but I am not sure if I should upload it here. Sv1xv (talk) 12:06, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

That would be the *only* way that image could be uploaded here. Seems reasonable, but I have no idea if British Railways was able to hold their own (non-government) copyrights at all. On the other hand it is a defunct (governmental) entity so I have no idea who would even hold such copyrights now... probably the government I guess. If the logo is PD-UKGov, there may be a UK copyright on the photograph itself still, so it may be licensed correctly. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:08, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
It would appear the logo is indeed PD-UKGov and the photograph attracts its own copyright in the UK. Stifle (talk) 09:36, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
OK then, I uploaded a similar image of mine as File:British Railways 1956 logotype.png. Sv1xv (talk) 15:05, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Radio Antenna Engineering

In 1952 McGraw-Hill published the book "Radio Antenna Engineering" by Edmund A. Laport of RCA with a standard copyright notice. It seems that they did not renew the copyright, as was required back then in the USA and it expired. In 2005 someone named David C. Platt discovered this and decided to scann the whole book and upload it in PDF format at . However he added a new copyright notice of his own "Electronic Edition Copyright © 2005 by David C Platt, permission granted for non-commercial copying and distribution". He insists that: "The electronic version I have created is a "derived work" of the original printed version - it's a translation of the work into a new format, with significant editorial effort involved in its creation. As such, it qualifies for its own independent copyright protection under United States law, and I am choosing to copyright it in order to control the terms of its use and distribution." Is the 2005 copyright notice valid? I believe not, but I would like to confirm it. There are some interesting images in the book and I would like to extract them and upload them here. Sv1xv (talk) 18:59, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

It certainly seems bogus. First of all, under U.S. law, how much effort he put into converting the book to PDF doesn't matter. The only thing that counts is how much creativity was involved on his part. And since he just scanned the pages and added a few bookmarks for the chapters, I don't think he can claim copyright over anything (even if he had copied the text by hand, it wouldn't make a difference; no originality, no copyright). –Tryphon 22:15, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I think his claims are pretty unlikely -- it certainly is not a "transformed" work. There is an outside chance he could claim copyright on the exact PDF, with some choices involved (such as bookmarks). There have been companies which claim copyright on their versions of court decision compilations, even though the source text is PD. I probably would not upload his PDF directly, but individual page scans are most likely OK. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:45, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Duplicates of Commons images published as fair use on the web

Please consider File:Nova1.gif, File:Nova2.gif, File:Nova3.gif, File:Nova4.gif. The uploader states that (s)he is the copyrigcht holder of the images and releases them into the public domain, but the same images of a higher resolution can be found here[12] published as fair use[13]. Shouldn't these images be deleted, or at least be properly licensed?Nasko (talk) 20:30, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

The Commons images (uploaded on 5 May 2006) are derivatives of the website's images (which were up as early as 15 April 2005), not the other way around. I tagged the Commons versions as copyvios. Jappalang (talk) 02:31, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Flickr and local image with different licensing

File:American Eagle NHL.jpg, a Flickr image, is tagged with {{cc-by-sa-2.0}}, but there's also a tag saying that the Flickr image had cc-by-2.0 at the time of upload and has never had the sa- license. I checked the Flickr page just now, and it still has the cc-by-2.0. Is there any good reason that we can't simply change the license tag here to cc-by-2.0? Nyttend (talk) 01:23, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Nope, no reason. We could change it even if it was cc-by-sa to begin with on Flickr. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:28, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I would change it to {{cc-by-2.0}} (having just looked at the image), Could be a possible bug with the bot if it was CC-BY-2.0. Bidgee (talk) 03:36, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
It wasn't uploaded by a bot -- most likely the uploader just made a mistake. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:08, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I see, the uploader used cc-by-sa-2.0[14]. I thought they used the bot or the bot reviewing got it wrong (I didn't look into it as I had limited battery power in the laptop) but I was incorrect. Well at least it's all fix. :) Bidgee (talk) 05:22, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
What? Change from cc-by-sa to cc-by even if cc-by-sa were the original license? Why would that be possible? The other way around, like what has been done (by misstake) is probably not problematic (as you in that case can share non-alike). --LPfi (talk) 07:17, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I think he meant that if the license on Flickr was -by-sa, the file was tagged -by-sa but the bot reported -by we could use it as -by: We know that cc-by was valid.--Nilfanion (talk) 11:13, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
No, this is only in the case that cc-by was the original license. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:18, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

FlickreviewR has been modified to handle this case differently. If the license tag is different to what the Flickr page is when the bot reviews, it now changes the license to match Flickr like this. All the previously tagged files aren't affected by that alteration, but I'm planning to do a quick bot run to make the issue go away.--Nilfanion (talk) 11:13, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Don't change files which were previously tagged with the correct license, at least if the change is more restrictive (i.e. cc-by to cc-by-sa). Also be careful of User:FlickrLickr uploads (original license would have been correct, though if now less restrictive that would be good to change), and similarly old uploads which could be checked against User:Para's log records, which may also have record of cc-by. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:18, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Actually looking at the passed-changed situation, it looks like it will be hard to fix by bot - meaning it will take time and probably involve human intervention. A significant proportion of older uploads were tagged with -1.0, -2.5, -3.0, -all or GFDL as opposed to the correct -2.0. Some have had the license changed, but have the review tag unaltered - so it makes no sense. I will change cc-by to cc-by-sa if we have no solid evidence of cc-by (so not Flickrlickr, Para verified or re-reviewed), as its better to have a license we are confident about, even if its more restrictive.--Nilfanion (talk) 22:37, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Ubisoft agreement

Hello, I would like some input about {{Attribution-Ubisoft}} for three questions. In case you are not familiar with this agreement, it states that « Ubisoft allows the users to publish screenshots of all their games under a free license. They allow redistribution, derivative works and commercial use. They still hold the copyright. Attribution must go to "Ubisoft" ».

  • Does this statement also cover games where Ubisoft have not acted neither as developer nor inital publisher, but merely as publisher in Europe or North America ? For example, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, of which we now have a bunch of screenshots in Category:Star Ocean, has been developped in Japan by tri-Ace, published by Enix, and published in Europe by Ubisoft.
  • In Commons:Deletion requests/File:Ubisoft logo.png, Belgrano asks « when applied to videogames, does the term "screenshot" refer to screenshots taken during gameplay, or to any screenshots taken anytime during the software execution? ». Any ideas on this general question ?
    Specific question : can we have some input on whether logos (of companies and games) can be uploaded here using this agreement ; I asked so in this page some months ago, but without answer.
  • Some input on Commons:Deletion requests/File:Assassin's Creed - Leap of Faith.ogg would also be appreciated.

Thanks, Jean-Fred (talk) 19:32, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Er, someone ? Jean-Fred (talk) 15:54, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Cette permission ne couvre en effet que les jeux dont Ubisoft est titulaire des droits d'auteur sur le graphisme. Il convient de vérifier au cas par cas si Ubisoft est donc bien l'ayant droit.
  • Sans plus de précision, le terme screenshot peut être pris dans le sens général "du programme". --Dereckson (talk) 21:06, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Hello, I nominated these screenshots for deletion: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Star Ocean 3 - Character select.jpg. Yann (talk) 11:12, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

CC by 3.0 from PD

File:Mac-O-Chee–Mac-A-Cheek montage.jpg is a montage of two images that I created and released as PD-self. Yarnalgo (talk · contribs) created the montage and tagged it with {{cc-by-3.0}}. By the terms of this license, would the reuser be required to credit me, or just Yarnalgo? Nyttend (talk) 17:44, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

All authors must be credited. However, putting two pictures next to another involves no creativity, does not constitute authorship, and confers no copyright, so there is no basis for the CC-by license or the requirement to attribute anyone but you. Put plainly, File:Mac-O-Chee–Mac-A-Cheek montage.jpg is {{PD-self}} and you are its sole author. Nice photos by the way. Makes me miss Ohio already. LX (talk, contribs) 18:40, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
I disagree: PD-self means that the creator renounces all rights, including attribution and any demands regarding future licenses. It is legal for Yarnalgo to take the images, put them together, claim to be the author and determine a license. If you do wish to retain any kind of control over "your" images, do not release them to the Public Domain. --h-stt !? 06:00, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
True, with a PD license, the author is not asking to be credited, at least using copyright -- in many countries however it is still required via moral rights (it just would not be a full-scale copyright violation to omit the credit). Also, someone else cannot claim to be the author of PD material, only of additions which are made -- another part of moral rights, or passing-off laws. The only claim I could see would be if putting the two together constituted a copyrightable "collective work", which they could license -- but someone could take just one of the photos, and would not have to credit the collective work, but rather just the original author. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:33, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Strictly speaking, you cannot claim a copyright on public domain images. A degree of alteration is required (as Clindberg states) before the image can be considered an original deviation from the work, and even then the law is grey because copyrighted works based on PD images can only copyright the deviation, not the original work. On wiki the policy appears to be stricktly no copyright status on deviations of PD work.--Amadscientist (talk) 20:33, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

We probably shouldn't forget the difference between copyright law and wiki policy for uploading images. Proper sourcing and attribution is required of all deviations for clarity and honesty. Failing to provide source information on an image gained from within wiki is a problem. All member works regardless of PD should be attributed because the while uploading, the field is there and needs to be filled out, not ignored. If the information is available and the author knows it, it should be provided.--Amadscientist (talk) 20:37, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

....and those really are nice images.--Amadscientist (talk) 20:40, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Amadscientist's answer is correct. You cannot claim any copyrights on non-creative derivatives of public domain works. That would be considered copyfraud. The correct template to use in this case would be {{PD-author}}, not {{PD-self}} (or CC templates). Kaldari (talk) 21:18, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Right. My first comment was a bit rushed. When I said all authors must be credited, that's from a CC license perspective and Commons' source verifiability perspective. If you're only concerned with US law, it is possible to relinquish all rights, including attribution. Having applied {{PD-self}} to a work, one ceases to be the copyright holder, but one is still the author. A question implied in the above may be what to use instead of {{PD-self}} if you wish to be attributed, and the closest thing there I guess would be {{self|attribution}} or {{self|cc-by-3.0}}. LX (talk, contribs) 07:51, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
To clarify my position — I'm not trying to require users to credit me. I'd like it of course, but my reason for asking this question is to see if reusers are required to credit me even though I don't want them so to be required. I use PD-self because I'm quite fine with someone using the image without credit. Nyttend (talk) 01:47, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
In the U.S., probably not. In many other countries (and the Berne Convention), there are explicit moral rights (which almost always cannot be waived by the author) which say the author must be credited. The penalties are much less than a full-blown copyright violation, but they are sometimes there. Commons would at least require the source of the two PD images be named, as a matter of its policy, so the author at least could probably be determined indirectly -- and I would think we would encourage uploaders to credit authors whenever possible. Carl Lindberg (talk)

By law PD means no attribution is required. However, on wikimedia if you are using anyone else's work, when uploading you do need to show what the work originally was. The upload ask if there are other versions. This has nothing to do with license, it's a commons requirement only in that the field should be answered honestly about where the image originates from. If it is a commons upload, it is a courtesy to mention the original member, but not asked in the field. In other words even if you are creating a PD image from a PD image, if it is a derivative work, you need to show the source of the work whether on commons or elsewhere, as; Source= Original image here [link] by commons member JohnSmith. Again it is not a requirement to attribute the author of the PD image, but to acknowledge the original member and the original work it was derived from. You should realyy link the original PD image and attribute the original author anyway even if not from Commons as CYA.--Amadscientist (talk) 04:16, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Osirak pictures

Can someone tell if File:Osirak nuclear reactor before operation opera.jpg and File:Plan of Osirak.jpg are OK? Apdency (talk) 19:18, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

You'll need to find someone who reads Arabic it looks like. Kaldari (talk) 22:21, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I thinks it's written in Persian. Apdency (talk) 19:25, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, the source site,, does carry a notice saying that all its contents are GFDL. (The {{cc-by-sa-3.0}} tag is still wrong, though — it should be {{GFDL|migration=not-eligible}}.) However, it doesn't seem very likely to me that either of those images would be original to the site. I've sent them both to COM:DR, let's see if any more information turns up. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 13:23, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Audio Upload ?

I have an old recording from 1940 of a man talking about his experience in pre-war Germany. I'm currently creating a Wikipedia page on him and would like to post this audio (about 24 seconds long) on Wikimedia. The recording was aired on the BBC and is still posted on their web-site.

My questions are: #1. Is this the appropriate place to upload audio? The commons? The upload page seems to be geared toward images only. #2. Am I correct in thinking that the BBC owns the copyright to the audio recording even though I have permission from the family of the man speaking, and I have the original recording - I'm going to have to obtain some sort of license from BBC in order to use it?

Any general guidance in this area would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Etrangere (talk) 00:14, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Audio files are quite accepted, in certain formats -- see Commons:File types#Sound. You will likely have to convert it from the format you have it in now. Presuming they made it, the BBC would indeed have owned the copyright of the sound recording. However, the UK copyrights on sound recordings expire 50 years after being made and/or made available to the public, I'm pretty sure, so it sounds like those would have expired in 1991. More info on UK recording copyrights here. From the sounds of it, it should be OK to upload. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:45, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
Note that a New York court has ruled that at least in New York, British audio recordings in the PD in the UK are not necessarily in the PD in New York (and possibly other states), even if the URAA didn't restore copyright. Given Wikisource's frequent apathy towards URAA restorations of books now out of copyright in the home country, it may not be worth stressing about, but it's something to be aware of.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:18, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the copyright situation on sound recordings is ridiculously complicated in the U.S. In all likelihood though, there was no URAA restoration on this one (made/published in 1940; copyright expired prior to URAA dates). There still may be common law protection in U.S. states, but the nature of this would be entirely different than the one litigated in that court case, at least. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:53, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Migration is not over yet (?)

Looking at some of the comments above it seems that some think the migration project is over. I think not. There is stil more than 35,000 images in Category:License migration candidates. I see nothing in Commons:License Migration Task Force/Migration that states, that migration must take place before a specific date.

So all images uploaded on Commons before August 1, 2009 can still be migrated if they meet the conditions. Images uploaded on Commons after that date can be migrated if they were uploaded on an other Wikimedis project before August 1, 2009 and meet the conditions.

It has been decided that users can opt-out. As I see it users must have done so before August 1, 2009. If they have not they can't opt-out now.

As for the change from GFDL 1.3 or 1.2 + later to 1.2 only we are (might be?) allowed to revert this and migrate the file. And if user has not allready opt'ed out user can't prevent this. --MGA73 (talk) 17:14, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

You're right. Are there actually still bots at work tagging the images uploaded before 1 November 2008 or are we already done with those? Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 18:39, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
My bot is. All easy ones have been done and it is getting harder to fix with a bot. Right now:
  • 6,600 are older than November 1, 2008
  • 14,400 are newer than November 1, 2008 but older than August 1, 2009
  • 4,600 are newer than August 1, 2009
  • 28.600 is the total number in Category:License migration candidates
So still a lot of work to do. --MGA73 (talk) 17:08, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Now there is 8,000 less. Would be nice if someone would take a look at Category:License migration needs review. --MGA73 (talk) 12:59, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Is there a plan when this project will stop? Right now there is 8,298 in the candidates + 72 that needs a review. But there keeps coming new images and if they come from a wikimedia project they might be eligible for migration. We could keep this project open for 10 years and there could still come old files from a wiki-project.

It is getting harder and harder to evaluate the status by a bot so we need some human assistance if we want to end this project. We could also decide just to skip the rest if we want this project to stop. --MGA73 (talk) 15:32, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Where are the new files coming from? If CommonsHelper is still generating broken/bogus templates for migrated files from other projects, then we'll either need to lean on Magnus to fix it or someone needs to write a replacement. In general, it looks to me like we're probably at the stage in the migration project where we've done about as much as we can with the bots, and the rest need to be sorted by hand, which means we'll need to start to actively recruit reviewers: perhaps a watchlist notice might do the trick? But obviously that won't help much if we keep getting unchecked GFDL files from somewhere faster than they can be checked, so that needs to be dealt with first. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 18:00, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

I've written a small user script to make migrating files easier: User:Ilmari Karonen/licensemigration.js. To use it, add the following line to your monobook.js page (or vector.js if using the new Vector skin, or the corresponding page for other skins):

    importScript('User:Ilmari Karonen/licensemigration.js');

and clear your cache. Once you've done that, a set of five links should appear below the "You can help" line on file pages containing {{license migration announcement}}; clicking one of the links will automatically edit the page to set the license migration status accordingly. In the current version, you'll need to click "save" to confirm the edit — once it's been tested a little more, I'll change it to save the page automatically (and probably turn it into a gadget). Consider this an alpha release: if you find any bugs, let me know. One known issue is that it won't handle any oddly named license tags: all it recognizes is {{Self}} and anything beginning with "{{GFDL". —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 22:37, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Nice!!! That would be a good help.
It would also be nice to stop new files. One exaple of files with "junk" is File:Cuyamaca College Building B.jpg. Second, if people use the communist tool they should update their license thingi to either 3.0 or to include "|migration=not-eligible".
Multichil and I still try to get bots to handle files so the best would be if humans start with category:License migration needs review - when it is empty they are welcome to help fixing Category:License migration candidates. --MGA73 (talk) 14:10, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
I have the links but I have problems using it. I tryed File:110 Sherman St. in Hartford, Connecticut, 2009-09-02.jpg and others (both Self2 and GFDL). --MGA73 (talk) 21:22, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
I made some changes to the script; if you still have problems (and clearing your cache doesn't fix them) please let me know. Also note that I've changed the script to save the page automatically, as it seems reasonably reliable to me now. Still, I haven't done that much testing with it, and I'm sure there must still be some strange perversions of wikimarkup out there that it will react oddly to. If the result doesn't look like what you expected, check what it did and fix things manually if necessary. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 00:17, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Seems that IE works fine but with Firefox I get a "Licensemigration.js MD5 mismatch!". --MGA73 (talk) 20:20, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Thats due to Ilmari have made the classic mistake of ignoring temporal displacement, in that generally you can't use a script in the same context where the importScript for said script was used. AzaToth 22:15, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Steinbeck image

File:John Steinbeck 1962.jpg is a recent upload with an odd license that doesn't seem to make full since to me. Is this truely considered Public Domain? A good shot of the author is sorely needed but not at the expense of copyright. If this can be varidied it would be of great help as Wikipedia has strict rules about images on GA and FA articles. Thanks, Mark.--Amadscientist (talk) 20:26, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Looks like a pretty bogus PD claim to me. I assume they are arguing that (1) The image was created in Sweden. (This seems unlikely.) (2) It is a photographic "image" rather than a photographic "work". (Although this concept is difficult to translate into English, I would consider this a "work" as the lighting expresses a good deal of artistic creativity.) Kaldari (talk) 21:13, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
The image was published in "Les Prix Nobel" (Stockholm, 1963) and very probably made in Sweden in December 1962 when Steinbeck collected his prize. This is just a normal portrait photo, there is no name of an artist, it is not an artistic work. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 21:33, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
What evidence do we have of it's publication? The webpage says "This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel." It doesn't mention anything about the image. And even if it was published in Les Prix Nobel, how do we know that that was the first publication of the image, i.e. that it was taken for the book? (Also, I think the assertion that it is not an artistic work is debatable, but I think there are enough holes in the claim that we don't need to open that can of worms.) Kaldari (talk) 22:17, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Consult the library and check - the books have high quality prints of photos, made for the occasion. But you can also compare with File:Pearl Buck (Nobel).jpg which was published with her Nobel lecture. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 22:37, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. I'll let others hash out whether or not it is an "artistic work". Kaldari (talk) 23:34, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Can someone explain around the copyright notification at the pages linked as the source to both the Steinbeck and Buck images. What is the basis to claim Public Domain on images that clearly have a copyright tag placed by the Publisher? --Amadscientist (talk) 19:10, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Copyrights expire sooner or later. Sv1xv (talk) 19:49, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes....they do, but shouldn't we actually wait until that time to before reproducing images that are still subject to copyright law?

The source states this;

From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969

This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above. John Steinbeck died on December 20, 1968.

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1962

Since 1901 the Nobel Foundation has annually published a series of yearbooks, Les Prix Nobel, containing reports from the Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo, as well as the biographies and Nobel Lectures of the Nobel Laureates. Up to 1988, the texts were published in the language in which they were presented. Since then the material in Les Prix Nobel has been mostly in English.

Les Prix Nobel is published in October the year after the award is made.

The Nobel Foundation has the copyright to all the materials in Les Prix Nobel.


PhD Karl Grandin

Acting Director of the Center for History of Science

at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Box 50005, SE-104 05 Stockholm, Sweden

Fax: +46 8 673 95 98


It appears the source gives full contact information for clarification. --Amadscientist (talk) 22:25, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

The text is still copyrighted, but the copyright protection of the photos expired before 1994. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 23:09, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

No.....Swedish copyright law[15] allows 17 years from the Death of the last Author for literary and artistic works, this does not mean photo images. The boiler template specifically states about photographs;

For photographic works (fotografiska verk), the image is public domain:

a) if the photographer died before January 1, 1944, or

b) if the photographer is not known, and can not be traced, and the image was created before January 1, 1944.

This is an invalid license. The authors are all easily traced. The image was created after the cut off date given in the license and all one has to do is contact the Nobel Foundation and ask who the photographer was from source information provided during upload.--Amadscientist (talk) 03:48, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

And what would make you think this is a photographic work? You didn't quote enough of the license template. That is really the crux of the matter from above. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:29, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that would be
For photographic pictures (fotografiska bilder), such as images of the press, the image is public domain if created before January 1, 1969 (transitional regulations 1994).
But again no photographer has even been located when this image was uploaded. Also it apears to me to be a Portrait. Closely photographed and provided by the Nobel foundation, not UPI or any other press agency that may have been present. The image is found on the internet in only about two places. Myspace and at the Nobel Foundation....but the image on commons is not the dimensions of the Nobel site[16] (172x237). also has the wrong source information. The image did not come from the source given but from Myspace which has these dimensions 140x198.[17]
I don't see this as having the proper sourcing, attribution, or information to qualify for this license.--Amadscientist (talk) 04:50, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
Taken by a press agency or not is irrelevant. If it is a "photographic picture" rather than a "photographic work", then given the date when it was made most of the other stuff is not relevant either (i.e. no need to find the photographer). And anyways, the sourcing is completely accurate -- the resolution here is exactly the same as the nobel site, like it says. 162x227. (Older versions of the nobel site had a 140x198 thumbnail, but this was clearly taken from the current version.) The only issue is whether it is a "picture" or "work", and not being from Sweden I really have no clue. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:16, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, being from Sweden probably wouldn't help you much with that. I don't think anybody really knows the difference, and looking at some of the photos uploaded here under the claim that they do not constitute a photographic work, you really have to wonder about some people whether there exist any photographs which they would regard as photographic works. This one is a good example: it appears to be a carefully planned, lit and posed studio photograph. We're hardly talking about a snapshot capture here. LX (talk, contribs) 08:15, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
Between artistic photos created for exhibitions and artistic albums and casual snapshots there is a wide gray area. Each person (including judges ruling on copyright cases) can classify a photo as "picture" or "work" according to his personal cultural and political views. Sv1xv (talk) 08:32, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

That is not actually true. A "Work" is designated by the intent, the professional level and the experience. The grey area you are referring to is in cases where media based photographers have claimed artistic work from a photo journalism standpoint. However professional studio photography that require lighting and other arrangements is purely artistic especially if used for promotional work or advertising.

That is not actually true Before making strong statements like this, basically calling me a liar, you must be able to provide at least some evidence from past cases. Sv1xv (talk) 10:24, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Anyway it's basically irrelevant it seems, since the Swedish government still requires 50 years from the photographer's death for even "Photographic pictures". Normal copyright plus 70 years from photographers death for artistic work. But it does clearly state that basic copyright for anonymous works is 70 years from publication. A brief overview of the Swedish Copyright System from the Ministry of Justice. Stockholm, January 2006 - ISBN 91-38-315572 (See section five and then page 19).--Amadscientist (talk) 08:43, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Please, if you want to argue, do so in an informed way. Currently, the term is 50 years for "photographic images" from the time of creation. But before 1994 it was 25 years, and the protection was not restored for expired terms, so pre-1969 is free. Of course, this is a quality portrait, but conventional for the period. Photographic works are rare - maybe stuff like this would qualify. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 09:13, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Photographic and artistic work

If you want to become in civil that is your choice, but with what you are's still the wrong license. If it's free then change the license to "PD-copyright has expired". If you make no attempt to contact the publisher who claims copyright and leave it to Wikicommons to deal with than please stick to the discussion and attempt not to accuse others of not having knowledge.

There is a photographer and you failed to even call the Nobel Foundation to ask or contact them in anyway. You are in Sweden and it's not that complicated to trace the Author. If what you say about 1969 does override copyright law...then why isn't it mentioned by the Ministry of Justice in the information from 2006. This isn't an argument. It's protecting the artist's right. You seem to want to just use a professional, artistically created image which is owned by large and well known international foundation. The burden of proof is on you to provide your explanation as to where the information is found to back up your assertion that the 1962 image is free and exactly what your rational is for it. There is absolutely no reason not to provide the information in the discussion. This is wiki after all.--Amadscientist (talk) 19:29, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

It is a Photographic Work. It is an obviously well organized portrait for promotional and professional use, including but not limited to books covers, biographies and official portraits by the Nobel Foundation. It is not recording a moment in time that naturally accord. Artistic direction from the photographer is obvious along with a set composition considered at length. Conventional has no real meaning as it is POV and is not relevant to the artistic quality of the image. It may not be of a beautiful person, but it was planned, executed and produced with the same degree of artistic work required for even a Hollywood production still.

The image maintains it's copyright by Swedish law as the up loader fails several rationals, most notably the lack of interest in locating the photographer and quick and false assumption that the work is anonymous.--Amadscientist (talk) 19:39, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Also it may be important to mention that a "Photographic Work" has also been defined as any photo that was "Contracted for" and "Paid for" by an individual or company. It may not have to even be an artistic work to be considered a "Photographic Work". The Library of Congress makes this legal distinction between what they own of photographers works and what was not the copyright of the photographer due to the commissioning and payment of the work for hire.--Amadscientist (talk) 19:45, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
Override copyright law? The distinction is part of their copyright law. And on this particular matter (simple vs artistic photographs), even with similar language in law, actual practice differs widely -- *very* widely -- between countries. There is no assumption of anonymity here whatsoever -- if it is a simple photograph, the copyright expired in 1988, and has not been restored -- no matter who the photographer was. Those terms are measured from time of creation, not the death of the author. If it is considered artistic, then there is indeed an issue. It's just that whatever sensibilities you may have on the matter -- especially if they are based on U.S. precedent -- are probably completely irrelevant. Germany has such a clause, but I believe recent court decisions basically say that only things like X-rays are "simple", whereas with very similar language in Finland, File:Paavo Nurmi sytyttää olympiatulen 1952.jpg (a very famous photograph) was named as a canonical example of a simple photograph, I'm pretty sure. Without knowledge of actual court cases or similar rulings in Sweden itself -- it is impossible to state anything with any amount of certainty. Lupo tried to gather some information at User:Lupo/Simple Photographs but it is hard to find any definitive examples. The Swedish copyright law document you found implies that *most* photographs are non-artistic, but some are. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to give any guidance either. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:59, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

This is about Swedish Copyright law and an attempt to blur the line between an obviouse artistic, photograph work, commissioned and copyrighted by the Nobel Foundation. Are we assuming th Nobel foundation is making a false claim? The work is uploaded as PD from the country of origin against that countries copyright law.--Amadscientist (talk) 21:13, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

The Nobel foundation writes:"Nobel Web does not object to your reproduction, distribution, display, transmission, performance, and use of the Content if done in accordance with the Swedish Copyright Act (Upphovsrättslagen, SFS 1960:729) or other applicable limitations and exemptions laid forth in the Swedish Copyright Act and related laws." And of course they would not. The neighbouring-rights protection on ordinary photos from 1962 has expired. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 21:29, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

What Neighboring rights have expired and why? The law only gives a fifteen year expiration of catalogues and information products as stated in Article 49 of the Swedish Copyright law as amended April 1, 2009. There is nothing in the law that states that photos are limited except by basic copy right law as covered in sections.


Article 49 a. Anyone who has prepared a photographic picture has an exclusive right to make copies of the picture and to make it available to the public. The right applies regardless of whether the picture is used in its original form or an altered form and regardless of the technique used. As a photographic picture is considered also a picture that has been prepared by a process analogous to photography. The right under the first Paragraph lasts until fifty years have elapsed from the year in which the picture was prepared. The provisions of Article s 2, second - fourth Paragraphs, 3, 7 - 9, 11 and 11 a, 12, first and fourth Paragraphs, 16 – 20 a, and 23, 24, first Paragraph, 25 - 26 b, 26 e, 26 k - 28, 31 - 38, 41, 42, 42 a – 42 f and 50 - 52 shall apply to pictures referred to in this Article. If such a picture is the subject of copyright, also this right may be claimed.

[18]--Amadscientist (talk) 21:40, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

49 a gives a neighbouring-rights protection of 50 years, that is correct. But as I tried to tell you before, that term used to be 25 years. It was extended in 1994. In this English version "provisions on the entry into force of this Act and of subsequent amendments to the Act are not included," but it is clear that expired rights were not revived. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 22:01, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
OK, now for the unrevised expired rights to still apply you would have to use the revised definition. And it no longer seperates between "Photographic Work" and a photographic picture, so some of those old rights have indeed been revised. Have there been revisions in the last 5 months that I don't know about and are not showing up with an internet search?
This seems pretty simple. No distinction between "Work" and "Picture". The photo is indeed still the copyright of the original copyright owner which is either the Nobel Foundation or the Photographer or both. The image is protected for 50 years from the time the photograph was prepared. ( 70 years from the time of authors death if considered an "Artistic work", but see no provisions under 49a for this) There is no clause in regards to a photo expiring in 15 years. The Swedish law actually states that photographers have additional protections not less. The revised law does revise any previous law in regards to photographic works and pictures. Contact information is available to confirm copyright status and retrieve the name of the photographer and confirm Nobel's claim of Copyright. The copyright holder should be given the benefit of the doubt when uploading to commons. The basic reason for public domain claim was "anonymous "photographic Picture" had expired copyright. The claim is simply not accurate, no longer meets Swedish law and has no basis for inclusion on commons.
If the Nobel Foundation gives permission it could be uploaded with an OTRS verification regardless of current or past law. They award a peace mean are they gonna be about it? If so there are only a few years left on the copy right by the revised law. We don't have to have this image today. We can wait for the revised expiration in 2012.--Amadscientist (talk) 22:28, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
I also think it too artistic to be a photographic picture with limited protection. In my opinion, the photo should enjoy full copyright protection according to Swedish law which is 70 years p.m.a. or 70 years after creation if author is truly anonymous. Amadscientist, why don't you open a deletion request? Nillerdk (talk) 08:13, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

I have not begun a deletion request on this particular image because there are so many options open to the original uploader to verify copyright and get permission from the source. It's easier for the original member who made the upload as they are a resident of Sweden. So I am waiting a few days to see if there is any movement in changes by the file's author before I simply contact the Nobel Foundation myself to verify photographer, copyright information and request permission (between the wiki foundation and the Nobel foundation, I feel there is enough common ground that the request, if made respectfully and professionally, stands a good chance of being given). If there is no possibility of permission, at least tracing the photographer and asking about the foundations claim of copyright and how it pertains to the image as the are using it, may help this all out as well. In short....if we can keep the image - great, if not at least the simple things that were needed to be done to verify it were and a complete argument can be made for it's deletion.--Amadscientist (talk) 18:53, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Wait....what am I thinking. This isn't Wikipedia, it's Wikimedia. You can't re-upload this image with an OTRS verification because the Nobel Foundation still requires the Nobel Copyright on this image. This file does have to be deleted here. It can be verified that the Nobel Foundation does claim copyright on this image.

Other Photos (other than the Laureate prize medal)

For uses of photos, other than those of a Nobel Laureate, permission from the Nobel Foundation or Nobel Web AB, and in certain cases, from the photographer, is required.

To apply for a permit for a photo with © The Nobel Foundation, e-mail If permission is granted, "© The Nobel Foundation" must be indicated.

To apply for a permit for a photo with © Nobel Web AB, e-mail If permission is granted, "© Nobel Web AB" must be indicated. --Amadscientist (talk) 17:40, 8 September 2009 (UTC)