Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 23

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What type of license for a file tagged with {{PD}}?

File:Elx panoramica.jpg was uploaded at en:wp with no permission other than {{PD}}, which was still an acceptable license tag when it was uploaded. It's now at Commons with GFDL, CC-by-sa-3.0, and Free Art License. I assume that these licenses are invalid, since the Commons uploader wasn't the original creator; but how can I mark the file simply with {{PD}} without it being deleted as having been uploaded after that template was deprecated? Nyttend (talk) 21:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Files with {{PD}} are not summarily deleted, regardless of when they were uploaded - we try to determine if and why they're PD. Feel free to just replace it, or better, find the right PD tag yourself. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:45, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Hungarian stamps copyright

An editor has requested information about Hungarian stamps on the public domain stamps talk page but I see that the template {{PD-HU-exempt}} has been attached to these stamps: File:1953.1313 20f.jpg and File:Romak.jpg. I am not certain this is a proper licence for the stamps as there does not seem to be any "official works" definition. Can we confirm that this template is appropriate or does some other situation apply? Ww2censor (talk) 23:08, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Usually the post office holds the copyright of the stamps it issues. --Tgr (talk) 06:36, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
That is correct, and the post office, in the past or until deregulation, have been government organisations, so stamps are often termed as "official works", so I want to try and find out how long the government copyright on such items lasts. This is clear for many countries but not for all. Thanks. Ww2censor (talk) 15:37, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Usually in Hungary, I mean. It is perfectly normal copyright, lasting until 70 years after the death of the author, which has been transferred by contract to the post office (which is btw still a government organization, full deregulation is planned for 2013). There is no such thing as government copyright in Hungary (though of course works by employees or contractors of the government have copyright, which can be transferred to a government organization, but it is not a special kind of copyright). --Tgr (talk) 16:31, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
The situation with older stamps might be less clear: the current copyright law says that copyright of works made as an employee go to the employer, but that was not true in the communist era, and the practice of regulating this by contracts is also relatively recent, so older works might still be owned by their creators. I don't know about stamps specifically, but this is the case with coins, for example. --Tgr (talk) 16:42, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
So Tgr it seems you are saying, without stating it, that {{PD-HU-exempt}} does not apply and that either way (employees or contractors) the regular 70 years after the author's death applies, though where the author is unknown, then a straight 70 years will applies. Thanks Ww2censor (talk) 16:51, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, though I seriously doubt there is such a thing as a postal stamp with an unknown author. We might not know who the author is, but the post office surely has some sort of record. --Tgr (talk) 21:16, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
While the post office may know who designed a particular stamp, if that information has not been released and is not available in one of the general or especially specialised stamp catalogues, then, don't you think, as far as we are concerned the designer is anonymous. I see that one of our editors has created a table of know French stamp designers here but this sort of information is not easily found even in the archives. Ww2censor (talk) 18:44, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Depends on how far we are concerned :) If we want to take advantage of the shorter EU copyright on works of unknown authors, you'd probably have to contact the post office at least. --Tgr (talk) 08:31, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Derivative - re-uploaded. Can someone explain.

Hi, File:Museumjaarkaart001.png is a scan of a Dutch "yearly museum ticket". This is not owned by the user, nor is it self-made. It has been deleted I think 3 times now as being a derivative. User has been warned not to upload it again, but now he has uploaded it with a "NOT VALID" text over the top of the image. In my mind, this does not make it any less of a derivative, and should be deleted again, but I thought I'd check before I get it wrong. Thanks. -- Deadstar (msg) 09:19, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

I think it is a derivative work. The addition of the word ongeldig (meaning, according to you, "invalid") over the work does not change the fact. (If it did, we could use all copyright works in the Commons simply by adding text like sample or Wikimedia Commons over them, which is not the case.) If the card had consisted only of text, {{PD-text}} might have been applied to it, but I see that it has a design as well as what appears to be a complex hexagonal logo in the top right-hand corner. Have you tried asking the uploader whether he or she is the copyright holder, and if so, whether an e-mail has been sent to the OTRS? If the uploader is not the copyright holder of the design of the card, then I'm afraid he or she is not entitled to license it under the GFDL to the Commons. — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:09, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I thought too. I'll post a link on the user's site here & again ask him not to re-upload. -- Deadstar (msg) 14:34, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Japanese copyright

We need some assistance at Commons:Deletion requests/Images of Carpkazu‎ which is a nomination to delete Japanese postage stamps that are less than 50 years old. While the Japanese licencing information we have makes mention of their "article 13" it seems quite clear that this does not extend to stamps. The uploading editor was questioned about these uploads on his talk page. His response was to reply in Japanese and when asked to translate it, he ignored the request, but added information, claiming "article 13" exemption for stamps to the Japanese stamp details with this edit which I reverted here for lack of evidence. This information has been in place since 2007, when it was added by one of our philatelicly experienced administrators, and the only change has been made by the editor who uploaded these images. If you have some Japanese copyright experience please join the discussion at Commons:Deletion requests/Images of Carpkazu‎. Thanks Ww2censor (talk) 14:19, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Template: PD-US-flag

This template reads "This image is a U.S. state, federal district, or insular area flag. Such flags are in the public domain."

I can find no information to corroborate this. Twenty-six states, four territories and the District of Columbia have flags which post date the January 1, 1923 cutoff date for the PD-US template, and I am not familiar enough with copyright law to determine how else these flags would have entered the public domain. This problem has been discussed but never resolved, Commons:Village pump/Archive/2007Apr#Template:PD-US-flag. Also the Wikipedia template from which this was copied has been considered for deletion but the editors there are not sure of the law. see w:Template talk:PD-US-flag and w:TfD/Log/2008_October_13#Template:PD-US-flag. I know this is going to be a headache and I really appreciate your input. Awg1010 (talk) 20:18, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

We had a similar template that was depreciated on the Commons called {{PD-flag}} which pretty much stated that since this is a flag, it is not eligible for copyright protection. I have not found anything either in US law to make this happen. However, except for some of the brand new flags of Georgia and maybe the updated state flags, most are going to be in the public domain by age. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 03:37, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Ok, checked the adoption dates. All of these ones will currently have the automatic copyright status attached to them is Georgia (2003), Nevada (1991), South Dakota (1992) and Lousisiana (2006). The rest are PD due to age or failure to add a copyright notice to the flag. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 03:46, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Flags are generally defined in law... which is public domain itself. Making a flag image from a written description -- especially when every dimension is defined -- is not a derivative work nor a copyright violation. There may be copyright in specific drawings of flags, if there is enough room for creative expression beyond the definition in law, so we should be careful about taking images from state websites for example, but user-drawn SVGs are often quite different. Many flags are PD-ineligible as well. The same goes for state seals too. I'm not sure that template you mention has any grounding in reality though; it is saying that all flag representations are PD, which probably isn't true. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:57, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
The template is already marked as depreciated, but I will try and go through later and seeing what tags would be appropriate for the remaining images. Other than the ones I mentioned above, most of the state flags are in the clear. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 06:40, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Relicensed all but the newer state flags as I mentioned. The rest are past the rules for {{PD-US-1978-89}}, so not sure what you want to do about that. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 07:04, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Most of the rest are from xrmap (PD I think -- see User:Lokal Profil/xrmap flag collection) or Open Clipart (PD or CC-BY). They should have always had those licenses (wonder if the history shows different licenses), not the generic flag one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:34, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
Well then it strikes me that we need a way to say "the design itself is pd. Because of x, y, and z" then pair this with a statement about the individual copy. Does that make sense? Awg1010 (talk) 03:57, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
The general design is usually more of an idea, not copyrightable expression. For example, the flag of Virginia is the state seal on a blue background. Artists can make many different interpretations of that seal, all conforming to the written description, and each would have their own, unrelated copyright -- which can be licensed separately. A graphic image cannot be a derivative work of a written description, only other graphic works. Furthermore the design is pretty much always defined in state law, which is public domain, and if there are drawings provided as part of that law, they are probably PD as well -- so there may well be PD versions to draw from. Copyright can get tricky to define for public symbols like seals and flags, beyond obvious exact copying like pulling bitmap images from (likely copyrighted) state websites. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:41, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
I know for the flag of Georgia, I pulled it directly from the Secretary of State's website (same with the 2001 design). User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 05:04, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I am going to send emails to the secretary of state for each of the four states. They are the official keepers of the state seals, but also effectively, the state flag. I always had good experiences with them when it came to talking about other flag issues. I sent an email to Georgia already, will try the other states once I had my morning Pepsi. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 16:24, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Ugh, yeah, that may be a technical issue. That version was obviously intended to be copied by others, but without an explicit license, it may technically be a problem. Usages of the flag (and especially seal) are generally protected by other laws, but it may be weird for a state official to grant a "free" copyright license on a file which is protected in other ways. But, there are other PD representations of the Georgia seal/flag out there, so they may be able to be recreated. Flags from the xrmap collection appear to be PD, and should be marked as PD-author, and possibly many of the licenses you altered previously should be the same. In looking, a lot of the xrmap ones were originally uploaded with the old {{PD}} tag, but when that tag was replaced by something "more appropriate", this PD-US-flag tag was used instead of an actual more appropriate tag. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:17, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
No emails back from Georgia, I went ahead and fixed the South Dakota one and put it under the CC license. With Louisiana, the only addition to the state flag recently was 3 drops of blood, but everything else remained the same from what I found out. I will need to do more research later about that. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 17:11, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
The Louisiana one is from the xrmap collection which was PD -- so it should be PD-author. I recognize the originally uploaded version; it was from a US federal government publication so that one is PD-USGov I think. The later uploads were, per the comments, from the xrmap author so PD-author should be the license now. See User:Lokal Profil/xrmap flag collection for the bit of the README which says that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:21, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
The original design would have automatically PD because of the age of it, it was recently altered in 2006 to add drops of blood. My emails to state officials have gone unresponsive, so I decided to tag the images as PD-self. The last image tagged this is at DR right now for unrelated reasons. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 18:03, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
Not necessarily; it would be a graphic work like any other -- it would depend on if a new version added enough creativity to its specific representation, over and above previous representations, to qualify as a derivative work. You can most certainly make a copyrightable new version of an old flag (and multiple versions of flags are probably a good thing to have). There are lots of different ways to draw a pelican, and each version can have a different copyright. Adding three drops of blood is a pretty minimal change and may not even qualify. That original one is PD-USGov though; the other uploads (which have a separate copyright) are PD-author from the looks of it. Older flag designs are more likely to have more PD versions to draw from, but anything which is actually part of state law is public domain anyways, so there are usually at least some. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:33, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 05:00, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

How to load a NATO file (proper copyright to avoid deletion)

Hi there! I work at the NATO Defense College (NDC Rome) and I have been tasked with updating the College's wikipedia page. I recently uploaded the College Logo (NDC_Logo_-_01.jpg) but it was deleted for being considered a Copyright violation. What copyright should I use to load it properly? The logo is owned by the College (which is a NATO education facility) and for that is included in the College internet site at as well as any NDC publication. Thanks a lot and also thanks for keeping an eye on the wikimedia! --Marin wiki 65 (talk) 10:16, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Make your Public Affairs Office send an e-mail from their e-mail address to, stating that the logo is published under the free license of their choice (CC-BY, CC-BY-SA, or any other license fulfilling the criteria for free licenses; they must choose a particular license). If so, it'd be nice if you had it in svg or eps format. Lupo 10:47, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks a lot Lupo!--Marin wiki 65 (talk) 12:16, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Used with permission

Is it possible to use the image, which is mentined like this? "Art by Marigold Zoll, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2004, used with permission." This drawing is inside the public domain work of the United States Government. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2006. Recovery plan for the Newcomb's snail (Erinna newcombi). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon. 52 pp. Such plans sometimes use copyrighted images (by non-government employees, the leading color photo in this plan is not PD, I think). But the drawing is by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee. I am not sure if the text "used with permission" is something important. --Snek01 (talk) 11:51, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

I think, that when the one employee gave the permission to use the drawing in the plan, then the image became public domain. Is it all right? --Snek01 (talk) 12:02, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website states:
“Most of the images on our Web pages are in the "public domain," which means they have no copyright restrictions. If an image on one of our sites is not restricted and does not say it is copyrighted, then you can assume it is in the public domain. You may download and use these copyright-free images in your print and electronic publications. There is no fee and no need to get permission from the Service for using them. Images in the public domain may credit the artist or photographer, or identify the source (example: Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Robert Wilson). This does not mean the image is copyrighted. But please credit the artist or photographer and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service if at all possible. For a variety of downloadable images, please search our National Image Library.

On rare occasions the Service's Web pages will include copyrighted images. The creator of those images has granted permission to the Service to use those images, but those copyrighted images are not automatically available for use by others. If you want to download and use copyrighted images, the photographer/artist - not the Fish and Wildlife Service - will have to grant you authorization. In many cases there may be a license fee associated with the use of those images.”

What is confusing about the image in question is that the caption suggests that the artist, Marigold Zoll, is an employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This would point towards the image being in the public domain, especially since the caption does not explicitly state that Zoll owns the copyright in the image. On the other hand, because the phrase "used with permission" also appears, perhaps Zoll created the drawing in her private capacity and not as an employee of the Federal agency, which is why her permission was required to use it in the report. If that is the case, then the {{PD-USGov-FWS}} licence cannot be used with the image. On balance, given the presence of "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service" in the caption, I think it may be appropriate to assume that the image is in the public domain unless there is a complaint from the FWS or Zoll. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:47, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
Uploaded File:Erinna newcombi.png. --Snek01 (talk) 19:45, 3 November 2009 (UTC)


Is it possible to use images from Panoramio on Commons? Specifically my concern is with regard to File:The Three Pools Waterway.jpg and File:Dump.jpg. Is the copyleft license for these two images valid or not? Small-town hero (talk) 22:14, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

It is possible, if the images are licensed appropriately at Panoramio (and no "panoramio-washing" is suspected). The two images you've indicated are tagged at Panoramio "© All rights reserved"; they cannot be used here unless the Photographer (Peter Hodge) licenses them freely. Lupo 22:26, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I've tagged them both as copyvios. Small-town hero (talk) 22:30, 3 November 2009 (UTC)


A deletion request of File:Parris_Island_training.jpg led me to a discussion in the archive Commons_talk:Licensing/Archive_5#PD-Look. There are two aspects I would like your opinion about:

  1. {{PD-Look}} was created after {{PD-Van Vechten}}, as a result of a small discussion at English Wikipedia for images of Look magazine that were transferred to the Library of Congress . However there is a difference between the two photo sets. The restrictions on the Vechten photographs only claim a "preservation of integrity", whereas the restrictions on the Look photographs say that images should not be used for "advertising or trade purposes", i.e. commercial use. In the small discussion, it was decided that these images were still unrestricted public domain. I do not agree. What do you think?
  2. It became clear in the discussion regarding the deletion request, that the image concerned did not come from the LOC but was scanned by the user from an old Look magazine. Does this template apply for any image from Look magazine, or just the ones that were transferred to LOC. It is important to know because in the Commons_talk:Licensing/Archive_5#PD-Look discussion, the reason to create this template was to use it on scanned images from magazines by user Andrew Levine, not on the images transferred to the LOC. The result of the deletion request will therefore apply to the contributions of Andrew e.a. as well. It is my opinion that the template does not apply to own scans from Look magazine because I suppose Look magazine only transferred the images of which they owned the rights. Images that were not their own, could also have been published in the magazine under limiting restrictions.

Since LOC requires for each image from both the Vechten- and Look-set an explicit credit-line, I propose to delete any image that does not have a specific source-link to that image. What do you think? Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 10:09, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree that LOOK images need more looking at. Assuming that our PD-LOOK template is correct, some important points remain: 1)Some material published by LOOK magazine and/or availible at the LOC LOOK collection falls into the specified PD category, while some does not. 2)Identifying the photographer is required to know if the template is applicable. 3)Some images on Commons tagged as "PD-LOOK" are at present inadiquately sourced to confirm information. Addressing this third point, here are examples of Commons LOOK images which I think are fine, as they are sourced and verifiable, either by checking on line or in copies of the original magazines at a library: File:Lingerie model smoking in an office 3d02388u.jpg includes a link to the LOC page. File:LeonardCohen1969.jpg states the specific issue and page number, in addition to the LOC LOOK number. File:CelestinPicou1950Kubrick.JPG (one of my own uploads) states the issue of the original magazine it was copied from, and includes a web link to information confirming that the photographer is one of those who qualify for PD-LOOK. The contrary example mentioned above, File:Parris Island training.jpg fails on two points: 1)The image is essentially unsourced, with no information allowing anyone else to confirm it is a LOOK image. 2)The photographer is listed as "Unknown", thus failing to allow confirmation that the photographer's work qualifies for the PD-LOOK template. I think either one of those two points would be enough not to allow it be kept on Commons. -- Infrogmation (talk) 10:53, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Indeed the photographer must be known, and in addition there needs to be evidence that he was an employee of LOOK at the time the photo was made. Otherwise, these LOOK images are unclear: Neither the donor nor the Library has been able to satisfactorily establish which works are in this category ["work for hire for LOOK", Lupo]. Therefore, the Library recommends that patrons obtain permission from the creator agency, the photographer or the photographer's heirs before publishing or otherwise distributing images from the collection, except as allowed under "fair use."[1] Given this, the Kubrick photos for LOOK are OK (because for Kubrick, it is known that he was a staff photographer[2] for LOOK). File:LeonardCohen1969.jpg, OTOH, is unclear, too.[3] Note that the LoC does not serve a digital image of this photo at the source that is indicated on our file description page. While we know the photographer, we just know that he had photos published in LOOK (and in other magazines such as Life), but we don't know whether he was employed by LOOK (= work for hire) or worked as a freelancer on a contract basis (≠ work for hire!). BTW, I suspect that File:Parris Island training.jpg, comes from this collection of photos by Bob Lerner. Maybe someone could check this assumption by getting LOOK vol. 21, no. 11 from May 28, 1957 from a library? If so, please note that the status of Lerner's photos is unclear, too[4]. Lupo 11:44, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, it certainly looks like they had little idea which photos were made by staff photographers (which they would own the copyright to), and which they merely licensed (which they would not). The Kubrick statement says they did release all the rights they had to the public domain, but given the uncertainty of ownership, they asked to not use them for "advertising or trade purposes". So, if we do know they are staff photographers, they should be fine (like Kubrick's). The others... ugh. There are 5,000,000 photographs (!) in the collection, and I assume most probably were works for hire, but without knowing that can get messy. As for that series at Parris Island, the Bob Lerner series was done in 1956, and the magazine scan in the DR leading to this discussion is from 1969 -- could have re-used the photo I guess, but not a guarantee. And on the other hand, Lerner is listed here as one of the longtime staff photographers. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:22, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, that claim for 1969 cvomes from our own image description page and is unsourced. It may be wrong. Someone should check that 1957 issue of LOOK all the same. Lupo 10:32, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
On the DR, the uploader seems to have the actual magazine (and names the 1969 issue)... so I'm not sure there is a reason to doubt that. He says he does not see a photo credit. But it is a big stretch yes, as it is possible that the particular photo was not part of the LoC donation. And yes, the specific Lerner page does express doubt as to the "work for hire" status so unless we have more information we probably should do the same. It would be good if someone has the 1957 issue to see if it was the same photo though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:33, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I think we should take this stricter. Unless LOC delivers a scan, we can only guess that f.i. File:LeonardCohen1969.jpg is the same as LOOK - Job 68-3989. Why do we take the liberty to put pictures in the public domain when LOC apparently is reluctant to do so? I think we should only add those pictures that the LOC is willing to stick it's neck out for. Which means, images that LOC released for downloading.
I asked another question, and that is, if LOC says in it's restrictions not to use the pictures for "advertising or trade purposes", why do we conclude that this does not apply? Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 10:10, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

The Library says that the LOOK company dedicated all rights it owned to the public -- so the "trade or advertising" part seems more like a request, not a requirement. If it was a requirement, then the Kubrick photos would have the same restrictions, which they do not. So, it seems based on the overall uncertainty of "work for hire" status, and yes we should probably be equally uncertain. In the Leonard Cohen case, the LoC description states: 4 images published in: Leonard Cohen: songs sacred and profane, by Ira Mothner, Look, v. 33, no. 12 (June 10, 1969), p. 92-94, 96. That is one of those four photos, the one published on page 92, according to the description. So, there is basically no doubt on that aspect. The LoC does not have a digital image, which usually means they just haven't scanned it yet. But, their Michael Vaccaro page has the same doubt as to "work for hire" status, so we are back to the same uncertainty (though Vaccaro is listed as a longtime employee on that other page as well). Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:33, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, according to the description, it seems to be that photo. But is it really? There is no way to tell, unless I would have acces to that specific issue. But who does? Regarding the "trade or advertising" restriction, you are right, in the standard Look restrictions it is stated as "has expressed its desire", so it is a request, not a requirement. On the other hand the Vaccaro restriction bluntly says These photographs may not be used for "advertising or trade purposes", so it is not as straight forward as it looks. Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 21:29, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
And Vaccaro is not the only one who has the statement These photographs may not be used for "advertising or trade purposes" in the first paragraph on his restriction page: [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26]. (This list might not be complete.) Work of these photographers can not be used commercially, and therefore are not allowed on Commons. There are two ways to go now. One, we could add a list of these photographers to the template, telling that the template does not apply for them. Two, we could delete the {{PD-Look}} template altogether. I myself favour the second option because the first option is to error prone and to complicated in checking for copyright violations. Furthermore, if we decide not to delete the template, I propose to only allow pictures using this template, when the picture is downloadable from or visually identifiable on LOC. It is not for nothing that the File:LeonardCohen1969.jpg isn't available on the LOC-website: Vaccaro did not release this image entirely. And images like File:Parris_Island_training.jpg with an unknown author or source are susceptible to copyright violations altogether, because of the missing information. Since LOC requires a specific credit line (Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Look Magazine Photograph Collection, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-L9-54-3566-O, #21], which by the way is not the same as issue and page number) the safest thing to do is to demand a link to the photograph in the LOC-database. Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 10:55, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
The collection does say it has all four images used in that magazine -- the only way it is not the mentioned image is if the uploader is flat-out lying, and I see no reason to suspect that at all. There is no image at LoC because they haven't scanned it yet -- there are lots of copyrighted images they do scan; they just do not give easy access to the high-resolution versions by clicking on the thumbnail -- they show the thumbnail only. This is a kind of odd case; they do say that staff photographers should have been making works for hire owned by the company, and thus should be PD now, but some are not. They do give a list of photographers who were staff photographers here, so it would seem to logically follow that most/all photos by them were works for hire, but then the individual rights pages for those LOOK photographers contain all the same doubtful statements. It would seem like they wanted confirmation from the photographers about the work-for-hire status, and only Kubrick gave that. Before 1978, copyright ownership often was assumed to follow whoever owned the negatives absent a specific agreement. But I'm not sure the collection has the actual negatives... the one being discussed here is apparently a bunch of prints. If the photographers were allowed to keep their negatives, that may indeed cloud the situation. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:58, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
The bottom line is, they are confusing in their statements, so we can not be sure about the freedom of use. The only thing we can do is to be on the safe side, so we must asume that restriction apply at least for the photographers that are listed here. As for the uploader of File:LeonardCohen1969.jpg, I have no doubt at all that this image is the image we are talking about, but we have to make procedures with everyone in mind, and if you would once in a while check the recent uploads you will find that, although a minority, still a lot of people knowingly or unknowingly breach the line of copyright. Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 16:22, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
Guidelines say to provide as much information as possible -- which was done with that photo and it does allow us to make a decent judgement. Source info was provided in spades -- we do assume good faith on uploaded info for everyone. Obviously yes lots of copyvios are still uploaded, but that isn't relevant here. Other than that though, I agree -- the doubt shown in the Library of Congress documentation is concerning. They spent many years on that project, probably researched the copyright issues in-depth, while knowing the ins and outs of copyright better than anyone (the Copyright Offices is part of the Library of Congress) and still have concerns. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:59, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
I think it bothers you that I used the phrase provide a direct link to a visually identifiable scan of the picture in the LOC database in my proposal, am I right?. So, if we would change that to provide a direct link to the record in de LOC database. Would that be a workable compromise? Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 21:16, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
The only thing that bothers me is the suggestion that enough source info was not provided originally -- a direct LoC link would certainly be nice, but shouldn't be required. Enough information was provided so that the record can be found on the LoC website, and the image should not be subject to deletion on those ("no source", "no permission", or "no trusted info") grounds. Some people may not have the skills to navigate the Library of Congress site; as long as they provide enough information so that someone else can, that should be enough. The validity of the claimed license itself is obviously debatable, but that is not due to any missing information in the upload. Minor point here because most of this discussion is about the PD-Look validity. :-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:02, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Might it possibly be a good idea to depreciate PD-Look, in favor of more specific templates for individual Look photographers where the status of images by the photographer has been demonstrated, eg PD-Look-Kubrick? Infrogmation (talk) 18:34, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Probably not. Did you see the list of photographers that worked for Look Magazine? It's huge! After all, it might be better to keep the template and add two guide lines for the uploader, somthing lik this:
Warning: not all work of Look Magazine is free to use. When using this template
1: check this list to see if the photographer made additional restrictions.
2: For verification purposes, provide a direct link to a visually identifiable scan of the picture in the LOC database. Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 09:15, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Cumberland Spaceman

In the Daily Mail article reproduced at the above linked website, the photographer states that for "four decades the photo has been in the public domain". Should this be interpreted that the photo has been released under a PD license by the photographer, or just that the photo has been published and made available to the public? Is this website enough by itself to verify such a statement, or would it need to be sourced directly to the Daily Mail? Small-town hero (talk) 22:04, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't think the photographer's statement is clear enough to be a release under a free licence. It is far more likely that the photographer simply meant, as you note, that the photograph had been published and thus seen by the public for four decades. — Cheers, JackLee talk 04:26, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Pictures of old 2D art

I know that flat scans of old 2D art can be uploaded to commons under the PD-Art license. How about pictures of old 2D art taken at a slight angle like [27] which depicts a scroll dated to 811? Does this choice of viewpoint matter for the copyright/license? bamse (talk) 10:00, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

The Wikimedia Foundation's policy is that "faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain, and that claims to the contrary represent an assault on the very concept of a public domain": see "Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag". Thus, if an original artwork is already out of copyright and in the public domain, a derivative image made of it that is a faithful reproduction (such as a photograph) can be uploaded to the Commons under the {{PD-Art}} tag.
However, {{PD-Art}} does not apply to three-dimensional works of art such as sculptures, as the photographer can generate originality in the derivative image by choosing which viewpoint to photograph the artwork from and what sort of lighting to use: "COM:ART#When should the PD-Art tag not be used?". In this case, the artwork is not three-dimensional but a flat scroll. Although the slight angle at which it was photographed gives it a somewhat three-dimensional look, the image is practically a flat, faithful reproduction of the scroll. I think that it qualifies for {{PD-Art}}. To be absolutely safe, you could crop out everything from the image except the scroll itself (COM:ART advises that when a photograph shows a two-dimensional public-domain work within a three-dimensional frame, the frame should be cropped out to show the two-dimensional work on its own). — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:08, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I uploaded it at File:List of Implements Saicho.jpg. bamse (talk) 17:27, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Public domain templates

Hello, there is unresolved discussion en:Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Kerry slug/archive2 how should be images in Category:Geomalacus maculosus tagged. Template PD-old-70 and template PD-1923 is one of the most used templates, so I hope that the resolution will be easy and quick. Thank you. --Snek01 (talk) 15:35, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

That is a category for a specific species, so presumably it would have images from different sources which would then have different licenses. If you are referring to the ones from the 1907 London book by J. W. Taylor (died 1931), then really they should have two. The forward says that Taylor did indeed make all the drawings and paintings, so he was the author. Images must be public domain in the country of origin, so either {{PD-Old}}, {{PD-old-70}}, or {{PD-UK-known}} could be used to show that, and they need to be public domain in the U.S., so either {{PD-US}} or {{PD-1923}} should be used in addition to show that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:34, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
I think, that there should be applied the rule "When the image is public domain in its source country, then it is public domain in the USA also." (Although I do not know where this rule comes from.) Is it really necessary to add PD-1923 template to all images, that were published prior to 1923? Is it really necessary to put it to PD-old-70 only or to ALL other pre-1923 files on Commons also? For example to 100 years old images from China is not added additional PD-1923 template, for 100 years old photos from Japan is not added PD-1923 template, and so on. It is no problem to add this PD-1923 template to such files, but it must be reasonable. Especially when the United States is explicitly mentioned in the PD-old-70 template. Whatever it is, this information where the template should be added would be useful to be written. There are many possibilities how to solve this. For example Template:PD-old-70-1923, for example roboticaly adding additional template to files older than some year, for example improving text in templates, and so on. But any solution must be reasonable. There is for example easier add explanation text "Images older than 1923 are public domain in the USA" to template(s) then to demand from users adding large number of templates to the file(s). --Snek01 (talk) 11:10, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
This rule does not apply in many cases for a number of reasons related to the different evolution of copyright legislation in the USA and in other countries/juristictions. One of them is the URAA, see {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} for details. So an image may be free in the country of origin, and at the same time possibly protected in the USA. The opposite is also possible, as some countries have unusually long terms of copyright protection (100 years pma). Sv1xv (talk) 13:17, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
It is a particularly good idea for these images to put two licenses on, because they were copyrighted in the country of origin on the URAA date in 1996, and so the U.S. copyright would have been restored except that they were published before 1923. In other words, the PD-old-70 template has no bearing at all on the U.S. copyright status. For really old stuff, I would agree, and probably also for stuff which did not have their U.S. copyright restored (since the U.S. copyright in that case is largely based on the rules in the country of origin). Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:13, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for infomations. Should then be changed text of the template PD-old-70 ? From
  • "This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years or fewer."


  • "This work is in the public domain in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years or fewer."

--Snek01 (talk) 19:14, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Possibly. It's been worded that way a long time now, and maybe it was intended to imply both -- not sure. The U.S. terms are now 70 pma, though they mostly only apply to items first published after 2002. I didn't know about the PD-old-70-1923 template; that would work as a single one and is designed for this case ({{PD-old-70-1923|1931}}). Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:32, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Could some administrator correct that protected PD-old-70 template, please? --Snek01 (talk) 12:41, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

License for stamp of old painting

Is it possible to upload this stamp of an old (14th century) painting to commons under the PD-Art or any other license? bamse (talk) 10:52, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

It's PD-old-100, I think. It'd be better if the added elements of the stamp were removed, but they're most likely {{modifications-ineligible}}. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:13, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
As I don't know Japanese, I can't speak to most of the text, but I can tell you that the four characters in the top right corner are something resembling "Imperial Japanese Postage". The remaining characters are likely to be similarly inconsequential; probably the painter's name is on there somewhere. Nyttend (talk) 03:19, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the lower left says: "可翁筆 寒山図" which reads: "Kaō Ninga hitsu kanzanzu" and translates to: Kaō Ninga (=name of the painting's artist) painting of Kanzan (=title of the painting). bamse (talk) 18:32, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Threshold of originality - does File:Alberta wordmark.svg meet it?

File:Alberta wordmark.svg is, I believe, a custom image created by Alberta, rather than a common typeface. It seems to me to have enough creativity to be copyrightable. Can I get more input? --NE2 (talk) 08:49, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't agree. There are seven distinct letterforms there, each individually separable. It appears to me to clearly fit the definition of a wordmark. Powers (talk) 15:02, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Common typeface has nothing to do with it. The US copyright office says that calligraphy is included in the set of uncopyrightable typography, so unique hand-designed characters are still {{tl:PD-text}}--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:04, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Obviously it is a wordmark/trademark. In the U.S. though, it is definitely not copyrightable though -- they are letters. "Common typeface" means something you can recognize as letters, as opposed to something like Dingbats which are (copyrightable) graphic images in font form. Unsure about Canada, but the UK (which Canadian copyright was originally based on) also basically does not allow typefaces to be copyrighted (they have an explicit exception in that you can't use the outlines of one font to create a competing font, but that is not relevant here). Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:06, 8 November 2009 (UTC)


I just observed that File:Circus Hall of Fame Peru.jpg, originally from Flickr, is tagged as cc-by-sa 2.0. The image was confirmed by FlickreviewR, so there's no problem with the Flickr license, but to me this looks like a copyvio of the organisation's logo. Am I correct, or am I missing something? Nyttend (talk) 01:43, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

The text and graphics may be simple enough for {{PD-textlogo}} to be applied. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:07, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Template:Attribution-Ubisoft and Heroes of Might and Magic III

Does this template apply to Heroes of Might and Magic III screenshots? The game was originally developed by now defunct The 3DO Company, and then Ubisoft acquired all rights for it. However there are no HMM3 screenshots on Commons. Regards, --Blacklake (talk) 15:29, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Have you tried sending an email to Ubisoft? Anrie (talk) 15:45, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Do note that the Ubisoft template is most likely going to be deleted per this deletion request. --Aqwis (talk) 15:57, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, that's a sufficient answer. So it happened. --Blacklake (talk) 16:27, 10 November 2009 (UTC)


Hi, what is the difference between Template:PD-USGov-HHS-NIH and Template:PD-USGov-NIH, and should we use one of them for images from Or would it be better to create a seperate template along the lines of the above, but specifying that website (as they say: it is requested that the National Human Genome Research Institute be given an appropriate acknowledgement: "Courtesy: National Human Genome Research Institute." ([28]))? (Or in case this already exists, can you point me to it.) Thanks for your help. -- Deadstar (msg) 13:02, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

They appear to be duplicate templates. One should probably just be redirected to the other. As for creating another NHGRI template... maybe, if there are a ton of images that will be uploaded. Otherwise, the credit can just be put into the author field, and use the existing NIH template (either one). Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:29, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Template:PD-USGov-NIH seems to be the one that's in wider use. There already are quite a few images from on Commons, with differing licenses on them. I'll change it to PD-USGov-NIH where I find them and add the credit in the author line. I'll also add a category for these images into the Category:National Institutes of Health images (although there they seem to advertise the other (HHS-NIH) template). -- Deadstar (msg) 08:49, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Is logo simple enough for PD-textlogo?

Jiangdi previously uploaded the logo "File:Easb logo.png" to the Commons under a Creative Commons licence. I questioned this on the basis that there was no OTRS confirmation that he was authorized by the East Asia Institute of Management to do so, but another editor pointed out that the logo was simple enough for {{PD-textlogo}} to be applied to it, so this was done. Jiangdi has now uploaded "File:Easb lion logo new colour.png" which, to my eyes, does not look simple enough for PD-textlogo. He or she claims that the logo is self-created and has licensed it under Creative Commons and GFDL licences. Comments, please? — Cheers, JackLee talk 04:38, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

No it's not simple. -mattbuck (Talk) 09:53, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
In close cases like this (and also in cases that should be relatively obvious) a common solution is to submit the files to a deletion debate. This can be frustrating for some members of the community who don't appreciate that sometimes deletion debates are not directly for the purpose of deleting the file but to definitively archive a community response to the question of whether we will host the file. If you feel these files should not be on Commons you should probably submit them for deletion. -Nard the Bard 14:53, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, I have listed it at "Commons:Deletion requests/File:Easb lion logo new colour.png". Feel free to comment there. I have also put a notice on the uploader's talk page to explain why I have listed the image. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:56, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Is US Public domain Media PD outside of the United States?


Is public domain media (moving and still images)created by the U.S.Government and otherwise, PD outside of the United States/in a foreign country? This would be utilized in a documentary film.

Is this a broad rule or is it country specific?

Please provide references if able.

Thanks very much for your time to help out.

If I am in the wrong section I am sorry...would appreciate reference to the proper place for discussion.


Retrieved from ""

I don't think there are any definite answers :-) Short answer, probably no issues, but it isn't 100% sure. There is some discussion at en:Talk:Copyright status of work by the U.S. government which mentions some of the issues (though I'm guessing some of the comments are overstating the case), including an (unsourced) anecdote of the Copyright Office thinking someone was silly for even asking the question, but then discovering there are some gray areas.
The House Report done when the 1976 Copyright Act was being discussed, which is attached as notes on 17 U.S.C. 105, says The effect of section 105 is intended to place all works of the United States Government, published or unpublished, in the public domain. This means that the individual Government official or employee who wrote the work could not secure copyright in it or restrain its dissemination by the Government or anyone else, but it also means that, as far as the copyright law is concerned, the Government could not restrain the employee or official from disseminating the work if he or she chooses to do so. But, right before that, it says: The prohibition on copyright protection for United States Government works is not intended to have any effect on protection of these works abroad. Works of the governments of most other countries are copyrighted. There are no valid policy reasons for denying such protection to United States Government works in foreign countries, or for precluding the Government from making licenses for the use of its works abroad. While that is not actually a part of the law, there was some thought to protecting the works abroad, probably especially if that country's government works are protected. Seems like they are almost annoyed that other countries do not reciprocate :-) I have seen a couple of State Department items with a claim of "international copyright", though that is exceptionally rare.
When copyright notices were still required (which was a part of the UCC treaty) I doubt they put one on their own works very much, so most/all of that became PD anyways. Whether any such claims would be respected by another government is anyone's guess (and if the U.S. Government is bringing a lawsuit, it could be political as well). The above text was written in 1976 or before, and since then the U.S. joined the Berne Convention. While that also has the concept of "national treatment", it also says (in Article 7(8): In any case, the term shall be governed by the legislation of the country where protection is claimed; however, unless the legislation of that country otherwise provides, the term shall not exceed the term fixed in the country of origin of the work. That allows countries to not protect foreign works if copyright has expired in the country of origin -- the rule of the shorter term. That could basically mean that countries which practice that (such as all of Europe) would not have to recognize any U.S. government copyright even if claimed. The Universal Copyright Convention (which was the primary international treaty the U.S. was party to before they joined Berne) also makes clear that other countries are not obligated to protect such works (though they can if they choose to).
There is a bit of the copyright law (17 U.S.C. 403) where the U.S. Government asks for attribution, so that others know they can copy the works without issue as well. I've never read of this issue actually coming up in a court case, so any answers are probably more theoretical at this point. I would personally be rather surprised if there were any issues, but I am most certainly not a lawyer, and it may not hurt to ask either. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:06, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Pictures from Wikitravel/shared

Is it possible to upload pictures like this from wikitravel to commons? If yes, what license should I use? Is there a tool to make the transfer automatic? bamse (talk) 21:07, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Sure! Go ahead, the licensing is compatible with Wikimedia Commons copyright guidelines. That specific image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (v1.0); use Template:cc-by-sa-1.0 for that specific image and make sure to include a link back to its Wikitravel filepage. I am not sure if there is an automatic tool to upload Wikitravel photos. --Siddharth Patil (talk) 22:06, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks.bamse (talk) 00:22, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

US postcard from pre-ww2: non renewed?

This[29] is a postcard published before WW2. The source page[30] does not explain whether it's from before 1923 or not, but wouldn't it be safe to assume that it was published with a copyright notice that was not renewed, and that it could be uploaded here with this license?[31] FunkMonk (talk) 00:55, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

We don't like to make that assumption usually, without some indication a reasonable search for renewal was done (for works published 1951 or later, renewals should be available online, so that is one approach). There is no copyright notice on the front though.... and they had room for "patent pending" for some reason. We usually like the see the back of postcards too in case there was a notice there, though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:24, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

File:Delain 01 by Mark Johnsson.jpg

I've no idea where to put this question, so I'll just do it here (sorry): The file mentioned above doesn't look like pd for me - particularly since it's taken by a professional and commercial working photographer. So what's the normal approach here on commons? Open a deletion request and informing the user? Or is there a special "check license" site? :) --StYxXx 13:43, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

You can use TinEye to see if the image appears elsewhere on the Internet under a non-free licence. Also, the image description page states the source as a website which is in German. Perhaps you can get a German speaker to see if there is any information on the website regarding the copyright status of the images. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:52, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Logo help

File:SBK-Logo-pos-SkalaC-300dpi.JPG is the logo of some (presumably German) company, but the uploader claims it to be an own work and licenses it under GFDL and (via the license update) CC-BY-SA-3.0. Clearly these licenses are wrong, but what about the logo itself? The "source" line seems to be explaining why it's free, but I don't understand German, so would someone please apply the correct permissions template or nominate for deletion? Nyttend (talk) 14:43, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Sure looks ineligible for copyright to me (especially given the rather high threshold for originality in Germany). I'm going to tag it as {{PD-textlogo}}; if someone disagrees, feel free to nominate it for deletion for further discussion. –Tryphon 15:22, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
I plugged the German text on the source website into an online translator, and it says something like this: "The most important recordings. Ready for you to download. Here you can find portraits and photos in high and low resolution for various areas of the SBK. Our press contact will be happy to get you more recordings and formats". At the bottom of the web page is "© Siemens-Betriebskrankenkasse 2009". Therefore, it seems clear that the images have not been released by the copyright holder under a free licence. However, I agree the text and graphics may be simple enough for {{PD-textlogo}} to apply. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:46, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

National Maritime Museum (UK) Help

I want to use some pictures from a series of portraits by Thomas Rowlandson from the 18th century [32] to illustrate Royal Navy Officers in their respective Wikipedia articles. For example: Midshipman but I'm not exactly sure if I can just copy the image and I want some guidance on what to use for summary and licensing tags. I found two examples in the commons:

  1. File:Captainjamescookportrait.jpg, which is from here
  2. File:A_Dutch_Naval_Captain,_circa_1690-1704.jpg which has a lot better info in the summary, from [33]

If the two examples are ok, then I'm just going to go ahead and do it and model the metadata on number 2; if the two examples are not ok, then they probably need to be deleted. I appreciate your help! Kirhess (talk) 20:59, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Because Rowlandson died in 1827, his work is unambiguously in the public domain. If the image you wish to upload is a faithful reproduction (in other words, crop out the frames before you upload), we would consider that image also to be in the public domain. However, the UK government may disagree, as we've seen recently in another case with the National Portrait Gallery. It's up to you whether you wish to risk their wrath, but we will accept the images. Powers (talk) 00:34, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
I would suggest that you see if you can obtain the same images from a non-UK source. I believe the law in the UK concerning acquisition of copyright by reproducing otherwise public-domain works is currently unsettled. There is some suggestion in UK case law that if a person has to use effort to reproduce, say, an old painting that is otherwise in the public domain, for example, by adjusting the position and lighting of the painting, there is sufficient creativity associated with the resulting photograph to enable the person to assert copyright over it. The US courts do not follow this approach, and the Wikimedia Foundation adopts that position. — Cheers, JackLee talk 04:55, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Taking carefully-lit photographs of paintings is one thing (in the UK), but I'm not sure scans are any different there than anywhere else -- see {{PD-scan}}. This would seem to be more of a scan, though it is hard to say for sure. That said, especially if someone is living in the UK, they may want to think about it twice, taking images directly from UK websites. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:23, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree with what you say about scans. In this case, though, we have no idea whether the National Maritime Museum produced digital images of paintings in their collection through scanning or photography. It may well be that they arranged for their paintings to be photographed at some stage. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:01, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Using Australian Electoral Commission GIS data

I have created some maps using data from For example, File:Division-of-Bradfield-2007-in-Sydney.png

All they provide is a set of coordinates defining electoral district boundaries, and I generate my own images from that data using my own software. Their license page says:

"(The minimum level of attribution, which applies to simple publications, such as a map, but not including digital products, is as follows)

This product (XXXX) incorporates data that is:

© Commonwealth of Australia (Australian Electoral Commission) 2009"

I don't think they are requiring any more than attribution. Is it ok for me to upload my map images to Commons and can I release as public domain as I have done? Barrylb (talk) 13:30, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I would say okay to upload, not okay to say public domain: they require attribution, so you need to have an attribution template on there. You can say "My modifications are public domain, but the original file is licensed under [attribution license template]"; as far as I know, there's never a reason that you can't release your own modifications into the public domain, but only original creations or derivative works of public domain material can be entirely in the public domain. Nyttend (talk) 14:36, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to disagree. Because the maps that Barrylb has created are arguably "digital products", the minimum level of attribution is not applicable. Therefore, the required attribution is the following:
This product (XXXX) incorporates data that is:
© Commonwealth of Australia (Australian Electoral Commission) 2009
The Data (Commonwealth Electoral Boundaries (various years)) has been used in XXXX with the permission of the Australian Electoral Commission. The Australian Electoral Commission has not evaluated the Data as altered and incorporated within XXXX, and therefore gives no warranty regarding its accuracy, completeness, currency or suitability for any particular purpose.
Limited End-user licence provided by the Australian Electoral Commission: You may use XXXX to load, display, print and reproduce views obtained from the Data, retaining this notice, for your personal use, or use within your organisation only.
I've italicized the statement that causes me concern. My reading of it is that if one uses the data provided by the Australian Electoral Commission to produce a product, such as a map, the end-user can only load, display, etc., it for personal use or use within an organization. The end-user is not licensed to use the map for commercial purposes or to modify the map. This means that maps prepared using the Commission's data cannot be licensed to the Commons under a free licence, and therefore cannot be uploaded. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:08, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
But they say "simple publications, such as a map" can use minimum attribution and my images seem to be covered by that. It is a specific exemption. Although one could argue they are "digital products", the AEC seem to be saying otherwise. -- Barrylb (talk) 16:26, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, what the GIS licence states is "The minimum level of attribution, which applies to simple publications, such as a map, but not including digital products". This means that maps which are digital products, as yours, cannot use the minimum level of attribution.
In any case, even if you use the minimum level of attribution, the licence also states, under the headings "Grant of licence" and "End-users", that you are granted a non-exclusive, non-transferable licence "to distribute the Data or the Derivative Product to End-users". But "[t]he Licence does not entitle the Licensee to sub-licence the above rights. However the End-user may exercise limited rights conferred by the Australian Electoral Commission, as described in the copyright statements that the Licensee is to apply as stipulated below." The effect of these terms is that you may distribute a map that you have created using the data to an end-user, but cannot license the end-user to further distribute it to other persons, even if the end-user does not use the map for commercial purposes or made modified versions of it. This restriction is therefore also incompatible with Creative Commons licences and the GFDL, since an important feature of these licences is that you are giving people the right, among other things, to further distribute your work. For instance, a Creative Commons Attribution licence "lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation". And clause 2 of the GFDL provides that you are giving to others the right to "copy and distribute the Document in any medium". I'm sorry, but I don't see any way out of this. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:20, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
A .png file is just a map. The only requirement is {{attribution}}, which is much more free than CC or GFDL licenses. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 17:41, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
The map in question is a derivative product made using GIS data, which can only be used in such products in accordance with certain terms and conditions. Barrylb is free to create a map not using the GIS data, in which case he may license it in any way he likes. But he has chosen to use the GIS data, in which case he is bound by the terms that govern the use of the data. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:46, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

[Unindenting] Pardon what may seem to you to be a simple question, but how can data be copyrighted? Nyttend (talk) 06:24, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

The data itself cannot be copyrighted, as copyright protects expression. (In the UK there is such a thing as a database right that may cover data. I don't know if there is an equivalent in the US. Anyway, that is not relevant here.) However, the use of the GIS data in derivative products such as maps in this case is subject to certain terms and conditions. My reading of them is that if someone wishes to makes use of the data to create a derivative product, then he or she is also agreeing to restrictions on how the derivative product may be exploited.
Actually, it has occurred to me that this situation may be analogous to taking photographs in a museum. Some museums only allow visitors to take photographs of their exhibits for personal use. However, the copyright in the photographs is owned by the photographer, and if the photographer then chooses to upload the photograph to the Commons under a free licence in breach of the terms imposed by the museum, this is a matter between the museum and the photographer. What this means is that the Commons may not have any objection to the photograph since the copyright holder has properly licensed it. However, the photographer may expose herself to the possibility of legal or some other action for acting in breach of the museum's terms (e.g., being barred from future entry?). Similarly, in this case Barrylb owns the copyright in the map that he has created using the GIS data, and can choose to upload it to the Commons under a Creative Commons licence or the GFDL, or even a PD licence, if he wishes to. However, he opens himself to the risk that the Australian Electoral Commission may decide to take legal action against him or disallow him from using their data in the future. However, this is a matter between him and the Commission and may not involve the Commons directly. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:23, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
That's an interesting angle and seems to make sense. I suspect the AEC would be unlikely to complain about what I've done. If they do complain I could remove the images. They could ask for other "remedies" too, but I'm thinking of keeping the images on here for now. Barrylb (talk) 14:32, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, then. (At your risk! :-)) Not sure what sort of GIS attribution statement you should put on the images, though. Maybe the short one, since the long one seems inconsistent with a free licence? — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:22, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree that this is a non-copyright restriction. Dcoetzee (talk) 13:42, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

License help

Just found a nice photo of the en:Harding Memorial at Wikitravel,, and I'd like to upload it here. Is {{Cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0}} the correct license template for this image? Nyttend (talk) 02:32, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

By the way, Wikitravel seems to be having technical difficulties; this image has a license tag of "Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document according to the terms of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike version 1.0 or any later version. The full text of these licenses may be found here: CC by-sa 1.0, CC by-sa 2.0, CC by-sa 2.5, CC by-sa 3.0". I don't understand CC licenses too well; that's one of the major reasons that all of my photos are PD-self. Nyttend (talk) 02:35, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, {{cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0}} is the correct licence. Make sure that you "attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work)": see — Cheers, JackLee talk 06:44, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

"Free Copyright Pictures"

A celebrity's website has pictures on a page entitled "Free Copyright Pictures for Tania" and says "Click here to Download" on the pictures. It appears they have an intention to release these pictures under some kind of free license, but I don't know for certain what they mean and what license I could choose here on Commons. Can we use them? -- Barrylb (talk) 11:08, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

See Commons:Image casebook#Press photos. LX (talk, contribs) 11:35, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Category:Banknotes of Mozambique

The three images in Category:Banknotes of Mozambique all claim to be in the public domain (using either PD-author or PD-self), but they're clearly derivative works of the pictured currency, and so the claimed authors clearly don't have the right to release these works to the public domain. The question is, are the designs already in the public domain? Powers (talk) 00:53, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

What needs to be established are (1) the relevant copyright law in Mozambique; and (2) the date of issue of the banknotes in question. Arguably the onus is on the uploader to show that the images uploaded comply with all Commons policies, so if he or she has not done so and fails to respond appropriately to requests that this be done, the images can be nominated for deletion. — Cheers, JackLee talk 05:10, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Neither contributor has contributed in some time, so I don't hold out any real hope of contact. Powers (talk) 20:08, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
The copyright law of Mosambique seems to be available as PDF in English at Wipo's site. Official texts, e.g. of judicial or administrative nature, are excluded, but the banknotes are hardly texts. Economic rights expire 70 years after the death of the last surviving author. I see no reason the images would be PD, but I just glanced through the law. --LPfi (talk) 12:55, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I appreciate your research. =) Powers (talk) 16:07, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Retouched map detail

Nolli 11 norte

User:Luis Casillas claims File:Nolli 11 norte.jpg as own work released under GFDL, but it sure looks to me like it should be {{PD-Art}} or some such. Ditto for File:Nolli detail pantheon.jpg. - Jmabel ! talk 00:46, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree. The Italian architect and surveyor Giambattista Nolli lived from 1701 to 1756, so {{PD-art}} is appropriate. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:13, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

From PD to GFDL

Hi! I noticed that a lot om maps licensed as PD has been replaced by some licensed in GFDL like here [34]. Since GFDL is an "unfree" license I find that it is a shame. What do we do? Do we revert to the PD-version? Make new PD-versions? Do nothing? --MGA73 (talk) 10:19, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Please ask the editor who is retagging the maps why he or she is doing so. There may be a good reason for the action taken. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:27, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Doh! Silly me... See User_talk:Addicted04#Mexico_maps. Tnx --MGA73 (talk) 14:25, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Seems like File:Mexico template.svg is important - the image is wrongly licensed as PD but is a derivative of a GFDL image. --Martin H. (talk) 14:35, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Ah, mystery solved. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:16, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

There seems to be a trend of people uploading higher quality non-PD maps over existing PD maps and changing the licensing. This is a definite no-no. New images with new licensing need to be uploaded as separate images. Otherwise you are effectively deleting old maps without discussion. Kaldari (talk) 20:58, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, warn editors doing so on their talk pages. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:29, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Vietnamese stamps

I recently tagged File:Van troi execution NLF Stamp 10.15.1965.jpg, a scan of a vietnamese stamp issued by the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (Vietcong) in 1965, as having no permission. The question here is, if this stamp is already in the public domain today. User:Neozoon already posted a question on Commons talk:Stamps/Public domain, but that discussion page is only rarely visited, so I doubt we will get an answer there in time.

Neither Commons:Licensing nor Commons:Stamps/Public domain say anything about Vietnamese copyright laws, but maybe someone here can help solve this problem. --Kam Solusar (talk) 20:10, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

English translations of some Vietnamese copyright laws are available on the World Intellectual Property Organization website at:
There is another law, Part Six of the Civil Code of 14 June 2005, that may be relevant but is not yet available in electronic format: see
To bring this question to the attention of editors knowledgeable about Vietnamese copyright law, you may wish to leave messages on the talk pages of the English Wikipedia's WikiProject Vietnam and the Vietnamese Wikipedia. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:34, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
That was also during the Vietnam War, supposedly produced in an area controlled by a separate government and probably having completely separate laws at the time. Could get interesting :-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:21, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Yikes, you're right. No idea if the present copyright laws of Vietnam applied in 1965 (probably not). What's the position if we are unable to establish the copyright status of images? I suppose they have to be removed from the Commons? — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:25, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I think usually the new state becomes successor in law to the previous state; all the property of South Vietnam would be property of Vietnam and all South Vietnamese copyrights would be Vietnamese copyrights. So the question is is the stamp PD under current Vietnamese law?--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:03, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether it's right to make such a big assumption. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:38, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Only if newer copyright laws are specifically retroactive... Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:13, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Re: Non self-made screenshots of free software

You remember when I asked if there still may be a form of neighbouring rights applying even to screenshots of free software? The whole "sure the software may be free but the author may still have rights to the presentation and display of the content" idea? This interesting RFD may set a potential precedent based off how it plays out. You might wanna take a look at it. ViperSnake151 (talk) 01:56, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

If the screenshot is derived work of the program and the program license is of the copyleft type, then the screenshot cannot be distributed by another license (except with the permission of the authors). What the RFD should be about is whether the screenshot is a derived work in the sense of the license and copyright law. The output of the program (such as the document produced by a word processor) is explicitly not covered by GPL, but what about the user interface?
If the GPL exclusion clause does not apply to the user interface, then the screenshot must be put under GPL, unless you are free to publish screen shots from similar proprietary programs (which Commons thinks you cannot).
Of course it is possible that the screenshot should be put, but hasn't been put, under the GPL. Then neither the one who made the screenshot nor anybody else may distribute it (other than if the making of the screenshot is regarded as trivial and therefore uncopyrightable).
(If I understand Nard the Bard correctly, the screenshots are put under GPL at the source, which is missing on the pages discussed.)
--LPfi (talk) 12:25, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
The relevant clause is "output from the Program is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on the Program (independent of having been made by running the Program)."
The GPL also includes a clause saying that by distributing a derived work you indicate acceptance of the license. I do not know whether the statement holds in court.
--LPfi (talk) 12:53, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Couldn't decide on license

Yes check.svg ResolvedRedrose64 (talk) 13:46, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Hi, I have uploaded File:The Railway Magazine October 1901 cover 688.jpg but could not decide which license was best. I put {{PD-old}} in the permission because I could not find the relevant row in the list of licenses. Is there enough information on the file's description page? I had to type it all in again because having clicked on Licensing to decide which was suitable (no real help there), on return from that page the form was blanked, apart from the filename. --Redrose64 (talk) 00:10, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

You would need {{PD-UK-unknown}}. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 00:32, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it's shown in Commons:Copyright tags but rather buried. Right then, I've changed the license tag. Should {{PD-old}} be (a) left in the permission; (b) moved to the Licensing section; (c) removed altogether? --Redrose64 (talk) 00:43, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Both are needed, because PD-UK-unknown only established PD in the UK, not in the US, and we need both. Conventionally, PD tags are kept right next to each other, in the Licensing section, so do that. Dcoetzee (talk) 13:32, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
✓ moved, thanks. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:46, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Graphics from a Norwegian Commission

I habe some drawings of parts of the Alexander L. Kielland oil-rig which had an accident in 1980.

This drawings are from: The "Alexander L. Kielland"-accident: From a Commission Appointed by Royal Decree of 28th March, 1980 : Report Presented to Ministry of Justice and Police, March 1981 (NOU 1981:11)

As far as I see this drawings should be public domain as stated in {{PD-NorwayGov}}.

Because the drawings were not the best, I have coloured them and added german explanations.

Which license do I have to use? {{PD-NorwayGov}} ? own work ? both or another?

--Wiki-Chris (talk) 11:00, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Assuming that the drawings are in the public domain, your coloured version of the drawings are a derivative work of the original drawings that you have copyright over, so I think you should add both the {{PD-NorwayGov}} licence as well as a free licence of your choice (Creative Commons, GFDL and/or a PD licence). I would also suggest that you provide a version that does not have German text so that Wikipedia projects in other languages can also make use of the images.
However, I think you need to consider whether the drawings are in fact covered by {{PD-NorwayGov}}. The English translation of §9 of Act No. 2 of 12 May 1961 relating to Copyright in Literary, Scientific and Artistic Works, etc., states:
Legal statutes, administrative regulations, court decisions and other decisions by public authorities are not protected by this Act. This is also the case with proposals, reports and other statements which concern the public exercise of authority, and which are made by a public authority, a publicly appointed council or committee, or published by the public authorities. ... Literary, scientific or artistic works which have not been produced specially for use in documents specified in the first paragraph, and from which parts are quoted or which are reproduced in a separate appendix, are not covered by this provision. Nor shall the first paragraph apply to poetry, musical compositions or works of art. [Emphasis added.]
Drawings are "works of art", so I wonder if they are excluded from the first part of §9. Or does "works of art" mean "works of fine art", since it appears together with poetry and musical compositions? Perhaps an editor familiar with Norwegian law can comment on this. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:27, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
The drawings are (simple) technical drawings. One shows were the lifestations are on the platform, the other shows the columns and their connections. They are line-drawings, no shadows, no grey-scales. I would not consider them as art. --Wiki-Chris (talk) 08:36, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I have uploaded them in the category "petroleum production of norway" --Wiki-Chris (talk) 09:13, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
My point was that it is not clear what "works of art" in §9 of the Norwegian law means – it could either mean any sort of illustration, or only works of fine art. I don't know how accurate the English translation is, but I am inclined to think that perhaps "works of art" is intended to mean works of fine art since it appears together with "poetry" and "musical compositions". In addition, earlier in the same section "artistic works" are referred to, so presumably "artistic works" and "works of art" cannot mean the same thing. However, it would be good if someone familiar with Norwegian law could comment on this. — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:00, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I understand. One thing ist, that this technical drawings were specially made for the report. So they should be pd if they are not fine art. The other thing why I suppose them to be pd is, that they are not art in the way of a painting or something you would see in a gallery. They are illustrations to understand the text of the report (therefore they have additional descripitons, what I can't bring in context with fine art). I don't know if there are qualified norwegian useres here and if somebody could confirm my assumption or falsify it, that would be great. -- 10:31, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Everything depends on what works of art in §9 of the Norwegian law means. You may want to leave messages on the talk pages of the English Wikipedia's WikiProject Norway or the Norwegian Wikipedia (bokmål/nynorsk) to see if there are any editors who can help answer our question. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:26, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
And yet the previous sentence basically says that "artistic works" created specifically for such reports are OK. So whatever the difference between an "artistic work" and "work of art" is, may matter :-) I have no real idea, but a reasonable guess would be something like a full painting. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:00, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

← As a native Norwegian speaker, my understanding of the word kunstverk, used in the Norwegian version of the law and translated as works of art in the text above, does not include technical drawings. To me, it strongly implies something belonging in an art gallery or museum. I am more worried about whether § 9 applies in the first place, but that is something I have little knowledge about. Ters (talk) 10:37, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Why do you think that §9 isn't applicable? The English translation suggests that it does, and it is set out on the template description page of {{PD-NorwayGov}}. — Cheers, JackLee talk 05:41, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
I do not think that it isn't applicable. It is just that I feel less sure about that part than what is meant by kunstverk/works of art. You seem sure about what I am not sure about, while I feel sure about what you are uncertain about. There should be other Norwegians around that can give you a second opinion if you want, but you might need to visit them at home (on the Norwegian Wikipedias). I have just given a common sense interpretation of a word, which is how just about everyone would read that part of the law. Ters (talk) 09:15, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I thought you meant that based on the Norwegian text the whole of §9 was not applicable to this situation. Since you speak Norwegian, do you think you might help us by posting a message on an appropriate talk page of the Norwegian Wikipedias (bokmål/nynorsk) to see if an editor who is knowledgeable about Norwegian law is able to contribute to this discussion? — Cheers, JackLee talk 09:46, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm not an expert either, but if we're talking about drawings like File:ALK columns fractures german.png they are IMO safely covered by PD-NorwayGov. Regards, Finn Rindahl (talk) 19:30, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
They are not necessarilly safe. The term used in Norwegian is "myndighetsutøvelse" ("administration of authority"), and also copyrighted work will not be free even if they are used in a document said to be part of such "myndighetsutøvelse". The interesting thing is wetter the drawing was created as part of such "myndighetsutøvelse". 20:32, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, the drawings are stated to be from "Norsk offentlig utredning 1981:11", thus covered by "Det samme gjelder forslag, utredninger og andre uttalelser som gjelder offentlig myndighetsutøvelse, og er avgitt av offentlig myndighet, offentlig oppnevnt råd eller utvalg, eller utgitt av det offentlige." Unless the NOU-document states gives a different source for these drawings it is safe to assume they were created as part of this. Finn Rindahl (talk) 11:17, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Too trivial for copyright?

File:NL-Army-OF1b.gif and several images like it in Category:Military rank insignia of the Army of the Netherlands were tagged today for deletion as being without sources. These images all consist of one or more stars on a black background — are these too trivial for copyright, as it seems to me? Nyttend (talk) 22:15, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Those do look too trivial for copyright, yes. -Nard the Bard 00:35, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

U.S. Airforce Academy

I would like to upload the image seen here. It was pulled from [35]. The disclaimer page states:

1. This site is provided as a public service by the USAF Academy Public Affairs. 2. Information presented on this site is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested.

Is the disclaimer sufficient? Does it being .mil have any bearing on its possible use?Cptnono (talk) 20:54, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

The image was taken by 2nd Lt. John Ross for the U.S. Air Force Academy. To the best of my knowledge, that makes it a work of the federal government and therefore in the public domain. I assume that's what the disclaimer is intended to mean, but it isn't very clear about it. That disclaimer alone would probably not be enough to claim that an image was in the public domain. Powers (talk) 00:56, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Pretty sure the U.S. Air Force Academy is part of the Air Force, and so part of the U.S. Government as well (there are links to Department of Defense policies also applying). And, as noted, the photo was taken by a member of the Air Force itself, so it is {{PD-USGov-Military-Air Force}}, no matter what website it is on, and can be uploaded. The filename style is also indicative of a US military photo; the "-F-" portion indicates it was taken by an Air Force member. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:54, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Sounds to me as if they're saying "It's public domain, but we'd appreciate it if you would be kind enough to attribute us": it seems to be a nonbinding request, with which (incidentally) we at Commons must comply because we're required to attribute a source or have the image deleted. Nyttend (talk) 14:38, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
I was thinking they were requesting a photo credit in captions, in the traditional form "(Ross/USAFA)" or the like. Powers (talk) 20:05, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Um, no, lack of attribution is not a reason to delete. Only lack of sources to back up the claimed license. That said, it is exceptionally bad form to not credit an author when known, so obviously a credit like the above should be added. There is 17 U.S.C. 403, which basically invalidates copyright notices on derivative works claimed by another party when the bulk is uncredited U.S. government work, so there is *some* requirement to credit ;-) In this case, it is labeled a USAF photo (not really USAFA) -- but give the full name of the photographer too, obviously. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:49, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Good point; I was remembering that a source is required, and forgetting that we aren't absolutely required to give the name of a photographer for a PD image. Nyttend (talk) 06:21, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
To be clear, that the photo was taken by a member of the Air Force is only relevant if it was taken in the course of his official duties. =) Powers (talk) 20:05, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, of course ;-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:49, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Which makes me wonder: if a photo is taken by an average member of the US military during a military operation, is that photo PD-USGov? For example, File:1944 NormandyLST.jpg is clearly PD because it was taken by an official photographer, but what if it had been taken by one of the men who are wading ashore in the photo? Obviously they were where they were as part of their official duties, but would it be copyrightable because the average soldier's job description didn't include taking pictures? Nyttend (talk) 06:21, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
It can get fuzzy -- if they were using government-owned cameras, that still would probably be a work-for-hire, as that would have been part of their duties that day (official job description or not). If taken with a personal camera, then they may well own the copyright. But, if such photographs are given to and published on official military websites, it is probably safe to assume those are PD (unless there is a specific notice otherwise). Photos taken by a soldier and self-published on say Flickr, definitely not -- those would be private and copyrightable. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:03, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
I was meaning exactly what you suggested in your final sentence. Nyttend (talk) 03:48, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I believe "during the course of the person's official duties" means "as part of the person's official duties" rather than "coincidentally during the same time he was on the clock". =) Powers (talk) 15:18, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Front page of a magazine

Hi! Someone asked med of a front page of a magazine ( / can be on Commons with {{PD-old}}. The page shows Nordisk Mönster-Tidende (Denmark) from Juni 17, 1906. The illustrations might be made of someone named "J. Chapuis" (could not find further information about this person. Any good suggestions?--MGA73 (talk) 14:39, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

You need to find the artist. Maybe he/she was French? Plates imported from Paris? Possible names are then Jean, Jeanne, Jean(n)ette, Jacques, Jacqueline. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 15:04, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
By the way, don't use {{PD-old}}; it's deprecated. The image is unambiguously in the public domain in the United States (so use {{PD-1923}}), but you'll need to determine the copyright status in Denmark as well, and provide an appropriate PD tag if it's in the public domain there as well. If it's not in the public domain in Denmark, you can't upload it until it is. Powers (talk) 15:18, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
Asuming, that the illustrator ("J. Chapuis") was actually an employe at the magazine, would a written permission from the Danish magazine publisher, Aller Media: official website), be sufficient? Or do the illustrator/artist still retain the rights to the pictures him/herself. --Froztbyte (talk) 21:37, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
That's a question that you should ask the magazine publisher, if you are going to get in touch with them. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:47, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

License Ava Gardner

Hi, I would like to talk about the license of this photograph File:Ava Gardner.jpg. The web of Internet Archive says it is in the Public Domain. However, in this link [36], you can read: the original copyright holders retain their copyrights. So, my question is: It is in the Public Domain or not? It seems a photograph of the film Mayerling.--Aylaross (talk) 18:17, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

IIRC Ourmedia is a site which allows anyone to upload photos. Its doubtful that the person who uploaded this image is the copyright holder. Without the original source information, it would be difficult to determine the current copyright status; guessing based on when Ava Gardner was active, I'd say its unlikely that this image is in the public domain. Shell babelfish 02:22, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
The Internet Archive is hosted in Canada which has diffferent (and somewhat more lenient) copyright laws from many other countries. So unless an image was originally taken in Canada, it may not qualify for upload to Commons. To be specific, per Commons:Licensing#Canada "All photographs taken before 1 January, 1949 are in the public domain." That only applies to Canada though. WMF servers are located in the United States and Commons policy is to honor the copyright law of the country of origin. So in practical terms this often means that images which were taken during the second quarter of the twentieth century are eligible for Internet Archive hosting but not for WMF sites. Here's hoping that answers your question. Durova (talk) 02:37, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Pretty sure the Internet Archive is hosted in the U.S. (sounds like its servers may now be somewhat mobile; see here). As for the image though, I think we need a better PD reference than the above. If it is indeed from the film Mayerling, it could not be PD due to non-renewal of the copyright, since the film is from 1968. It would have to be shown that it was published without a copyright notice -- seems pretty dubious. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:55, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Greek banknotes

The copyright of Greek banknotes (see Category:Banknotes of Greece) is not owned by the Greek Government. Only regular circulation coins of a value up to 1000 drachmae were issued (minted) by the Bank of Greece on behalf of the Government. Between 1928 and 2002 the banknotes were designed, issued and owned by the Bank of Greece, which is technically a Corporation (an Anonymous Company, like the french S.A. or the german AG). In addition the designers of many banknotes are known, so a life+70 years copyright should apply. I believe that the following images are tagged incorectly:

Sv1xv (talk) 18:29, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Also the following three photos of old bills fall in this category:

Sv1xv (talk) 09:20, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

I am not familiar with Greek copyright law, so just a few thoughts off the top of my head. First, is the fact that the designers are known relevant? Presumably they were hired by the Bank of Greece to produce the banknote designs on the Bank's behalf, so it seems unlikely to me that the Bank would have allowed the designers to retain copyright over the designs rather than having it reside with them. Secondly, if you are sure that the images were not uploaded under proper free licences, you can tag them for speedy deletion with {{copyvio}}. However, if you are uncertain whether the licences are valid or not, you can list the images at "Commons:Deletion requests" for further discussion. — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:02, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I have made some informal enquiries and discovered that the designers were employees of the bank. However in the greek law the duration of protection does not change if it is work for hire, as is the case in the USA. The important thing is that these are not anonymous (or, more accurately, pseudonymous) works, so they don't become PD 70 years after the date of issue. As for marking the images with {{copyvio}} or filing deletion requests, I believe these actions are not the proper method for discussing copyright issues. We already have more than enough copyright paranoia on Commons. Sv1xv (talk) 12:21, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you want to do. If you are certain that the images are incorrectly licensed and that they are still subject to copyright, then there are no two ways about it – they must be tagged with {{copyvio}} and speedily deleted because they cannot remain in the Commons. Or are you unsure whether the designers of the banknotes are still alive or not, and asking for help in establishing their identities? If the latter, you may want to also leave messages on the talk pages of WikiProject Greece and the Greek Wikipedia and ask them to participate in the discussion here. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:21, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Copyright of File:Francis-Gary-Powers trial cia.jpg

(First off, I hope I've got the right place to ask this.) I noticed that File:Francis-Gary-Powers trial cia.jpg is tagged as being a work of the US government and therefore PD. This seems odd to me, as it is a photo of a trial in Moscow in 1960, and although it's possible that it was taken by a US diplomat (I'd assume they were there, given he was a US pilot on trial for spying), surely it is at least as likely that it was taken by someone else, e.g. a Soviet official or a press photographer. -- AJR | Talk 16:04, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

According to the apparently inconclusive discussion at "Commons:Village pump/Archive/2007Dec#Image:Francis-Gary-Powers trial cia.jpg", the source of the image is the website of the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence. I note that according to the site policies page of the website:
Unless a copyright is indicated, information on the Central Intelligence Agency Web site is in the public domain and may be reproduced, published or otherwise used without the Central Intelligence Agency's permission. We request only that the Central Intelligence Agency be cited as the source of the information and that any photo credits or bylines be similarly credited to the photographer or author or Central Intelligence Agency, as appropriate.
If a copyright is indicated on a photo, graphic, or any other material, permission to copy these materials must be obtained from the original source.
In this case, the photograph in question is from an article reproduced on the website by Alexander Orlov called "The U-2 Program: A Russian Officer Remembers: A "Hot" Front in the Cold War". At the bottom of the page is the following passage: "This article contains copyrighted material. Further dissemination is prohibited without permission of the author and the Center for the Study of Intelligence." I therefore think that the photograph is not in the public domain and has to be removed from the Commons unless both Orlov and the CIA agree to license it freely. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:01, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
I've listed the image for deletion. Please discuss the matter at "Commons:Deletion requests/2009/11/30#File:Francis-Gary-Powers trial cia.jpg". — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:44, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Compensation for releasing an image

Apologies for not posting this to the correct page (none seem to be). My question is whether anyone has been in a situation where the photographer of an image of a living person has agreed to release their image under a free license in return for a one-time monetary compensation, and in that case what you think a reasonable sum would be. I am sure it depends on many factors, but assume that the photo is a studio portrait of reasonable quality. Thanks in advance. Decltype (talk) 08:11, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

No, I haven't encountered such a situation. It really depends on whether you are willing to pay the sum requested, I guess. If the photograph is an absolutely amazing one and you feel you must have it to use in an article you are working on, and see the payment as a donation to Wikipedia to improve its content, then by all means go ahead. But make sure that the photographer realizes that he or she is going to license it under a free licence (i.e., other people will be able to make further use of the image by redistributing it, reusing it for both commercial and non-commercial purposes, and making modifications to it), and forward the e-mail correspondence on the matter to so that it can be verified through the OTRS. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:56, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer. Yes, I have informed the photographer that they must agree to irrevocably release their photo under the conditions of a suitable free license, and that I would be willing to offer a monetary compensation in return. I am familiar with OTRS and requesting permission, but I still appreciate you taking the time to explain. Regards, Decltype (talk) 13:37, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Are templates like Template:PD-AR-Photo and simmilar actualy appropriate for Commons?

This page states that Commons only accept images that are free licensed or public domain in both the US and the source country. The Argentine license tag simply states that the photos are public domain in Argentina because copyright on photos there expire 25 years after publication creation. However as I understand it the United States does not implement the rule of the shorter term, so in the US those photos will still be copyrighted for the full term under US law which is considerably longer (life of author + 70 years in most cases). Doesn't mean that a lot of the photos using this (and similar national PD tags) should in fact not have been uploaded here, or have I missed something? --Sherool (talk) 02:25, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Very few relevant works have a 70 p.m.a. term in the U.S. (only works first published since 1978) -- most would use older U.S. copyright terms. For foreign works, the U.S. copyright status usually depends very highly on if a work was copyrighted in the country of origin on the URAA date -- if it was not (per terms like PD-AR-Photo), then there is no copyright in the U.S. either (unless the foreign work was published in compliance with all the old formalities, such as with a copyright notice, properly renewed with the U.S. copyright office, etc. -- exceedingly rare.) At any rate, such tags are used to document the copyright status in the country of origin; sometimes a U.S. tag is required as well. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:13, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
As Clindberg says, Argentine photos that were out of copyright in Argentina in 1996 are out of copyright in the US. However, there's a widespread opinion that, for whatever reason, we should act like rule of the shorter term actually applied in the US, which currently prevents the deletion of such works that are out of copyright in their home country but not in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:01, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
As much as I hate to say "let's use an unfree work unless we get a takedown notice" I'd say that's the current Commons consensus on this matter. Works that are PD in the source country are probably not undergoing current commercial exploitation in the US. If they are however, we should be quick to respond to any complaint on the matter. -Nard the Bard 04:50, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Since when has "current commercial exploitation" been a criteria for determining if an image is PD/free or not? All I'm saying is that we should be consistent, copyright issues are confusing enough as they are, we should not operate with two sets of rules, one "official written down" and one "what we actually do", at least not when it comes to copyright and licensing. Commons:Licensing#Interaction of United States copyright law and non-US copyright law seem quite clear, but are you saying the consensus on the project is actually the opposite? According to the note on Category:Works copyrighted in the U.S. the cause of action have yet to be decided. Has there actually been an RFC or similar on this subject or are we just going by the "people keep uploading such images so there is a de-facto consensus to allow them" kind of deal? --Sherool (talk) 13:16, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't think there is any consensus. I would consider such images to be highly discouraged, but there has been a reluctance to delete ones already uploaded. Such images should be tagged with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} in case we ever reach a consensus (there is a challenge to the URAA in the court system, and a small portion of it was declared unconstitutional in the latest ruling, so that has affected opinions too). When you get down to it, there are many works which are PD in most countries but still copyrighted in some -- do you consider those "free"? In some cases, works are PD in virtually every country in the world *except* for the United States. Do you consider those "free"? We will host works which are PD in the U.S. but virtually nowhere else, are those "free"? That is partly why we need as many details on the authorship, etc. of all works, because re-usage must be judged differently in different countries; even though we may host works here under our rules, they may not be PD in various other countries. Copyright is complicated, and usually there is no hiding from it. PD in "both the US and the source country" is the compromise the community chose, but technically it is something the community could change (unless we get an edict from the Foundation... which we sort of did, but they also said please don't go hunting down and deleting existing images because of it), and there have been a few cases where the result of following that rule felt pretty ridiculous. It was discussed a few times without much resolution that I can remember. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:39, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
What about images that where not restored by URAA, that is images who's copyright have lapsed after the restoration date (in other words their copyright have at no point been considered expired under US law)? I think at least the license templates themselves should contain a similar notice rater than relying on someone adding a second tag. --Sherool (talk) 17:42, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Um... those would precisely be the works which were restored by the URAA. If works were PD in their country of origin on the URAA date, the U.S. copyright was *not* restored; if they were still copyrighted in their country of origin then their U.S. copyright was restored, and thereafter they get whatever copyright status it would have had in the U.S. had it been properly registered and renewed. Subsequent changes in the country of origin (falling out of copyright, or law changes which restore copyright there) have no effect in the U.S. Those works, if published before 1923, are still PD in the U.S.; if published between 1923 and 1977 inclusive they are copyrighted 95 years from publication, and if created and published since 1978 they will have a 70 pma term (if created by an individual). U.S. copyrights for old works are currently frozen, increasing from 75 to 95 years from publication; that is why the 1923 dividing line is frozen right now and does not increase every year, so there are no copyrights lapsing in the U.S. right now. The odds that foreign works which were not restored by the URAA still having a valid U.S. copyright is exceptionally low; they would have had to comply with copyright notices, renewal registrations with the U.S. copyright notice and the timings thereof, the manufacturing clause, the part which requires two copies be sent to the U.S. Library of Congress to be a valid registration, etc. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:50, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
I would say merely rare, not exceptionally low. British publishers often took care to follow the manufacturing clause and the other details. For non-English works, the rules were less arduous; no manufacturing clause, for one. Kafka was properly filed and renewed. A quick search reveals 112 renewed works "traduit" whether it be "de l'allemand", "de l'anglais", or whatever, in the renewal files, so foreign publishers did at times follow the renewal rules.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:47, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
I probably should have qualified that a bit by making clear that I was referring to media typically uploaded here -- usually photographs, graphics, etc. Many foreign books were probably registered correctly and followed all the rules; publishing companies were likely well aware of those ramifications and made sure to follow them. I am however guessing that there are exceptionally few (for example) individual photographs which had the same treatment. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:34, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
One can also philosophize on the question whether FOP-images of sculptures and other art is really free in the US. Deleting such images would obviously destroy commons. This would become server for US images, non-english wikipedias would return to local uploading. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 17:50, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and we also can draw the line so that we don't get into those (more theoretical) situations, and respect U.S. copyright law (where the servers are). There have most certainly been court cases over URAA-restored works which have since lapsed in their country of origin, and those copyrights were upheld. As a practical matter, any such work which has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office needs to be deleted immediately -- the legal consequences for the Foundation go up dramatically once that happens. Without such registration, the scope of any problems is actually pretty low, which is probably the only reason it is even possible to consider. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:50, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
I think the structure of Commons is pretty bizarre if deleting such images would destroy it; I fail to see how it's obvious at all. Especially as France, Italy and several countries have as restrictive or more restrictive FOP laws. In any case, nobody seems interested in arguing how US courts would interpret foreign FOP law; the discussion at hand is the violation of US law as has been clearly interpreted by the courts.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:47, 30 November 2009 (UTC)


I've uploaded file File:CaptainRobertWilson.jpg which was sourced from here. I'm not entirely sure that I've put the proper license in place. The image is in the public domain in Canada as noted in the link. Have I placed the proper license template or is another more appropriate? -- Whpq (talk) 19:52, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I can't tell if the photograph was created in Canada or not, but if so, you should use {{PD-Canada}} and {{PD-1923}} together. {{PD-Old}} is now deprecated. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:04, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
The file is created in Canada. Thanks. -- Whpq (talk) 11:49, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

File:Albanian prisoners in Belgrade.jpg

File:Albanian prisoners in Belgrade.jpg I am not sure that that picture is in public domain. For that picture author is not known, as sender of picture wrote there. Same applies to File:Serbian Army in Luma 1912.jpg.--SLAK (talk) 07:49, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

The source website is not in English (is it in Serbian?). If you speak Serbian, perhaps you can try and see if the website contains any statement about the copyright of content on the website. However, I note that the image in question has a caption or headline in German, and appears to be a reproduction from a newspaper page. I don't know whether it's possible to identify the newspaper in question (is it mentioned in the website?) and thus the photographer. Anyway, there is a question of whether Serbian or German copyright law is relevant here. There are quite a lot of unknowns, so unless these can be resolved it may not be appropriate to keep the images in the Commons. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:14, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

I tried but could not identify author.--SLAK (talk) 21:58, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

User:SLAK originally raised this at w:Wikipedia:Media copyright questions#File:Albanian prisoners in Belgrade.jpg 23:54, 1 December 2009 (UTC). I advised them to come here, since the images are held on Commons; but the thread now appears to be developing in two places at once. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:46, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

They would be public domain in the U.S., by virtue of being published before 1923. If they were first published in Germany or Austria, then if the photographer was truly not mentioned with the original, then they might be {{Anonymous-EU}}. Obviously, it can be hard to tell when there is little info on the original source. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:35, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Pictures of old swords under PD-Art license?

I know that it is possible to upload pictures of old paintings, writings on papers, other 2D objects with a PD-Art license. How about such pictures of swords. Can they be considered 2D for the purpose of upload under PD-Art? bamse (talk) 11:15, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

No, COM:PDART#This does not apply to photographs of 3D works of art (Of course a sword is not even artwork but a commodity). Creating slavish, technical reproductions of 2D artwork is considered a faithful reproduction of the original with no original contribution and so creating the reproduction is not eligible for copyright. Creating a photograph (or even a scan) of a 3D object is always eligible for copyright. --Martin H. (talk) 13:58, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Martin H. is right. Regardless of whether a three-dimensional object is an artwork or not, some skill and originality is required to photograph it. In this case, the photographer of the sword had to ensure that the lighting was correct and to choose the correct angle to photograph the sword from. Therefore, the photograph cannot be considered a slavish, mechanical reproduction of the work. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:17, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Too bad. I just thought that since these swords are very thin, they might be 2D. The Bladesmith article speaks of the "art of making ... swords...", and many people would probably agree that it is an artform.bamse (talk) 18:32, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Whether the object in question is a piece of art or not is irrelevant. The point is that it is a three-dimensional object, so the photographer has exercised skill and judgment in taking the photograph of it (he or she has to ensure that the lighting is suitable, and has to choose a particular angle to take it from). The same rule would apply to a photograph of, say, a spanner. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:41, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I got it now.bamse (talk) 15:40, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Pictures of old PD art objects from books

If I have pictures of old (hundreds of years) art objects in a book. What are the conditions under which I can upload a scan from the book to commons? Does it depend on the publication date of the book or the date of death of the photographer or something else? (The objects are 3D, so PD-Art does not help.) bamse (talk) 15:44, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

The age of the three-dimensional artworks themselves is irrelevant. What you need to find out is if the photographs of the artworks are in the public domain. However, there is no straightforward answer as it depends on a combination of factors. You will probably need to find out the following facts:
  • Which country's laws apply to the photographs (this is often determined by the place where a photograph was taken and/or by the nationality of the photographer).
  • Whether the identities of the photographers are known or unknown.
  • If the photographers are known, whether they are still living or deceased, and if deceased, the dates of death.
  • The dates when the photographs were created.
  • The dates when the photographs were first published (were they published for the first time in the book, or could some or all of them have been published earlier on?).
For an example of how complicated the position can be, see [37] which relates to the law of the United Kingdom. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:22, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Wow, thanks for the quick and thorough reply. I didn't expect it to be that complicated. PS: I remember there were some problems with copyright regarding the lights on Eiffel Tower (or something like that), that's why I mentioned that it is old PD artworks.bamse (talk) 21:18, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, modern artworks may have their own copyright, making photographs of them derivative works (and therefore not freely licensable by the photographer). The Eiffel Tower itself is PD but the modern lighting company claims a copyright on the display. Old items like that are obviously PD, but the photos themselves are separate works, so we need to know authors, dates of creation/publication, etc. before determining if they could be public domain. For books in the last 70 years that is usually unlikely (and often for even older books). Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:14, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Which PD template?

File:Colonel Crawford Burn Site Monument drawing.jpg is a drawing copied from a book published in the USA in 1898. While I don't know its date or author, I know that it's PD because of age; but which PD template should I use — PD-US, PD-old, or PD-1923? I've never quite figured out the difference between the three, since the only PD images that I normally upload from websites are PD-USGov of some sort or another. Nyttend (talk) 00:58, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

PD-Old is for 70 p.m.a -- meaning you know the author and when they died. PD-US is more of a catchall for several types of U.S. copyright expiration; that would work, or PD-1923 would be best as the more specific one for this case. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:08, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Khachkar image

I would like to upload this image [38]. Since there is no licensing information with the image, I asked on the site's notice board if I could get permission to upload it to Commons. An administrator there said I could use it under Creative Commons 3.0 [39]. What will I have to do now so that I can upload it? Malcolm Schosha (talk) 13:50, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Its important that not an administrator but the uploader and presumably photographer and copyright holder of the image gave you the permission. Any permission by an administrator would be not enough. Simply upload it using Special:Upload, source, author Raffi Kojian, some permission text "the copyright holder allowed to reuse this image under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license." The license tg is {{cc-by-3.0}}. --Martin H. (talk) 14:12, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
In fact it was Raffi Kojian, the copy right holder, who was the administrator who said it was ok to use the image under Commons 3.0[40]. Is anything more needed beyond his permission on the wiki's message board before I upload the image? Malcolm Schosha (talk) 14:51, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I think you should communicate with the copyright owner by e-mail, confirm that the image is question is to be released under CC-BY-3.0, and then forward the conversation to for OTRS verification. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:30, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

PD-USGov vs. Flickr

Hi. I been uploading images from the Embassy of the US in my country (Uruguay) for some time using a suitable template (i think). Two month ago the personnel of the Embassy began uploading the images of their site ( to flickr instead of their server (maybe for issues of images sizes, who knows). The thing is that the licence they use in their photos in flickr is CC BY-NC-ND (absolutely incompatible with the license they should be releasing their photos). I think the situation its simple (they are mistaken) but i wanted to throw it here before uploading more images. Thank you.--Zeroth (talk) 12:50, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Yes, Flickr images tagged with CC-BY-NC-ND cannot be uploaded to the Commons. You may want to ask the Uruguayan embassy to retag them CC-BY or CC-BY-SA. But if the images are works of the US Federal Government, I think you can use them under the {{PD-USGov}} licence even if they have been uploaded to Flickr under a more restrictive licence. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:44, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
As long as the flickr account assures that "These photographs are works of the United States Government, excluded from copyright law and considered to be in the public domain [...]" you can surely upload them with {{PD-USGov-DOS}}. You may write some information in the permission field, like that phrase I just wrote with a link to the profile. However, this statement helps us to decide here, without this statement I would have thought that it is better to ask, but here we can use the images without doubt. The profile also says "They are being made available for [...] educational use, and/or for personal use by the subject(s) of the photographs", well thats not valid restrictions, the images are free of copyright and everyone can use them. --Martin H. (talk) 16:07, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Thank you.--Zeroth (talk) 17:27, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
By the way, if you are going to download the images from Flickr instead of obtaining them from some other source, you should seriously consider getting in touch with the Flickr account holder and explain why the images should be tagged using CC-BY or CC-BY-SA. After all, if US Federal Government materials are in the public domain, the embassy in Uruguay should not be confusing the matter by putting a more limited licence on its images. If you upload the images as they are currently licensed, they will fail the licence check carried out the Flickr review bot, and then you may need to spend time explaining to other editors why the images are OK despite this. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:34, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
The White House Flickr stream has gotten Flickr to make a "United States Government Work" tag just for them; the embassy may well want to ask Flickr about being able to use that tag for their works as well. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:37, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
  • A literal reading of U.S. copyright law does allow this licensing, if the intent was to release the photos under a restrictive license abroad, but still be PD-USGov works in the States. The copyright exemption for federal works does not apply abroad, and would be copyrighted for the life of the natural author plus 70 years (or whatever local law said). That being said, for the purposes of Commons these would still be copyright free works. -Nard the Bard 13:53, 6 December 2009 (UTC)