Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 24

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.


PD-US when no evidence work was US

In May I posted a request at Template talk:PD-US#Still confusing - insufficient for Commons for better clarification as to what is acceptable to Commons when {{PD-US}} is used, especially for works not made or not published in the US, or for which there is no evidence. I bring this up now because File:Salon de locomotion aerienne 1909 Grand Palais Paris.jpg has just been deleted from the English wikipedia due to its being on Commons. That image does not have a source to indicate it was a US work, nor that it was published in the US before 1923. Should it be moved back? -84user (talk) 05:25, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

This image is possibly public domain, but more information is required. We need to know the photographer (and the year of his death) and the date and place of the original publication. If it was published in France in 1909 (very likely) but no other information is not available, it should be copied back to and deleted from Commons. Sv1xv (talk) 05:48, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

I have not found more information on this one. What I did find:

  • The upload history had the comment "Science & Vie" so I looked in the summary lists of the French magazine of that name, at [1]. Summaries for January to August do not mention 1909 exhibition or anything aviation related, but of course the summaries do not include everything. I glanced at the July issue 1102 and saw nothing except an ad for a 2009 aviation exhibition, and no air theme appears on the covers from 1092 to 1101.
  • A different photo apears on flickr here.
  • London magazine Flight, 1909-10-02, Volume 40, pages 601 and 609 have the same scene photographed from different angles. Again, no credit line, except what what might be "A. P." bottom right on page 609.
  • Another image, copyrighted Jacques Boyer / Roger-Viollet appears here.
  • I tried and failed to find anything with [2]

I am now requesting undeletion at the English Wikipedia and have asked the uploader for more information. -84user (talk) 14:51, 6 December 2009 (UTC) (fixed user link of uploader)

Update: original image has been restored on English wikipedia to en:File:Salon de locomotion aerienne 1909 Grand Palais Paris.jpg and I have added a "Do not move to Commons" template for now. -84user (talk) 23:34, 6 December 2009 (UTC)


Is {{Money-IL}} really a free license / PD? I feel those restrictions are pretty strict. Miraceti (talk) 11:41, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

I think you are right; the licence may not be free enough for the Commons. I think the main problem is the restrictions on modification. According to the licence, if a person wishes to reproduce currency notes in advertisements, books, etc., in colour, no alterations are allowed to the original colours and designs. There are no such restrictions if the currency notes are reproduced in black and white. Nonetheless, the restrictions on changing the colour and designs of notes reproduced in colour seem to be enough to disqualify the licence as a truly free one. It would be better if the images are transferred back to one or more of the Wikipedia projects. — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:56, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Flickr license vs description

I am searching sometime flickr and uploading some usefull pics. Today i found this - - all pictures in set have CC Attribution 2.0 License, but it its description is written: "These photos are copyright. Dont take without permission!". I am confused, if cc-at license is valid. --Jklamo (talk) 00:40, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

There are two possibiities. 1) The flickr user is confused about licensing and doesn't realize what cc-by means. 2) The author is fully aware of what cc-by means and is trying to intimidate casual re-users who aren't following the license. -Nard the Bard 01:27, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
There's an obvious solution - ask the uploader. -mattbuck (Talk) 03:01, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

RMS Titanic Team Expedition 2004, ROI, IFE, NOAA-OE

Is this video suitable for {{PD-USGov-NOAA}} tag?--Kozuch (talk) 11:36, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Can you establish if the expedition was organized by the NOAA? — Cheers, JackLee talk 05:15, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Seems like it was organized by more organizations - "Video courtesy of the RMS Titanic Team Expedition 2004, ROI, IFE, NOAA-OE." I have no idea what ROI and IFE means though...--Kozuch (talk) 07:56, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, is there any evidence to show that the video made by an employee of the NOAA or for the NOAA? Is there any copyright statement on the relevant web page or elsewhere on the website? That might help to establish the copyright status of the video. — Cheers, JackLee talk 09:19, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Comment: To purchase rights to this photo, email me ..

I came accross the photo File:Portland Convention Center 1.jpg where the user adds as a standard phrase: "To purchase rights to this photo, email me at:" This gives in my opinion a wrong impression. The message starts with "As stated above, you are free to distribute and modify the file." but ends with as is said "BUT to purchase rights to this photo, email me". In my opinion this sentence about purchase rights should not be there. Wouter (talk) 12:33, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't see a problem. Clearly tagged with a free license, which is then explained and summarized. There is not "but" for the last sentence. It just means "if you'd rather pay than comply with the above licenses, contact me and we can find an arrangement". Why not. –Tryphon 12:37, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
The image was licensed as GFDL. Uploader was prepared to relax the requirement of attaching the GFDL license for a fee. But then commons decided to put this on a creative-commons license. That is the very dubious thing here. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 12:40, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I think the image is correctly licensed, and thus it is appropriately hosted in the Commons. I understand the sentence highlighted by Wouter to mean that upon an appropriate payment, the photographer is willing to release the image for use under even less restrictive arrangements (e.g., no need to attribute author, no need to relicense under CC or GFDL). This does raise the question, though, of whether it is appropriate for contributors to use the Commons as a sort of shop window for advertising their goods. That is a matter for discussion at the Village Pump, I think. — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:10, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
FWIW, I've frequently sold rights to my photos I've uploaded on Commons. Often for print media that is not part of the "free media" world, CC-BY isn't very convenient (which is fine by me; I wish we'd stuck to GFDL, making it even harder for people who aren't giving their stuff away to use mine for free). On my own recent uploads, I write "Use in conformance with the granted licenses is welcome. Please note license terms, including the requirement to credit the photographer" and on my user page I make it clear that I'm open to licensing on other terms. Also FWIW, for almost anything where they aren't making money and CC-BY won't work for them, I settle for just a photo credit. So, while this is a little more blatant than my approach, I think it's ultimately equivalent. - Jmabel ! talk 19:24, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I think there is no problem with the shop window approach, as long as it is the license terms that can be relaxed for money. It is problematic if better quality (or the most valuable images) only can be bought for money – but even that seems to be accepted and sometimes even suggested when asking institutions to release their images.
It is possible to have a more radical stance, namely that non-free licensing is evil and thus furthering the business through Commons should be discouraged. I do not think it is probable that we would reach such consensus here in a foreseeable future.
--LPfi (talk) 09:18, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Opinions needed on File:Schwa Menu.jpg

I have loaded this picture of a restaurant menu from Flikr. The Flikr license is compatible, but there is some question as to whether the menu itself is copyrighted. It is my opinion that the presentation is too simply to attract a copyright, but I am not really sure. More knowledgeable opinions would certainly be appreciated. The restaurant is located in the United States. Thanks, ThaddeusB (talk) 20:28, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

IMHO it looks simple enough for {{PD-text}} to apply. — Cheers, JackLee talk 04:57, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
If that is a U.S. menu (looks like it), then yes I would agree PD-text is correct. The U.S. does not allow a copyright on the arrangement of text on a page (some other countries are different). There are no graphic pictures either. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:22, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Be sure to tag it with {{trademark}}, though. Powers (talk) 14:50, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Statue in Dublin, Ireland

I found a {{NoUploads}} banner on Category:Danny Osborne. Rather than just deleting this banner, I would be grateful for confirmation or not on the panorama copyright in Ireland. Snowmanradio (talk) 19:53, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

According to COM:FOP, it is ok to upload photos of works by Danny Osborne if they are permanently located at a public place. Sv1xv (talk) 20:17, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Raised relief map

I own a plastic moulded raised relief map replicating a three-dimensional form of mountains. May I take a picture of a part and edit that photo under certain conditions or copyrights ? --Zorion (talk) 16:13, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm assuming you did not make the relief map, in which case the copyright in it is held by another person. In which country was the map originally published, and where are you located at present? — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:59, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Excellent question. I bought this map a couple years ago in Spain and I'm located in Canada. --Zorion (talk)
OK, tricky. I think what we need to find out is the following:
  1. Assuming that the Spanish relief map is copyrighted in Spain, does it also have copyright in Canada now? Some countries recognize the copyrights of other countries on a reciprocal basis. If the Spanish copyright is not recognized in Canada, then you are free to photograph the map and upload it to the Commons under a free licence.
  2. Are there any provisions in Canadian law that would permit you to take a two-dimensional photograph of a three-dimensional object without infringing the copyright of the latter? In some countries, copyright is not breached if one takes a photograph of a three-dimensional object if it is a "useful article": see "Commons:Derivative works#Isn't every product copyrighted by someone? What about cars? Or kitchen chairs? My computer case?" If Canadian law is similar to UK law (and I suspect is), it probably has a similar principle. However, I don't know whether one would consider a relief map a "useful article".
You can have a look at the texts of Canadian copyright statutes on the WIPO website, but if you are not a lawyer such statutes can be quite confusing to read. You may want to post a message on the WikiProject Canada talk page asking for knowledgeable editors to participate in this discussion. — Cheers, JackLee talk 05:09, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your answer Jack. There are many tracks to explore however I put a post-it to the WikiProject Canada talk page and we'll see what information we can get from it. Kind regards --Zorion (talk) 06:04, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Basic answer is if it is a modern map, then yes it would virtually certainly be copyrighted. Both Spain and Canada are members of the Berne Convention, and will respect each other's copyrights, to a point many decades beyond the author's death. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:51, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
One more point: that it is sold in Spain doesn't mean it was made in Spain. I think Spanish law is quite irrelevant if it was made somewhere else by somebody not Spanish and sold around the world. But as Clindberg writes, the map is probably a "work" and pictures of it treated as derived works that may not be published without consent of the original copyright owner.--LPfi (talk) 09:28, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
The identity (and possibly nationality) of the map's publisher should be printed somewhere on the map or its packaging. — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:15, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
There are so many things on that legend. Many actors have been involved to make this three-dimensional map of mountains. 1 : The names of two toponymists 2 : One ISBN... and one L.G. SS..... reference map 3 : One editor company located in Spain 4: One modeller company located in Spain and 5 : One cartographist company also located in Spain . Then, who is the real owner and a third of the map crosses over the Pyrenees and is located in France --Zorion (talk) 17:46, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I think the most relevant information is probably the company that had ultimate responsibility for publishing the map. Do the terms created by/creator or published by/publisher appear anywhere? Of course it is difficult to tell without actually seeing the legend on the map, but from what you say it does sound like the map was published in Spain and is thus copyrighted there. Assuming you can come to a conclusion on that, the next step is to find out if Spanish copyrights are enforceable in Canada. As Clindberg has pointed out, the answer to this is likely to be "yes". The next point is whether any exemption exists in Canadian law for photographs of three-dimensional "useful objects" to be taken without breaching copyright, and whether a relief map qualifies for such an exemption. Hopefully someone knowledgeable about Canadian law will be able to provide answers to these questions. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:59, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

My point is simple but tricky. Is a three-dimensional map considered as same as a two-dimensional map (with copyrights) or as a simple object (without copyright)? What the law says about that? --Zorion (talk) 19:51, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Copyright can subsist in three-dimensional objects too, for example, a Mickey Mouse clock or a modern statue in an art gallery. — Cheers, JackLee talk 20:03, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I guess I have my answer now. If an object like your Mickey Mouse clock has a copyright on it, no doult that my moulded map has one too. Thanks Jack. --Zorion (talk) 21:19, 9 December 2009 (UTC)


This template is a myth, isn't it? Believing that everything a congressman touches becomes gold Public Domain is magical thought, not law. The law does not go beyond saying that a photo is PD if the photographer is a federal employee. In the case of Senator Kirk's picture uploaded as File:Paul Kirk Official Photo.jpg, there is no way of ascertaining that the picture is PD as long as the senator does not disclose who the photographer is and the financial conditions for the taking of the picture that would reveal if this is an independent photographer or a federal employee. Teofilo (talk) 02:56, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Congressmen are federal employees too, as are members of their offices. Certainly not a myth -- anything authored by them, or their offices, in the course of their duties is public domain. Congressional websites are only for official business. Official portraits taken while they are Congressional members are generally assumed to be PD -- pretty sure the Congress provides those. Not as sure about just anything posted to their websites being fine... I have seen old family photos etc. being on there. The Senate policy does say Information presented on this site is considered public information and may be distributed or copied unless otherwise specified. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested. so it's not completely out of line -- anything posted there would be expected to be copied far and wide. I would assume this tag would be a subset of PD-USGov though, not applied to works authored by others. Certainly a valid tag in large part, but ... the "information posted to the website" is slightly more dodgy and perhaps should be split out to another tag even if it is good enough. Maybe. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:00, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
How about adding that quote in the template, with the link ? I did not expect Intellectual Property information to be located in a privacy policy page, and I had not checked it. Teofilo (talk) 14:24, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
By the way "generally assumed" is what I mean by "myth". In some old civilisations, people "generally assumed" that the Earth is flat. Myths are OK as long as everybody believes in them, including judges, photographers, and photographers' families. However that story tended to show that at least one family no longer believed in the "official White House photographer" myth. Teofilo (talk) 16:11, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Is the problem that of "if not otherwise specified"? You have to trust the uploaders to actually check whether there were special conditions – both the Commons' user and the congressman's web assistant. I hope there are routines in place for the latter (and we should have enough advice for the former). Or is the problem that of "public information" not being equivalent to public domain, and thus the images public domain only in the most common cases? --LPfi (talk) 09:39, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps what they mean with "public information" is "we won't sue you for disclosing military secrets". Teofilo (talk) 14:32, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
There are pretty strict rules for content posted to domain websites; I would think that most material is pretty carefully vetted and everyone is aware of the consequences. Here is one page with (overly-cautious) warnings. Obviously I'm sure mistakes are occasionally made, but that is the situation with most federal government agency websites; they are generally far more careful about copyright (given that most material is assumed government-authored and therefore public domain) than most, and usually try to mark material which comes from outside sources if there are any restrictions. As for uploaders, they should provide links to the page where the image as from (a direct image URL is usually helpful too, but we need the context) so that others can verify there was no "indication otherwise". Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:17, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
That second link given by Clindberg appears to have been constructed by students who have not checked their work. What does "in retaliation for what the British perceived as A black and white pen etching" mean? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Redrose64 (talk • contribs) 19:15, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that is kinda odd. Now that I look at it, it wouldn't surprise me if it was made in some layout package, which when generating an HTML version ran the main text together with image captions in weird ways. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:40, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Copyright of Swedish maps

Are these maps still under copyright or not? Most of the maps were produced in the late 19th and early 20th century by what are now divisions of Lantmäteriet, "the Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority".[3] I've spoken to those at Stockholm University Library who are scanning and making them available online, and their own rule of thumb is date of publication plus 70 years (anything before 1939). They consider them to be free and have nothing against their being uploaded to Commons.

Is the copyright status in order for Wikipedia use, though?

Peter Isotalo 10:41, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

According to an official translation of the Swedish Act on Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works (Act 1960:729, of December 30, 1960, as amended up to April 1, 2009), although the general position is that "[a]nyone is entitled to use documents which are prepared by Swedish public authorities" (Article 26a) – assuming that use means "use in any way that they wish" – maps are specifically excluded. Therefore, Articles 43 and 44 apply:
Article 43. Copyright in a work shall subsist until the end of the seventieth year after the year in which the author deceased ... .
Article 44. In the case of a work which has been made public without mention of the author's name or generally known pseudonym or signature, the copyright shall subsist until the end of the seventieth year after the year in which the work was made public. If the work consists of two or more interconnected parts, the term shall be calculated separately for each part.
If the author reveals his identity within the term mentioned in the first Paragraph, the provisions of Article 43 shall apply.
There is no mention in the Act of the duration of copyright held by public authorities such as the Lantmäteriet. I wonder if that means the copyrights in the maps are not held by the Lantmäteriet but by the actual artists who produced the maps. If that is so, if the artists are identifiable then copyright for each map lasts until the end of the 70th year after the author's death. On the other hand, if the authors' names are not printed on the maps Article 44 may apply, in which case all maps published before or in 1938 are free of copyright. — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:37, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Note that any of these that weren't in the public domain in Sweden in 1996 are not in public domain in the US now, and hence Commons can't legally host them. As a short cut, people have been uploading them and adding {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} to the page.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:38, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Good remark. I have added it on the bottom of Template:PD-EU-no author disclosure. Teofilo (talk) 15:55, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
If Lantmäteriet's legal guy is correct in his ineterpretation (see below), even maps with names on them would be public domain in Sweden if they were made before 1926, and most of them are.
Peter Isotalo 16:57, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
First you must check if an author name is written on the map. If there is no author name you must make the best use of the following : if the author has not disclosed his name (for example "in a new edition or in a notification to the Ministry of Justice" : article 9) during the last 71 years, the work remains an anonymous work and article 44 applies, limiting the copyright term of anonymous works to seventy years after publication year. Swedish copyright law. Teofilo (talk) 15:31, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I talked on the phone with one of Lantmäteriet's legal experts. According to him, the copyright of maps made by Lantmäteriet's predecessors belong to them and not the various individuals that actually did the drawing, charting, etc. And since Lantmäteriet doesn't die, the date of publication is what what we should go by, meaning anything before 1938 is okay.
I'm going to check tomorrow if all the maps were made by agencies that eventually folded into Lantmäteriet. In the meantime, note that there has been a request for a batch upload of this at Commons:Batch_uploading/Kartrummet.
Peter Isotalo 16:57, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Update on signatures and all that: most of the mape appear to be anonymous, with some exceptions. I've only checked some of the maps, but now and then one appears that bears a name. Here are some examples:
"Situat. o. Skrift grav. af Berndt"[4] 1877
"Gravyren af Söderberg"[5], 1900
"Lith. o. tr. h. Schlachter & Seedorff, Stockh"[6], 1863
All of those I found refer to ingraving ("grav.") and then a last name. The last one appears to be the firm that printed the map. The dates of the "signed" maps varies considerably as you can see.
The Stockholm maps are different. All of them say that they were made 1917-20 by H. Hellberg, "arbetschef Rikets allm. kartverk" (roughly "head of operations" at the predecessor of Lantmäteriet), and A. E. Påhlman, "stadsingeniör" (city engineer). One of the Stockholm maps[7] also says that it was revised in 1930 by Nils Hanzon and N.A. Olsson, both engineers of some sort. All other Stockholm maps were published in the 1920s.
Peter Isotalo 17:46, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
It was a good idea to call the Lantmäteriet. However, the opinion of its legal counsel is a bit puzzling, at least according to the English translation of the Swedish Act, because the Act does not seem to say anything about public authorities owning copyrights. (I found this rather surprising. Did I miss something?) Perhaps you could specifically ask the legal counsel about which provision of the Act states the duration of copyrights owned by public authorities. It is actually a good thing if the Lantmäteriet takes the position that they own the copyright to the maps and that the copyright lasts for 70 years from the dates of publication, because this means that all maps published before 1939 are now public domain. On the other hand, if Article 44 applies, this could be a problem since you have found the names of the people who produced the maps. If it is these authors who hold the copyright, then it will be necessary to go on and find out if they have passed away, because the maps will only be in the public domain 70 years after their dates of death. I'd say deal with the maps as follows:
  • Maps published before and in 1938 which do not state any authors' names – assume these are public domain because either (1) the Lantmäteriet used to own the copyrights to them but they have expired; or (2) the works were published anonymously, so Article 44 of the Swedish Law applies.
  • Maps which have authors' names stated – these will need further investigation: does the Lantmäteriet or do the authors hold the copyrights? If the authors hold the copyrights, have they actually expired yet?
— Cheers, JackLee talk 18:04, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Even if the company owns the copyrights, if the author is named then the *term* may still be 70 years after that person's death. Several European countries work like that. Only if the author was not named does it go back to 70 years from publication. Also, as noted above, if maps were a) not PD in Sweden (assuming that is the country of origin) in 1996, *and* b) they were published in 1923 or later, then also add the {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} as noted above. I'm not too keen on uploading works where a valid U.S. copyright is known to be held by a still-active company, but... some still do. If published before 1923, or they were also PD in Sweden in 1996, then that is of no concern. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:36, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
And I actually thought this would be easy. :-|
When it comes to institutions/companies/agencies getting the copyright of their employees, I don't really know which laws are applicable. All I know is that many Swedish gov't institutions claim copyright on things like photographs produced by their employees that are under contract to surrender those rights to their employers. I've heard it from the Swedish National Maritime Museums (Statens maritima museer) and Lantmäteriet's legal counsel said the same. It would be strange indeed if they were both wrong. So in that case I think it's quite safe to assume that they're not accidently violating Swedish law by claiming copyright.
When it comes to "authors" of maps, Lantmäteriet's legal counsel seemed to consider the idea of maps having just one, let alone several, of these to be somewhat odd. He considered them to be collective works and that all rights had passed on to Lantmäteriet through whatever agreements they had back then.
I don't know if I've understood this correctly, but are you saying that any names of engravers or printers that show up in maps have to be investigated since they would qualify as copyright holders? It's very likely they all died before 1938, but it still seems like an extremely odd way of granting someone a type of posthumous copyright.
Peter Isotalo 21:34, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Peter, you've raised another good point – the predecessor institution(s) of the Lantmäteriet may have had contracts with the individuals involved in preparing the maps to transfer their copyrights in the maps to the institution(s). The Lantmäteriet will need to confirm if such contracts exist.
But here's an idea: what about drawing up a list of all the maps you wish to upload to the Commons, e-mailing them to the Lantmäteriet's legal counsel, and asking him to confirm that the Lantmäteriet formerly owned the copyrights in them but that they expired in xyz year? That e-mail conversation could then be sent to the OTRS. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:39, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh, it's entirely possible, even probable, that the copyright was passed to Lantmäteriet as a matter of the employment contracts of the persons who really did the maps (surveyors, engravers, other artists). That's nothing unusual at all, but such a transfer does not shorten copyright terms. The problem is that in the EU, the original copyright owner is always one or more natural person(s), and the copyright duration is based on the lifetime of this or these natural persons, even if the copyrights are subsequently transferred to a legal entity, such as a company. The EU does not have the concept of "corporate copyright", that is, legal entities as original copyright owners. The U.S. does have that (c.f. "work made for hire"), and the U.S. indeed postulates different copyright terms for such items. But in the EU, such a concept does not exist. Hence, even if Lantmäteriet owns the copyrights, their duration would still not be "70 years since publication" but "until 70 years after the death of the last surviving co-author". If Lantmäteriet's legal experts are really asked for confirmation I'd also very much like to see a well-founded explanation why they work with "70 years since publication". Maybe they know something we don't? Lupo 13:54, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I'll make a list and run it by Lantmäteriet. Hopefully they'll get us the statement we need. As far as I can tell, though, Sweden has its own copyright laws which have already been cited here in part. Why would EU copyright override them?
I would also like to stress that I find it quite illogical that maps made for the same purpose, by the same succession of agencies and in the same series would turn out to have completely different copyright durations. In short, the presence of a single name just doesn't seem like a valid reason to disallow use of one map while its companion is completely kosher. I'm fully aware of the need to be careful, but aren't we sorta conjuring up legalistic chimeras here?
Peter Isotalo 14:23, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I could just as well have written "Sweden" instead of "EU". Sweden harmonized its copyright law with EU directive 93/98/EEC in 1995 (effective January 1, 1996). See also Template talk:PD-Sweden-photo. Lupo 14:53, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not really following. I was referring to Article 44 of the Swedish copyright law and what it has to say about anonymous works. That's the article referred to by Lantmäteriet's legal counsel. Are you talking about works where the name of an engraver or printing firm appears?
Peter Isotalo 16:06, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, for anonymous works it'd be 70 years since publication. I thought we were dealing with maps that had engravers or surveyors names on them, like the Berndt or Söderberg you mentioned above. Lupo 16:36, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
No, this is more complicated than that. The maps of Stockholm have printed names on them. The rest, however, are only sporadically signed, perhaps because some of them were made by private contractors or something like that. I didn't check every last one, but going by the random sample that I checked, most are unsigned. In the oldest cases (1863, 1877) it's for our purposes safe to assume that the engraver died before 1939. For maps made after, say, 1900, however, it seems like a very daunting task to figure out the identity of people with such ubiquitous names as "Söderberg", especially without any first names.
Peter Isotalo 19:38, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Söderberg (whoever he may have been) did not actually own the copyright. That was Lantmäteriverket. And even if there would be a chance that Söderberg died later than 1939, the copyright owner is clearly not interested in claiming any rights. They regard it as PD. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 20:00, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Why would the engraver not have been (one of) the original copyright owner(s)? Care to point out a source for this? Your second point is more interesting: if the current owner of copyrights claims the works were PD, then treat it as {{PD-author}}. Lupo 20:45, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I cannot believe that this needs to be discussed: the engraver was just an employee. He did not have the right to sell these maps. The only right that was granted to him was to have his name on the map. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 21:00, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, apparently that needs to be discussed. The engraving is a work, and the engraver is the original copyright owner. Only he was employed, and by virtue of his employment contract, his copyrights got transferred to his employer. The same construction exists today in Swedish copyright law for computer programmers, see article 40a. The programmer is the original owner of the copyright on the program (part) he writes, but by law his copyrights are transferred to the employer (unless specified otherwise in the contract). Note that the copyrights are transferred from the employee to the employer; the law does not say that the employer was the original copyright owner. If the legislators had done that, they had introduced a "work made for hire" and would have needed to spell out the copyright duration. But they didn't, and thus the copyright duration is just computed based on the natural authors' lifetimes. Lupo 23:35, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
(unindent) You're venturing into pretty wild speculation by now, Lupo. The engravers were of course not the only employees. A name on a map is not enough to confirm anything like that. It's blatantly obvious that they did not make the maps themselves. The maps are collective ventures with multiple people behind them. Why some (and I do need to stress the "some" part) maps have an engraver's name on them is not clear to me. Why no other's are mentioned is even less clear. What is clear, though, is that if we're paranoid enough, we can always find reasons why people who don't give a crap could sue.
Peter Isotalo 07:15, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
The explanation of the EU copyright given by User:Lupo is quite accurate. The person(s) who signs the work is regarded as the author and retains the moral rights (paternity etc) for the work, while he can transfer full or limited exploitation rights to another person or legal entity. The period for copyright protection is based on the author's lifetime. Within this period, if a person or entity has full and exclusive exploitation rights, they may release it to the public domain, without affecting the moral rights. If they have limited exploitation rights, they cannot. Usually employees grant full exploitation rights to their employer. However this is not always the case if they are semi-independent contractors.
If the name of the author is not released in the regular way for the type of the work (signing on the work, listed in the list of contributors in a book etc) the work is anonymous or pseudonymous (under corporate copyright), depending on circumstances. In this case the duration of protection is based on the date of publication. Sv1xv (talk) 07:35, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
@Peter: I never claimed the engraver(s) were the only authors. They are co-authors of these maps. C.f. article 6. I'm just trying to explain why, if names are given, the copyright is "lifetime of longest surviving co-author + 70 years" even if the copyright is held by a company. Now, if that company themselves claim the works on which they held the copyrights were PD, then fine, treat them as {{PD-author}}. But claiming employees had no copyright is just plain wrong in Sweden and in the rest of the EU.
@Sv1xv: agree, except that there is no corporate copyright in the EU. (If we take "corporate copyright" to mean "works for which a corporation is the original copyright owner".) Of course corporations can own copyrights, but they can only acquire them by transfer from the real natural persons who are considered the authors. And yes, for anonymous or pseudonymous works, the editor or publisher is considered to be the authors' representative until the real identity of the authors is revealed. Lupo 07:45, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
While not legally accurate, I use the term "corporate" as an explanation to "pseudonymous" for readers in the USA who are not familiar with this legal usage of the word. Sv1xv (talk) 09:03, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
So what do we agree on then? Are all works published before 1938 without names on them should considered to be out of copyright? Could we also safely assume that any author who signed a work early as 1863 or even 1877 is unlikely to have lived beyond 1938 (75/61 years later)? If not, do we have to start researching who these engravers were and when they died?
Peter Isotalo 11:48, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Regarding Swedish copyright, yes. However it is possible that some of them, if they were issued after 1923 and not yet PD in Sweden in 1996, may be copyrighted in the USA, due to the terms of URAA, so they should be also tagged with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}. Sv1xv (talk) 14:58, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, in many industrial companies and in technical applications, the internal documents are seldom pseudonymous. The documents used for PR are often published in the name of the company, but design drawings, analysis reports etc. usually list the authors. Of course, this is not done for copyright purposes but for the allocation of responsibility. However, the European harmonized copyright law does not care whether the naming of the author is done to claim copyright or to assign blame. If the author is named, the work is not pseudonymous and has a copyright term of 70 years p.m.a. --MPorciusCato (talk) 12:26, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
@Lupo -- There is an EU directive, separate from the anonymous/pseudonymous one, which says: Where a Member State provides for particular provisions on copyright in respect of collective works or for a legal person [i.e., corporation] to be designated as the rightholder, the term of protection shall be calculated according to the provisions of paragraph 3 [70 years from publication], except if the natural persons who have created the work as such are identified as such in the versions of the work which are made available to the public. This paragraph is without prejudice to the rights of identified authors whose identifiable contributions are included in such works, to which contributions paragraph 1 or 2 [70 years p.m.a.] shall apply. I'm not sure how many countries actually put that in their law, but I think countries can have first copyright assigned to a corporation (I think the UK allows it, though I may be mistaken). But if a bunch of people are named on the original document, and it can be determined which parts each authored, it sounds like copyright would be retained according to 70 pma terms. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:16, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Georgian copyright law

Does somebody knows the special licence conditions of the Georgian (formerly Soviet union) copyright law? Are the works of an author, died 1959, now copyrighted or not? Normally we could presume 70 years after death, but in the former countries of the SU it is sometimes quite complicated. Thanks in advance, -jkb- (talk) 18:23, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Forgive me if I'm missing something, but what does 70 years after death have to do with someone who died 50 years ago? Nyttend (talk) 00:46, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Well don't worry be happy, I forgive you :-)... Sure, 50 is a bit less than 70... But to understand what I mean better, see the discussion about a possible copyright violation an the Oldwikisource about the texts from G. Tabidze, especially the edit of Eclecticology from Dec 10th. Thanks, -jkb- (talk) 00:55, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Status of company flag?

What's the status of File:Isthmian Lines House Flag.jpg? It's a flag of a company that is tagged with a clearly incorrect PD-self permissions template. Can this be a PD-ineligible because it's just a few shapes, or (if it's not too old for copyright) is it sufficiently complex for copyright protection? I don't have a clue as to when it was created. Nyttend (talk) 00:45, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

  • It appears to be too simple for copyright. PD-self is an appropriate license if he drew it himself... -Nard the Bard 02:01, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Actually, {{PD-shape}} would be the correct choice. If the basic design is ineligible for copyright, then any self-drawn version shares the same fate. --Latebird (talk) 16:02, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
      • Declaring a work as {{PD-shape}} (or {{PD-text}}, {{PD-textlogo}} or {{PD-ineligible}}) by its author is ok in the USA, however it is a bit tricky in Europe, due to legal implications related to the moral rights. In such cases {{Cc-zero}} is a good alternative. Sv1xv (talk) 16:41, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
        • Nothing tricky there at all. There are no moral rights if the item is so trivial as to be ineligible to begin with. And the minimal requirements for eligibility are quite similar between the US and Europe. --Latebird (talk) 17:29, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Death of the yougest author

This part seems a bit strange in the Mexican section: "copyright subsists for the life of the author plus 100 years following the end of the calendar year of death of the youngest author". I would expect it to be "year of death of the last surviving author", or something like that. Can someone with Spanish skills check the exact wording in the Mexican copyright law? –Tryphon 09:24, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I think it's a mis-translation of the Spanish word "último" in "Cuando la obra le pertenezca a varios coautores los cien años se contarán a partir de la muerte del último". "último" means just "last" here, so it's "after the death of the last (surviving co-author)". I don't understand why someone would have interpreted "último" as "youngest" or "last born" in this context. Lupo 10:04, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, thanks, I've changed it now. –Tryphon 10:19, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Rule of the shorter term


I would like some clarification about the rule of the shorter term application in the US. I've recently come across this painting, published in Canada in 1919. There, materials fall in PD 50 years after the author's death (in our case, he died in 1949 so it's PD in Canada). But US laws require 70 years after the author's death. The article on wp:en warns that the rule of shorter term doesn't apply in US, therefore prohibiting the upload on Commons.

However, in the Situation in the United States section, one can read this: “But Title 17 of the United States Code does not contain any article on the rule of the shorter term. The only mention of such a rule was added in 1994 with the URAA in 17 USC 104A, which automatically restored copyrights on many foreign works, unless these works had already fallen in the public domain in their country of origin on the URAA date, which is January 1, 1996 for most foreign countries.”

I am quite confused by all this jurisdiction :) Could you please confirm whether the rule of the shorter term is applicable in US or not? Tachymètre (talk) 20:38, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

The rule of the shorter term doesn't apply in the US. Also, US laws for works first published prior to 1978 have nothing to do with the life of the author; it's a straight 95 years from publication. Due to arcane rules about registration with the US Library of Congress and copyright notices, most works published outside the US were never copyrighted in the US, until international pressure got the US to change the rules; eventually, the rules were applied retroactively by the URAA, so anything that was still in copyright in its country of origin by a non-US author was restored to copyright as if it were an American work that had stayed in copyright; that is, it gets the straight 95 years from publication, too.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:19, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Yep, the U.S. uses neither the rule of the shorter term, nor the rule of the longer term -- they only use the "rule" of their own term. Foreign copyrights were largely restored by the URAA noted above; if works were still copyrighted in their home country on the URAA date (Jan 1 1996 for most countries) then the U.S. copyright was restored, and got whatever term the U.S. copyright would have been had it been published at the same time, registered, and renewed properly. In the case above, it would have technically qualified for restoration, but since it was published in 1919, it had a maximum term of 75 years from publication (and is thus still PD in the U.S., and should be uploadable to Commons). If a work was published 1923 or later, it would get fullest possible term, 95 years from publication. (For anything published since 1978, the U.S. terms have changed again, but most of those works are fully copyrighted everywhere anyways). Technically, the rule of the shorter term was used to determine URAA restoration ability, but that was a one-time thing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:13, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Wonderful, it is clearer now! I have applied the correct Painting template on it, plus a jurisdiction explanation in the Permission field, in the case someone else would ask himself the same question. Did I do well by adding this explanation, or should this be avoided? Tachymètre (talk) 11:59, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Sure, although it is PD in Canada because the author died more than 50 years ago, not because when it was published. I fixed the license tags as well; {{PD-Art}} defaults to using the PD-Old template but that does not apply here (that is only when the author died more than 70 years ago) so it needs to have the correct template as a parameter. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:43, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Fine, I will keep this discussion as a reference for future work on paintings ;) It's even nicer with the diagram in the section below. Thank you for your time. Tachymètre (talk) 15:18, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Request for a review of a US copyright chart

PD-US table.svg

I am hoping for this chart to be used across all projects to help understand the copyright durations for a work first published in US. I had great help on Wikipedia (w:Wikipedia talk:Public domain#A simple chart for Copyright duration), and would like to request for more views here. Jappalang (talk) 03:00, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

The last bit at the bottom right -- the 95 years since publication or 120 years since creation for old works first published since 2002 -- is actually the *earlier* of those two, not the latest. If the author is known and is not corporate, then it is 70 pma, regardless of anything else. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:00, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah! Thank you, Carl. What an oversight. Fixed. Jappalang (talk) 10:22, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
It still says the "later" or "latest" in two places between the 95 years from publication vs 120 years from creation; it should say "earlier". In the first instance though, it would be copyrighted until at least 2048 -- that part is "later". Maybe "If author is unknown or corporate authorship, the earlier of 95 years after first publication or 120 years after creation, but not earlier than Dec 31, 2047." Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:49, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Ugh... that case is a very complex one to word succintly... I have adopted your suggestion. Take a look. Jappalang (talk) 14:01, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Looks good; I don't see anything else wrong. As usual, there are some technicalities, but I think you have hit the most pertinent points. I also assume you don't want to get into the issues of works once deemed uncopyrightable but later made copyrightable (such as architecture, and especially sound recordings, which are a total mess). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:56, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Template for US Post Office Department stamp?

I uploaded File:Scott 1371, Apollo 8.jpg with a simple PD-USGov tag, because it was created when the Postal Service was still a part of the federal government. Isn't there a more specialised tag than {{PD-USGov}} for PD postage stamps of the USA? I didn't see any in Category:PD-USGov license tags, and I don't know where else to look. Nyttend (talk) 03:57, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

The tag {{PD-USGov}} specifically include text about stamps which states: "This template also does not apply to postage stamp designs published by the United States Postal Service since 1978." All the current postage stamp licences are at: Commons:Stamps/Public domain templates. Personally I don't see any need for a more specific tag than the current one. Ww2censor (talk) 05:15, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Okay; I'd thought there was a more specific one. It's just that so many images are in Category:PD US Government, rather than in one of its subcategories (note the {{OverPopCat}} at the top of the category), that I expected that there would be a more specific category for USPOD stamps. Nyttend (talk) 15:57, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
On a quick check, there seem to be about 400 stamps that would use a USPOD specific copyright tag. Would making a specific tag, that only removes this small number of stamps, be useful in reducing the current over populated category? And who will replace the existing tag with any new one? I have no objection but you might want to mention this at Commons talk:Stamps/Public domain to see what other philatelic views there are on this suggestion. Ww2censor (talk) 19:02, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Images from Flight Global PDF archive

In the course of a long thread about the use of the Flight Global PDF archive on Wikipedia, Flight Global's Editor, Michael Taggart made the following statement:

Ok - we'll set up some sort of free copyright/licensing gallery but it might take a little while to initiate - we've got tonnes of other projects on at the moment. However one thing I am happy to do from this moment on is agree the reuse on Wikipedia of any material from the actually PDFs in the archive (as long as there is a credit and link back to the original). By this I mean that any reference in the text can be used and importantly any of the images replicated in the PDFs can be used. It's not a perfect solution as there would have to be an element of screen grabbing the images and saving and formatting etc ... However the images in many cases would still enhance a large number of Wikipedia entries and, from my point of view, the images are obviously not of a high enough resolution to be reused in print by a random commercial entity. Mtargettuk (talk) 13:01, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Recently I grabbed a couple of images from a 1910 Flight issue (e.g. "File:PfitznerFlyer_Front_view_of_wing_trussing_Flight_Vol.II(11)_FlightGlobal_archive.jpg" and another editor has done the same, e.g. "File:CardenBAux1a.jpg". The license of the latter image has been disputed, although reference was made to the permission granted by Flight Global last February.

How can this best be approached to make images from this source available, as intended by the copyright owner, Flight Global? --TraceyR (talk) 12:22, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

They have to release the files under a free license we accept. Agreeing on reuse on Wikipedia is not enough. You probably want them to fill out Commons:OTRS#Declaration of consent for all enquiries. Multichill (talk) 13:17, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
If they are the copyright owner, then yes, we would need a much more thorough licensing statement than that -- unfortunately, "Wikipedia-only" licenses are not enough. They may not want to grant a "free" license, which is of course their right. One thing though; this is a magazine which was published starting in 1909. Some of the older issues are likely no longer in copyright, and scans of them are not separately copyrightable. One of the images above is from 1910. This is a UK magazine, so unless they give credit to individual artists of the images, copyright may only last for 70 years after publication there. I looked at one 1910 issue, and they have notes like "Flight" copyright photo but I didn't see individual authors listed -- I may have missed them though. U.S. copyrights were likely restored, but even there, any images taken from issues prior to 1923 are not copyrightable in the U.S. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:09, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Open Street Map Derivative

I have a file called [File:Rapid Transit Vancouver Future.svg] that I created using imagery from OpenStreetMap, which is currently under the CCA-SA 2.0 License. There's no specific link in the WikiMedia upload page that would handle this situation (the uploading of works derived from outside free works). Can someone help me? =S Allan kuan1992 (talk) 10:31, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

There's more license tags then the list. {{cc-by-sa-2.0}}? ViperSnake151 (talk) 20:11, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

US copyright question, c. 1911 photo, publication history unclear

Source 1, Source 2. Photo appears to be c. 1911. Neither of these sources is clear about where it came from, and it appears to be anonymous. Can we presume this to be PD? If so, I'd really like to upload it, we have no comparable image of this part of the city around that date. - Jmabel ! talk 04:09, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Notes: The comments on the second link I think make it pretty clear that it is from the 1910s, no later than 1916. There is a photographer's studio mark at the bottom right. The photographer attribution mark suggests that the photo was mass produced, so if created in the US before 1923 should be PD-US, though that may be circumstantial rather than definitive evidence. "W & S" might have been the name or initials of a prominent local photographic firm or printing company of that time and place. -- Infrogmation (talk) 04:30, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Aha! Webster & Stevens. Thanks. Sounds safe. - Jmabel ! talk 07:35, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Copyright tag for PD works by UK Government other than photographs?

I recently applied {{PD-UKGov}} to the image "File:18261127-SecondCharterofJustice-titlepg.jpg", only to discover that PD-UKGov is expressed to apply to photographs. In this case, the image is of the title page of a literary work. Is there a suitable tag for works by the UK Government that are in the public domain but are not photographs? — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:53, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

See the third clause: "It is an artistic work other than a photograph or engraving (e.g. a painting) which was created by the United Kingdom Government prior to 1959". Perhaps the word "artistic work" is too restrictive, it should be plainly "work". Sv1xv (talk) 19:38, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
I understood this part of the copyright tag to mean that the tag only applies to artistic works that are not photographs or engravings, e.g., drawings, paintings, sculptures and the like. Perhaps someone familiar with UK law can clarify. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:50, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
I think literary works were, and are, crown copyrighted for 50 years from publication. The 1988 law allows for a maximum 125 years if unpublished, but also specifies that Acts of Parliament are crown copyright for 50 years after they are given royal assent. I think the situation does not come up that much so it may simply not be mentioned in the current tag. And as noted, there really isn't a literary copyright here, only possibly the publication copyright on the typographical arrangement. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:12, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the information. So what, if anything, should I indicate in the "Licence" section? — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:09, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I think what's there is fine. PD-UKGov is for Crown Copyright, which this was may well have been covered by at some point (as older UK copyright laws may have had different PD-ineligible rules for crown works, not sure). Literary works most often should be on wikisource and not Commons, but there are some qualifying media which could be uploaded here, so If you want to add the 50-years-since-publication bit for literary works to PD-UKGov the corresponding reference is here. (The only exceptions are unpublished literary works, which like all UK works used to have an unlimited term, but are now limited to 125 years from creation or 50 years from publication, whichever comes first). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:41, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Tag confusion

I thought I understood the tags reasonably well, but recently when I tried to upload a couple of images the licensing box gave me only a few options and I found I had to upload the image under an incorrect licence as the software wouldn't allow the image to be uploaded otherwise.

By way of example, one of the images I was trying to upload was this one, under the Template:PD-UK-unknown licence. But since that licence doesn't appear in the drop-down options, I had to upload the image under an incorrect licence first.

Does the fact that this licence doesn't appear in the dropdown options mean it's not a valid licence in its own right? Or is there something I've missed? Gatoclass (talk) 09:31, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

There are many more copyright tags than those listed in the dropdown menu which are some of the most common. If you are sure about the copyright, just upload the image with no licence selected, check the "ignore any warnings" and add the appropriate licence after the image has been uploaded. You may need to refer to COM:L and COM:TAG to ensure the licence you are choosing is proper. Ww2censor (talk) 14:46, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I guess it must be that the "ignore all warnings" checkbox hasn't been set. Thanks for the tip :) Gatoclass (talk) 15:28, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

You could also add the appropriate tag to the "Other information" box and leave the drop-down as no license selected. -- Avi (talk) 16:29, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Or in the "Permission" input field. Lupo 15:31, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Barack Obama Flickr photostream

I tried to upload a photo from the photostream on Flickr, and I noticed that images on the account are licensed as non-commercial. Should I assume all photos commissioned by U.S. Senators (the photo was from 2008) or Presidents are in the public domain and ignore the Flickr license? --Ytoyoda (talk) 06:42, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

No. At first glance, those would appear to be photos *by* Barack Obama, or maybe family members, so unless they were taken as part of official duties the copyright would be valid. Anything taken by his family would probably also be copyrighted -- they are not federal employees. If you find an explicit author mentioned who was known to be an official White House photographer at the time, that may be different, but on the whole I would think the licenses are entirely valid. Commissioned photos do not necessarily (anymore) imply a transfer of copyright; there would have to be very good and explicit photographer information to assume PD for any image on that Flickr stream. If you think there is an exception, please point out the specific image... Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:59, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
A distinction I'd make though, is that this isn't Obama's personal photostream, but an extension of the Obama for America campaign website, so these photos were taken as a function of his office (if not necessarily as part of official duties). It would seem a photo taken for a senator/president's campaign be considered PD-USGov. FWIW, I wanted to use photographs in this set: --Ytoyoda (talk) 14:34, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
This may well be a PR company hired by the Obamas, not the federal government, so I do not think the images are PD-Gov unless we can prove they were taken by a govt employee in the course of his or her duties as such. -- Avi (talk) 16:10, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Okay, but campaigns are also not federal government organizations, and anything done in support of such campaigns (even if done by federal employees) is not federal government business, so none of it is PD-USGov. There are in fact prohibitions on politicians using government time, equipment, or other resources for campaign purposes -- that is all supposed to be done on their own time at their own expense, and so are never official duties. The only chance would be photos taken by Senate staffers in support of his official Senate business -- which photos would then more normally appear on That UNC photo stream looks like a campaign stop, and campaigns (while obviously expected) are not part of a politician's paid government job, and so are not government works. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:38, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
So we agree, Clindberg :) -- Avi (talk) 16:55, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I was replying to Ytoyoda ;-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:55, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Thank you both. --Ytoyoda (talk) 22:36, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Jean Harlow photo

I wonder if this photograph is in the public domain or not: File:The secret six.jpg. Director en:George W.Hill died in 1934. en:Jean Harlow died in 1937. But, en:Clark Gable died in 1960. Furthermore, I wonder if it is applicable 70 years after their death or more.--Aylaross (talk) 17:17, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

The actor does not own copyright on his image. But do we need the identity of the still photographer? --h-stt !? 12:49, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
The death of any of these is irrelevant. It's a US movie; the only question is whether it's been properly renewed. What evidence I'm finding leads me to believe it was, and thus is still in copyright in the US, but it's impossible to check with merely online materials.--Prosfilaes (talk) 12:53, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
The book or screenplay was renewed in 1959 by Frances Marion; that is irrelevant to a still though. On the other hand if this still (or separate photograph) was published separately then it would have needed its own copyright notice on every copy. There does not appear to be one, even though there is a caption below which would seemingly imply it was published, but given the lack of sources I'm not sure it is enough evidence. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:20, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Do you think I should change the tag or delete it?--Aylaross (talk) 17:17, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Does the Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. principle apply in German law?

Comments are sought at "Commons:Deletion requests/File:Hinterkaifeck-Hof.jpg". Thanks. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:36, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Irrelevant; Commons is only bound by US law, and has chosen to accept the general principle of Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. as one of the exceptions to the law of the source country.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:58, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
This is clearly incorrect. It is not up to Commons editors to pick which laws to follow and which to ignore. Any upload must be legal in the country of first publication (applies by definition), the country where the uploader lives (their risk), and in the USA (server location). In the given case, it was not possible to show that the image was legal in Germany, so it had to be deleted. Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. was still irrelevant, though, as it simply didn't apply to the situation. --Latebird (talk) 12:33, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Do you follow Iranian law when you upload pictures? The servers and the foundation are in the US, and thus that is the law that is binding on them if it goes to court. The country of first publication does not apply by definition; it applies by choice of the Wikimedia Commons.--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:09, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

British Library-licensing question.

Found an image on en:wiki that was copied from British Library. What is our licensing policy for a reproduction of an 1803 aquatint lovingly uploaded by this organisation? BL Copyright refers.

{{PD-scan}} (and Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag) I would guess. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:27, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Remind me what our policies are regarding the matter mentioned above: (1) Does the Commons adhere to Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. even for works created outside the US? (2) Is it generally necessary to use the licence {{PD-1923}} in conjunction with a country-specific licence showing that the image in question is also in the public domain in the country of origin? — Cheers, JackLee talk 05:54, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, we do, so we only care about any copyright of the underlying work. The image above though appeared to have some scanner metadata; PD-Art is more about photographs taken of paintings etc. (and thus involving lighting and other factors) and not scans (which are mechanical and typically not subject to additional copyright anywhere), for which we have a different tag with its own documentation. It is helpful to add the U.S. tags, yes, but it is not consistently done from what I can see. There is also a {{PD/1923}} tag which takes an author's year of death as a parameter, which will show both the U.S. part and the equivalent of PD-old. And of course use {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} for those nebulous images which are still copyrighted in the U.S. but we keep anyways. Carl Lindberg (talk) 08:56, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:54, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Open Database License

Open Street Map [8] is currently migrating from CC-BY-SA-2.0 to the Open Database License [9] [10]. See also [11] for the reasons behind the migration. Is this license acceptable here? If yes, do we need a new copyright tag? Sv1xv (talk) 09:50, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Based on [12] I'd say the licence is acceptable and, yes, we'll probably need a new tag. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:26, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
They think it is free. However the term:
2.4 Relationship to Contents in the Database. The individual items of the Contents contained in this Database may be covered by other rights, including copyright, patent, data protection, privacy, or personality rights, and this License does not cover any rights (other than Database Rights or in contract) in individual Contents contained in the Database. For example, if used on a Database of images (the Contents), this License would not apply to copyright over individual images, which could have their own separate licenses, or one single license covering all of the rights over the images.
complicates matters. It's also a very british license but that does not appear to be a problem.Geni (talk) 15:41, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
The Open Database License only applies to the *data*. If you create a map or other image from the data, you are creating a "Produced Work", According to 4.3 it is only required to add a notice like this:
Contains information from DATABASE NAME, which is made available
here under the Open Database License (ODbL).
So only attribution is required. Although you have to share-alike the *database* if you create a map from an adapted database. --Wimmel (talk) 16:16, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

I added an entry for ODC under Well-known licenses. Please feel free to review and modify. Sv1xv (talk) 07:17, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

File:SNA segment.png needs attention.

Please take a look at File:SNA segment.png and try to help finding out what software it was created in. --Beao 14:12, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure it matters, since the image doesn't appear to contain any copyrightable elements of the program interface. (Indeed, it seems to have very few copyrightable elements at all, although the overall composition of the screenshot just might qualify for a tenuous copyright.) —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 15:13, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

File:Canary Wharf from Greenwhich Observatory.jpg

Is the restriction concerning the image size 1024 x 768 pixels, that user Cyr (aka Tom Corser) made in his license for File:Canary Wharf from Greenwhich Observatory.jpg valid? Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 21:03, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

No. For one, the versions he uploads has to be free to be eligible for Commons. Secondly, he can't prohibit people from taking the image and increasing the resolution under the CC-BY-SA or any other free license.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:40, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
No, but he can license a lower-resolution copy, while retaining full copyright on higher-resolution versions, which may have been the attempt. Somebody can try to enlarge/enhance the 1024x768 version, but they could not get the true higher-resolution version and use it without a further license. In this case, the user uploaded a 1600x1200 version, which seems pretty odd. If the intent was to only upload that resolution in the first place, I may let them, but otherwise it would appear they have licensed that full version and cannot prevent usage of it (provided the attribution and share-alike terms are followed). Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:45, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Technically 1600×1200 is the file that is licensed under CC-BY-SA and can not restrict the use (IE: Can't tell you where they can use it, or use it unmodified) or size (IE: Can't tell you that the res uploaded can be used unless reduced in size) of the 1600×1200, the only conditions set by the license is that author must be attributed and re-licensed under CC-BY-SA. Bidgee (talk) 22:27, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I've left a note on User talk:Cyr, but he hasn't been around recently, so I don't know if he'll see it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:01, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Note also Commons:Administrators'_noticeboard/Archive_8#User:Cyr_photo_licensing.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:03, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Correct, but if the original intention was to upload 1024x768, and the larger one was an accident, then as a courtesy we may let them "fix" that mistake. On the other hand, given the above links, the original upload was in 2005 and it looks like the resolution restrictions were something added later, so... probably far too much time has passed to allow a change on them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:22, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Maybe we should nominate the template for deletion then. In a way, requiring a limit on the pixel size of images can be regarded as a derivative of the original, and the chosen license Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike does not allow that. Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 10:26, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with the latest statement. Restricting a free license to images up to a certain size is valid. The deals with both German Bundesarchive and Fotothek both rely on that as well as numerous other uploaders only with to "free" small and mid-size samples of their works. In this specific case the author himself restored the image to a size that is outside his stated limits! So we have to ask him, what he intends with that. My guess is: He wishes to give Wikimedia and the projects access to the 1600-version, but bind reusers outside of Wikimedia to the 1024-limit. I'm not sure, if this should be considered valid or if the limit became void at latest, as he restored the original file size. --h-stt !? 07:42, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
No, you can not restrict a free license to images up to a certain size. You must have a right to create derivative images, which enlarging them arbitrarily. Commons also demands that the files we host be free; you can't free one version and not another version and then upload the second version to Commons.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:42, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Indeed there is some confusion here but the uploader clearly uploaded the 1600-version with a free licence when perhaps he should have uploaded a 1024-version per his limitation but as he is not around we cannot get a reply. Has anyone emailed him? Under the CC licence he cannot limit the use of the image he actually uploaded and I suspect his size restriction is unenforceable anyway because it is not part of the licence. Just an unfortunate mistake on his part; uploaders should only upload the maximum resolution they are prepared to release. Ww2censor (talk) 15:20, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
You can certainly upload lower-resolution photos, and freely license those versions only, while retaining full copyright on higher-resolution versions. However you cannot prevent someone from enlarging the lower-resolution one; there may be a need to do that despite the lower quality. Both seem to be implied, even if only the first was meant. However, that is not even the main issue here. This image was originally uploaded in August 2005, and tagged with {{TomCorserCredit}}, and presumably many of his other uploads were tagged with the same thing. The original upload was 1600x1200, and the tag at the time had no such resolution limits. The user afterwards edited that template from time to time, either adding or removing restrictions -- that is not a good idea. It was not until July 2006, nearly a year later, that the resolution limits were added to the template for the first time -- first 1024x768, then 800x600, then back to 1024x768. That is the main problem -- the license was made (much) more restrictive well after the fact, after the image had been freely licensed, and the uploaded version no longer conformed to the free license. I would certainly support someone wanting to license a lower-resolution version only if they accidentally upload a larger version, as long as it is somewhat soon after the fact, but not like this, and not changing image licenses en mass like that. They can make the license less restrictive, but not more. The user can certainly mention that higher-resolution images are available but are not "free", but not limit resolutions to lower than what is actually uploaded, especially well after the fact. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:42, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we should allow "personal license tags" only if they are substed and ban users using templates, because it makes changes to them intransparent. --h-stt !? 08:54, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

What is the license of this image on the Japanese Wikipedia?

Japanese World Map with East and West Reversed

Google Translate produces hard-to-understand English:

File: WorldMap ja.png derived from this image is created by modification of the original image and a different range of creative license was used for each portion of a third party. However, one person, if the copyright notice on each appropriate for use GFDL license is not required to attach no conditions. Therefore, the secondary work GFDL Images can be used under.

Can the image (or a modified version of the image) be uploaded to Commons? and if so, what is the license? --Keith111 (talk) 22:23, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

I can't read it but I tryed to copy image with and I got "This image has no verificable good license, and can thus not be uploaded to commons through this tool." --MGA73 (talk) 22:34, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
The text appears on ja:Template:World map, which appears to be some sort of permissions template. Sorry that I can't help with the translation itself. Nyttend (talk) 22:35, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
  • It looks like it was uploaded originally in 2003 without a license tag and was repeatedly modified by various users. I did find a link to the license from [13] and the references to the GFDL appear to be a sort of hemming and hawing around the fact that the file has no license. Seems to me to be saying the image is GFDL-compatible. If so, this is a case of {{GFDL-presumed}} which may be fine on the home wiki but is not accepted for transfer to Commons because there is no proof of free licensing. -Nard the Bard 22:44, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

File:Adam Sedgwick.jpg

While updating the file File:Adam Sedgwick.jpg I noticed a dead link to the image source. I searched the original site (American Philosophical Society Library) and found the picture. The current image is watermarked, and the copyright policy doesn't seem to give rights of free reproduction. I'm not sure how to proceed. Any suggestions? --Jo (talk) 12:28, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

If the artist died in 1845, well, it does not matter what the Library claims. Sv1xv (talk) 12:44, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
It seems like a scan of a lithograph of a portrait. Changing to use the {{PD-scan}} wrapper may be better. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:47, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for your answers. I think I'll ask the uploader how he got that picture. I hope he'll answer.. --Jo (talk) 20:57, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I presume he got it from the old source page, directly. The lithograph itself looks like it was from 1833, according to that source. So, {{PD-scan|PD-old}} would seem to be fine. There is nothing wrong with the library watermarking the image, and asking that you pay for high-resolution versions, but they can't claim copyright on it either per U.S. law. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:22, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
That's a good hint. Changed accordingly. Thanks again. --Jo (talk) 00:38, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

PD-Art for US painting

I just uploaded File:William Woodward Napoleon House New Orleans 1904.jpg. It is a mechanical reproduction of a 1904 painting by a U.S. artist who died in 1939; if I understand Commons:Licensing#United_States correctly it thus became PD with this New Year, 70 years after his death. I tagged it a {{PD-Art}}. As I don't think I've had the occasion to use the PD-Art template on a 20th century U.S. work before, I wanted to check that I've tagged this correctly or if I've missed something. Thanks. -- Infrogmation (talk) 17:54, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

As a 1904 painting. it was PD already as anything published in the US prior to 1923 is PD. -- Avi (talk) 20:58, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
"Painted" is not the same as published. But the question is about a photo of the painting. Yes, {{PD-Art}} applies to the US (and according to the Wikimedia Foundation also to the rest of the world). /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 21:01, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I've updated the tag to show the underlying reason as well. And yes, if that painting was never reproduced, then it would not have been PD until this year. -- Avi (talk) 21:03, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Just a couple of technical notes :-) Yes, if it was published before 1923, it has been PD for a long time, though "created" is not the same thing as "published". If it was unpublished until after 2002, it is PD just in the last few days, but there are (highly unlikely) scenarios where it could still be copyrighted. PD-Art definitely applies if it is PD. One other note though, you don't have to "reproduce" it for it to be published either. Publication in the U.S. is a rather technical term, made worse by the fact it wasn't defined until 1978, so courts have to determine "published" for actions prior to that date. Perhaps {{PD-Art|PD-US}} would be better here, though PD-Old also applies (although probably not in the U.S.). Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:19, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

File:Harzquerbahn Eisenbahnunglueck 6 7 1927.jpg

I received a message by a bot about a deprecated license of that picture. I have copied the picture from german language Wikipedia and uploaded the it here on Commons with the same license as it was licensed by the original uploader there: Public Domain. I can't help much about finding a new license. PD-old would probably fit, but maybe it isn't old enough (1927). --Dabbelju (talk) 19:46, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Copyright status of signage photo

Nashville Biscuit House.jpg

I have a few questions about the photo at right, but first let me explain what it is. This is a photo of a sign (or collection of signs) which was created in the United States post-1923. The top (neon) portion and the structure of the sign were created in the 1950s, the middle pieces were created within the past decade. Here are my questions:

  1. Are any portions of the sign (or the entire sign in itself) creative enough to attract copyright protection?
  2. If yes, is it likely that those copyrights would still be in force today? (Copyrights in the US prior to the 1970s required registration and renewal.)
  3. Does freedom of panorama in the US affect the ability to copyright of any portion of this sign?
  4. Is this photo OK for Wikimedia Commons?
  5. Are there any special copyright tags that should be added to it?

Kaldari (talk) 22:31, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

There is hardly any text there, not a literary work, less than this sign. Lettering in common fonts is not copyrightable. The knife-and-fork could be old. The neon sign is very rusty, probably ancient. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 22:51, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
  1. Neon sign... maybe. Hard to see what the neon design is. Fork and knife... maybe, but that is a pretty common symbol. Nothing else that I can see. Short phrases are not copyrightable, nor is lettering, and that is not a creative arrangement I don't think.
  2. Neon sign... almost certainly not. Required a copyright notice back then, and I doubt they put any on (it would have to be visible from the ground too). It also required registration to still be under copyright, and all that only if it qualified for copyright in the first place. The fork and knife, if it does pass the threshold of creativity and is not an old design itself, would still have copyright.
  3. No, but de minimis might.
  4. I think so.
  5. Can't think of any.
Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:23, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Category:Catalogue Of The Noctuidae In The Collection Of The British Museum

I think all these images should be moved to Wikipedia.

The author of these images is incorrect; Sir George F. Hampson is not the creator of these images. Horace Knight of the British Museum is the artist; West and Newman added the colours (evident in the bottom left and right corners of the whole plates). As such, the British copyright of these images last until 70 years past the last death of Knight, West, or Newman (not Hampson). Since we know their identities (West and Newman less so), we need to know their year of passing to establish the images' copyright in their source of origin.

As they are published in 1912–15, they are at least on safe legal grounds comply with policies on Wikipedia than here. Jappalang (talk) 01:47, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

West, Newman & Co. was a publishing company, so those aren't individual names I don't think. There may have been a 70-year corporate copyright but that has passed. Horace Knight is a legitimate point though; I haven't found much about him. (As an aside, they are on just as safe legal ground here as on en-wiki; the PD-in-the-country-of-origin is a Commons policy, not law -- but we still need to follow that.) Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:12, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Carl. I have corrected that detail. Can any United Kingdom editors help by calling British Museum to inquire on Knight's career-life details? Jappalang (talk) 04:46, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Apparently Knight had a (presumably grown) son in 1912, Edgar S. Knight, who also did illustrations at the time.[14]. Not definitive, but Horace Wright was likely not a young man at the time. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:12, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Another mention. Apparently Horace Knight was forced to retire from the British Museum in 1917 due to illness; at that point he had been making drawings for w:William Lucas Distant for over 30 years.[15] Another reference had him as being West, Newman, &Co's artist, so that would seem to confirm that part. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:28, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Governmental images of the Dominican Republic

I'm hoping to use one of the two images from this story about the New York Yankees meeting with the President of the Dominican Republic at en:2009 World Series. However, this page lists no copyright status for DR government issues. Does anyone know if these modern gov't images are in the public domain? I looked at the UNESCO page mentioned on this page for the DR and it provides 2 PDFs on DR copyright law. The only issue is I don't speak Spanish all that well (and as PDFs can't really Google Translate them). Can anyone let me know if these images are ok to use? Staxringold (talk) 17:13, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Copyrights of map

I would like opinions and facts on the potential of copyviolations in using copyright map datasets to create maps. The discussion is centralised at Commons talk:Image casebook#Re: Maps. Jappalang (talk) 12:05, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Shapes copyrightable?

Chess d44.png
Chess x9l45.svg

I've just observed that a wide range of chess template images, which consist of blank single-color squares or individual shapes or numbers superimposed on such squares, are listed as being GFDL/CC-by-sa 3.0. Is it really proper to consider that an image is copyrightable? I'm not talking about images showing chess pieces, such as File:Chess bld44.png — I simply ask about ones without any "pictures" of pieces. Nyttend (talk) 21:38, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

The examples given, i.e. a colored square with or without a number in it, should be {{PD-ineligible}}. Dragons flight (talk) 22:22, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
They would be ineligible in most and maybe all jurisdictions, but if they have a free license anyways it is usually easier to just leave it to leave no doubt. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:29, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I personally think it's preferable to place both the free license and PD-ineligible on the image, if both are believed to apply. That way it's freely licensed in any jurisdictions in which is not ineligible for copyright; but in the ones where it is, you are not bound by the Share-Alike or Attribution terms of the license. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:48, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Jamestown slate tablet: originality in photographs

Are the two scans here (direct link) of the recently-discovered Jamestown slate tablet (made in the 1600s) unoriginal enough to permit them to be uploaded to the Commons? The bottom picture has had chalk applied to it. If yes, I would be grateful if someone could split the picture into the two different versions, crop out the measuring card, then upload them to Category:Jamestown. I don't think the copyright laws in my jurisdiction (United Kingdom) would allow me to do this myself. NotFromUtrecht (talk) 09:55, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Chalking involves no creative decisions, so I'd say it's all good. And while the tablet is a three-dimensional object, it is not the tablet that is the work of art but the markings on it, which are 2-D, and thus PD-art should apply. Powers (talk) 18:48, 15 January 2010 (UTC)
But it's not photographs of 3D works of art that are prohibited; you can't upload a picture of a mountain or tree under PD-Art. I look at this and see a picture of a slate, and I see various usages on Wikipedia for it not involving the art on it, both as a slate and for the process. So I don't think PD-Art applies.--Prosfilaes (talk) 14:41, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
This website states that the slate contains, among other things, sketches of birds, flowers, trees and caricatures of men, so I suppose it might be considered a work of art that is in the public domain due to its great age. However, I'm not sure it can be regarded as a two-dimensional artwork because it is a piece of slate. In order to take a clear photograph of it some creativity was exercised by the photographer in selecting the angle, the lighting, and so on. I don't think this image can be accepted on the Commons without a release from the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA). — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:11, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
I disagree; I think it's a 2D work as far as copyright is concerned. A painting doesn't cease to be 2D just because the paint is different thicknesses. Powers (talk) 13:42, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
But a painting on a vase does cease to be 2D; this is very much a picture of 3D image, with ragged edges and all.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:03, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Same problem with the frame of a painting: if you do not remove the frame, this is considered the picture of a 3D work of art. For the Jamestown tablet: remove everything that does not pertain to the drawing itself, and it will qualify as PD-Art. This picture, for example, might be uploaded on Commons without changes (in my opinion) if there weren't those ugly watermarks. — Xavier, 16:01, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Crop the picture to the borders of the tablet and you'll be fine. Kaldari (talk) 00:02, 20 January 2010 (UTC) Once again

I'm a bit confused about free licenses. The site has many images. It says here that certain images are under CC-BY-3.0-US while others are non-commercial (which are clearly not suitable for Commons). In the same page they declare below that permission is needed for all commercial uses. Isn't this contradictory as far as the cc-by-3.0-US image is concerned. Because no commercial restriction is given in that. Yet the web site asks that permission be taken for commercial use of any image. Is the cc-by-3.0-US licensed image (in this case) not free? AshLin (talk) 12:45, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

CC-BY would mean that commercial permission has been automatically granted, and they are fine here. The above text may have been left over from previous versions of their usage page, but yes, it is contradictory -- they can't require permission for something which has already been granted. They do mention it is up to each photographer, and really, the cc-by-3.0 license means that such permission has been granted in advance. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:12, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
FYI, please use the {{Forestryimages}} template when sourcing images from Forestryimages, which places it in Category:Images from Forestry Images, and please register with the site so you can obtain the full-resolution version of each image. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:57, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

USGS Multimedia Gallery

Hi! Is it allowed to upload the following image on the commons? [16] Thanks for your help! --Tigerpython (talk) 22:26, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Absolutely. Quoting the page: "This image is public domain/of free use". Please affix a {{PD-USGov-USGS}} license. — Xavier, 01:26, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Great, thank you Xavier! Hope it's ok like this [File:Python natalensis G. J. Alexander.JPG] --Tigerpython (talk) 09:56, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

GFDL minefield

See Commons talk:Template i18n#GFDL minefield. Multichill (talk) 16:05, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

{{PD-Armenia}} need updates

{{PD-Armenia}} should be updated because of 2006 changes in copyrights law. I thing it should be just redirect to {{PD-old}} (1923 is not mentioned in law).

All images tagged with {{PD-Armenia}} should be reviewed.

EugeneZelenko (talk) 15:40, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Yep, it was a retroactive change to 70 pma. The 1923/1946 dates in the current tag relate to the PD situation in the U.S.; i.e. the tag was trying to apply both the PD-in-Armenia and PD-in-U.S. rules at the same time. The 1946 date is incorrect even; Armenia's URAA date was in October 2000 so that should have been 1950 instead (and would still apply for URAA purposes). Redirecting to PD-old is one way to do it; that would leave images which have been removed from the public domain to be discovered ad-hoc. If we deprecate it with a note to change to PD-old if possible, like PD-Russia, that would indicate that files should be re-evaluated. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:21, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
[17]? sугсго 20:37, 27 January 2010 (UTC)


The Image:WilliamDaroffphoto.jpg is already available at a other webpage [18]. This looks like a copy right violation or does a user have the right to put something on a webpage and then give it to wikimedia?-- 18:44, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and tagged the image as a copyright violation, since there is nothing on that website that indicates that the image has been released under a free license. Huntster (t @ c) 21:01, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

File:Gilles de Rais.jpg

The Commons copyright on this file is questionable. Would someone mind taking a look at it? Thanks, Momoricks (talk) 22:32, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

resolved --h-stt !? 16:10, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! Momoricks (talk) 00:52, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Scan of a book

Stumbled upon this picture which claims to be a B/W photo of an original painting. However it looks to be a flat-bed color scan of a book which contained a B/W photo. Due to the age of the subject I am confident with the PD claim of the painting, however I am concerned about the unknown copyright status of the book it was scanned from. What is the appropriate course of action here? I have already sent a note to the original uploader on en.wp, but they don't appear to be active. Any advice appreciated. Thanks.  7  23:11, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

A picture of a PD painting is a picture of a PD painting, no matter when the book was published, and hence is {{PD-Art}}.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:52, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Ok - thanks. I wasn't sure about that. So once something is PD it doesn't matter if it's re-published by someone else, it's still PD? Thanks.  7  12:08, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that is the official position of the Wikimedia Foundation. Note that some countries might have a different interpretation of copyright law. For more information, see Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 12:48, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
If it is a straight mechanical scan, even fewer countries would treat it differently. See {{PD-scan}} and Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:59, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

World Health Organization image copyright

The WHO's copyright for images simple reads "All images are free to download and use, with the mention: copyright: WHO." Are these image such as those here upload-able to Commons under a free license, or would it be best to upload locally? --The New Mikemoral ♪♫ 17:55, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't think so. The detailed copyright notice states: "© Copyright World Health Organization (WHO), 2010. All Rights Reserved. The information in the various pages of the WHO web site is issued by the World Health Organization for general distribution. The information presented is protected under the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literature and Artistic works, under other international conventions and under national laws on copyright and neighboring rights. Extracts of the information in the web site may be reviewed, reproduced or translated for research or private study but not for sale or for use in conjunction with commercial purposes."
In addition, a web page entitled "Extracts from WHO website or publication" states: "If you wish to use an extract from the WHO website or from a WHO publication, please check first that the extract (paragraph, table, figure, photograph or other illustration) actually belongs to WHO. ... If the extract is not marked as being reproduced from somewhere else, then it belongs to WHO. If you wish to use the extract for research, private study or in a noncommercial document with limited circulation (such as an academic thesis or dissertation), you may do so without seeking permission. Our only requirement is that the WHO source should be appropriately acknowledged. If you wish to reproduce the extract by a method that gives it wider circulation, commercial or noncommercial, please contact us by using the permission request form." — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:16, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. I'll keep this in mind. Regards, The New Mikemoral ♪♫ 22:47, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Copyright status of collections in German museums

Please read this and comment if possible, it might affect a whole lot of images on Commons: FunkMonk (talk) 23:24, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Not at all. Discussion on enWP with regard to Germany copyright law are not really important to commons as we have our own expertize on that issue. --h-stt !? 11:30, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, the discussion is about pictures that are currently on Commons. The type of picture in question might have to be removed entirely from Commons if what is explained in that discussion is how it is. FunkMonk (talk) 11:32, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
The discusssion on enwp is confused. There is no copyright on fossils. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 11:43, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Sure, no FOP inside of a museum, but not allowing images being taken inside a museum is a non-copyright restrictions. Taking images of old stuff (old paintings or fossils) shouldn't be a problem. Multichill (talk) 11:45, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I've notified the creator of the original thread on :en, who has also an account on Commons (User:HMallison). --Túrelio (talk) 12:01, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I think we defused that on enWP and hope they will come here if they really take an issue with the image (and others of German museums). --h-stt !? 16:11, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm not so sure about that. Note that the user has already started notifying other users who have uploaded photographs from inside the museum to Commons. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 17:00, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
True, but that happened yesterday, before starting this thread and before "our" intervention on :en. --Túrelio (talk) 17:36, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I'll get a reply from the museum's law department on this. it will take a while, but I can tell you that apparently the opinion is that at least skeltal mounts are both a technical display (protected) and a work of art (protected). Please note also that the bones are not 'old stuff' - what you see today is the result of a lot of work done very recently! Thus, the 'antiquity' claim does not hold water. I hope we can defuse this at a low level. HMallison (talk) 07:42, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

I do not see any originality in a faithful reproduction of a skeleton. The bones are located in the same position where they were when the animal was alive. There is nothing new there. Where is the art? I do not see it. Do not confuse art with science. Best regards, Alpertron (talk) 12:09, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
If it was as you claim, you might be correct in your conclusion. But your reply only shows that you, like 99% of the public, have pretty much no clue about skeletal mounts. In fact, only the general position of each bone is known, and in mammals, the articulations are a good guide for articulating them. In dinosaurs, however, there is much room for interpretation, and even art. In fact, we can't even say for sure whether e.g. Kentrosaurus has sprawling or erect forelimbs wehn walking. We have no clue on the curvature of the back in sauropods, we have no exact idea what the position of the neck during walking, standing and feeding was. And if we did, it would make the mount a technical display, which under German copyright laws is explicitly covered. HMallison (talk) 14:10, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
If the 99% of the public have no clue about these skeletal mounts is because 99.99...% of the museums show these mounts as if they were correct and not an artistic representation as you state above. Do the museums display any warning near the mount stating that the position of the bones is not known for sure? Best regards, Alpertron (talk) 14:37, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
The MFN, as far as I know, does, if you bother to check out the audio guides, or take a guided tour. HMallison (talk) 06:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
True, but the scientist who mounts the bones or casts tries to reproduce the original shape as good as he can. That's not individual creativity, no originality.
And German copyright laws protect not only art, but, as I have pointed out about ten times, technical displays as well. HMallison (talk) 06:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, works with no originality are protected by Germen UrhG, but only by verwandte Schutzrechte (Neighboring Rights), §§ 70ff. not by copyright. And there are verwandte Schutzrechte for databases, photographs, Scientific Editions, performing arts, radio recordings and broadcasting but non for a faithful reproduction of a skeleton. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Syrcro (talk • contribs) 28. Januar 2010, 10:47 Uhr (UTC)
I understand that you are trying to defend the interest of your employer. They fear to lose control over "their baby". But how can they justify this kind of control anyway?
Because of the massive investment in procuring, preparing, conserving, studying and mounting the bone, as well as maintaining the exhibit. HMallison (talk) 06:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Why is their control over interpretation more important than the freedom to interpret by anyone else?
It is not - but that is not the point here. Anyone is free to interpret, but noody is free to sell e.g. postcards or other merchandising with high quality photographs. HMallison (talk) 06:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
The mission of the Museum für Naturkunde - as of any other museum - is to make their collection available to the general public.
Among many other things. People tend to forget that the safekeeping and accessability of scientific collections to researchers is the prime mission. HMallison (talk) 06:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Researchers don't use the internet? Kaldari (talk) 18:39, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
What does that have to do with the issue of protecting the valuable assests from being commercially marketed by thrid parties for free? Yes, we use the internet, but do you really want to suggest that we are dependent on Wikipedia photos with sufficient resolution to make large-size prints? Doing research by picture is bad science, you need to see the specimens for yourself or rely on concrete measurements. Pics are a nice help, but they have edge distortion, just to mention on massive problem. HMallison (talk) 23:26, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
You are contradicting yourself: first you said that the pictures have good quality and now that they are distorted. What is the problem of giving for free "distorted" images as you stated in your last sentence? Best regards, Alpertron (talk) 14:08, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks to the free culture movement and digitization, information as this dinosaurs likeliness is available to huge parts of mankind now. Every museum should be happy to spread their collection and share it with everyone interested.
Sharing is one thing - you are free to come and look, photograph for private or scientific purpose, even diogitize at high resolution for scientific use - but not to license high-quality photographs for commercial use. HMallison (talk) 06:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Regarding the legal point of view: Wikipedias position on this and similar issues is well researched and based on judicature in all relevant jurisdictions. The Museum has no legal standing in this issue, neither under German nor American law.
That remains to be seen - quite clearly, all wikipedians want to have as many nice photogrpahs as possible. HMallison (talk) 06:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
From a cultural standpoint: Their fears are not supported by any principle and your claims are contrary to the very mission of the museum.
False, see above. HMallison (talk) 06:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
This dinosaur is part of the cultural heritage of all mankind. As David Gerard said on the NPG-issue some months ago: "They honestly think the [paintings] belong to them rather than to us." But they are wrong. --h-stt !? 23:30, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
The dinosaur is, which is why it is public. But the commercial use is not, and that's the issue here. HMallison (talk) 06:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
With "technical displays" you refer to §2 I No 7 UrhG in the definition of a protected "work" under German copyright law. Unfortunately you miss para II of the same article which limits the term of works only to those with originality. And based on textbooks, commentaries and judicature I seriously doubt any originality in the display of a dinosaurs cast in the lobby of a train station. Originality is the individual self-expression of a persons creativity. And frankly, there is no room for that in this mounted dino.
Pretty much else in your reply refers to the commercial interest of the museum. That's not my concern. And it is not protected by copyright, only creativity is. I know the fiscal situation of public institutions in Berlin quite well. But as custodians of the public domain we will not sacrifice the heritage of all mankind to the fiscal interests of the Berlin senate. --h-stt !? 15:18, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
While we're at it: I can understand that there may be a misinterpretation of the law in regards to "technical displays" of dinosaur skeletons, but I'm simply dying to know where the museum's creativity in File:Naturkundemuseum Berlin - Mineralien.jpg is and why you warned its creator about it. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 22:18, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Sigh! Reading is difficult, is it? Technical display - have you read this before? HMallison (talk) 23:26, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
So you are actually telling me that just by placing those minerals in a glas cabin, you are creating a copyright on them? -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 01:49, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Did you read above where H-stt claimed that copyright on technical displays only applies to those with originality? You certainly didn't respond. If there is copyright here, I think museums should be lining up to sue you for violating their copyright on putting minerals with identifying stickers under glass.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:37, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Is there originality? No, read (brand-new) --Historiograf (talk) 18:06, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

A paper on the legal situation in the US. Sigh: Berlin is in Germany, not the US. HMallison (talk) 23:19, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Let's not make a moral issue out of this. It's clear that a skeletal display, even if it's intended to exhibit a prehistoric creature in a lifelike position according to scientists, may still contain artistic or creative qualities, since animals can exhibit a large variety of poses. On the other hand, it remains unclear whether this degree of creativity is sufficient to meet the bar for copyright for this type of work under the local system of copyright law. Lacking expertise in German copyright law, I'm unable to make a call on this, but I can say that whatever we decide on this may influence other types of images such as photographs of taxidermies. Dcoetzee (talk) 13:43, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

"Free to publish"

I've had a look at some old uploads of mine which are now in Category:Dalarö wreck. The images are from the website of the Swedish National Maritime Museums (Statens maritima museer) and I'm now not sure they might be considered free or not. After an update of the website, the images are no longer available and they're not in the Wayback Machine either.[19] It looks to me like we'd have delete these to be on the safe side, but I thought I'd solicit outside opinions first.

Peter Isotalo 14:54, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Why did you believe the images to be free in the first place, and why are you uncertain now? — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:20, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
If that was the only statement available on the page, it is not sufficient to infer that modifications and commercial use are allowed; see Commons:Image casebook#Press photos. That statement is essentially just confirming that fair use can be applied. I would suggest contacting the museum for clarification according to the OTRS process. LX (talk, contribs) 15:55, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I found the new URL.[20] As far as I recall the description on the original website didn't say pressbilder ("press photos"). In combination with that I must've interpreted "free" too liberally. Don't really remember why, but one of them was allowed to go on the mainpage of as a DYK without any comments and then I forgot all about them.
I've replaced the license with {{OTRS pending}} and I'll fire of an e-mail first thing Mondary morning. Let's see if SNMM are weilling to release them or not...
Peter Isotalo 22:06, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

photo credit


we would like to publish an image uploaded by Secret Disc user in our magazine. as I understood from the licence, we are able to do this, but I don't know how to credit the pictures in the magazine. magazine is printed 2000 copies- if, it's important.


Hi Green2,
likely you meant User:SecretDisc. First you have to look at the image page, under which license the image in question was released. If that is not enough information, take a look at Commons:Reusing content outside Wikimedia or ask the user directly. --Túrelio (talk) 19:48, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
To contact a user, you use his talkpage (just click here). Which image do you want to re-use? --Túrelio (talk) 20:31, 31 January 2010 (UTC)


Is this screenshot (File:WESER-KURIER Homepage.JPG) of a german newspaper website eligible for deletion? --Gepardenforellenfischer (talk) 09:12, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes, deleted; the website is © WESER-KURIER digital. –Tryphon 09:18, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. --Gepardenforellenfischer (talk) 09:27, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Ulster murals and FOP in the UK

Hi all, I was thinking of uploading a picture of a mural somewhere in North Ireland I found in Picasa. However, I read the section on FOP in the UK and it seems to exclude a mural:

the freedom provided by Section 62 does not apply to graphic works (which will typically be two-dimensional) such as paintings, murals, advertising hoardings, maps, posters or signs. These cannot be uploaded to Commons without a licence from the copyright holder even if they are permanently located in a public place.

However, we have an entire category devoted to them. Should all be removed (according to the section on FOP it seems so)? --Ecemaml talk to me/habla conmigo 21:57, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

It may depend on whether they were painted legally or not. Ironically, illegal murals (i.e. graffiti) are generally permitted, but not legally painted ones. See COM:CB#Graffiti and COM:CB#Murals. Kaldari (talk) 22:27, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
According to "Commons:Image casebook#Graffiti", photographs of graffiti are generally allowed at the Commons because "it is unlikely that the artist would be able to enforce the copyright since that would require a court to uphold the validity of an illegal act as the basis for damages or other relief against a third party". However, most if not all of the images in "Category:Murals in Northern Ireland by county" appear to be purposefully executed murals done with the permission of the owners of the properties on which they appear. Some of the murals in question are very famous, and have been carefully maintained over a period of years. It does not appear that they are mere graffiti. This makes it problematic for the images to remain in the Commons because the freedom of panorama in the UK, as Ecemaml pointed out, does not apply to two-dimensional graphic works such as paintings, murals, posters and so on, even if permanently located in a public place. — Cheers, JackLee talk 06:38, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I believe they would need to be deleted then. Kaldari (talk) 18:55, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Italian postcards, 1925-39

About the time I had this figured out, I thought I'd better go back to the well and make sure. I chose five possible licenses but still can't tell which applies. I have ten postcards with five dated June 29, 1925, through January 16, 1939. I know that the other five also fall within this period, closer to 1939. The publisher's name is on all but about one, and they all include either riproduzione vietala (reproduction prohibited) or proprietá riservata (which I will assume, means rights reserved). Thanks, Cortina2 (talk) 20:41, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

As long as they're from 1939 or ealier, I would imagine that {{Anonymous-EU}} would be the right tag. Kaldari (talk) 22:24, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. That was the first license on my list. Cortina2 (talk) 18:09, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

NASA, ESA, and other

Could someone clarify how Commons should decode the copyright situation of images with NASA credit lines?

At Commons:Deletion requests/File:P-2010 A2 Tail Implies Powerful Collision.jpg I have nominated File:P-2010 A2 Tail Implies Powerful Collision.jpg for discussion because it has "Credit: NASA, ESA, and D. Jewitt (University of California, Los Angeles)". I could easily be wrong because NASA's copyright logic is certainly complex. Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 11#Chandra images - not PD-USGov-NASA? is an old 2008 discussion that tries to explain how to decode the credit line. It appears that commas are significant, but is this still the case today? Some examples of how I interpret various credit lines:

  • "NASA/ESA" = public domain
  • "NASA/CXC/UC Berkeley/N. Smith et al." = confusing but public domain according to the OTRS email
  • "NASA, ESA, J. Smith et al." = confusing but NOT public domain according to the OTRS email

Could we expand the various NASA templates with text that explains all this?

-84user (talk) 17:43, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Imperial War Museum

Hi all, maybe this question should be solved by means of a deletion nomination, but possibly a discussion here would be more fruitful.

Recently a colleague has found a book that includes picture from the 1940's. They seem to be credited to either the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office or to the Imperial War Museum. While in the former, Crown Copyright ({{PD-BritishGov}}) seems to be obvious, in the latter it's not that obvious (it seems actually that it has to be reviewed in a case-by-case fashion). I've detected three pictures from the IWM without any further authorship and therefore it seems to me that, as there is no enough information to assert they were done by a UK Government agency, they should be deleted. Here you have them:

Opinions? --Ecemaml talk to me/habla conmigo 22:06, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Ecemaml will be away for a while, I am the colleague he refers to. Could someone please shed some light on this? Thanks, --Gibmetal 77talk 14:53, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
I doubt the Imperial War Museum is the original author of them. A lot of their material was supplied by the UK government and would fall under Crown Copyright, but some is not, and without finding the original record from IWM it may be hard to keep it. This is a similar photo, from the British War Office, but not the same (it is from 1942). I couldn't find any of the three in a quick search. But, I think only a small fraction of their stuff is available online. The IWM could potentially be contacted to see if they have any further records on the photos. The book in question was made under commission from the Gibraltar government, but I don't think that has an effect either way. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:17, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

drawing of a snake from 1840

Hi! Today I took a potograph of a drawing of a snake, published in A. Smith: Illustrations of the zoology of South Africa, Reptilia. Smith, Elder, and Co., London 1840. My librarian told me that it is not allowed to use this picture for public purposes. Is he right or can I upload this picture with the template PD-old/en? Can anybody help me? --Tigerpython (talk) 21:55, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

I see no problem whatsoever. The illustration is undoubtedly {{PD-Old}}. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 22:48, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Great, many thanks Pieter Kuiper! --Tigerpython (talk) 22:52, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

The Motherland Calls

We've had to delete innumerable photographs of a famous copyrighted Russian statue, commissioned by the Russian government, called The Motherland Calls (see Category:The Motherland Calls). Recently, we obtained special permission from the Kremlin's Presidential Press and Information Office to use File:Vladimir Putin 22 February 2000-4.jpg, which prominently features the statue. If this permission is valid, then this would be a great free image to illustrate the statue for many projects. However, it remains unclear to me that the Presidential Press and Information Office carries the authority to release this derivative work - it depends on who exactly the copyright holder of the statue is and whether the person signing the permission letter is qualified to act on their behalf. Thoughts? Dcoetzee (talk) 02:00, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Why don't we think about changing the licensing policy to allow photos of this statue on commons? If instead of saying "Wikimedia Commons accepts only free content" the wording was changed to say "Wikimedia Commons is expected to host only free content" then I would suggest that the common language interpretation of that wording would be flexible enough to allow us to host a few rare examples which were not technically free content per the definition. The same paragraph mentions "certain material the copyrights of which have expired in one country while still applying in another" which essentially means that there are already exemptions from the only free content rule.

Present day artworks (such as album covers) are globally copyright due to the Berne convention, which is why an exemption policy is needed to allow them to be legally hosted on Wikipedia's US servers. WMF policy is that works requiring such a rationale must be deleted from Commons.

The Motherland Calls was constructed before the US signed the Berne Convention. Instead the Universal Copyright Convention was in force at that time which allowed the US to keep the requirement for copyright registration. A sculpture could become public domain if it was displayed without a copyright notice. If both my information and my reasoning are correct - and I'd very much like other editors to go over it with a fine tooth comb - then in the absense of proof of copyright registration then the statue may well be public domain in the US and would therefore not need a fair use rationale to allow it to be legally hosted on US servers. It probably would not be public domain in the source country of the work, which as the present licensing stands would appear to prevent it being moved to Commons. That is the aspect of the present policy which I'd like to see relaxed.

The founding policy of Wikimedia Commons was to be strict on licensing but liberal with respect to content and I believe that the suggested change in the current licensing policy (which, as noted, already has exemptions) would be true to that principle. Your comments? 9carney (talk) 19:03, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Certainly the legal part is mistaken; the w:URAA restored copyrights to most foreign copyrights lost due to reasons like that.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:12, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I have to agree. I was unaware of the effects of the URAA. I have a related question which I think needs a new heading. 9carney (talk) 01:18, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

No general transfer of PD images from en to commons?

Is it correct that I am not allowed to transfer these 1, 2 images from en.WP to commons because the creator released them as public domain (and not with an unwieldy CC license)? If so, how would that by any chance match the intention of anyone releasing an image into PD at en.WP? -- Theoprakt (talk) 06:36, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Public domain images are accepted here. See the project licensing policy. Also, both images lack an author and source. Blurpeace 08:01, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
That unfortunately doesn't answer my question, but adds a new one: Both image description pages state, that "I, the author copyright holder", release it into PD, which refers to a user account on en.WP. Why would that not be sufficient?
To clarify the original question: I am not the creator, but I want to use the files on de.WP, so I want to transfer them to commons. Howevert, the upload dialogue seems to tell me that I was only allowed to do so with CC licensed images; for PD images only if I was the creator myself, or the creator would have been dead for 70 years. Which doesn't make sense to me, because the PD tag states it is free for whatever purpose. How do I transfer such an image to commons, keep the licensing proper, and credit the author (if not out of legal necessity, than as an act of common sense)? -- Theoprakt (talk) 09:39, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
About the question related to PD images: truly PD images are ok and can be moved to Commons. You may want to check out this page and use CommonsHelper.
About authorship/credits for these particular files: they are indeed problematic, because they don't identify the author, the only statement is an automatic declaration that the uploader is the copyright holder. The first picture could be refused because on Commons we require a clear statement about authorship and there is nothing close to it (but maybe the original uploader could issue a clear confirmation that he is the photographer). About the second image, you're surely able to see that the problem is deeper. The uploader doesn't say he is the author (like in the first case), although in this case it is very doubtful that it is: the image probably has an institutional source, like a research organism or something like a US climate agency. It is unreasonable to assume, on the basis of a mere upload, that the user created the image from scratch.
Is the situation clearer to you? --Eusebius (talk) 10:04, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) A work is released into the public domain either by a copyright holder's judgment, expiration, or ineligibility. In the above case, the copyright holders have done the first (i.e. released their rights to the images). Wikimedia Commons requires that an author, source, and license be provided with all images. The above license is public domain (all public domain images are accepted on the Commons, so long as they are public domain in the country of origin and the United States). They are both missing author and source information (which must be provided before transfer). Use CommonsHelper to properly transfer the files, once you obtain the two pieces of required information. Blurpeace 10:14, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you both, I think I can work this out now. Regarding the creatorship of the map, I think it is possible that the user created it, as he identifies as a marine scientist. I will just ask him. -- Theoprakt (talk) 10:21, 6 February 2010 (UTC)