Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 27

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Incorect license File:Ankara kolajı.jpg

File:Ankara kolajı.jpg license may be incorrect, one of its components (translation: is licensed under GFDL 1.2 only NO CC-BY-SA-3.0.--IngerAlHaosului (talk) 05:27, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

If it's GFDL 1.2 or more recent version as I understand, as it has been uploaded before August 1, 2009 it can be automatically migrated to CC-BY-SA-3.0, see Commons:License_Migration_Task_Force/Migration#Media file relicensing criteria. --GaAs11671 08:36, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Derivative work license X + Y = ?

Several times I've seen the question come by here on Commons and on IRC, and last week when I created a work and I found out that that was a situation much alike.

Here is an example: File:RC Placeholder.jpg.

It's a work based on other works. But those 'others' have different licenses (GNU, PD, CC-BY-SA). I've seen these kind of cases a fair bit on Commons. Sometimes all licenses were stacked under the "Licensing"-header, sometimes the uploader choose a new one and linked to the others in the Source-field (without making note of the original licenses).

So, the question is: Is it allowed to make such works, if so how should they be licensed ? Or should all these works be deleted from Commons, because those licenses are illegal together ? –Krinkletalk 01:30, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

  • It was my understanding that GPL and LGPL were compatible (the difference as I understand it the LGPL allows linking non-free binaries). Since the LGPL contains the linking clause, it *should* also be (one way) CC-BY-SA compatible. CC-BY-SA only requires a "similar" license, ie one with viral sharealike and attribution, which GPL provides, but LGPL does not. However, when LGPL is used with GPL then the stronger license, ie GPL is used. In summation, in this case, the licenses *are* compatible, but only if the final license is GPL. -Nard the Bard 01:48, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, though that "one-way" sounds a bit weird (I'll check it out later), it does make sense. –Krinkletalk 09:46, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Weaker licenses can generally be put into more strongly licensed works (but not always). The most extreme example is PD and ARR (All Rights Reserved). You can use PD works in an ARR work, but you cannot put ARR work into a PD work. It's one way compatibility only. -Nard the Bard 21:35, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
I've never heard of CC-BY-SA and GPL being compatible (in either direction), and reading the license text seems to support the idea that they aren't. Specifically, CC-BY-SA 2.5, which File:Stop hand nuvola.svg is licensed under, says:
“You may distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly digitally perform a Derivative Work only under the terms of this License, a later version of this License with the same License Elements as this License, or a Creative Commons iCommons license that contains the same License Elements as this License (e.g. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Japan).”
Since the license does permit relicensing of derivative works under a later version of the same license, we should also check such versions to see if they might have introduced more permissive terms. (I have not checked all the international versions of the CC licenses, but I presume all of them to be equivalent in this regard.) The corresponding part of CC-BY-SA 3.0, the only later version so far, says:
“You may Distribute or Publicly Perform an Adaptation only under the terms of: (i) this License; (ii) a later version of this License with the same License Elements as this License; (iii) a Creative Commons jurisdiction license (either this or a later license version) that contains the same License Elements as this License (e.g., Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 US)); (iv) a Creative Commons Compatible License.”
The 3.0 version does indeed permit relicensing under "Creative Commons Compatible Licenses", which, according to section 1(c), are listed on this page. Unfortunately, according to that page, there aren't currently any, and in any case the inclusion criteria listed there would seem to rule out all versions of (L/A)GPL so far. Since the component works in File:RC Placeholder.jpg aren't easily separable, I don't think it can be considered a Collective Work (CC-BY-SA 2.5, section 1(a)) or Collection (CC-BY-SA 3.0, section 1(b)) either. Thus, unfortunately, I don't think there's any valid way to license the image in its current form. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 22:33, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Ilmari's conclusion. I don't see how the terms of CC-BY-SA 2.5 can be met by licensing a derivative work under the GPL. Unless CC-BY-SA 3.0 has significantly different wording, I would lean towards delete. I would also like to comment that there are tons of other images like this on Commons, due to the widespread proliferation of GPL icon images. If only people used the Tango icons instead, we wouldn't have this problem. Or better yet, the software authors should release there icons under CC0. Kaldari (talk) 18:59, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Question about File:Flag-color-small.jpg

It's the flag of Sigma Pi fraternity, taken from its website and uploaded with the permission statement: "As a brother, I have the right to use this file". I'm not sure about this image's copyright status - since the fraternity was founded in 1897, the copyright on the flag may have expired. If it isn't expired, I'm not sure that all brothers legally have the right to freely license work created by other brothers. For what it's worth, I'm a Sigma Pi(willing to prove it to an admin) and approve of this, but I want to make sure it's kosher. --Explodicle (talk) 18:12, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

If you can find out a date of when the flag was created, that would help us figure it out. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 18:25, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
PD-textlogo? --h-stt !? 08:53, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
I'd say go with {{PD-textlogo}}. The flag is simple enough. I would want to see evidence (such as the rules and regulations of the fraternity) that any member of the fraternity can freely license copyrighted works owned by the fraternity itself. (Are fraternities body corporates capable of owning property, or unincorporated associations?) — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:44, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Deletion of File:Language border (Belgium and France)-en.svg and File:Language border (Belgium and France)-nl.svg

Recently, both files were deleted without much discussion. On the deletion request of the English file it is said that it entails a copyright violation because it uses another map as a source for its information. I don't think that is a copyright violation, as any piece of literature (a scientific article for example) would be a copyright violation because it uses other articles as a source. The publication that the image used as a source was perfectly referenced in the image itself, so I don't see the problem. Can anyone shed a light on this? Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 17:41, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Copyright protects the expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves. A scientific article that refers to information appearing in other sources but is phrased in different terms merely makes use of the ideas in the other sources and so does not breach the copyright in them. However, if the article reproduced large portions of the texts of the sources verbatim (i.e., portions exceeding fair use), that would certainly amount to an infringement of the copyright in the sources. Similarly, one can look at an artistic work, discern the idea underlying it, and interpret that idea by creating an independent artistic work. However, a mere tracing of an artistic work with only slight changes to the colours and text, which is what appears to have happened in the case of the map, amounts to an unauthorized derivative of the original copyrighted work. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:38, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
It is phrased in different terms! AFAIK, the map has been drawn up separately from the map it used the information from. It thus only used the map discussed as a source for the different historical language barriers. I don't understand how the definition of those language barriers can be protected by copyright... Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 00:44, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
My reading of the deletion discussion was that the file was deleted because it was pretty much a tracing of the original copyrighted map, with only minor changes to colour and translation of the text into a different language. Therefore, this went beyond merely using information from the original source. However, I haven't seen the file or the original source so I can't really comment further. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:45, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Aerial photos by the Luftwaffe (Wehrmacht) - in the public domain or not?

I can't found special template for this. Aerial photos by the Luftwaffe is still copyrighted? -- TarzanASG +1  19:39, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Under German law they are still protected. --h-stt !? 21:18, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
They are just Lichtbilder, without creativity. Gemeinfrei. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 08:43, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
In the PD? What template? -- TarzanASG +1  18:58, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I cannot find one for Germany; only {{PD-Austria}} mentions Lichtbild. It would probably be good to make one for Germany. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 19:22, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
In some rare cases they are PD. But omly if they were published without a notice of the author by the German gouverment at least 70 years ago (before or on 31.12.1939) - But Great Patriotic War photographs are not. sугсго 07:44, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Invariant sections

{{GFDL-invariants}} screams that our policy prohibits invariant sections, yet the policy doesn't mention invariant sections explicitly. {{Hiuppo Copyright GFDL}} was built during the licensing migration with an invariant. {{GFDL-IS}} allows them, and is being discussed at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Isaac Asimov on Throne.png. Help?.. --John Vandenberg (chat) 09:16, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

See also meta:GFDL FAQ#What about invariant sections? Everyone says those are trouble. John Vandenberg (chat) 09:18, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Change of licence

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Fabian Photo in White Bikini.png set me thinking. The image in question, File:Fabian Photo in White Bikini.png, is a derivative work of an image on Flickr which was freely licenced at the time. It has since been changed to all rights reserved. However, as CC licences are non-revocable, could we upload the original image to Commons under that original licence? -mattbuck (Talk) 20:11, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes, but only if you had some way to prove that the file was originally so licensed. Powers (talk) 22:33, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Open logo icons?

Apparently, icons copying logos of various companies are being uploaded under Category:Open Icon Library as PD-self. Are these really free? If there is a previous discussion, could you please kindly point it out? (This shouldn't be a topic of Commons, but I am also wondering whether it is appropriate to use these "mock" icons on wikipedia articles to represent the subject.) --Aotake (talk) 05:52, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

They shouldn't be PD-self, but PD-author (or, in many cases, PD-ineligible). I think it's pretty clear that most of them are free from copyright; the issue is how far these images infringe on trademarks. We don't prohibit trademarked content (obviously), but we do mark it, and I'd say that many of these images ought to be so marked, if they aren't already. Powers (talk) 13:10, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Possibly incorrect licence

Apologies if this isn't the correct place to post this, but I'm a bit dubious about the copyright status of File:Ashton Gate.jpg, and it would be good to get a second opinion from someone a bit more knowledgeable than myself about these things. The image source is given as en:wikipedia, and the creator as user en:PooMan12 (contribs). The user's talk page indicates that they have had other problems with image licenses, and appear to have had this image deleted twice in the past.

As PooMan12 hasn't been active for over three-and-a-half years, it's not possible to ask him directly, which is why I am posting here. Does anyone else think that the licence is dubious, or am I just being a bit over cautious? If this isn't the appropriate forum for asking this question, please accept my apologies, and could you direct me to the correct place. Many thanks, Gasheadsteve (talk) 07:36, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Apart from problems with other images uploaded by PooMan12, is there any basis for suspecting that the image in question is a copyright violation? For example, can you point to some other website where the image occurs, and does a Tineye search reveal anything? If not, I think we'll have to assume good faith on PooMan12's part. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:04, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
It's probably just me being over cautious, I was just a bit suspicious because seven of the eight files this user uploaded have been deleted. A Tineye search doesn't find any evidence that indicates the image is incorrectly tagged, so I'll assume good faith and leave it at that. Thanks very much for your help, Gasheadsteve (talk) 09:30, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I concur; this most probably has been taken from some random place on the net. It was deleted at en-WP on 2007-07-13 for not having had any source information. He had previously uploaded en:File:Ashton gate.jpg: the same image in 800×599px, licensed as "Non-commercial only" (chosen from the license dropdown menu at the upload form at en-WP). On January 2006, about 10 months before the uplaods of this image at en-WP, somebody posted a thumbnails of it here, sourced to I've now tagged it as a copyvio here.Lupo 11:32, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
OK, thanks. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:28, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Olympic Posters 1896 - 2012


I got a set of low res poster of the Olympics. What licence do I pick? And how to fill in what?

Regards VYGOcommons (talk) 18:43, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Most of them would still be copyrighted and the IOC is not known for making these posters available under a free license. So you cannot upload most of them here. For instance, File:1924 olympics poster.jpg: the artist, Jean Droit, was French and lived 1884 - 1961. Your uploading of that image was a copyright violation. Lupo 19:12, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Okay understood. Now what? I find similar things e.g. "Beijing 2008 Olympics logo.svg". How did they do that? Regards VYGOcommons (talk) 19:23, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Spot-checking your other uploads, I see a number of other problematic files. Where did you get File:Windglider Olympic Sailboard.jpg, File:Division II Olympic Sailboard.jpg, and File:Lechner Olympic Sailboard.jpg from? They look like scans. File:1908 London Poster.jpg is not a U.S. work, so {{PD-US}} is not applicable. The artist of File:1928 olympics poster.jpg was Joseph Johannes (Jos) Rovers, a Dutch artist who lived 1893-1970. The poster will be in the public domain only in the year 2041. And so on... Lupo 19:27, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and File:Beijing 2008 Olympics logo.svg has been deleted long ago here. Lupo 19:28, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
The London poster is by Arthur Stockdale Cope, dead 1940. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 19:30, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I know, just speedied it. And it wasn't a poster but the cover of the programme brochure. There were no posters after 1896 until 1912.Lupo 19:44, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Sailboard graphs I made by hand and cleaned/colored them by computer myself. On the posters issue throw them out no problem! VYGOcommons (talk) 20:11, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you also uploaded graphics, but the three windsurfing images mentioned above are photos, not graphics. So, where do they come from? Lupo 06:42, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
I collected pictures over the years. I can not recall where have these from. Probably from a old magazine or from the web. VYGOcommons (talk) 09:15, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
So, essentially "no source", and we have no idea whether these are under a free license, but most probably they're not. Tagged accordingly. Lupo 09:57, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Passport photograph copyrightable?

File:Bulgarian eu passport.jpg is currently tagged as GFDL/CC-by-sa-3.0, because it's apparently a photo of a passport cover. Bulgarian Herald has provided evidence that the passport cover itself is PD by Bulgarian law, so freedom isn't an issue; but is this image really original enough to attract copyright on the part of the photographer? Nyttend (talk) 11:39, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

No. Faithful reproduction of a public domain 2-dimensional work, and all that. The photograph is also PD.--Curtis Clark (talk) 13:24, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the cover itself lacks the necessary originality to be copyrightable. I assume that by stating that "the passport cover itself is PD by Bulgarian law", what is meant is that the coat of arms of the Republic of Bulgaria is in the public domain? The coat of arms is too complex to fall within {{PD-textlogo}}. The uploader may wish to send the image to the image lab for removal of the dust spots. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:27, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
According to the uploader, Bulgarian law provides that at least some government works, including passports, are PD because they're government works. Nyttend (talk) 23:31, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Not sure about two photos I uploaded

Hello. Yesterday I uploaded a portrait of Harry Carey and a photo of Yakima and Kitty Canutt. After a long reflexion I used the {{PD-US-no notice}} and {{PD-1923}} tags, respectively. The pictures seemed to fit the requirements for theses tags. That of Carey was taken before 1948 (his death), I think it was in 1946. The photo of Canutt was taken prior to 1919 (he divorced Kitty that year). It seems to me they were both meant to be published. Today, I'm beginning to wonder whether I used appropriated tags. Could you please check ? Thanks, Liorek (talk) 15:36, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

"Photo" based on Google Maps satellite view with additional self-made annotations

Considering that the Mauna Kea observatory (MKO) on Hawaii is very reluctant to allow publications of any photos taken by anyone(!) on their locations (see here), I made a "photo" from Google Maps satellite view of this observatory, and printed numbers on the photo at each telescope facility. The idea is that, after uploading the "annotated" photo to Commons, I would write the legenda (the numbers and the corresponding item names) into the file's description field.

As I see it, this makes it a self-made photo, not taken at their premises, but from overhead (so should not be a problem for MKO themselves), but based on Google Maps. Am I allowed to upload this to Commons, and if so, what license type should I select?

Thanks in advance.

HHahn (talk) 12:59, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

You cannot upload it, but not because of the University of Hawaii. Rather, it's because Google owns the copyright to that satellite image (or, at least, has a license to use a copyrighted satellite image). Fortunately, there should be some public domain satellite images out there; try Microsoft Research Maps. Powers (talk) 13:23, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I dropped the Google version and used a MRM/Bing version: preview of the result. Would this be OK to uploas to Commons? And what license type and/or credit text should I specify?
HHahn (talk) 14:36, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Bing maps are copyrighted as well. You can tell because of the copyright notice underneath the scale. Powers (talk) 16:21, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
On the Microsoft Research Maps website referenced on en:Microsoft Research Maps I only found some sort of contour map, which was useless for my purpose. I did not find any satellite photos there.
Does this mean that there is no way to produce an annotated version of some satellite photo? Of course I can make a link to Google Maps, but them I don't have any labels on it (see this for what I mean).
If you know any other legally acceptable way to achieve this, I would be very grateful.
HHahn (talk) 21:22, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, the site is down at the moment, but check out It's a Microsoft site, but is without any annotations or copyrighted layers (last I checked), and the maps are clearly licensed as being USGS. It's mostly black and white, but you might get lucky. It's a great site for public domain top-down photos, even if the quality is sometimes not as high as would be desired.
Also, I'm probably just being temporarily dense, but how can MKO restrict general photography in the area when photographs of buildings are not automatically copyrighted in the United States? Or is it a matter of not being a "public area"? Huntster (t @ c) 21:50, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Update: Well, I'm an idiot. I didn't realise that Terraserver-USA had changed names to "Microsoft Research Maps". So ignore all the above :( Huntster (t @ c) 09:58, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I think it's a matter of threaten and demand. They're not going to take you to court; unless you've got some connection to the university/observatory they can hit you through, it's all going to be bluster and fury. That'll be enough to stop many cases.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:53, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
@Huntster, re "how can MKO restrict general photography...": Don't ask me! Here in the Netherlands, the architect who designed the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam claims copyright for any photos anybody has taken of the Erasmus Bridge... HHahn (talk) 23:06, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Well he's wrong about that. Per COM:FOP, things permanently in public spaces are not eligible for copyright. -mattbuck (Talk) 23:44, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
While the University of Hawaii may have the authority (at least under some circumstances) to prohibit photography on their property, I don't think they can forbid the use or distribution of legally acquired pictures of their property, given that U.S. copyright law has freedom of panorama for buildings. In fact, even for photos taken without permission on their property, earlier arguments made regarding photography restrictions in museums would seem to suggest that the worst the University could do would be to sue the photographer for misuse of their property, but that they would still have no authority to prevent third parties like us from continuing to use and distribute the photos. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 11:58, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Copyright on satellite imagery is a complex question. Some claim quite reasonably that there's no way a mechanically-generated top-down image of the Earth's surface could have any creative input from the satellite's owner, and they shouldn't enjoy any sort of copyright protection. This question has never been brought to court, but you can bet a number of companies would viciously defend their claimed rights to such works, since availability of this data would create opportunities for competition. As others have said, the University of Hawaii cannot prohibit distribution of photographs of its campus.Dcoetzee (talk) 13:48, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, for the time being I decided on a makeshift solution consisting of two links, i.e. one to Google Maps (satellite mode) of the approriate area, and one link to the site map on MKO's own website. See the result here (in Dutch; look at the second line (containing two links) under "Externe links"): nl:Mauna Kea-observatorium#Externe links.
Thanks so far.
HHahn (talk) 15:58, 26 May 2010 (UTC)


Is the law behind {{PD-Japan-oldphoto}} valid for audio files as well? If not, Kimi ga Yo 1930.ogg (media of the day for next week!) should be deleted. If yes, the template should be replaced with something more general; tagging an audio file with a template that talks about photos looks a bit awkward. --Tgr (talk) 12:44, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Removed the "photo" tag. The file is PD under regular Japanese law anyway. Thanks. -Nard the Bard 12:58, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Japanese troops at Johore.jpg

A user uploaded the image File:Japanese troops at Johore.jpg stating the source as the Australian War Memorial and the following message: "The AWM allows the use of images from its online database whose copyright has expired for non-commercial purposes only on the condition that the AWM's watermark is not removed. Higher resolution images may be ordered through the AWM (Source: email from the AWM to Nick Dowling 6 January 2006)." As the copyright in the image has already expired, should the above message be deleted and the image sent to the image lab for the copyright notice to be removed? — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:16, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

1. The claim of the AWM is en:copyfraud.
but: 2. This photo isn't a of Australian origin. The licence-tag does not fit. It must be PD in the country of origin. This image was taken in Malaysia by the Japanese armed forces and published with Japanese description. If it is PD in both Malaysia and Japan, it is just fine. sугсго 12:01, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. The AWM's website now indicates the status of the image as "copyright expired – public domain", so I've removed the incorrect information from the image description page. I've also changed the licence to {{PD-Japan-oldphoto}}. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any Malaysian PD tags. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:00, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Old image of Dr. Ernest Codman

I'd like to use this image of Dr. Ernest Codman. He was born in 1869 and died in 1940 which puts this image somewhere in the 1890s. Does anyone have any copyright objections to uploading this image to commons? Huckfinne (talk) 20:24, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

  • The work is {{PD-US}} for sure. I have no objections. -Nard the Bard 00:45, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

PD-textlogo album covers

Some comments if these are not properly licensed as consisting only of simple geometric shapes and text (see Commons:Licensing#Simple_design). feydey (talk) 13:16, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

I would guess that a court would rule that these designs are too simple to be afforded copyright protection, but our threshold has evolved to be significantly higher, to avoid keeping edge cases that might go either way. I think in each case there is some creative element, and Commons has in the past acknowledged similar amounts as enough to invalidate PD-textlogo. I think #2 has the clearest case for being PD-textlogo, as it is composed only of two simple squares and several letterforms meant to be read as text. The other two have color choices made that could be considered creative enough to avoid PD-textlogo for Commons purposes (even though I think a court would disagree). Powers (talk) 15:04, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Good insight. I mostly agree (#2). Just 2 things:
For #1 the question is: Is it a creative composition á la en:File:Mondrian Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow.jpg or is it just colors?
And #3 Can a colorization of a tick (✓, ✔, ☑, etc.) create copyright? Like File:Tick green modern.svg. feydey (talk) 15:56, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think #3 is answerable; certainly if a colorization is complex enough, like a picture of the Madonna shaped as a tick, it is copyrightable. As a side-note, an SVG file is almost certainly copyrightable, even if what it represents isn't, or that's how I read the case law letting vector fonts be copyrightable even if typefaces aren't.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:04, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Commons should not invent its own standards. In fact, the copyright paranoia is leading to copyfraud. See Threshold of originality#United States for examples of decisions by US courts and by the US Copyright Office. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 17:41, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I removed the convert to SVG -tag. feydey (talk) 11:47, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Why? If a Commons user converted it to SVG, they would own the copyright on the SVG, and the graphic would be just as copyrightable or uncopyrightable as always.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:52, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Public domain#Fonts. feydey (talk) 07:58, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure you mean W:Wikipedia:Public domain#Fonts, and I could practically recite in that in my sleep. I know that; I don't see the connection between it and removing the Convert to SVG tag.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:44, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
  • There is a much simpler design, an artwork by Daniel Buren, being discussed at COM:UDEL and most people are of the opinion it should not be undeleted. It is much simpler than the album covers being discussed. -Nard the Bard 16:03, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I think the Buren artwork is a complex case, though. There's several people there, including me, that are arguing that we could draw five green rectangles in GIMP and that would be not eligible for copyright. The essence of the copyright in the Buren artwork is in the painting, and going with this case that may make the difference. These don't have that, being done in Photoshop or the like. I would say that these are considerably more complex then most of the stuff we keep as PD-Ineligible, which does concern me, but I don't think the Buren painting is a good comparison.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:42, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Image #2 easily qualifies for PD-textlogo, I think. #3, I would think does not. The selection and order of the colors is probably enough to qualify I think (though not the shape nor spatial arrangement of them -- that is a common checkmark). #1... closer, but may be the same boat. The U.S. Copyright Compendium mentions an example where the selection and ordering of 15 pre-existing songs on an album is enough for its own copyright, purely on the ordering, whereas ordering 2-3 would not be enough. The dividing line in between... not sure. There have been cases as well of a square grid of a large number of colored squares got a copyright (solely on the specific selection and arrangement), and also on a quilt which arranged solid colored wedges of material. Those had many more elements to arrange than these covers do, but I'm thinking #3 at least probably has enough to qualify. If the arrangement itself isn't original -- say the colors of the spectrum in order -- than this type of thing also can't be copyrightable. Most logos only have 2-4 elements to arrange, so the arrangement type of copyright is often difficult to obtain on those, but can crop up a lot more with album covers and that sort of thing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:24, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
It strikes me that this would have been better done as a DR; are we going to have to cut and paste this onto the DR page? In any case, I'd accept that #2 is PD-textlogo, and #1 and #3 are copyrighted.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:07, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I'd say no problem, this discussion can be easily linked from any DR page. Could someone also comment what to put to DR from the three. feydey (talk) 09:31, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Are "re-paintings" public domain?

(Probably not, but making sure.) File:Govardhana-Mola-Ram1.jpg is a painting from about 1800, so is in the public domain. Using Tineye, I found a near-identical image which I uploaded as File:Govardhana-Mola-Ram2.jpg. However, looking more carefully at the source, it seems that it is a copy of the original painting, drawn by a modern painter. Does this make it a "faithful reproduction of a public domain work" and therefore public-domain? If not, can someone delete File:Govardhana-Mola-Ram2.jpg? Thanks, Shreevatsa (talk) 23:04, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Oddly enough, the US courts have ruled that painstaking 3D duplicates are not protected[1] whereas 2D copies may be[2]. -Nard the Bard 23:29, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Wow, that is truly odd, thanks for the links. The latter ruling seems to say that even inadvertent departures caused by the "copyist's bad eyesight or defective musculature, or a shock caused by a clap of thunder" may lead to copyrightable "distinguishable variations"! But the first one goes the other way... the law is strange. Shreevatsa (talk) 00:00, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Try Sunset House v. Doran, which basically says that lazy copying is not going to pass. I'm seriously curious about the Uncle Sam banks; we got a detailed comparison of the original to the plaintiff's bank, but never a comparison of the defendent's to the plaintiff's. My feeling for these things is that judges aren't going to like us appropriating the work of a modern artist, and if it came down to a court case, most judges would find for the painter, especially in the modern day when you can compare the painted copy to a photograph and ask why we didn't use the later.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:22, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
  • The 2-D case was about mezzotints, which is a separate process involving its own bit of creativity. Much like an engraving, the derivative copyright would be on the creativity used during the mezzotint process itself. If someone else did a mezzotint of the same original painting, it may look virtually identical to the first mezzotint, but would have its own separate copyright. (If this process is automated, then creativity may also go out the window.) (Courts have ruled in the U.S. that people independently making the exact same work, each have their own non-derivative copyright on their own version.) On somebody re-painting something, i.e. in the same medium as the original.... oof. Not much room for creativity over and above the original. The more painstaking of a copy it is, the less it can be copyrightable I would think. But, judges may well try to find a way to rule in the modern artist's favor, and there is often enough gray area to let them do so. Also note that all this is specific to the U.S.; if we are talking about works from other countries, completely different rationales can apply. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:35, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Freedom of panorama Sudan

what is the Freedom of panorama status of Sudan?--IngerAlHaosului (talk) 13:28, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

  • No FOP, except for news reporting organizations[3]. -Nard the Bard 13:42, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Can someone add this to Freedom_of_panorama--IngerAlHaosului (talk) 14:37, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
There seem to be quite a number of photos of works of architecture in Sudan on Commons (e.g. Category:Burj_al-Fateh, etc.). Should these be listed for deletion? —RP88
I think we should, but 1st we must create a tracking category and move those in use to local wikies as non-free with rational.
Category:Buildings_in_Sudan and Category:Sudan are good places to start looking for images.
p.s. i contacted the administrators Commons:Administrators'_noticeboard#Freedom_of_panorama_Sudan

--IngerAlHaosului (talk) 18:24, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Are re-licensing restrictions allowed?

I know we're allowed to make restrictions on how others use our we upload to Commons, such as attribution, no endorsement, availability of source data and use of a gratis format.

Are we allowed to restrict re-licensing of our work? I would assume the answer is yes, since Share-Alike licenses do not allow the user to use it or derivative works under any other license, unless the redistribution is licensed or co-licensed with at least the original license. For example, if I find a CC-BY-SA image of a flower and use it to make a portion of a pamphlet, I can either license the pamphlet under CC-BY-SA or co-license it under CC-BY-SA & CC-BY (although only the portion that does not contain the image of the pamphlet would be eligible for CC-BY without needing to SA). Am I right? Taric25 (talk) 04:52, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

As far as i know a montage or collage of multiple cc licensed images is considered 1 image and as such the license applies to the entire work, so if you combine a CC-BY-SA with CC-BY you get a CC-BY-SA you can only dual license CC-BY-SA & CC-BY if the author of the CC-BY-SA agrees to grant you permission. see Commons:Collages#Combining_different_Creative_Commons_versions--IngerAlHaosului (talk) 05:30, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
That's because Creative Commons Share-Alike (cc-by-sa-2.0+) licenses have a clauses that allows derivative works to be placed under the same or newer license. I wanted to discuss licenses in general, so I guess Creative Commons was a bad example for me to use. Let me try again.
For example, if I find a GFDL image of a flower and use it to make a portion of a pamphlet, I can either license the pamphlet under GFDL or co-license it under GFDL & ISC (although only the portion that does not contain the image of the flower would be eligible for ISC without needing to GFDL). Am I right? Taric25 (talk) 07:53, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Also, to clarify, I'm talking about co-licensing, which is not dual licensing. In dual licensing, people who find a work and decide to remix it can choose the license of their choice. In this example, what I'm asking is if it's possible for people who find the pamphlet who choose not to use the portion that contains the flower to use it under ISC instead of GFDL, assuming the flower could not easily be separated again from the pamphlet, say because it's a background on page 3 with my text on top and none of the other pages have the image of the flower at all. Taric25 (talk) 08:15, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
That is different, technically speaking different parts of the image are under different licenses and the image taken in its entirety is under the combined sum of all the licenses. Wee do that sort of thing all the time with screenshots, in theory if you remove the portions under GFDL.--IngerAlHaosului (talk) 16:11, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Very well, we have now established that a way to get around using only the license of the author of the derivative work's choice to remove the portion of the work that is from the the license(s) that the derivative work's author chooses not to use.
In the aforementioned example, the creator of the flower's image licenses the image under GFDL. Another author who prefers the ICS license finds the flower's image and decides to create a pamphlet with the image in the background on page three with text on top where the flower could not be easily separated again, effectively creating a GFDL watermark on page three. People who find the pamphlet now face licensing restrictions, since they cannot use the page three without licensing at least that portion under GFDL, and in fact, even the author of the pamphlet faced licensing restrictions, because that author could only choose to license at least that portion under GFDL.
However, the ICS license makes this situation unique, because since it it not a share-alike license, it grants extra liberties to creators of derivative works that the GFDL does not: the right to choose another license. Unlike Creative Commons, ICS does not have any clauses that conflict with GFDL, so people who find the pamphlet and want to create a book and copy all six pages of the pamphlet have many licensing choices. They may co-license their book with ICS (and GFDL for the portion that came from page three only). They may license the entire thing under GFDL, since ICS and GFDL are compatible free licenses. They may introduce a compatible third license, such as BSD, for new content added to the book. They may co-license the book under BSD (and GFDL only for the portion that came from page three of the pamphlet) without ICS, since BDS is a compatible free license with ICS.
However, because people who find the pamphlet found it with page three under GFDL, if they choose not to use that portion to create the book, then they have total freedom to choose any compatible license at all for some or even all of the book, because ICS is compatible with many other licenses, while GFDL is only compatible with itself.
In essence, the creator of the flower's image chose to include a re-licensing restriction, share-alike, when the creator licensed the image. This restriction denies an author the freedom to license derivative works as that author chooses, because the author must license at least that portion under the proprietary share-alike license the creator chose to use. Authors who find a derivative work in this situation only have the freedom to choose a license under three conditions.
  1. They either do not re-license or use a portion of the derivative work under the proprietary share-alike license.
  2. The derivative work's author did not use the proprietary share-alike license for the portion the new authors wish to use.
  3. The new authors choose a license that is compatible with the portion they wish to use.
Am I right so far? Taric25 (talk) 17:25, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
as the text is under ICS option 4 recreate page 3 using the text and not add a background. everything else is "right on the money".--IngerAlHaosului (talk) 20:03, 2 June 2010 (UTC)


A new template produced yesterday, Template:PD-Italy-film, claims "This picture is the frame of a film produced in Italy 20 years ago. According to Article 87 and Article 92 of Law 22 April 1941, n° 633, as amended, the frames of the films become public domain since the beginning of the calendar year following the completion of the twentieth year from the date of transmission to the public of film." Err, really? This seems very far from EU practice, but I can't read Italian on the linked pages to confirm or deny this.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:32, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Please see Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-Italy. Yes, this is Italian law, but there is not enough caselaw to determine what is legally a "non-work" or a "simple work" in Italy (lichtbild vs. bildwerk for you German speakers). Many people defined it too broadly. We do allow similar exceptions from other European countries but in those countries there is more caselaw and the terms are much longer (50 years). -Nard the Bard 01:42, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and the template does not say that this is only for images "persons, or of aspects, elements or events of natural or social life" - not about performances of Gina Lollobrigida. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 07:36, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I will talk with the uploader and after a few days I will redirect the template to copyvio. There's no need to go through a DR again for what is essentially the same template. -Nard the Bard 23:01, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Well, I think you need another DR again, as some anonymous people on the Internet are trying to change italian laws about their own products. The license is clear to anyone and is about screenshots not 'photographs'. MachoCarioca (talk) 17:49, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

"as amended, the frames of the films become public domain"

What's Kuiper talking about, please, with "does not say that this is only for images "persons, or of aspects, elements or events of natural or social life" - not about performances of Gina Lollobrigida"?? MachoCarioca (talk) 17:53, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Could you provide a translation of the law so we non-Italian speakers can understand what it says? The issue is not that we think the images violate PD-Italy-film, but that PD-Italy-film is invalid.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:58, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Protection of copyright and other rights related to the exercise

Article 87

Photographs are considered when applying the provisions of this chapter pictures of people or of aspects, elements or facts of natural and social life, obtained with photographic process or similar process, including reproductions of works of visual art and frames of films.

Not included are photographs of writings, documents, business cards, material objects, technical drawings and similar products.

Article 92

The exclusive right on the photographs last twenty years the production of the photography.

Nard claimed these photos are not allowed because they are not PD in US. PD is PD everywhere. If italian things become PD years before than US, this is not a problem. In Japan and Finland is 50 years. I saw Lupo saying something because EU. Well, I won't discuss about it, I know this will not do anyway. Do what you think is right. Mizunoryu (talk) 18:23, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Translation done by Mizu, there's a point in the old discussion on 'italian photographs". It's not the case here, we're talking about film frames.

"the protection of other sorts of pictures can be ruled by national laws, and that's 20 years in Italy". A

Governments have its own rules, simple anonymous editors here can't 'adequate' it to 'US laws'. There's an international universe over here. Finland has its laws and is accepted here, Japan has its laws and is accepted here, US has it laws and is aceopted here, you want to ignore the italian government laws??MachoCarioca (talk) 18:34, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Italian film screenshots are PD under italian laws, you can't change that by youselves, people. MachoCarioca (talk) 18:39, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

You still haven't provided evidence that the Italian laws say what you think they do. Even interpreted broadly, the translations of the law provided above don't say that film screenshots are PD after 20 years; there's a lot of exceptions there, including "material objects". Constantly complaining about other editors instead of backing up your case doesn't help one bit.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:45, 31 May 2010 (UTC)


Questa immagine è il fotogramma di una pellicola cinematografica prodotta in Italia oltre 20 anni fa. In ossequio all'articolo 87 e all'articolo 92 della legge 22 aprile 1941, n. 633 e successive modificazioni, i fotogrammi delle pellicole cinematografiche divengono di pubblico dominio a partire dall'inizio dell'anno solare seguente al compimento del ventesimo anno dalla data di trasmissione al pubblico della pellicola cinematografica.


This image is a frame from a movie picture produced in Italy twenty years ago. According to article 87 and article 92 in the law of April, 22, 1941, n.633, and further modifications, a frame is public domain from the beginning of the next year after the year when the film was relesead to public audience.

Now, about articles 87 and 92 here Legge 22 aprile 1941 n. 633 Protezione del diritto d'autore e di altri diritti connessi al suo esercizio

Article 87 - Sono considerate fotografie ai fini dell'applicazione delle disposizioni di questo capo le immagini di persone o di aspetti, elementi o fatti della vita naturale e sociale, ottenute col processo fotografico o con processo analogo, comprese le riproduzioni di opere dell'arte figurativa e i fotogrammi delle pellicole cinematografiche.

Non sono comprese le fotografie di scritti, documenti, carte di affari, oggetti materiali, disegni tecnici e prodotti simili.


In this application are considered the image of people, elements from the natural or social life, in photographic or analogic process, including images of art works and frames of movie pictures.

It doesn't include images from writtings, documents, maps, material objects, technical designs and similar products

Article 92 - l diritto esclusivo sulle fotografie dura vent'anni dalla produzione della fotografia.


The exclusive rights or copyrights over an photo image ends twenty years after the production of the image

Does anyone could confirm the translation to Prosfilaes (or use Google translation)? MachoCarioca (talk) 19:29, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Included are the image of people, elements from the natural or social life; It doesn't include images from writings, documents, maps, material objects, technical designs and similar products. That's not all frames from motion pictures. The rest of it, well, apparently people haven't been too happy interpreting it in the past, and I'm not really comfortable interpreting it without direction from case law.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:47, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

'Nard the bard' was blocked forever here? [4] MachoCarioca (talk) 19:37, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Apparently not, especially as it says "Sorry, but I seem to have forgotten to actually block you as part of the joke, so you can never have the block removed."--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:47, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, that was just me joking around with him over him jokingly asking to be blocked. Adam Cuerden (talk) 22:19, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes, not all frames. But the ones I uploaded are ok. As I know it, Claudia Cardinale, Marcello Mastroianni, Annouk Aimée, etc, are people not maps or writtings, and that are frames, aren't ?? MachoCarioca (talk) 22:07, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

"Funny" jokes among adms here ... MachoCarioca (talk) 22:09, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Ugh, this is messy. As noted, we have rejected PD-Italy itself (the 20-year-for-simple-photographs thing) before, but I'm not sure all the reasoning for that was good. But, I'm also not sure a screenshot from a cinematographic work can be considered a photograph. Some countries, having no specific protection for films, in the past treated them as a sequence of photographs and copyrighted them that way. Some other countries though (and virtually all nowadays) have specific terms for films, sometimes longer than that for photographs, and in those cases a frame from the movie would still be protected by the film's copyright I'm pretty sure, not the term for standalone photos. I have no idea what old Italian law had, but I'm guessing that films now get the fully 70 pma term there, and a frame would therefore be protected -- i.e., even if they had a 20-year term before, the retroactive restorations for the EU most likely means it is now copyrighted again. I think all EU tags should be based on the post-EU directive laws, since that is the law which actually applies in Italy now, and many old copyrights were restored. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:10, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
The law that was quoted specifically mentions frames of film as photographs. If it's good law, then it treats those frames in the same way as any other photograph.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:47, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
It was my impression that was an old law though -- my question is what does current law say. The EU-directive-related copyright laws were basically all retroactive, so if the current law says that frames of films are copyrighted as photographs (with the "simple" part applying), then OK, but if not then the copyright was restored in the 1990s regardless of what the old laws said. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:55, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Okay, Article 87 of the *current* law[5] does say that stills from cinematographic films are treated as photographs (and not photographic works), copyrighted for 20 years from creation. So, that would still be the case, even though the current law does appear to be retroactive. So... per Italian law, this would be fine there (though likely not anywhere else in Europe, though it would anywhere outside of that for rule-of-the-shorter-term countries). Works made before 1976 would appear to be PD in the US as well, unless there was a copyright notice originally, as the URAA would not have restored that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:50, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
As to other stuff mentioned... "PD is PD everywhere" is not true at all. Every country can have their own copyright terms, which can expire at greatly different times, meaning an author can have protection in one country but no longer in another. Furthermore, copyright eligibility rules differ widely, and (for example) even if a work was ineligible in its own country, the U.S. would apply its own rules and may well decide that it is copyrightable, and therefore getting the full term of protection. As for PD-Italy... I think people were uncomfortable because a) it seems to violate the minimum Berne protection for photographs of 50 years from publication, b) seems to violate the EU directives, and c) has seemingly no specific description on what the dividing line actually is, nor case law to help. On the Berne part, I think there is a grandfather clause allowing countries to keep their existing (shorter) terms if they had previously conformed to the Rome revisions of the Convention, which I think Italy did, so it is not a problem there. Some countries (notably Germany) changed their definition of simple vs. non-simple after the EU copyright directives, but it is not clear that all countries have -- I think the vague criteria mandated there was "creation of the mind". Several other EU countries do have their own laws on "simple" photographs -- I guess it can be argued that simple snapshots are a creation of the world around you, which is just being captured -- and we do allow those templates, so the EU directives alone don't seem to preclude them. Also, the Italian photograph law has remained on the books 15 years after the EU directives were applied, and nobody seems to have complained that their law violates EU directives. But, I don't think anyone has brought up specific examples of what either the Italian legislature or courts have decided are "simple" photographs (and what are not), whereas there is such examples for many of those other countries, and I doubt many of us here are at all comfortable on trying to guess when it comes to another country's law (particularly when going on an English translation of the original law). PD-Italy was an ugly discussion as well, and I don't think many people want to reopen it without compelling new evidence. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:10, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Italy has not implemented the EU directive. They have pma+70 but no legislation on retroactivity and the 20 year rule is still written into the law. Other countries have retained their simple photograph exemption specifically, even after implementing the EU directive. That's the other problem with PD-Italy: The definition of a non-protected photograph is so broad (or fungible at least) that nobody else would give it any serious credence. -Nard the Bard 00:07, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
They certainly claim to have implemented the directive -- has anyone (outside of Wikimedia) claimed they have not? Looking at their 2001 law consolidation, article 199 states "This Law shall apply equally to works published in any manner both before and after its entry into force". That sure sounds like it is completely retroactive to me (the same article notes of course that contracts made before entry into force follow rules existing at the time, but copyright terms would seem to be restored if lapsed). Photographic works are protected, but it sounds like snapshots of everyday life are not (or, rather, are protected for 20 years). Their terms are "images of persons or of aspects, elements or events of natural or social life." I don't see how that is all that different than the "simple photograph" law of other countries. It would be nice to have a concrete example of what they mean though. However, I doubt the statement of "nobody else would give it any serious credence" -- Finland for example has a very similar law I believe, and others to varying degrees. Each country would probably apply their own criteria to it. But, for any other countries applying the rule of the shorter term, it would certainly come into play. It is the law -- I don't like arbitrarily ignoring those. As for the U.S., that would definitely be applied to determine URAA restorations (speaking of which, it appears all of Italy's term extensions came after the URAA date of January 1, 1996, so it would appear as though the older terms would govern those in all cases). The EU directives aren't law exactly; Italy claims to have conformed from all I know, and this law still exists, in black and white, and is definitely in force. Usage may prove problematic in most countries in Europe, but in not in many other countries. I would really, really prefer to have some concrete examples (court cases or legislative notes or something) though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:50, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
@ Carl Lindberg: That's not what I meant. Just forget it.

Briefing, nobody understand the real situation and don't want to brainstorm. So keep them deleted. Mizunoryu (talk) 03:09, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Even if PD in Italy, they may be copyrighted in the US -- which could pose problems for Commons. I prefer being careful, particularly in a case like this. But yes, I would agree that the 20-year thing for simple photos would be taken into account for URAA restorations as far as the US is concerned (and, for that matter, most every pre-EU copyright term was still in force on Jan 1 1996 anyways). That involves the messy interpretation of "simple photo" of course. And yes, the 20-year thing, if the "simple photo" determination can be made, would also be used for shorter-term countries. Is there something else I'm missing? Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:22, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

'May be' is not a reason to delect those screenshots (yes, let's talk about what is is, screenshots not photographs). You're wanting legislate on other countries laws. Wanna be serious here, everybody is 'thinking' something instead to observe the italian copyright laws, this is not an US laws universe, but international. This PD is CLEAR and you must respect it. MachoCarioca (talk) 21:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

First place, the server and foundation are in the US, so they have to obey US law, just like groups in Italy have to obey Italian law. Secondly, what PD means is that we may legally do certain things with the images. We don't have to respect it; while we may do these things, we are not required to do these things.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:18, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I've changed the tag in the category from 'speedy delection' to 'delet' because someone deleted some screenshots without knowing this discussion over here. MachoCarioca (talk) 22:16, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

A silly question. How could they be copyrighted in US if the law and pohotos are Italian? Why Finlandian an Japanese short-term are not copyrighted there so? For me the real problem is if the EU directives extinguished the Italian short-term. If not we are losing good files.Mizunoryu (talk) 02:09, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
They would be copyrighted in the U.S. if they managed to follow U.S. copyright formalities at the time (rare but certainly possible for photos published in books which often did have notices etc.), or have been made since 1976. The U.S. would have used the 20-year thing just once, on January 1, 1996 to determine URAA restorations, but not since. Italian photos made more recently than 1976 would be fully copyrighted in the U.S. Same would go for Finland, Japan, Sweden, etc. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:14, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Because what's illegal in the US is not dependent on the law in Italy. (That's generally a good thing; it's hard enough interpreting your own country's laws. And as Clindberg says, the URAA is an exception.) This goes for the law in Finland and Japan, too, but that's frequently ignored at Commons.--Prosfilaes (talk) 12:55, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

The point is, the license is not 'illegal' in US, you can't say that. It is clear the images with that tag are public domain , not just public domais to italians. MachoCarioca (talk) 16:18, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I can say that, because I am an American and have the First Amendment protecting my right to say things. If you upload frames of a 1981 Italian film to Commons, and the copyright holder decides to sue the Wikimedia Foundation, the fact that the frames are in the public domain in Italy will not be a valid defense. The court will find that they are still under copyright in the US, because Italian law doesn't matter in the US, and US law gives them 95 years from publication.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:35, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
I think others were saying PD-Italy is an "illegal" or "invalid" tag because their law violated either the Berne Convention or EU directives, and therefore not admissible to even determine "PD in the country of origin" status on Commons. At this point I don't think that is true, and I think it should be treated as a part of Italian copyright law just as much as any other part of it, and I think that is the point of this discussion. Obviously it has limited bearing on U.S. copyright status, other than looming fairly large in URAA restorations (though even full photographic works had a 50-year-from-creation term on the URAA date, not dramatically different terms like they are now). But up to now Commons has been treating it as if it wasn't even valid in Italy, and I don't think that is correct. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:41, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

With respect, don't create trap tags (which redirect or use includeonly to ask for a file to be speedydeleted) as a permanent measure. While this can be useful as a temporary measure to clear out invalidly licensed files, it makes for nasty surprises for people who may have something with a valid copyright reason. For instance, there are films that are PD in Italy. Not under the logic presented here, but, in a few years, noone's going to remember the bad and now completely hidden copyright logic, but they may think that, say, {{PD-Italy}}, given it follows our standard naming conventions, is the way to license {{PD-old}} material from Italy.

We don't know how long it'll take for Speedydelete to happen. If the user's unlucky, it could be while they're looking up the correct template.

Let's not do that to our users. Adam Cuerden (talk) 22:17, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

China brochure, copyright

I have been in contact with someone (OTRS ticket 2010060210011258) regarding an image which was misattributed: File:Dapengmap.jpg. This is a scan from a brochure from the location in China, which has had labels edited onto it. There is no copyright notice on the brochure, but I'm not sure of the date (maybe I could ask). I assume that this image should be deleted, but I wanted to get a second opinion from someone who knows more about copyright in China. What are the conditions where this may actually be PD? If it's older than x years? or if it's a government source? or anything like that? Thanks. -Andrew c (talk) 15:37, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

I deleted the file because there is no evidence the brochure was licensed freely. If someone knows the nuances of Chinese copyright law, and can think of a reason why this image could be free, then I'd gladly undelete. Err on the side of caution delete. -Andrew c (talk) 21:58, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Another case of re-painting: tech drawings

This image has been identified as a scan of historical drawing, complete with antique lettering and authorizing signature. But what if it was a modern autocad product closely tracing the original?

What is the take on technical drawings that are based on PD historical drawings, but are not scans of the originals, but modern recreations of them. I suspect that simple line-tracing does not qualify for separate copyright. See the example. Had someone digitized the original into autocad and then rendered the same image with perfectly straight lines and no detectable glitches (which are inevitable in genuine old papers), would it create a separately copyrightable work? East of Borschov (talk) 18:51, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Simple line tracing has no creative element. However, it can be really hard to tell whether a technical drawing is a direct copy, or whether it has creative changes, without a close comparison of the original with the new drawing.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:57, 8 June 2010 (UTC)


Hi all. I have written this license template to take into accounts a few subtleties of the French copyright law which did not appear in existing license tags. It has been discussed on the French village pump. You're strongly encouraged to check my phrasing (especially in English) and to translate the template in as many languages as possible (/fr and /en currently available). Regards, --Eusebius (talk) 08:24, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

  • To what kind of works does the third bullet apply? AFAIK, this is only true if the work was also not copyrighted in any other EU country on 1 July 1995. That's also what it says in Loi no 97-283 du 27 mars 1997, article 16(III), which the template uses to source this claim, and this is consistent with the provisions of the EU directive 93/98/EEC, which this law implements. Since France, Spain, and Germany all are EU members and all had signed the Berne Convention long ago, and Spain had a copyright term of 80 years p.m.a. and a low threshold of originality, and Germany had a copyright term of 70 years p.m.a. and also a low threshold of originality for the kinds of works we're interested in (mostly photos and films), and such works therefore were copyrighted in Spain and/or Germany, this law for all practical purposes did revive expired French copyrights. See also en:Directive 93/98/EEC#Copyright restoration. We've been through this umpteen times, and I'm rather disappointed that such a misleading text is included in yet another template. It's not technically incorrect the way it's phrased, but it will lead people to believe that French works of authors who died before 1945 were generally OK, when they are not. I suggest simply striking this bullet. Lupo 08:56, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
  • In general, I think the fine details (war-time prolongations and such stuff) need to be spelled out maybe at COM:L#France, but I don't really see a need for yet another country-specific template. France is a 70-years p.m.a. country (except, as noted in the template, for musical works and works of people "mort pour la France", for which the term is even longer). Lupo 08:56, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. You're obviously right about the 97 law, the bullet point should indeed be removed (I'll do it right now). I agree with you that copyright extension is a detail and would not warrant a new license tag by itself. However, the 50 years pma for recordings (4th point) is interesting IMO. I learned this fact during a DR, and we had no reference on this at the time. "France is a 70-years p.m.a. country" is just too simple a statement, as it is valid only for the main part of copyright. Rights of producers and intereprets, also included in copyright, have this distinct 50 years length. The distinction between collective works and collaboration works is also significant (70 years pma vs 70 years post publication), but the problem is it is usually difficult to tell between both cases. --Eusebius (talk) 09:25, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we should have more specialized tags for recordings, performances, and such, then. 50y is pretty standard in Europe for this, although the Rome convention minimum term is lower. But for the neighboring rights, one usually also has to account for the copyrights on the underlying work (musical work, for instance). Another problem with such detailed tags (not just PD-France, {{PD-Australia}} is another case) that list several possibilities is that people should be required to state which of the reasons given applies to a particular file so tagged. Lupo 09:58, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
So, what would you recomment? Just a neighboring rights template? But can it be reasonably general? --Eusebius (talk) 10:21, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure, also because such tags would be confusing for U.S. people. This clear distinction between "droits d'auteur" and "droits voisins" is a civil law thing that originated in Continental Europe; in common law jurisdictions like the U.S., both kinds of rights are subsumed under "copyright". Lupo 11:20, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm not saying we should tell about the distinction made in some legal systems, I'm saying that the different duration length should be acknowledged somewhere. The phrasing of my last bullet, for instance, didn't say anything about neighboring rights, I don't think it is too confusing. --Eusebius (talk) 11:44, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

I would rather we could find solutions without creating yet another country-specific template. France is more or less an EU country with the same rules as other EU countries. I did not find wording like "first published in France" in your template. Do you intend to use this template for works created and first published elsewhere in the world ? I think also that a link to Template:Not-PD-US-URAA should be provided, with a few explanations. Do you have any example of a French file which is not well covered by the templates presently available ? Teofilo (talk) 08:09, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

I did not include "first published in France" because it is not a condition in the French law, it is rather related to how we should use the template: we don't add country-specific templates unless they are related to the US or the source country. About URAA: there is shorter-term stuff commented out in the template text (it's not exactly the same issue, but still), I didn't want to add too much stuff to the template, but the necessary additions can always be done if the template is to be kept. About scope: I decided to work on this template a while ago, when I had to delete many French pre-1957 pictures. I realized that it might be possible that these pictures were not eligible to copyright in the first place, because of their nature and the state of the pre-1957 copyright law. The pre-1957 stuff proved too risky to be included (details on the French Bistro), but some other cases didn't seem to be covered either (like the neighboring rights issue raised in a DR - the file was kept, but I don't remember which license tag was used). In short, I'm not pushing another template, but I'm not sure everything is redundant: collective works might be specific to France and they have specific copyright duration, and I'm not aware of any license template related to the 50y limit for neighboring rights (whose scope is limited in French law). Maybe this can be somehow factorized at EU level, maybe I need to be directed to the right templates. --Eusebius (talk) 08:39, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Concerning neighboring rights, I wish we had something at EU level (with an eye on each country's case law) for performance rights of dancers and actors. People laughted at me when I opened Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Fire breathing 2 Luc Viatour.jpg but I am pretty sure I was right. What I have in mind concerning the URAA is what I wrote at the bottom of Template:PD-EU-no author disclosure. Teofilo (talk) 14:48, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Concerning collective works, doesn't that apply only to dictionaries ? The main business of Wikimedia Commons being pictures, perhaps we can leave that away. (By the Way the dictionaries heavily copied by the French wiktionary are not PD-US-URAA , but at present the general feeling is "who cares?" isn't it? ) Teofilo (talk) 14:55, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
No, "collective works" can be of any kind, and works published under the copyright of a company can easily (but not always) be "collective". The problem is that it is often subject to debate (distinction between collective works and collaboration works). The key element is the existence of some kind of authority (editor) providing directions to the authors and therefore restricting their "creativity" in order to fit a given project. I am absolutely unable to provide more precise decision rules on the basis of the juridprudence analyses I've read on the subject. --Eusebius (talk) 15:07, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
In theory you are certainly right, but in practice we never come up with such contents on Wikimedia websites. The only instance where the Wikimedia websites come up with French "collective works" is dictionaries (I mean the texts in dictionaries : dictionary pictures remain individual works). Also, in most instances, the only person who is in a position to argue that a work is a "collective work" is the employer because he can provide evidence on how the work has been done. From the outside, we don't know enough details on how the people have been working, and we are unable to collect enough evidence to prove the case. Teofilo (talk) 15:26, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
And yet it does happen that some DRs are closed as kept because "this is the work of an organization, therefore it is 70y after publication". I agree that we usually don't have enough evidence to decide that, but such decisions are taken nonetheless, they're just not supported by any license template. --Eusebius (talk) 15:58, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
If a French user uploads an old Australian painting photographed by him during his holidays in an Australian museum, shall he tag it with {{PD-Australia}} or with {{PD-France}} ? Even if you don't use "first published" wording in the template, you should at least provide guidance for users in the documentation so that they know in which case this template can be used. Teofilo (talk) 15:15, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Come on, the issue of the definition of source country for the WMF is not specific to this template... Yes, documentation must be written, but only when something has been agreed about whether we keep this template, and with which content. --Eusebius (talk) 15:58, 10 June 2010 (UTC)


Is there a 'cut-off' date, at which point the URAA does not function any more? I.e. will an author who died in 1959 still be under URAA, meaning that US copyright for his works is 95 years after publication, rather than 70 years after his death: Anything he published before 1934 would then be PD in the US prior to it being PD in the country of origin (assuming that country has 70 years as its protection period). My question is: If there is one, at what point in time does 70 years after the author's death become the date when a non-US work becomes PD in the US, instead of the URAA rule of 95 after publication, if protected on 1996-1-1? V85 (talk) 00:15, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Not per se. 95 years from publication only applies to works published before 1978, but works created before 1978 and first published between 1978 and 2002 are protected for the greater of 70 years after death or until the end of 2047. Any works unpublished as of 2002 are life+70 in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:34, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Template:PD-Gutenberg is proposed for deprecation and ultimately deletion

Please tell your opinion at Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-Gutenberg. Teofilo (talk) 07:49, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Replacing pic in biography of a living person?

Brand new here and could not find {{help me}}. I put my question on my talk page[6] T.U. Bridgettttttte (talk) 18:53, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

I've replied on your talk page. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:19, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

No Copyright law

All countries have, at some point of their history, created a copyright law when there wasn't yet any. Which is the status of works published before that date, during a time when the country did not have any copyright law at all? Can we consider those works to be in the public domain for the lack of such law? Does a new copyright law protect both new works and works already published? (when such works wouldn't have an expired copyright anyway under the new rules). Or is this considered on a case-by-case basis? But if it is this last option, which would be the criteria when the law did not mention explicitly whenever retroative copyright is granted or not? Belgrano (talk) 01:33, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

We don't consider the works of a hypothetical country to exist, so copyright or not is not interesting. Name a country, and then its laws can be discussed within its legal framework.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:31, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
There is probably no general answer -- copyright laws are sometimes (not always) retroactive; they can restore copyrights which have expired or allow copyright on items which never had it before. It is all in the wording of the specific law; usually these sections are near the end of the law text and marked "transitional regulations" or something similar. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:01, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Can someone tell me whether this would be considered public domain?

I'm embarrassed to say Commons:Licensing#United_States confuses me... can someone tell me whether photos published prior to 1963 in newspapers found in the Google News Archives (i.e. screenshots of the images) would be considered public domain? How do I know whether the copyright has been renewed or not? Thanks :) PageantUpdater talkcontribs 10:15, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Your question is not easy to answer because it depends on country of first publication and it can depend on date of first publication or date of author's death and other facts. If you are rather certain that a file is PD, you can upload it here and ask for a review at Commons:PD files. Otherwise you can just post links to the files you are interested in and someone will help you determining the copyright status. Nillerdk (talk) 10:29, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the response and apologies for not being more specific. I'm talking about images published in US newspapers. I gather from Commons:Licensing#United_States that they have to be prior to 1963 and not renewed because I'm assuming that anything published in a newspaper would come with a copyright notice. Here is an example (scroll up a tad to see the photo). I'd be wary of uploading until I am more confident about its copyright status. I guess my query is how do I know whether the copyright was reviewed. Thanks again. PageantUpdater talkcontribs 13:26, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
You really are going to have to be more specific. For example, advertisements published in collective works such as newspapers are not covered by the copyright notice for the entire collective work, so advertisements in newspapers published before 1978 lacking their own specific valid copyright notice are PD (but see Commons:Image_casebook#Advertisements for some exceptions). However, based on your user name I'm guessing you're referring to the Miss USA photo. Photos in newspapers are covered by the notice for the entire work (so it's unlikely to be {{PD-US-no notice}}), but their copyright term and status is independent of the newspaper's. If you look at the bottom right corner of the caption you'll see "(UPI Telephoto)". This indicates that the source of the photo was United Press International. UPI was once a huge a press agency, but they are now largely defunct. I suspect it's going to be very difficult to demonstrate that this photo's copyright was not renewed. If this is something you wish to pursue, I recommend you start by tracking down who the copyright holder of the photo is (it might be UPI if the photo was a work-for-hire, otherwise the photographer). —RP88 15:47, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Non-PD permissions templates on PD-art images?

I've just uploaded two images from en:wp that were uploaded with no permissions templates except a cc-by-sa-3.0 tag. Since one is from 1815 and the other is by Frederick William Hulme, who died in 1884, both paintings are clearly PD in the UK, their source country; accordingly, I've tagged both with PD-art. However, both images are photos taken in the UK by a British person, so it's quite possible that the photographer has copyright over these digital images. Is it proper to say "for you who live in countries where this kind of photo is copyrighted, you can use it under the cc-by-sa-3.0", or should I remove that clause? The images are File:Lakes in Rivington.jpg and File:Rivington c1780.jpg. Nyttend (talk) 05:44, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

When asked, I generally recommend permission text like the following "This is a photo I took of a work in the pubic domain. To the extent I have any rights in my photo, I, <photographer>, hereby license them under <license>" or "This is a photo I took of a work by <artist> that is licensed under <art license>. To the extent I have any rights in my photo, I, <photographer>, hereby license them under <photo license>" .
However, I'm probably overly paranoid, but I have a couple of questions and concerns about those two images:
  1. Can you tell me where they are on enwiki? I can't find them.
  2. If you're going to reference an attribution-required license like cc-by-sa-3.0 make sure you preserve any attribution supplied by the original uploader (looks like you might have done this).
  3. I'm also a little mystified by your identification of en:User:Rovington as the photographer (I can't see any uploads by that user in the logs at enwiki).
  4. How do you know the photographer's name is Paul Lacey and that they are en:User:Rovington?
  5. These images are really small for original photos taken by an uploader, are you sure these are the uploader's photos and not images from a website somewhere?
RP88 16:22, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
The images are en:File:Rivington Little Lake Distr.jpg (Lakes in Rivington) and en:File:Rivington c1780.jpg. Are you an en:wp admin? If not, I'll copy over the information you want — I'm an admin, so I deleted the files as soon as I transferred them over; that's why you can't find any such uploads. Rovington repeatedly claimed that many of his uploads were (1) his own works and (2) Paul Lacey's, including requiring that all attribution be to Paul Lacey. Finally, I figure that it's safe to assume that these are taken by Rovington, rather than online somewhere; anyway, they're PD-art, so Commons policy won't care if they're taken from some other website. Nyttend (talk) 02:14, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Third opinion on DR

User:Innotata and I have been having a disagreement on Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Aichenvald_1923.jpg, and I'd like a third opinion. Basically, I believe that a title page without non-PD-Art graphics, just title, author, publisher and date, is itself PD-Art, and they believe that any part of a book is copyrightable. As a secondary issue, I consider {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} a tag of last resort, as I believe we should delete these files and at best it's a warning to our US reusers.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:00, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Sculptures in Singapore

Hi, need some advice about the following sculptures in Singapore:

The sculptures were all temporarily displayed in various locations in Singapore. Since they were not permanently located, freedom of panorama does not apply: see "Commons:Freedom of panorama#Singapore. My question is, does the simplicity of the sculpture affect whether copyright resides in it? One of the sculptures consists of the words "I WAS HERE" in metal, while the other appears to consist of large translucent oblong structures with coloured lights inside. (I realize this query may raise the question "What is art?" – I hope it's not the whole Duchamp Fountain deletion debate again.) — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:52, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

The Esplanade is pretty clearly copyrightable, to me at least. "I WAS HERE" in a normal sans serif font...I'm having a hard time meshing it with my opinion at Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests#File:Untitled_by_Daniel_Buren.png, but I can't see how three words, in a trivial 3-d extension of a standard font, could be copyrightable. Even in 3d, it's PD-Text (though of course photos of it aren't.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:29, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
The words and the font are not copyrightable, but the sculpture may well be a "work". (Whether it's art, is irrelevant. A child's drawing is a "work", too, though often you wouldn't classify a child's drawing as "art".) What exactly a "work" is, is undefined in international copyright treaties and national copyright laws. Anything that passes the threshold of originality is a "work". For photographs, the EU attempted the following definition: "... is to be considered original if it is the author's own intellectual creation reflecting his personality, no other criteria such as merit or purpose being taken into account"EU directive 93/98/EEC, preamble, §17. In my book creating large 3D versions of these letters, arranging them in an arc, and placing them at various places on Earth is original enough to qualify as a "work". (Incidentally, I'd also be inclined to consider that "art".) Lupo 07:19, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. Looks like I'll be nominating these for deletion, then. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:07, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
An editor has claimed that the "I WAS HERE" sculptures are not copyrightable. Do participate in the deletion reviews. — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:44, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
I can only repeat what I said about "I WAS HERE" in the deletion reviews. In my opinion: Of course it is a sculpture but it consist only of plain text and it does not meet the threshold of originality needed for copyright protection, so it is PD-ineligible. Electron <Talk?> 11:41, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
I guess further discussion should take place at the deletion review pages. I'm, of course, happy if the images can be retained, but would like to ensure that they comply with Commons policies. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:20, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

PD-Cuba may be risky

I have recently dealed with a deletion request involving {{PD-Cuba}}, and for it I checked the Cuban copyright law, which can be seen here. It's in Spanish, I know Spanish but I'm aware most users here do not. The potencial problem I have noticed are the articles 48 and 49. Right before them, there is an enumeration of the times the copyright will last for most types of works, which is incorporated into the template. The articles of my concern say the following, in Spanish.

48 - A la expiración del período de vigencia del derecho de autor, una obra puede ser declarada perteneciente al Estado por decisión del Consejo de Ministros. Las modalidades y condiciones de utilización de la obra declarada perteneciente al Estado, serán establecidas por dicho órgano.
49 - A reserva de lo estipulado en el artículo anterior, cuando haya expirado el período de vigencia del derecho de autor sobre una obra, ésta podrá ser libremente utilizada por cualquier persona, siempre que se mencione el nombre del autor y se respete la integridad de la misma. No obstante, el usuario deberá abonar una contribución especial que será utilizada para el desarrollo de la ciencia, la educación y la cultura del país. La cuantía de dicha contribución, su forma de pago, y los principios de administración de los fondos así adquiridos, serán fijados por el Ministerio de Cultura, que estará además facultado para señalar las excepciones procedentes a lo establecido en este artículo.

Those articles may be translated into English as follows.

48 - On expiry of the term of copyright, a work may be declared belonging to the State by a decision of the Council of Ministers. The terms and conditions of use of the work declared belonging to the State, shall be established by that court.
49 - Excepting as provided in the previous article, when the term of copyright in a work expires, it may be freely used by anyone, provided that the author's name is mentioned and the integrity of it is respected. However, the user must pay a special tax to be used for the development of science, education and culture. The amount of the contribution, its method of payment, and the principles of administration of the funds so acquired, shall be established by the Ministry of Culture, which shall also be entitled to draw from the exceptions as provided in this article.

In short, those are the problems:

  • Works do not fall into public domain when their copyright expires. They may do, or their copyright may go into the State. No seeming duration terms for State ownership of copyright, or requirements for a work to be eligible for this procedure or not.
  • Free but requiring attribution, even if not completely "Public Domain" (it's more like {{Attribution}}), is still acceptable here. But what about the "integrity"? A free work should be free for any purpose, even for making "harming" or politically-opposing derivative works.
  • I know that commercial use is compatible with free licences, but does this "tax" for using free works fall inside such equation? Is Commons eligible for paying such a tax? Belgrano (talk) 23:34, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Point 2 (attribution/integrity) is not a problem. It just states that the moral rights do not expire, just like in some other countries (Russia, for instance). We generally ignore moral rights for determining whether an image is "free". Point 3 is nothing new either, that's called domaine public payante. Also exists in a few other countries (again, Russia comes to mind, but it's fairly common thoughout Eastern European countries), but hasn't caught on. In any case, such fees would be very difficult to enforce internationally. But see also Commons:Village pump/Archive/2010Jan#Mexico vs. Starbucks... Point 1 I'd simply ignore unless we find evidence that this occurred often (or for a particular work). Lupo 07:04, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Fine, I'm glad we won't have to remove it, and that I was just being over cautious. However, now that we are at it, what about the cases where the State indeed takes for itself an otherwise expired work, as detailed in the 1º article? Would it be a case for speedy deletion, or a regular deletion request to allow other users to study the situation? Belgrano (talk) 14:30, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Happy Birthday

Is the song “Happy Birthday” copyrighted in Australia? -- 09:59, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

  • It has a valid US copyright and is not allowed on Commons. I don't know if it's copyrighted in Australia. -Nard the Bard 17:48, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
    • I'm not sure I'd agree with "valid". It's more that it has sufficient legal power that noone wants to spend the money to try and get it free. Adam Cuerden (talk) 07:41, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Australian Aboriginal flag

Is fair use of the Australian Aboriginal flag allowed in Australia? -- 10:00, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Nobody here is in a position to offer you legal advice regarding your use of a work under Austrailian copyright law -- depending on your plans it would probably be wise to consult competent legal counsel. That being said, fair use is a doctrine in United States copyright law, not Austrialian copyright law. Members of the Commonwealth, such as Austraila, instead have a similar doctrine called fair dealing. Fair dealing is not as flexible as fair use, so you'll want to carefully review your planned use. —RP88 20:57, 12 June 2010 (UTC) is your best answer. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 21:07, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Question about interior views in Switzerland

I realized, that in some churches in Switzerland it is not allowed to take photos inside, e.g . inside of Grossmünster (Category:Interior views of Grossmünster), Fraumünster (Category:Fraumünster) in Zurich and inside of the Abbey of Königsfelden (Category:Königsfelden Abbey). But here are categories with a lot of photos of this places. Is it possible to take illegal photos there and to upload them here and to give them a license like c-c?? -- 13:29, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

See COM:CB#Museum and interior photography. Assuming that the photos don't show any copyrighted works, the situation seems quite analogous. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 16:20, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
There's a difference between whether a photograph is in breach of copyright and whether the taking of the photograph violates some other law that is not related to copyright. If you take a photograph of the inside of a building, you will generally own the copyright to that photograph (unless you photograph something that is already copyrighted, such as a painting or a statue). Therefore, you can upload that photograph to the Commons under a free licence. Your act of taking the photograph may in some cases also breach a contract between you and the building owner (for example, you were only allowed admission into the building if no photographs were taken, or photographs were only allowed for your personal use), or even violate some law (for example, there may be a law prohibiting photography inside certain buildings for security purposes). Commons is generally not concerned about whether or not you are acting in breach of a contract or violation of a law, but be aware that if the building owner discovers this, legal action may be taken against you. Therefore, bear this in mind when deciding whether or not to upload such images to the Commons. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:14, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
@Jacklee: I just read the link, Ilmari Karonen posted. Am I right, that this is not the question for commons? For example the categories, the IP mentioned, have different copyrights, I think. In Königsfelden the windows are very old (14th century), but the windows of Marc Chagall (+ March 28th 1985) even don't have finished the 70 years after the death of an artist. If I understand you, Jacklee, in the right way, that's not the question commons is interesting in. The important thing is, that the photographer took the photo by himself and allows to use it with a free license? --Brian (talk) 17:40, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
The copyright on the windows is a question that Commons worries about. In this case, we have to look to the Freedom of Panorama in Switzerland, which says that outdoor pictures are fine, but indoor pictures of works by Chagall are iffy at best and should probably be deleted.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:00, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Prosfilaes is right. As I mentioned, "[i]f you take a photograph of the inside of a building, you will generally own the copyright to that photograph (unless you photograph something that is already copyrighted, such as a painting or a statue)." Therefore, if you photograph an artistic work that is very old, this will generally not be a problem as there will no longer be any copyright subsisting in the work. But if you photograph something that is recent (such as a stained glass window designed by Marc Chagall), there is a possibility that the work is still copyrighted. In that case, your photograph becomes an unauthorized reproduction of the copyrighted work, which cannot be uploaded to the Commons unless the copyright owner gives permission. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:47, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Thank you all for your answer. So, if I understand you well, it would be okay to ask for deletion of the pictures with the windos from Chagall, but the others should be okay? -- 20:49, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I think that would be the position. Photographs of any recent works (stained glass windows, paintings, statues, etc.) should be nominated for deletion. If you have any doubts about how recent any works are, you will have to find out facts such as who the authors are, whether they are still alive, their dates of death, and so on. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:12, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Copyright status of mass rapid transit system diagrams

Are diagrams showing the stations and lines of a mass rapid transit system copyrightable? I am wondering whether the following diagrams, which appear to be copied directly from the Internet (compare this), should remain in the Commons.

File:Mrt lrt system map (current).png
Current system map of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Light Rapid Transit (LRT) systems in Singapore
File:Singapore mrt lrt system map future.png
Future system map of the MRT and LRT systems
Chinese version of MRT and LRT system map

— Cheers, JackLee talk 08:23, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

They're similar, but not identical. This is a fairly standard format for such maps; the colours can't change because they're often used as indicators int the rail stations themselves, and the constraints of approximate geographical placement combined with the way lines are used in these maps guarantees some similarity. However, we shouldn't be imitating the look of the original maps so closely where we do not have to: the large S-like logo behind the second one should go. Adam Cuerden (talk) 12:03, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes, maps are copyrightable, and I'm concerned that we've crossed the line here. Compare with File:MBTA_Boston_subway_map.png, for example. That's a bit extreme, as our MBTA map is less diagrammic than most subway maps, but I've got Transit Maps of the World here, and it's clear that there's quite a few creative choices here. For example, the 1967 MBTA map is more like the current official one than ours, but the Red Line goes straight west from Park Street, and the Orange Line straight south from State. In this case, our Singapore map matches the official one in every position, every angle, even the line size, right down the quirky turn of the purple line between the red and green lines. If nothing else, the bus icon is copyrightable, and copied exactly in our version.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:39, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree: They need tweaked, at the least. Adam Cuerden (talk) 22:56, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
That's what I thought. As far as I can tell, the uploaders have simply copied the transit system maps off the official website, and perhaps modified them slightly by increasing the size of the legend box or replacing English names with names in another language. As for redrawing the maps, is this a task that the image lab guys would be willing to undertake? Or should I just nominate the maps for deletion? — Cheers, JackLee talk 09:19, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
I believe it would be an appropriate task for them, particularly if made into an SVG while the changes were happening. Adam Cuerden (talk) 00:43, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
I've made a request at "Commons:Graphic Lab/Map workshop#Redrawing of Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore) system map" for the image that is heavily in use to be redrawn, and nominated other maps that are not in use in any article for deletion – please comment at "Commons:Deletion requests/2010/06/21". Thanks. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:59, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Updating the Chile section

Apparently there are some weird copyright exceptions in Chilean law. Could someone who knows Spanish digest this discussion and Template_talk:PD-Chile and update Commons:Licensing#Chile? Kaldari (talk) 23:15, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Logo of the National University of Singapore

Is this logo simple enough for {{PD-textlogo}}? I'm concerned about the lion passant in the crest. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:04, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Clearly not. Textlogo is about logos made of text, which this is not. -mattbuck (Talk) 19:22, 21 June 2010 (UTC)
OK, I've nominated it for deletion. Please comment at "Commons:Deletion requests/File:Nus-logo-official-highres.png". (See also "Commons:Deletion requests/File:Nus-logo.svg, where I've nominated a faulty SVG file for deletion.) — Cheers, JackLee talk 22:07, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

Commons:Licencing#License information

I wish to edit that section, adding the following:

Source websites must contain explicit evidence that the author of the file agreed to license the work (example)(further reading).

below "The primary source should be provided".

Any objection ?

Teofilo (talk) 09:03, 22 June 2010 (UTC)


File:Soulika5.jpg this is an image of a tombstone, that was made in 1834. The image is not artistic, no special light and/or technique were used. It was simply taken to show the inscriptions that were made in 1834. Should not it be in a public domain because the author of the tombstone died more than 70 years ago? Thanks.--Mbz1 (talk) 17:18, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Of course not. Blatant copyright violation. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 17:21, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to get third opinion please.--Mbz1 (talk) 17:29, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
A photograph does not need to be "artistic" to qualify as a work capable of being copyrighted. Essentially, all recently taken photographs of three-dimensional objects are subject to copyright protection. {{PD-art}} does not apply here, because it is photographed at an angle, as a three-dimensional object. LX (talk, contribs) 18:07, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Template talk:PD-USGov-Military-Badge

For broader attention. --Martin H. (talk) 21:47, 22 June 2010 (UTC)


Are official postage stamps protected by copyright law? If they are, would a fair use rationale (on en wiki, obviously) cover the depiction of postage stamps on wikipedia? --Tb240904 (talk) 22:08, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Do you mean official stamps or stamps issued officialy by a postal administration? Either way it depends mainly on the country of issue and date of issue; some postage stamps are not copyright but most are copyright for up to 70 years after the artist's death (where known) per the public domain templates and public domain stamps. Copyright stamps may only be used under the fair-use claim on the enwiki if they comply with all 10 non-free content criteria but basically they can only be used in articles about the stamp itself and not to illustrate the subject of the stamp. Many improperly used stamps have been deleted here for copyright violation and on the enwiki for improper use. You may find it useful to check out the en:Category:Fair use stamp images where most of the images are used with appropriate fair-use rationale but here, on the Commons, they must be freely licenced. Hope that helps. Ww2censor (talk) 03:30, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Changing license

Can I change the license on my images from CC-BY-SA-2.5 to CC-BY-SA-3.0, or am I bound to the 2.5 version once uploaded as such? Lycaon (talk) 10:00, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

I think it is acceptable to change from one licence to one that is equally free or freer, but not to one that is more restrictive. I'm not sure whether CC-BY-SA-3.0 is equally free or freer than CC-BY-SA-2.5, though – perhaps someone else can comment on this. — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:45, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Well 3.0 is marginally more restrictive than 2.5, but only because you cannot create a derivative of a 3.0 licensed work and license it under 2.5 (but you can license derivative of a 2.5 work under either 2.5 or 3.0). However as cc-by-sa-2.5 is an old version of the license and shouldn't really be used for new works, I wouldn't consider this change of license as a problem.--Nilfanion (talk) 11:02, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. Lycaon (talk) 11:20, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
The short answer is: you can change the license on your images from CC-BY-SA-2.5 to 3.0 if you want, but you cannot revoke the previous version 2.5 license release. Thus, someone could create a derivative work and license it under 2.5 even after you change it. We don't usually allow licenses to be replaced with more restrictive ones since it obscures the previous license, but this is a minor matter. Dcoetzee (talk) 15:32, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
OK. Revoking anything was never my aim, just standardizing my licenses. Lycaon (talk) 15:39, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Straits Settlements coat of arms

I am wondering if "File:Coat of Arms of the Straits Settlement.png" at the English Wikipedia can be moved over to the Commons. This is a depiction of the coat of arms of the Straits Settlements, which existed from 1826 to 1946. According to, the arms were granted on 25 March 1911 by "warrant" (Royal Warrant?). Who owns or owned the copyright in the arms – the Crown, or the Straits Settlements? Can the copyright be regarded to have expired? — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:54, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

See Commons:Coats of Arms. Each separate rendering is its own artistic work with its own copyright -- there really is no copyright on the general design, but rather on each artist's version. So, the question is where that particular version was published, by who, etc. There is also nothing stopping someone from making their own version and licensing it CC-BY or whatever (although if that version uses the specific expression of another version -- i.e. the exact outlines, maybe through tracing or something -- then it may be a derivative work of the original and a problem if that original is copyrighted). There is no source information on the above version, so no idea what is copyright status is. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:55, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
I see. At present I don't have any evidence as to when this particular rendering of the Straits Settlements coat of arms was made. (As you pointed out, the uploader at the English Wikipedia provided no source information, and a Google search turned up nothing on this particular rendition.) I have provided the heraldic blazon to a Commons volunteer. I suppose if he creates a version of the coat of arms which is not too similar to the existing image, that would be acceptable for the Commons? (By the way, "Commons:Coats of Arms" needs a serious copyedit.) — Cheers, JackLee talk 06:46, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Old and new logos for Parken

Would the old and new logos for Parken Stadium quality for {{PD-textlogo}}? I'm especially interested in the red object located in upper half of the new logo. Froztbyte (talk) 03:33, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

In the U.S., I don't think either are copyrightable (especially the first one). Denmark though would have different standards, so I may be wary of that second one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:20, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. Am I to understand, that both logos would possibly be allowed on Commons or would you only recommend me to upload the old logo? If you are referring to the Danish Wikipedia, the project pretty much only allow images from Wikimedia Commons to be used in their articles as the licensing issues are the same (no fair use allowed). Froztbyte (talk) 17:37, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
I would say upload both. The red object is rather simple. But we can never be 100 % sure. --MGA73 (talk) 17:57, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Many thanks :) Froztbyte (talk) 18:19, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
With regards to Danish standards for logo-type images, it might be helpful to compare with the panda-logo of the World Wide Fund for Nature (uploaded to en.wikipedia as fair use). It was found ineligible for copyright protection in Denmark (U1998.946S), and the Parken logos both look simpler to me. Peter Alberti (talk) 08:41, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Confusing PD-US-no-renewal and GFDL

I wish to upload a small crop of this Atomic War comic page (to show an example of a spiked text balloon), but the two licenses are confusing. They are: {{PD-US-no-renewal}} and {{Self|GFDL|cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0}}. The "Self" license may be an inadvertent mistake by the uploader, on the other hand the uploader might very well be the copyright holder. Can anyone recommend the best license tags to use for a simple, non-creative crop? For example {{Self|GFDL|cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0|author=[[User:Atomicsteve]]}} ? -84user (talk) 19:22, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

I think the uploader just added the GFDL since he scanned it, and it's safe to use as PD-US-no-renewal.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:40, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes check.svg ResolvedThank you for that opinion, I have accordlingly uploaded this crop. -84user (talk) 15:41, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Photo from the White House

On the United States Department of State website, I found a photo of Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer with President Barrack Obama (see here). The alt text of the photo says "Date: 11/04/2009 Location: Washington, DC Description: President Barack Obama welcomes Ambassador Gary Albert Doer of Canada to the White House, during the credentials ceremony. © White House Image". Is this image public domain as described at Commons:Licensing#Works by the US Government? I'm not sure whether photos from the White House Office fall under this policy or not. Thanks in advance, MitchellDuce (talk) 20:08, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes it is a work by the US Government (White House) and as such PD. feydey (talk) 22:07, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification! MitchellDuce (talk) 23:49, 27 June 2010 (UTC)
That seems like a very odd use of the "©" symbol for attribution of a public domain work... but whatever. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:11, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

US gov website public domain

Related to the above White House question I am unsure about the logic used for File:BP oil spill still may 11 1240pm E.jpg which is a frame placed on this US government website from a streamed video.

  • does every image placed on that website enter the US public domain? Including the Associated Press photograph?
  • (not applicable to this image) does that US public domain extend to the worldwide public domain if the image was created outside the US? (I think no)
  • would such a scan from a streamed recording fall under surveillance video (see line 11 of US district court judgement linked in template below)?
Public domain
This file is in the public domain, because a "surveillance video lacks sufficient originality, it is not subject to copyright", see pages 4 and 5 from

In case this is not legally possible:

The right to use this work is granted to anyone for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

Please verify that the reason given above complies with Commons' licensing policy.

-84user (talk) 16:49, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

I agree that the current justification on the image description page is somewhat lacking. There needs to be some information confirming that the camera is being operated by some Federal agency. The "surveillance video" justification needs further examination, perhaps by someone legally trained. This is a Federal district court judgment, not a Supreme Court decision. What is its value as a precedent? Are there any Supreme Court decisions confirming or contradicting it? Also, the way the {{PD-because}} template above is phrased simply doesn't make sense. If a video is not in the public domain because the "surveillance video" proposition is not binding law, then how can the person who created the video still miraculously gain the right to release the still into the public domain? — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:06, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

I forgot to include where the surveillance point last discussed here: Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 22#Live feeds. -84user (talk) 17:10, 28 June 2010 (UTC) Updated: now that I have re-read what I linked, Tryphon's analysis (starting "For a live feed to be free of any copyright") persuades me at least that I cannot use the surveillance court case to justify public domain for this image, if only because someone chose what, when and how to record the view. -84user (talk) 17:44, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Posting something to a US government website definitely doesn't make it public domain. It has to have been created by a federal government employees as part of their job. Kaldari (talk) 23:45, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
Regarding surveillance footage: If someone is deciding what to record, when to record it, and how to record it, there is probably "creativity" involved. If someone simply sets up a camera somewhere that records everything that happens under it, there probably isn't any "creativity" involved. Kaldari (talk) 23:52, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for the feedback, I have just now nominated it for deletion at Commons:Deletion requests/File:BP oil spill still may 11 1240pm E.jpg -84user (talk) 21:11, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Hypothetical Question on Image Copyright Duration

Let's say you were an artist or photographer and published a book full of your work as a hard-cover for-profit book with copyrighted images owned by you (and maybe the publisher). You want to keep your work out of the public domain forever. On the other hand, I find one or more of your images very interesting and useful for an encyclopedia article. We can't agree on anything ... How long do I have to wait before I can use your work without any license or agreement?

  • In the words of JFK, "until Hell freezes over". I hope not. Bridgettttttte (talk) 10:29, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
I suggest you repost this message at "Commons talk:Licensing" for more responses. However, the short answer is that the question cannot be answered unless you state which country the publication takes place in, because laws vary from country to country. The laws of many (but not all) countries now provide that copyright lasts for 70 years from the date of the author's death. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:10, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
OK. Thanks. I will cut and paste this section, now. Bridgettttttte (talk) 02:55, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
moved here, and let's say USA Bridgettttttte (talk) 02:59, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
That question is answered, see Commons:Licensing and Commons:Hirtle chart (2nd section: Works First Published in the U.S.). --Martin H. (talk) 03:03, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
OK, thanks, but then how is Google scanning books (minus TOC and images)?
AFAIK books that you can download in pdf format from Google are public domain in the U.S., means published before 1923. Some books are not PD in the country of origin if that countries term is e.g. 70 years p.m.a., for that reason I in Germany have to use a proxy for Google Books because Google overally restricts pdf download here beacause of the different copyright status. For recent books downloading is not poosible but only viewing. This books are not public domain, so allowing downloading would violate copyright, google maybe has licensing contracts with the publishers for the purpose of showing the book in Google Books together with some commercial links, obviously this contract is different from country to country, for many e.g. textbooks I use again a proxy because in Germany I only have snippet view while with US-Proxy I see the whole book. --Martin H. (talk) 04:02, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Google was actually sued for copyright infringement over its Google Books project, but has reached a settlement: see "Google Book Search Settlement Agreement". — Cheers, JackLee talk 06:28, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
The Google Books case is complex, but basically they're getting away with it because they limit usage of copyrighted materials, and so the publishers put up with it. They may or may not have a case for their usage under fair use law. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:32, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Proposed addition: US sound recordings

I propose adding the following to the United States section of the policy:

Sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972 are not protected under federal copyright law. However, commercial recordings likely to still have commercial value should not be uploaded onto Commons, since they may be protected by common law copyright on the state level.

Some background: An earlier discussion in March ended with the general agreement that something should be added about the copyright status of these recordings, but without consensus on the proposed wording. Carl Lindberg suggested a more common-sense approach instead of strict rules, so this is an attempt to put that proposal into words. Thanks for your consideration. Jafeluv (talk) 00:16, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

That would exclude some very early sound recordings, such as those of Caruso, which are from before 1923, and thus would be very hard to assert any real copyright on. It'd basically mean throwing out most of en:Wikipedia:Featured sounds. It's also hardly a common-sense approach, in my opinion: Better to just say before 1923. Adam Cuerden (talk) 02:44, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
But there's absolutely no legal justification for 1923. You may as well have picked that year out of a hat. No sound recordings before 1972 have copyright in the US; they're all protected under state law (Florida, among other states).--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:57, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

1923 at least assures the underlying compositions are out of copyright. In any case, you could say the same about the proposed "don't upload anything with potential commercial value" - that's, if anything, completely crippling, but also pulled out of a hat. Adam Cuerden (talk) 05:06, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Good point about 1923 in regards to compositions, but state court cases have pretty much uniformly upheld copyrights of sound recordings -- and commercial value is what they would be protecting. Not sure about "potential" but if there is any obvious value to a recording to the original studio (or successor company), it should probably not be here. On the other hand, there are types of post-1923 recordings which would probably be OK. (Side note: foreign sounds recordings from before 1972 restored by the URAA do, I think, have federal copyright protection.) Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:19, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

The 1923 cutoff date was actually proposed in the previous discussion, but failed to get consensus that time. Even if there's no legal justification in law for the 1923 date, I think it would definitely be an improvement over the current situation (ie. "We assume that everything pre-1972 is PD, except in New York"). So if people support the wording "post-1923 commercial recordings should not be uploaded onto Commons" etc., I'm fine with that. Jafeluv (talk) 07:27, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

With the exception of the rare few commercial recordings that have been released under a free license (Pandora Records released all its material when it closed down thusly), I agree. Adam Cuerden (talk) 07:40, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

New wording for PD-US-record

Based on the above, I think {{PD-US-record}} should be rewritten to indicate that post-1923 commercial recordings are not considered PD. I propose something like this:

No copyright on phonographical record United States federal copyright law does not protect sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972. However, these recordings may be subject to common law copyright on the state level (see Capitol Records vs. Naxos). On February 15, 2067, United States copyright law will supersede state law and the recording will enter the public domain [7].

Recordings of copyrighted musical compositions etc., cannot be freely used, but it is asserted that this sound recording not based on copyrighted material which either was created before 1923 or has no commercial value can be considered public domain in the United States and in other countries where it has not been separately copyrighted.

Flag of the United States.svg

Jafeluv (talk) 20:49, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

I don't get how you end up separating out 1923 or "no commercial value". The issue would seem to be whether an underlying composition is copyrighted.
But first, some test cases: audio recordings from the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I don't see any such recordings on Commons, and they have been widely discussed e.g. regarding the number of shots fired. This was clearly not a composition, and therefore according to the present theory should be possible for anyone to copy and upload. Is this true? Next, the Martin Luther King speeches. As I understand it the heirs have been very active in enforcing copyrights. I would assume in this case that the content of the speech (the words) are copyrighted. However, I take it from this discussion that a quotation too short for copyright, e.g. "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!", would not be prohibited here. Wnt (talk) 14:24, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
No, the copyright of the underlying composition is a separate issue. As the template says, it can only be applied in situations where the underlying composition itself is out of copyright. And even then only if the recording is either pre-1923 or has no commercial value. Jafeluv (talk) 14:42, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
Huh? I thought the whole point of the template was to point out the surprising fact (?) that a sound recording from before 1972 not containing a copyrighted composition or speech would be PD. Please explain further if that's not so. Wnt (talk) 02:19, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Federal law does not cover sound recordings from before 1972. State laws, on the other hand, may and do, and under Florida's law, there is no concept of a PD for sound recording. (Florida being chosen for jurisdiction reasons, and because that's the law I looked up.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:44, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, now I'm all confused. Are you saying Florida has perpetual copyright? Or does something in their state law say 1923? (there being no federal law on the topic) Wnt (talk) 00:05, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Florida has a perpetual copyright on sound recordings. [8] is the law in question. There is an exception for
(c) To any not-for-profit educational institution or any federal or state governmental entity, if all the following conditions exist:
1. The primary purpose of the institution or entity is the advancement of the public's knowledge and the dissemination of information.
2. Such purpose is clearly set forth in the institution's or entity's charter, bylaws, certificate of incorporation, or similar document.
3. Prior to the transfer of the sounds, the institution or entity has made a good faith effort to identify and locate the owner or owners of the articles to be transferred.
4. Despite good faith efforts, the owner or owners have not been located.
but we'd have to make that good faith effort, and then wave this off as a non-copyright requirement, even though the statue is entitled "Unauthorized copying of phonograph records, disk, wire, tape, film, or other article on which sounds are recorded".--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:30, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Is it OK to post photo's from this site on Commons?

This website states "Copying or reproducing information on this website is allowed if link to Tymoshenko.UA is provided". Does this mean I van upload pictures from this website to commons if I attribute them? — Mariah-Yulia • Talk to me! 21:08, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

The realease doesn't appear to allow for derivative works.Geni (talk) 21:31, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
What you might want to do is to contact Tymoshenko's team and see if they'd be willing to explicitly license the contents of the website under the Creative Commons license - maybe by means of an official letter. You can point out that the Russian President's website has a similar licensing structure - see File:Kremlin authorisation-English.pdf. Tabercil (talk) 22:02, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Scan of a politician's signature

On EN, a person claiming to be an employee of a New Zealand MP has removed this scan of his signature claiming the grounds of identity theft, etc. Pursuing that on EN, but what is the copyright/licensing for a public figure's signature taken from an email newsletter, as this one was? Thanks! Arakunem (talk) 23:44, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Note also this one, which has also just popped up on EN: File:David Clendon signature.jpg. Arakunem (talk) 23:47, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Signatures, whether those of a public figure or not, are usually considered to be common property in the public domain (similar to {{PD-textlogo}}, with which you may be familiar). See COM:SIG for a draft guideline on when a signature can be considered public domain. New Zealand may be one of those countries in which signatures are copyrightable. Powers (talk) 00:37, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
It also came up in a Village pump discussion recently. Copyright issues aside, some people are going to be weirded out by seeing their signatures here, and we may want to respect individual requests (though prominent politicians you'd think would be used to seeing their signatures everywhere). But yes, in virtually all places signatures are not copyrightable. Their are claims they may be in the UK (not actually tested in court), and New Zealand's copyright law had its basis in the UK's, so there is a chance. Definitely doesn't qualify for speedy, and displaying it here isn't a "use" I wouldn't think (i.e. there is no intended meaning behind showing it; no implied association with the actual person at all), but in some cases deletion may be a reasonable thing to do. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:45, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Should we attempt to update COM:SIG by adding some sort of privacy/identity theft justification for not hosting signatures of living persons? (The counterargument, I suppose, is that there is no reason for Commons not to host signatures that are uncopyrightable if they are already publicly available elsewhere.) — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:59, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
That is going (way) too far I would think. Politicians particularly should be used to seeing their signatures elsewhere. If someone can point to an actual law which makes it illegal to simply display a signature like that, then maybe (and be careful of the verb "use"; in most of those legal senses simply hosting it here and displaying it on that person's page is not a "use" I don't think). Otherwise, it is purely a case-by-case courtesy for deletion. But, UK/Australia/NZ signatures may have some additional copyright cloudiness as well. Carl Lindberg (talk) 11:39, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Apart from politicians' signatures, what about the signatures of other people such as writers, and so forth? (I suppose celebrities would fall into the same category as politicians.) — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:39, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Don't think there is any need to change anything. COM:SIG mentions the UK part, so signatures of celebrities from there may have copyright issues per existing guidelines, and anything else is a courtesy really, so would be a case-by-case deletion review -- same as any work here; there can always be specific reasons to delete outside of normal guidelines. There were some points suggested in the discussion linked above; signatures with public sources (as opposed to being taken from private correspondence) would be more likely to be kept etc. even if requested to delete, and politician signatures are among the least likely to delete (as there are likely tons of public sources). It is always possible there is a local law regarding this kind of thing; if those can be pointed out, such that merely hosting a copy is in violation, we would probably want to respect them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:01, 7 July 2010 (UTC)