Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 33

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What to do if the source is now a dead link?

Image File:Gandhisonia05052007.jpg was uploaded 4 years ago, presumably in good faith. I have no reason to suspect the uploader lied about source of the image and the still active site does indeed claim "Todo o conteúdo deste site está publicado sob a Licença Creative Commons Atribuição 2.5. Brasil." Unfortunately the image itself seems to have been deleted from the site, which makes verification of the permission and copyright status, difficult or impossible. So what to do? Has this image suddenly become unfree - I thought cc-by-2.5-br could not be later revoked? Should this image be deleted simply because random editors can no longer verify the truth of otherwise of the license, even though they could have done so in the past? Astronaut (talk) 12:30, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

You have to accept that the source is not longer existent. Thats all. --Martin H. (talk) 12:37, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes. And so must the image be now deleted? I'm happy to accept that it was free when originally uploaded. Astronaut (talk) 12:38, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
No, there is no need to delete it. The source becoming unavailable after four years does not affect the licensing status. LX (talk, contribs) 12:41, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
A smaller version of the uncropped original of this photo is still available in the archives of Agencia Brasil at (through and also on the Brazilian presidency's website at (through The agencia's archives are under the same free licence as its main site. The presidency website's terms are less obvious, but we do have some of its photos on Commons, tagged with an attribution tag. Although the smaller version was apparently not the actual immediate source for the Commons cropped version, can it be useful in the description page as some sort of source information? Also, while a source is still available but you think that the source or its license might later disappear, perhaps you can ask a trusted user to review it? (Btw, I note that there are hundreds of photos that could be categorized in the Category:Photographs by Ricardo Stuckert, if that is useful.) -- Asclepias (talk) 15:11, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Hello, I am the "complainant" for this image. The digital camera information shows that the original work was saved in memory of the camera and a reproduction was uploaded to Commons. Now the link to the "reproduction" is not functional and the original is not traceable (almost certainly wiped from the camera's memory). In these circumstances I don't see how any copyright assignment / relinquishment can be claimed when neither the original nor the authorised reproduction is available. The usual copyright laws require that there be either an original or an authorised reproduction to be in existence. For eg. [1]. I dont think that a Commons licence will work in this situation. Had the author of the work (photographer) uploaded the image to Commons I would not be raising this issue. RobertRosen (talk) 15:56, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
That is a pretty unusual definition of original and reproduction to say the least. --Dschwen (talk) 16:47, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Just wanted to point out that the provision that RobertRosen referred to – section 47C of the Copyright Act 1968 (Commonwealth of Australia) – relates to backup copies of computer programs and not to artistic works such as photographs. There is usually no requirement that a copyright owner retain possession of the original of a work in order for a licence to reproduce the work to continue to be legally effective. I can't see any such restriction in the rest of the Act. For example, let's say an artist creates a painting, and sells the physical work to a collector. He then licenses his copyright in the artistic work to the collector and to a museum. Unfortunately, the painting is destroyed in a fire. This in no way means that the licences granted by the artist terminate. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:55, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
(reindenting for readability). Its not an unusual defn at all. A digital image is a computer "program" legally speaking. Even the "reproduction" in this case is merely a copy of the bits (0s and 1s). Responding to User:Jacklee, there is usually a requirement that either the "orignal" OR an "authorised reproduction" be in existence for copies to be made (as implicit from the term itself the right to make an authentic legal copy implies an original/reproduction). If an artist original work is destroyed in a fire, than either he creates a new image OR he (stress on "he") must licence a reproduction from which copies can be made. It is my case here that neither is the original VERIFIABLY in existence nor is there a "reproduction" which is "authenticated" by the AUTHOR. 16:25, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
My thoughts:
  • I honestly doubt if these new provisions inserted into the Australian Copyright Act to deal with computer programs were intended to effect the far-reaching changes to general copyright law applying to artistic, dramatic, literary and musical works that you are claiming, just because such works may now be in digital form.
  • I don't see anything in the Act which requires the continued physical existence of an original work for licence agreements over the work to remain valid. A licence agreement remains unaffected by the destruction of the original work, unless there is an express term of the licence agreement to that effect.
  • I also don't see the relevance of section 47C of the Australian Copyright Act. Even if we accept that digital files are computer programs, that provision merely provides that making a backup of a computer program does not breach the copyright in the program (i.e., the fact that a program was copied for the purpose of making of a backup is a defence to a claim that the copyright in the program has been infringed). In order to rely on this defence, one must own an "original copy" of the program and not an "infringing copy", such as one illegally downloaded from the Internet. There is no requirement in that provision that the original copy must remain in physical existence for the defence to apply. That would defeat the utility of making a backup – to have a usable version of the program in case the original is lost or damaged. Of course, if I have lost the original I may have some difficulty proving that I had an original copy to start with, but this fact can be proved in other ways, such as producing the receipt issued to me when I bought the original copy.
  • In our case, the existence of a file uploaded to the Commons and the placing of a copyright tag on the file description page is prima facie evidence that the copyright holder licensed the file for the use of anyone under the terms of the licence. Of course, there is a possibility that the uploader had no right to license the file in this way and we do our best to remove such files when they are brought to light, but in most cases where there is no evidence that anything is amiss we have to assume in good faith that uploaders have acted properly.
— Cheers, JackLee talk 17:25, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Yikes. No, I don't think that interpretation is anywhere near correct. Copyright subsists in works regardless of whether the original or copies still exist (granted, if no copies and no derivative works exist anywhere, the copyright at that point may have no places where it could apply). First, this is a Brazilian image. Australian law has no bearing on it, other than usages of it inside Australia. Commons would not use Australian law to determine status of this image at all, per policy. Second, the section of the Australian law you are talking about does not get into this territory at all, from the looks of it. It is merely saying that someone who holds a valid license on a computer program is allowed to make a backup copy of it, so long as their license is still valid. The "original copy" it is talking about is not the first version made by the author, but rather the first copy in the licensor's possession. For example, if you bought a computer program in a store, which is stored on CDs inside the box, that is the "original copy" for the purposes of that section. By buying the program, he acquired a valid license to use it, and that section of law basically says he then has a right to make backup copies (for personal use only) in the event that the original CDs get lost or destroyed. If someone buys a computer program online, the "original copy" is the one they download at the time, and they have the right to make copies of that for backup purposes. In the realm of Commons, that would merely mean that Wikimedia has the rights to make backup copies of the images -- a right which is given by the copyright license anyways, so it is irrelevant. If the license expires or becomes invalid (should not be possible in Commons' case), then the right to make backups also expires and those copies should be destroyed. Nothing in that section of law refers to the actual copyright itself, or the first version of a work by the copyright owner. The "owner" in that section is talking about the owner of the purchased CD, not the owner of copyright, which remains the same regardless if the original is destroyed (or unavailable). Even if no copies of the original still exist, the copyright owner would still have the rights to control any derivative works which still exist. In any event, it has no bearing at all when a source link expires. We would only delete if we have reason to believe the copyright license is invalid, and a web link becoming inactive is not enough to create a reason like that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:01, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Standard for demonstrating PD because of a lack of copyright notice

My understanding is that works that were published in the US pre-1978 without a copyright notice are PD. Virginia Tech has the archives of its school yearbook - The Bugle - scanned and available at . I looked at a few of them, including, for purposes of this discussion, the 1976 Bugle. In the 1976 Bugle, when I scroll through the first few pages and the last few pages, I see no copyright notice. I see some individual advertisements, for example a Hardee's advertisement on page 537, that have copyright notices, but I cannot find one for the book itself. They scanned in even the front and back covers of the book and there are no missing page numbers in the page sequence, so can I reasonably assume that it was, in fact, published without a copyright notice? Virginia Tech claims that all of their digital collections are copyrighted, but my thought is that this claim appears to be incorrect. --UserB (talk) 15:50, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

It's probably okay. The relevant tag is {{PD-US-no notice}}. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:23, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Yearbooks may depend on several things. I can not say how each one is put together but commonly class photos and candids and such are done by the school yearbook staff and senior portraits are done by a professional photographer. On the other hand a lot of yearbooks also contain all professional class and staff images with only the candids being done by the yearbook club. I don't recall any of my yearbooks actually having a copyright notice, but I do know individual images did have one. (i.e - the yearly photos that are done in the fall came home with a copyright notice on the back. The same images were used in the yearbook, but the yearbook itself did not have a copyright notice - but the assumption can't be made that those same images are not now under copyright but were, rather, licensed for use in the yearbook by the person and/or company that would still hold the copyright. EDIT: Looking at the link given, I mean the types of photos that start at page 26) I always err on the side of caution, but will also say it would depend on the context of what you are using and *what* you are using from the yearbook. (And yes I know any claims of fair use are out of scope here - I was just pointing that out) Soundvisions1 (talk) 00:28, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
If the copyright holder let a significant number of copies of the item be reproduced, like in a yearbook, without a copyright notice, they would loose that copyright. I don't think it would help their case that that was the first, and usually only, publication.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:39, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
That is not true. My photos have been used in yearbooks but also in publications around the world. "My" copyright notices do not appear near, or on, every image, nor do the other photographers whose work appears. It does not mean we have all lost our copyrights, all it means is those publications have licensed our work for use. It is the exact same concept here: when somebody uploads their image to Wikimedia Commons they are licensing it for "our" use. If Wikimedia Commons distributes it without a copyright notice, or if end users use it without a copyright notice, that does not mean the original copyright is now lost. Soundvisions1 (talk) 13:37, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Were those photos first published before 1978? Images first published on Commons cannot be used as example, because they were published after 1977. -- Asclepias (talk) 14:35, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
My reply was to what Prosfilaes said, so it is applicable to that. In regards to your specific question - correct in that Wikimedia Commons did not exist in 1977. However the example was just that - an example of how something is licensed for use. That concept applied in 1977 as well, so if you were to pick up a magazine or newspaper from 1977 that used, say, an image from Star Wars in it that would not automatically mean the image is free of copyright now simply because the image itself did not carry a copyright notice when it appeared in that publication. As for the specific question about my images - not prior to 1978. However I know photographers who were shooting in the 70's who have had numerous images "stolen" because they licensed their work and people presume that because the work their images appeared in did not carry a copyright notice the images don't either. They vigorously fight for their rights to these images, as they should. But, in context of this discussion there is a difference between images of iconic times in music history and a school yearbook. However copyright is copyright, no matter if it is a portrait of a high school senior or a shot of Darby Crash at the Masque, and if the work was licensed for use in a publication, simply because the publication did not print a copyright notice on each image does not mean the licensee lost their claim to copyright. Soundvisions1 (talk) 15:19, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
Your copyright notice didn't have to be on it, but the work as a whole had to have a copyright notice on it. That's crystal-clear pre-1978 US copyright law. Unlike the Wizard of Oz case below, you're trying to protect published material with unpublished material that was then eternally copyright under common law. Courts understandably frowned upon that.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:57, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
No, what I an saying is: (Say this is 1977)
  1. An image, under clear copyright, is licensed for use to an entity. The image, as is handed over to the publisher/editor/photo editor, says "Blah blah blah. Yada yada yada. Copyright a person and/or company" That is under copyright - do you disagree?
  2. The entity that has licensed that work now uses it. In their publication they do not mark that specific image, or any of the other images, as "copyright" but they give attribution. (i.e - photo by, courtesy of, supplied by, etc). The publication, as a whole, does not carry a copyright notice. The publication itself is not under copyright. Do you disagree?
  3. The *individual* material that has been licensed for use has *not* lost it's protection. In other words you could not scan the photo from number 1 and claim it was in PD. Do you disagree?
If you agree with all that than we are on the same page. If you disagree than I am not sure what you mean with the "Courts understandably frowned upon that" comment. Soundvisions1 (talk) 12:39, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
It had an unregistered common-law copyright. The publication itself, and everything in it that they had a valid license to use, lost any chance at a federal copyright when it was published without a proper copyright notice. You cannot claim a common-law copyright on something once it's been published, like those photos were, and the rules were not followed when they were published as part of the book.
The logical consequence of the alternative is that we can use nothing from "public domain" material. The text of a novel is offered under license to a publisher; does the author keep his copyright if the novel falls into the public domain? Nothing in a high-school yearbook is copyright the publisher; every picture in there was taken by someone who was not getting paid by the publisher. Why do they lose their copyright and the other photographers don't?--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:41, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
From the gist of it you disagree than. Or perhaps you are viewing too widely. Go a few comments back up - I said if you were to pick up a magazine or newspaper from 1977 you would see a lot of images. Maybe from Star Wars - very popular film wouldn't you agree? So out of all those licensed images from Star Wars that ran all over the world your scenario above is if one publication ran without a copyright notice it automatically voids the copyright on the original image, all over the world. By that logic all anyone would have had to do to steal a copyright would be to publish something using someones work and just not place a copyright notice on it. That is a clear copyvio in itself, also known a theft - to use your words "Courts understandably frowned upon that." (And still do) For someone looking to get a novel published they own the "unregistered common-law copyright" - but depending on the terms of publishing deal they may simply "lease" the content for a certain time or they may sell it outright. If the author retains copyright on the *content* depends on the terms of the contract - the publishing deal. The is the exact same for screenplays, film distribution deals, newspaper syndication, television deals and on and on. In short the answer to your question (does the author keep his copyright if the novel falls into the public domain?) is "It depends on the deal that was made."
If you came to me back in 1977, or now in 2011, the same basic contract could be formed: What are you offering? What do I want to offer you in order to use it? I may say I want the exclusive rights to it forever. You may say I can only have rights for the next 5 years. I may say I want worldwide rights. You may say I only have domestic rights. I may say I want you to sign over the copyright to me forever. You may say you only want to give me non-exclusive use forever. A film based on a novel may be copyrighted to the studio who released it because the production company that made it sold them certain rights in order to distribute it domestically. That same film may be under another distribution deal in another part of there world but the copyright may be owned by the production company, not the studio there because of the distribution deal made. Likewise, in order to create a film from that book whoever produced it would have (hopefully) obtained rights to make the movie from the book. If the film did not carry a copyright notice it would not make the book automatically PD, and if the book did not carry one it would not make the film automatically PD.
While the bulk of this is based on copyright law there is a huge underlying issue of contract law. In cases where something is licensed for use that falls under contract law. Copyright enters into it at the source - whoever entered into the contract to license the content had to (has to) actually be allowed to do so. Do they own the copyright? That is step one. If not do they have the authority to represent it? Once that is cleared it moves forward. This entire discussion is based on a very broad feeling that *anything and everything* published pre-1978 without a copyright notice is in P.D. However that is seriously overlooking the actual content and ignoring whatever the terms of use were. Most content in magazines, newspapers, coffee table books, and yes, even yearbooks, comes from somewhere and that is the point - at least my point. In the case of a yearbook I can not say for certain what every single school in the United States does/did or how it obtains/obtained it's material. I seriously doubt any *one* person can, that is why the issue of scanning them and re-publishing them, or selling new versions, or even freely posting them online is still a relatively new discussion in pure legal and copyright terms. The idea that "every picture in there was taken by someone who was not getting paid by the publisher" is based on a pure assumption. And even if that were that case just because something is allowed to be used for "free" does not void copyright claims on it. It really is a bit more complicated than that, and when you are talking about any item that consists mainly of images that have come from various sources it really is best to err on the side of caution. Soundvisions1 (talk) 04:35, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
If the copyright holder of Star Wars licensed a still from Star Wars to a publisher, and that publisher failed to include a copyright notice on copies of the publication distributed to the general public, then that still would be out of copyright. As a general rule, yearbook staff don't get paid for their work, so they hold the copyright on their pictures.
Stunningly, illegal copying of a work does not affect its copyright status. But these pictures were given legally in bulk for their first and only publication to the yearbook people. If they wanted a copyright on them, they should have specified a copyright notice was to be put on the yearbook.
w:Night of the Living Dead is in the same position; their distributor (not the film makers) forgot a copyright notice, and they lost copyright on the film. That was the law at the time.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:57, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
That's a good point about the portraits. I'll avoid those. --UserB (talk) 04:31, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
I searched around and found this - - they make the same point about portraits. --UserB (talk) 04:48, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
But that's modern yearbooks; as they note furtherdown, yearbooks as late as the 80s are likely to be in the public domain.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:33, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
The concept goes hand in hand - He cited requirements for publishers to declare and register their copyrights and that is what the overall issue is,in regards to the yearbook itself, but that still does not void the copyright issue that I said above and which is mirrored in that link (...the bigger issue may be the professional photographers who have a financial interest in defending the copyrights on class photos they take.'). And even if the presumption is they may be in public domain they, as I worded it above, "err on the side of caution." Notice how the companies are dealing with this issue: One "has reached licensing agreements with schools to put their yearbooks online" and another said "it was too early to go into more detail about the logistics of the plan" (on how they are going to "secure rights to the yearbooks"). I think a lot of people tend to forget that nobody was really thinking about scanning items and placing them online (or selling them online, as is implied in that article) as (close) far back as the 1990s even, so nobody is 100% sure how to handle it as of yet. Soundvisions1 (talk) 13:22, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
The poster is PD, but try and use an individual character and the court says that's infringement.
FWIW, I went back to the law at the time to see if it made any distinction regarding collective works and the only thing it said was that if you publish a book that contains some PD works in it (eg, the collected writings of Mark Twain or some such thing) that you don't get a new copyright on the PD material within your book. I think we're on completely solid ground using photos that are obviously not studio portraits. Studio portraits seem a bit shaky. For example, this recent case ruled that even though a Wizard of Oz poster was PD, a t-shirt maker infringed on the copyright of the underlying characters (which was still subject to the movie's copyright) when they used them on t-shirts. That's not directly on point, but it's similar. For that matter, there's en:It's a Wonderful Life, where the film would otherwise be PD as they failed to comply with the formalities, but the underlying story/characters/etc are still copyrighted. So I'm inclined, unless there's disagreement, to think we're ok using yearbook elements that are obviously not professional studio photos, unless they were from 1963 or earlier and the copyright was not renewed. --UserB (talk) 19:54, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
If one can find an authorized pre-1978 publication without copyright notice, it does not matter if other publication had a valid notice. Such works are PD. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 21:01, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
That's not entirely true. In Paramount Pictures Corp. vs Leslie Rubinowitz, it was ruled that even though Paramount had shown Season 1 of Star Trek in syndication without a copyright notice that they did not forfeit their copyright. --UserB (talk) 23:12, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
In that case the conclusion was that the work had not been "published" at all, but leased for exhibition or broadcasting. As bewildering as this interpretation is, I think printing your photos in hundreds of copies of a book necessarily constitutes "publication." Dcoetzee (talk) 18:05, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree; if putting the image in a yearbook is not publication, I don't know what is. Powers (talk) 19:18, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
The answer is in what was just said - In that case the conclusion was that the work had not been "published" at all, but leased for exhibition or broadcasting. That is what I have been saying - images that are/were licensed ("leased") for use by a publication still hold the original copyright unless there was a transfer of copyright to the publication. The context of "published without a copyright notice" would apply to the *original* first and foremost. Soundvisions1 (talk) 21:55, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
It was published in a publication. They may have been leased to the publisher, but then the publisher distributed them to the general public--published them. If not, then outside a work for hire or self-published work, I can't imagine anything going into the PD when a book went into the PD.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:41, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Let me rephrase this; those pictures had eternal common-law copyright. If your theory is correct, then any picture, any text, from any periodical or book first published in the US ever could still be in copyright. Just because something was first published in the US in a magazine in 1885, doesn't mean it's out of copyright; it could have been really published after 1923 and still in copyright, or it could never have been really published, and be life+70.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:10, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Except the question here isn't the date, it's the failure to comply with copyright formalities. Anything published in the 1950 Bugle (had they complied with the formalities) would be out of copyright in 2045 - be it their own content or third party. The question is whether the failure to obey the formalities immediately terminated the copyright on third party content. In any event, I don't really care all that much - I have no interest in using any of the photos of students. --UserB (talk) 03:38, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Either it was published without a copyright notice, or it was never published. Those are the two alternatives.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:57, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
It is not a theory of mine, it is what is used day to day when dealing with I.P and copyright and contract law. I think you are overlooking a few dozen steps between creation and distribution. Copyright law covers the creation part. In order to allow for the distribution part we have contract law. Copyright law covers the copy rights of the creator and those laws keep changing as far as time limits, but the idea is the same: S/He who creates owns and S/He who owns dictates the copy rights. If something was created in 1885 and published in 1885 *and* the creator claimed copyright *and* was still alive *and* the copyright was renewed, it may indeed still be under copyright depending on the contract the creator had with that first publisher. That may sound like a long shot, but remember Happy Birthday is still under copyright - the music was written in 1895 by one sister and another sister added lyrics and it was published. By the 1900's it was popular, and also copied, so it went to court, overseen by another sister, and it was copyrighted in 1934 and officially published with the "Happy Birthday" words in 1935 - due to all the changes in Copyright law it is still under copyright until 2030. Soundvisions1 (talk) 04:35, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
The Cornell Chart says that all works first published prior to 1923 are out of copyright. Happy Birthday is not in copyright, but nobody has the money and motive to take it to court; see w:Happy Birthday.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:57, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but that hinges on the definition of "published". As noted above, there have been several cases where authors argued that various actions did not constitute "general publication", but were instead "limited publication", which did not trigger the federal copyright law, and managed to retain copyright through those arguments. Broadcast is one such situation. That can be a very difficult question, and judges seem to often look for ways they can preserve copyright, if they feel it is right, and may come up with "interesting" interpretations and decide some things are just limited publication. For one example, the Oscar statuettes were deemed to have only been "limited publication" for quite some time, until the Academy registered a copyright in them. But yes, if a general publication with permission happened before 1923, copyright (in the U.S.) cannot still exist. The Happy Birthday copyright appears to be very tenuous, and at most would rest on the actual "happy birthday" part of the lyrics, and not the musical composition, as that appears to have been generally published in 1893 or 1896.[2] Or, if there were changes to the musical composition, then it could only rely on those changes. The addition of a half note may not seem like much, but you would have to prove the 1935 copyright registration was in error at this point I think, a risk not many are willing to take. As for a college yearbook... oof. That could be considered to be published for a limited audience (the students) for a limited purpose, possibly, but I'm not sure. If the school offered to sell copies to anyone who wanted to pay for it, then that should be general publication, and a copyright notice would have been required on the title page for copyright to still exist. If third-party photos were included without permission, the copyright on those photos would not have been affected though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:51, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

(Note: This was a reply to Prosfilaes but after this had been posted Clindberg inserted their reply in between) As far as the real world law goes "Happy Birthday" *is* under Copyright and its use in rights managed by a PRM. The underlying music and original lyrics is not however. And the (further) above response where you suggest that simply because one outlet for images may not have used a copyright notice on a collection invalidates individual copyrights is also a (very) false assumption. If you take contracts (Licensing agreements, publishing deal, distribution deals) out of the equation a blanket statement such as that can be fine. You stated that "illegal copying of a work does not affect its copyright status." That is true - it is (and was) called a bootleg. However the *exact same* wording applies to "legal" copying of someone work via a valid contract to distribute the work. If a copyright holder agrees to license their work for use that contract would (ideally) explicitly lay out the terms. If that contract explicitly sates that the terms of license were non-exclusive, or for a terms of x amount of years and in some specific market the legal "copying of a work does not affect its copyright status" in regards to those contracts. NOTLD is one of those cases where it was *not* a compilation, it was *not* based on a pre-existing work that was licensed to adapt to screen - it was a film made by film students who pooled money in order to make a 16mm film. All those actors and creative forces more than likely signed basic contract - release forms, works for hire, etc - and when the film was sold there was a distribution agreement it and it was distributed. That happens/happened all the time, even now. (although the laws are far more defined in regards to ownership and creation).

You may want to check out MALJACK PRODUCTIONS INC v. GOODTIMES HOME VIDEO CORP, which was a case about the distribution of a film that had fallen into PD - The original copyright holder brought a distributor to court, but there was a very important issue that dealt with the original distribution deal in relation to Copyright. It is explicitly noted that while the film was out of Copyright The music in the film was separately copyrighted, however, and is still protected by copyright law. - more specifically MPI bases its argument on its interpretation of the 1962 contract between Batjac and UA. Batjac, the producer of the movie, licensed the motion picture rights to UA for seven years. The overall idea was that after 7 years the producer got all the rights back. That case resulted in MPI (Batjac) losing, and the distributor "winning". Why? One reason was that while the original contract stated "7 years" for the film it also has a clause that said the distributor was given any and all worldwide rights under copyright and otherwise, to the music and musical compositions recorded or contained upon the sound track of the Picture. So to bring this back to this discussion and Prosfilaes's comments - had "Prosfilaes productions" taken the film, assuming because it was in PD all the content was also in PD, and started to duplicate it and sell it "Prosfilaes productions" would have been guilty of copyright infringement. Why? Because "Prosfilaes productions" would have not obtained any sort of licensee agreement with the Copyright holder of the music. Which in the case of Good Times video took place: EMI Catalogue Partnership (“EMI”), the successor in interest to UA, licensed to GoodTimes the right to use the musical compositions in connection with the manufacturing and distribution of the film. This case also makes reference to Stewart v. Abend - The aspects of a derivative work added by the derivative author are that author's property, but the element drawn from the pre-existing work remains on grant from the owner of the pre-existing work. As I have said - the *content* of the overall item needs to be taken into consideration as well. Soundvisions1 (talk) 15:16, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, and there was another case of a movie becoming PD, but the original novel was still copyrighted, and thus still controlled distribution of the movie (as a derivative work) even though the additional parts particular to the movie became PD. Films may even be considered derivative works of unpublished screenplays. In that situation, screenshots would be OK, but not a video of the entire movie. On the other hand, if a copyright holder of a photograph allows it to be generally published without a copyright notice, it does become PD regardless of earlier notices. They had to ensure it was on all published copies. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:51, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
I can't find the specific case right now, but a court specifically ruled that a film could not be derivative of an unpublished work with a common-law copyright. If the screenplay was registered for copyright or published, only then could the film be a derivative of it. The logic of course being that there's always an early draft or something else unpublished and eternally under copyright to keep a published work under copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:10, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Makes sense... I'm probably remembering a case involving an unpublished, but registered, screenplay. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:27, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

File:Oslo Akershus VW Ambulanse in new colors - 2007.04.03.jpg

I am puzzled by the licensing of this file which appears to be a software specific licence. Jezhotwells (talk) 12:37, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

It seems that is the license they use on all of their uploads, and yes,it is a software license. In theory we can't re-license work under a different license and this users doesn't seem to have done anything in over a year so I am prone to say leave it alone as the point of the license is clear - images are all provided "as is" and they can redistributed "with or without" modification as long as the copyright notice appears. Presumably the actual copyright notice is "© 2007 J. P. Fagerback" and not "Copyright © 2011 The author" as the template itself suggests. Soundvisions1 (talk) 14:15, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
I fixed the license tag by adding the required parameters. I had to remove {{Self}}, the two templates don't work well together. SV1XV (talk) 14:22, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Getting Permission for UN Population Prospects Information

I would like to include charts and data from the United Nations World Population Prospects Report. See: As a minimum, I would like to use the chart at: in a Wikiversity course. These contain copyright notices, however, the UN is supported by public funding, and the chart itself may be “fair use”. Can I use this data in a wikimedia project? Thanks! --Lbeaumont (talk) 19:29, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Since the web page on which the chart appears clearly states that the copyright is held by the UN, I do not think you can upload the chart to the Commons unless the UN first licenses it to the Commons under a free licence. The fact that the UN is supported by public funding does not mean that it cannot own copyrighted material. The governments of most countries receive a large portion of their funds through taxes paid by the public, yet that does not prevent them from asserting copyright. Furthermore, even if you can claim that you are making "fair use" of the chart, that would only entitle you to upload the chart to a language Wikipedia (such as the English Wikipedia) that permits fair-use material. We do not accept fair-use material here at the Commons. If you know how to use graphics software, perhaps you can recreate the chart in a way that is not a direct copy of the image. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:32, 8 March 2011 (UTC)


What about this one? I'm the one who created it, based on the sources explained as description. The first source includes an original diagram: this. 02:52, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Not sure what your question is exactly. The Flickr is the original correct? If so it is licensed under CC By 2.0, which is fine. If your question is about your derivative, it would need to be clear that it is a derivative, naming the Flickr source as the original, and you would need to use the same license. Or if you mean the opposite than what is this licensed under? Soundvisions1 (talk) 03:15, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I was the one who upload it on flickr. To create the diagram I used some data from this and some from the second source. 03:53, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I've just hidden my diagram on flickr, it's here: File:Eat less do more.png93.232.113.40 04:36, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Questionable licensing

There are several contributions for Hhbooker2 that have licensing that is questionable to me. Namely, there are photographs of Japanese money (which isn't addressed at Commons:Currency) and Canal Zone stamps (not sure where that would fall under Commons:Stamps/Public domain). The uploader is claiming to be the copyright holder of those. I know that not to be the case but these would need corrections made by someone more knowledgeable about these specific items. – Adrignola talk 01:29, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

This editor appears to have only uploaded two stamp images. Canal Zone stamps were issued by the United States Post Office Department, so I have refined the licencing and author of all the Canal Zone stamps as appropriate. I can't comment on the currency as that is not my area of interest but they might be able to use the {{PD-USGov-money}} template. Ww2censor (talk) 04:49, 9 March 2011 (UTC)


A Mickey Mouse is a no-no, but Yellow Sponge makes today's main page in all wikipedias? NVO (talk) 13:57, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

CC licenses and FAL in a derivative work - compatible?

We have a problem with this derivative work: File:Energiaberriztagarriak.jpg
Single pictures' licenses: We have Cc-by-sa-3.0 and Cc-by-2.0 → not very good but.. well, just a version number difference. ;) But: one image is FAL: 2.3 "distribute the subsequent work under the same license or any compatible license." The derivative work must be again under FAL. Is it okay for this derivative work (only a simple "gallery" - photos are not really merged) to point to the several licenses for the separate pics and do not have one for the whole work? I do not really think so. Comments please. Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 15:53, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Is the combined work a "derivative work"? I don't think anything creative is being done just by sticking four photos next to each other. If you crop a person out of one photo and past them into a background from another photo, ok, those licenses need to match, but I don't think just sticking four photos together is creative. Couldn't the description page just be modified to include all four licenses? On Commons, we may have a technical problem with that because we may make the assumption that if there is a license tag on a page, it applies to the entire image and there wouldn't be autotranslation of the instructions clarifying the multiple licenses. So for that reason (and not a legal one) it may be worth deleting. --UserB (talk) 16:06, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the licenses of File:Tauernwindpark.jpg and File:Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric station.jpg are mutually incompatible. I also agree with your analysis that it is not possible to issue a valid license for a file that incorporates works with incompatible licenses. However, Commons:Deletion requests/File:GermanyPSkyline-He.jpg discussed the same problem and resulted in a different outcome. I unsuccessfully asked the closing administrator to correct the Licensing section, which was incorrect at the time. Since I had no idea how to correct it myself, I simply removed the licensing tag, which I think is far from ideal, but at least it's not quite as bad as having a tag that is incorrect. LX (talk, contribs) 16:28, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Oh... Jcb closed the DR - no comment in this case. ;)
Well, we all do know nearly nothing about licenses but some people in Commons at least think they know more.
from the FAL license: "“common work” means a work composed of the initial work and all subsequent contributions to it (originals and copies). The initial author is the one who, by choosing this license, defines the conditions under which contributions are made. "
Sadly this leaves it totally unclear if our picture made of four other pictures is one work or if it is still four works. With some effort and technical knowledge of course you can cut the image into four images. But is this the way one image file is seen? I do not know. But is a pdf file which contains a wikipedia article with its images one work? It is also one file...
CC FAQ: If I use a Creative Commons-licensed work with other works, do I have to Creative Commons license everything else as well?: "collection of works in their exact original format, not adaptations" - what this exactly means would be interesting. Not clear. Were is the line to a derivative work? May I crop the works to puzzle pieces and put them together? Or are only rectangular crops allowed? Only those which preserve the original ratio? Or may I even place one work on another work with 50 % occopacity?
Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 23:09, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
There is a lawyer's article here which goes over the ground, mostly using one particular court case. That case did rule a particular collage was derivative instead of collective, although by the sounds of it, the alterations were a lot more substantial (and was not anywhere close to a tiling together) It depends on whether these are considered recastings, transformations, or adaptations of the original. If this is collective, then there are five works here -- the four component photographs, each with their own license, and the collective work of selecting and arranging them. Copyright licenses can only go to the limits of what copyright law allows; if a license allows copying, then it can be used in a collective work without further permission. The right to control derivative works is separate, and also used as leverage by many copyright licenses, so the distinction is important (and as with many copyright subjects, sometimes fuzzy, like here). A PDF file with a wikipedia article is a canonical example of a collective work -- the text is one work, each image is a separate work, and the arranging of them together is yet another copyrightable work. To me... I think I'd leave this as a collective work (and the license would then apply to the compilation). The more significant the crop, the bigger issue it could be, but you could argue that the crop is still a separate work under the compilation, and still carries its separate license. To me, this is plainly four separate works with obvious, non-overlapping boundaries, but once a collage begins to merge component parts it may more become a single, derivative work. So I think I'd restore the original license, but I can understand people with differing opinions. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:04, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Thank you very, very much Carl - a very helpful comment! I am fine with treating this as collective work. But what do you mean by "restore the original license"? Which one? I think if it is a collective work we need to give all five licenses (as it is now - more or less). Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 00:17, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Commons:Screenshots and licensing of single stills

I have minimally but significantly altered Commons:Screenshots. It used to say:

Screenshots from audiovisual works (such as films, television broadcasts, video clips) are often the property of its producer or creator and they may not be uploaded to Commons unless the work itself is in the public domain or it is released under a free license.

Currently it says:

Screenshots from audiovisual works (such as films, television broadcasts, video clips) are often the property of its producer or creator and they may not be uploaded to Commons unless the work itself is in the public domain or released under a free license or unless the copyright holder is willing to release the screenshot under a free license.

I've explained why at the talk page, but basically it boils down to my believe that the instructions do not mean to turn away the release of a single image, and it has been brought to my attention that it is being interpreted that way due to the pronoun confusion ("it" referring ot "the work"). I believe that it should be proper for a copyright owner to release license to a single still without having to release the whole work. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:03, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Changes to mentions of 70 years policy

I made several changes to sections on this page which suggested that works whose author died 70 more years ago are in the public domain, not so much because of the URAA, but because of works first published in the US, which if published 1923 or later with all formalities observed will be copyrighted until at least 2018. I also updated the URAA section concerning the impending SCOTUS case. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:27, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Hi Dcoetzee, can you point to a link where we can read more about "SCOTUS"? Thank you :) Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 00:05, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
[3][4][5]. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:08, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Perfect, thanks! The second (scotusblog) was best for me. --Saibo (Δ) 01:03, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Clarification about CC-BY-SA

Due to all of my work on lemur articles on enWiki, many lemur researchers as well as Conservation International (CI) staff have become very supportive. The staff at CI have helped put me in contact with a research who is willing to release photos of sportive lemurs. The catch is that these photos have already been published by CI in their field guide Lemurs of Madagascar, 3rd edition. From what I understand, the images were donated (not sold) to CI. And as I said, CI is helping facilitate their release under CC-BY-SA with the original owner. I have two questions: First, since the photos have been previously published, does this create any problems for posting them on WikiCommons using the OTRS system, even with a proper release from the photographer? Second, by releasing the photos under CC-BY-SA and having them posted to WikiCommons, will this create any complications for CI if they were to write a 4th edition of Lemurs of Madagascar? Am I correct in thinking that they would only need to attribute the photo (which they already do)? I just want to be sure that none of this comes back to harm CI after all their help. – VisionHolder « talk » 22:38, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Previously published photos is a big part of what OTRS is for. As for the license, even if a picture is released under a CC-BY-SA license, that doesn't mean that the author of the picture can't release it to other people under different licenses (though there's nothing stopping other people from using it under the CC-BY-SA license.) So as long as the photographer is still happy with CI using the pictures as they did in the 3rd edition, CI wouldn't have to change anything.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:53, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

National Land Survey of Finland free materials

Since January 3, 2011, the National Land Survey of Finland has been offering ([6]) some of its digital datasets for download, free of charge (press release in Finnish). Usage is bound by a license, Terms of use/licence of the datasets free of charge. I believe that this license qualifies as a true Wikimedia Commons free as in freedom license. I have produced SVG maps from the dataset, and would now like to proceed to uploading them. Before this I would love someone to acknowledge it as Commons-compatible, and give advise on how to introduce a new license template to the Commons. I must say that the dataset is very detailed and extremely good quality, and maps produced from it could potentially be of great benefit to many Finland-related articles.

Here is my point-by-point iteration of why this license meets the requirements listed on the policy page:

In particular, the license must meet the following conditions:

  • Republication and distribution must be allowed.
Allowed: "This licence grants a worldwide, irrevocable parallel right of use that is free of charge and allows the datasets above to be freely used for: (...) copying and distributing"
  • Publication of derivative work must be allowed.
Allowed: "(...) allows the datasets above to be freely used for: (...) editing and utilizing commercially by further licensing"
  • Commercial use of the work must be allowed.
Allowed: See above.
  • The license must be perpetual (non-expiring) and non-revocable.
True: license is "irrevocable"
  • Acknowledgment of all authors/contributors of a work may be required.
Required: "The user must when using the datasets or products made of the datasets and when handing them over: (...) Indicate the NLS copyright to the datasets concerned in accordance with what is said in section ‘General’." The required attribution is either: "© NSL, 2010" or "contains data from the NLS General map 1:1 000 000, 2010."
  • Publication of derivative work under the same license may be required.
Required: "The user must when using the datasets or products made of the datasets and when handing them over: (...) Make sure that the licence terms are observed when granting licences to products or services, in which the datasets, in whole or in part, are used."
  • For digital distribution, use of open file formats free of digital restrictions management (DRM) may be required.
Not required

The following restrictions must not apply to the image or other media file:

  • Use by Wikimedia only.
Not required
  • Noncommercial/Educational use only.
Not required: "utilizing commercially" is specifically allowed.
  • Use under fair use only.
Not required
  • Notification of the creator required, rather than requested, for all or for some uses.
Not required

The user is required to:

  • Attribute,
  • "Make sure that the licence terms are observed when granting licences to products or services, in which the datasets, in whole or in part, are used," and
  • "Delete the reference to the original source, if the NLS specifically requires."

Last requirement is a bit strange, but I have strong faith it is not going to be used, given that [7] reads "The only restriction is that the original source and the annual version of the data (...) must be indicated when using the datasets." and the license being irrevocable. If it was used, we would be required to deattribute the file(s) if the copyright holder so wants, but given that the lack or requirement of attribution is not a show-stopper to other licenses, I don't think it is anything too serious.

Eagerly waiting for input, --Hydrox (talk) 16:41, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Seems pretty obviously free to me. The last element is part of moral rights anyways -- authors can require others to disassociate themselves with a derivative work, if they don't want their name on it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:20, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I've created a license tag for these files:
Contains data from the NLS Yleiskartta 1:1 000 000, 2010
This file incorporates data from the National Land Survey of Finland Yleiskartta 1:1 000 000, 2010. Reuse of this file is bound by a license.

Generally, you are free:

  • to share – to copy and distribute the file,
  • to remix – to edit, utilize and combine the file.

Under the following conditions:

  • attribution – You must attribute the NLS and identify the version of the dataset used, like above (but not in any way that suggests that the NLS endorses you or your use of the work).

Specific license text and Terms of Use are available at the NLS website. You must observe the terms of the license when reusing this file.

--Hydrox (talk) 07:59, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Specificity in license declarations

I just got an email from someone regarding a image they took. There is no version number on the license they gave (cc-by-sa). I bugged this guy a lot and have waited a while. Can I just use {{cc-by-sa-1.0+}}? Samuell (talk) 23:12, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Pub signs in the United Kingdom

We have had an interesting discussion at Commons:Deletion requests/File:The Bull's Head pub sign, The Street - - 1765785.jpg which I feel should be viewed by a wider audience. It really does have implications for a lot of files awaiting categorisation as well as those in Category:Pub signs in England. I feel that we need a definitive ruling- backed up by references to relevant UK case law- has this work already been done?--ClemRutter (talk) 10:19, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't see the need for case law; it's like arguing there's no case law on whether you can rob the liquor store on 4th and Broadway. It's a 2D painting in the UK, where 2D objects aren't subject to FOP.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:45, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
This is similar to the previous discussion about signs containing informative text, such as those at historical sites. I agree with Prosfilaes, but would point out that the following exceptions may be relied on: (1) in some countries (not in the UK, unfortunately), freedom of panorama applies to two-dimensional artworks; (2) if the sign is old, it may already be in the public domain; (3) if the sign is not merely two dimensional but has some three-dimensional aspect to it (for example, it contains text or images carved in relief), it may qualify for freedom of panorama as a work of artistic craftsmanship. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:08, 14 March 2011 (UTC)


This template claims:

The Mozilla Foundation and the Wikimedia Foundation each hold copyright over different portions of this image. However, these foundations have released parts of their respective portions under different licenses:

As far as I know, this is false. The only portion of a Wikipedia screenshot which WMF holds copyright over is logos, and they have not released these under any free license. All other content would be copyrighted by its contributors or the Mediawiki UI developers. I'd like to change it and wanted to double-check I was right. (I'm also adding a logo parameter to specify whether a given image contains WMF non-free content). Thanks! Dcoetzee (talk) 06:15, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Advice please

I'm corresponding by e-mail with the son of a deceased person who has an article on en-Wiki. I raised the issue of providing a photograph with him, informing him at the time of the necessity to licence the photo on a compatible licence which allowed commercial re-use. I have now been provided with two photographs. I won't upload either to Commons yet, as I wish to get the upload right first time. To start with, I have e-mailed back to double check that the photographs are for use on Commons. As the person in question is not an editor here or on en-Wiki, it would be better if I uploaded the images and put in the licence (CC-BY-SA 3.0). Would it be better to upload the image first, or clear the permission first? Any advice on this would be appreciated. Mjroots (talk) 10:49, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Please see Commons:OTRS for the correct process. Dcoetzee (talk) 11:07, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

my images on someones facebook..

Hello... i have a question regarding use of images licensed under cc and gnu.... I found one of my images that i uploaded to wikimedia under the cc attribute sharealike and the other gnu license on someones facebook gallery... The person has at least one of my images, not sure if the others came from the commons or not, they are all photographs of birds.... The page is in malaysian so i am having a hard time translating. but there is no mention of the license or the author (me) on his facebook and i am a little concerned that my image is plastered on facebook with no info.. what can be done about this? the image is located here it is the 2nd image.. and the original is on commons here please let me know.. thanks --Ltshears (talk) 13:36, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Using a copyleft-licensed work without complying with the licensing requirements is copyright infringement. Facebook has facilities for reporting that ("Report This Photo"). From personal experience, such reports are typically handled within a day. LX (talk, contribs) 14:56, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
OK thank you. thats what i wasn't sure about...--Ltshears (talk) 20:32, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Images in PD books

If a book is in the public domain, does that mean that the photos and other images in the book are also PD? Thanks, Gatoclass (talk) 19:35, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

No. If the book is public domain because of author death + x years, the images may still be copyrighted under the photographer/illustrator/corporate interest if their copyright belongs to a different person. Books will have a list of copyright permissions listed. If the book is PD in the U.S. beacuse of pre-1923 publication then the text and images are PD. Rmhermen (talk) 20:07, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
The book is PD because it was published in the US in 1941 and the copyright not renewed. Most of the photos are unattributed, except to the person or institution who made them available, ie "Courtesy of John Smith", "Courtesy of Museum X" etc. Quite a few of them don't even have that. Gatoclass (talk) 22:43, 17 March 2011 (UTC)


There is no license tag for Is that on purpose? Or just no one has created one yet? Thanks. Wknight94 talk 00:33, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

I've created {{cc-by-3.0-br}} based on the DE version. An admin has to create MediaWiki:Wm-license-cc-by-3.0-br-text with the links to CC, see MediaWiki_talk:Wm-license-cc-by-3.0-br-text with an "edit request". Please check this and also BR vs. pt-BR. — Be..anyone (talk) 05:03, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Update, as you can see on the two talk pages these system messages are not changed locally per Wiki, but in a procedure involving translatewiki: and presumably later ending up in the MediaWiki software for all Wikis. That is clearly better than a local fix, but you should do it, because you can help with any pt-BR translations (unlike me), and maybe you have an account on translatewiki: (unlike me - years ago anything remotely related to i18n was done on meta). — Be..anyone (talk) 00:59, 20 March 2011 (UTC)


A very interesting articlepolicy. Maybe add a reference for all occurences of 1923 starting in Material in the public domain, where the footnote simply points back to United States explaining the details. Or something in this direction.

If I understand the 1923..1963 rule correctly some copyrighted works were renewed for a total of 95 years within 28 years after their publication. 1963+28=1991, this is no moving target — if nobody renewed the copyright before 1992 the work is in the public domain now. In the worst case the copyright of a work published 1923 was renewed in 1923+28=1951 or earlier, yielding a copyright until 1923+95=2018. It will be in the public domain in 2019.

In other words, starting 2019 the 1923 rule could be updated to say {{#expr:{{CURRENTYEAR}}-95}}, e.g., 2019-95=1924. To do this now you could replace some (not all) 1923 by {{#ifexpr:{{CURRENTYEAR}}-95<1923|1923|{{#expr:{{CURRENTYEAR}}-95}}}} to get 1923. — Be..anyone (talk) 04:25, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

  • We will probably create a new tag in 2019 called {{PD-US-95}} or some such thing for works first published at least 95 years ago. Until then there's no need to complicate matters. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:03, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
    • In 2018, the U.S. government will pass a new copyright extension, as they have every time the copyright on Mickey Mouse has come up for expiration. So don't get your hopes up. Kaldari (talk) 03:42, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
      • :-) Makes sense. Just keep in mind that magic numbers such as 1923 in the policy are somewhat obscure for readers not at all familiar with the US background. It took me some time to figure out what 1923 is about, and even longer to spot the background of the CC-BY-NC ban or omission. A video (76min) of the CC-founder mentioned on was illuminating. -Be..anyone (talk) 05:50, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

OS OpenData attribution

I've created a ton of maps from the freely licensed Ordnance Survey OpenData. However, I'm not sure if the typical description (example) is compliant with the OpenData licence, specifically with respect to attribution. Am I doing that correctly? If not, advice on what I need to do to fix it is appreciated. Thanks.--Nilfanion (talk) 12:40, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Where to Load Pic of Celebrity

Good evening, I want to load a picture of a celebrity who has given me her permission to load her photo in place of one that is not flattering - the celebrity is a cousin of mine. Do I load the photo under commons, or is there another area to do that so that the image can't just be copied and pasted like crazy? I've read instructions, but I'm still confused by the jargon. Thanks for your help! 00:49, 21 March 2011 (UTC) EllieJenellie

  • You can upload to Commons if the photo has been released under a free license by the copyright holder; see Commons:Licensing for details. If you, the person uploading the photo, are not the photographer or copyright holder of the photo, it is a little more complicated: you need to have stated permission from whoever the copyright holder is; see Commons:OTRS for how to take care of that. Hope this helps. Infrogmation (talk) 01:19, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Well, but Ellie does not want that the image can "be copied and pasted like crazy". If I understand correctly you do not want that anybody can use the image for any purpose (except those violating personality rights), right? Then you should not upload the image to Commons or Wikipedia because this is in our aims: free content. Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 01:41, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
      • I don't care if the image is copied like crazy (because the image is a fantastic headshot), but I was just covering all bases. I'll see about my cousin uploading it herself. She has an account, but I was doing some digging to see if I could do it since she's a very busy lady. BTW, I love finding out this kind of stuff. I really appreciate the answers I've received from you, Infrogmation and Saibo! 06:21, 21 March 2011 (UTC) EllieJenellie

File:Greater coat of arms of the Russian empire IGOR BARBE 1500x1650jpg.jpg

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Greater coat of arms of the Russian empire IGOR BARBE 1500x1650jpg.jpg

I am Autor. "Testus" Participant will not let me leave a signature in the picture. He removes my drawing from all pages. I'm not going to prove to Wikipedia - that the global error - do not allow authors to sign under their own works. Sorry that we met. Good luck! And more often think about the authors - and what I see, you think only about the archivist. 13:28, March 21, 2011 (UTC) Igor Barbe

Fixing post. It appears the author tried to nominate this for deletion but ran into technical difficulties, then pasted here, and this (and another) upload are marked for speedy deletion from the author, after someone else added {{watermark}} to it. Correct me if I'm wrong :-) For the record... yes, we generally prefer to not use Wikipedia as an advertising platform, and so will typically try to remove credits such as that from the images itself (which all "free" licenses would permit). If the author or work had achieved notability elsewhere, that could well be different. Generally, all credit information should go on the image page itself, leaving it up to the projects to do more if they wish. Some projects, like wikinews, will credit the author directly in the article, but to this point wikipedias usually do not. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:01, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
I've turned both speedy deletions into DRs, so that discussion can take place there. Thanks for fixing this page. –Tryphon 16:31, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Usable content?

I am wondering about images from this site: It states: On this website low-resolution pictures of European animals, plants and landscapes are available for PowerPoint presentations and websites. Visitors are allowed to download these pictures free of charge, on condition that they mention the name of the photographer. Is this a usable licence for commons? And if it is, what would that licence be? Thanks Ruigeroeland (talk) 09:18, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

I'd say it is not clear enough what can be done with the images. It is better to contact the website owner and ask specifically if the images are released into the public domain or licensed under one of our acceptable free licences (in other words, that the images can be modified and used for commercial purposes as well). — Cheers, JackLee talk 09:52, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
It sounds more like a permission for downloading for personal, non-commercial purposes. Reuse under a non-exclusive permission is not granted, upon request you can get an exclusive permission but any such permission is not enough (Wikipedia-only permission/upload-only permission). --Martin H. (talk) 11:34, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, I think you may use it for more than that since they state "available for PowerPoint presentations and websites on condition that you mention the name of the photographer". I thought that would mean it is free to use as long as you attribute the picture to the photographer? Anyway, I will send an email to the website owner, thanks! Ruigeroeland (talk) 08:28, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
One more question though, you mention Wikipedia-only permission, what does that mean? I always thought policies are the same for commons and wikipedia? Would that mean I could use images on wikipedia with the restriction they are only usable there? If so, that would open up some possibilities to contact websites and ask if they would grant such a permission. Ruigeroeland (talk) 08:31, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Permissions to upload something on Commons must be non-exclusive. If you for example buy an image at some stockphoto platform you will always have an exclusive license contract allowing you to reuse the image for your purpose but you may not give the image away to some third party. Same is on that website, the maximum they offer is a reuse permission "if you need pictures for publications on nature conservation", thats two non-allowable licence terms: for publication purposes on nature conservation, while Wikimedia projects require a permission to reuse for any purpose, and a permission for you, while Wikimedia projects require a permission for anyone. Wikipedia only permission equals Wikimedia_Commons-only permission equals Wikimedia_projects-only permission. Im sorry for not carefully separating this projects, but the basic licensing requirements the same on all projects, except for fair use in some projects which is not applicable in cases of nature photos (I think). --Martin H. (talk) 09:59, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for explaining! Ruigeroeland (talk) 13:05, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Agência Brasil

Does anyone know if {{Agência Brasil}} is still valid? The link in the template appears to be broken. Wknight94 talk 00:55, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Website was updated, the bottom line was removed, also of the recent images at are redesigned (allows better linking now) - but it not longer contains the CC info. Must be a recent change, the last google hit containing the old bottom text Todo o conteúdo deste site está publicado sob a Licença Creative Commons Atribuição 2.5. Brasil is from March 10. [8] --Martin H. (talk) 01:42, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Cor.: Via google cache the last hit is from March 12. I made a screengrab (in german of course) and put it on my flickr. Did they realy change the licensing and stoped distributing under cc-by? Thats bad. We should pause uploading from them untill this is answered. Very bad that we never made a bot import. --Martin H. (talk) 01:47, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Asked for input in Commons:Esplanada --Martin H. (talk) 09:45, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
The Agência Brasil website was updated after users on made contact with them, and now the initial page shows a CC BY 2.0 license. --viniciusmc (talk) 16:56, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Pictogram-voting-question.svg Question Its great news, thank you! However, the old license was cc-by.2.5-br, the new license is cc-by-2.0 br. Should we move all old usage of the template to a Template Agência_Brasil-old or a similar "old", "oldwebsite" or "pre-March 2011" suffix in Portugues to distinguish between this two licenses? The template will be the same as before, with some minor changes (past tense) and with the disclaimer that all files uploaded before March 12 2011 or beeing derivatives of works uploaded before that date without having a different license selected due to a creative editing (not just cropping or combining) are licensed under cc-by-2.5-br and that for new uploads the lead template {{Agência_Brasil}} must be used. --Martin H. (talk) 13:12, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

No need: the website footer actually mentions cc-by-2.5-br, not 2.0. The licence did not change. --Pruneautalk 13:19, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Great, yesterday it was a cc-by-2.0 button only at, now the license is placed in the footer. --Martin H. (talk) 13:34, 22 March 2011 (UTC)


Per Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests#File:Christoph_Meili_1997.jpg I'd like to start a discussion here about {{PD-Switzerland-photo}} and how this applies to the general rule that something be free in the country of origin and the US. So, discuss this already so the udel can be closed. -mattbuck (Talk) 20:15, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Images tagged as simple Swiss photos were kept after Commons:Deletion requests/File:Zugerbund.jpg. It is not consistent. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 21:18, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Define a simple photo. The examples linked to are simple photographs of public domain documents. I believe mug shots would also qualify. I see no reason not to keep pictures like this under this tag (actually I think mugshots in general should be exempt from copyright, but that's another discussion). -Nard (Hablemonos)(Let's talk) 20:39, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

question about images of signs

Hello, is there criteria regarding copyright guidelines for signs? This has the correct CC license on flickr, but I want to make sure that it's okay to upload to commons

Thank you

--CutOffTies (talk) 18:17, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Text that is sufficiently long can be copyrighted, just like if you took a picture of a page in a book. In this case, I'd say it's probably copyrightable but others may disagree. Powers (talk) 20:26, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
CC license (of the photo) or not is irrelevant if you cut away the sourrounding green stuff (template:PD-art). Not sure if the sign is copyrighted or not. Fairly much text and a bear drawing. I guess there is no FOP for 2d works in the source country, is it? Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 23:44, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks LtPowers. Saibo, I'm having difficulty understanding your answer. What is FOP? I'm also not sure what you mean by "cut away the surrounding green stuff (template:PD-art)"? Are you saying if I crop it so it only the sign (and not the vegetation in the back) then it'll be okay? I don't understand the reasoning behind that. Thanks. --CutOffTies (talk) 21:54, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
See my unofficial essay Commons:Images containing text. This sign, located in the United States, is not free to reproduce, due to the extensive text it contains. It appears to have been written by a state employee, not a federal employee, so the exception for works of federal employees does not apply either. Dcoetzee (talk) 16:23, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

What about screenshots from iOS devices?

What licensing applies to iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)? I'm quite confused because some say it belongs to Apple and I don't know what to put for the license as it is a screenshot of software. Please replyEsebi95 (talk) 07:43, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Apple iOS is proprietary software. Screenshots of proprietary software must not be uploaded to Commons. LX (talk, contribs) 12:09, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Yup, non-free. Exceptions include screenshots that include only a full screen free image, applications that have their own skin using freely licensed artwork (if such a thing is possible on iOS), or basic shapes like rectangles and circles. Dcoetzee (talk) 15:47, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

status of 1957 Eliabeth Taylor image

I was wandering about the licensing of File:Flickr - …trialsanderrors - Liz Taylor, Liza Todd and Mike Todd by Toni Frissell, 1957.jpg. It's been uploaded as a FlickR image with a CC license. It would be my guess that this is either public domain (so it should be so-tagged), or if it's not public domain, than it should be deleted. Regardless, the current CC tag is incorrect. --Rob (talk) 16:55, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

I think it is ok, see here for the rights. Althought the LoC does not have the negative for this one, it is copyrighted "Toni Frissell", so it would not have been a work for hire. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 17:27, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Humphrey Bogart photo / Canadian copyright law

Can anyone tell me when the copyright for this photograph expired? According to the URAA template on the file page, it was sometime between 1996 and today, but I can't find any evidence of this or what specific year it was. I imagine it was whenever Canada passed the copyright law making all photographs published before 1949 public domain. Anyone know about the history of Canadian copyright law? This is in relation to the Golan v. Holder case mentioned above. Kaldari (talk) 22:21, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

In Canada, December 31, 1996. -- Asclepias (talk) 22:55, 22 March 2011 (UTC) (P.S.: The 1997 change to the Copyright Act did not "make all photograhs published before 1949 public domain". The change prevented photographs created after 1948 and authored by physical persons from continuing to enter the public domain 50 years after the creation of the photographs. For those photographs, the change replaced the principle of 50 years after creation by the principle of 50 years after the death of the author. Photographs authored by corporations still continue to enter the public domain 50 years after creation.) -- Asclepias (talk) 23:21, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Karsh is a very tricky example for this, because he had an office in the U.S., too, and registered the copyrights on several of his photo books in the U.S. There's a fair chance that many of his works would be still copyrighted in the U.S. even if there were no URAA. You'd have to check in which book the photo was published, and then see whether the copyrights on that book were properly registered and covered the photo (as opposed to only "new matter", such as a foreword, or the selection, or added photos).
For the Humphrey Bogart photo, I'd start looking in American legends (U.S. copyright registration VA0000530878, 1992-10-26; this copyright application covers at least 60% of the content [but which 60%?]).
Other publications of Karsh that were properly renewed are This is Rome, Faces of destiny, These are the sacraments (see [9]), This is the mass (RE0000315221 and RE0000315095, 1986-12-22), This is the Holy Land (RE0000447422, 1989-11-24) and Karsh Canadians (TX0000385199, 1978-12-06).
Lupo 23:09, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! Kaldari (talk) 20:50, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

UK sounds etc

At Commons:Deletion requests/File:Adventures Robin Hood opening.png MithrandirAgain pointed out that at least a 1995 copyright law in the U.K. had sounds and broadcasts from over 50 years ago in the public domain. Is this so, currently? If so, why is PD-UK deprecated, and why isn't there a copyright tag for these? (moved from village pump). —innotata 21:05, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

I believe the UK retroactively restored everything to 70 pma on Jan 1, 1996. Sound recordings are still different though (but that is true throughout the EU... though there may have been a general EU extension to 70 years passed a couple years back; not sure of that status). However, sound recordings have a ridiculously thorny status in the U.S. even if they are PD in the UK/Europe. But, nothing specific to the UK for a PD-UK tag. Carl Lindberg (talk) 09:00, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Broadcasts are still only copyrighted for 50 years. But this is just a neighbouring right. The author's rights have been retroactively restored to 70 pma. But nearly every single content brodcasted has got an author -> 70 pma. sугсго 17:07, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Deletion requests/File:Mahasaraswati.jpg (section)

Please see this discussion. Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Mahasaraswati.jpg

Now how can I prove the age of the painting? Published documents? In India about Paintings in ancient obscure temples? No documents exist for most of the paintings or for that matter sculptures in Indian temples. Please help.

Thank you.

Sankarrukku (talk) 15:20, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

I suggest that responses be posted at "Commons:Deletion requests/File:Mahasaraswati.jpg" to avoid the discussion taking place in two different places. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:11, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

A more general point has arisen out of the above deletion debate, and I think it requires wider discussion. I am therefore reposting the relevant messages here. In summary, the uploader asserts that "File:Mahasaraswati.jpg" is a photograph taken by him of a painting on the wall of an old temple in India. It was nominated for deletion on the basis that there is insufficient evidence of the painting's copyright status. Sreejithk2000 has suggested that where artwork in Indian temples is concerned, in most cases "the originals will be undated and [the] author[s] will be unknown". He therefore suggests that good faith should be assumed. I take this to be a proposal that uploaders should not be required to show that the artworks in question are free from copyright, but that there should be a presumption that the artworks are in the public domain unless there is evidence to the contrary. As this appears to require a major departure from policy and has implications wider than temple artworks, I think that the matter should be discussed further here.

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Since this is a painting on a Temple wall, obviously the copyright owner is the temple. So if someone can get an OTRS email from someone responsible of the Temple trust, we can keep the image here. If none of them have an email address, someone can get the OTRS email printed and get their signature on it and then email the scanned form to OTRS.

But this painting looks more like a deriviative work than an original painting of a Hindu god. In that case, like all Hindu god pictures, the originals will be undated and author will be unknown. {{PD-ineligible}} should be the right license tag on this picture, but anyone can raise a DR again with the same reasons as this one. So to keep such images in Commons, either Indian government or Commons needs to have a policy addressing all pictures for which original authorship is unknown, or at the least about paintings of God which is widely available. Until then, we can either assume good faith and keep this image or start a new mass DR for all the images in the category Hindu deities --Sreejith K (talk) 08:31, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment: I sympathize with the difficulty of obtaining reliable third-party evidence showing the age of such works, but the general position at the Commons is that the uploader bears the burden of showing that the file is in the public domain or licensed under a free licence. If we are to now reverse this burden for such works, this is a big change that needs to be discussed at a wider forum such as "Commons talk:Licensing" or "Commons:Village pump". The suggestion has significant implications, because there will no doubt be other users who will also claim that the new policy applies to them because of the difficulty of obtaining evidence. — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:43, 11 March 2011 (UTC)”

— Cheers, JackLee talk 15:49, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

In Indian law in a public temple, the installed idol itself is held to be the temple’s legal owner, and the beneficiaries—those to whom the endowment is dedicated --—are the general public. Does this not make the wall painting public domain? Sankarrukku (talk) 10:27, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Sorry. I was not clear. The public temple is a Public Trust. The installed idol itself is held to be the temple’s legal owner, and the beneficiaries—those to whom the endowment is dedicated --—are the general public. Sankarrukku (talk) 11:43, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

This is a point that is different from the general issue raised above. I think you should post this point on the deletion request page as it's more relevant to the discussion there. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:50, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

I just wanted to point out that "File:Mahasaraswati.jpg" has been kept for reasons I do not agree with. As I commented at "Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Mahasaraswati.jpg", the closing administrator has created a new and potentially far-reaching precedent by agreeing to assume that an artwork is in the public domain with little more than the assertions of a number of editors that it is on the wall of a temple that is very old, and so must be very old too. I'm also sorry to see that not many people are interested in this issue, and so have not commented on the matter here. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:53, 27 March 2011 (UTC)


Here's an image I took. This is a front cover of the book with my image. Am I allowed to upload an image of this cover to wikipedia? Thanks.--Mbz1 (talk) 06:14, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Any given Wikipedia would have its own policies. But as far as uploading to the Commons - which is where you are asking he question - it looks to me like the only copyrightable element of that is your photo, so I for one don't see a problem. I'd suggest filing an OTRS just for clarity's sake. - Jmabel ! talk 06:52, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, or just link the source file in the file description. However, I am concerned that the original work may constitute a derivative work of the statue in employing its silhouette, and the statue may or may not be out of copyright, depending on a variety of factors - see Commons:Deletion requests/File:Solar corona above statue of El Cid SF CA.jpg. Dcoetzee (talk) 12:02, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

@Mbz1, im curious, did you licene the photo to the book publisher or did they reuse your Wikimedia Commons upload? --Martin H. (talk) 13:21, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

They asked for my permission, after they found the image on Commons, but for every publisher who asks for permission there are at least 10 others that do not. They publish my images not only violating the license they are released with, but also my copyrights sometimes. --Mbz1 (talk) 19:49, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

About Modern Chinese People's photo

Please judge about File:Zhang_Junli.jpg's licence problem. This original photo was published at Shanghai in 1925, but photographer is unknown (alive or not). I scanned this photo and uploaded to Wikimediacommons in Japan. I'm living in Japan now (so be in under the Japanese jurisdiction), so I added {PD-Japan-oldphoto} tag.

But User:Jacklee said "Under Chinese law, copyright lasts for the life of the author (in this case, the photographer) plus 50 years. If you can find out who the photographer was and that he or she died at least 50 years ago, then you can apply {PD-old-50} to it. But if you don't know who took the photograph and therefore don't know whether the photographer is still alive or not, then we can't tell if the photograph is in the public domain and it can't be uploaded to the Commons". If his saying is true, not only images which I uploaded, but most of modern Chinese people's photograph in Wikimediacommons must be deleted. But of course, if Administrator judges these photos will have to be deleted, I will obey it.

So please judge about this problem. Thank you. --天竺鼠 (talk) 16:57, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Just wanted to add that I nominated the file in question for deletion (see "Commons:deletion requests/File:Zhang Junli.jpg"), and also explained to 天竺鼠 that the fact that the photograph was scanned and uploaded in Japan is not relevant at all. {{PD-Japan-oldphoto}} can only be used on photographs published before 31 December 1956, or photographed before 1946 and not published for 10 years thereafter, under the jurisdiction of the Government of Japan. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:11, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I want to ask about tag {PD-China}. This tag says "According to copyright laws of the People's Republic of China ... and the Republic of China ..., all photographs enter the public domain 50 years after they were first published, or if unpublished 50 years from creation,...”. If I added {PD-Japan-oldphoto} was wrong, I'll change to add {PD-China} tag, OK or not? --天竺鼠 (talk) 18:46, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
I checked Chinese Copyright Act text. From my point of view, whether it is under Japanese jurisdiction or Chinese Jurisdiction, any violation doesn't occur in my case.
Under the Japanese Copyright Act, I can use photographs published before 31 December 1956, or photographed before 1946 and not published for 10 years thereafter. And under the Chinese Copyright Act, the 1st sentence of section 21 describes that a copyright subsists for the life of the author plus 50 years following the end of the calendar year of death, but 3rd sentence describes that a photographic work is copyrighted for 50 years since the first publication. In this case, said photograph was published in 1925, so any violation doesn't occur.
So I think that we don't have to delete said photograph as a reason for the violation of copy right.
But I don't know which {PD-Japan-oldphoto} or {PD-China} I have to add on said file. So I suggest I add both tag ({PD-Japan-oldphoto} and {PD-China}) on said file (and another similar files).
If my point of view has any problem, please post messages and instruct me about suitable measures.--天竺鼠 (talk) 15:02, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. There has been some discussion on the matter at "Commons:Deletion requests/File:Zhang Junli.jpg", and another editor has made the point that {{PD-China}} may apply. I notice that there are three recent copyright laws of China dated 1990, 2001 and 2010. The point about copyright in a Chinese photographic work expiring 50 years after first publication appeared in the 2001 law, but the 2010 law does not say anything about this. Perhaps you can look at the laws and see if you can tell whether the 2010 law is meant to be read together with the 2001 law, or whether it overrides the 2001 law. Please do join the discussion at "Commons:Deletion requests/File:Zhang Junli.jpg". — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:29, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
OK! I posted my opinion on said page. --天竺鼠 (talk) 16:24, 28 March 2011 (UTC)


The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has launched an image library that has both protected images and images that LACMA is releasing to the public domain for which the museum holds copyright. These include 10-40MB photos of archaeological artifacts, sculptures, decorative arts, and costumes. The PD status is indicated on the "about this object" link on individual items. I have created {{PD-LACMA}} for these files.

This is my first license tag - let me know if there are any issues. - PKM (talk) 19:31, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

The right licence for a logo of a defunct company (more than 30 years ago)

I would like to know if it is possible to upload un Commons the logo of Processor Technology and, if if it's possible, the right license to use. The company has been closed in 1979 and it seems that no copyright notices are available for its logo. --Leomil72 (talk) 23:01, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

The text part is clearly not copyrightable, but I'd guess that the logo is, and if so my understanding is that it would still be under copyright. The company having closed has nothing to do with the matter. Someone more expert may want to weigh in. - Jmabel ! talk 17:34, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
The Processor Technology logo is public domain and was never a registered trademark. It has not been used in commerce in decades so any form of trademark has expired. I will update the image page tonight.
Most of these old logos never had a claim of copyright and the advertisement they appeared in did not have a copyright notice. Here is an example of a public domain expired trademark MITS and here is a public domain ad Shugart . Swtpc6800 (talk) 15:41, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
I uploaded a new version of the logo and an advertisement to the commons File:Processor technology logo.png. If this is OK, the Wikipedia image can be deleted. -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 03:34, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

License template "CC-Dont-Remove Watermark" up for deletion

This template would, if retained, enable authors to prevent removal of visible watermarks from images. Feedback invited at Commons:Deletion requests/Template:CC-Dont-Remove Watermark. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:56, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Some big news regarding the URAA

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Golan v. Holder so there's still hope of getting the URAA overturned. The WMF is thinking about joining an amicus brief with the EFF. What the Foundation needs from the community is to find out what kind of impact this decision is going to have on Commons. I've already sent a high-level overview of the situation here to the WMF lawyers, but they would also like to highlight some specific examples. Are there any especially historically important files that are in danger of deletion due to the URAA (or have already been deleted)? The full list of files currently identified as being in violation of the URAA is here. There are about 3000, so it's a lot to comb through. If you find anything interesting, please post it here. Thanks! Kaldari (talk) 01:33, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Posting that question on COM:VP might attract more readers than here. --Túrelio (talk) 07:12, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
As I understand it complying with URAA would mean loosing nearly all European art since 1923 and probably a great deal of the photographic material. It might mean we would have to fork the project (with some intricate measures to keep free content in sync as well as possible). I suppose only a fraction of the stuff affected is marked with the URAA template, and there is very much old (free-in-Europe) material not yet uploaded. --LPfi (talk) 15:48, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
If we forked, perhaps we could get all the European art before 1923 on Commons.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:02, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
@LPfi: Can you cite any specific examples? I've heard people mention Picasso. What other prominent artists/works are affected? Kaldari (talk) 20:28, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
I'll see if I can find any examples. Some of Yousuf Karsh's photographs, and Abdul Wahid Khan come to mind. —innotata 21:33, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
It looks like The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi may be affected. These works didn't become public domain in India until 2009, and India is a party to the Berne Convention. Kaldari (talk) 00:01, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Many/all/some (i.d.n.k) works by the famous painter Paul Klee like File:Paul Klee, Der Goldfisch.jpg. Essentially it would not mean they get deleted rather it would mean much work to create a well integrated fork. Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 00:21, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
It would basically affect many works which have become PD in other countries since the URAA went into effect. At the time, the U.S. had a 75-year term from publication, and the EU was moving to a 70 pma regime (though some of the EU was still 50 pma at the time), so the only works which could be PD in the EU but copyrighted in the U.S. were works published in the last five years of the author's life (or published posthumously). The U.S. moved to 95 years from publication in 1998 though, so now it is working towards being works published in the last 25 years of the author's life (with a larger discrepancy for 50 pma countries). I say "working toward" as it won't get all the way there until 19182018, due to the non-retroactive nature of the U.S. law change. Of course, it is still quite possible for foreign works to be PD in the U.S., but still be copyrighted in their country of origin, and this is true of a great many works as well. (Technically, a looong ways down the road, once we get to works published since 1978, the U.S. term will also be 70 pma and there will be fewer discrepancies. That is scheduled to happen in 2074 or so. Before then, there could also be issues with U.S. works published after 1978 becoming PD due to 70 pma, but works by the same author published before 1978 still being copyrighted.)
If the Supreme Court simply upholds the previous ruling, I don't think it would have any affect at all on us -- I believe that was only in regards to "reliance parties", i.e. people making use of works before they were restored, and Wikimedia is not one of those. Unless they want to declare Congress had no right to sign the Berne Convention in the first place (I seriously doubt that will happen), the only other alteration which I can think of which could affect us is if the Supreme Court mandates the use of the rule of the shorter term for all the restored works. That would be OK per Berne I think, but it would probably complicate copyright determination for U.S. users (they have to follow foreign law changes) and may also be problematic for some of the bilateral copyright treaties the U.S. has signed separately with a number of individual countries. The rule of the shorter term was effectively used on the URAA date itself, but not since, which leads to some of these discrepancies. I'm also not sure the Supreme Court would be sympathetic as to Wikimedia uses which would fall under fair use, but which we bar due to self-imposed policy, as U.S. law already provides an avenue for us to use these works especially in educational contexts. But, it will be interesting to follow, that is for sure. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:56, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I assume "won't get all the way there until 1918" means to say "2018" (1923 + 95)? - Jmabel ! talk 15:41, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, whoops. Thanks. Carl Lindberg (talk)
There are many important examples of artwork that are currently excluded by the URAA. I'd start with this Village pump post listing about 40 artists, most of whom are affected. There's also Philip Alexius de Laszlo, who produced many fine portraits of historically notable persons (e.g. the 5 in this deletion request). GLAMorous reports 4531 distinct image uses from Category:Works_copyrighted_in_the_U.S.. This news article mentions three: H.G. Wells’ Things to Come, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, and the musical compositions of Igor Fydorovich Stravinsky. And don't forget, artwork is not the only thing affected; there are a number of encyclopedias and other reference works that foreign-language Wikipedias would love to adopt content from, which are free in their source country but not in the U.S. - they may already be acting with disregard for the law, as we are.
Unlike others here, I am not optimistic regarding the possibility of a "well integrated fork," since it seems impossible for US-based websites to incorporate thumbnails of media not free in the US (except for fair use). I think what we would instead end up with, if the URAA is upheld, is an overseas archive of media that would be publically available but could not be used on WMF projects unless imported and downscaled selectively for local upload. Dcoetzee (talk) 16:11, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, to give more impressions: Looking at GLAMorous as Derrick suggested, some top results include photos by Yousuf Karsh such as one of the three photos of the Marx brothers we have, a painting of Queen Elizabeth at age 7, the poster for the first Winter Olympics, the cover of Die Literatur der Ägypter, a photo of the Sinai War, one of several photos of the Belgrano sinking. A lot of these are probably orphan works, like the anonymous Belgrano photo. I've also found some images which actually are public domain in the U. S., so we should be careful if we have to delete these; there must be many more images without the tag, for example many in Category:PD India. —innotata 01:14, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, there is an impact on other Wikimedia projects, possibly more than on Commons, not only the Wikipedias, but the Wiktionaries, etc. For one example, there was this discussion on the French-language Wiktionary: L'importation du DAF8 viole-t-elle les lois des États-Unis ?. In short, as part of many articles of the Wiktionary, they liberally used the texts of an edition of a dictionary by the French Academy. That edition is now in the PD in Europe but it was not yet in the PD there in 1996. -- Asclepias (talk) 19:59, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
France is one of the trickier ones... there is a relatively small amount of material which is currently PD in France but still protected by copyright in the U.S. France had terms of 50 pma plus the wartime extensions on the URAA date; they did not move to 70 pma until the next year (1997). What year was the dictionary in question published? Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:36, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
The first of the two volumes was published in 1932 and the second volume was published in 1935. Fr-Wiktionary considers it a collective work having entered the public domain in France 70 years after publication, per section L123-3 of the Code de la propriété intellectuelle. Details at Wiktionnaire:Dictionnaire de l’Académie française. The contents of the categories linked at the bottom of that page give an idea of the size of the problem. Some material from that dictionary is included in tens of thousands of articles. -- Asclepias (talk) 05:15, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Okay, then its term earlier would have been 50 years from publication, plus the 8.3 year WWII wartime extension. The 1932 work would then have expired in 1991 or maybe 1992, and the 1935 work would have become PD in either 1994 or on Jan 1, 1995 at the latest. See the earlier version of article 123-3 in the 1995-era law, and some info at w:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights. Musical compositions were 70 pma (and collective musical works were 70 years from publication), but everything else was 50. So, if these are literary works, they were PD in France on the URAA date. Their copyrights were retroactively restored in 1997, and expired again in 2003 and 2006 respectively, but none of that had any further effect on their U.S. status. The only way they are copyrighted in the U.S. is if it they were published with a copyright notice, and the copyrights were renewed 27/28 years after publication with the U.S. Copyright Office (i.e., actually followed all the U.S. copyright formalities). Carl Lindberg (talk) 08:17, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Thank you very much for that analysis. The work being copyrighted until 1995, and recopyrighted again in 1997, but eluding the one crucial year, 1996: wow!, it looks almost too good to be true, but it would be excellent. There's one question, though. I note that you said that the copyrights were not only restored, but that they were retroactively restored. Looking into this, I see that indeed this law (by its section 16) has the effect that the restoration of the copyrights became effective from July 1st, 1995. According to that, the work is therefore deemed to have been under copyright in 1996. (Perhaps preceding the 1996 URAA date was even one reason for making the restoration effective from 1995?) Could you comment on this please? Does it have an effect on how the URAA applies to this type of case? (I realize this question may not be directly about Commons, strictly speaking, but I hope other users will forgive us for that.) -- Asclepias (talk) 23:14, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, I guess "retroactive" sort of implies that copyrights got restored -- non-retroactive changes usually just extend existing copyrights, and do not restore any. But yes, that law had a mild retroactive effect in France itself... 1995 is when the EU copyright directive was passed, and member nations could take some time before they actually implemented that in law, so it appears they wanted the new definitions to apply to most actions from that 1995 day forward (though it does limit any criminal proceedings to actions taken from 1997 on). The URAA is based on what the law actually was in the foreign country on the "date of restoration", in France's case Jan 1, 1996. Future law changes which extend or shorten the term in the source country have no more effect, (per my reading of the U.S. law, and from everything else I've seen -- all the definitions in there are relative to the "date of restoration"). So, short answer, no French law changes after Jan 1, 1996 could have any effect on the U.S. copyright status, I don't think. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:52, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
That's my impression as well. Kaldari (talk) 21:14, 25 March 2011 (UTC)


I would like to transfer pictures from german Wikipedia to Commons. The actual project is to transfer pictures taken of Grunewaldseenkette in Berlin. Is such a transfer without problems? --Trygve W Nodeland (talk) 10:12, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Can you give some examples of pictures that you wish to transfer? In general, if the photographs are in the public domain or licensed under a free licence, there should be no problem in transferring them to the Commons. However, note that the requirements of Panoramafreiheit must also be complied with. — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:59, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

File:Arthur H. Smith The City of San Francisco 1936.ogv - what was wrong with the license?


i uploaded the File:Arthur H. Smith The City of San Francisco 1936.ogv and received a general warning about the licensing (in german):

Anscheinend gibt es ein Problem mit der Beschreibung oder der Lizenzierung dieses Bildes. Du hast nur eine Vorlage eingebunden, die keine gültige Lizenz ist, auch wenn sie nützliche Informationen über das Bild liefert. Bitte löse dieses Problem indem Du der Bildbeschreibung eine Lizenz hinzufügst. Du kannst die Bildbeschreibungsseite ergänzen bzw. berichtigen. Das Hochladen einer neuen Version dieses Bildes ändert nichts an der Bildbeschreibung. Diese Seite wird Dir weiterhelfen können. Vielen Dank.

the movie resides here: and carries the license Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

the file has been deleted and removed from two articles about san francisco (english and german).

i don't want to invest too much time in studying licensing issues. so a general workflow how to implement CC licenses such as in this case would be very helpful. many films with similar licenses will follow.

--Maximilian Schönherr (talk) 16:01, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

  • The problem is a NC-Non commercial tag. Media licensed under non-commercial only licenses also are not accepted. see Commons:Licensing.Jo Lorib (talk) 16:13, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

{{Attribution Share Alike}}

While reviewing some licenses I came accross File:Raul Vaigla1 - Ultima Thule, 2006.jpg tagged with {{cc-by-sa-3.0}}. The source did not link to a creative commons license, though, so I thought it was best to create a template {{Attribution Share Alike}}. Any comments on it? Kind regards, Lymantria (talk) 17:03, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

I would avoid using that name for the template, as Nagi's licenses may easily be confused with the (far more popular and similarly named) Creative Commons licenses. Instead, I suggest calling it {{Nagi Attribution Share Alike}} and creating similar templates for their other licenses, then doing a comprehensive search of the site for Nagi images and replacing their tags suitably. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:30, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Dcoetzee. - Jmabel ! talk 21:24, 4 April 2011 (UTC)
Good suggestion. I moved the template and will go through the images from to replace the templates with the correct ones. Kind regards, Lymantria (talk) 05:37, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Category:Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial

Given that this is a 1993 sculpture in the United States, isn't it inherently copyrighted? With no freedom of panorama for art in the US, I would imagine that pretty much this entire category should be gone unless we can get OTRS from the sculptor (or assignee of rights) to authorize the images. - Jmabel ! talk 21:23, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Nommed most of them for deletion at Commons:Deletion requests/Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial. Dcoetzee (talk) 05:53, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

SVG typeface samples

Corbel Typeface.svg have nominated a lot of SVG vector samples of typefaces (see some examples on the right) referencing to COM:L#Fonts as a rationale. Are these nominations valid? Trycatch (talk) 18:18, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I haven't disassembled everything to say in this case, but a computer program to draw letters--a vector font--is legally protectable under copyright. If the SVG files embed a vector font or an automatic conversion of part of said font, it will be infringing on the copyright of the vector font. If they were a retracing of a raster printout, then it'd be okay. I find the latter unlikely in lieu of explicit claims.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:47, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
It's not an easy discussion. Raster (bitmap) fonts are definitely OK, but that does not necessarily mean that SVGs are definitely bad. I would have some concerns about SVG sheets which show every character in the font, but individual letters... eh. Part of what make computer fonts copyrightable is the additional kerning, etc. information in there, although there was one court case where someone took all the character outlines but none of the kerning information, and a judge rules that was not OK. It may come down to how easy we are making it for people to recreate a font... I think an actual font though (as opposed to SVGs here) would be the only real infringing matter... though having too many of the vector characters as illustrations here (without going through the raster->retrace process) could be considered contributory infringement if someone makes a font out of them. That is sort of the UK position... uses of fonts are not considered derivative works, but a competing font using the same outlines (no matter the process involved in converting them) is an infringement. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:24, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
In the U.S., only specific computer code is copyrightable, not abstract geometric shapes of characters in a text font. If there's a direct 1-1 correspondence between font instructions and SVG vector path elements, then that would probably be rather problematic -- but just transforming from quadratic curves to cubic curves (as happens quite often in SVG sample sheets from TrueType fonts) would strongly alter the data... AnonMoos (talk) 20:50, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Fonts are licensed like software. Unless we are copying the original font files (like .ttf or .otf files) there is no infringment whatsoever. Even making a full list of characters in SVG is not an infringemnt, it's no different from any long enough PDF document, as that would include the whole character set as well, vectors and all. The possibility that someone might use files in illegal ways applies to all the files we have here, so I don't think we need worry. Regards, -- Orionisttalk 22:34, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Except that if a TrueType file is not set to be embeddable, you can't embed it in a PDF document, vectors and all. Including the software in a TrueType file is copying; and I have a hard time seeing that copying in a typesample as being de minimis.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:30, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Except that: a) embedding would mean putting the font software itself inside the svg file, and we're not doing that, b) even embedding is allowed by most foundries, and covers commercial purposes, as long as it does not enable re-using the font software by the receivers of the file, many times it's only a matter of choosing the right (i.e. expensive) license, and c) Font ≠ Typeface, typeface as typeface is not copyrightable, Fonts (as software) are copyrightable, but their output is not, and output is what we have here. As hard to believe as it may be, it's legal to trace a typeface, and use it to create a new font, that is virtually identical to the original font that produced the typeface. All that is a product of type's utilitarian nature. Regards, -- Orionisttalk 13:30, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Is a court going to look at converting a TrueType file to SVG as a translation and hence derivative of the original, or see it as stripping it down to its uncopyrightable essentials? I'm betting on the first. An expensive license will almost always get you the right to redistribute a copyrighted work, but that doesn't effect our rights. A pixel file is completely safe, as I said above, and we lose nothing by using one.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:41, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
We won't win anything by going raster either since raster fonts are copyrighted too. Fonts are not defined by being vector or metal but by being easily reusable. There are many ways of using fonts in SVG: you can use external fonts, you can embed subset of the characters or full font using <font> element (see [10] ) which can be then reused in other works almost as easily as original font (it contains most of important metadata of the font), or you can just use vector rendering of the text which does not have easily separated glyphs, any info on kerning etc. Embedded font is clearly derivative of the original, while vector rendering is more like raster rendering or print: using the vector non-embedded rendering of the font from SVG to recreate other text is as tiresome as making text from newspaper cutout and possibility of such usage does not make newspaper or SVG file derivative of the font. Therefore we should not allow SVG with embeded (with <font> element) non-free fonts, but we should allow any rendering of text, vector or raster, if there is no embedding. And there are no embedded fonts in SVG samples in question (which can be confirmed by looking for <font> in SVG source). --M5 (talk) 08:14, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
In the US, raster fonts aren't copyrightable; vector fonts are only copyrightable because they are "computer programs".--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:24, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
The rest of my argument is valid anyway: vector rendering w/o embedding is not a direct derivative of the original "font as computer program" since it lacks some essential instructions that make the program, such as instructions that tell which set of curves makes which glyph, how the glyphs should be placed against each other etc. Without that instructions there is no "font as copyrightable computer program". --M5 (talk) 07:08, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Beer, attempt 2

A while back I asked about the allowability of beer bottles with copyrighted designed, and did not get a clear answer. Three years later, Category:Beer bottles still exists, and somebody just transwikied File:BeerLao LightAndDark.JPG to Commons. What's the current status?

Also, it's Bad(tm) if images that can legally exist on WP are automatically deleted because they were moved to Commons, and then deleted on Commons because they are not allowed to be here. How often does this happen, and are there any safeguards against it? Jpatokal (talk) 21:13, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

About your first question, things have not substantially changed since the discussion you linked to. IMO, the situation was best explained in Rocket000's answer. Your conclusion there was correct too. Cases that are not obvious should be examined and decided individually. The caveat also remains true. The result in each case depends on the views of each closing admin.
About your second question, it happens not unfrequently. I think the problem is more acute with some subjects (one example is the recurrent reuploads of non-free images of coins). On Commons, there can only be the vigilance of users and the action of admins. Safeguards could perhaps be put in place at the source on Wikipedia, where some admins could exercise more caution and not delete like robots images that are tagged as "fair use" just because someone copied those fair use images to Commons. I think most Wikipedia admins are actually cautious about this, but unfortunately a few act robotically and thus sabotage the work. I think that the weakest point in the way Wikipedia deals with those images is when a user removes from an article a fair use image hosted on WP and replaces it by a copy that has been uploaded to Commons. The copy will eventually get deleted from Commons, but it can take time before it is detected and before a Commons admin takes action. In the meantime, a bot on Wikipedia automatically tags the WP image as being an unused fair use image and after a week an admin automatically deletes the image from Wikipedia for that reason, without a second thought about the process. It becomes a vicious circle and it becomes tiring for other users. Every time, fixing the problem implies getting each file deleted from Commons and getting it undeleted on Wikipedia and one file replaced by the other in the articles. Until another Wikipedia user starts the cycle again. -- Asclepias (talk) 22:50, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
These cases can be quite difficult, since bottle and label designs can and often do straddle the line of copyrightability (e.g. in the image you linked, there could be some debate over whether the logo is de minimis or not). Deletion discussions are generally warranted, and their outcome cannot be predicted. However, I am working on a tool to return deleted files to En as fair use candidates. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:21, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
This reminds me of the old days before we had the PD-Art policy when photos of old paintings would always get transferred to Commons and then subsequently deleted. What a mess that was. Kaldari (talk) 01:25, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Ets-Hokin v. Skyy Spirits[11] did indicate that photographs of the entire bottle would not be considered derivative works of the label even if the label was copyrightable: We need not, however, decide whether the label is copyrightable because Ets-Hokin's product shots are based on the bottle as a whole, not on the label. The whole point of the shots was to capture the bottle in its entirety. The defendants have cited no case holding that a bottle of this nature may be copyrightable, and we are aware of none. Indeed, Skyy's position that photographs of everyday, functional, noncopyrightable objects are subject to analysis as derivative works would deprive both amateur and commercial photographers of their legitimate expectations of copyright protection. Because Ets-Hokin's product shots are shots of the bottle as a whole--a useful article not subject to copyright protection--and not shots merely, or even mainly, of its label, we hold that the bottle does not qualify as a "preexisting work" within the meaning of the Copyright Act. As such, the photos Ets-Hokin took of the bottle cannot be derivative works. (bolding mine) Shots focusing in on the label therefore may be problematic, but not stuff like that apparently. By that, it appears we have probably been too conservative with deletions of items like these (especially ones like the photo above). I'm not sure if you consider it de minimis, or "inherent fair use", or something to the effect of a photograph of a utilitarian object which itself happens to use a work lawfully is simply not considered a derivative work. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:05, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, as Ets-Hokin v. Skyy Spirits expresses - shots of the mere label may be problematic, not of the whole bottle. feydey (talk) 10:26, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
Commons:Image_casebook#Product_packaging must be updated with this information to clarify the situation. SV1XV (talk) 10:38, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

File:Voting box clipart.gif

This has been marked as missing permission since December 22 and was uploaded in January 2006. It is extremely widely used and so is its derivative, File:Vote.svg. Other derivatives include File:Vote.png and File:Vote-nobg.svg and File:Vote-1-.svg. Yet the original states "free clipart image of ballot box and ballot From the Ready to Use book series. The authors release the images in these books into the public domain". There's nothing to prove this, though. Doing some searching I get a site from Dover Publications. It states its images are royalty-free, but that is not a free license. I was hoping for a second opinion regarding File:Voting box clipart.gif. – Adrignola talk 04:10, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Never mind. Looks like another admin deleted it. That requires removal of the derivatives. – Adrignola talk 13:06, 8 April 2011 (UTC)


{{PD-scan}} license is not enough for this image from 1882 from England by R. Mintern. We need to have an evidence about death(s) and then to add {{pd-old-70}}

What are a death dates of Mintern Brothers? They had a lithographic company and they are credited as: "Mintern Bros" or as "Mintern bros imp." They were active around 1896, in 1903 [12]. Their names are "R. & R. E. Mintern". For works directly illustrated by R. Mintern or by both of brothers and published in England we need to know their death date(s). --Snek01 (talk) 22:57, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

I would consider the copyright holder here to be the company operated by the brothers, rather than the brothers themselves. I don't recall at the moment what the rules are for a company in the UK, but if these are deleted they can be re-uploaded to En under {{PD-US-1923-abroad}}. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:21, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
There are 104 images of frogs affected by this (others, such as fishes are OK) at Commons clearly credited as an illustrator/author R. Mintern. It is a name of a human and we even do not known the first name. I also presume that these images are public domain, because I think that his images did not appeared in 1920s and 1930s. Those images are widely used also on other wikipedias, but if nobody is able to get an evidence about its copyright status, move them to EN wikipedia only per policy Commons:Upload/Unknown author or license. --Snek01 (talk) 10:51, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, looks like those credited to "Mintern Bros" are the work of the firm. I might be able to find Mintern's death date, but not for a while; this on M & N Hanhart might help, and there might be something else online. —innotata 13:43, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
I think this is a reference to him ("carefully drawn by young Mr. Mintern, the pupil of Mr. Ford"). George Henry Ford lived from 1809 to 1876. That is an 1859 book, so even if young then... he would probably have to have lived past 100 to still have a valid copyright. I've seen Mintern Bros as an imprint referenced as far back as 1870. I have seen a single google reference to "Robert Mintern of London", ranking him as one of the "great ichthyological illustrators of the nineteenth century". I think PD-old is a reasonable assumption. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:11, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
There was a Robert Mintern who died at age 68 in 1908[13] -- that would be about the right time frame. That is the only hit in that database of anything near the right name and time frame. No way to tell if that is the same person, though he died in Wandsworth, which is a suburb of London, so that sorta fits. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:45, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Photo of engraved quote

I wanted to ask about a particular scenario that I've encountered. A short (one sentence) quote from a copyrighted work has been engraved onto a plaque, which is displayed in a public place in the United States. A close-up photo of the plaque is taken an uploaded as a free-use image (tagged CC-BY-SA by the uploader). Is that acceptable free use for Commons? Is it fair use (hence possibly uploadable to a specific Wikipedia)? Or unacceptable as either? Something seems off about this, but the situation has so many layers that I wanted to get clarification. --RL0919 (talk) 00:38, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

See my proposal Commons:Images containing text. In short, yes, fair use of textual documents is okay on Commons (as long as it's independent of the context in which the image is used). Every project we serve allows fair use quotation. Dcoetzee (talk) 04:11, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
After reading the proposal and looking at some of the example deletion discussions, I'm still not sure how the policy would apply to the specific instance I'm looking at. This is the photo I'm particularly interested in. --RL0919 (talk) 04:40, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
That's a very short quote, of the same length you'd find in an article or on Wikiquote. It's fine. Dcoetzee (talk) 04:28, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Proposed splitting and restructuring

I've propsed some major structural changes to Commons:Licensing. Since this talk page tends to focus more on questions of how to apply the policy rather than how the policy should be designed, and because it is such a major change, I've made the proposal at the village pump rather than here, so please discuss at Commons:Village pump#Proposed splitting and restructuring of Commons:Licensing. LX (talk, contribs) 23:24, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Tea bags

The unresolved OTRS ticket on File:CHA-15515.jpg got me looking in to the many uploads by the user, which consist of scans of tea bags and their designs. Commons:Image casebook#Product packaging would seem to be relevant. Some have "a printed design which is so simple as to be ineligible for copyright protection" but others are not so clear. Also, since they are scans and cropped nearly to the edge of the packaging, I wonder if there's any artistic expression to justify the attribution requirement for any that would be depictions of copyright-ineligible designs. – Adrignola talk 20:02, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

  • Cut this "artistic" talk - uploader is not the author, so {{self}} licensing ("I, the copyright holder of this work...") is inappropriate. Relicense to PD-ineligible where possible, cull the rest. Scans are ... just scans. NVO (talk) 06:02, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Legend of Zelda logos

Wordmark Zelda Phantom Hourglass.svg Wordmark Zelda Spirit Tracks.svg


I started a discussion on the Village pump about wether these two logos pass the threshold of originality and would like to hear a few more opinions on the matter. Of note is the hidden hourglass in the first one.--AH 10:00, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Don't think the hourglass is an issue. Not sure about the ornament on the "Z"... probably not. The 3-D effect on the other one may involve enough creativity though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:15, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
I have nominated the first for discussion, as it seems just on the wrong side of the threshold. The second seems even further on the wrong side, but I will wait to see what transpires. -84user (talk) 17:06, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
IMHO 3D effect in text does not a logo creative make. It's easily applicable by a preset image editor filter, and a widely used effect at that. Pitke (talk) 17:14, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
Um, yeah. So the first one got kept, which I was most unsure about. Although I did not consider the 3D effect of the other one at all.--AH 16:17, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Pan Am Games 2015

I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to think of these two logos. They strike me me as copyrightable, but others might think that the simple geometric shapes don't cross the threshold of originality. Thoughts? --Skeezix1000 (talk) 13:20, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

I think they may be simple enough to qualify for {{PD-textlogo}} because the shapes are essentially the letters "T" and "O" with other letters in them and a smaller circle. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:47, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
But the shapes are also supposed to be represent human figures and (believe it or not) pre-Columbian aboriginal art. At what point are shapes that can represent, among other things, letters treated solely as uncopyrightable text? I don't know where the cut-off point is.--Skeezix1000 (talk) 13:16, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
For the U.S., symbolic meaning has nothing to do with copyrightability, nor does aesthetic effect ("looks cool" and that sort of thing). It's the shape, period. The one thing that troubles me here is that these are for Canada, not the U.S., which likely draws the copyrightability line a bit different. They have explicitly said it is not as high as the U.S. (though higher than the UK) in en:CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada: For a work to be “original” within the meaning of the Copyright Act, it must be more than a mere copy of another work. At the same time, it need not be creative, in the sense of being novel or unique. What is required to attract copyright protection in the expression of an idea is an exercise of skill and judgment. By skill, I mean the use of one’s knowledge, developed aptitude or practised ability in producing the work. By judgment, I mean the use of one’s capacity for discernment or ability to form an opinion or evaluation by comparing different possible options in producing the work. This exercise of skill and judgment will necessarily involve intellectual effort. The exercise of skill and judgment required to produce the work must not be so trivial that it could be characterized as a purely mechanical exercise. For example, any skill and judgment that might be involved in simply changing the font of a work to produce “another” work would be too trivial to merit copyright protection as an “original” work. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:38, 10 April 2011 (UTC)
That's very helpful. I don't think anyone was suggesting that the symbolic value of the shapes had anything to with the copyright status, but merely discussing whether the shapes were simply letters. The quote your provided from the SCC decision would suggest to me that the logos do attract copyright protection. Anyone think differently? --Skeezix1000 (talk) 21:15, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm reluctant to say they're definitely copyrightable. I think they would not be in the U.S. but if the bar is actually higher in Canada, maybe they are. Powers (talk) 00:12, 19 April 2011 (UTC)