Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 9

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Archive 9
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Image:COA Turkmen SSR.png

The license indicated on this page is wrong (Turkmenistan is the legal successor of this CoA, not Russia), but I could not find a PD template for Turkmenistan. Does anyone know if and what works are not subject to copyright in Turkmenistan? -- Prince Kassad 18:33, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Hmmm... Yes, Commons hasn't got such license tag. I will have created it tomorrow - Template:PD-TK-exempt. Alex Spade 21:03, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Modern photo of an ancient medallion


I know that a reproduction of an ancient picture is in the public domain even if the photo is modern. My question is if this rule applies even to pictures of 3D objects that has a prominent 2D surface that is actually what is depicted by the photo. An example: [1] this is a medallion, so it has a 2D surface, but is a 3D object, but could it be considered a free image even if the photo is copyrighted.

--TcfkaPanairjdde 22:38, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm guessing that Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag#When_should_the_.7B.7BPD-Art.7D.7D_tag_not_be_used.3F would answer your question. LX (talk, contribs) 09:40, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Potentially mis-tagged image

I came across Image:ExitOS.png, which is tagged as GFDL. But it appears to be identical to the action exit icon from the "Crystal Clear" icon set (see Image:Crystal Clear action exit.png), which is actually released under the Lesser GPL. It's clearly a duplicate of the latter image, but the former image is widely used on several wikis, so I'm not sure whether it's actually appropriate to request deletion of the former image as a duplicate or what. Anyway, I hope someone takes a look at it and fixes it. - Mark 08:49, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Actually, while I'm looking at it, Image:Crystal Clear app energy star.png contains a registered trademark (the Energy Star logo) and should be tagged appropriately, or removed, depending on what the Commons policy in relation to this is. See Image:Energy Star logo.svg. - Mark 08:56, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

About photos of normal people who have not given their consent

In historial of edits LX put "photos of normal people who have not given their consent are not "definitely not OK"; it depends on national laws and the degree to which they're featured.".

I What countries are OK or not OK? 04:09, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

see here: en:Personality rights and here
Personality rights

Personality rights warning

Although this work is freely licensed or in the public domain, the person(s) shown may have rights that legally restrict certain re-uses unless those depicted consent to such uses. In these cases, a model release or other evidence of consent could protect you from infringement claims. Though not obliged to do so, the uploader may be able to help you to obtain such evidence. See our general disclaimer for more information.

-- Túrelio 06:38, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

I consider this template as friendly warning. Which countries allow to you really use material depicting persons in any way imaginable (pornographic, portrait used for commercial gain (think DVD cover, advertisement, etc.)? One could probably make a case that this template is redundant and that we should just mention this in the re-use guide... Cheers! Siebrand 14:10, 18 October 2007 (UTC)


How does this category even exist? Isn't it just full of copyright violations? tiZom(2¢) 08:19, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

It's got some PD-Old stuff and conceivably some PD-ineligible stuff, but yes. It does look like it needs a good cleanup. LX (talk, contribs) 20:10, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Military Insignia

Please disregard this question. I was suffering brain freeze or something when I wrote it. Please see the next question instead. Sorry! --Butseriouslyfolks 20:03, 18 October 2007 (UTC) I'm confused about the template {{Military Insignia}}. It says "If there is no proof for the public domain status of this work, please replace this tag by {{nld}}." I'm being criticized for doing so, however, by someone who believes that the sentence "All images uploaded after 16 July 2007 with this tag are considered to have an unknown license, and are subject to deletion!" prohibits nld replacement of tags on images uploaded before that date. Shouldn't any image that is not appropriately tagged PD get nld'd? Thanks. --Butseriouslyfolks 08:37, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Any media that does not pass the minimum requirements as explained everywhere in this wiki, should be tagged for deletion. See: COM:L#License_Information (The Source of the material, preferably a web link or a citation. This obviously does not apply if the material is first published on the commons and the uploader is the author of the material. This should be stated explicitly., and The Author/Creator of the image or media file. For media that are considered to be in the public domain because the copyright has expired, the date of death of the author may also be crucial (see the section about public domain material). A license template is no substitution for this requirement), sub pages of Commons:Upload, Commons:Incomplete license, Template:Please tag images, and many more... Cheers! Siebrand 14:02, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Images only tagged with {{Military Insignia}} should not be tagged for speedy deletion. COM:DEL should be used instead. This isn't the first time we dealt with something like this. Recall the flag issue? -- Cat ちぃ? 19:13, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
But nld isn't speedy deletion, is it?
Oh heck, I grabbed the wrong link. I didn't mean to discuss the military Insignia template, but {{PD-USGov-NARA}}. I'd better start over. Sorry for the confusion I'm sure I caused! --Butseriouslyfolks 20:03, 18 October 2007 (UTC)


I'm confused about the template {{PD-USGov-NARA}}. It says "If there is no proof for the public domain status of this work, please replace this tag by {{nld}}." I'm being criticized for doing so, however, by someone who believes that the sentence "All images uploaded after 16 July 2007 with this tag are considered to have an unknown license, and are subject to deletion!" prohibits nld replacement of tags on images uploaded before that date. Shouldn't any image that is not appropriately tagged PD get nld'd? Thanks. --Butseriouslyfolks 20:03, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

The tag was allowed for a long time, since most images at NARA are in fact public domain (though some may be foreign works which are public domain in the U.S. only, such as some of the captured Nazi material; we need to be careful of those). Since NARA is more of a source and not actually the author (usually it is other elements of the U.S. government, since that is what NARA typically archives), we deprecated the tag in July, and changed it to have its current message. It is probably a bad idea to do a massive deletion of older images which use it, as it was considered to be a legitimate license tag then and most of the images are in fact PD. It's probably a better use of time to do a search on NARA's online pages (ARC or other) to see if you can replace the tag with a more appropriate one (and a NARA-image source tag using the ARC reference number). I go through a few images and do this from time to time. If the information you find has some doubt to PD status, then submit it for a regular deletion request. I think the plan was to leave it in its current state (while disallowing new images to use it), and hope that over time it gets cleaned up. But nld is not correct, since at the time of upload it was tagged with a valid license. Carl Lindberg 03:25, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps the template language should be changed then? (I'd be bold and do it myself, but I would prefer to get a few more edits under my belt here before I start monkeying with policy-related tools like that.) Thanks for the reply! --Butseriouslyfolks 02:52, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Image:Interpol Christopher Paul Neil.jpg because of Thai gouvernment origin?

Anyone able to confirm or deny the claims made at Image:Interpol Christopher Paul Neil.jpg? There is a reference to the copyright law of Thailand, but I cannot read the script, let alone understand it... Cheers! Siebrand 12:42, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I found it, posting to the IfD discussion. Jackaranga 20:28, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Speedily delete old PD art without source?

When an old painting is obviously in the public domain, is lack of a source reason enough to speedily delete it? See Image:Antoine-caumont-de-lauzun.jpg. --Pmsyyz 16:43, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

How we can know that this is old painting? Is there the proof that this image was painted by Alexis-Simon Belle? The source (as proof for appropriate attribution and description) is needed (this image is not well-known), but speedy deletion is impossible. Alex Spade 17:02, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Odd. We don't request this kind of source for PD-self pictures. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 17:53, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Don't mix PD-old (PD-because-Time) and PD-self (PD-because-Wish). There is very large and fundamental difference between them. Alex Spade 17:58, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Image:Amphitrite Devaulx cour Carree Louvre.jpg is one of my own pictures. The description, which I wrote, states that it represents a statue made in 1866 by François André Delvaux, a largely forgotten 19th-century French sculptor. How can you know if this is an old sculpture? Is there any proof that this statue was sculpted by François André Delvaux? You can't. There isn't. That's what I mean. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 18:02, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Presumably, you know this somehow, so ideally, you might want to provide information about how you know it. in any case, it seems to be documented at*7637. In the case of the image originally sparking the discussion, the information at Antoine Nompar de Caumont, duc de Lauzun should be sufficient to research the PD-old claims (and that data should appear on the image). The main thing is to provide the name of the work and its original author, if known. It's only when we have nothing at all to go on that things become really tricky. LX (talk, contribs) 18:18, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Obviously, one cannot publish an external link to the original place of publication if Commons is the original place of publication. PD-old works on the other hand have to come from somewhere. LX (talk, contribs) 18:07, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

What exaclty is the problem with this image? I think we should be explicit about it. Is it:

  1. We don't believe the author of the painting died more than 70 years ago? Nsd OK in principle, but in this case: not.
  2. We want to know where the photograph came from? That matters because of Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag. However, I wouldn't use subst:nsd because we have never really discussed what to do with the tens of thousands of images that use PD-Art but don't mention the source of the photograph.

Samulili 19:13, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Re 2: This is a clear case of {{sofixit}} we have to fix. Tag the image with nsd, fix if you like. If you do not tag it, someone else will (either tomorrow or in two years). Siebrand 14:06, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Do we have to fix it? The servers are in the US so we may store the images. It would be good if all images with PD-Art had good enough sources but it's not strictly speaking legaly compulsory. And because this problem affects tens of thousands of images and it's partly "our fault" because our instructions and guidelines/policies have been seriously lagging behind, I don't think subst:nsd is the way to go. If we are to delete old images en masse, I think that the community should explicitly express that that is what it wants. Samulili 15:18, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Without a proper source, the PD-old or PD-art status can in the majority of cases not even be established/verified. By using the above reasoning, the issue will not eventually be resolved, it will become larger. *Any* file on Commons requires a source - the current upload requirements are very clear about that. Those who work on checking the older uploads are, as far as I am aware, aware of the issues with nsd-ing a huge amount of media files in a given day, so they try to keep the number of nsd-ed media below 500 or so. I expect that this issue will stay around for a year or more, but eventually it will go away.
Please realise that we also need sources to be a reliable repository for freely licensed media. Without sources, we can even hardly be sure that a named creator is the actual creator. Cheers! Siebrand 16:33, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
You say that PD-old/PD-art status can't be verified. That brings us back to the earlier – albeit unanswered – question of which source is missing: 1) the fact that the author of the work in the photograph died more than 70 years ago, or 2) that the author of the photograph (of a work that is not in class 1) died more than 70 years ago/published their work in the US or a country with similar ideas about photographs of 2D works/released the photograph in PD. Some photographs of works which are clearly from early 19th century are being tagged with nsd although these are PD in the US, where Commons is. No legal problems here. Samulili 17:10, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
The source in most of the PD-art cases is a trustworthy source attributing the work to a creator that has died 70 years or more ago, or a source attributing the work to a certain era if even older with an unknown creator. In cases of PD-old a source is needed to verify and validate the claims made on the description page to prevent falsification of facts. Cheers! Siebrand 19:41, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your answer, that clears up the situation significantly. I agree that we must be able to be sure "beyond reasonable doubt" that the creator of the work of art died more than 70 years ago. That's the most important common ground. For practical purposes, however, I would not go so far as to require sources for medieval wall paintings or clearly old art. Samulili 05:59, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Warning about unresolved problems

I received a warning about unresolved problems (see User_talk:Fasten).

In the German Wikipedia there is a statement de:Wikipedia:Bildrechte#Amtliche_Werke that says: According to § 5 Abs. 1 UrhG publications of German government agencies are not protected by copyright. In the German Wikipedia I would use the template de:Vorlage:Bild-PD-Amtliches_Werk but I cannot select such a license here.

There is also a possibility that the graphics were re-created by Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft without any notice, in that case it wouldn't enjoy copyright protection due to lack of originality (Threshold_of_originality)

The image is used by a news article in the German wikinews: de:Kultusministerkonferenz_f%C3%BCr_mehr_F%C3%B6rderung_und_Bildungsstandards --Fasten 13:31, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

You'd forgotten to add a licensing tag. {{PD-GermanGov}} seems to fit the bill, so I added that. LX (talk, contribs) 14:04, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I was confused by the fact that the US government licensing tag was in the selection box but the german template had to be added manually. --Fasten 14:25, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
Now in there. -- Bryan (talk to me) 20:49, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Implications of IMLSP case

Franz Liszt writes in his Myspace weblog:

"A great blow has been dealt against the world of music and of our common cultural heritage.

The International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) was a wonderful site for sharing public domain music scores. They had an encyclopaedic collection of scores which anyone could download as a .pdf file. The site was entirely free and run by people dedicated to the art of music.

Unfortunately the music publishers Universal Edition has threatened the site's creator with legal action if he does not "cease and desist" the site's activities. This has now happened. UE's threats appear to be based on rather spurious copyright grounds. The intention is not to protect artists' rights, but to stop people from accessing public domain materials.

Most artists have struggled terribly in life and die broke and young. Having ignored the artists during their lifetimes, publishers are then able to exploit their genius posthumously. Take poor old Franz Schubert, for instance.

UE's legal threat is a direct attack on our common musical heritage as well as on culture in general. I believe that these public domain works should be freely available to the public. For the most part, IMSLP made available sores by all the greats (including my humble self), most of whom have been long dead and are out of copyright.

There is a current trend for all our common cultural heritage to be "privatized" and exploited by private corporations for the sole purpose of making money. The idea that the works of Shakespeare, Beethoven and Leonardo da Vinci (et al) should "belong" to anyone except the people of this planet (and beyond) is outrageous.

Sadly, this trend is not restricted only to great works of art. Ancient buildings, national parks, libraries, museums, images of works art, and many aspects of our cultural heritage are all being devoured by private corporations in order to fuel the interests of a small minority of greedy individuals.

Be that as it may, I do urge you to go to the IMSLP forum, register. learn the facts and offer support (if only by adding your voice). This is important because this is about freedom, our common cutural heritage - and about music! [...]

The address is "


The cease and desist letter mentions EU-protected composers but also composers like Gustav Mahler who is dead since 1911.

There are two questions:

First: Can WMF help to re-activate IMSLP by hosting e.g. Wikiscore (or so)?

It is already possible to uload PD scores on Wikimedia Commons. See

Second: Are there implications for WMF copyright policies?

The CaD-letter mentions the fact that "that under Canadian law a judgement rendered in Europe is enforceable in Canada". If a Canadian user uploads works on Commons from an US server like Internet Archive (pre-1923-rule) which are PD in Canada (50 y pma) then this is allowed by the (inappropriate) rule of Commons.

I have to quote the rule:

"If material that has been saved from a third-party website is uploaded to Commons, the copyright laws of the US, the country of residence of the uploader, and the country of location of the webservers of the website apply."

It clearly lacks the COUNTRY OF ORIGIN in this (inappropriate) rule. If this country is a EU country the 70 year pma rule is in effect.

Take a Bela Bartok score published before 1923 (or 1909). Bartok died in 1945, his works are protected in all EU countries until December 31, 2015. The score is PD in the US and Canada but the Canadian uploader can be sued by a Canadian lawyer because the work is not free in Europe.

WMF cannot be sued for an US court in this case because the work is PD in the US.

But should'nt we protect the uploader when he is uploading according our rules? also posted at foundation-l --Historiograf 17:09, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, irrespective of this case, our policy is to accept "PD" works only if they're PD in both the country of origin and in the U.S. I've tried to make this clearer at Commons:Licensing#Interaction of United States copyright law and foreign copyright law. Lupo 08:10, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

My modifications to old art - what license?

Actually, the headline is an overstatement. The artist Rembrandt Peale made a sketch of a mastodon skeleton in 1801. Someone kindly uploaded a scan of this as "Image:Working_sketch_of_the_mastodon_rembrandt_peale.jpg", indicating that it is now copyright free. All I did was to select just the main skeleton, delete some lettering, and remove the age-yellowing. I would now like to upload this slightly revised version for use in several articles. What license should I use? Tim Ross 00:35, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I can't find the original file you refer to, but it seems to me that the image is still in the public domain after your modifications. Therefore you should use the same license as the original image has. Samulili 05:57, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
I've fixed the link. Alex Spade 14:21, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Copyright question

This might seem a noob question, but I have not much experience in licensing issues. I was wondering if I did something wrong by uploading this picture. Someone marked it for speedy deletion. Doesn't the close-up image of a brand logo on a car fall under the "fair use" policy of Wikipedia? The logo is not photographed in such a way that someone might think that this picture represents the company that made the car. I mean, I would understand, for obvious reasons, that companies (and laws) have a problem with people adding vector images of their brand logos. But where is the harm in uploading a picture like this? I did not upload it to advertise for the brand (nor did I connotate any signification to it), but to show people how the brand can be recognized. If this is illegal, a lot of car magazines should be sued, because I see these kinds of pictures daily. Kind regards, Endlezz 11:29, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

"Fair use" is not allowed at the Commons. Please see Commons:Licensing. Lupo 14:16, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Copyright info pages?

Hello. Having browsed the site for a little bit, I can't find any easy link to info on how to determine copyright. could someone point me in the right direction? I am specifically interested in the status of a photograph published long enough ago to be out of copyright, but which may have been cleaned up slightly and how this relates to its copyright status. Many thanks, DionysosProteus 12:11, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

What do you mean by "cleaned up slightly"? Cropping, removing dust or distortions and other minor changes don't alter its copyright status at all. --Fb78 12:15, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Thankyou, this is as I suspected. Would it be possible to direct me to the relevant Commons page that explains this? There is a debate starting on the English Wikipedia about a photograph of Sarah Bernhardt; someone is saying that the V&A hold the copyright, but the photo is old so I don't see how that's possible. It would be good to have a page to send people with questions there to. Many thanks, DionysosProteus 12:28, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

I've answered over there. Beware though! On many images from the Lafayette archives, V&A indeed does hold the publication right for 25 years counting from the initial publication of a work that had remained unpublished while it was originally copyrighted. That doesn't seem to be the case with en:Image:Sarahbernhardt1.jpg, though, as it appears that this image was indeed published in 1899. Lupo 14:15, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

William McKinley Statue in San Jose, California

This statue was created on 1902/1903 by Rupert Schmidt (most likely died in 1932). Is it PD-old and photos may be taken freely? --EugeneZelenko 14:59, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

I guess it might be possible that Lupo would answer in this way: Find a photo in a newspaper of the statue before 1923 and all is fine ..... --Historiograf 16:50, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

If the artist did die in 1932, it is almost certainly in the public domain. The current definition of "published" for a statue in the United States is that copies were made and publicly displayed, though at the time I don't think there was such a precise definition, so it's unclear if it was considered "published" then. If it was, then it is public domain because it was published before 1923. If not, and it was still considered "unpublished" as of 2003, then the term is 70 pma and it is also in the public domain. The only way it is not public domain is if it was somehow "published" between 1923 and 2002 (and, if it was published before 1963, copyright would have needed to have been renewed). Given all that, I would think that photos of it are fine. Carl Lindberg 22:50, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure about PD-Old, but I'd think the work certainly is PD-US. I believe there is no restriction on photographing public statues or sculptures which were erected in the United States before 1923. -- Infrogmation 22:54, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Image:LegacySedan.jpg and Image:Subaru legacy rs-ra 02.jpg

I found these images at Wikimedia commons Germany for the first image and Japan for the second one. According to the information listed at those sites, they stated that there was no copyright valid on either image. I don't know, jet, how to correct the information discrepancies requirements to prevent the images from being deleted. Can you help?

I've copied the description info from :de, but that doesn't solve the copyright question. The problem is that the user who uploaded it to :de is not very active. His latest edit was 3 months ago. -- Túrelio 19:05, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Image:Subaru_legacy_rs-ra_02.jpg was marked as PD by the uploader (it still has metadata so that seems safe to assume). It should be tagged {{PD-user-ja|A15ff11300g}} and the original upload information copied over; CommonsHelper seems to be down at the moment though. The German one has a more ambiguous license; it's not clear if it was taken by the uploader or not. Carl Lindberg 21:07, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
de:Bild:LegacySedan.jpg and ja:画像:Subaru legacy rs-ra 02.jpg are the images in question. The image of the german wiki was not taken by the uploader but he stated the creator gave him the the permission for the PD license. I'd be more careful with the japanese image (or all imags by this user), does the japanese state he made these images or does he only tag them as PD without stating the source? (I can't read japanese). --Denniss 21:50, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
The Japanese image still has the EXIF information from the camera, so for that one at least it seems more than reasonable that the user took it (assuming good faith), and PD-user can be assumed. Carl Lindberg 21:59, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't read Japanese either, but Google does (well, sort of), and it says the line above the licensing tag reads "1990 Subaru legacy type RS RA 2007, the author shooting". Sounds like an assertion of authorship to me. LX (talk, contribs) 08:54, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Licence when creating image in svg to replace png

If I create a new image in svg to replace an image that is in png (or similar) format, is it considered a derivative work of the png image, even if the new image do not use anything of the previous image? I can understand that if there is some artistic value or other value in the original image, just to reproduce take this artistic value, but what about if the original image is just a (simple) geometric shape? I had created a new svg version of Image:Knot-crossing-plus.png Knot-crossing-plus.png, Image:Knot-crossing-minus.png Knot-crossing-minus.png, and Image:Knot-crossing-zero.png Knot-crossing-zero.png. I have not yet upload these new svg images. The png images are licenced as GFDL. Does it imply that I must licence the svg images as GFDL or can I licence them as PD-shape? -- AnyFile 11:20, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

You can change these images to {{PD-ineligible}}. Samulili 13:50, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

What desings of cars for example are OK in Commons?

In checklist says cars on Questionable; may be or may be not OK, what desings are OK? guerreritoboy 00:02, 29 October 2007 (UTC)


Template:PD-Canada currently can refer to public domain works in Canada based on 1 of 3 different criteria. Since the template doesn't specify which of the 3 criteria, I'd like to split this template into 3 separate templates, just to make things clear. Please comment at Template talk:PD-Canada. --Padraic 18:53, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Video in a photo

Hi. Yesterday someone tagged some images of Prince ( 1, 2) because a video is in the photo. Does this photo have any similar copyright issues? Hard to know for a non-lawyer. Poor man has no personality rights tag (see previous question). Only kidding. Thanks. -Susanlesch 22:12, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

I tagged the two Prince images db-author for speedy deletion because of a comment I saw somewhere. Nothing to do with copyright of the video which is a separate topic. I don't see any replies yet here or there. If anyone would like to reply on this or that thread, please leave a note on my talk page if you would, as I don't plan to revisit this page otherwise. Best wishes. -Susanlesch 06:33, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

My work was re-licensed

Hi all, I'm user:witty lama at en:wp and I noticed that one of my photos that I took and uploaded there has been copied across to here. All well and good. However, the person who did this, User:Samwingkit, gave it a new license and called it his own work. Here is the original:[2] and here is the commons file Image:Sydney skyline.jpg. Could someone please give it the original license back and remove his "I am the copyright holder" tag. thanks.

  • Seems to be already fixed. --Digon3 talk 15:00, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Personality rights

Hi. Someone tagged these two images (1, 2) for personality rights. I am not sure why these two out of many many uploads. Can you tell me if I should ask to have these deleted? Do you have guidelines for when this tag applies? Thanks. -Susanlesch 22:05, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't see any replies yet. If anyone would like to reply on this thread, please leave a note on my talk page if you would, as I don't plan to revisit this page soon otherwise. Best wishes. -Susanlesch 06:32, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Hmm, still no replies. That's fine. I did notice that someone added a brand new broken link to "Personality Rights" in Commons:Licensing. I reverted the addition for now. -Susanlesch 07:03, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
  • By the way, I would have to ask you to please delete all of my uploads if a new guideline like this can be just added in such a way as to affect all uploads prior to its being available. -Susanlesch 07:05, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
The personality rights tag does not usually mean the photo needs to be deleted. When you have a photo of a recognizable person, certain usages of the photo may be restricted without a model release. (This article linked from the wiki article goes into the gory details.) This is not a copyright restriction, but is related to privacy laws, which differ depending on country. The tag is mainly a notice for people who may reuse the photo outside of wikimedia sites; it would only be deleted if using the photo even in an encyclopedic context like wikipedia would be a problem. Photos taken in public are usually not problems in the U.S., but there are very few "absolutes" when it comes to this law. The two photos you mention should be fine here, but for example if a video game manufacturer wanted to use them in advertising its product, that may be a different case. Also, the privacy laws in other countries are sometimes more strict than in the U.S., and those laws may need to be taken into account for uploading pictures taken in those other countries. This is why you will often see photos with blurred faces if the people are not really relevant to the photo.
There are probably a great many photos which could use the tag but don't have it; I don't think there are too many editors which make a practice of adding them though. A general disclaimer in a few places may be more effective, but outside publishers should be aware of the law on their own anyways. Carl Lindberg 16:38, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
In some countries like Japan there is the "right of likeness" which protects persons from having pictures about them published without their consent. This happens a lot in AVEX concerts: you cannot take pictures and publish them unless you obtain the consent of the AVEX Group. So, while publishing such image outside Japan is (as far as I know) legal, it may have problems if it is published in Japan. You can learn a bit more about it in Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Utada Hikaru Kanto 2004.jpg. We could say it is similar to the Image:Flag of Germany 1933.svg, which is free but is illegal in some countries like Germany. I believe tagging every living person image with the {{personality rights}} would be necessary due the various legislations for every Wikipedia server. -- ReyBrujo 14:13, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

PD-exUSSR-exempt license tags

No court or law in the US or in the UK has ever recognized Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania as legal entities of the USSR, therefore why exactly are these countries covered with PD-exUSSR-exempt license tags? Please comment at Category_talk:PD-exUSSR-exempt_license_tags Thanks!--Terker 21:33, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Someone violating our licensing? No, never!

Looks like someone is using Image:Knob and tube 1930.jpg, against the licensing. See [3]. What do we do in these situations? Content the end user on how they can use that image in accordance to the GFDL/CC-SA? Send them a cease and desist? -Andrew c 22:30, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

You could always contact the website owner and inform them of the conditions. Be aware of the fact that the website owner and the uploader might be the same (or related in some way). /Lokal_Profil 01:40, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I've contacted the uploader and they have sent an e-mail to the real estate company. There is confirmation that this is an invalid use (the worst part is the alt text states the building is in Florida, which it is not) but hopefully things will be squared away shortly. -Andrew c 03:16, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
It only gets better. He emailed back that he'd fixed it, only with a link to another webpage of his using the image[4]. — Laura Scudder | Talk 16:06, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

German public domain schematics

Hello, I'm interested to have (and translate) these PD images : de:Bild:Ssb.png and de:Bild:Ssb filtermethode.png. Do you think licencing is correct ? If not, could I recreate them from myself ? In this case what are the requirements for my schematics not to be considered as duplicated ? Thanks --Zedh 10:31, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

They both are PD-author-de, you may transfer them as you like. Code·is·poetry 12:40, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
thanks --Zedh 15:08, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Has cartoonist full copyright over of a cartoon based on a photograph?

Image:Latuff cartoon Israeli soldier voting.jpg is a political cartoon obviously based on a real photography that is very likely copyrighted by the IDF or someone else. Therefore this cartoon by Latuff very probably is a derivative of that photo and consequently Latuff’s claim of “copyright free” (caption: Images from Carlos Latuff are copyright free) might be invalid. As this is a mainly legal question, I would welcome input/comments from anybody with knowledge in copyright/licensing questions. Please respond either here or - even better - at Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Latuff cartoon Israeli soldier voting.jpg. Thanks. -- Túrelio 13:42, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Difficult. The use of real photos for some of these cartoons is covered by "fair use"/"fair dealing" (as caricature/parody). They are derivative works of the original photos. But I don't know what that ultimately means for the copyright status of the cartoons. Even if the author of the cartoons really declares his derivative works as "free of copyrights", methinks the underlying "fair use" is still there. Since such cartoons are typically published in newspapers and the like, the issue normally doesn't come up, as a newspaper's publishing the underlying photo would also fall under "fair use" anyway, so they don't have to worry about the cartoon being based on a copyrighted original. But for us, I guess the underlying "fair use" bit makes this unusable. IANAL and all that. Lupo 13:52, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
The cartoonist seems to sometimes modify news photos and sometimes do original artwork. The modified news photos are not identified nor credited-- which may be okay as fair use for editorial satire, but I think falls into derivitive work for Commons standards. These seem modifications of other people's likely copyrighted material used without permission, so I think they should be deleted. (By the way, we have a good representitive sample of the cartoonist's work that is not made from modified photos, so I don't think we'd be loosing important illustrative material in the process.) -- Infrogmation 20:27, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

What license should I select?

I'd like to upload the image, which was taken by someone else. The author e-mailed the image to me and has agreed me upload his image with a free license. Could you, please, tell me what license I should use in such a case. Thank you.--Mbz1 13:59, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

You may choose any fitting license; for images CC licenses are preferred here. But more importantly, the copyright-holder, aka the someone else must agree to that license and must confirm that by sending one of the forms found in Commons:Email templates to OTRS. -- Túrelio 14:03, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you,Túrelio. --Mbz1 14:12, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
You are welcome. How the description field of such an image may look, you can see here: Image:Arad CatholicCathedral.jpg. -- Túrelio 14:19, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Copyright status of magazine published in South Africa in 1916

I would like to confirm whether the copyright for the cover and contents of a magazine published in South Africa in 1916 would have expired. A sample can be seen on this blog, but I have access to the enire magazine from here. AFIK South African copyright extend to 50 years after death of author. Some of the authors in the first edition is well know and it would be possible to determine their date of death, but things like the cover-art, advertisements and so on are more difficult to figure out.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Laurens 10:05, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I think you'll have to do the difficult work of determining the author of the cover art. For works published before 1923, it'd be ok to upload if that author died more than 50 years ago. South African works published 1923 or later would be ok to upload only if the author died before 1946. Our rule is that works claimed to be PD must be PD in the country of origin (SA, in this case) and in the U.S. Foreign works had their copyright restored in the U.S. by the URAA to the full U.S. term in 1996 if they were still copyrighted in the country of origin on January 1, 1996. 1996 - 50 = 1946. If restored, the full U.S. term for works published before 1978 is 95 years from the first publication. For works published 1978 or later, it's 70 years after the author's death. (Ignoring works made for hire. South African copyright law does have something similar (section 21), insofar as the initial owner of copyright can be an employer, a company, the state, or other legal person. The copyright terms, however, are still calculated relative to the author's death (section 3(2)). The author is always a natural person.) Lupo 23:15, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
If you have access to the original magazine, the artist's name should be printed somewhere. If so, then yes you would need to find the year they died to be completely sure. If it was not printed anywhere in the magazine, then that may very well qualify as an anonymous work, which would expire 50 years after publication according to what I can find of South African copyright law. Or, perhaps the listed authors should also be credited with the cover. Are there any credits listed anywhere? Carl Lindberg 03:43, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the responses so far. The magazine itself doesn't credit the creator of the cover art and so far I have not been able to determine who the author was by other means. Some of the articles do credit their author and the editor for the magzine is given as Prof JJ Smith. Laurens 12:04, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Which license on a logo?

I'd like to upload some Sears logo, I've copied the non-free logo template, I've got the source and all but... There is no license in the drop-down menu applying to logos! I've been looking at another Sears logo, and under license it was displaying the non-free logo template. How did he do that? More importantly, I would use that Sears logo but It's on the English Wikipedia, while I'm creating a Sears article on the French wikipedia. Is there any faster way than re-uploading the logo through here? Please, someone tell me which logo I should select, or what I should do with it! Thanks.--Sim B 23.29, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Don't upload it. In all likelihood, it's not free. It's certainly trademarked, and probably also copyrighted by Sears. We don't allow "fair use" images. Lupo 08:01, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Then how did the guy on the English Wikipedia got it if it is copyrighted? The image is in the article "Sears, Roebuck and Company". He stated that the way he uploaded it is legal... Or, how could I get that image to show on the French wikipedia then? Thanks in advance. --Sim B 19:01, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Commons:Licensing#Material under the fair use clause is not allowed on the Commons. LX (talk, contribs) 04:38, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
English Wikimedia allows "fair use", a U.S.-specific law which allows use of copyrighted material in certain situations. Many other wikipedias, and therefore commons, do not. I'm not sure what the French Wikipedia policy is. In the U.S., images purely of letters like the base Sears logo are usually not eligible for copyright, but anything beyond that generally is. The Sears logo on the en-wiki page is somewhere on that borderline because of the extra element, so it may be safer to see if there is a way to upload it locally on the French wikipedia. If it is uploaded here under that reasoning, it would stand a decent chance of being deleted. It cannot be uploaded under the same reasoning as on en-wiki. Carl Lindberg 07:35, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks a lot all, I'll figure my own way out of this! If French Wikipedia doesn't allow it well then I'll just try to find some non-copyrighted Sears Logo or just none at all. Or obtain permission from Sears... (huh?) -- Sim B 17:44, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Museum owner licensing photos of works displayed in museum by other artists.

Rudana (talk · contribs) has licensed all photos of his museum and works under the GFDL. How does this affect photos of items that are currently displayed in his museum, such as those found at Thank you. -- Avi 03:45, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, he cannot do so unless he shows either that he does own the copyright on these paintings or that he has permission by the artists' estates to publish the paintings under a free license. See derivative work. If he cannot do either, these images will be tagged as {{derivative}}. Lupo 07:54, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Museum people do this a lot, mostly because they wrongly assume they have the right to do it. However, the copyright is with the artist, not with the museum. There may be licenses or contracts between the artistst and the museum that say "photographs of the artworks can be used for promotional purposes", but certainly not "can be put under a free license". Anyone who uses such content (e.g. Wikipedia) can be held liable by the artist. Therefore we are correct in deleting them. --Fb78 11:00, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

As I thought. There actually is one painting of him in the mix too, which would be somewhat more convoluted I reckon. Regardless, I've contacted the uploader with the differentiation between his photographs of his museum and of their contents, and we'll see what he says; Thanks. -- Avi 14:23, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

These uploads have now been deleted, the uploader has been informed that the permission is void, and they have been warned not to continue to upload such works. See User talk:Rudana#Deleted_contents. Several of the uploads had Wikimedia-only permission statements. LX (talk, contribs) 18:29, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Image:Ac.athenskouros2.jpg is another picture taken in a museum. I'm not sure about greek laws in this case. Code·is·poetry 09:54, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

A kouros (plural kouroi) is a statue of a male youth, dating from the Archaic Period of Greek sculpture (about 650 BC to about 500 BC). Should be old enough to be PD, I guess. --Herbert Ortner 21:04, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Best way to license this?

Here is a screenshot I took. The browser (no components visible) is Firefox; the site is English Wikibooks. It shows an error in one of our templates. I have 2 questions concerning licensing of this image. I want to release it to PD. Is PD-self enough, or do I need to account for the GFDL content shown as well? (For that matter, do I have to account for the browser which is rendering the GFDL content for my PD image?) (How) would that change if I didn't crop screenshots, and you could see the Windows bar & the browser components etc.? Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 21:27, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that taking a screenshot counts as enough creativity for you to own any additional copyright :-) In any event... I don't think the browser matters. There may be some layout copyright by the wikimedia software (presumably GFDL), and the text is also presumably GFDL too. The question mark image is tagged as PD, so that's OK. The wikibooks logo is {{CopyrightByWikimedia}}; that is less OK. Dunno, I think I would tag it GFDL (since it is a derivative work really) but the wikibooks logo may make that impossible. Could that be cropped? Carl Lindberg 18:30, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I can crop that. There has to be some painless way of licensing a WMF screenshot though. I don't care to have any rights to it, so I guess the content of the screenshot dictates how it gets licensed? I think there may be some template that says "this is a screenshot of a WMF site; mediawiki is GFDL; content is GFDL; logo is (C) WMF; anything else that has copyright attached needs a separate declaration" So then I'd have to figure out that the picture in that template is PD (so ignore it) and that's that. The end result is the whole thing is GFDL. I could be horribly mistaken (as well this may be on enwiki, not on commons). Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 16:24, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Hadn't seen this before, but there is {{Wikipedia-screenshot}} which may fit the purpose, though it says wikipedia and not wikibooks. There is also {{Copyright by Wikimedia}}. Carl Lindberg 02:24, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Imperial War Museum Licensing

Hi, I'm having a bit of trouble over a couple of images I've recently uploaded, Image:Bismarck, Prinz Eugen.jpg and Image:Bismarck firing.jpg. Shortly after uploading, they were tagged by User:Denniss as being copyright violations. They are from the Imperial War Museum's online archives of photographs, in these two incidents, the photographers are listed in one case as 'unknown', and in the other as 'Official German Photographer', but are released by the IWM under crown copyright. Denniss at first contended that the IMW could not release them under Crown Copyright as the authors were unknown. He then contended that they were by German citizens and so the IWM has no right to release them. After a debate, I removed the speedy templates, pending the outcome as the status of the photographs as copyright violations were far from clear. He has reverted this move every time, claiming they are copyright violations and restoring the templates. My question is that as the IWM has released them into the public domain, is this not sufficient justification for their use. Their right to do this is being disputed by Denniss who feels that they do not have this right. Should his opinion override the IWM? I'd be happy to get some clarification on this from some outside views. Thanks. --Benea 23:55, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Ooh, you've hit a pretty tangled area. It's not clear-cut enough for speedy deletion, but they probably would not survive a deletion request. While current German law gives individuals the copyright in situations like this, I don't think that was the case under the Nazis, so given that these were obviously taken by German sailors and not regular citizens, the Nazi Party would most likely have held the copyright, and it would now be owned by the German government (which formed an entire company, Transit, to deal with their Nazi material). Since there is probably no hope of ever figuring out who took them, my guess is EU-Anonymous may apply, and copyright would expire after 70 years (which has not passed yet). Here is where it gets more tangled... after WWII, the British passed a law (Enemy Property Act) which extinguished copyright on all German material captured during the war (even if authored by private citizens). While the law was eventually repealed, the copyrights remained extinguished (and were not restored by the EU copyright harmonization either). I think the UK recently started allowing German citizens to reclaim copyright on some of this material, but I don't think it extended to government material. So, the Imperial War Museum does have the right, since in the UK there is no copyright on this material (it's not Crown Copyright either). The U.S. had a similar law, but it was eventually restricted to works owned by the German government. These were specifically exempted when the U.S. restored copyright to all other foreign works in the 1990s, which again explains why similar material is public domain in the U.S. and shows up on various websites there. In fact, larger versions of these two photos are also at the U.S. Naval Historical Center here and here, so they are PD in the US as well. Outside of the UK and US though, I would think that other countries would consider the German government as the copyright owner, and respect that copyright. Given that they probably can only be used freely in these two countries, it most likely does not qualify under Commons rules. On the other hand, I think a good case could be made for hosting them on en-wiki. Carl Lindberg 14:51, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
It's quite a fascinating education I agree! As you point out, it's probably best to let them go for now, as it is a tangled web, but as to hosting them on en-wiki, any thoughts as to what the most appropriate licensing would be? Thanks, --Benea 15:06, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Interesting; I'm not sure I see a specific tag for it. en:Template:PD-US-1996 is somewhat analogous (a US-only tag which does not really apply to Commons) but it is not quite the same reason. You may have to create one... the licensing would be that of the Alien Property Custodian exemption for foreign copyright restorations in 1996, and for the UK the Enemy Property Act. Fair use claim would also work but I don't think that's necessary there. Carl Lindberg 18:24, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Something along the lines of 'This Image is in the Public Domain in the United States and the United Kingdom as it is a work of the Nazi Government of Germany and is under the Alien Property Custodian exemption for foreign copyright restorations in 1996 in the United States and the Enemy Property Act in the United Kingdom' perhaps? --Benea 18:52, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Assertions of Lindberg are unsourced. I have no doubt that EU right protects them 70 years pma. Country of origin is Germany and in Germany there is no exception for such cases. Ask Lupo --Historiograf 22:51, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Eh, I think we all agree that these images are subject to normal copyright in Germany, with a 70-year term. About the reasons as to why apparently such images are considered PD in the U.S. we can make only educated guesses, and likewise for the UK. For the U.S. we know two things: works administered by the Alien Property Custodian and where the copyright would belong to a foreign government are not subject to the URAA restorations, and for confiscated films, the U.S. government reserved the right to display them as it sees fit even after the copyrights had been returned to the foreign owners. But if either of these two rules is the reason why many confiscated German photos are freely published by the NARA and other U.S. agencies, I do not know for sure. As I said, it's just an educated guess. We also know that most such confiscated copyrights were indeed returned to their foreign owners. For the UK, we do know that the Enemy Property Act did extinguish copyrights on German materials brought into the UK between September 3, 1939 and July 9, 1951, and such extinguished copyrights were never explicitly restored in the UK. Whether they got automatically restored by EU directive 93/98/EEC (the "copyrighted in at least one member country" bit), I don't know. I guess that would depend upon which law takes precedence in the UK. Lupo 11:39, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

This is completely irrelevant like the question of a reproduction in Uruguay or Yemen might be in the Public Domain. We have a - bad - rule: Pictures on Commons have to be PD in the US AND in the country of origin. In all EU countries including the country of origin except of the UK the works are protected 70 years pma. We should respect this and not make dubious exceptions --Historiograf 16:28, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

But nobody proposed to make such an exception here. Benea and Carl were talking about creating a tag for such images on en-WP. BTW, such a tag should clearly state that such images should not be uploaded to the Commons unless the author was dead for more than 70 years. Lupo 20:30, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Historiograph -- we all agree. They are copyrighted in Germany, and most of the world, so they should not be kept here. Because they certainly look to be PD in the US and UK, a good argument can be made to keep them locally on en-wiki only (not commons). As for sources, a lot of it is here and here. It states that the copyright extinguishment was for all material brought into the UK or any allied power, so that would cover anything brought into the U.S. as well (although note that the U.S. law was only for material brought into the U.S., so not everything PD in the UK is PD in the US). The IWM's rights statement specifically mentions that their Nazi material is PD in the UK only, and international rights are claimed by Transit (an instrumentality of the German government, another indicator that all Nazi Party material is now owned by the German government). As noted above, these particular photographs come from officer reports on the Prinz Eugen, so would certainly seem to be NSDAP material and not individual, and are in possession of the U.S. Naval Historical Center. Since they are obviously in the U.S. (and therefore went through the Alien Property Custodian), and because copyright is owned by the German government, they should qualify for the U.S. exemption as well and be PD there in addition to the UK. But, nowhere else. Carl Lindberg 21:14, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I do not see that there is any proof that the Copyright is owned by the German government. German legal discourse has never taken notice of these foreign law issues, read the copyright commentaries --Historiograf 04:03, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
How can Transit claim rights on them otherwise? That is what the IWM says. If not, how could a German court rule that Triumph of the Will was Nazi Party property, and therefore Transit owned the copyrights since the German government was the successor in interest? It also seems unlikely that the U.S. would make such an exception if there was little or no material actually owned by the German government in the first place. These photos were taken from German Navy reports; wouldn't those have been considered German-Navy-owned at the time? Carl Lindberg 05:14, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Your opinion is unsourced again. Please quote place of publication, relevant literature or Aktenzeichen of all decisions you are referring to --Historiograf 19:50, 23 November 2007 (UTC)


I doubt the PD tag at Image:Petalogo.png. For one thing, the Information block says “Copyright PETA.” For another, the PermissionOTRS tag was set by the uploader; is that permitted? I see from the uploader’s talk page that (s)he has numerous image problems. --teb728 06:34, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

The ticket should be confirmable, at least. The image is PD-ineligible anyways though, so there should be no copyright in the first place. If kept though, it needs to be marked {{trademarked}}, since it is.[5] Carl Lindberg 14:49, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
So what should be done to draw it to the attention of someone who knows how to fix it? --teb728 20:54, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Pandora Recordings, Rachminoff

Have a look at [6]. It is clear that most, if not all of these recordings, are clearly copyright violations. Why have these recordings not been deleted, especially since this request is over a month old? Gretab 22:05, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

PD-old and PD-art

I would like to get attention that {{PD-old}} and {{PD-art}} mentioning life + 70 are not good enough worldwide per Template_talk:PD-old#70_or_100_years.3F because a few countries are known to copyright for life + 75 years or more:

  1. Mexico: 100 pma
  2. Cote d'Ivoire: 99 pma
  3. France: 70 pma + 14 years and 272 days for the two World Wars [+ 30 years if the author died on active service]
  4. Colombia: 80 pma
  5. Guatemala, Honduras, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines: 75 pma--Jusjih 18:07, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
France has 70 years p.m.a. in general. The WW extensions only apply to musical works, and only if the author died before July 1, 1995. The [+ 30 years if the author died on active service] is correct, though (if he was in service for France, and died before July 1, 1995). For the gory details, please see fr:Prorogations de guerre. Lupo 22:06, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Even so, there are still six countries copyrighting for more than 70 pma besides French war extension. Mexico has 100 million people. Can we ignore it?--Jusjih 03:06, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

We should ignore it. Mexico is absolutely not important for us. Most countries in the world have less than 70 years pma. 70 is long enough --Historiograf 03:24, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

I do not appreciate you disregarding Mexico while looking at m:Edits_by_project_and_country_of_origin. This is Wikimedia Commons but not English Wikipedia, so some items used on Spanish Wikipedia may be PD in Spain but not in Mexico. Template:PD-old was copied from English Wikipedia with 100 pma, but changed on 31 August 2005 to 70 pma by Paddy. English and Chinese Wikisources also distinguish 70 and 100 pma. I see no good reasons to disregard 75 pma or longer terms no matter how few countries there are. I am inviting Paddy to discuss.--Jusjih 05:17, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
We shouldn't ignore it, but perhaps it would be better to have country-specifc templates in these cases rather than trying to make one tag fit a handful of countries with rather different terms. How do these countries treat foreign works? We generally do not disallow images if they are not PD in only a handful of countries, and 70 pma makes images PD most everywhere in the world, so that seems like the most useful "generic" level. Of course, images which actually come from the countries in question need to follow those terms. Carl Lindberg 03:09, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
It is too hard to redefine PD-old to mean PD-old-100 here without massive amendments. When talking about images which actually come from the countries in question, Template:PD-Internationale may give you some ideas. I made it to caution that even though Pierre Degeyter's Internationale melody is PD in most countries, it is still copyrighted in France, the source country. Recently I added the above countries with more than 70-pma copyrights. Based on what I have found when editing w:List of countries' copyright length, Cote d'Ivoire (99 pma) and France (70 pma + war extension) accept the rule of the shorter term, so if things do not change, when Degeyter's Internationale melody becomes PD in France in around 2015, it should also become PD in Cote d'Ivoire in the same year but not 2032. I am unsure of other countries with more than 70-pma copyrights.--Jusjih 02:31, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Images from Topical Press Agency

I found this image of en:Leon Blum, the description page says it's in the public domain because the author is not known. Getty Images says it was taken by "Topical Press Agency/Stringer", so the photographer seems indeed to be unknown. This article says when Topical Press Agency went bankrupt in 1957, all negatives and most copyrights were bought by London Transport and "Hulton Getty now owns the rest of the Topical archive.". So did the copyright of this image (and others of Topical Press Agency) indeed expire? -- 05:04, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

In France and the EU, probably yes, as anonymous photo published more than 70 years ago (the image page says it was published in 1936). In the U.S., I don't know. In 1996, the en:URAA restored foreign copyrights on works that were still copyrighted in their country of origin (France in this case, most probably). The photo was copyrighted in France for 58 years and 120 days (50 years—copyright term in France prior to 1995 + fr:Prorogations de guerre), hence its original copyright, assuming a first publication in 1936, expired in 1995, before July 1.
On the one hand, the photo was thus PD in France in 1996, and thus its copyright was not restored in the U.S. by the URAA.
On the other hand, on July 1, 1995, EU Directive 93/98/EEC entered in force in the EU, but this directive was implemented in France only in 1997 (but apparently retroactively entering in effect on July 1, 1995). If this directive needs to be regarded, the photo was still copyrighted in France in 1996, because (a) that directive extended the normal copyright term to 70 years (and these 70 years also supersede the war-time prolongations, unless a longer term already ran in 1995, but that isn't the case here), and (b) because the directive re-copyrighted works if they were copyrighted in at least one EU member country, even if already PD in their country of origin. In that case, the URAA would have restored the photo's copyright in the U.S. to the full term of 95 years since its first publication, i.e. until 2031.
On the gripping hand, if the photo was in 1936 published within 30 days of its original non-U.S. publication also within the U.S. (so-called "simultaneous publication"), then the photo would be treated as a U.S. work in the U.S. and would not be subject to the URAA. In that case, the photo might be PD in the U.S. if its copyright was not registered or not renewed.
Isn't this fun? :-/ HTH, Lupo 12:59, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Ugh. Not quite a simple case... -- 17:54, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Is this a correct source?

Image:SF-Oakland-Bay-Bridge-Construction.jpg comes from [7], which claims it's from NASA, but NASA wasn't created until 1958, and the bridge opened in 1936. --NE2 19:39, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Good question. My guess would be that NASA inherited the image from some older governmental agency (maybe Army Corps of Engineers, or Navy Air Corps? Who else would have been taking such photos then and there?). I would guess that the PD-USGov tag is legitimate. NASA is an intermediate source rather than the originator; it would be good to know the actual creator of the image but I don't see reason to doubt the copyright claim. -- Infrogmation 19:52, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
According to, it's a US Navy photograph. Seems more credible given the details provided there. LX (talk, contribs) 19:53, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you; I added the details. --NE2 20:00, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Good call.Rlevse 15:28, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Template:Base Naval

Speedy? See Template talk:Base Naval. Lupo 16:39, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

yes --Historiograf 22:42, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Agree, delete it.Rlevse 15:27, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Picture from

Hi. Is this picture allowed on commons, considering these restrictions? OTRS permission was promised in June 2007, but no proof (ticket?) is as yet mentioned on the image's page. Lycaon 13:38, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Forgot to add the ticket. Now done. -- Bryan (talk to me) 17:48, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Lycaon 13:50, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

My source was too sexy for Flickr

Image:ActorJamesSpader.png used to be in Flickr here, i had asked the user by flickrmail to change the licence to CCBY, which she did, and User:Boricuaeddie passed the flickreview. Here is the problem: some anon has removed the flickreview tag because the image no longer exists at flickr. I remember that the flickr user was a 50+ woman that took pictures of herself doing poses with er... not a lot of clothes on, so she most probably got her account canceled, thus deleating this image. SSSSOOOOO where does that leave Image:ActorJamesSpader.png ? Do we have to delete the image? -Yamanbaiia 01:04, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Isn't this part of the reason for why we have the flickrreview? So that we know that the license was correct (at the point of the review) although it might later have been changed or even deleted. /Lokal_Profil 14:12, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
That's what i thought but i wanted to ask to be sure. I'll revert and keep the picture then, thank you.-Yamanbaiia 16:22, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I've added a comment next to the source about the imag no longer being hosted on Flickr. /Lokal_Profil 17:38, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Nazi-Sources - how to chose a license...?

Hello! May be somebody knows an answer...? I'd like to scan and uploade some images from a book, published in 1944 by the NSDAP publishing house (Zentralverlag der NSDAP). It's photos and maps, I already have found them reprinted in several booklets, books and also in museums. But who can tell me, which license I have to chose? Are there general guidelines for material from Nazi sources? Best regards --C.G. 21:35, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes there are. Forget it, you need the permission of the creators --Historiograf 03:59, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

That is, from the Zentralverlag der NSDAP??? I don't want to say, that's a pitty, but it doesn't exist for some years now... To be more precisely: The NSDAP then published the results of a state commission (forensic and criminal police) - may be therefore it's PD...? Puzzled --C.G. 10:50, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
The publisher would have no effect on the copyright... that would still be with the original author. So, normal copyright terms would still apply. If it was written by an individual, then the usual term of 70 pma applies, and so on. If this was a government report, it may be a bit more interesting. Only official edicts and the like are directly usable with PD-GermanGov, but there is another section of "official work" which is more for government reports, which are also more or less public material but I think there are additional restrictions on derivative work, which clouds the issue as far as being allowed on commons. I don't know much about the distinction though, so if you have any more details of the publication itself (what it was about, who is listed as the author, etc.) maybe someone more knowledgeable could help more. Carl Lindberg 03:26, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Dear Carl,

I discussed the matter via e-mail with historiograf. It would be wrong to say, we agreed, but I learned some aspects about the related questions. I think the stuff is PD, because it is material from an official report. The source: Amtliches Material zum Masenmord in Winniza. Im Auftrage des Reichsministers für die besetzten Ostgebiete auf Grund urkundlichen Beweismaterials zusammengestellt, bearbeitet und herausgegeben. Berlin: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1944.

There are no indications at all, who made the photos and drawings (Zeichnungen), but in the texts they are mentioned, so it's clear that they are not just illustrations the publishing house has added. Only on three of the drawings one can read „Kriegskarten- und Vermessungsamt Winniza“, no further information given.

The book is an official documentation of the work of forensic and criminal police commissions, who investigated an NKVD murder in the Ukrainian town of Vinnytsya. The reports are, of course, signed.

„Amtliches Material im Auftrage des Reichsministers für die besetzten Ostgebiete“, i.e. „Official material on behalf of the Reich's minister for the occupied eastern territories“ could something be more official...? The only problem I see is that the PD tag for official German material bears the current German coat of arms. Looks funny to have published 3. Reich stuff under this symbol...

Agreement? Disagreement? Best wishes --C.G. 15:39, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

I cannot decide on the question whether this qualifies as one of the rare exceptions for official material - it's pretty obvious only when it comes to laws or things like that. The publishing in the Eher Verlag (as the party publisher) instead of a regular governmental publisher might be regarded as an evidence against the status as an official document in the sense of the Urheberrechtsgesetz.
Just one note: the very book was recently published again by some dubious publisher: () Amtliches Material zum Massenmord von Winniza / im Auftr. des Reichsministers für die Besetzten Ostgebiete auf Grund urkundlichen Beweismaterials zsgest., bearb. und hrsg.. - Faks. der Ausg. [Berlin, Eher], 1944., Archiv-Ed., pp. 282
I am not sure, if copyright was an issue for this publisher... -- 20:10, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for reminding me of Eher-Verlag, I contacted the Bavarian Treasury, the holder of all property of the publishing house. May be they know an answer... C.G. 16:34, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Comment: The publisher would have no effect on the copyright... that would still be with the original author. So, normal copyright terms would still apply. by Carl Lindberg Just that from where do you get things like that? It all depends either the copyright is owned by the author or the publisher. In case the copyright is owned by the publisher, only the authors rights extend up to 70 years etc. The authors rights and copyright are not the same thing. --Termer 08:25, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

What license here ?

Recently I wrote a biography of a painter for the nl.wikipedia. The curator of my local art museum, who is an authority about the life and works of this painter, is willing to supply me with a few photos of his paintings in the museum with a license appropriate for the Commons. The problem is : this painter died in 1990. But he died apparently without heirs (for as far as the curator knows). The photos are property of the museum. Is there a problem with the copyright in this case ? And what eventual license would be most appropriate ? JoJan 14:15, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes there is a problem. Ownership of the paintings and copyright are two things --Historiograf 22:40, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Usually, when a person dies without heir, the estate escheats to the state. So, most likely, you should ask the Dutch government for the permission. --MPorciusCato 08:08, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Golden Compass display photograph

Hi. Is Image:Iorek_Byrnisson_and_Lyra_Belacqua.jpg claimed as CC-BY-SA-3.0 appropriate for the Commons regarding photographs of sculptures etc? The focus of the image seems to be the copyrighted display. -- 21:45, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

  • I have speedy deleted it. It's clearly a copyvio. --MichaelMaggs 22:55, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Sculpture/Fop and NoFop/Fair-use

I am a contributor to Commons since April 2007 mainly in the sculpture-field. I learned through many mistakes my lesson on the above subjects. Still I have some questions/observations, which bother me:

1. Fop and No-fop I live in The Netherlands and upload images from sculptures from here and from Germany (both Fop-countries). Some images are (randomly or on deliberately?) tagged with the Fop or Fop-de templates by french or italian users/admins (NoFop countries). But the vast majority of these and other images are not tagged at all. Is there a guideline or does everyone act on his own authority? Images from French or Italian sculptors are deleted immediately (Not dead for 70 years or No-Fop rules) as not-allowed on Commons. I am sad about that but I accept the rules. But images from these sculptors are also deleted from Fop-countries (Accidents?). Images from sculptures and/or categories (Modern sculptors) from France and Italy are richly tagged with alarming warning-templates (Commons rules or individual decisions by admins/users?). These templates are never to be seen on other pages from international sculptors - with the exception of possibly the US-sculptors. I noticed furthermore that images on Commons from Fop-countries are seldom uploaded by fr en it-wikipedians. (Ignorance?)

2. Fair-use on en-wikipedia I can understand users who try to transfer fair-use images to Commons and further to local wikipedia's. The rich choice to be made in the alarmingly growing catogory: Fair use images of three-dimensional works of art (334 ones now) is asking for attention and problems. En-wikipedia (is said) is only 1 out of 67 wikipedi's (1.3 % only) and who cares, but en-wikipedia is the most important and largest encyclopaedia and I think that no-body except the locals themselves look at local wikipedia's. The world population however is looking massively at en-wikipedia. And believe me, some local wikipedians transfer fair use images to their pages.Therefor my question is: is fair-use not a growing problem in the Wiki community?

Please folks, ignore my observations/questions if you don't think them to be interesting enough for the community to discuss. Regard--Gerardus 08:58, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately sculptures in the Netherlands do not fall under Freedom of Panorama. Auteurswet 1912, artikel 18: Als inbreuk op het auteursrecht op een werk als bedoeld in artikel 10, eerste lid, onder 6°, of op een werk, betrekkelijk tot de bouwkunde als bedoeld in artikel 10, eerste lid, onder 8°, dat is gemaakt om permanent in openbare plaatsen te worden geplaatst, wordt niet beschouwd de verveelvoudiging of openbaarmaking van afbeeldingen van het werk zoals het zich aldaar bevindt. Waar het betreft het overnemen in een compilatiewerk, mag van dezelfde maker niet meer worden overgenomen dan enkele van zijn werken. Bouwkunde (architecture) does as far as I understand only include buildings. -- Bryan (talk to me) 09:37, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
There is freedom of panorama for sculpture permanently located in a public place in The Netherlands (See Commons:Freedom of Panorama). The Dutch wording is as clear as the English translation. What I doubt is, in the first place what are a few (?) works by the same author and in the second place what is a compilation (I suppose a publication or a book). Is Wikimedia Commons a Compilation? I don't think so. Thank you for your reaction anyway--Gerardus 10:28, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Aha. I misread the of (or) for en (and). You're right, sorry for the confusion :) The compilation thing is a little bit problematic for Commons I think. Commons is by itself a compilation. Well, I don't know about that. -- Bryan (talk to me) 17:51, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

images from these sculptors are also deleted from Fop-countries. A sculpture in a public place in Amsterdam or Cologne, made by a living or recently deceased sculptor from France or Italy, should clearly fall under FOP. Therefore a deletion would be unjustified and should be contradicted. -- Túrelio 20:10, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Help with a Syrian Arabian Horse Photo

Here is a site with a photo that I would like to use in a Wikipedia article: Syria-Net. The first photo on the page is the one I want to use (the one of the horse). The article I want to use it in is Syrian Arabian horse. Where does this photo qualify? Is it public domain or fair use? Or should I try to find another photo? Thanks! --Merond e 06:44, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

It's copyrighted by Jens Sannek or Bernd Loewenherz. Lupo 07:41, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. --Merond e 08:42, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Image license in flickr changed after uploading

I'd like to get comments regarding this image: Image:Haid, Charles (2007).jpg. It's taken from commons and the current license is not compatible with commons one. However, it has the following comment:

Later the same day that this series of images was uploaded to Commons, D'Amato changed the licence of his Flickr contributions from cc-by to cc-by-nc-nd. FlickrreviewR caught most before the licence change (Image:Farrell, Mike (2007 protest).jpg and Image:Gordon, Stuart (2007).jpg, among a dozen or so others), and an admin reviewed one of the remaining few (Image:Haid, Charles (2007) 2.jpg), but several images (Image:Schow, Rodionoff and Barnes (2007).jpg, Image:Schow, David (2007).jpg and Image:Haid, Charles (2007).jpg) were adjusted in Photoshop before uploading - preventing automatic verification. To the admin/trusted user currently working on Category:Flickr images needing human review, please use your common sense in this case. GeeJo (t)(c) • 18:23, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

My comment was this one:

I fully agree about using common sense. However, although I'm completely sure about the original license of the image being CC-BY, I cannot "stamp" something I haven't been able to verify. If doing a cost-benefit analysis (the cost of argumenting and proving that this given image has a compatible license against the benefit of having a single photo) I don't think it's worth to assign a license that weren't actually verified. Of course that another administrator may think otherwise. --Ecemaml (talk to me/habla conmigo) 08:11, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Comments? Best regards --Ecemaml (talk to me/habla conmigo) 08:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC) PS: as GeeJo points out, same comment applies to Image:Schow, Rodionoff and Barnes (2007).jpg, Image:Schow, David (2007).jpg and Image:Haid, Charles (2007).jpg.

It sounds like the Flickr author changed licenses about a month after uploading. While that's a decent amount of time, indicating it was a probably a change of mind rather than the original license being a simple mistake, I would probably err on the side of respecting the author's (new) wishes on the matter. Maybe the author could be contacted to relax the license on the photos in question, but otherwise I think it would be best to respect their new license. Carl Lindberg 16:36, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Copyright status of a photo of an old coin

I am interested in the following image:

This is a recent photo of an ancient coin; the "copyright" of the coin design never existed (it is a IV century coin), and it is actually a 2D design (the third dimension in not visible).

Is it possible to upload this image on commons? -- 14:32, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

It depends on whether the photograph of the coin itself contains copyright. It could be enhanced digitally, which would provide a copyright to the photograph. Cary Bass demandez 14:49, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
And it also depends on the country in which the photograph was taken. /Lokal_Profil 15:31, 10 December 2007(UTC)
Since it sounds like a U.S. photo (Metropolitan Museum of Art), I doubt that digital enhancement would qualify for additional copyright (since there likely would not be any originality). But, I'm not completely sure on the 2D/3D question, and therefore if it would qualify under PD-Art or not. It does seem to be right around that borderline. Carl Lindberg 16:26, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Help With War Photos

The photos here:




and here:


would both be very important to the wikipedia entry on the Le Paradis massacre. But I am having trouble finding out the copyright for all of them.

The web page I got them from states that the last picture was "sent by Congress Verlag, an East German publisher, to the Late Cyril Jolly, author of 'The Man Who Missed the Massacre'.

It was taken by a German soldier passing along the road at Le Paradis in May 1940 and shows the massacred men lying beside the barn."

Due to the age of the pictures, (1940-1948) and the fact that their authors are long since dead, and they seem to be used by other websites already, can I upload them?

Mattyness 18:44, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, no. According to German law, photos become PD 70 years after the author's death or - in case the author is not known - 70 years after publication. -- 19:46, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
I would recommend uploading them to en-wiki under a "fair use" argument, since (without looking into it too much) they sound historically significant. However, commons does not allow fair use images, and is pretty strict about following the expiration terms specified in copyright law to the letter, so they would not be allowed here. In a few years, once 70 years goes by, they could probably be transferred. Carl Lindberg 15:57, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

NASA Copyright Policy

I have noticed that NASA copyright requires credit for it's images, therefore this is not the public domain, it is more like CC-BY. This is stated on the NASA copyright page - "NASA should be acknowledged as the source of the material," which means it is not in the Public Domain, as the public domain does not require attribution --Anonymous101 16:45, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

NASA is a department of the US Federal Government. Any images or video footage supplied by any branch of the Federal Government is automatically in the Public Domain. For 'credit' read 'attribution'.
Ref NASA copyright page:- 8. NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted. If copyrighted, permission should be obtained from the copyright owner prior to use. If not copyrighted, NASA material may be reproduced and distributed without further permission from NASA.
Some images in NASA publications may be supplied by non US Government agencies, in which case they will state that the material is copyrighted. Richard Harvey 19:23, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

As with other government works, NASA images are in the public domain (though be careful of images made by a NASA collaboration with a non-government entity... those may be copyrighted). The right of an author to be acknowledged is usually part of "moral rights", which is separate from the copyright. These are fuzzier in the U.S. than other countries, and it is not clear how much this applies to government works, but see 17 USC §106A. Also, 17 USC §403 requires that derivative works which predominantly consist of a U.S. government work must identify which portions were authored by the government (and thus public domain); if this is not done the entire new work can become public domain. CC-BY makes the attribution requirement part of the copyright license itself, which is quite different. Carl Lindberg 17:12, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

See also: Commons:Village pump#Nasa Copyright -Rocket000 18:38, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Part of a CoA image

I recently left a comment at User talk:Steifer#Image:Lymphad3.jpg in which I say: "I have uploaded a portion of your Douglas coat of arms (Image:Douglas hamiltonCoA.png) as the above image (Image:Lymphad3.jpg).... It is my assumption that this does not violate the copyright of the original image, and my hope that you will be agreeable to its use in this manner."

User:Steifer has not yet replied. I have been told by a couple of experienced Commons users that there isn't a problem as the image "should be in the public domain because of its age". I'd be obliged if you could confirm this. Thanks. W. L. Tarbert 12:49, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

If that portion of the original image is public domain (I didn't look into the original source so I'm not sure), then it is fine, but your upload should then probably be marked public domain as well. If User:Steifer is considered the author, then he would be the author of your upload too -- I would change to the PD-user tag and not use PD-self, as cropping an image doesn't add any new copyright (it's the same copyright as the original). Carl Lindberg 16:44, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Since the original image was released by it's author as GFDL and cc-by-2.5 that means that the author has allowed anyone to make derivatives based on that image. You're image is therefore ok since it correctly states the source from which it was derived. /Lokal_Profil 01:58, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Many thanks. W. L. Tarbert 19:54, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Copyrights status of Iraq and Iran money

User:Butko found a bunch of Iraq and Iran money which are licensed with {{PD-self}} or CC licenses:

What is correct license for such images?

EugeneZelenko 15:24, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Well PD-self and cc are obviously wrong. According to {{PD-Iran}} the applicable rule is "life of the creator plus 30 years" don't know if there is a special case for government images but unless we find one we can't assume one.
For the money from Iraq the rule seems to be "twenty five years have elapsed since the year of authors death and fifty years have elapsed since the year of publication" for images wehich became PD before 2004. Any images which weren't PD at that time got changed to "50 years past the author's death, or 50 years after publication in the case of applied art, copyright held by a legal entity, and pseudonymous works".
Looking at the images I would guess delete them all. /Lokal_Profil 02:08, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Image:100IRR.png is in the same situation. /Lokal_Profil 02:10, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Scans of PD documents?

I recently uploaded Image:Qing Dynasty-2000 wen-1859.jpg which is a scan of a document from 1859. While the original is obviously public domain, it just occurred to me that the act of scanning creates a derivative work which could have its own encumbrances. In a situation like this, is there enough "creative input" to protect the scan itself? Or is scanning considered to have original authorship which is trivial in comparison to the original? Dgies 21:45, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

In this case, the scan is also public domain. The principles of {{PD-art}} can just be applied here. 哦, 是吗?(User:O) 22:38, 14 December 2007 (GMT)
This is not a document though, it's apparently currency. Does that make a difference? (it's presumably not legal tender any more but still) ++Lar: t/c 13:01, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Just curious, how do we know it's currency? RlevseTalk 13:38, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
The fact that it's currency (it's a banknote according to its description) doesn't make any difference as far as copyright (or PD-Art) is concerned. If it was still legal tender, I suppose there may be separate counterfeit-related restrictions outside of copyright, which should be double-checked to make sure hosting such images is not a violation. In most cases I would be surprised if it were, but you never know. I don't think that's an issue here though. Carl Lindberg 16:54, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm just remembering that we have had some issues with other currency images. I'm no expert. ++Lar: t/c 21:28, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Licenses of CC logos

According to the Creative Commons web site,

The Creative Commons buttons that describe a key term of our license, such as BY, NC, ND, SA, Sampling, Sampling Plus and Noncommercial Sampling Plus may only be used in the context of pointing to a Creative Commons license on the Creative Commons server that includes that license term or to otherwise describe the Creative Commons license, that includes that license term and that applies to a particular work.

But most of the images on Category:Creative Commons icons claim for licenses that are, according to me, whimsical. Am I misleaded ? --GaAs11671 17:18, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

The restriction mentioned above is part of the trademark license, not copyright, which is an important distinction. Most of the icons directly from CC are probably PD-ineligible anyways. It does look like a fair percentage of the images in that category should be marked {{trademarked}} though. Carl Lindberg 08:35, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. These images can be retagged as {{PD-ineligible}} + {{trademarked}}. Alex Spade 16:44, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Are Windows minimize, maximize and close buttons not allowed?

Are these buttons subject to copyright and therefore mean that the title bar of any Windows program is not allowed on commons?

What about program GUI that are created with the standard Windows theme? These surely can't fall under any copyright other than the authors because they are creative works in their own right. It would be absurd if it was because commons would have to delete almost every screenshot of any program running on Windows. -- Gudeldar 05:23, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

The buttons, tabs, listbox, icons, themes, etc. are part of operating system Windows, are called thru Microsoft Windows API: the dll's of Windows operating system, and are copyrighted for Microsoft. Thanks 06:49, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Is this User:Shooke? That is very close to the wording used in the speedy delete tags User:Shooke has used on several images.
Honestly I find calling images like this Image:AWBLog.png copyrighted by Microsoft patently absurd. They are drawn using the help of the Windows API but they are tools with which to create buttons, ::lists , etc. This seems to make about as much sense as saying that everything created with Adobe Photoshop is copyrighted by Adobe simply because the person used their tools to do so! -- ::Gudeldar 08:17, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

I do not think that the design of these buttons passes the threshold of originality, i.e. I think that they are public domain. --AFBorchert 08:27, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Please contact Microsoft lawyers first on this matter. Until their answer confirming your opinion, please follow Commons:Licensing#Screenshots. --EugeneZelenko 16:52, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
FFS, they've got to be pd-ineligible. That's what Apple v Microsoft established. -Nard 17:03, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Eugene, we are talking about buttons, right? A minimize button, for example, which consists of a square and a straight line in the lower half of the square. Please let me know where you see originality in this case. Originality is, according to US law, required to be eligible for copyright (see this case). This is also the very same law that allows us to use the {{PD-Art}} template. And no, I have no intention to upload such images of buttons. I am just giving my opinion and I can happily do this without consulting Microsoft. --AFBorchert 22:27, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Minimise, maximise and close buttons look the same on Windows as on Linux. Shooke's campaign is overly zealous IMO. --pfctdayelise (说什么?) 01:32, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed as well. It is not possible to copyright "common geometric figures and shapes", which is what these (simple) buttons are IMO. See here for this and other examples of the threshold of artistic creativity needed. I'm sure Microsoft agrees, since they copied the Windows NT/2000 versions of the buttons pretty much directly from en:NEXTSTEP ;-) The gradient XP versions are a little closer to the threshold, but I don't think they reach it either. Obviously, there are many copyrighted images on buttons on other parts of Windows, but the minimize/maxmize/close buttons do not qualify, I don't think. Carl Lindberg 03:27, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Anybody can proof that windows decoration an styles of Windows, also Windows XP, are of domain public, please think about it!!!! thanks to 说什么? for request, Gudeldar not is absurd this my view point Shooke 02:50, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
And merry chrismas and new year for all Shooke 02:54, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Now, list of patents of Microsoft over GUI, :

and more if search on google patents It clear that is infringiment of Microsoft Patents Shooke 03:18, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

@Shooke: Patent and copyright are completely different. 哦,是吗?(O-person) 03:29, 24 December 2007 (GMT)
Please do not confuse patents and copyright. They are utterly different. Wikipedia cannot violate the patents, as they are not implementing an operating system. Carl Lindberg 03:31, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Please read the patent, is not necessary of operating system implementation for the violation. And if exist patent, is probably the copyrighted the screenshot, windows is propietary of schemes of themes Shooke 03:38, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
The patents proof that Micorosoft is propetary of Windows decoration and themes, mean the screenshots are screenshots with parts which propietary is Microsoft, it convert and fair use images. See this type of images are generaly clasified like fair use in English Wikipedia. Shooke 03:45, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Patents do not imply copyright nor vice versa. Patents are on ideas, which explicitly cannot be copyrighted. Copyrights are for particular, exact expressions of ideas. You may not need to implement an operating system to violate these patents, but you do need to be implementing software which implements a windowing system of some kind. Images do not violate software patents, as they are not operating software. It is irrelevant, but standard windows and scrollbars do not even show the patents you mention (which are variations on standard windows which are hardly ever seen). Carl Lindberg 03:54, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I finally: However, the point is this: each time that program running on windows, if call the windows API (libraries: dlls), call to operating system which show the window decoration, therefore is visual part of oerating system, and the screenshot is converted with copyrighted parts, is clear, besides, not have information about license of these visual parties, therefore should be deleted like are deleted other images that not have license information. I say goodbye to the discussion, ultimately, those responsible for loading an image ãre users, I notice, is not whether they have ever programmed a Windows application, it would account for developers of the programs did not elaborate buttons, or window or icons or ... goodbye Sincerely Merry Christmas Shooke 04:28, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
That is true, however consensus says that the parts of the OS that was in the screenshot was not copyrighted. 哦,是吗?(O-person) 05:39, 24 December 2007 (GMT)
I don't think Microsoft will claim to own random freely licensed software based on it containing Windows program buttons. I do not believe such a thing would fly well in court. Oh and Microsoft would avoid freeliy-licensed stuff with a 10 foot pole. I do however think such extras lower the quality of the screenshot. I also believe the solution is not to delete such images but simply remove the windows related material from the non-Microsoft owned software. It is everyones responsibility to improve quality of images. :) -- Cat ちぃ? 15:58, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Are these images public domain?

I was looking for an image for an article on Wikipedia and came across this page. The organization claims copyright on the images. Wouldn't {{PD-Art}} apply to the images though? Psychless 04:34, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

It would apply (IANAL), however, PD-Art is based primarily on a copyright rule valid in the USA (with different applicability for other countries), but this website is UK-based, I believe. See Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag#UK. --Mormegil 10:44, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

US Congress photos

Does anyone know what the status of Image:Kennedy Moon speech 25 May 1961.jpg is? I recently uploaded this, and I'm presuming it is a work of a US government employee. It came from a NASA website, and some other websites credit NASA. I haven't been able to ascertain for certain who actually took the photo though. I suppose it could have been a photojournalist if they are allowed to attend sessions of Congress. What should be done? Is the current PD-USGov tag OK? Carcharoth (Commons) 19:25, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

  • It was most likely taken by a US gov't employee, although the specific agency is probably unknown. It looks good to me. -Nard 19:27, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Thanks. I'm going to try and increase my activity here on Commons over the next few months. Would anyone have time to review my gallery of 34 images (so far) and give me some tips on categorising, license tags, and potential problems? My contributions so far have fallen into three main categories: (1) tourist snaps; (2) cropping or uploading photos already on Wikipedia or other projects; (3) finding PD-US historical pictures. If there is a better place to ask for a review like this, please point me there. Thanks. Carcharoth (Commons) 19:37, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
      • Those are good images with good descriptions, but most of your names are generic and do not describe image well. Even if you crop existing images with a bad name I would give them a better name. Also (as you pointed out) they could use more categorizing. Some of them could fall into Category:Civil rights and/or place (like Category:Birmingham, Alabama) and time (Category:1963) categories. Use CommonSense (find categories tab) or find related images and check their categories. good luck--Jarekt 13:51, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Screenshots of free software on Windows

Should Image:Inkscape 0.44.1 screenshot.png have been deleted? It was a screenshot of Inkscape. It was cropped to remove everything but the program window. It was speedy deleted because: Screenshot of program running on Windows, with copyrighted parts derived of Windows API, screenshots made on Microsoft Windows don't should contain any visible elements of the operating system itself or of any other non-free software. Screenshots of non-free software and screenshots including copyrighted Windows widgets will be deleted in accordance with Commons:Licensing#Screenshots. Is there something I'm missing here? I don't see any Windows anything. At least no icons or "start" bar or things like that. Rocket000 05:37, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I can't see the image (I'm not an admin), but from the description it sounds like it should have been OK. Carl Lindberg 06:43, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry. See Image:AutoWikiBrowser muokkaamassa Roronoa Zoroa.png. It's in the exact same boat. Rocket000 12:21, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
On the same topic: there is also a discussion at Commons:Deletion requests/Windows screenshots. LX (talk, contribs) 16:40, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh I just found that and was about to come here and mention it. I didn't look at all of them, but some clearly should be deleted, whereas some don't include non-free material and should be kept. Rocket000 22:06, 2 January 2008 (UTC)


Hi all, would this image be suitable for commons? The licence is OK I guess, but the content makes me hesitate. Thanks in advance. Fernandopascullo 12:37, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunately, no. The Harry Potter illustration is copyrighted, so this would be a derivative. Rocket000 14:43, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

PD only in US (Nobel Prize medal)

Do I understand correctly the Country-specific laws part that images not created in the US, and public domain only in the US are not allowed on Commons? For context, see Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Nobel Prize Medal 2.jpg. --Mormegil 17:30, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

  • The country-specific laws section is very convoluted and could use some re-wording. To make it short and sweet: The first thing to consider is the copyright of the country of origin, which is is usually the country of first publication or if the work is unpublished where the work was made. For the Nobel prize this is easy. It was designed by a Swede in Sweden and awarded in Sweden. Only if the work is PD there will Commons accept it. The Nobel prize has to my knowledge never been formally registered for copyright in the US which was required until 1978 (with retroactive grace for works made between 1978 and 1989. After 1989 copyright became automatic.) Really I don't see why they mark it as fair use on the English Wikipedia, it should be PD-US. It's copyright status in Sweden is still open to debate. -Nard 17:51, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
  • If it is still under copyright in its country of origin, then no, we should not keep it here. It sounds like it is public domain in the U.S. (being published before 1923), but almost certainly not in Sweden. It could probably be hosted on en-wiki, but if so please add prominent notes that it should NOT be transferred to commons. Carl Lindberg 02:12, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Copyright on bank notes

Is there a page somewhere at the Commons (or maybe someone has a link to an external site) where the copyright of bank notes of various countries can be looked up? I'm an administrator at the Afrikaans Wikipedia and am in the process of moving many of our images to the Commons. This takes a long time, since I double check both the source and license information.

At the English Wikipedia, this image of a Brazilian cruzeiros note is tagged as "non-free". On the German Wikipedia, this image of another cruzeiros note is tagged as being copyright free, since it doesn't meet the threshold of originality. Then again, this image of a cruzeiros note at the Afrikaans Wikipedia is licensed as GFDL?

Does anyone have any idea what the correct license for these images should be? Either I want to give it the correct free license and upload it here, or it will have to be tagged as non-free and eventually deleted. Anrie 15:24, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

It's definitely great idea. I asked similar questions some time ago on Commons:Village pump. I could contribute information about ex-USSR countries (money are exempted from copyrights in most of them).
Same thing goes to coins.
EugeneZelenko 15:32, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
The place to put it would be Commons:Currency. That page do do with some input.--MichaelMaggs 15:38, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Image:Wikimedia Foundation organization chart.svg

I think this can't just be PD licensed, it has the WMF logo on it, so I suggest it also needs {{CopyrightByWikimedia}} or something similar but I'm not sure which, and I didn't want to attach a license to it that would cause difficulty later if removed. ++Lar: t/c 05:13, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

I responded on the image talk page. —Pathoschild 21:45:20, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Removing the logo as you suggested there, finesses the whole problem so seems a good approach. ++Lar: t/c 21:11, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Done. —Pathoschild 22:23:47, 16 January 2008 (UTC)


I'm sure has been covered extensively somewhere, but I'm struggling finding any reference to it in FAQ etc. A simple question therefore: can images from photobucket be uploaded to commons? Jhamez84 14:15, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Haven't found any discussion on that, but about 600 images at the Commons that come from photobucket, a number of which under PD-self claims (i.e., the uploader here has an account at Photobucket.) Their terms of service are here... See e.g. Image:Odin's_crucifixion.PNG and its Photobucket source: the source clearly states the image was CC-BY-2.0, so it should be ok. I don't know how they handle license changes, though. Do we need a review process like we do have for Flickr? What if the Photobucket source suddenly says "All rights reserved"? How do these things work at Photobucket? Also, not all images there state any license at all. See e.g. Image:Mike_in_omaha.jpg (uploaded originally by en:User:Irishjenny at en-WP) and [8] (by "irishjenny"). Lupo 15:21, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I was surprised this hasn't been made clear(er) on WikiCommons before now, but doubley surprised that it hasn't been touched on! I read about the photobucket site in a national paper yesterday saying it was one of the best free-image depositories and resources (though it doesn't come close to WikiCommons of course), so I went to investigate to see any potential use for Wikipedia (where I'm most active). It has a mixture of image qualities, but some very good stuff that could be used. The terms of use aren't clear on photobucket - though to me they imply that any work uploaded to them is free to be reused and remixed. The uploaders don't seem too bothered about copyright or licencing either, some simply have a nom-de-plume. Jhamez84 15:46, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
I browsed around for a bit, but I did not see anything which indicated any general support for users to specify licenses. The terms of service specifies that uploaders retain full rights, but grant Photobucket some limited rights. Can someone point to any better info? If not, it looks to me as though all of them should be considered copyrighted with all rights reserved, unless an author went to special lengths to mark it with a free license as in the cc-by-2.0 case linked above. Carl Lindberg 16:07, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
(Edit conflict.) Their terms of service quite clearly say that the copyright remains with the individual uploaders, but that Photobucket is granted a non-exclusive license to use (mix, adapt, derive, publish, etc.) the uploads on their site (Section 3). That does not imply that anyone else was granted such a right. In fact, viewers are given a non-exclusive license for private, non-commercial purposes only, unless some other conditions are mentioned at a particular upload (Section 4). In other words: Photobucket images are usable at Wikimedia projects only if the Photobucket uploader clearly licenses them freely. Absent any statement, the photos are under a "non-commercial only" license, and to get a free license, the Photobucket uploader must be contacted. (If that is at all possible through their software. I don't know.) Lupo 16:09, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Their tutorials don't even mention how to specify a license when uploading (either as default or on a single upload). Looks like that is not possible at Photobucket. I also haven't found any way to contact a particular uploader, but they do have some forums. In the forums, one can e-mail other participants.[9] To sign up to Photobucket, one must specify an e-mail address. But no mention of any "e-mail this user" functionality.Lupo 16:21, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
It's primary purpose seems to be as a hosting site for linking images to myspace etc. For what has been called the World's Biggest Photo Site [10], it seems poorly organised, and barely concerned with copyright law. I've found an image I like, clicked on the uploader (taking me to his gallery of uploads) and the image I wanted doesn't appear in his uploads! Nor is there any function to contact him as also discovered by Lupo. Jhamez84 16:42, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Individual licence templates

There is some heavy discussion about individual licences at de-WP at the moment. Please check Image:Bankgebäude an der Düsseldorfer Kö.jpg as an example for such private templates. There is some concern whether additional requirements like "A hyperlink to the original photo is stated" or the inclusion of individual general terms and conditions is compatible with the GFDL's requirement "[...]and that you add no other conditions whatsoever to those of this License.". The debate originated in the creation of a GFDL-1.2-only licence template which was created to prevent the impact of further revisions of GFDL which may simplify the use of GFDL works by cancelling the requirement to include the whole licence text. Therefore discussion is about acceptance of a GFDL-1.2.-only template too. Since commons provides such a licence as well (Template:GFDL-1.2) i would like to get some comments on both issues (individual licence templates and GFDL-1.2-only licence). --Wiggum 15:43, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

By the way, for any german speaking guys who missed the discussion: de:Wikipedia:Urheberrechtsfragen#Festschreibung_von_Bildlizenzen_auf_GFDL_1.2_-Fortsetzung / Permalink--Wiggum 15:47, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
We have Commons:User-specific galleries, templates and categories policy which is related to this issue I think. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 07:30, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
As I read the GFDL license, it says that a release of a document to the GFDL means it also releases it under any later versions of the GFDL.
Each version of the License is given a distinguishing version number. If the Document specifies that a particular numbered version of this License "or any later version" applies to it, you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that specified version or of any later version that has been published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation. If the Document does not specify a version number of this License, you may choose any version ever published (not as a draft) by the Free Software Foundation. (license, ch. 10)
If that is was the license says, then GFDL-1.2-only licenses are simply invalid and can't be accepted here.
Fred J (talk) 13:18, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
I read the same opinion in de-WP recently (de:Wikipedia_Diskussion:Meinungsbilder/GFDL_1.2_Bildlizenz#MB_ungeeignet)--Wiggum 14:30, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Interesting... I thought that the GFDL always included "or any later version", but I read the above as allowing each document to specify which versions of the GFDL are allowed. It doesn't spell out what happens if a version number is specified but "or any later version" is not mentioned, which to me implies that later GFDL versions in that case would not be applicable, and only the identified version can be used. If we accept GFDL-1.2-and-later now, then I think we have to accept that one too (though we should probably discourage its use). Carl Lindberg 14:57, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes indeed that is one possible interpretation. I guess we have to ask them what they mean.
Fred J (talk) 18:13, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

It is possible to use pictures strictly according the GNU FDL without putting a link to Wikipedia. Therefore it is false that in the "private" license quoted above the link condition is said to be necessary for online use. Therefore the license is invalid because of no-allowance of "other conditions". You cannot make binding one form to fullfil the license. --Historiograf 00:56, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

License status of over 150 years old colour plates, reprinted recently

I would like to ask, if the upload of over 150 years old colour plates is allowed, if they are taken from recently published reprints and/or taken from Google Book Search. For example I want to upload zoological colour plates of spiders, originally published 1827, using a reprint of 1988. Further I would like to upload colour plates of the same age, using Google Book Search.--Anglo-Araneophilus 15:45, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

  • If the plates are identical, the reprint might not attract a new copyright, but it depends where, some books are under a publication right. If it seems okay just upload it and put the best license. If someone else disagrees they can always delete it :P -Nard 23:58, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, Nard--Anglo-Araneophilus 11:42, 20 January 2008 (UTC).

Image:Underwater mcmurdo sound.jpg

I found this text on the website were this picture came from. Doesn't it need an OTRS ticket? Lycaon 15:47, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

The website also say this (my emphasis):
"General Restrictions:
Images and other media in the National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery are available for use in print and electronic material by NSF employees, members of the media, university staff, teachers and the general public. All media in the gallery are intended for personal, educational and nonprofit/non-commercial use only.
Images credited to the National Science Foundation, a federal agency, are in the public domain. The images were created by employees of the United States Government as part of their official duties or prepared by contractors as "works for hire" for NSF. You may freely use NSF-credited images and, at your discretion, credit NSF with a "Courtesy: National Science Foundation" notation. Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions."
Lycaon 16:02, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

If it is U.S. Government-authored photograph, it is in the public domain with no restrictions, just like the second paragraph above says. If the image is authored by someone else, then it would fall under the restrictions listed under the first paragraph. I see a version of the image here, which is credited as "NSF/USAP photo by Steve Clabuesch", so it should be fine. We probably should update the Author section though to include that full credit though. Do we know the URL of the original source? That would be nice too. Carl Lindberg 17:42, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

OK, thanks. The original source is here. Lycaon 18:32, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Works of art

I want to upload some works of art - illustrations I need for an biographical article in german WP (poor English, you see!). The artist died in 1994. So I contacted the successors via email and got the permission, to reproduce some illustrations and a personal photo in WP. My question: how to handle this relative to the upload-form, especially : what kind of licence to choose in the dropdown-box "Licensing"? --Eisenacher 16:22, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Hallo, um sicherzustellen, dass die Genehmigung stimmt, sollten die Rechteinhaber eine entsprechende Email an OTRS schicken. Ganz wichtig ist, dass die Genehmigung nicht nur fuer Wikipedia ist, sondern eine freie Lizenz beinhaltet. Wenn du nur eine Genehmigung fuer Wikipedia bekommst, musst du das Bild dort hochladen, hier werden nur Bilder akzeptiert die fuer alle Zwecke nutzbar sind. --rimshottalk 16:44, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Reproduction of a copyrighted painting: How do I licence?

I'm thinking of uploading a reproduction of a copyrighted painting. I own the copyright myself, I inherited it from my grandfather. Now, since this is a faithful reproduction—which cannot attract copyright in the US, Germany etc—, I cannot licence the JPEG I am uploading. I don't want to licence the painting, though: I don't want to give the whole world the right to forever freely use any reproduction of the painting in any resolution under CC-BY. This seems to be happening, though, if I just bang a CC-BY tag on the JPEG.

I simply want to licence the very reproduction in the very resolution, nothing more.

I suppose if I don't use a tag and simply write something like "you are free to use this reproduction at this or a lower resolution analogue to CC-BY", it will take about a week and somebody will stick a CC-BY tag on the image all the same. So how do I technically do this? -- 00:22, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

You release the painting under CC-BY (or whatever) and only give us a photo at a resolution you feel comfortable with. Then hide the painting. :-) Rocket000 00:44, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and if you ever want to make higher resolution copies or put in a museum you can relicense the painting. (Of course, our copy stays CC-BY.) Rocket000 00:48, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
The license you upload is for the image file itself. A simple reproduction image normally carries the same copyright license as the original painting, as there is no additional copyright on it, but if you are the copyright owner you can change the license of the image upload itself. You're not changing the license of the painting. You can make a note to that effect on the image page. Just be sure that it's not a high-resolution upload :-)
Question though, just to make sure -- was this a painting that your grandfather painted himself, or was it one that your grandfather happened to own but was painted by someone else? If it's the latter, you may not own the copyright of the painting in the first place, and you would not be able to upload it. Carl Lindberg 02:26, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
It's a painting that my grandfather painted himself. -- 17:27, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Photos from U.S. State Governments

Are photos produced by state governments treated the same ways as Federal government pictures in terms of licensing? PVSBond

No. States are allowed to make their own rules on the matter, and pretty much all of them keep copyright. Certain Florida works may be an exception, but otherwise state government material cannot be uploaded to commons. See Commons:Licensing#Works_by_the_US_Government. Carl Lindberg 02:20, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Two statements

Two statements that may be of wider interest:

Lupo 12:24, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

"In cases like (b) the actual words of the speech may not themselves be copyright-protected because the author hasn't committed "fixation" of the words in a tangible medium." In which countries is fixation required? I have been under the impression that requiring fixation is an exception rather than a rule among copyright laws in the Western world. Samulili 12:35, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Certainly in the U.S. In the Berne Convention, it's optional (§2(2)). Not required in Germany, Switzerland, and Russia. If no fixation is required, the words of even impromptu (spontaneous) speeches are copyrighted. Lupo 12:48, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Maybe we need a list, like COM:FIX/Commons:Fixation. Finland: not required. Samulili 12:56, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
That's correct from my experience too. I can say with certainty that it's not required in Swedish copyright legislation, and from memory, it's not required by French copyright laws either. In fact, the very first clause of the Swedish law on copyright declares that it applies to "fictional or descriptive productions in writing or speech". LX (talk, contribs) 13:01, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Last August, in response to a request on, I started compiling en:WP:MGS. I don't think it has attracted much attention since, but I have updated it with these two opinions. Any additions or changes would be appreciated (and we might consider putting it on Commons or Meta instead). -Nard 16:02, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you Lupo for finding and posting the comment! Does this mean we should now delete most statues and sculptures, including for example most items in Category:Sculptures in Sweden? Wouldn't it be possible to put one or more Wikimedia servers somewhere else?????? If Wikipedia raises $2 million in fundraising, surely it can't be impossible. / Fred J (talk) 06:33, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Whoa there! Keep cool. No rash deletions, please. But we certainly need to tag any such images (which should place them in a maintenance category), such that we can identify them and delete/move them once it has been figured out what should happen with all these media. Lupo 10:24, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
P.S.: Old discussions about these problems here and here. And for new uploads, we finally should enforce our longstanding rule that works must be either freely licensed or PD in both the source country and in the U.S. (See COM:L.) Lupo 10:24, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I think you're the only one that likes that stupid rule. :) Rocket000 10:44, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Could you please make personal comments on personal talk pages? It would help keeping this discussion centered on the topic, not on persons. And remember that sarcasm, irony, and humor travel badly over the internet. Lupo 10:56, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, that rule is stupid. But this statement does not qualify the person that obeys that rule. It just a statement on that rule. And I personally agree with Rocket on that subject. --ALE! ¿…? 12:55, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
In view of this clarification from Mike and Anthère, it's the most permissive rule that we're allowed to have. Any other rule would have to be more restrictive, or we'd go by U.S. law only, and thereby diminish the Commons' usefulness to other projects. Lupo 13:05, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
If we would add some servers in Europe and in some other countries, we could avoid a lot of stupidities like having to delete some image PD in country X where it was taken but which is still copyrighted in the US. I will not delete such images. --ALE! ¿…? 13:33, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Server locations are one thing, but the seat of the operator is another thing. See Mike's other comment, which is based on "as a U.S. corporation...". Lupo 13:54, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with "seat of operation" reasoning. However, a solution could be to establish sub-centers of operations in other countries. A Wikipedia Europe, for example. Any global country operates in that way, i.e. McDonalds Sweden wouldn't get sued in the US for publishing a photo of a Swedish sculpture in Sweden. / Fred J (talk) 15:00, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's an idea. Setup a Wikimedia Europe, independent from the U.S.-based WMF, have that European sub-center have its own servers and host the images there. But could you use those images on any WikiMedia project hosted on the Florida servers of the U.S.-based WMF? Lupo 19:46, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
On the other hand, if we did that, we could finally host those Nazi pictures that are only PD in the US and nowhere else. This raises the interesting question. If the Nazis are actually on topic, and Mike Godwin is what allowed you to introduce them, did you reverse Godwin the thread? -Nard 22:37, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
If we did what? European servers? No we couldn't. First, those European server would have to be operated by a European legal entity, not by the U.S. based WMF. Second, whether the Wikimedia projects hosted by the WMF in the U.S. could use such European-hosted images appears more than doubtful to me. And third, these images are subject to a life+70 regime in the EU. If you meant "use U.S. law only", then we would become utterly useless for non-English Wikimedia projects. We'd become a repository exclusively for U.S. reusers and for the en-WP, en-WS, en-WQ, and so on. Lupo 09:12, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Why can't we start a European sister organization, preferably in a country with a PD-friendly and understandable copyright law and a good, understandable civil law system? (Italy, Finland, Sweden etc.) It should not be a problem for the WMF herself. The US is one of the most difficult and most restraining copyright regimes, so situating the WMF herself in the United States is not a good solution. The best way to do this would be having a few equal Wikimedia associations in different countries, running their servers linked together. The Commons could be used for material that is surely in PD or software could be modified so that the material with certain tags is a) stored only in appropriate countries b) only projects situated in those countries can access it. This would be the most foolproof system conceivable. --MPorciusCato 17:25, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Now we have to tag all post-1922 content of creators who died after 1925

Second dictum of WMF lawyer Godwin has important implications. All works which are Public Domain in Europe but created after 1922 from creators who died after 1925 cannot remain here or other WMF servers. These are thousands of media --Historiograf 01:02, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Quite right. We finally need to enforce our longstanding rule that works must be either freely licensed or PD in both the source country and in the U.S. (See COM:L.) On that, please also see the third clarification from Mike and Anthère. In short:
  • any content hosted on Wikimedia servers must be legal to publish in the U.S., and
  • that also applies to other non-English Wikimedia projects.
Lupo 10:06, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Well but Mike did say "Maybe one could argue that since such non-English projects are clearly targeted at non-U.S. markets, the fact that the servers are in the U.S. is incidental and of no importance". Maybe we could argue like that? In that case, the media in question couldn't be shown on English Wikipedia, but the same thing curently applies to some files that can't be shown on German Wikipedia.
Fred J (talk) 14:47, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Stop, stop, stop. That wasn't Mike who said that, that was me. I posted questions and gave some preliminary comments on them. See m:User talk:Anthere#Lupo's analysis. I'll go add signatures to make clearer who said what. Lupo 19:42, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
If we are talking about a legal defense, then we could argue fair use in the U.S. for media which are PD almost everywhere except the U.S. (and were not created in the U.S., of course). I doubt we want to rely on that, as it goes against project ideals and may expose people who re-use the material in non-educational contexts in the United States to more risk than advertised, but it could be a defense for Wikimedia itself, as it would technically be legal for us to publish them (en-wiki already does). Wikisource most likely could not argue the same, so they may be in a different situation (and that was the context of the original quote). I don't like the idea of hosting material which is PD only in the country of origin on commons, and the two-country rule helps greatly with that, but we do host material which is PD most everywhere except a handful of countries -- so the question is what to do when the U.S. is in that handful. Carl Lindberg 16:37, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
The Foundation's licensing resolution explicitly bars the Commons from having an EDP (see article 2). No "fair use" for us. Furthermore "fair use" is always in the context of a particular use. Lupo 19:42, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't saying for U.S. photos; but we do hold media which is still be under copyright in a small number of countries -- my question is should we do that for non-U.S. media where the U.S. is one of those few countries, if in fact it would still be legal under U.S. law (i.e. the only reason we are applying that rule is the "free work" philosophy). Your second point though is a good one; fair use would be much less a defense for commons than en-wiki. Carl Lindberg 16:03, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Uploading old postcards

As I started uploading my private postcard collection, I first had a look at the licenses given in the Category:Postcards. Most of theses images had the license PD-Old, so I followed the example. After all, this license seemed to be appropriate, because all postcards concerned were posted around 90 years ago. Now I have got a deletion request for one of these uploads ( Image:Nürnberg - Plärrer.jpg ), because the copyright is not clear. If that is the case, most of the uploads in the Category:Postcards should be deleted. Is there any solution to this problem? User:Xenophon 19.27 21 January 2008

  • What does the other side of them say? Is there an author or company who printed them listed? -Nard 23:15, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

hypothetically speaking

We are banned from taking pictures at work (on a US submarine). Hypothetically, if I were to upload such a picture, what license would I put? The Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse pictures can hardly be seen as normal work for U.S. soldiers, yet they are here as PD works of the US government. Would I mark it as official work of a US sailor (even though I was never authorized to take the picture) or could I use the free license of choice? -Nard 13:27, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

According to the template, "Pictures taken by U.S. military personnel on duty are ineligible for copyright, unless the photographer successfully claims that the photographs were not taken as part of his or her official duties." So for photos taken outside your official duties, copyright applies, and I can only assume that you would own that copyright and that you can use any license you like. I am not a lawyer, so I don't know if the expression "as part of his or her official duties" means that it is your offical duty to take photos, or simply that, while performing your official duties, you took some photos. I suspect the later, especially as Template:PD-USGov-Military is slightly differently worded. It says "during the course of an employee's official duties" which to me implies that the taking of photos doesn't have to be an official part of your duties, so long as it happened during your official duties. Either way, photos taken while off-duty would be exempt. For a photo taken while on-duty I suspect Template:PD-USGov-Military would be the right license. But I am not a lawyer. Regards, Ben Aveling 02:16, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Although I am not a US citizen, and bear none whatsoever allegiance to the United States, I would think that uploading unauthorized photos of a classified military vessel interior is unethical for any citizen. An exception to this might be if those photos could be used to alleviate some worse problem, but this does not seem to be the case. In fi-Wikisource, we have made the decision not to accept any classified material (which would otherwise fall under {{PD-FinlandGov}}. This just because we feel that endangering valid security or privacy concerns by disseminating classified information is an unethical thing to do, regardless of copyright concerns. --MPorciusCato 10:01, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I would think that if Commons is hosted on US servers, Wikipedia/Wikimedia could get into trouble due to posting classified information (as of course could the person whio posted such a photo.Caution seems appropiate.Nigel Ish 20:11, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Please note this was merely a curiosity, as the wording of what encompasses "official duties" goes round my head sometimes when I look at image tagging. I would upload no such picture. -Nard 21:03, 25 January 2008 (UTC)


Can images on this website [11] be uploaded as PD? --Exacts 17:20, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Why do you suppose they would be? They look like they could very well have been painted rather recently. LX (talk, contribs) 17:59, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Free enough for Commons?

I would like to transfer this image to the Commons. The person who originally uploaded it gave the source as , where, if you click on "View image license" the terms of (re)use can be read. Do these terms comply with Commons policy, or should the image rather not be transfered (and removed from our servers)? Anrie 14:57, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

No, unless you have an independent release under a free license (GFDL, CC-BY, CC-BY-SA, etc.) for the image from the photographer, Philip Niewold. See Commons:Bad sources#Stock.Xchng. Lupo 15:09, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
I thought as much. Thanks for the very quick reply! Anrie 15:12, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Press Release Files

I ask for some expert opinion: recently one of the admins deleted some images I've uploaded; they all came from the Pentax Press Release images; it seems obvious to me that these images are free for use (they have been reproducted all over the internet). The exact source is: . Am I right to say they can be also uploaded to commons ?

The deletions concern these files:

File:Pentax K100D (with hood).jpg
File:Pentax K100D (without hood).jpg
File:Pentax K10D with grip.jpg

Thank you for the advice. --Atoma 18:07, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Here is the conversation I had with the admin:

Hey, concerning the two images that were quickly deleted yesterday: press release images are supposed to be public, aren't they ? I don't know where you found the "(C)2008 PENTAX Corporation All Rights Reserved", it is surely not on the pentax press release website ( As a matter of fact those images weren't even published in 2008. I downloaded them at the end of 2006 when the camera just got out of the market.
I just wrongly uploaded an image with the "(c) Pentax" mark on it, which was from a subsidiary website of the corporation. The final two versions are, though, official press release images which are all-over the web. They are certainly not copyrighted !
--Atoma 09:54, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
The copyright is from the site, and I've followed the rule "When there's no permission, the image is copyrighted"... I suggest you to ask in Commons talk:Licensing - I'm not the only admin, and I might be wrong... Yuval Y § Chat § 15:57, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Except, of course, that you're not wrong. :) Despite common and misleadingly vague phrases such as "may be used freely", publicity photographs are generally provided with the understanding that they will be used in unmodified form for informational purposes in a context related to the subject of the photographs (such as an article about the product, company, or person depicted). This is essentially a {{fair use}} arrangement, and does not imply that anyone is free to use the work for any purpose (commercial or noncommercial) in modified or unmodified form. LX (talk, contribs) 22:08, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
As I like to explain it, do they explicitly let you make derivative works (photoshop a monkey's butt to their face) and full-fledged commercial use (not just publishing in a commercial pub but selling t-shirts and mugs or making a spin-off cartoon or TV series). My guess is these "press release photos" are not allowed to sell t-shirts with a monkey's butt photoshopped on. -Nard 22:24, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Museum artefacts in UK museums

Apologies if this has been discussed. I have just photographed some models indoors, in the Brook Pumping House Museum Chatham, Kent, UK. The management committee are pleased to see photographs used on Commons, and have also verbally released all photos on their website to CC-BY. The 3D models are of pumping engines and wind and watermills, they were donated to the museum about 20 years ago by a local model maker who subsequently may have left the area or passed on. So here is the question- is there any residual copyright (UK or US) that would prevent them being uploaded to commons? Can someone help me with the answer- otherwise I would assume the Right of Panorama would apply?ClemRutter 15:32, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Models generally do attract copyright protection, as making them requires creative decision-making with respect to level of detail and other aspects. If the person who made them was alive as recently as 20 years ago, they would still be protected. I don't know the specifics of UK rules regarding works for hire, but I doubt it applies if the models were donated, especially if that was not the intention at the time of their making.
So we're left with freedom of panorama. The UK has a broader take on freedom of panorama than most countries, so a museum is considered a public place. The remaining question is whether the models can be considered to be on permanent public display. LX (talk, contribs) 00:20, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification.ClemRutter 09:37, 3 February 2008 (UTC)