Commons talk:Public art and copyrights in the US

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Status of this page[edit]

I don't mean to say anything negative about the considerable amount of work which went into this page, but usually such works by individuals are carried as user subpages and not in the Commons namespace. Having it in the Commons namespace without any sort of disclaimer at the beginning suggests that it is endorsed by the Commons community, which this clearly has not been -- and again, I do not mean to suggest that it should not be endorsed, or might not be endorsed, but simply that it has not.

Until such endorsement has happened, I suggest that either it should be a user subpage or it should begin with an explicit disclaimer along the lines of:

"This page represents the work of a single Commons editor and is not necessarily endorsed by the community."

     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 13:11, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

I do know that this was actually researched by the Wikimedia Foundation's legal team, actually. SarahStierch (talk) 14:56, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
This is true. :) What the community does with it is, of course, up to them, but this was researched by the legal team in response to a question raised at the village pump. It was posted there on January 5. For what it's worth, the few editors who responded to it seemed to find it in accord with Commons understanding, by and large. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 13:52, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps then, someone who understands its source, could put a sentence describing it at the top of the article. That will make it a lot more useful as a citation.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 14:00, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
Do you mean a description somewhere stating, "This was produced by in response to"? If so, I can do that. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 12:09, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes. Most of our policy or instruction pages have a comment at the top that tell what standing they have -- policy, guideline, opinion, etc. I would call this a guideline, but others may differ.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 13:29, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm not 100% sure how I would flag this page. :/ Template:Essay doesn't seem right, as even though it was offered for guidance only and is not intended as a WMF directive, it's really just recapping a legal situation and editors may find that they're more or less obliged to follow it to meet other policies and guidelines they are obliged to follow. But it would be presumptive of me for sure to tag it Template:Guideline. Well beyond my scope. :) I think I'll just explain where it comes from and let the community figure out what to call it. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 17:03, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

What you wrote is exactly what I had in mind, thank you.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 00:09, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Work for hire[edit]

I'd like to see more on w:Work for hire. I think it would help to have a template or a policy page here: work for hire Many staues and monuments fall under this category. [1] I would also like to seer a template like this: {{Creator:Work for hire}} Evrik (talk) 14:37, 14 May 2012 (UTC)


I have trouble understanding the implications of this box (for convenience I have added numbers to the six cells):

1978 until March 1989 Has it been published? Requirements to maintain copyright.
1) Statue has not been published. 2) Display in a public location does not publish the work. 3) No requirements because the work has not been published. Copyright protections are maintained.
4) Statue has been published. 5) If tangible copies of the work have been sold to the public. 6) A work would not lose copyright protections if: 1) it was registered and published with a copyright notice; 2) it was registered within 5 years of publication; 3) it was published after March 1984, then the copyright did not expire before the 1989 term extension and change of requirements.

{{PD-US-1978-89}} may apply.

Box 3 suggests to me that it will have copyright protection forever, which seems to conflict with "limited times" in the copyright clause. Or did it become published in March 1989? If not, would it become published if it were moved after March 1989? Or, as this suggests, is it off limits to Commons forever?

Box 5 -- "tangible copies" -- Full size 3D replicas of the sculpture? 3D miniatures? Photographs on film, the old way? Digital photographs, sold in intangible digital form? All of the above?

If box 5 includes photographs, I assume that "sold to the public" does not include a third party taking a photograph of the sculpture and selling copies to the public. Or does that move it from box 2 to box 5?

I don't understand point (3) in box 6.

.     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 10:48, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Not sure about all those questions, but unpublished works will eventually be PD-old-70, if they're not {{PD-US-unpublished}} (see Commons:Hirtle chart). Possibly {{PD-old-unpublished-70}} would be a good thing to have in terms of clarity, since PD-old-70 normally applies to published works. Oh, and "sold to the public" probably means "by someone authorised to make derivative works". Rd232 (talk) 10:56, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Perhaps box 3 should read "No requirements because the work has not been published. Copyright protections are maintained until {{PD-US-unpublished}} applies.
I'm pretty sure you're right that "sold to the public" means authorized sales, but perhaps that, too, should be clarified.
Actually the paragraph above the box on the main page answers most of my box 5 questions, but there remains the emphasis in box 5 on "tangible". Is a digital image/download tangible? Is authorized use of such an image on Commons tangible? .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 13:49, 19 September 2012 (UTC)