Commons talk:Threshold of originality/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Forstmann label

Also, the Forstmann 100% Virgin Wool label with inwoven fleur-de-lis was was not eligible for copyright (Forstmann Woolen Co v J.W. Mays Inc). /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 20:24, 16 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Finland: Coat of arms of Uusimaa

Here the CoA of Uusimaa is taken as an example of something that does not meet the threshold of originality. The problem is that it is not the CoA in itself that does not meet the threshold, but the work of the person drawing the official version of it. The image here is not the official version (but a SVG-version of it, made by somebody here, with later corrections), nor is it compared to the original old CoA (the copyright of which has expired, if ever under copyright).

The referenced statement says that Uusimaa chose to use the historical CoA, but redrawn to be in the same style as other regions. It was the changes introduced at that time that were tested for originality.

--LPfi (talk) 19:55, 29 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This svg version closely follows the version adopted in the 1990's, it is almost a tracing. The differences with the historic versions are much more significant. In particular, the historic escutcheons of Nyland that I have seen all have a very schematic small boat, almost symmetrical. The copyright council did not regard this version with a rudder as having sufficient originality. That is why I chose this one of all the examples in the council's decision. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 20:04, 29 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It would be good to have the old version here for comparison, as it is the differences that are important (was the boat in the new designed borrowed from somewhere else?). Funny enough, I cannot find any image of the old CoA here, other than those that seem to be derived from the new design. --LPfi (talk) 23:43, 29 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I now found one with some detail here. But generally they look like File:UudPr lippu.jpg. The Copyright Council compared the new designs to those in a book from 1982 (Suomen kunnallisvaakunat - Finlands kommunvapen). It would be interesting to upload those ones too. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 23:53, 29 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hi. I translated this policy to spanish but I need to put the lenguage headline. Do someone knows how to do it? Thanks. Cheers. --Andrea (talk) 22:33, 7 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Above the threshold in the US

There is a problem with a gallery of borderline cases like these: it does not show what is deemed to be above the threshold. I intend to collect here some examples of what actually did get registered for copyright, but for recent cases, it will be impossible to show the images here. I will give links to the image, and registration numbers for looking this up on

/Pieter Kuiper (talk) 23:54, 18 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please do, that would be very good. The ipmall appeals stuff has a few that were decided in favor of the registrants (i.e. allowed a registration after lower level folks denied one) but not too many. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:07, 19 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I skimmed some recent registrations, searching the Copyright Office register for "logo". One of the things that came up was VAu001042236 of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii. If that design is the same as the logo on their web site, the threshold is lower than I thought. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 22:36, 19 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Interesting, that'd be a good approach -- and yes I would have thought that particular logo would pass. Close, but it looks like there are some custom bits in there -- the portion on the right side looks original enough to me, by itself, and that's all it would take. Another which may surprise you is looking at the "CCC" decision -- while they hint that the CCC portion would not qualify by itself, they do show the original work from which it was extracted, which did get a valid registration -- it's really just a somewhat fancy border around that, which I guess was enough. The threshold *is* low, no doubt. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:44, 20 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm unsure if this is the right place for this note, but first I agree that such a collection would be helpful, and second, from Commons:Deletion requests/File:Justus Lipsius Building enterance.jpg I have linked to the Architecture section to help decide whether that image (and others) might fall under the threshold. 84user (talk) 20:10, 28 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Blue boy" (Bell vs Catalda) is another decision that shows how little originality US courts required for originality. But maybe Alfred Bell have not renewed their copyrights? /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 09:47, 26 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have done the search now, and I am convinced that it is {{PD-US-no renewal}}; see right. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 18:30, 13 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Found this randomly browsing in the weird part of the Internet -- Simple human stick figure + simple text, VA0001766451, shown on (archived). Maybe it's time to re-nominate File:Croton Dam Muskegon River Dscn1100 cropped.jpg. Trycatch (talk) 07:11, 3 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm guessing the briefcase is what pushed that graphic over the edge. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:26, 3 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
File:Croton Dam Muskegon River Dscn1100 cropped.jpg seems to be more complex than the "no soliciting" sign, so I have renominated the file for deletion: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Croton Dam Muskegon River Dscn1100 cropped.jpg. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:08, 3 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Logo collection

I do not find it interesting to include stuff like File:Dow Wolff Cellulosics (DOW).svg. The DR gives no new insights, I do not see any problem with it. If someone wants to collect such decisions (dozens have been nominated as a preemptive measure to "protect" them), please start a different page about kept logos. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 18:40, 14 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I disagree. IMHO it is a good idea to collect borderline cases (on the “OK side”) to provide a basis for future decisions. --Leyo 07:21, 15 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That kind of collections could suitably be done as a subcategory of Category:Sorted deletion requests. (But I won't do it, I was banned once for making such kind of galleries.) /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 19:06, 15 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A Category with DRs gives no visual overview. Anyway, thanks for your comment, Pieter. I do not intend to collect all - but a set of decisions on both sides of the border. We could move the section (it wasn't started by me, was it?!) to Commons:Threshold of originality/Commons or similar. But then one will need to have to look at two pages if thinking about a new logo. So I would prefer it as is. Do you have any reason why you do not want them here? Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 04:02, 16 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The page will be overwhelmed by Commons decisions. It is much easier to keep that kind of collection in a category. And for a visual overview, the images that were kept after DR can be collected in an image category. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 06:35, 16 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also think that we need to collect borderline cases (on both sides) to provide a basis for future decisions. Yann (talk) 05:03, 16 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We cannot show the images that were deleted. But for the DRs and the kept images, one can have a subcategory of Category:France FOP cases/kept (excellent initiative!). That is much easier to maintain, and it would not flood this gallery of decisions by national authorities. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 06:35, 16 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But we can link to deleted images (somewhere on the web or locally in other wikis). The gallery of legal decisions (which is much more important for us) is a different gallery and section. And: there we also can only show the non-copyrighted ones. The same as with our cases. You are mentioning "flood". Well, I would suggest to restrict the number of images to about 15(?) for kept and deleted and push out the ones which are more far away from the imaginary border. Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 20:49, 16 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:English Pokémon logo.svg was kept at a recent deletion request, but I don't think it should have been. I believe the logo does not consist of text from a simple typeface, but is stylized beyond the threshold of originality (much like Scholastic's Harry Potter logo, with its lightning-shaped P). Since the previous deletion request (which barely generated discussion) was only last month, I'm reluctant to file another one right now, but would like to ask what others think. --Paul_012 (talk) 09:01, 20 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The same goes for the stylised signature that makes up the Walt Disney Company's logo (File:TWDC Logo.svg), among others. --Paul_012 (talk) 09:13, 20 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The "simple" typeface wording may be a bit misleading -- U.S. copyright law does not allow copyrighting any typeface, custom or not. Something like fancy initial capitals, if they have lots of decoration outside the shape of the letter itself, may be different but most of the time typeface-only designs are not copyrightable. Stylizing generally does not make a difference, from reading the decisions of the Copyright Office (aesthetic effect has no bearing on copyrightability). Really, the "simple" in the tag more refers to fonts that are letters; fonts like Dingbats with symbols instead of letters can of course be copyrighted (the specific wording on what is not copyright is typeface as typeface, so if the lettering is meant to be read as letters, it would seem to not be copyrightable). Other countries can differ on this though. See a couple of the examples on this page, such as File:DUB Magazine Logo.jpg or the New York Arrows logo. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:36, 20 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

PD-exempt has nothing to do with originality

Magog restored sections about PD-exempt for laws etcetera for some countries. That is a totally different concept, it has nothing to do with any threshold of originality. Of course, laws are sophisticated creations of the mind. But they not copyrighted just because it is better for society that way. I will revert again. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 06:36, 12 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This I tend to agree with. Pretty much all copyright law specifies that copyright does not cover ideas, and that sort of thing. TOO is not quite the same concept -- it really is about which types of work are too simple to qualify for copyright, even though they are a class of work which is often protected. Those are not those countries' versions of the threshold, rather they are just documenting (fairly typical) classes of work which is not covered by copyright (the U.S. law, UK law, etc. have similar clauses). Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:07, 12 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Galleries of deleted images does not make sense

Saibo restored galleries of deleted images that I had deleted because it does not make sense. It does not make sense, there is nothing there to see. I will delete again. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 06:40, 12 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It probably does not make sense to use the gallery tag itself, but *some* illustration of images which are above the threshold are just as important as ones which did not qualify. I would prefer to limit them to court cases or other similar external things though, not simply Commons DRs, so this is an objective page. We could do it in table form, and link to example images on the web (and possibly DRs). Having the gallery tag is an odd way to do it, but you can click on the image, which gives you a pointer to the DR or other deletion reason. Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:12, 12 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The gallery layout as one big advantage: it is easy and you can see the pics. --Saibo (Δ) 03:55, 13 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It makes sense - as I have described in my edit comment. Stop your vandalism. --Saibo (Δ) 01:40, 13 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree it makes sense and should stay (although I think Saibo's definition of vandalism is pretty flimsy - w:WP:HITLER). Magog the Ogre (talk) 02:21, 13 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Pieter gets a ";-)" in addition. Better? And please read it just after this sentence by him "I will delete again." He knows that he shouldn't. Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 03:55, 13 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Stop the stupidity. Exemptions for laws are not related to originality. I set up this page to show images that had been deemed unoriginal in court decisions. If someone wants to make a page about PD-exempt, they can do that somewhere else. Also, galleries about Commons decisions should go somewhere else. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 06:29, 13 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Exemptions for laws are not related to originality." - well of course they are, because the threshold of originality doctrine is itself an exemption from the standard copyright principle. However, "exemption" is clearly more general than "threshold of originality", which is effectively a type of exemption. I'd say we should have a separate page for exemptions. Countries that don't have a "threshold of originality" can be listed here as such, with a link to the other page if relevant. Rd232 (talk) 10:18, 13 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wrong. Stuff below the threshold of originality is not an exemption from the standard copyright principle. Not everything is copyrighted, only certain works of art and literature. Hexagons and flowers are not the subject of copyright, because they are nobody's original creations of the mind. Nor are letters and words, even if someone just came up with an original and new word; there needs to be a threshold somewhere. But "exceptions and limitations" is a completely different concept in copyright law. But by all means, set up pages for other stuff. Illustrated court decisions about FOP might be suitable for a page with galleries. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 12:46, 13 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, I guess you're right. Being more precise than I was before: copyright is basically protection for original creative works. TOO in a country's law defines the required level of originality. PD-exempt exemptions are in some cases quite similar to TOO, but in other cases cover things which should clearly be considered creative works, and are excluded from copyright for other reasons than lack of originality. PS Examples for FOP would be nice; COM:DM has a section at Commons:DM#Examples (more would be nice). Rd232 (talk) 13:43, 13 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Saibo: that was supposed to constructive criticism. Fine, instead read w:WP:DV. That doesn't have a stupid name. I'll even transwiki it if you'd like so that it pertains to Commons.
@Pieter: you now have three people telling you you're wrong. Can't you just let it go? If you want to start your own page with the different examples, then do it. Otherwise, this information is very valuable to contain all in one place, and some of us like the information that way. Magog the Ogre (talk) 19:48, 13 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Pieter did start this page. I'm not sure what portion this discussion is now about... I agree that we need to give and link to examples of items that courts ruled as over the threshold of orginality. I'm not sure that the gallery tag to deleted images is the most appropriate -- maybe link to the DRs, but in many cases we wouldn't have had the image to begin with, and we need to link to those as well. We should not have the items which copyright laws make exempt, in my opinion -- that is not part of the "threshold of originality" concept at all, but rather both are under a larger "not copyrightable" umbrella. "Threshold of orginality" is really over the precise definition over the word "original" or similar concept usually found in copyright laws, which is hardly ever defined (or defined well). Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:55, 14 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed. Perhaps the next step would be to create Commons:Copyright-exempt (or similar) as a summary of exemption laws and cases, since nothing like that seems to exist. Once it does, the two pages can link to each other and with an appropriate description everything should become clearer. Rd232 (talk) 04:00, 15 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well where does one start and the other begin? In the US, all calligraphy is apparently below the threshold; but calligraphy can be quite artistic; is this "exempt" or is it "threshold of originality"? How about where copyright laws state that data is exempted (such as calendar data, in China)? If you ask me, it's all relevant to threshold of originality, save where certain entities (normally, the government) receive different treatment than other entities. Magog the Ogre (talk) 00:08, 16 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are some blurry lines, sure -- lettering like calligraphy also gets more into what is utilitarian, but I can see that being related enough to be on this page (such embellishments are not original enough in the U.S., but are in some other countries). It's definitely not a specific exemption. The fact that ideas and data are not copyrightable are nearly universal though, and stated in virtually every copyright law -- I don't see the need here. That is more the en:idea-expression divide; not the same thing, and not related to the concept of "original". Other exemptions like text of laws and official documents really have nothing to do with this though; those are quite clearly above the threshold of originality in most cases but are denied copyright for other public policy reasons. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:57, 16 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Right; works by specific entities which are exempted should go on the exempt page. That is why government works are not a threshold of originality issue. But where a specific type of work is considered blanket not copyrightable by any entity (such as text in the US, or logos in the Ukraine), then that is threshold of originality applies because said works are, by law, below the threshold. That's why you notice there is a photograph in the Austria section; it clearly has nothing to do with text, but is below the threshold in Austria. Just because the word exists in German (who term it "threshold of originality") and not Ukrainian doesn't mean we should only include the Austrian example. Magog the Ogre (talk) 03:22, 16 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well... it's about what makes something a "work". If an entire category of works is exempted, that is generally different. While bare text is not copyrightable, there exists a certain point where added elements make something a "work" even though it contains uncopyrightable elements. It's about identifying that line. Some countries (like Germany) make that higher for logos, as countries can decide they do not want trademark and copyright to overlap much, but even then there is usually a point where something goes over the line. This line exists on different types of works... what makes something industrial design vs sculpture (such as the UK case on the stormtrooper helmets)? Photographs can be particularly interesting; in some countries there is the line of "simple" photographs vs photographic works; technically in those countries simple photographs are not "works" subject to the EU copyright directives, but still get some protection. (BTW, what Austria section? Did you mean Finland?) As for the Ukraine... they exempt state symbols but that has nothing to do with originality, rather that is a public policy thing (their law even notes that drafts of official symbols are considered protected works before they are officially approved -- so that non-copyrightability has nothing to do with originality). If there is a point where business logos are copyrightable despite their logo status (perhaps they are using a full-up painting or something), then that would be relevant. Ukranian law does mention "originality criteria" without really defining it. Most of the time, the best guidance is going to be court cases, and not the text of the law. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:12, 16 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree that it is necessary to have some examples of works which are deemed to be above the threshold of originality on this page. If you try to figure out if a specific image is above or below the threshold of originality, you need some examples of both things, and this is where you would look for it. However, it might not make sense to put deleted images in a <gallery> tag; it may be better to present them in some other format since the images won't appear anyway. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:06, 15 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Maybe keep a gallery on enwp in en:Threshold of originality? Where the images would be fair use if such a gallery could be kept in article space. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 21:14, 15 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

More than one month has passed since this discussion started and everyone except for one person supports the restoration of the deleted section, so can it be re-added now? It's much more difficult to find relevant references when it's necessary to look at the history of the page instead of looking at the current version. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:40, 26 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


According to Commons:TOO#UK the EDGE logo isn't allowed yet it is displayed directly below as an example. That's almost as silly as the law. I thought we decided UK's extreme copyright-public-domain-art-and-even-plain-old-text stance has no jurisdiction in the US, and by consensus, Commons. Why are we now saying it's not allowed? What changed? Rocket000 (talk) 13:48, 1 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nothing's changed. Commons:Licensing:

Wikimedia Commons accepts only media

Rd232 (talk) 14:37, 1 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with Rocket000 here. Yann (talk) 15:23, 1 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We did decide PD-Art was an exception, yes. Not sure we decided to ignore their threshold of originality in other areas (like signatures). In any event, this page is trying to document their threshold of originality, whatever it actually is. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:23, 1 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Commons, by policy, requires all files be in the public domain in their home country. IIRC, this policy was dictated right down from the top, from the Wikimedia Foundation. The exception for {{PD-art}} also came straight from the WMF. We, as a community, do not possess the authority to create an exception and overrule anything from the WMF. We can try, but we'll need a centralized discussion on the issue, and we might get smacked down by them. Magog the Ogre (talk) 17:26, 1 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not suggesting anything here but am trying to understand the current situation as I've been away for a bit. Also, wanted to point out the contradiction of providing a Common-hosted example of what is not allowed here. I disagree with "we do not possess the authority" as the policy of requiring files to be in public domain in their home country is a community-developed policy. The PD-Art exception was too, although the WMF did issue a statement regarding their stance on the matter and we embraced and framed it as a direct mandate to end the ceaseless debate about it (it worked ;)). The policy page even says "Following this statement, a poll was held to determine policy...". Sounds like we decided, not the foundation. Anyway, that's not important here as I'm not wishing to change or redefine any policy.
The PD-Art exception is for allowing work that lacks originality and ignoring the "skill and labor" thing some countries have. PD-art photos and simple text both attract copyright in these countries (I guess) based on the same "skill and labor" criteria we have chosen to ignore. But upon rereading the policy/discussion, I was reminded of how narrowly we do in fact apply the PD-art exception. Specifically, I forgot the application of it is content-based (art reproductions), instead of copyright-based. Rocket000 (talk) 22:18, 1 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Commons:Simple photographs

I've started Commons:Simple photographs - the idea is the page would serve a similar function to COM:TOO. Please see discussion at Commons:Village_pump/Copyright#Commons:Simple_photographs. Rd232 (talk) 21:45, 1 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Use of File:CarCreditCity.png as an example

The copyright decision quoted says this image is not acceptable for copyright registration because it is not sufficiently different from their already copyrighted logo. Does this not imply that their current logo (I'm not sure or exactly which that is) is copyrighted and this is a trivial derivative? In which case our use of this logo infringes their copyright on their original logo? --Tony Wills (talk) 00:31, 4 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's very slightly problematic, but the decision carefully stated to not make that inference. They basically get out of explicitly ruling non-copyrightable by stating that an earlier work which incorporated it was copyrightable (which was that logo embedded in some surrounding linear stuff, along with "Car Credit City" in a curved banner-ish section -- it's on the first page of the decision PDF), which combined *was* enough for a registration, and therefore simply cropping out one part was not enough for a subsequent registration. That was the primary basis for the final denial. However... they basically *did* rule it was not copyrightable enough. The initial registration, on both the more expansive logo and the CCC part, was denied on threshold grounds. They appealed, and on appeal, the Copyright Office granted a copyright on the larger logo, but explicitly stated the "CCC" portion alone did not pass the threshold: With respect to the work CCC LOGO, Ms. Giroux concluded that the work did not contain a sufficient amount of original and creative artistic or graphic authorship upon which to support a copyright registration. She described the work as three crescent shapes in black coloring positioned horizontally and diminishing in size from left to right, each shape representing the letter "C." She also stated that the letter "C", or any minor variation thereof, is a common and familiar shape, which was in the public domain. Moreover, Ms. Giroux asserted that the fact that the shape may be stylized in length, size, thickness, and orientation does not, in itself, mean that it is copyrightable. Then, the company appealed that decision, which was denied primarily on the fact the entire logo was incorporated in an earlier work, and it amounts to a crop. However, for the question on the CCC portion itself, the report also states: The Review Board agrees with Ms. Giroux's conclusion that the work CCC LOGO is not copyrightable in itself for the reasons she stated in her letter. So, it would almost certainly have failed registration had it been the only thing registered in the first place. The ruling is kind of interesting, in that the other graphic in there is something which is just barely above the threshold (was originally denied, then allowed on appeal), so it's an instructive example. However all three reviewers basically said the CCC portion alone was not copyrightable, even though it was not a primary reason for the third denial (though it was for the first two). Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:19, 4 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ahhh, that's a relief :-) (I don't know how people manage to absorb all the ins and outs, obviously I am not a lawyer ;-). But that does bring up something that I hadn't thought about - it is therefore possible to make a derivative work of a copyrighted work, and claim that portion wasn't copyrightable (eg the ear of Mickey Mouse, or a closeup of part of a building that is as a whole copyrighted (where there is no FOP)  ?), and this is without invoking a de minimis argument as such --Tony Wills (talk) 04:54, 4 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If the portion used is not copyrightable, then yes the second work is OK -- it's not derivative in that case. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:40, 4 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've seen that the Chevrolet logo was deleted from Commons. I thought this could be ineligible for copyright protection so the logo is only made of simple geometric shapes (as Ford logo does). Fma12 (talk) 12:30, 7 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The basic outline, definitely agree with you. It was published before 1923 anyways (see here). I can't see the image though -- are there other elements, like gradients, or simulated reflections, and that sort of thing? Those could elevate it to being copyrightable. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:59, 7 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd say you're right. Based on the file name, it's probably a copy of en:File:Chevypnglogo.png, which is clearly and correctly marked as non-free and which should not be transferred to Commons. File:Chevrolet logo 1990.JPG is fine, though. LX (talk, contribs) 19:30, 7 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From my opinion, the Chevrolet logo should be considered the same as Ford which also has gradients but was not considered eligible for copyright. Fma12 (talk) 17:10, 8 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Those two logos aren't really comparable. The Ford one has a single horizontal gradient; the Chevy logo linked above has significantly more stuff than that -- they aren't really comparable. The details matter. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:06, 8 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New Copyright Office decisions available

Looks like has reorganized their page on Copyright Office Appeals Board rulings, and updated through some 2012 rulings. Previously they had ones through late 2009. Just started looking, but a few logos were denied registration:

  • Geek Squad[1] (en:File:Geek Squad.svg)
  • A Three Card Poker logo[2]
  • A shirt with a slogan[3] (contains a drawing of a person, which was originally granted a copyright, but after it was made clear that was from a different author and/or PD, there was nothing copyrightable left)
  • An Avenue of the Saints sign, with fleur-de-lys[4]
  • Designs using state outlines and common symbols[5]
  • Amerigon logo[6]
  • A specific product packaging[7]

There may be more; just skimmed a few so far. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:35, 11 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It looks like we've been interpreting TOO pretty accurately when it pertains to US copyrights. Does the site have any examples that were borderline but that were granted copyright? It's not nearly as useful unless we can see things that did gain copyright protection. Magog the Ogre (talk) 02:01, 11 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are a few (marked as "Accepted" on the per-year pages). Appeals at this stage have been rejected twice, so it's relatively rare for them to change their minds, but they could. I'm not sure I see any new reversals on pure drawings at first glance; there are a few on jewelry and the like, which can be instructive in that area. The decision regarding the CCC logo, already on this page, included another version with several additional borders and other elements, and *that* was given a registration, although they did mention the "CCC" portion alone would not qualify, which does give something of an idea. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:21, 11 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, um, what are the links for the accepted ones? Magog the Ogre (talk) 03:07, 11 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
They are available in the per-year links at the page I gave above.
  • 18 rings denied, 4 accepted [8]
  • Another one for jewelry, but no discussion and no pictures [9]
  • Couple of Zappa album covers, but issues were related to copyright notice and procedural grounds, not threshold, and only under "rule of doubt" [10]
  • Jewelry, approved after more photographs submitted, but no pictures in report [11]
  • Some designs on leather, no pictures [12]
  • Picture frames, rejected 26 and accepted 2 [13]
Looks like years before 2006 don't have the easy accepted/rejected annotations ;-) Here is the old index, with everything on one page. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:42, 11 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Facebook's like thumb

There have so far been three attempts here at Commons to delete our copycat Facebook like and dislike thumbs (Commons:Deletion requests/File:Facebook like thumb.png). What seems to be the situation is that several editors with knowledge about the TOO want these images deleted, yet they are overrun by other editors who seem not too keen on considering this presumptive key relation. Could we perhaps have a little discussion about this situation here at this juncture? __meco (talk) 20:20, 30 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There seems a presumption in those discussions that just because something is small, it must lack creativity. But designing icons (images specifically intended for use at small sizes) certainly does involve creativity, as I know from experience in dealing with the icon in {{Facepalm}}. I see it suggested in those DRs that the thumb icon used wasn't created by Facebook, but I see no evidence for that. It seems to me that COM:PRP applies, even without the very substantial concerns about the way in which the icon is used. Rd232 (talk) 22:30, 30 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are there any free clipart sites we could google for similar images? I doubt facebook paid anyone to make one and just googled for a free image to use.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:03, 8 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have made a free image myself, and incorporated it into a button that could replace the current "Like" button, avoiding any future concerns about copyrights. Compare:
The free thumb pic is located at Adjwilley (talk) 19:02, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You could try overwriting the image on commons with yours. If someone reverts it, then edit war until you are all blocked. After the blocks expire then seek consensus. I think that is the normal procedure on commons.--Canoe1967 (talk) 22:47, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Someone at the pump was wondering about France. It would be nice to add if someone wants to look into it.--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:54, 8 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • I just noticed a bunch of links to .pdf files at the bottom of the site. It may be best to start with those? I will create a France section on the main page here with a source link to the above site. Feel free to edit if we learn more.--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:13, 8 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It would be nice if we could get a link to an image of the word "paradis" in gold-lettering that it talks about in that document. The rest of the document seems to wax poetical about the nature of the French system and how it compares to the English one, but gives us precious little concrete to work with. Anyway, if there's one thing I take from the document, it's that the French TOO is probably somewhat low: certainly lower than Germany's or Austria's, and probably lower than the US's. Magog the Ogre (talk) 00:00, 9 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Did that image lose in court as non-copyrightable? We could show a picture of it with a "This image was found to be below TOO in case law" type thing.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:53, 9 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From what I can tell (Google translator does an excellent job of translating it), no, in fact it won in court as copyrightable. Magog the Ogre (talk) 22:33, 9 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems France is the same as UK then. I don't think it would be worth adding a link to an image that we can't host here then, like the UK section does. I will de-tag the French help template above. Should we leave the wording as is in the France section or put a same as UK type statement there?--Canoe1967 (talk) 23:06, 9 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
France is higher than the UK, in general -- it's not sweat of the brow like the UK is. From reading that article, it won because of the specific texture on the letters, and also the setting it was placed in (i.e. the word was only part of the work which was protected). Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:29, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, that's the whole point of the page, that it's not the same as the UK. But it is certainly lower than Germany and probably lower than the US. Magog the Ogre (talk) 00:30, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Any thoughts as to how to word the France section of this page then? Level 4 on a scale of 1 to 10 type thing? It seems that judges make the decisions on a case by case basis. We could do the same here as images come up for deletion but it would still be nice to have a sample image from a court case.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:24, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another thing: see COM:FOP France. It seems that some buildings are ineligible for copyright. I assume that it might be appropriate to mention this somewhere. COM:TOO is not only about logos and the like. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:17, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I added the link and bar placement between Germany, US, France, and UK levels. Feel free to edit, adjust, delete, ignore, laugh at, etc.--Canoe1967 (talk) 22:41, 10 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Jastrow specifically said that the French courts are lenient about originality in architecture. Yann (talk) 04:40, 9 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Australia threshold really low

How low is the threshold of creativity in Australia? Lower than that in the United Kingdom? This deletion nomination prompted me to look for other possible candidates, accordingly I have nominated these this for discussion: File:Allen and Overy.svg for the UK and File:Kmart Australia logo.svg for Australia. -84user (talk) 01:38, 5 August 2012 (UTC) (striking through the nomination I made in error -84user (talk) 02:18, 5 August 2012 (UTC))Reply[reply]

  • I'd want to know how Australian courts have ruled on text logos consisting of modified letters/fonts. I know the UK has found them to be copyrightable, as in the case of the "Edge" logo, but I'd try to find out something about how Aussie courts have ruled on the matter before nominating logos for deletion. cmadler (talk) 10:03, 6 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

X rays

Discussions that pertain to "threshold of originality" is taking place here [18] and we have a case which states that X rays do not meet this threshold in the United States. [19] James Heilman, MD (talk) 13:28, 20 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Can we try to establish what the threshold is in Canada?

This is what we know so far:

  • Other English-speaking countries in the Commonwealth of Nations have a very low threshold.
  • Canada is physically and culturally close to the US, so it might inherit some legal precedence from it (it's not unheard of for legal ideas to cross borders like that).
  • Canada uses a "compromise" version between the sweat of the brow doctrine like the UK and the creativity doctrine like the US or Germany (see comments by Vipersnake at Commons:Deletion requests/File:TSN2 HD.png, and see this paper).

Magog the Ogre (talk) (contribs) 21:28, 21 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Here's another paper that briefly discusses the Canadian standard. "In Canada, a Canadian Federal Court of Appeal withheld protection from a telephone directory arrangement, even though other cases restricted the Tele-Direct (1997) precedent to compilations and generally defined originality in more traditional common law terms (Hager, 1998)." The first part of that statement has the following footnote: "See also CCH Canadian Ltd. v. Law Society of Upper Canada (1999) 2 C.P.R. (4th) 129 (Fed. Ct.) (in which a compiling reported judicial decisions, even adding headnotes and other matters, have been found as lacking the ‘creative spark’ essential to a finding of originality). By contrast, in another case, different facts, such as the selection of information useful for the community, the court has allowed to distinguish another telephone directory as original (Ital-Press Ltd. v. Sicoli (1999) 86 C.P.R. (3rd) 129 (Fed. Ct.) (telephone directory of Italian–Canadians in the Edmonton area))." cmadler (talk) 12:36, 22 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi. Please have a look at this rfd. −ebraminiotalk 22:24, 12 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And this. I want to make sure about my claims :) −ebraminiotalk 22:27, 12 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, also, I want upload this, this and this to commons! :) −ebraminiotalk 22:44, 12 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
en:File:JIRA logo.svg is Australian, so it's definitely not OK. OpenJDK logo moved, see File:OpenJDK logo.png. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:15, 12 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cover art

This cover art can be uploaded with threshold of originality?--Migols (talk) 00:17, 10 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Definitely not. The photo is very complex. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:25, 10 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Interfaces — especially virtual interfaces — need to be addressed by this page.   — C M B J   08:34, 29 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What do you mean interfaces? As in the look and feel of human-thing or human-computer interaction, as in the button layout of a TV remote control or the layout of an on-screen menu? Or am I completely misunderstanding you? 14:28, 29 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Comparing #1/2/7 with #4/9, our handling of interfaces makes little sense. Pictures of the former are almost always accepted as being ineligible for copyright, but pictures of the latter are almost always assumed to be copyright violations. This is very unsustainable model in a world where basic gauges become graphs, switches become icons, and physical accents become pixels. For example, is #9 a copyright violation according to our policy? If not, how many more virtual knobs away are we from all common cockpits and dashboards and similar interfaces becoming contraband?   — C M B J   08:29, 30 May 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This page says: "The logo of Boeing is not considered a "work of authorship" because it only consists of text in a simple typeface"

Is the typeface original? If so, then I would expect the typeface itself to be entitled to copyright protection, and so the logo is indirectly copyright protected (as well as trademark protected).

Regards, Ben Aveling 05:51, 1 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

U.S. copyright does not protect "typeface as typeface". It does protect a computer font as a computer program, but that is different. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:09, 1 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wierd. A (computer) font is not a program. But it is a creative work. Or should be. Cheers, Ben Aveling 02:00, 2 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's unfortunately what happens when ruling bodies have little or no understanding of what they're dealing with, which happens unbearably often, especially in matters of technology because of generation gaps in computer literacy. William Haskell Alsup is a rare example of someone who actually had the integrity to sit down and learn Java so he could make an informed decision in Oracle v. Google.   — C M B J  
But fonts predate computers. What is the treatment of physical movable type? Ben Aveling 07:55, 2 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is typeface and not protectable by copyright (see w:Eltra Corp. v. Ringer) -- they are industrial designs which must be protected if possible in other ways (presumably a design patent -- see w:Intellectual property protection of typefaces). Congress considered protecting them in the 1976 Copyright Act but explicitly decided not to do so (or at least defer the decision), so there is not much question about it. It is not simply a case of a judge not understanding things; it is the intent of lawmakers to not protect them via copyright, at least to date. There was an attempt in the early 1970s to create an international convention to protect typefaces (via separate means than copyright); it failed as only two countries signed on (France and Germany if I recall). A computer font (vector anyways) was deemed to have kerning and other instructions such that the Copyright Office was persuaded to allow registration as computer programs -- it was close enough. A few subsequent court rulings have upheld that (w:Adobe Systems, Inc. v. Southern Software, Inc.). Bitmap fonts are different, as those were the subject of an earlier Copyright Office decision to not allow them. Vector fonts were considered computer programs which generated a typeface, not quite the same thing. There have been further cases confirming that. The decision to allow registration is here which gives their reasoning but of course the courts are the final authority on the scope. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:50, 18 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The result of this is not quite as it seems. Computer generated type faces are PD. It is only the generating software that has a copyright. This means that you cannot use Adobe or MS typeface software without a license. It is, however, legitimate to copy the typeface itself. It would also be legitimate to give a copy of the typeface itself (not the software) to an expert in typeface software and have him or her write new software which would generate the typeface. Although that software would likely be very similar, perhaps identical, to the copyrighted software, it would not be an infringement because copyright only protects works from being copied, not from being recreated de novo. The best example of this technique is the Phoenix BIOS which made it possible to produce the first clones of IBM PCs, see Phoenix Technologies. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 12:24, 18 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Powered by Verisign"

After this request, I think it would be a good idea if anyone here could take a look at the images uploaded by User:Fenestride. Do they comply with the rules of Commons? --Juncensis (talk) 19:36, 13 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Below the threshold in the US

You have a link: to the "No Soliciting" signs on my website and you have them listed as (These are Not OK). They are in fact copyrighted and the registration numbers are shown on my web site ((Registration numbers: VA 1-769-063 & VA 1-766-451)) So exactly what criteria are you using to determine that "These are Not OK?" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 22:13, 22 June 2013‎ (UTC)Reply[reply]

I removed the link on the project page and then it was restored by user: Davidwr No explanation given. Why? Do I have to ask someone who is "in with the in crowd" to do this for me, or at least explain why my edit was removed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 00:30, 23 June 2013‎ (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Not OK" means that it is not OK to upload these images as they are copyrighted. However, it seems that the "no soliciting" signs aren't as interesting as we thought. If you look up the records at, then you see that someone has registered the file names as "titles", so the author registered the JPG files and not any real signs. The JPG files contain rather artistic borders which clearly are copyrightable. Better examples are needed. --Stefan4 (talk) 01:18, 23 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I restored it for the very reason that Stefan4 said: The logic you used to remove them, Removed No Soliciting signs from section that says "These are Not OK." In fact these images are copyrighted and the registrations numbers are right there on my web site below the images, indicates that they are in fact valid examples of what is NOT okay to upload to the Commons. Davidwr (talk) 00:08, 7 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is there some legal case where all "no soliciting" signs are somehow inappropriate, even if they only consist of the plain text "no soliciting" in a simplefont? Or is it just the signs from this one company? This seems a bizarre example without an explanation. --McGeddon (talk) 10:52, 4 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The explanation is given at the linked website: these two JPEG files, including the somewhat creatively drawn frames, are copyrighted as there are copyright registration numbers below the images. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:04, 4 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So we're not actually saying "no-soliciting signs are not okay on Commons", we're just saying "no-soliciting signs which have copyright registration numbers are not okay"? Would it not be clearer to say "sign with simple geometric shapes and text which have copyright registration numbers" here? --McGeddon (talk) 11:52, 14 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Better? LX (talk, contribs) 18:27, 14 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Much clearer! Thank you. --McGeddon (talk) 16:01, 28 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Does international copyright matter on us:WP?

Per COM:URAA and some other recent decisions, works that are clearly PD in their country of origin are being bulk-deleted, as there is a legally-arguable US-only issue that claims them to still be under copyright. As WMF's servers are in the US, this US ruling is being applied across Commons. I have already lost hundreds of 1920s and 1930s book scans.

In such a case, does the long international section on this page have any relevance, other than academic interest? It's interesting that this File:Automotive alternator.jpg 1993 German image (maybe earlier, but it's in my Robert Bosch handbook) is claimed to be 2008 PD in Finland, owing to an obscure Finnish interpretation. However does that mean that I can use in on en:WP? Andy Dingley (talk) 11:59, 4 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is my understanding that the section on international law on this page is still relevant, because the ex post facto extension of copyright terms and massive revocation of works from the public domain effected by the URAA only applies to works based on their copyright status in the source country on a given date. A work that is ineligible for copyright protection in the source country would not be affected by the URAA. LX (talk, contribs) 18:09, 4 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are you sure about that? URAA doesn't apply if the work is in the public domain in the source country due to expiration of a copyright term. If an image is in the public domain in the source country because it is below the threshold of originality, then it is in the public domain for another reason. On the other hand, there was a case where a US court found that certain Mexican films were in the public domain in the USA because they were in the public domain in Mexico on the URAA date due to failure to comply with Mexican copyright formalities, and copyright formalities are separate to copyright terms. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:02, 4 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Street signs

Do photos of street signs, such as this meet the threshold of originality? The C of E (talk) 08:42, 25 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This direct photograph would probably meet threshold of originality because there are choices of what else is included and what lighting to use to get the best effect. The sign itself is probably below the threshold, and therefore not copyrightable, assuming it's a standard government sign format with a layout not unique to that sign. (I'm making it conditional on it being a standard sign, because Hong Kong courts may still retain a British idea of how little extra work is needed to meet the threshold of originality, so if there is anything uniquely creative about it, it could end up being close by UK standards.) --Closeapple (talk) 09:22, 25 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Images from COM:TOO deleted?

Here's a DR - Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Tripp Trapp. I don't understand, it has its permission PDF. --Rezonansowy (talk) 00:45, 30 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As explained on this page, courts found that the chair is a copyrighted artwork. Photos of the chair were therefore deleted. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:43, 30 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

More descriptive form

I think we should provide a simple readable rules what is OK and what not, rather than only provide a bunch of images. --Rezonansowy (talk) 00:53, 30 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How would those "simple readable rules" be written? --Stefan4 (talk) 12:44, 30 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's exactly a subject to discussion, but for example:
It is confusing for me that the first logo is below the threshold of originality and the green robot is above it. I think that the Best Western logo is more complicated (see red lines) so why the green robot logo is considered as more complicated? --Rezonansowy (talk) 14:10, 30 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the USA, there is a rule that you can't gain copyright protection merely by writing letters. The Best Western one is mainly letters, whereas the robot one is something else. I guess that's the difference between these two images. No idea if you can get copyright protection for 3D letters (e.g. those in Category:Axelsberg Metro station), but I'd assume that you can easily get protection for a photo of one of those letters even if you remove everything else from the picture. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:51, 30 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Stefan4: I mean these red lines placed above the text. IMO they're not simple. --Rezonansowy (talk) 17:11, 3 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think I see what Rezonansowy means: at first glance the red lines above "Best Western" appear to be a transformed W typeface, but they are not, neither are they two intersecting "V" shapes, they're more complex. However, page 6 of the linked United States Copyright Office letter here persuaded me that those stylised elements fall below the threshold. -84user (talk) 20:14, 3 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Stefan4 and 84user: Exactly! The problem is that probably everyone on COM:DR would consider this as too complicate, so we need more examples or maybe some guideline to avoid mistakes. May we will ask US Copyright Office for this guideline? --Rezonansowy (talk) 18:25, 5 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I guess that these two images are exactly at the threshold and that it is much more difficult to make an accurate assessment when something is very close to the threshold as the outcome is going to depend on tiny non-obvious details. Maybe there even are some differences depending on which court judge or copyright office employee is handling the case... --Stefan4 (talk) 15:35, 8 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The case listed in China (PRC)

The case is more likely due to the fact that calligraphy is copyrighted in China. In fact, the Chinese copyright law does not mention the threshold of originality. Should we mark that section as unclear instead? -Mys_721tx (talk) 20:32, 11 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

At s:zh:中華人民共和國著作權法 (2010年)#第一章 總則, "第一條" to "第三條" tell that copyright protection applies to "作品" (i.e. works), implying that things which aren't works aren't copyrighted. In "第三條", there is a list of different kinds of "作品". In many copyright laws, the threshold of originality is disguised in ambiguous words such as "作品" or "work". As protection only applies to "works", this implies that there is some kind of originality requirement, although you need to look at other documents (for example court rulings) in order to figure out exactly how courts in that country argue when they need to determine whether something is a "work" or not. Therefore, it is typically necessary to list lots of examples of court rulings from each country in order to make accurate judgements about the originality in that country. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:26, 11 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Stefan4 is correct, in the PRC a "work" is defined to require “originality.” While the word "originality" does not appear in the literal text of the primary PRC copyright act, it does appear in the regulations enacted by the PRC to implement copyright protection. In particular, Article 2 of the Regulation for the Implementation of the Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China defines the term “works” used in the Copyright Law as “original intellectual creations in the literary, artistic and scientific domains, insofar as they are capable of being reproduced in some tangible form.” —RP88 03:28, 12 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Age of Empires III, logos/"flags"

I have been asked to vectorize (request) these three logos/flags de:Datei:Logo der Azteken AoE III.png, de:Datei:Logo der Sioux AoE III.png, de:Datei:Logo der Irokesen AoE III.png from the game Age of Empires III, but to me they are protected.
The requester means that they are not and I'm not sure what to do. IF I do work on them I will upload them to commons, so that's the bottom line.
I hope for feedback from people who knows about those things, thanks. --Goran tek-en (talk) 09:08, 24 March 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

These are symbols consisting of geometrical shapes, which is the classic example of what doesn't pass the threshold of originality. So I'd say these are okay. See here: meta:Wikilegal/Copyright threshold of originality for logos. --Gnom (talk) 21:54, 6 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I propose that w:File:Hillary.png falls well below the threshold of originality, as it is merely an exceedingly common arrangement of public domain elements. BD2412 T 17:07, 24 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Note: I have posted a request for review of this file at w:Wikipedia:Non-free_content_review#File:Hillary.png. Cheers! BD2412 T 18:06, 24 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

South Korea

Does this state that the textiles Le Desire and Le Basket (pictured on the linked page page) were approved for copyright registration by the United States Copyright Office, but refused copyright protection by the South Korean supreme court and only granted protection for w:design right/w:design patent in South Korea? --Stefan4 (talk) 18:47, 28 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Partial copying or cropping of copyrighted works

The Gorr Vidal novel cover image caption reads "This image of the front cover of a novel is public domain because it only copies uncopyrightable text, copyrightable contents of the book itself or the back cover. (DR)" and links to Commons:Deletion requests/File:Burr by Gore Vidal - first edition cover.jpg. The DR did not mention "copyrightable contents" - is this a typo? I cannot imagine that a long text extract would become magically uncopyrightable merely by virtue of appearing on a book cover. -84user (talk) 01:20, 10 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Are you refering to File:Burr by Gore Vidal - first edition cover.jpg? This cover contains only 5 words, which are surely not copyrightable. --Túrelio (talk) 13:59, 10 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is about the caption from Commons:Threshold of originality#Partial copying or cropping of copyrighted works, isn't it? That caption is written badly. I will re-write it. The lesson of that file is: There can be an uncopyrighted fraction of a copyrighted work. The dust jacket of that book had prose and material on the back cover that was eligible for copyright, but the front cover has only short phrases in a practical typeface (which is not copyrightable in the United States). This image is only of the front cover, so it is public domain when it is by itself, even though it is physically attached to the back cover. --Closeapple (talk) 17:42, 10 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see what happened with that caption: I think the original author of the caption simply forgot the word "not". I've clarified it. --Closeapple (talk) 17:48, 10 November 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Case for texts in Germany

This case was pointed to in a deletion request about letters. It seems to mean that some business letter are below COM:TOO in Germany. Maybe it would be useful to add it in the German section of this page. I am not able to do it myself, because I do not speak German. Thank you for your help. BrightRaven (talk) 15:01, 28 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, very generally speaking, the point can be made that the text of a typical Wikipedia article is not protected by German copyright law. However, Commons is maybe the wrong place to discuss this. --Gnom (talk) 21:02, 30 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it can be relevant here too, because Commons also host texts (letters of notable people for example, or any other relevant documents). If this can be used to detail the level of the threshold of originality for texts in Germany, I think it can be useful. BrightRaven (talk) 08:47, 31 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Following this, I think this page needs an update (a new section?) from the Venezuela law regarding logos. In short, there not such thing like a "Threshold of originality" that allows to use logos freely in Commons, specially regarding local enterprises. Cheers --Oscar_. (talk) 22:04, 25 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What if the logo is "trademarked" in a very narrow business market but is "free" in other business markets? For example, in the USA if my last name was Taco could trademark "Taco Chlorine" within the narrow business of swimming pool supplies, and use a logo in 12-point Courier. This would be "pd-simple" and copyright-ineligible. But that won't stop someone named Mr. Chlorine from opening up a Mexican-food place with the same name and a plain-text logo 12-point Helvetica font. Newspapers who report on either company would use their "house" font that could easily be identical to either of our logos. Because they are in the news business their use of the logo would not infringe on trademark laws, and because there is no copyright it would not infringe on copyright laws (even if it did, it would likely be "fair use"). Are you claiming that such a situation would be copyright infringement or have to rely on Venezuela's "fair use" rules if a newspaper mentioned either company in an article that was printed in either 12-point Courier or 12-point Helvetica font, and therefore neither logo could be hosted on the Commons? I hope I'm sounding as ridiculous as I intend to sound, because if this argument holds, then it's ripe for abuse by unscrupulous companies in Venezuela who want to do a "trademark/copyright land grab". Davidwr (talk) 22:41, 25 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This logo is clearly too simple to have a copyright (except in UK?). Copyright and trademarks are two different things. I don't read Spanish, so but I think you could ask undeletion, and see what comes. Regards, Yann (talk) 09:54, 26 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Which section of law says that putting up a logo for illustration purposes is automatically a copyright infringement? Trademark rights are entirely different than copyright, and the term "use" is construed very differently in the two contexts. The fact that someone owns a trademark does not automatically mean there is a copyright. With Google Translate, I see nothing in Chapter XII which indicates that -- simply normal trademark. In fact, the "Intellectual Property Law" seems to have nothing to do with copyright at all -- that is for trademark, industrial design, and patents (i.e. forms of intellectual property other than copyright). The law on copyright seems to date from 1993 (see here); it is that law which any "threshold of originality" is based on. It also seems there was a "Law Relating to Copyright of November 29, 1962" which that one superseded. I don't think the reasoning in that deletion request had any merit -- not that I have any idea over what the threshold of originality in Venezuela really is. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:20, 26 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Personally, I don't think the reasoning in that DR is sufficient to suggest that this pages' section for Venezuela needs to be updated. The discussion at that DR links to Venezuela's Industrial Property Law (Ley de Propiedad Industrial), not to Venezuela's Copyright Law (Ley sobre el Derecho de Autor). I think the commenters at the DR simply erroneously conflated trademark with copyright. —RP88 (talk) 15:35, 26 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Android robot bad example. Remove?

There are plenty of examples for which we have evidence that ToO was or was not met, according to a ruling. This is not one of them. There's a claim that it's been registered with the copyright office, that failed verification.--Elvey (talk) 01:37, 5 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I search and get these results:
Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Number / Date: VA0001789579 / 2011-10-05
Application Title: ANDROID Robot Design.
Title: ANDROID Robot Design.
Description: Electronic file (eService)
Copyright Claimant: Google Inc. Address: 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA, 94043.
Date of Creation: 2007
Date of Publication: 2007-11-05
Nation of First Publication: United States
Authorship on Application: Google Inc., employer for hire; Domicile: United States; Citizenship: United States. Authorship: 2-D artwork.
Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:56, 5 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(Edit conflict) A search for registration number VA0001789579 at the U.S. Copyright Office does, in fact, show that the Android robot has been successfully registered (see VA0001789579). Your search failed because Google does not index the contents of the U.S. copyright registration database, you have to use the Copyright Office tools. If you want to search the post-1978 database, go here. As far as I am aware, the Android robot is literally the only modern logo officially known to be above TOO in the U.S. that is actually hosted by Commons (by virtue of the fact that Google not only registered the design with the U.S. Copyright Office but also licensed the design under a free license). We definitely should not remove it. —RP88 (talk) 02:24, 5 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for catching my mistake, guys. I spread the info around a bit.--Elvey (talk) 10:23, 21 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I think we should have a section on maps. See also Commons:Derivative works#Maps. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:35, 31 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This page is organized by country. Are you thinking of adding a sub-section on maps to every relevant country section, or are you just interested in the U.S. threshold of originality for maps? The U.S. section has a "see also" that points to Commons:Copyright rules by subject matter, you could add another "see also" in the U.S. section that points to Commons:Derivative works#Maps (since that section on the DW page is mostly about the U.S.). Alternatively, the main "See Also" section at the bottom links to a few other pages that incorporate discussions of the threshold of originality, so you could add a "* [[Commons:Derivative works#Maps]] - on the level of originality needed for a map to be protected by copyright" line after the other two. —RP88 (talk) 10:30, 1 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

South Africa

I could not find information about South Africa on Commons:Threshold of originality, so I searched and came across and article which mentions that level of originality required for copyright protection in the South Africa is very low, similar to that of the United Kingdom, it stems from the English influence on South Africa's copyright law. See: Determining originality in creative literary works by Sunelle Geyer, submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR LEGUM at the University of Pretoria, 2006 (2.1.1 Origins of originality requirement in South African law and 5.1.1 Legal requirements for originality). It states: "The low threshold of originality which is evident in South African law is thus not a universal requirement, but clearly stems from the English influence on our copyright law." Can someone add a section on South Africa on Commons:Threshold of originality, based on this information? Regards Ossewa (talk) 07:06, 20 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Commons:Threshold of originality#Colombia was added in Special:Diff/128013811. As far as I can tell, none of it has any relevance to the topic of this page.

  • "To be protected as an industrial design must be apparent to the eye." So… invisible industrial designs are ineligible for copyright protection? Business is looking grim for imperial weavers. To everyone else, this is meaningless.
  • "Names of newspapers … and other media does not give rise to copyright." Right, names are typically too short for textual copyright in any country and are protected by trademark law rather than copyright law, so this is also meaningless.
  • "The publication is free portrait as it relates to scientific, educational or cultural in general or with facts or events of public interest or have been occurred in public." Facts are not eligible for copyright protection. This is not a country-specific principle, and not something we point out for other countries.
  • "Tender is the reproduction, by any means, of a literary or scientific, ordered or obtained by the applicant in a single copy for private use and non-profit work." This is a fair use provision and has nothing to do with threshold of originality.
  • "It will be reproduced … works which are permanently located on public … places…" This is a freedom of panorama provision and has nothing to do with threshold of originality.

Since that leaves us with nothing of any substance, I'm rather inclined to just remove the section, unless anyone has anything to add. Threshold of originality is primarily established by case law, so I think quoting statute is where this attempt took a wrong turn. LX (talk, contribs) 17:22, 12 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@LX: I have removed the section. Nothing of it was relevant to TOO. (Re industrial design, to be eligible for copyright protection (as opposed to patent) it must be visible during normal use. The engine of a car cannot be copyrighted but the hood ornament can.) Aymatth2 (talk) 18:53, 21 January 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Floristry pictures

There is a discussion going on if Japanese traditional floral arrangement ikebana is copyrighted or not. The outcome seems to be that there is no law or court ruling on this matter, most probably because the legal definition of the TOO is not given. Once the discussion is closed, could we please update the text for Japan to point that out? This would help clear any confusion on the matter for users who are not familiar with this discussion Commons:Village_pump/Copyright#Ikebana_photos. Thank you. Gryffindor (talk) 10:32, 16 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Thanks to @DarwIn: , there now is a section for COM:TOO#Portugal. Time to create {{PD-Portugal}}? - Alexis Jazz ping plz 20:14, 8 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

{{PD-Portugal-URAA}} already exists btw, so PD-Portugal may not be needed. - Alexis Jazz ping plz 01:28, 18 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Should we add Belgium to the list? Father of Lies (talk) 08:01, 22 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


See Commons talk:Freedom of panorama#Next steps. If there are no strong objections in the next week or so, I plan to start moving content from here to the country-specific pages on copyright rules, and transcluding it back here. See the new section Commons:Threshold of originality#Afghanistan and click on [edit] to see the way it will work. Nothing will be lost from this list, but it should be easier to maintain the rules when the laws for a given country change, and more likely that contributors will find the rules. Aymatth2 (talk) 22:13, 9 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Template:PD-ineligible license tags - charts, graphs, maps, diagrams

See: Template:PD-ineligible. We need these public domain (PD) templates added to Template:PD-ineligible license tags:

Many charts, graphs, maps, and diagrams are in the public domain because they do not meet the threshold of originality.

See the chart, graph, map, and diagram sections and examples on this archived page:

See also this discussion (check archive if it is moved there):

See also: Commons:Chart and graph resources#Threshold of originality.

There are a lot of useful (and possibly PD) maps here:

--Timeshifter (talk) 16:45, 11 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    • Books, charts, and maps have been explicitly copyrightable by U.S. Copyright law since the very first one in 1790. Basic charts which follow common forms would not be copyrightable, but I'm sure there are some examples which are. Maps are usually copyrightable, I would think. Your source does not give any specific examples of them being ruled uncopyrightable, but rather just gives general threshold-of-copyright rulings, or even idea/expression divide rulings, and is not terribly convincing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:27, 12 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do not know. Maybe User:Elcobbola knows. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:18, 12 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What is the question? If an image--whether chart, graph, map, or otherwise--is below the threshold of originality, it may use {{PD-ineligible}}. New templates are both unnecessary and potentially problematic in encouraging unthinking application by mere classification rather than an assessment of whether a work is sufficiently original. While some "charts, graphs, maps, and diagrams are in the public domain [by virtue of lacking sufficient originality]," many are not. Эlcobbola talk 17:59, 12 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Carl Lindberg wrote "Maps are usually copyrightable, I would think." Is that the limit of advice we can provide people? Come on, get real. Template:PD-map would allow us to clarify that in the template documentation over time. And some examples could be provided in the template documentation. There must be some maps on the Commons that are above and below the threshold of originality. Same for charts and graphs. Template:PD-charts and graphs. I am less concerned with diagrams. Others can work on that. I deal with a lot of maps, charts, and graphs, and have categorized thousands of them. I have created some primitive ones too, and now realize it was unnecessary since there were many much better ones on the same topic, and below the threshold of originality. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:16, 13 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The one case I can think of, someone took a PD-USGov map of the outlines of U.S. states, and only added colorized state names. That addition was ruled uncopyrightable. But once you get above that level, maps are pretty much always copyrightable I think. The guidance they give on that source page is, frankly, terrible, and making a lot of assumptions that I have never seen backed up in court cases. The ones they cite are usually nowhere near the subject matter at all, talking about generalities or discussing literary works. Maps are explicitly copyrightable by the law, just as much as photographs or paintings. They are much more than "facts"; they are a selection and arrangement of facts (and selection and arrangements are copyrightable). There is the very rare type of photograph ({{PD-Art}}) which is not copyrightable, and it would probably be rare exceptions on that level for maps as well. Obviously, if you are starting with an existing map, a copyright would only apply to the additions. The copyrightability would come down to the specific details of how the map was made -- if you can show that no human creativity was in the process, that may end up below the threshold. But often you can't tell just by looking at a map, unless you know what they started with and how they got to the end result. No map is to life-size scale; there are always decisions about how much detail to omit and that sort of thing. Some references:
  • Openstreetmap has a document which goes into some more specific detail here. That cites a case of Rockford Map Publishers v. Directory Service Company of Colorado, which (in finding copyright infringement of maps) said: The copyright laws protect the work, not the amount of effort expended. A person who produces a short new work or makes a small improvement in a few hours gets a copyright for that contribution fully as effective as that on a novel written as a life's work.
  • It also cites City of New York v. GeoData Plus, a case where a city government created a vector map based on publicly-available data (including tracing of boundaries); the actual vectorization and choice of control points on the vectors was considered copyrightable. The Bytes Files were, in part, digitally "traced" from the DOF tax maps. However, the "tracing" technique did not involve merely taking a pencil and copying lines through a translucent sheet. Nor did it involve a simple, mechanical process that automatically caused digitized or vectorized images to appear on a computer screen. Instead, the "tracing" involved the manual selection of coordinates to create various lengths of straight lines in order to approximate the original images. This process--unlike rote copying--involved a distinctly human element in which many independent decisions had to be made concerning how best to reflect selected shapes given the limited nature of the digitized "drawing" tool. This is very different from the scanning in of images and using a software program to approximate the images at the command of one keystroke, which strips the independent decision-making element entirely from the process. The second company in the lawsuit claims they did their own vectorization, but managed to come up with the exact same control points in the vector data, and the court did not believe that at all and ruled it copyright infringement.
  • One of the cases the above ruling cites is Sparaco v. Lawler, which stated Although a mapmaker is not protected from copying of the factual information conveyed in the map, she is protected from the copying of any originality in the manner of expression employed in communicating the factual information. Without doubt, considerable skill and originality can be exercised by a mapmaker in the setting forth of unprotected information — in the selection or elimination of detail, the size, shape, and density of informative legends, the establishment of conventions relating to color or design to represent topographical or other features, and many other details of presentation. So any of those can be the basis of a copyright in a map.
  • Another case cited is Streetwise Maps, Inc. v. Vandam, Inc. which says copyright is in the overall manner in which Streetwise selected, coordinated, and arranged the expressive elements in its map, including color, to depict the map's factual content (the plaintiff was ruled to have a valid copyright in their maps, but was not infringed, since only a couple of similar colors were used in the defendant's map which were otherwise different).
In short, most maps are copyrightable. Elements which are standard cartographic conventions would not apply, but most maps will have some amount of originality in them, as they are a particular expression of facts, and not pure facts themselves. Map makers have long put intentionally incorrect data in maps, like fictitious small islands, which help prove infringement when others copy maps (one of the cases above put fake middle initials on certain property owners, which spelled out their company's name, and the second map had 54 of the 56 initials showing that their map was in fact used as a source.) It's hard to think of maps where a PD-map template would actually apply, and most of those probably start with a PD (or licensed) map as a base where we would need that other tag anyways. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:03, 13 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this map in the public domain?:
File:Indian states and union territories by population, 2011.png on the map is from the site it was created on. Anybody can create maps there. See their terms:
I believe the terms put it in the public domain. But even without the terms, is it in the public domain due to being below the threshold of originality?
This is an example of something I might put in the PD-map template documentation. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:44, 13 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The author of the India map applied his skill and judgement in creating the work, and it may have the minimal element of creativity to be considered original. I would not want to attempt wording for {{PD-chart-India}}. Aymatth2 (talk) 02:09, 13 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The outlines are definitely copyrightable. The rest... not so sure. There isn't much there except for color selection and the population size buckets. But the license of the outlines needs to be documented. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:22, 13 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(unindent). Thanks, Carl Lindberg, for all the specific examples. Is there a page on the Commons with those map examples concerning copyright?

The outlines on may be copyrightable, but specifically does not claim copyright ownership of maps created by users. See my reply here:

See the terms of use.

Concerning the maps people create:
Your Content.


These Terms don’t grant us (and we don’t claim) any ownership rights in Your Content.

They do maintain rights in their website service itself. See the section: "Ownership and Rights in the Service." --Timeshifter (talk) 06:47, 13 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That clause is saying they don't claim any ownership in content that you (the uploader) create yourself. That does *not* include any copyrightable expression they provide. And it is also a technicality -- a non-exclusive license is not ownership (while an exlcusive license can be); while they do not claim any ownership in Your Content, they make you agree to give the site a non-exclusive license to do almost anything they want with Your Content, perpetually. Their only restriction is that it relates to their business somehow, and after that, they can do anything (and give anyone else that same right). Those are explicit grants of rights as a license would have. There is no corresponding grants of their content to you, unfortunately. It sure feels like a site owner got those terms from somewhere else and did not really change them to be more applicable to their services, but the result could be (legally) that you have no license over their content at all. Now it may be that basic country outlines are so common these days as to not give rise to a copyright (or the site got them from PD sources themselves), meaning there is no issue with them. But if their outlines are copyrightable, those terms are pretty opaque and I see no sign of any actual license given in them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:24, 13 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe you can email or call them, and ask them to clarify things in their terms of use so that people can use a license of their choice on the maps they create. That way people can choose to use a Wikimedia-useful image license if they so choose. Maybe you can help them write their terms of use. :) --Timeshifter (talk) 08:04, 13 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Carl Lindberg. Thanks for your efforts.
Do a Google search for "copyright ownership":
I think this is clear enough for our purposes:
"These Terms don’t grant us (and we don’t claim) any ownership rights in Your Content."
And the outlines look pretty generic to me anyway. And if they are not claiming any ownership rights, we are adequately covered whether the outlines are generic or not. I think we are straining at gnats here.
And a non-exclusive license doesn't remove ownership by the creator of the content. So I can create a map there, and put a restrictive license on it. Or I can put a Wikimedia-adequate free license on it, and upload it to the Commons. I "own" the copyright in either case. A non-exclusive license doesn't remove my ownership. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:12, 15 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The map outlines are their content, not "Your Content". That's the part I'm worried about. Those are not licensed anywhere in the terms, and would be the part which could be copyrightable. A user could quite possibly add enough of their own content (which would be "Your Content") to add an additional copyright, and yes they could put whatever terms they like on that portion of the expression (though mapchart can use and sublicense Your Content no matter what terms you want to have). But technically, there is nothing in the terms which gives a user the right to distribute the parts of the map they did not author (mainly the outlines) if that counts as copyrightable expression. Given the statement on the main page, a lawsuit is hardly likely, but the legal terms may override that if it actually did end up in court. It feels like a non-lawyer copied the terms from and did not know what they actually needed to add. Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:35, 15 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Carl Lindberg. This reminds me of the evolution of this template:
Template:PD-UN-map - the starting maps were problematic. Not the modified ones.
Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-UN-map
Contacting might be helpful. Here is the feedback page for
Ask them to completely release all copyrights to modified maps. Their starting maps may or may not be PD-ineligible, but if they are releasing all copyrights to modified maps, then it does not matter.
--Timeshifter (talk) 06:40, 16 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for contacting me! I am the owner and developer of . Indeed, I checked the discussion, and found that there are some issues that I need to address regarding the license and ToS of the website.

The main issue is that the statements in the Terms of Use page are not adequate and clear enough at all. I have the same text there for the last 3 years maybe, which was written (or copy-pasted probably) from a contractor that I had hired, but I understand that there are some mistakes or inconsistencies that need fixing. I am also thinking of removing the page altogether and just keeping the new attribution/licensing statements in the FAQ section of the Feedback page, with simpler text and less legalese.

Regarding the statement on the main page: the use of the word 'free' is indeed as 'free' in a beer, as I am trying to differentiate from other paid/subscription-based map-making services.

The whole attribution issue is answered in the FAQ section of the Feedback page, where it is stated that:

You are allowed to use, edit and modify any map created with for private or commercial use/publication freely by adding any kind of reference to in your work.

Some examples of an appropriate reference:

  • Keeping the Created with tag that each map has embedded.
  • A simple link to the the front page or any other page of .
  • A text attribution on the page or inside the article/publication where the map chart is used (as a caption, in the credits, etc).

If the above examples do not cover you, don't hesitate to contact me for more details.

Now, I am not so sure that the above instructions comply with your licensing format (CC BY-SA 4.0) or what issues there may arise. The fact is that I want my users to download the maps they create on my website for free (without payment), but I also would like to have at least some kind of attribution to the website when they share the maps, as it is the only way to make it more known and have more traffic overall. That's why I require just a simple link or mention, and the watermark is small and in the corner of the map, and not covering the whole area.

Is there a way that I could state that with a licensing model? What should be done to adhere to your guidelines, if necessary? I would be happy to receive some guidance on the issue, as I am not well-versed in licensing formats and would need the help. --Whiplashoo21 (talk) 17:09, 26 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks Whiplashoo21!
Carl Lindberg. Could you reply to his above post?
Also, this is adequate for the Commons: "A simple link to the the front page or any other page of"
If anybody clicks on an image on Wikipedia they get sent to the image description page which should have the link to That page also shows the image license selected by the map creator. Map creators must attribute their source maps. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:24, 26 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See also: Commons:Derivative works#Maps.
And: Commons:Copyright rules by subject matter#Maps & satellite imagery. -- Timeshifter (talk) 11:41, 30 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Whiplashoo21 and Timeshifter: Hi, thanks for coming here to comment. Sorry I took so long to respond. Yes, the terms of service are a problem regardless of the situation here -- they do not state at all what the user's rights are to downloaded material; they pretty much just make the user give the site (wide-ranging) rights over any material they upload. It's a copyright license the other way, really. Furthermore, the terms state These Terms constitute the entire agreement between us regarding our Service, and supersede and replace any prior agreements we might have between us regarding the Service. So technically, they override the statement on the main page. The terms were pretty much copied and edited down from the terms of service, so not sure how much relevance they have to your service.
For Commons (and any Wikimedia project), works must be "free as in speech". It's perfectly understandable if you don't want to go that far with the licenses. Requiring attribution is not a problem for that -- indeed, most Creative Commons licenses do require attribution along the lines you are asking for. We do prefer to avoid advertising, so we prefer that we do not embed a visible watermark in the image itself, but have the information (and links to your site etc.) on the image details page. The type of Creative Commons licenses we require typically should allow us to do that (we think anyways). You have no problems with commercial usage, which is also a big help for us. The last thing is derivative works, which could be a sticking point. That means we need the ability to take a downloaded work, and transform it (or use any part of it) in a further work. So, it would need to be possible to strip out some of the map details, and use the outlines elsewhere in a separate work (at least the bitmap versions in the downloads). The license CC-BY-ND would not allow that ("no derivatives"), which may be what you are describing -- requires attribution, allows commercial use, but can only use the file basically as downloaded. That is however "non-free" for our purposes, so we could not use such maps here. The free license CC-BY-SA ("share-alike") allows derivative works under the condition that the derivative work also use the same free license; that may be acceptable for you as well. The license CC-BY requires attribution but does not place any restrictions on derivative works, and is also fine here. So, it's mainly a question to you -- given the statement on the main page, it's not clear whether you would allow derivative works, so it's probably not clear enough for us to consider the works "free" without further clarification, which is up to you.
If the map outlines you are using are from public domain sources, you may not actually own any copyright interest in the downloads at all, meaning you cannot use copyright to enforce any terms, which makes the issue here moot. In that case, the terms of service may be a contract which binds the actual user, but not anyone else who copies the maps further. But if you did work on the outlines, particularly creating the vectors, you probably do have a copyright (and thus we would need them to be licensed if they are uploaded here ;-) ). It looks like a very cool site, and we would certainly not want to misrepresent the rights you want to give out. It would be great if we could use them with an explicit license -- which would need to either be indicated on your website, or communicated via the COM:OTRS email process. We definitely prefer the Creative Commons licenses specifically; any other wording we would have to evaluate if it meets the "free" conditions specified at Commons:Licensing and . Thanks again for coming here to discuss, and hope this helps :-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:17, 30 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Carl Lindberg OK, thank you very much for the detailed explanation. Don't worry about the map outlines, they are own work and I have the vector files to put forward if necessary. I decided to move forward with a few changes to the ToS and licensing of the map:
  • The ToS page is scrapped altogether; I removed it and its links altogether from the website. It has never been used at all until now, and since it was just a copy-paste from irrelevant sources I deem it unnecessary.
  • The maps are now all licensed with the free license CC-BY-SA ("share-alike"), as you mentioned. I added a statement and a link to it on the Feedback page page as well as the home page.
  • The same was done for the historical version of the website.
Are the above clear enough for what you would need here? Looking forward to your reply. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Whiplashoo21 (talk • contribs) 18:08, 30 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

--Whiplashoo21 (talk) 18:09, 30 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yep, that's abundantly clear -- thanks so much. That is really nice. That does of course mean that any mapchart image uploaded here needs to use the CC-BY-SA license -- an uploader cannot choose CC-BY for example; the combined derivative work must be CC-BY-SA. But there should be no problem keeping them now. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:17, 30 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(unindent). Carl Lindberg and Whiplashoo21. I created a tag:

It includes the CC-BY-SA-4.0 license plus working links to and to this discussion.

  • {{Cc-by-sa-4.0}}
  • w:en:Creative Commons

attribution share alike

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
You are free:
  • to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • to remix – to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:
  • attribution – You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • share alike – If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same or compatible license as the original.

That is the license used on the map we have been discussing:

But the uploader did not provide a link, or even mention, in the description, and the mention on the map itself is small and very hard to read in the thumbnail. And it is likely to be removed.

Plus people have been using a variety of image licenses for maps. See this search for on the Commons:

I suggest putting this template text on your feedback page: {{}}
That way people can copy it directly to the Commons image page. You might also link to the Commons upload page. That would make it a lot easier for people to attribute your site. And it would help uploaders because figuring out image licenses is difficult for many uploaders, especially new ones.

I started adding the template to maps that were already using the {{Cc-by-sa-4.0}} image license. The template documentation needs to be updated. I used a very basic method.

Whiplashoo21. Could you put something on your user page so that it is not red? People may contact you via your talk page here on the Commons. Especially now that this thread is linked to the template. You could just put a redirect to your Commons talk page if you don't want to put anything on your user page.

Here is a search that pulls up maps using CC-BY-SA licenses:

I have gotten through the first page of 20 results, and replaced any simple CC-BY-SA tags with {{}}
--Timeshifter (talk) 16:40, 2 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Does this chart pass the threshold of originality?

Please see the chart at the bottom of this article:

Do I need to remove text at the top or bottom of the chart? I can crop the chart as needed.

Do I need to remove "Ran for Office" and "Won"? --Timeshifter (talk) 03:56, 14 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You can upload, copyright is for artistic works, this is a... chart. But better if, as I can suppose, it is for an important page of Wikipedia, you can ask Commons:Graphic Lab/Illustration workshop to made a SVG version, it is an easy work for them Timeshifter. Only for technical reason no copyright issues--Pierpao.lo (listening) 13:45, 14 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Guidance is more lacking on charts; the copyright would be limited to the selection and arrangement of the data. The Copyright Compendium ch. 9 states: The U.S. Copyright Office will not register a blank graph, chart, table, or figure if the claim is based solely on standard color variations, such as the mere addition of only a few standard colors. See id. § 202.1(a). However, the Office will register any copyrightable expression presented in a graph, chart, table, or figure, such as a copyrightable compilation of data, facts, or information. Additionally, the Office will register sufficiently expressive text that describes, explains, and/or interprets a particular graphing, charting, or tabling method. I would have a hard time imagining a standard bar chart would be copyrightable, nor the short phrases used as the labels. The exact subtitle and especially title may not be a good idea to copy. Seems doubtful that the placement of the labels would give rise to an arrangement copyright, but that is where you start getting into grayer areas. Making a different graph of the same data is preferable is possible. I would hesitate to use other charts from that article, but I'd probably lean OK on this one, particularly if the title and maybe subtitle were not copied. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:49, 14 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. I will crop the chart so as to remove the top and bottom text. I prefer compact charts anyway. So I will put my choice of text closer to the top and bottom of the chart. By the way, I use freeware IrfanView to crop and add text. And to remove watermarks, etc.. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:59, 15 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]