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An image of a postage stamp must be in the public domain, or freely licensed, before it can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

Copyright rules for stamps vary from country to country. Stamps may be considered government works that are not protected by copyright, although there may be non-copyright restrictions on the ways in which the stamps can be used. They may be considered government or corporate works that are protected by copyright for a defined period such as 50 years after issuance. The copyright term may be based on the life of the contributors to the stamp design, and may extend for 70 years or more after the death of the last survivor.

The goal of this project page is to clarify the copyright situation of postage stamps. It contains information "transcluded" from pages that describe the relevant rules for each country.

See also: Commons:Stamps/Public domain templates

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Public domain use {{PD-AB-exempt}}

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CopyrightedCopyright expires 50 years after first put in circulation.[2008 Article 16.1.6]. For stamps published more than 50 years ago (before 1 January 1973) use {{PD-Afghanistan}}.

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Public domain use {{PD-Albania-exempt}}

The Albanian Government regulation on postal stamps considers stamps as means of payment (General Provisions, Article 2: "Postal stamp is used to pay for postal services .."). Means of payment are exempt from copyright, see Not protected section above.
See also: Category:Stamps of Albania

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Copyrighted Public domain for the stamps published before 1 January 1973 (older than 50 years) if the work is anonymous. See {{PD-Antigua and Barbuda}}.
See also: Category:Stamps of Antigua and Barbuda

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Copyrighted The basic copyright law of Argentina is Law No. 11.723 of September 28, 1933, on Legal Intellectual Property Regime (Copyright Law, as last amended by Law No. 26.570 of November 25, 2009). There is no mention of stamps or official works in the law, but Article 8 (as translated) says that "The ownership of anonymous intellectual works belonging to institutions, corporations or legal persons shall last for 50 years from the date of publication of those works." The government of Argentina is an institution and not a natural person so assume that where a stamp is anonymous, it is out of copyright after 50 years. Use {{PD-AR-Anonymous}} where applicable. If the designer of the stamp is shown, the stamp will remain in copyright for seventy years after death.
See also: Category:Stamps of Argentina

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Public domain use {{PD-AM-exempt}}.

Stamps appear to qualify as "state symbols and signs", which are not subject to copyright under the 2013 version of the copyright law [2013 Article 4.1(d)]. The Law HO-46-N of December 14, 2004 On Postal Communication, amended in 2023, states that postal stamps are "state postal payment symbols".[1]

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Australia Post claims copyright ownership of Australian stamps for 50 years from publication ( Stamps published before 1 January 1973 can be tagged with {{PD-Australia}}.

Threshold of originality[edit]

 Not OK for most logos. The level of originality required for copyright protection in Australia is very low. Images showing the en:Australian Aboriginal Flag were consistently deleted from Commons as an Australian court has ruled that the flag is copyrighted.[2] See the discussions in Category:Australian Aboriginal flag related deletion requests.

See also: Category:Stamps of Australia

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The Austrian postal service (Österreichische Post) has limited copyright for all stamps and the displayed images. The stamps can be used for sale, manufacture and advertising. For all other imaging requests (such as printing works, books or encyclopedias) the respective postage stamp designer needs to be contacted, since it is not advertising.

For each stamp a release must be obtained individually. The contact addresses of the designers are subject to data privacy. See de:Wikipedia:Briefmarken#.C3.96sterreichische_Post. Therefore the general copyright term applies (pma + 70).
See also: Category:Stamps of Austria

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Public domain use {{PD-AZ-exempt}}

An exception is File:1995 John Lennon..jpg.
See also: Category:Stamps of Azerbaijan

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. No Bangladeshi stamps might be uploaded before 2032 because the first stamps were issued on 29 July 1971 and the copyright term is 60 years from the author's death. The 1971 stamps might be uploaded by 2032.

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Public domain use {{PD-BY-exempt}}

According to the Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 262-Z of May 17, 2011, "state symbols and signs (flag, coat of arms, anthem, awards, banknotes and other signs)" are not copyrightable.[262-Z/2011 Art.7(2)] According to the Postage Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 258-З of December 15, 2003, "postage stamp is an official (state) sign of postage printed on paper and carrying an artwork, and inscriptions "БЕЛАРУСЬ", "BELARUS", year of issue (in Arabic letters) and a par value (in Arabic figures). The par value of postage stamp may be designated in letters."[3]
See also: Category:Stamps of Belarus

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In Belgium an image of a stamp is copyright free when the following conditions are fulfilled:

70 years after La Poste / De Post have issued the stamp AND 70 years after the designer of the image on the stamp has died.

The works of the following artists are in public domain because the artist died before 31 December 1945.

The work of the following artists will be in public domain on 1 January following 70 years after their death

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Copyrighted According Belize's Copyright Act of 2000, where a protected work has been made by or under the direction or control of the Government and, apart from this subsection no copyright would subsist in the work, then copyright shall subsist therein by virtue of this subsection and shall initially belong to the State.[Cap.252/2000 Section 25(4)]

No special terms are specified for stamps or other government works, so standard copyright rules apply.

For stamps issued before Belizean independence (1981), crown copyright applies.

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No information available

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The Law No.1322 of April 13, 1992 on Copyright states that copyright protection expires 50 years after the author's death calculated from 1 January following the year of death.[1322/1992 Article 18]

For "anonymous works ... and in pseudonymous works, the economic rights shall last 50 years after the works have been made known" also calculated from 1 January of the following year.[1322/1992 Article 19]

For stamps published more than 50 years ago (before 1 January 1973) use {{PD-Bolivia}}.
See also: Category:Stamps of Bolivia

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See also: Category:Stamps of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Before 1983

use {{PD-BrazilGov}}

After 1983

See also: Category:Stamps of Brazil

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No information available
See also: Category:Stamps of Brunei

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See also: Category:Stamps of Bulgaria

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COM:Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

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Copyrighted Stamps are not included among the types of work for which copyright does not apply.[Act 1/021 2005 Article 7]

If the author is known, a stamp would be protected for life + 50 years.[Act 1/021 2005 Article 58] Otherwise, as an anonymous or collective work it would be protected for publication + 50 years.[Act 1/021 2005 Article 60–61]
See also: Category:Stamps of Burundi

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Copyrighted There is no special provision in the copyright law for postage stamps. Section 12 of the 1921 Copyright Act of Canada states that for government works (work that is, or has been, prepared or published by or under the direction or control of Her Majesty or any government department) the copyright is 50 years following the end of the calendar year during which the work has been published. This is known as Crown copyright.

There are also special non-copyright regulations which apply: see,_c._1292/page-1.html.

For stamps published more than 50 years ago (before 1st of January 1973) use {{PD-Canada-stamp}}.
See also: Category:Stamps of Canada

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See also: Category:Stamps of Chile

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See also: Commons:Stamps

As mentioned elsewhere (see Manchukuo and Wang Jingwei regime CRT pages), stamps issued by the government of Manchukuo, or the Wang Jingwei regime are nowadays in public domain, as both are considered as puppet regimes by Chinese Government, and hence never recognized their copyright status.

Pending informations, but in normal cases  Not OK for nearly all non-Manchukuo, non-Wang-regime stamps in China, because in most cases, the dates of birth of authors of those stamps are not publicly known, unless if that's issued before Jan 1, 1928 which is a {{PD-anon-expired}} case, we should de facto judge them as copyrighted by China Post or its affiliates (e.g. Beijing Stamp Factory).[4]

In rare cases, if the dates of birth of authors of some individual stamps are known, those can enter the public domain 50 years after the death of the creator.
See also: Category:Stamps of China

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Copyrighted Stamps appear to be out of copyright after 70 years. If stamp is published before 1 January 1953 please use {{PD-Colombia}}.
See also: Category:Stamps of Colombia

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COM:Costa Rica

Costa Rica

The basic copyright law of Costa Rica is: Ley Nº 6683 - Ley de Derechos de Autor y Derechos Conexos. There are no specific provision for copyrights of postage stamps, but all works are copyrighted until 70 years after the author's death. In the case of government agencies and other public entities the copyrights of official works expired after 25 years, and in special cases after 50 years (i.e. books), both since the original publication date.
See also: Category:Stamps of Costa Rica

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Copyrighted Modern stamps of this country are not in public domain or their status is unknown. Cuba was under Spanish control until 1898 and then under U.S. control until the Republic was established on May 20, 1902. Accordingly, the copyright applicable to stamps issued during those time periods would be Spain and the U.S.
See also: Category:Stamps of Cuba

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COM:Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Copyrighted Postal stamps of Czechia (they are since 1993) are copyrighted 70 years after the author's death by both authors: an engraver and a graphic artist. They are not official works. Stamps are officially announced in Poštovní věstník (Postal bulletin, it is published at least since 2000) and texts in this bulletin is public domain but the stamps are copyrighted.

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Copyrighted Postage stamps of Czechoslovakia (published in 1918-1939 and in 1945-1992) are copyrighted 70 years after the author's death by both authors: an engraver and a graphic artist. (see overview of artists)

Stamps issued before 1922 are PD with exception of portrait of TGM and Dove. Between 1934-1939 are PD stamps engraved by Bohumil Heinz with some exceptions (non PD graphic artist).
See also: Category:Stamps of Czechoslovakia

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Copyrighted Under the Intellectual Property Law (Codification No. 2006­-13) there is no exception for stamps, which would be protected for 70 years from publication.

  • Protected works shall include, inter alia, the following: ... works of painting, drawing, engraving and lithography ....[2006­-13 Art.8(f)]
  • The employer or commissioner owns copyright in works by made employees or commissioned.[2006­-13 Art.16]
  • Where the holder of rights in a work from the time of creation of the work is a legal person, the period of protection shall be 70 years from the making, disclosure or publication of the work, whichever is the later.[2006­-13 Art.81]
    See also: Category:Stamps of Ecuador
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COM:El Salvador

El Salvador

Copyrighted According to the 2017 revision, works owned by legal entities are protected for 70 years counted from 1 January of the year following that of first publication.[2017 Article 86(c)]

Translation of the specific permission to use images of postage stamps for non-commercial educational, philatelic and cultural purposes was contained in an email message dated 11 January 2007 from Silvia María Orantes, Head of the Philatelic Office, Government of El Salvador but commercial restriction images are not permitted here.
See also: Category:Stamps of El Salvador

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. There are no specific laws on the copyright status of stamps. Ethiopian stamps are in the public domain 50 years after the date of issue, per the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Proclamation No. 410/2004, which states that "Economic rights shall belong to the author during his lifetime and to the heirs or legatees for fifty years from the date of death of the author" (Art. 20) and "The economic rights relating to an audiovisual work shall be protected for fifty years beginning from the date of making of the work or communication of the work to the public, which ever date is the latest."
See also: Category:Stamps of Ethiopia

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COM:Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands

Public domain use {{PD-Faroe stamps}}

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Åland has its own laws on postal matters; the discussion below does not concern stamps of Åland.

Maybe copyrighted Stamps issued before 1990

Before 1990 stamps were issued by a public body whose decisions and statements are not protected by copyright. See #Not protected (above). If an image of a stamp was included in a public body's decision or statement and the stamp is not an independent work, the image would be free of copyright as part of the document, the document can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and the image can be cropped from this document. Use {{PD-FinlandStamp}} in these cases.

It is uncertain how the above affects the copyright of stamps depicted in other places. The precautionary principle is that we assume a stamp is copyrighted unless proven otherwise. A copyrighted stamp will lose copyright protection 70 years after the author's death or 70 years after publication if the author is anonymous. Information on the author of a stamp will often be available at Postimuseo's Postimerkkiselain, and should be included in the stamp description where available. Use {{PD-old-70}} or {{PD-anon-70}} in these cases.

Copyrighted Stamps issued from 1990

Posts and Telecommunications of Finland became a state-owned enterprise known as Posti-Tele in 1990. It is not clear whether this entity and its successors retained the status of public bodies. The precautionary principle is that we assume it did not, and any new stamps issued from 1990 onward remain copyrighted.
See also: Category:Stamps of Finland

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According to La Poste, French stamps have the same legal status as any other work of art. Stamps by designers deceased more than 70 years ago are public domain.[5]

The names of the artists are generally printed at the bottom of the stamps or its main picture. Check the individual artists death dates in the frwiki category: Dessinateur de timbres/Stamp designers and also the French Phil-ouest website that lists many more than have wiki articles.[6]

On 1st January 2015, it appears that all postage stamps of France issued until 1922 are in the public domain (doubts about the 1919 stamp known as "The Two Orphans" – cause: no information found on the date of death of Surand and Jarraud).

The following list of artists whose works are in public domain because they died before 31 December 1952 is non-exhaustive:

Works by the following artists will be in public domain on 1 January following 70 years after their death:

  • Hourriez, Georges (1878–1953)[8] @2024
  • Dulac, Edmond (1882–1953) @2024
  • Nézière, Raymond de la (1865–1953) @2024
  • Feltesse, Émile Henri (1881–1955) @2026
  • Barlangue, Gabriel Antoine (1874–1956) @2027
  • Dufresne, Charles Paul (1885–1956) @2027
  • Lemasson, Henri (1870–1956) @2027
  • Cheffer, Henry (1880–1957) @2028
  • Rigal, Louis Pierre (1888–1959) @2030
  • Munier, Pierre (1889–1962) @2033
  • Cocteau, Jean (1889–1963) @2034
  • Kieffer, Clément (1881-1964) @2035
  • Mazelin, Charles (1882–1964) @2035
  • Louis, Robert (1902–1965) @2036
  • Serres, Raoul (1881–1971) @2042
  • Cami, Robert (1900–1973) @2044
  • Lemagny, Paul Pierre (1905–1977) @2048
  • Spitz, André (1883–1977) @2048
  • Piel, Jules (1882–1978) @2049
  • Picart Le Doux, Jean (1902–1982) @2053
  • Monvoisin, Michel (1932–1982) @2053
  • Miró, Joan (1893–1983) @2054
  • Fernez Louis (1900–1984) @2055
  • Decaris, Albert (1901–1988) @2059
  • Delpech, Jean (1916–1988) @2059
  • Haley, Claude (1923–1988) @2059
  • Gandon, Pierre (1899–1990) @2061
  • Pheulpin, Jean (1907–1991) @2062
  • Cottet, René (1902–1992) @2063
  • Combet, Jacques (1920–1993) @2064
  • Lengellé, Paul (1908-1993) @2064
  • Peynet, Raymond (1908–1999) @2070
  • Hundertwasser, Friedensreich (1928–2000) @2071
  • Leguay, Marc (1910–2001) @2072
  • Durrens, Claude (1921–2002) @2073
  • Hertenberger, Claude (1912–2002) @2073
  • Bridoux, Charles (1942–2003) @2074
  • Dessirier, René (1919–2003@2074
  • Guillame, Cécile (1933–2004) @2075
  • Folon, Jean-Michel (1934–2005) @2076
  • Forget, Pierre (1923–2005) @2076
  • Lacaque, Eugène (1914–2005) @2076
  • Slania, Czeslaw (1921–2005) @2076
  • Schach-Duc, Yvonne (1933–2009) @2080
  • Sainson, Huguette (1929–2011) @2082
  • Mathieu, Georges (1921–2012) @2083
  • Béquet, Pierre (1932–2012) @2083
  • Leliepvre, Eugène (1908–2013) @2084
  • Wou-Ki, Zao (1920–2013) @2084
  • Markó, Serge (1926–2014) @2085
  • Taraskoff, Mark (1955–2015) @2086
  • Quillivic, René (1925–2016) @2087
  • Andréotto, Claude (1949–2017) @2088

See also: Category:Stamps of France

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use {{PD-GE-exempt}}.
See also: Category:Stamps of Georgia

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According to a decision by a German regional court (Landgericht Berlin) in a case of the heirs of German artist Loriot against the Wikimedia Foundation, announced 27 March 2012, German postage stamps are not "official works" according to § 5 I or II UrhG and are therefore not in the public domain, as previously assumed on Commons.

Stamps of other private entities are copyrighted as well. However, the usual German copyright expiration term applies - copyright expires 70 years after 1 January after death of the creator. Some individual stamps may be copyright-free for other reasons (e.g. simple graphic design). For a further discussion, see Wikilegal/Copyright of Images in German Postage Stamps

Outdated license templates, to be deleted or changed[edit]

See Commons:WikiProject Public Domain/German stamps review.

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Copyrighted Stamps by artists deceased more than 70 years ago (or pseudonymously designed more than 70 years ago, before 1 January 1953) are free. The copyright status of all other stamps issued before 1970 is disputed (possibly {{PD-GreekGov}} as government administrative documents). Stamps issued since 1970 follow the 70 years pma rule.
See also: Category:Stamps of Greece

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. Stamps by artists deceased more than 60 years ago (or pseudonymously designed more than 60 years ago, before 1 January 1963) are free.[2005 Article 20–23]
See also: Category:Stamps of Haiti

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Stamps of Hungary are probably not in the public domain.

Although Hungarian copyright law denies copyright protection for "means of state direction" (Act No. LXXVI. of 1999], I.4), the recommendation by the Council of Copyright Experts rejects a similar arguments for banknotes and suggests that "means of state direction" applies to specific, "official" uses of a work.[9][10] The same logic is presumed to apply to stamps as well. Assume copyrighted until general term of protection expires.

Also refer to Commons talk:Stamps/Public domain#Hungary and Commons:Undeletion requests/Archive/2013-10#File:1888 Kodaly 500.jpg
See also: Category:Stamps of Hungary

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: Stamps are now covered under {{GODL-India}}. In addition, all Indian stamps older than 60 years are in the public domain. See en.wikipedia discussion here and here.

Use either {{GODL-India}} or {{PD-India}} where appropriate. Material issued by the Government of India before independence may be covered by {{PD-UKGov}}.
See also: Category:Stamps of India

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Public domain under Article 43(b) of the 2014 Copyright Law.

Please use {{PD-IDGov}} for images of Indonesian postal stamps. However, please note that it has not been determined if modifications or derivatives can be made to works enumerated in Article 43 (Please read the Commons discussion on the issue here).
See also: Category:Stamps of Indonesia

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: All stamps published before 22 March 1993 are in the public domain because according to the Law for the Protection of Authors, Composers and Artist Rights, Iran stamps designed before 22 March 1993 become public domain after 30 years since, "In the following cases images fall into public domain after 30 years from the date of publication or public presentation (Article 16): In cases where the work belongs to a legal personality or rights are transferred to a legal personality." Iranian stamps are copyrighted and their copyright belong to Iran Post which is a "legal personality". In those cases use {{PD-Iran}}.
See also: Category:Stamps of Iran

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: For stamps published more than 50 years ago (before 1st of January 1973) use {{PD-Iraq}}.
See also: Category:Stamps of Iraq

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Republic of Ireland

Irish stamps issued by the Department of Posts and Telegraphs before 1984 are official works and those over 50 years old are in the public domain (published before 1 January 1973). Use {{PD-IrishGov}} to tag them. Since 1 January 1984, when An Post was established Irish stamps are copyright to the company.

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Copyrighted Paragraph 51 of Israeli Postal Services Statute 1986, in its 2004 revised version stipulates that the State owns full copyrights for Israeli stamps. The Israeli copyright statute from 2007 determines that the State's copyrights expire on 1 January of the 51st year after the creation of the work. Hence, only stamps created 50 or more years ago are in the public domain. Template:PD-IsraelGov would be appropriate to indicate their copyright status.

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Copyrighted Until specific information becomes available, apply the 70 years pma rule (or 70 years after issue for anonymous/pseudonymous stamps), so stamps by designers deceased more than 70 years are public domain. Where there are joint authors, such as an engraver and a designer, the copyright term starts following the death of the last survivor.

{{PD-Italy}} does not apply to Italian stamps. The law contains no exceptions to standard copyright law for stamps.

Stamps sometimes contain date and author. The Stamp Art blog, while not necessarily reliable, does list designers and some engravers of Italian stamps and Italian stamp designers, so may be worth reviewing.[11] The following list of artists whose works are in public domain because they died on or before 31 December 1950 is non-exhaustive:

Works by the following artists will remain protected until 70 years after their death:

The following artists have unknown death dates:

  • Liana Ferri (stamp designs 1934)[12]
  • Gustavo Petronio (active c1920s–1950s)[13]
  • Alberto Repettati (c.1896-1940s)
  • Dino Tofani (1895–?1930)
  • C. Vincenti (1930s)
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Copyrighted Stamps more than 70 years old or published before 1 January 1968 are in the public domain, per {{PD-Japan}}.
See also: Category:Stamps of Japan

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Public domain use {{PD-KZ-exempt}}

Pursuant to Article 8 of Law No. 6-I of the Republic of Kazakhstan On Copyright and Associated Rights dated June 10, 1996, "official symbols and signs (flags, coats of arms, decorations, bills and coins and other official symbols and signs)" are not copyrighted.[419/2015 Article 8] Pursuant to Article 1 of Law No. 386-II of Kazakhstan On Post dated February 8, 2003, official signs of postage include "stamps, souvenir sheets, stamped covers, postcards, postage meter marks and other signs introduced into circulation by the authorised agency, which confirm that postal operator services have been paid."
See also: Category:Stamps of Kazakhstan

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Copyrighted. The Copyright Act 1966 states that "any work eligible for copyright which has been created pursuant to a commission from the Government" is copyrighted "until the end of the expiration of fifty years from the end of the year in which it was first published" [3]. For stamps published more than 50 years ago (before 1 January 1973) use {{PD-Kenya|1}}.

Public domain (if prior to December 1965) per {{PD-UKGov}}
See also: Category:Stamps of Kenya

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Copyrighted. Law No. 38/NA of November 15, 2017, on Intellectual Property does not mention stamps, and nothing that could be interpreted as stamps is included in the list of unprotected works.[38/NA/2017 Article 94]
See also: Category:Stamps of Laos

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The Copyright Law of 2000 (as amended up to June 14, 2017) says that official symbols and signs (flags, coats of arms, anthems, and awards) are not protected, but does not include stamps in this list. It also says that official documents and official translations of such texts are not protected, but a stamp cannot be considered to be the text of an official document. Under the precautionary principle we must assume that stamps are protected in the normal way.
See also: Category:Stamps of Latvia

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Public domain? According to the Law of May 19, 1999, on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, "Copyright protection shall not subsist in ... means of payment".[1999-2006 Art.5]

However, Liechtenstein generally emulates Swiss law, and Liechtenstein's Copyright Act is based on the Swiss text. The majority of Swiss copyright law commentaries does not consider stamps "means of payment".[14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]It is therefore likely that Liechtenstein stamps are protected by copyright as well.

In the past, {{PD-Liechtenstein}} was used for uploads of stamps from Liechtenstein, but this should not be done in the future, unless it's possible to produce evidence for the public domain claim.
See also: Category:Stamps of Liechtenstein

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Public domain use {{PD-LT-exempt}}.
See also: Category:Stamps of Lithuania

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Copyrighted Under Malawi's Copyright Act, 2016, the copyright term for works by the government is 50 years from the date of first publication and for works by individual authors is life of the author plus fifty years.[26/2016 Section 35(1a),(1e)] Since the first stamps of Malawi were issued on 6 July 1964, the earliest any stamp of Malawi was PD in 2015 (and even then only if the artwork depicted on the stamp is a government work).
See also: Category:Stamps of Malawi

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According to article 23 of The Copyright Act 1987 (act 332), works by the Government Organizations are subject to copyright until the beginning of the year following 50 years after publication, so only stamps more than 50 years old may be uploaded and they should use the template {{PD-Malaysia}}. This applies until 1992 when the Malaysian post office was corporatized as Pos Malaysia, so the normal artistic copyright term likely applies (life plus 50 years), unless as a corporate work the term of publish plus 50 years applies.
See also: Category:Stamps of Malaysia

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Public domain use {{PD-Manchukuo-stamps}}.

As China has always claimed Northeast China without recognizing Manchukuo, any copyright of Manchukuo stamps would have expired no later on 1 January 1996. China limits corporate copyright to 50 years since publication, and it is no longer known who designed the stamps.
See also: Category:Stamps of Manchukuo

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No information available
See also: Category:Stamps of Mexico

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Public domain use {{PD-MD-exempt}}.

According to the law on Copyright of the Republic of Moldova no. 293-XIII of 23 November 1994 (Amended by Law no. 1268-XV, of 25 July 2002) Article 7. refers to "State emblems and official signs (flags, armorial bearings, decorations, monetary signs, etc.)" as Works Not Protected by Copyright. The Moldovan Postal Law No. 36 from 29 April 2016 defines postal stamp as "printed valuable sign issued and put into circulation exclusively by the state as an attribute of its sovereignty".[22]
See also: Category:Stamps of Moldova

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Copyrighted Mozambique copyright law instituted in 2001 states that copyright subsists for 70 years following completion for "works of applied art" which appears to cover stamps.
See also: Category:Stamps of Mozambique

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Under Sec. 17(a)(5) of the Law No. 15/2019, Government works of Myanmar are copyrighted for 50 years from first publication (before 1 January 1973).
See also: Category:Stamps of Myanmar

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Copyrighted According to the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Act 6 of 1994, copyright of government-produced work is held by the state, and lasts for a period of 50 years after publication [6/1994 Section 6(5)]. The Namibian post was originally a department of the government's Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, and became Namibia Post Ltd, or NamPost, in 1992. Before its independence in 12 June 1968 {{PD-SAGov}} may apply.
See also: Category:Stamps of Namibia

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See nl:Wikipedia:Beleid voor gebruik van media/Postzegels (In Dutch).

Prior to 1 January 1989, the government-owned corporation PTT considered Dutch stamps as being created by the PTT company and as such was considered their author. In The Netherlands copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author. With stamps issued prior to 1989, copyright expires 70 years after publication.

From 1 January 1989 onwards, the PTT became the private company TNT Post. The rules are sometimes different compared to the period before 01-01-1989; for example, when there is more than one author of a stamp.

Public domain As of 2023 Dutch stamps created in the period 1852–1952 are considered to be Public Domain.

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COM:New Zealand

New Zealand


In New Zealand, the Crown Copyright is defined by Sections 2(1), 26 et 27 of the 1994 Copyright Act. It lasts 100 years, with exceptions. It protects the work created by a person employed or engaged by the Crown, Ministers of the Crown, offices of Parliament and government departments. See Wikipedia:Crown copyright.

According to this law, images of New Zealand stamps are in the public domain :

  • 50 years after issue for stamps issued before 31 December 1944 (Template:PD-NZ-50-years on the Wikipedia in English). Use {{PD-NZ-50-years}}. All stamps from 1944 and before are thus in the Public Domain.
  • 100 years after issue for stamps issued between 1 January 1945 and the 31 March 1987 by the New Zealand Post Office as a Department of the Government. No stamps from 1945 onward will therefore become public domain before 1 January 2045.
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Stamps are not mentioned among the works not subject to copyright.[312/1999 Article 16]
See also: Category:Stamps of Nicaragua

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COM:North Korea

North Korea

Copyrighted. According to North Korean copyright law as of 2006, "the property rights to a copyrighted work or a copyrighted visual art work whose author is an institution, enterprise or organization shall be protected for up to 50 years from the moment of its publication."[1532/2006 Article 24]

If published before 1 January 1973 use {{PD-DPRKOld}}.
See also: Category:Stamps of North Korea

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COM:Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Empire

Public domain use {{PD-Ottoman}}.

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 Not OK. Use {{PD-Pakistan-stamp}} for stamps whose copyright has expired

Copyright ownership of stamps is maintained by the Government of Pakistan, as stamps in Pakistan are issued by Pakistan Post, which works under the Government of Pakistan. According to Pakistan's Copyright Ordinance, 1962, stamps can be classified as artistic:

  • "artistic" work' means: ... a painting, a sculpture, a drawing (including a diagram, map, chart or plan), an engraving or a photograph, whether or not any such work possess artistic quality.[XXXIV/2000 Section 2(c.i)]
  • "Government work" means a work which is made or published by or under the direction or control of ... the Government or any department of the Government.[XXXIV/2000 Section 2(m)]
  • in the case of a Government work, Government shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright therein.[XXXIV/2000 Section 139(d)]
  • Copyright in a Government work shall, where Government is the first owner of the copyright therein, subsist until 50 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the work is first published.[XXXIV/2000 Section 22(1)]
    See also: Category:Stamps of Pakistan
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Copyrighted Under the Law No. 64 of October 10, 2012, stamps are not excluded from protection (e.g. as official texts).[64/2012 Article 13]

Copyright lasts for 70 years after death of the author or coauthor, or 70 years from publication if the work is anonymous or pseudonymous [64/2012 Article 59–60]. However, the economic rights for works created by authors who died before Law 15 of 8 August 1994 came into force will have the duration of 80 years as provided for in the Administrative Code of 1917.[64/2012 Article 194] In effect, works by authors who died after 1942 are still protected. For older stamps, if applicable, use {{PD-Panama}}.
See also: Category:Stamps of Panama

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Copyrighted: Stamps are not mentioned in Law No. 1328/98 on Copyright and Related Rights, and are not included in the categories that are not protected.[1328/1998 Article 8]
See also: Category:Stamps of Paraguay

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Stamps created prior to 1971
Public domain Some stamps were created by Casa de Correos y Telégrafos, today Ministry of Transport and Communications-owned Servicios Postales del Perú (Serpost). In Law No. 13714 of 1961, works by the government had a duration of 25 years and its copyright expired before 1996.
For stamps created by the Government and published before 1971 use {{PD-Peru-organization}}, for other works use {{PD-old-auto}} where applicable.
Stamps created since 1971
The basic law on copyright in Peru is contained in Legislative Decree No. 822 of April 23, 1996.

There is no special mention of stamps in this law as "official work".[822/1996 Art.9] Copyright lasts for 70 years from death, calculated from the 1 January following the year of death, or for 70 years from the year of disclosure for anonymous and pseudonymous works.[822/1996 Art.52–53]
See also: Category:Stamps of Peru

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Public domain use {{PD-PhilippineGov}}

Works by the government of the Philippines are not protected by copyright. A prior approval of the government is necessary for exploitation of such works for profit. However, the clause for prior approval is determined to be a non-copyright restriction and can be safely ignored for the purposes of Wikimedia Commons by policy. (See discussion).

Warning sign Warning while Philippine stamps are public domain as works of the Philippine government, one must also take into account the underlying derivative works that may appear in the stamps, such as photographs from non-free sources and copyrighted artworks. Section 176.3 of the copyright law provides that the copyright in a work is not invalidated by its "publication or republication by the government in a public document." See also this April 2020 deletion request and this May 2021 deletion request.

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Unclear According to Article 4, case 2 of the Polish Copyright Law Act of February 4, 1994 "normative acts and drafts thereof as well as official documents, materials, signs and symbols are not subject to copyrights".

Such materials should use {{PD-Polishsymbol}}. Unfortunately it is unclear if Polish stamps and banknotes are considered official materials, signs or symbols by Polish law. In 2009 about 900 files with Polish stamps were deleted (see Commons talk:Stamps/Archive 1#Polish stamps are copyrighted for the discussion).
See also: Category:Stamps of Poland

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Public domain use {{PD-RO-exempt}}.

According to the Romanian Law on Copyright and Neighboring Rights Law no. 8/1996 of 14 March 1996 with further amendments Chapter 3 Article 9 "means of payment" shall not benefit from the legal protection accorded to copyright; therefore images of stamps are deemed to be in the public domain. Further, the Romanian law on postal services from 6 March 2013 defines postal stamp as "paper of value issued and put into circulation exclusively under the authority of the state, as an attribute of its sovereignty",[23] implying that Romania postal stamps are "official symbols of the State, public authorities and organizations", which are not protected by the Romanian copyright.

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Public domain use {{PD-RU-exempt|stamps}}

Pursuant to Article 1259.6 of Part IV of the Civil Code (No. 230-FZ) of the Russian Federation dated 8 December 2006, official symbols and signs (flags, emblems, orders, banknotes, and the like), as well as symbols and signs of municipal formations are not copyrighted. Pursuant to Article 2 of Federal Law No. 176-FZ of the Russian Federation On Postal Service dated July 17, 1999, official signs of postage include "postage stamps and other signs put on mail that give evidence that postage has been paid".

Article 1.1 of Official Postage Signs and Special Postmarks Regulations, put into force on 26 May 1994 by Order 115 of the Ministry of Communication of the Russian Federation, defines the official postage signs concretely and labels postage stamps, souvenir and miniature sheets, stamped envelopes, and postal stationery cards as the postage signs. Even works still under copyright can be used by the Russian post, without altering the copyright status of the work used.[24]

A copyrighted painting can be used on an envelope or such and {{PD-RU-exempt}} will apply, without turning the painting into a Public Domain work. Prerequisite is that the Russian post acquired permission from the copyright-holder. We can safely assume that the Russian post has come to an agreement with the copyright-holder of such work.

Tuva stamps[edit]

Public domain use {{PD-RU-exempt}}.

From 1921 to 1944, Tuva constituted a sovereign, independent nation under the name of Tannu Tuva, officially, the Tuvan People's Republic, or the People's Republic of Tannu Tuva. The independence of Tannu Tuva, however, was recognized only by its neighbors: the Soviet Union and Mongolia.[25] Since 1944 Tuva has been part of the Russian Federation.
See also: Category:Stamps of Russia

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Before June 1976

Public domain use {{PD-UKGov}} Seychelles was a British colony until June 1976; its stamps of the colonial era are covered by the "Crown Copyright", which expires after 50 years and puts the stamps in the public domain (see Crown copyright and {{PD-UKGov}}).

Before 1998

Public domain use {{PD-Seychelles}}.

After 1998

Copyrighted Postage stamps first published 25 years ago or later are not in the public domain, and should not be uploaded.

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All stamps are under the copyright of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). No stamps may be reproduced without paying royalties to the IDA, if requested.

According to Singapore's copyright law, stamps become public domain 70 years after the death of the engraver or 70 years after their issuance, if governmental work. Use {{PD-SG-artisticwork}}.

The Singapore Philatelic Museum has been appointed to administer approval for reproduction.[26]
See also: Category:Stamps of Singapore

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COM:South Africa

South Africa

Copyrighted South African stamps older than 50 years (published before 1 January 1973) are in the public domain, use {{PD-SAGov}}
See also: Category:Stamps of South Africa

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COM:South Korea

South Korea

Copyrighted According to Articles 39 to 44 of the Copyright Act of the Republic of Korea, copyrighted works enter the public domain 70 years after publication when made public in the name of an organization. Use {{PD-South Korea}} if published before 1 January 1963.
See also: Category:Stamps of South Korea

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COM:Soviet Union

Soviet Union

Public domain use {{PD-RU-exempt|stamps}}

Since, according to intergovernmental and international treaties, Russian Federation is a legal successor to the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the tag {{PD-RU-exempt}} (please see "Russia" above) also applies to images of postage stamps, stamped covers and stamped post cards (postal stationery) of the RSFSR and USSR.

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Communication with Spain's Philatelic Bureau suggests no public domain. Permission to scan images of Spanish stamps requires a specific request to the, Sociedad Estatal de Correos y Telégrafos.

According to Spanish copyright law, while most official works are not protected by copyright, standalone images are specifically exempted, and the author retains copyright. So it is safe to assume that Spanish stamps are copyright their designers, in which case they are protected for 70 years after the author's death, or 80 years if the author died before 1988. If the designer is unknown, the stamp falls into the public domain 70 years after it was issued, or 80 years if issued before 1987.
See also: Category:Stamps of Spain

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COM:Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Copyrighted. The Intellectual Property Act No 36 of 2003 is silent on stamps, so assume copyrighted until general term of protection expires. It seems that stamps would be public domain if published before 1 January 1953, use {{PD-Sri Lanka}}.
See also: Category:Stamps of Sri Lanka

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Swedish stamps do not seem to have a copyright exception in Sweden, so stamps are in PD 70 years after the death of the engraver.

See also: Category talk:Stamps of Sweden
See also: Category:Stamps of Sweden

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According to Article 5 of the Federal Act on Copyright and Related Rights, "copyright does not protect [...] means of payment". However, the prevailing view among legal commentators is that stamps are not considered means of payment and do not fall under any other exemption clause. They therefore enjoy copyright protection.[27]
See also: Category:Stamps of Switzerland

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Copyrighted According to the TIPO[28], stamps are considered as normal copyrighted artworks, not government works. Old stamps can be public domain following the #Terms section above.
See also: Category:Stamps of Taiwan

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Public domain use {{PD-TJ-exempt}}.

Pursuant to Article 7 of Law on Copyright and Related Rights (as amended up to 2009) of the Republic of Tajikistan, "state symbols and signs" are not copyrighted.

Pursuant to Article 1 of Law of Tajikistan On Postal Services dated June 4, 2003, "state signs of payment for postal communication [are] postal stamps, which are attached to postal correspondence and confirm the payment of postal communication services, blocks, stamped envelopes, postal cards"[29]
See also: Category:Stamps of Tajikistan

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Copyrighted The copyright of postage stamps is held by Thailand Post and lasts 50 years. Public domain for stamps published before 5 December 1973.[2537/1994 Sec.23]
See also: Category:Stamps of Thailand

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The copyright situation is unclear.

The Post Office Act (1933, 1977) does not mention copyright.[30]The Copyright Acts 2002 states that,

  • For a collective work other than a work of applied art ... the economic and moral rights are protected for fifty years from the date on which the work was either made, first made available to the public, or first published, whichever date is the latest.[2002 Sec.18]
  • A "work of applied art" is an artistic creation with utilitarian functions or incorporated in a useful article, whether made by hand or produced on an industrial scale.[2002 Sec.2] The economic and moral rights are protected for twenty five years the making of the work.[2002 Sec.18]

Thus, any stamp published more than 50 years ago should be in the public domain.
See also: Category:Stamps of Tonga

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Under Law No. 5846 of December 5, 1951 (as amended up to decision no 2020/29 of Constitutional Court of Turkey on July 17, 2020),

  • The rights in works created by civil servants, employees and workers during the execution of their duties shall be exercised by the persons who employ or appoint them; provided that the contrary may not be deduced from a special contract between such persons or from the nature of the work.[5846/1951 Article 18]
  • If the first author is a legal person, the term of protection shall be 70 years from the date on which the work was made public.[5846/1951 Article 27]

The copyright for stamps therefore belongs to the Turkish government and lasts 70 years from publication. Thus, any stamp issued 70 or more years ago (published before 1 January 1953) is public domain.
See also: Category:Stamps of Turkey

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Public domain According to Law No. 257-IV of January 10, 2012, Article 7, state symbols and signs (flag, coat of arms, anthem, awards, banknotes and other signs) are not copyrightable; therefore the postage stamps of Turkmenistan are in public domain. Use the {{PD-TK-exempt}} tag for each image.
See also: Category:Stamps of Turkmenistan

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Public domain use {{PD-UA-exempt}}.

According to the Article 10 of the Law of Ukraine on Copyright and Related rights, all Ukrainian stamps are in the public domain. They are defined as "state signs" in the Law of Ukraine On Postal Service (4 October 2001) :

  • Postage stamp means a state sign manufactured according to the procedure set forth by legislation, with specified face value and state, serving as the tool of payment for postal services provided by the national operator.[31]
    See also: Category:Stamps of Ukraine

Copyrighted The 2002 UAE law states that such works as stamps are protected for 50 years starting from 1 January of the publication year. Yet the 1992 law gave a 25 years copyright protection (starting from the publication date). This means that all UAE postage stamps printed before 1977 are in public domain. Stamps issued after that year should wait 50 years.

One may tag Template:PD-United Arab Emirates stamp to any such image.

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COM:United Kingdom

United Kingdom

. British stamp designs published before 1st October 1969 were "Crown Copyright", which expired after 50 years and put the stamps in the public domain. (See Crown copyright.) This also applies to the stamps of the various territories of the British Empire prior to their independence.

In 1969, the Post Office was established as a non-Crown body. Since then, the copyright of new British stamps has been held by the Post Office or Royal Mail in its own right, so in general no stamp may be uploaded.
See also: Category:Stamps of United Kingdom

According to Title 17 of the United States Code, the copyright status of stamps depends on when they were first issued.

Before 1978
Public domain In the public domain as a work of the federal government. Use {{PD-USGov}}
1978 onward
Copyrighted Copyrighted by the United States Postal Service after 1 January 1978 (the date on which the Copyright Act of 1976 went into effect).[32] Written permission is needed.[33]
See also: Category:Stamps of United States
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Public domain use {{PD-UZ-exempt}}.
See also: Category:Stamps of Uzbekistan

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Stamps are not mentioned in the Law on Copyright 1993, and do not qualify as an excluded category.[1993 Article 4]

Copyright lasts for 60 years from death, calculated from the 1 January following the year of death.[1993 Article 25] The copyright in anonymous or pseudonymous works shall expire after 60 years counted from January 1 of the year following that of the first publication thereof.[1993 Article 27]

Use template {{PD-Venezuela}} where applicable.
See also: Category:Stamps of Venezuela

Universal Postal Union/ WADP/ WNS[edit]

Copyrighted The Universal Postal Union, in conjunction with the World Association for the Development of Philately (WADP), has developed the WADP Numbering System (WNS), launched on 1 January 2002. The web site ( has entries for some 160 countries and emitting postal entities, with over 25,000 registered stamps since 2002. Many of them have images, which generally remain copyrighted by the issuing country, but which the UPU and WADP permit to be downloaded.


Some citation text may not have been transcluded
  2. Harold Joseph Thomas v David George Brown & James Morrison Vallely Tennant [1997] FCA 215. Federal Court of Australia (9 April 1997).
  3. 15 декабря 2003 г. № 258-З О почтовой связи – Postage Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 258-З of December 15, 2003 (in Russian). Retrieved on 2019-02-05.
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named CivilPRC
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named LaPosteRepro
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Phil-Ouest
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named CatawikiCortot
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Hourriez
  9. A Szerzői Jogi Szakértő Testület szakvéleményei. Bankjegy-, illetve pénzérme-kép szerzői jogi védelme, felhasználása; a szerzői jogok jogosultja. Ügyszám: SZJSZT (September 2001).]
  10. Council of Copyright Experts. Hungarian Intellectual Property Office. Retrieved on 2019-03-26.
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named StampArt
  12. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Ferri
  13. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Petronio
  14. Cherpillod in Müller/Oertli, Urheberrechtsgesetz, 2nd ed. 2012, Art. 5 para. 3
  15. Barrelet/Egloff, Das neue Urheberrecht, 3rd ed. 2008, Art. 5 para. 5
  16. von Büren/Meer in von Büren/David, SIWR II/1, 3rd ed. 2014, para. 379
  17. Hilty, Urheberrecht, 2011, para. 130
  18. Dessemontet, Le droit d'auteur, 1999, para. 413
  19. Gilliéron in Werra/Gilliéron, Propriété intellectuelle, 2013, Art. 5 LDA para. 9
  20. von Büren, Urheberrecht und verwandte Schutzrechte, ZSR 1993, 193-222, 200
  21. disagreeing: Rehbinder/Viganò, URG, 3rd ed. 2008, Art. 5 para. 3 [included by analogy]
  22. ЗАКОН № 36 от 17-03-2016. Justice Ministry of Moldova
  23. [1]
  24. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named RF115
  25. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Tuva1992
  26. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named SingPhil
  27. W Egloff in D Barrelet and W Egloff (eds), Das neue Urheberrecht (4th edn, Stämpfli 2020) art 5 para 5 («da sie keine Zahlungsmittel sind und auch sonst unter keine Ausnahmebestimmung fallen»); R von Büren and MA Meer in R von Büren and L David (eds), Urheberrecht und verwandte Schutzrechte (3rd edn, Helbing & Lichtenhahn 2014) para 379 («es handelt sich bei ihnen nämlich nicht um offizielle Zahlungsmittel, da sie keinen gesetzlichen Kurs haben und nicht in Zahlung genommen werden müssen»); I Cherpillod in BK Müller and R Oertli (eds), Urheberrechtsgesetz (URG) (2nd edn, Stämpfli 2012) art 5 para 3; RM Hilty, Urheberrecht (2nd edn, Stämpfli 2020) para 254 («zumal der im Vorentwurf von 1987 enthaltene Schutzausschluss im Rahmen des bundesrätlichen Entwurfs wieder gestrichen worden war»); P Gilliéron in J de Werra and P Gilliéron (eds), Propriété intellectuelle (Helbing & Lichtenhahn 2013) art 5 LDA para 9. Contra M Rehbinder and AP Viganò (eds), URG (3rd edn, Orell Füssli 2008) art 5 para 3 («Zahlungsmittel (Geldscheine und Münzen) sind [...] nicht mehr geschützt [...] Analoges wird aber auch für Briefmarken zu gelten haben (streitig)»).
  28. 電子郵件920523. TIPO (2003-05-23).
  29. LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF TAJIKISTAN ON POSTAL COMMUNICATIONS. National Legislative Center the President of the Republic of Tajikistan
  30. Tonga Consolidated Legislation: Post Office Act Acts 12 of 1933 and 29 of 1977. Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute. Retrieved on 2019-03-16.
  31. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ZakonPost
  33. USPS site