Template talk:PD-Canada

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Also PD in the United States[edit]

I think that we need to be clearer that just because a work is in the public domain in Canada, that does not mean that it is in the United States. We currently have a note about Karsh photographs, but this is unlikely to be read by most uploaders.

Figuring out if the work is public domain in the United States is unfortunately complicated, because it depends in part in knowing the publication history of the work. It will be a challenge to fit the important criteria on the template, but I think it belongs there. Jkelly 21:46, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it is complicated. Even more so because of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. The URAA date for Canada is January 1, 1996. At that time, photographs created before 1946 and works of authors who died before 1946, as well as Crown Copyright works published before 1946 were in the public domain in Canada and thus not subject to the copyright restorations in the U.S. due to the URAA. Hence, such pre-1946 Canadian works that were not copyrighted in the U.S. because they didn't follow the U.S. rules (© notice, registration with the U.S. Copyright Office) are PD in the U.S.
However, there was a bilateral trade treaty that also concerned copyrights between the U.S. and Canada since 1924. I do not know what that treaty specified. It could (just as an example) have defined that works of both countries were copyrighted automatically in the other country. Or it could have said that that was the case only if the work was published with a © notice. Or it could have said anything else. We need to know what that treaty said to make an educated guess about the status of Canadian pre-1946 works in the U.S. (Canadian works published before 1923 are probably PD in the U.S., too, so the critical time span is 1923–1945.)
Another complication is of course that many(?) Canadian works may actually have been published in the U.S. Many Karsh photos fall into this category (several of his books were simultaneously published in the U.S. and in England or in Canada, and he even maintained for some time two offices, one in Ottawa and one in New York City). Such works would be subject to the normal U.S. rules, if published with © notice. If published without © notice, they'd again be subject to the URAA restorations.
As a first step, we'd need to know what that 1924 treaty said. I haven't found the text of that treaty anywhere online. Lupo 22:39, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Presidential proclamation of 1923[edit]

Is there a name or reference number for the treaty? I'd certainly be willing to invest some time tracking it down. Jkelly 22:54, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
There surely is, but I don't know it. I only found a reference to bilateral copyright relations between the U.S. and Canada effective as of January 1, 1924 in Circular 38a of the U.S. Copyright Office. Lupo 23:03, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Maybe they mean the Presidential proclamation of December 27, 1923 (43 Stat. 1932). See Bilateral copyright agreements of the United States, a recent article by en:User:Physchim62. Lupo 23:11, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Yup, that's it. His source apparently was the notes on 17 USC 104 at Cornell. Lupo 23:16, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

This archive summarises the proclamation as follows:

The President's proclamation of December 27 1923,
extending reciprocal copyright protection to Canada,
including protection under section 1 (e) of the act of
1909, in regard to the mechanical reproduction of musical
works, and the Canadian copyright certificate of December 26
1923, extending to the United States the Canadian
copyright act which went into effect on January 1 1924
was issued as Information Circular No. 63 (2 pp. 8O).
The text of the Canadian copyright act of June 4 1921
was printed in my annual report for 1920-21, pages 141-
168. On June 13 1923, an amendatory wt was approved
by which the act of 1921 becamo effective on January 1,
1924. This amendatory act is reprinted as an appendix
to this report, page 249. Under this act the Canadian
minister of trade and commerce issued a certified notice
on December 26 1923, extending the act to the United
States, and a reciprocal proclamation was issued by the
c a d President of the United Statea on December 27 1923,
extonding to Canadians copyright in the United States,
including protection under section l(e) of the copyright
act of 1909 regarding mechanical musical reproduction,
both effective on January 1 1924. The Canadian notice
and the President's proclamation are printed as Appendix
111 to this report, pages 250-252. The Canadian copyright
acts, of 1921 and 1923, and the Copyright Rules and
Fonns, 1924, have been printed by the copyright office
as a separate pamphlet (Bulletin No. 20, iii+55 pp., 8').

Addendum 3 is the actual proclamation; page 67 of the scanned text available at the above URI. Jkelly

Great find! The important thing, as I see it, is on p. 251 (p. 68 of the PDF), where Calvin Coolidge writes that Canadian works shall be subject to U.S. copyright
"Provided, That the enjoyment by any work of the rights
and benefits conferred by the act of March 4, 1909, and
the acts amendatory thereof, shall be conditional upon
compliance with the requirements and formalities pre-
scribed with respect to such works by the copyright laws
of the United States.
" (Underlining added, Lupo)
Additionally, Canada joined the Berne Convention on April 10, 1928. Therefore, we can be sure that Canada did not have a requirement to put a © notice on a work for it to be copyrighted from that date on. I don't know whether Canada had such a requirement before, but somehow I don't think they did. We'd need to have the Canadian Copyright Act of 1921 (and the 1924 amendment) to check that. So we'd need Bulletin 20 of the U.S. Copyright Office (iii, 55 pp. 8°).
Hence we have:
  • Canadian works other than photographs and not under Crown Copyright:
    • Published 1946 or later, or author died 1946 or later: are copyrighted in the U.S. by virtue of the URAA copyright restorations.
    • Published 1924 - 1945:
      • with © notice: Copyrighted in the U.S. Maybe this could even be "published with © notice and registered at the U.S. Copyright Office" — I don't remember off-hand right now whether a failure to register caused the copyright to lapse in the U.S. Will have to check...
      • without © notice, author died before 1946: PD in the U.S. (not restored under the URAA because PD in Canada in 1996).
      • without © notice (or not registered at the U.S. Copyright Office), but where the author died 1946 or later: copyrighted in the U.S. (copyrights restored by the URAA).
    • Published in 1923: Apparently, there were no copyright relations between Canada and the U.S. before 1924. Thus, Canadian works published in 1923 are PD in the U.S. if the author died before 1946 (otherwise, URAA restorations occurred.)
    • Published before 1923: PD in the U.S. by virtue of the "and the acts amendatory thereof": I understand this to mean that 1923 date also applies to Canadian works.
  • Canadian Crown Copyright works, including photographs:
    • Published 1946 or later: copyrighted in the U.S.
    • Published 1924 - 1945:
      • with © notice: Copyrighted in the U.S. (Subject to normal U.S. rules. PD if copyright not renewed, because PD in Canada in 1996 and thus no URAA restorations occurred.)
      • without © notice: PD in the U.S. because the Crown Copyright had expired by 1996 and hence the URAA did not apply.
    • Published in 1923: PD in the U.S. because the Canadian Crown Copyright expired in 1973, i.e. before the URAA date.
    • Published before 1923: PD in the U.S.
  • Canadian photographs not subject to Crown Copyright:
    • Created 1946 or later: copyrighted in the U.S. (URAA restorations)
    • Created before 1946:
      • Published 1924 or later with © notice: subject to the U.S. rules. If the copyright lapsed because it was not renewed, the photo would be PD in the U.S. because it was PD in Canada in 1996 and thus the URAA did not apply.
      • Published 1924 - 1945 without © notice: PD in the U.S. (failure to comply with U.S. formalities, but no URAA restoration because PD in Canada in 1996).
      • Published 1946 or later without © notice: also PD in the U.S. because no URAA restorations.
      • Published in 1923: PD in the U.S. (no copyright relations, and no URAA restorations.)
      • Published before 1923: PD in the U.S.
IANAL and all that. Note that I'm not entirely sure about the cases "published in 1923"; the proclamation is not entirely clear whether it was retroactive (i.e., also applied generally to works published before 1924). If so, it is possible that Canadian works published in 1923 are copyrighted in the U.S. Lupo 09:37, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me that there are two things to look into here. One is what Candian requirements for copyright protection were in the period between '24-'45. The other would be any actual copyright cases involving Canadian works in the United States. Can we say with confidence that whether a work was published in Canada, the United States, or both turns out to be irrelevant? That's my impression. Jkelly 17:55, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
The Canadian requirements are only interesting for the period 1923 - 1927, I think. From 1928 on, Canada was a signatory of the Berne Convention, and thus could not have had any requirements. Upon second thought, I don't think we need to know the Canadian requirements not even for the 1923 - 1927 period, because it's only U.S. law that applies for these Canadian works in the U.S., regardless of whether the work was copyrighted in Canada. The Canadian rules are only of interest for works published without © notice, and for works where the U.S. copyright was not renewed. In these cases, works that were PD in Canada in 1996 also are PD in the U.S. Lupo 22:16, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
The above is pretty messy -- is there some way we can turn this into something more user-friendly, like a flow chart? I'd be happy to draft something but it will need checking by others. --Padraic 15:47, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

And elsewhere?[edit]

Note that Canada was a Berne Convention member since April 10, 1928. So, Canadian works would also be copyrighted in other Berne countries under their own laws. In Australia, I guess the pre-1949 for photographs from Canada would hold—Australia has a similar rule, but with 1955 as the date. However, in Switzerland, for instance, 70 years p.m.a. would apply. In the EU, 70 years p.m.a. also basically applies, but the EU has the "rule of the shorter term for non-EU works. (§7 of EU directive 93/98/EEC) If that applies, Canadian photographs created before 1949 would also be PD in the EU, unless simultaneously published in an EU country (such as the UK...) But to be sure we would need to know what bilateral or other treaties there are or were between Canada and the EU countries. Lupo 11:16, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

In fact, since Australia is so similar, I have started to analyze {{PD-Australia}} along the same lines. Basically, we should do this for all country-specific tags and then enforce that we keep only images that are PD in their source country and in the U.S., as defined on Commons:Licensing. We'll get into trouble, though, for freedom of panorama images, because the U.S. has no freedom of panorama for sculptures and statues. :-( Maybe we'd need a special rule for that case. (Though I don't see how we could devise one. Images on the commons are published in the U.S., whether they're included in the en-WP or not.) Lupo 14:45, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Hm. I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover that a person may hold rights over a work that is public domain in both Canda and the United States but not in Mexico due to a treaty and Mexico's term. I don't think that we should label that work as unfree for our purposes, but it isn't my call to make. I cannot think of a single reason why we should treat the FoP question, which is relevant here, differently than we would treat term expiration. That said, this would be both a significant change in our practice and would likely result in, um, a commotion, and should probably be referred to User:BradPatrick once we've exhausted our own avenues for research. Jkelly 18:35, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I didn't want to suggest that we only keep works that were PD everywhere—that'd indeed be a drastic and silly change to no benefit. But we should enforce "PD in the source country and PD in the U.S." That would not be a change at all; it's what the commons policies say already (and have been saying for a long time). But even this is not enforced.
However, works that are PD only in the U.S. and in the source country are not very useful here at the commons because only two Wikipedias could use the image. Such works are better uploaded at these two WPs locally. But that's just my own personal opinion. (And to be honest, even I don't always think about an image's status in third countries :-) I'd already be happy if either "PD in the source country and PD in the U.S." was enforced, or Commons:Licensing was changed to say clearly that we only cared about PD in the source country and gave a damn about the work's status in the U.S., despite the commons being published in the U.S. At least say so for COM:FOP images, because that's what is being done in practice. But saying one thing and doing another thing is not the way to go.
Sorry for the rant. At least I managed to keep it relatively short, didn't I? :-) I think it'd be good to indicate at least on the template talk pages (like here) where else an image might be PD. That might help other WPs to decide whether they may use an image or not. But let's first clear up the U.S.-Canada issue above. Any comments on that? Lupo 20:55, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

70 years pma are more than enough. We should'nt enforce the AND rule if the creator is 70 years dead --Historiograf 13:41, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Split in 2?[edit]

Why don't we split this template into one for Crown copyright, and one for non-Crown copyright, instead of having a huge "or" in the middle of it? It seems to me it would be helpful, and less confusing, if you knew which images where Crown and which were not, instead of being left to speculate. --Padraic 17:05, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

I've created Template:PD-Canada-Crown, Template:PD-Canada-creator, and Template:PD-Canada-photo. I'm not sure whether it's better to have them create separate subcategories, or just continue to put everything in category:PD Canada. --Padraic 19:04, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Good call, and I agree with splitting it in three rather than two. Don't forget to mark this as deprecated for new uploads. Less than 800 images use this template, so cleaning up existing images is not an impossibly large task, either. Once that's done, we could even change this template so that new uploads that use it are eligible for speedy deletion after a week. I don't really care about the categorisation, and that's easy to adjust later anyway. LX (talk, contribs) 19:09, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
In regards to cleaning it up, I'm pretty sure most of those 800 images easily fall under criteria #2,(taken before Jan 1, 1949), making it even easier. --Padraic 19:17, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't think the split was a very good idea, and I believe that there out to have been a bit more consensus and more time for discussion before this leap was made. Frankly, there wasn't anything wrong with the original template, and it provided those users who were less familiar with copyright a clear indication of the three heads of public domain status in Canada. Now, we'll find Template:PD-Canada-creator incorrectly being used when the uploader should be using Template:PD-Canada-photo, and vice versa, because of unfamiliarity with the various templates. Moreover, the one single template approach is consistent with en:Template:PD-Canada in the English-language Wikipedia. This is an important move - let's have more of a discussion, and make sure we have clear consensus, before we go screwing around with the template. In my view, the change was unnecessary and simply creates confusions rather than eliminates it. --Skeezix1000 19:12, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Obviously, I disagree with you, but I have no problem waiting for more comments. Please don't refer to my edits as "screwing around". --Padraic 19:39, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

To speak to your concerns:

  1. I don't think the purpose of the template is to educate people unfamiliar with Canadian copyright; we can do that at Commons:Licensing. The purpose is to show information about the file - which the current template doesn't, because of the "OR".
  2. I don't see why we necessarily need to be consistent with en:Template:PD-Canada; if we can be more specific about our media files, then we should. For that matter, I'd be willing to propose the same change over there (and as you can see, I already asked last May if there was someway to make the current template more informative).
  3. The fact that some uploaders may use the wrong template isn't a reason not to make templates; if an uploader isn't clear on the copyright status of a file, then there is already the potential for problems. In fact, I think the current template is much more prone to copyright violations due to its ambiguity - for example, if this tag is attached to a photo from 1950, we don't know whether the uploader is claiming that it's under Crown copyright, or that the creator has been dead for 50 years. Knowing which one is crucial to preventing copyvios and to me, more information is always better. --Padraic 00:33, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
2 weeks gone and no more comments - I'm going ahead with split. --Padraic 18:54, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
This is a big change. There is no consensus yet. I was waiting for more input from others before responding to your last comments, but will comment shortly if you would prefer. There is no prejudice here to waiting for feedback, nor is there any pressing need to move forward with the change quickly. --Skeezix1000 19:08, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it's a big change, but you seem to be the only person with a problem with it. I've solicited comments on Commons talk:licensing and commons talk:copyright tags, and we are still stuck with the opinions of 3 people. --Padraic 19:54, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Who knows if I am the only person with a problem -- there has been very little feedback. Sometimes these issues take awhile to resolve. I'm not interested in delaying anything, but I also don't see what the rush is. People will comment in time.--Skeezix1000 20:18, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

To respond to your earlier points:

  1. . I never said the purpose of the template was to educate editors. It is a copyright tag, as you know. However, in addition to its main purpose, it does have the significant benefit of informing editors of the three main heads of public domain status in Canada. Many editors learn the ropes by seeing how others do it. I think we would be naive in thinking that most uploaders would turn to Commons:Licensing - instead, they will see the tags used on other similar Commons images, and proceed aacordingly.
  2. . Consistency with Wikipedia is hugely important, as many of the uploaders using the PD-Canada template are coming from the English-language Wikipedia (it seems that the French-language Wikipedia does not have an equivilant to the template, and mostly avails itself of Commons image, althoug I could be wrong). Moreover, we need to be encouraging more Wikipedia editors to be downloading their non-fair use images to the Commons, as opposed to Wikipedia, and we should be trying our best to ensure that transition is as seamless as possible.
  3. . The fact that some uploaders use the incorrect templates is a very good reason to think very carefully about the templates we use and how they are worded. Templates that are as user-friendly as possible, yet still meet the necessary copyright objectives, should be our goal. When editors see a template like Template:PD-Canada-creator, they will typically use it on their own uploads, even if they should be using Template:PD-Canada-photo. The uploader is using the incorrect template, because (s)he did not know a more appropriate template existed. I routinely see Canadian images that use PD-Old (or some variation thereof), when we have no idea when the author died (but the image is public domain for other reasons and PD-Canada ought to have been used). This goes to my first point -- we should be looking for every appropriate opportunity to get the information out there.
  4. . You're right -- as PD-Canada currently exists, we do not know what public domain claim is being made if the template is used without explanation. However, no matter what template is used (even if we split the template in three), a copyright justification is always required. The uploader should be backing up the use of the template. Under your three template model, we'd still have the same problem -- we wouldn't know, for example, when the author died, or on what basis crown copyright is claimed. This issue is solved by adding wording to the existing template that information must be provided to back up the public domain claim. We do not need to lose the simplicity and usefulness of having one template to address this problem.
  5. . Ultimately, I can't agree with your proposal because I do not feel that the existing template is confusing or that the word "or" presents a problem. In fact, I think your 3-template model eliminates advantages we have with the existing template (as explained above), and offers very little benefit. If the objective of the template is to ensuring that uploaded media is, in fact, in the public domain, then a template that provides the full scope of that public domain status in Canada to new uploaders is the best possible template we could have.--Skeezix1000 20:18, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

What about non-Canadian works?[edit]

Image:Helen Keller with Anne Sullivan in July 1888.jpg uses this template even though the work is from the United States. Does anyone know the rules for Canada on very old photographs that were not published until very recently? In this case, it is a 119-year-old photo from the United States which was first published in 2008, less than a year before its U.S. copyright was to expire. Davidwr2 18:43, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

I am not sure why the PD-Canada tag has been placed on that image. It is likely an error. As for the copyright status of the photo, I would ask that question over at the talk page for the PD-US template. --Skeezix1000 14:10, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
The copyright status has been cleared up, see Wikipedia's Helen Keller entry: Any unpublished work whose author is unknown, who died before 1948, or who is not known to be alive in 1947 and which was created before 1898 fell into the public domain 100 years after creation or 50 years after the last author died, whichever came first. In this case, the photographer is not known and the 100th anniversary was in 1988.


This chart is useful for determining PD status in Canada. --Padraic 20:39, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

French translation[edit]

{{editprotected}} Could someone please add {{PD-Canada/lang}} to the bottom of the template, as there is now a French language translation ({{PD-Canada/fr}}). Thanks. --skeezix1000 (talk) 19:10, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Request for autotranslation[edit]

{{editprotected}} Hey, could someone please properly autotranslate this template? Just replace the code with {{autotranslate|base=PD-Canada}}. Furthermore, please add {{{category|{{#ifeq:{{NAMESPACE}}|File|[[Category:PD Canada|{{PAGENAME}}]]}}}}} and {{documentation}}. The first one is to ensure that only files will be categorized, the second gives a short description about the template. Thank you. --The Evil IP address (talk) 12:55, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

✓ Done Huib talk 18:22, 14 July 2009 (UTC)


Something didn't work in that last edit. The words "{Template:Category" now appear underneath the template wherever it appears. Could someone please fix it? Thanks. --skeezix1000 (talk) 15:37, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
✓ Done — Mike.lifeguard 18:47, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Unknown creator & other potential updates[edit]

Per "The Copyright Act provides that "where the identity of the author of a work is unknown, copyright in the work shall subsist for a term consisting of the remainder of the calendar year of the first publication of the work and a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year. Therefore, to come within the public domain, anonymous Canadian works or photographic works would need only be older than 1958, not 1949, as stated." See Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Murphy_Gamble_1940.jpg.

Should a line be added to note the length of copyright for Unknown creator's? feydey (talk) 09:29, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Not a bad idea. The problem is that there are some uploaders who are fundamentally lazy and often can't be bothered to indicate the source or the creator (or they're knowingly trying to upload copyrighted material) -- if the template has a reference to unknown creators, they might just use "author unknown" as a default whether the creator is known or not. If we do add the reference to unknown creators to the template, we would want the template to contain text along the lines of "This ground can be used only when the author cannot be ascertained by reasonable enquiry. If you wish to rely on it, please specify in the image description the research you have carried out to find who the author was. Absent such description, the file may be deleted." (similar to what is used on {{PD-UK-unknown}}).

Isn't it time we also updated the note about Karsh at the bottom of the template? The Karsh images were a big issue several years ago, but while we need to remain alert to the issues involved with his images, I'm not sure that it still requires such a prominent place on the template. The issue at play with Karsh was largely the fact that Commons requires that images be public domain in both the source country and the United States. That's the point we are trying to convey. Couldn't the alert be reworded to something along the lines of "Commons:Licensing requires that works be in the public domain in at least the source country and the United States; see, for example, Canadian images: Yousuf Karsh." I think that gets the message across better than some random reference to Karsh. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 12:58, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Require template to identify which type of public domain the file is covered under[edit]

I would once again like to object to the ambiguity of this template and ask that it either be split into multiple templates or create a field function which would allow the reader to know whether the file is being claimed as a Crown copyright material OR a photograph prior to 1949 OR the creator has been dead for 50 years (as I previously suggested above). For example, I looked at File:Massey-moccasins.jpg, and I am having trouble evaluating its copyright status, since the person who used the template did not indicate whether they think the image is Crown copyright, or the creator is dead.

Using only a template that has three distinct possibilities for PD status makes it a lot easier for uploaders to not specify. This is bad for Commons users verifying copyright status and worse for re-users of Commons materials. Copyright tags should not encourage ambiguity! Specificity is a good thing.

Please consider implementing wide usage of Template:PD-Canada-Crown, Template:PD-Canada-creator and Template:PD-Canada-photo. Thanks! --Padraic 14:45, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Oppose haphazard use of those templates - for all the reasons stated in previous discussions. Specificity is not usually the problem (File:Massey-moccasins.jpg seems obvious to me) - getting users to understand how Canadian copyright works is the bigger challenge, and one that is assisted by a comprehensive template. Having said that, if there were a comprehensive document that outlined the heads of public domain status in Canada, and that document were linked to in various subtemplates, that could conceivably alleviate the concerns that I have always had. I'd be happy to help develop something along those lines. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 16:20, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Why can't we have one template with switches? We could add parameters such as crown=yes for works under Crown copyright created at least 50 years before date of upload, creator=yes for works created by artists who died at least 50 years before date of upload, and photo=yes for photographs created before 1949 (or a single switch type=[crown, creator, photo] may be even better). This would allow us to retain all the info on the current template, but enable us to identify which case is appropriate for that file. These could also be used to filter each file in appropriate categories, each contained in Category:Public domain files in Canada or some such. The advantage to this scheme is to retain a single template (making it easier for editors to remember), and addressing Padraic's concerns. Thoughts? Mindmatrix 17:14, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
That would be perfect. My only further suggestion would be that the template should display some kind of prompt if a field has not been selected ("Please identify which category of PD works this file falls under"). I would have done this right off the bat but I don't know enough template syntax. --Padraic 17:29, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. It's a great idea, and I am embarassed that it never occurred to me. I also agree with Padraic's suggestion -- to have the prompt appear if no switch is chosen can be done by simply setting up the prompt as the default setting. Given that the old "Karsh alert" was recently removed from the template, we can always repurpose the alert symbol for the prompt (assuming that isn't too ornery). Mindmatrix, did you want to do up a test template for us to review, or should I? --Skeezix1000 (talk) 17:38, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
I've taken a look at the current source. Commons has a different method of writing templates from en:, as each page has various translations. We should probably find a good way of setting this up so that the translation info is independent of the switching syntax, or this could end up requiring a lot of duplication in each language version of the template. (Aside: since none of us are admins on Commons, we'll have to get someone else to edit this page for us, as it is protected; the translation pages are not protected, though.) Mindmatrix 16:18, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
The syntax is fairly easy, with tools like {{Switch}} and {{LangSwitch}} -- I am not that familiar with en wiki template syntax, but have become much more familiar with Commons template syntax. I can create a test version - once we are happy with it, and have had the additional text translated, we can get it implemented here. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 16:51, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
Go ahead; my time has been somewhat constrained in the past few weeks. If you have some time to toss it together, I'll put in some time to check it over. (I assume you'll be using these language switch templates and standard ParserFunctions.) Mindmatrix 19:43, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Didn't get to it this weekend. Sorry. Will do over the next few days. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 15:24, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay, gentlemen.

I created a test template at {{PD-Canada/test}} for us to work with. The test template takes two parameters: the first is the public domain ground (crown, photo, creator), and the second is a brief explanation/justifcation. If no public domain ground is chosen, the template will show a warning message indicating that one is needed - if one is chosen, the numbered ground will be bolded. If one enters a brief explanation, it will appear under the list of grounds - if one does not enter any explanation, a generic explanation will appear.

So, for example, one would use the template as follows: {{PD-Canada/test|crown|The image was published by the Canadian Department of the Interior in 1918.}} or {{PD-Canada/test|photo|The image was created in 1879.}}. You get the idea. I played around with it on my sandbox, and I believe it works fine -- however, let me know if it doesn't work properly.

Feel free to edit the test template -- I am not wed whatsoever to the icons, text, layout, etc. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 13:31, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Looks great to me! Thanks for drafting it. --Padraic 16:57, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
It's a good template. I'd also suggest we use named parameters instead of positional parameters, so if we need to extend this in the future the additions would be trivial. (However, this means using the template as {{PD-Canada|type=creator|note=Explanation.}}, which some may find an onerous format.) We also need to address Padraic's request (in one of the comments above) about issuing a warning if no PD type has been selected (or if a wrong value is given). For example:
If "type"
Switch on type
type1: do X1
type2: do X2
type3: do X3
default: issue warning about incorrect type
issue warning about missing type
In this template, X1, X2 and X3 are similar, and could probably be collapsed into one fall-through statement (type1, type2, type3: do X). I'm not saying we should do this, but it's not particularly complex either. When I have some time, I'll look into modifying the new template to do this if the change is deemed worthwhile. Mindmatrix 14:31, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
I had avoided named parameters for exactly the reason you suspected. Plus, positional parameters do allow flexibility to a degree -- for example, they wouldn't preclude us from easily adding other PD grounds to the template, without disrupting current image description pages that already use existing PD grounds. Having said that, I don't feel particularly strongly about it, so feel free to make that change. My only question is whether named parameters allow for the possibility of future multilingual usage -- e.g. instead of "type=", could a Finnish user use "tyyppi="? I know we can do this for the values themselves if we wanted to, I just don't know the answer for the parameter types themselves. Maybe it's not much of an issue, since the vast majority of users will be anglophone or francophone, given the template in question, and "type" and "note" work well in both languages.

As for the warning, the template does produce a warning if no value is entered or if an incorrect value (say, "monkey") is chosen. Maybe I have misunderstood your point.

Feel free to edit away. I am not wed to anything, so if you want to start again and take a different approach, I am all for it.--Skeezix1000 (talk) 15:02, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

I just tried testing your template again, and this time I got the error message (I didn't the first time I tried it, which is why I wrote the comment above - I'm not sure what happened in my first trial). That essentially renders my point moot. I think we can install this as the new template. Mindmatrix 15:03, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
ok. If we don't get any more comments here in the next week or so, we can start the ball rolling. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 13:40, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, let this slip over the summer. But no objections, so I can get the ball rolling. I want to first incorporate the proposal in the discussion above, but will then get started on this.--Skeezix1000 (talk) 13:58, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Add #4 is a sound recording that was created more than 50 years ago[edit]

This template is used on media files that are not photographs, for example File:O Canada French lyrics 1918.ogg. Canadian copyright for sound recording is 50 years from its recording. Zginder (talk)

I support that addition. Might encourage people to digitize and upload vintage recordings. De728631 (talk) 01:27, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Photograph prior to 1949[edit]

Could this clause have been struck from the Act as of 14 Dec. 2011? In the latest version I don't see any special treatment for photographic works regarding copyright terms and original Canadian publication history. De728631 (talk) 01:15, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

It has just been explained here that "In 1999, Canada changed the law for photos owned by a person to be 50pma (thus the 1949 date for current calculations), since the law was non-retroactive, and works which became public domain under the old law remain in the public domain today. Thus, the 1949 date is not explicitly mentioned in the current law, but it is an artifact of the old law stilling being in effect for photos created before 1949. (You will note that U.S. law similarly does not explicitly state the 1923 line either; it is a result of the 1998 law which non-retroactively extended copyright from 75 to 95 years after publication -- works which were published 1922 or earlier had already expired and remain PD in the exact same manner.)" De728631 (talk) 01:25, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Remove break[edit]


Could somebody please remove the extra break after this template (move "" to the same line as "</includeonly>")? It's not consistent with other templates (for example Template:PD-1996).

Thank you. InverseHypercube 06:08, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Will do.--Skeezix1000 (talk) 12:23, 23 March 2012 (UTC)


I don't know if this is the right place to ask this but are pre-1949 Canadian write ups also public domain like books or papers? Black Tusk (talk) 00:51, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't know what you mean by "write ups", but it seems that the pre-1949 thing only applies for photographs (should be pre-1946 now, due to the COM:URAA). Any Canadian work where the author died before 1946 should also be in the public domain. You can look here for a flowchart explaining Canadian copyright. Next time, a better place to post copyright questions would be COM:Village pump/Copyright.
Hope this helps! InverseHypercube 03:52, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Crown Copyright and URAA[edit]

Per [1], after 50 years the Crown releases the Copyright, and this is understood as applying worldwide. So even if URAA restoration did apply at some point, once something is PD-Crown in Canada it will be PD in US too. Rd232 (talk) 09:47, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

That's not necessarily the case. The link you provided does not work. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 12:08, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Link fixed. Rd232 (talk) 12:14, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
That is wrong and has no basis. In the link you provide, the email quoted from a civil servant is explicity about the copyright in Canada. She is merely explaining to her correspondent that when the term of copyright on a work has expired, then that work can be used freely. Nothing more. In that link, it can be seen that there was only an attempt by one person at making a fallacious argument, and it can be seen that the other users corrected him. That attempted argument was absurd. It would be like trying to argue that a paragraph of the Copyright Act adopted by the U.S. Congress about the terms of copyright in the U.S. has the effect of an official declaration made by the government of the State of Pennsylvania that it is renouncing the copyrights it owns in all other countries under the copyright laws of those countries.
Actually, each country makes its own laws for its own territory. The legislature of country A (e.g. Canada) can only make laws to rule the duration of copyrights that copyright owners (individuals, corporations and governments) enjoy in country A. Country A cannot extend and impose its laws to rule the duration of copyrights that those copyright owners enjoy in country B (e.g. the United States) or in any other country. The "rule of the shorter term" means only that country A can voluntarily decide to apply on its own territory the shorter copyright term of country B to works originating from country B; it does not mean that country A can force country B and all the other countries in the world to apply on their territories the shorter copyright term of country A to works originating from country A.
Each copyright owner decides what he does with his own rights. A copyright owner (an individual, a corporation or a government), if he wants, could voluntarily abandon only his own copyrights. But he cannot give away the rights owned by other people, and his decision cannot have any effect on the copyrights that he does not own and that are owned by other copyright owners. As Wikimedia contributors, we would certainly love it if more governments, or at least government departments, followed the example of the UK government official who voluntarily renounced to exercise the copyrights that the government of the UK owns in other countries on works that have entered the UK public domain. But none of the governments in Canada has yet declared such a renunciation about its works, AFAIK. And should a government, or a government department, declare such a renunciation to its rights, it would, of course, apply to its own rights only. For example, the federal government of Canada (the Crown in chief of Canada) has no authority on the rights that belong to the government of the Province of Ontario (the Crown in chief of Ontario). Only the government of Ontario, or one of its departments, could renounce the copyrights it owns in the U.S. under the U.S. law. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:37, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

{{editrequest}} I'm not sure why this template is protected... it's never been subject to vandalism according to the edit history, and was protected after only NINE MONTHS of existence. But I digress, because the precautionary principle Commons lives by would have kept us from leaving our caves if it was the stone age.

Anyways, rant aside, this template needs two updates. Point one should be changed to reflect the end of year status change, and that it is 50 years after creation, regardless of publication (since nobody believes me even though almost every point (save for one minor one) on Canadian copyright that I've made over the past several years has been proven correct, here is proof on the crown copyright being "created", not published, and here is the proof for public corporations).

I suggest using the currentyear and expr templates to make it read "it was subject to Crown copyright and was created before December 31, 1968, or"

The second change is the addition of a point #4: "It was created by a public corporation (such as a city or municipality) more than 50 years ago."

In before somebody (likely not the admin that comes across this) argues to death over this and I prove them wrong in the end.

Cheers, Floydian (talk) 17:36, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

I'll argue all the same. The Canadian Copyright Act, section 12, clearly says that Crown Copyright lasts until 50 years after the first publication. So does the site you linked to, in its section "How long does copyright last?". The earlier mention of "after creation" appears to be an error on that page.
As for photos and corporations, those rules changed in 2012: "In any case in which, immediately before the coming into force of section 6, a corporation is deemed, by virtue of subsection 10(2) of the Copyright Act as it read before the coming into force of that section 6, to be the author of a photograph in which copyright subsists at that time, the copyright in that photograph continues to subsist for the term determined in accordance with sections 6, 6.1, 6.2, 9, 11.1 or 12 of the Copyright Act as if its author were the individual who would have been considered the author of the photograph apart from that subsection 10(2)." In other words, the changes in 2012 eliminated corporations as authors, and the transitional provisions state that if the photo was still copyrighted under the old rules, its term would now be calculated by the new rules. Photos already out of copyright by 2012 remain out of copyright, so there we have a case that might be interesting to us: such corporation-authored photos created before 19521962 (Typo fix. Lupo 06:48, 25 April 2014 (UTC)) would still be out of copyright.
I'm confused by your mention of municipality. Can you point me to the source that shows that the former section 10 was about municipalities?
Lupo 06:07, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
A public corporation is a municipality. Also, section 13.3 now defined the author and still keeps the copyright author as the City of Toronto: "Work made in the course of employment
(3) Where the author of a work was in the employment of some other person under a contract of service or apprenticeship and the work was made in the course of his employment by that person, the person by whom the author was employed shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright, but where the work is an article or other contribution to a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical, there shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be deemed to be reserved to the author a right to restrain the publication of the work, otherwise than as part of a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical."
At which point the term of copyright is surely governed by 6(1) or 6(2), as the identity of the employee is not provided. - Floydian (talk) 06:44, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Section 13 is about "the author of a work was in the employment of some other person" (emphasis mine). I don't see any mention of "corporation" there.
Former section 10 just talked about "corporations" and "body corporate", and even mentions shareholders and "place of business". That's why I'm confused; municipalities typically don't have shareholders. Section 10 did not talk about "public corporations", just "corporations". So, did they mean companies, or general incorporated bodies including municipal corporations? Unfortunately, they don't define the term "corporation", but the explicit mention of shareholders and "place of business" makes it look like they meant just companies.
Lupo 06:59, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
BTW, perhaps all this should be discussed over at COM:VP/C first in order to get wider input, and then an edit request made here once we have some kind of consensus there? Lupo 07:06, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Wow... so once again the government has completed bastardized everything for absolutely no reason... 90% of photos taken by a corporation have no person pinned as the photographer, so now who knows who owns the copyright. Way to go Emperor Harper. Really 6(1) and 6(2) are all I can see that have any bearing whatsoever after going through the entire text of the act. - Floydian (talk) 15:06, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

So do we have consensus on what should be changed? I also noticed that en:Template:PD-Canada seems quite different. --Jarekt (talk) 14:10, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

No. On Crown copyright, the en-WP template agrees that it's 50 years since publication. On the corporation issue, the en-WP template says "it was a photograph that was created after 1948 — but before 1962 — and the copyright was owned by a corporation". It doesn't say "public corporation", nor "city", nor "municipality". So, if at all, we could insert the text of the en-WP template on that case, though I'm not sure in which cases we might profit from it. Lupo 15:10, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

US copyright status of PD-Canada works[edit]

Shouldn't this template incorporate {{PD-old-warning-text}} like {{PD-old-70}} and other similar templates do? It's not currently made clear in {{PD-Canada}} that a file also requires a US copyright tag, and I see a lot of files that are tagged {{PD-Canada}} only. --Rrburke (talk) 13:26, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

All non-US copyright tags also should have US copyright tags, although for many cases we agree it is PD but can not agree which US tag to use, like [[:File:Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci, from C2RMF.jpg|here]. I would vote for not adding additional warnings to this or other non US templates. At some points when we are done warning users about all the things they should be warned about, we end up with non-readable page. --Jarekt (talk) 02:57, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
But this template has no warnings on it at all, and many PD templates carry a notice that a US copyright tag is also required without becoming unduly cluttered. I randomly sampled 25 files from Category:PD Canada, a category with 21,235 members, and found that that only 7 included a PD-US tag. That's a failure rate of over 70%. A small, unobtrusive notice like that on {{PD-old-70}} would do no harm and might help elevate the compliance rate. --Rrburke (talk) 12:18, 16 May 2016 (UTC)


The renegotiated NAFTA deal between Canada, Mexico and the USA will have a new copyright term of 70 yrs after death instead of the current 50... Not sure if it will be retroactive or not, if old works will retain the 50 yr copyright... The Parliament has to pass a law "approving" the USMCA. Just an fyi in case we need to change the template for PD-Canada at a later date Oaktree b (talk) 04:16, 17 January 2019 (UTC)

I think the template needs to be updated. As far as I know it's not retroactive and cannot really be. So everything from 2019 is 70 years as far as I know, no? Amqui (talk) 13:33, 17 April 2019 (UTC)