Template talk:PD-Sweden-photo

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This template is wrong. It currently claims that

  • For photographic works (fotografiska verk), the image is public domain:
a) if the photographer died before January 1, 1944, or
b) if the photographer is not known, and can not be traced, and the image was created before January 1, 1944.

I don't think that's correct. Sweden is a member of the European Union, and within the EU, 70y p.m.a applies because of EU directive 93/98/EEC, which Sweden implemented in 1995.[1]

Article 10(2) of that directive makes this copyright term of 70 years apply to all works that were still copyrighted in at least one EU member state on July 1, 1995. Spain already had a copyright term of 70 (or even 80) years. Both Spain and Sweden were members of the Berne convention, Spain since 1887 and Sweden since 1904.[2] Therefore, Swedish works were copyrighted in Spain under Spanish law. Therefore, the EU directive restored the copyright on Swedish works throughout the EU to 70 years p.m.a. in 1995. This also applies in Sweden.

The same thing also happened in the UK.[3]

Within the EU, a copyright term of 70 years p.m.a. applies to all works. Lupo 08:18, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, this thing is all very complicated, and it would be nice with additional references. / Fred J (talk) 09:10, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
It's actually pretty simple, and there have been two cases at the en:European Court of Justice that said so. See the Butterfly and the Puccini (or La Bohème) cases, both given as references at en:Directive 93/98/EEC#Copyright restoration. It's also generally not disputed. Heck, even the British acknowledge it![4] And article 10(2) is pretty clear, too. Lupo 14:52, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
You might also want to look at Paul Edward Geller: "Zombie and Once-Dead Works: Copyright Retroactivity After the E.C. Term Directive", Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, vol. 18 (no. 2) (2000), p. 7ff. Lupo 14:58, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
EU-directives aren't self-executing, they rely on each country creating their own suitable laws. Therefore any non-Swedish courtcases are irrelevant. However the links above suggest that Sweden might have changed their legislation. I have asked a couple of wikipedians, who speak legalese, from sv.wiki to take a look at the laws but until they get back to us we simply don't know where the situation stands. /Lokal_Profil 00:41, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Eh, scuse me: this is a binding directive, which all EU members had to implement, and Sweden did so (see the link above). In fact, they all did. Also those EU members who joined after 1995: it was a prerequisite to joining. Lupo 08:07, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh well, then let's redirect the template and delete those images which don't comply. / Fred J (talk) 13:11, 7 March 2008 (UTC)


Could Template:PD-Sweden-1969 be merged into this one? (it's not being used) /Lokal_Profil 01:39, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Please don't. Far better to split this template. Those images for which this "1969 rule for simple photographs" applies should be tagged with {{PD-Sweden-1969}} (and that tag should make clear that this applies not necessarily elsewhere, e.g. it does not apply in Germany, the U.S., and other countries that have a low threshold of originality). Then this tag here should be made into a redirect to {{PD-old-70}}, and any image failing the 70-year rule should be deleted as a {{copyvio}}. Lupo 07:58, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
I was suggesting a redirect here until the above discussion was settled. Depending on the outcome it might be necessary yes but untill then it's a non used duplicate of this template. /Lokal_Profil 00:41, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Date should be July 1969[edit]

Katarina Renman Claesson writes in Kort om upphovsrätt (2005): "De nya närstående skyddet gäller inte för de fotografier vars skydd upphört 1 juli 1994, vilket innebär att för bilder som tagits före 1969 och som inte är verk och inte heller har ett konstnärligt och vetenskapligt värde, föreligger inget skydd idag."

So the cutoff date is July 1st, 1969, which is 25 years before the new law came inte effect, not January 1st as the template says. The template is locked, could somebody change it? /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 18:51, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

No. She writes "pictures taken before 1969", and she (and the current template with the January 1, 1969 date) are correct. Copyrights expire normally at the end of the year, so some work that was copyrighted on January 1 also was copyrighted on June 30 or on July 1 (in fact, until December 31). That's also the case in Sweden. Their law doesn't mention the January 1 date explicitly (like some other copyright laws do), but they use an equivalent phrasing. See e.g. §43 in the old Swedish copyright law: "Copyright in a work shall subsist until the end of the fiftieth year after the year in which the author deceased." That is the same as saying "Copyright in a work shall subsist for fifty years, counting from January 1 following the year in which the author died". So, January 1 is correct. Lupo 20:18, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Ok, you are right, it is the year's end that counts. The 1960 law said: "15 § Rätten till fotografisk bild gäller, där ej annat följer av vad i andra och tredje styckena sägs, intill utgången av tjugufemte året efter det år, då bilden framställdes." /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 20:29, 25 February 2009 (UTC)


I'm suggesting a splitting of this template into two parts. One for the pre 1944 photos {{PD-Sweden-photo-1944}} which are always free, no problems. And one for the pre 1969 photos {{PD-Sweden-photo-1969}} (something similar already exists on {{PD-Sweden-1969}}) which are free depending on the definition of photographic images/photographic works. The reason for the split is the fact that there are two independent processes making the image free in the two situations and also there are currently a lot of discussions about the photographic images/photographic works definition. Also a splitting would make it easier for re-users to know for which reason the image is free.

/Lokal_Profil 12:35, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, except that the pre-1944 photographic works are free only if the author died more than 70 years ago. See the discussions above. Lupo 14:28, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
It would be nice to have some type of check-list to follow, guiding to what licens template to use. /Mikael Lindmark (talk) 22:50, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Even with the discussion above a split would make the discussion easier since all affected images (and no other) would be tagged with {{PD-Sweden-photo-1944}}. Also as far as I remember the conclusion was that the EU directive forces Sweden to introduce a law to implement it but such a law has yet to be created/formulated. Thus the images are free in Sweden (and countries relying only on source country copyright) until such a law is implemented but probably not free in the rest of the EU. However that's an aside which should be dealt with properly once a split has been made.
Check-lists could be created as part of the documentation for each template. /Lokal_Profil 15:59, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
What conclusion? If you look above, you'll see that at least I disagree. Sweden has implemented this binding EU directive. But what the heck; it won't matter anymore five years from now. :-) Anyway, I have nothing at all against such a split. Lupo 16:06, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Some more on Sweden having implemented EU directive 93/98/EEC: The EU directive was implemented in legal amendments 1995:448, 1995:1273, and 1995:1274.[5] Of interest for us is in particular 1995:1273, which extended the copyright term to 70 years. The transitional provisions at the bottom make it absolutely clear that 1995:1273 re-copyrights works. Hence Sweden is—like all EU members—a 70-year-p.m.a. country, and you can forget about that 1944 date for photographic works. Lupo 12:57, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Swedish text at https://lagen.nu/1960:729#L1995-1273 and I agree, this looks like trouble for photographic works by Swedish photographers that died between 1939 and 1944. Strange thing is that books by law professors about copyright of photos seem to have missed this. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 13:42, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I have now read relevant parts of the government's proposition when this law was introduced, and the betänkande of the parliamentary committee. There was no enthousiasm at all for retroactively reviving expired copyrights, but it was felt that the outcome of the Phil-Collins-case and the directive of the European Commission made this inevitable. So the 1944 stuff in the template is wrong. That means that splitting is not necessary. A Swedish photograph is either just {{PD-Old}} or it is a photographic image covered by {{PD-Sweden-1969}}. That template and this one can be combined, and some rewording is necessary. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 18:12, 25 March 2009 (UTC)


{{editprotected}} Could somebdoy edit the template so it can receive the translations? I already created the Template:PD-Sweden-photo/en and Template:PD-Sweden-photo/pt-br. Mizunoryu (talk) 02:26, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

✓ Done --Mormegil (talk) 13:18, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

A court ruling[edit]

The Swedish supreme court ruled in 2010 in the "thumbnail case" case T 3440-08 that two photos of buildings were "fotografiska bilder" - not works. Especially in the second case this shows that the threshold for photographic works is quite high. This is consistent with a case decided 1981 about a photo of a theatrical scene. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 14:47, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

One could also argue that court rulings on pornography photos are court rulings on photographic images. sv:Upphovsrätt i Sverige#Fotografier suggests that a photographic work "äger konstnärligt eller vetenskapligt värde", at least if produced before 1969. This is similar to a formulation in proposition 1997/98:43 p. 56 which states that a pornographic image is an image which, "utan att besitta några vetenskapliga eller konstnärliga värden, på ett ohöljt och utmanade sätt återger ett sexuellt motiv". This seems to be the definition currently used to determine if a photo is pornography (at least relevant for the crimes otillåtet förfarande med pornografisk bild and barnpornografibrott). Since the definitions are so similar, one could easily argue that a photo determined to be pornography under any pornography law always is a photographic image (and never a photographic work). --Stefan4 (talk) 18:32, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Add two words[edit]


Please change

the image is public domain


the image is in the public domain

for reasons of grammar and standard English. See pages such as en:public domain; normal usage is "in the public domain". Nyttend (talk) 03:59, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

The text is at {{PD-Sweden-photo/en}} which is not protected, so I fixed the text. There should probably also be a statement that the photos only are in the public domain in the Sweden. Although photos with this licence were in the public domain in Sweden on the URAA date, many photos are nevertheless copyrighted in the United States, in particular if they are unpublished. Many photos are still copyrighted in other countries such as France and Germany. --Stefan4 (talk) 09:50, 12 October 2012 (UTC)


{{edit protected}}

Please add the German version in "PD-Sweden-photo/de" to the list of translations in the main template. For some reason it's only linked in the documentation. De728631 (talk) 18:01, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Very strange. The German link is shown if you look at Template:PD-Sweden-photo/lang. If you add "?uselang=de" at the end of the URL, the template properly displays in German. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:09, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
That's weird indeed. I just found the /lang subpage, but the bug seems to be somewhere in the /layout code that is doesn't display the "Deutsch" link. De728631 (talk) 18:50, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I tried inserting {{subst:lle}} on the "/lang" subpage, but it doesn't seem to have helped. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:06, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Pictogram voting keep.svg Fixedebraminiotalk 20:39, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Better link[edit]

{{edit protected}} The current link redirects to a general page on wikisource. A better link would be https://lagen.nu/1960:729#L1993:1213 which takes one to the relevant part of the law text. /André Costa (WMSE) (talk) 14:28, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

No protected pages need to be edited. The link is on pages such as {{PD-Sweden-photo/sv}} which can be edited by anyone. When fixing the link, remember to fix the link in all language versions of the template.
The section link does not work for me and the link just takes me to the top of the law. Try to fix the URL. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:05, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
Request probably obsolete by now. --Hedwig in Washington (mail?) 05:50, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

The 1944 date for photographic works in this template has been overtaken by EU pma+70[edit]

In {{PD-Sweden-photo}} the 1944 date for fotografiska verk has been on this template for several years and is based on 50 years from 1994. As of today the 1944 date has now been overtaken by EU pma+70 (which is now January 1, 1945 and will advance every year on January 1). Swedish works seem to now fall into several rough categories:

  1. A fotografiska verk where the author died before January 1, 1945. The more generic {{PD-old-70}} covers this case.
  2. A fotografiska verk where the author never disclosed their identity and the work was made available to the public before January 1, 1945. The more generic {{Anonymous-EU}} covers this case.
  3. A fotografiska verk where the author is not known, and cannot be traced, and the image was created before January 1, 1944. Currently such a work could use {{PD-Sweden-photo}}. This date will stay frozen at 1944, unlike the date for Anonymous-EU.
  4. A fotografiska bilder created before January 1, 1969 would still use {{PD-Sweden-photo}}.

Should we update this template to be auto-updating in some manner (i.e. via {{#expr: {{CURRENTYEAR}} - 70}})?

For that matter, maybe a better solution would be for this template to include a note encouraging the use of {{PD-old-70}} and {{Anonymous-EU}} for fotografiska verk, relegating this template mostly for just fotografiska bilder (and possibly also for Swedish fotografiska verk by unknown authors created before January 1, 1944 which can't meet the stricter EU anonymous requirements). —RP88 (talk) 05:41, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

The simplest fix would be just changing the text to something like:
  • For photographic works (fotografiska verk), the image is in the public domain:
a) if the photographer died before January 1, {{#expr: {{CURRENTYEAR}} - 70}}, or
b) if the photographer never disclosed their identity and the image was made available to the public before January 1, {{#expr: {{CURRENTYEAR}} - 70}}, or
c) if the photographer is not known, and cannot be traced, and the image was created before January 1, 1944.
  • For photographic pictures (fotografiska bilder), such as images by the press, the image is in the public domain if created before January 1, 1969 ...
RP88 (talk) 05:56, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
It's my understanding that the 50 year regulation is still valid in Sweden. An EU law does not override a national law if not adopted into national law, replacing the former law.--Denniss (talk) 10:18, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
It sounds like you have misunderstood my point. Current pma+70 is now better than the old pma+50 before 1995 rule. For sake of argument, lets just assume that the interpretation adopted earlier on this page is correct, and that Swedish works that were PD in 1995 (by virtue of the death of author in 1944 or earlier) were not restored in Sweden when the term was extended to pma+70. Even if we assume that is accurate, it no longer matters anymore because that is actually more restrictive than pma+70 (which Sweden adopted in 1995) as pma+70 now puts works into the public domain whose author's died before 1945. So the new pma+70 is actually better for the public domain in this case because the pma+70 term has overtaken the old shorter term due to the passage of 20 years. So, by waiting long enough we win :-). That is actually what Lupo was alluding to back in 2009 nearer to the of this page when he said "But what the heck; it won't matter anymore five years from now." —RP88 (talk) 11:05, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
  • The wording "a fotografiska verk" looks very wrong as you are mixing singular ("a") with plural ("fotografiska"). Use "fotografiskt verk" (singular) or "fotografiska verk" (plural) instead.
Under the old law, a photograph which doesn't meet the threshold of originality was protected for 25 years from creation, whereas a photograph which meets the threshold of originality was protected for life+50 years (or publication+50 years if anonymous). In 1994, all terms were extended: 25 years became 50, and 50 years became 70. If the copyright to a photograph already had expired before then, the copyright wasn't restored to the new term, though. This gave the cut-off years 1944 and 1969, respectively. One year and a half later, in 1996, Sweden implemented an EU directive (w:Copyright Duration Directive) which specifies a term of life+70 years for photographs which are above the threshold of originality, while stating that EU countries are free to set whichever term they wish for other photographs. Sweden was forced to restore the copyright to photographs which were above the threshold of originality, but it is not clear if this actually happened. If the copyright to such photographs was restored at this point, then the 1944 date is invalid. The 1944 year is usually no longer relevant for copyright protection in Sweden as any restored copyrights already have expired a second time when the photographs became {{Anonymous-EU}} or {{PD-old-70}} no later than a year ago. A few previously anonymous photographs could have become de-anonymised in the past 20 years, though, thus changing from "70 years from publication" to "70 years from death". For the moment, the question of pre-1944 photographic works only seems to be relevant if copyright is claimed in the United States (w:URAA) or a couple of other countries which have recently abolished the rule of the shorter term (see w:Rule of the shorter term#Worldwide situation). --Stefan4 (talk) 20:49, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Also, the terms were different before 1 July 1961. At that time, I believe that all photographs were subject to a term of 15 years from publication or 15 years from the death of the photographer (whichever was shorter) but I might be wrong. I don't know how or if the old terms affect the copyright term of photographs created before 1 July 1961. I also don't know whether 15 years from the death of the photographer was replaced by something different if the photographer was anonymous. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:29, 2 January 2015 (UTC)