Template talk:PD-US-mugshot

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This template is not a substitute for a source who can (a) verify that it is a booking photo and (b) that the photo is public domain. Thuresson 00:37, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Sources:

Forum discussions[edit]

Related links[edit]

Official response from US copyright office:

As a general matter, state and local governments may claim copyright in their works. However, public ordinances, court decisions and similar official legal documents and public records of the state and local governments are generally not considered copyrightable for reasons of public policy.
Who made that response and why is that relevant for booking photos? Thuresson 00:38, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
This page was copied from w:Template talk:Mugshot, edited by User:Fallout boy. /Slarre 22:16, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I think one could fairly consider booking photos 'public records', but I would really like more context on that "official response".--Pharos 09:05, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Does this include fbi mugshots?[edit]

can i move wikinews:Image:Osama Bin laden.jpg over here? Bawolff 06:28, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

When he is arrested and a photograph is taken by an employee of the US federal government. Thuresson 19:15, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
So I assume that means no for the example I used. Bawolff 04:37, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Freeness[edit]

According to w:User:Dragons flight,

The Compendium of Copyright Office Practices (Compendium II) section 206.01 states, "Edicts of government, such as judicial opinions, administrative rulings, legislative enactments, public ordinances, and similar official legal documents are not copyrightable for reasons of public policy. This applies to such works whether they are Federal, State, or local as well as to those of foreign governments." and 206.03 clarifies "Works (other than edicts of government) prepared by officers or employees of any government (except the U.S. Government) including State, local, or foreign governments, are subject to registration if they are otherwise copyrightable."

This doesn't seem to square with the idea that mugshots are PD. Look at the Office's response again: "public ordinances, court decisions and similar . . . public records". Is a mugshot "similar" to a public ordinance or court decision? It seems very different to me.

I've e-mailed them asking for clarification. Hopefully they'll get back to me. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 04:02, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

That was speedy. Here's my question, exact wording:

Someone I know has alleged that when consulting the Copyright Office, they were informed that "As a general matter, state and local governments may claim copyright in their works. However, public ordinances, court decisions and similar official legal documents and public records of the state and local governments are generally not considered copyrightable for reasons of public policy."

I would like to ask for clarification. Is this statement correct precisely as worded? What statute, regulation, or court decision does it refer to? I'm asking in behalf (unofficially) of the website Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org/), some of whose users have concluded largely on the basis of this statement that booking photos/mug shots are in the public domain.

Thank you for your time.

Here's their response, exact wording:

The copyright statute does not address this issue. Section 206.01 of the Compendium II of Copyright Office Practices states as follows:

206.01 Edicts of government.
Edicts of government, such as judicial opinions, administrative rulings, legislative enactments, public ordinances, and similar official legal documents are not copyrightable for reasons of public policy. This applies to such works whether they are Federal, State, or local as well as to those of foreign governments.

Please see http://ipmall.info/hosted_resources/CopyrightCompendium/chapter_0200.asp.

There may well have been litigation that specifically addressed this issue. However, we do not provide legal research services. You may wish to research the caselaw in order to determine the disposition of the courts on the specific issue of whether mug shots/booking photos are considered copyrightable subject matter.
rg

**************IMPORTANT NOTE**************
As of July 1, 2006, most filing fees will be $45 per application.
For other fees, please see:
http://www.copyright.gov/reports/fees2006.html


**********************************
Copyright Office
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave SE
Washington DC 20559
(202) 707-3000
www.copyright.gov

**********************************

So now we have to consider: do mugshots qualify as "Edicts of government, such as judicial opinions, administrative rulings, legislative enactments, public ordinances, and similar official legal documents"? Clearly not. I think these images will need to be reclassified as unfree. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 17:04, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

So you ask an expert, receive a null response that suggests you solicit legal advice elsewhere, and then decide that the best course of action is to simply speculate?

Works by the state of California are not public domain, see Template talk:PD-CAGov and that should included booking photos from that state. Thuresson 12:41, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Logic train ahoy: while it is true that automatic-PD only applies to federal works in the US, the issue of mug shots should be easy to sort out (or at least returned to the background) with the following line of logic: Many celebrities have been arrested in CA. All of these, often very less than glamorous, photos have been tossed up on websites like The Smoking Gun and others. Never have I heard (as a person who took copyrights in an American law school) of a case where a celebrity (or even state) has sued someone over the mug shot. It may have happened, but from the plethora of them on the web in such notable (and easy to sue) locations such as TSG it seems that the case against them has been fruitless and that there's no cause for concern. That is the status quo. If someone as a bonafide argument against, with supporting sources, please put it forward. Otherwise let the thing go and focus on more important problems, like say, vandalism and explosive growth of the elephant population. --72.25.133.242 15:47, 1 August 2006 (UTC) (User:Bobak on wikipedia)

Correct Catagories[edit]

Pictures of Charles Manson and other convicted criminals should be moved to another catagory. The validity of using a mug shot of a person who is not yet convicted of a crime is a different matter to someone who is. At that point their identity is pretty much free for public record. I dont have any backing for this.. but the news does it when someone gets convicted instead of just charged. Seems like it would make sense, I dont like the idea of mug shots being public record, a racist/prejudice/angry/drunk cop makes you public fodder? But a jury of your peers does. Though this is more of a personal opinion than copyright law.

I would think that Gibson's photo would fall under this definition, since he has pled no contest and been sentenced in open court.AKCarver 22:17, 17 August 2006 (UTC)