Template talk:PD-old

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Changing templates[edit]

I have been very upset recently at multiple incidents of people changing templates from "PD" to "PD-old" without providing any information on the author of the work and their death date, as the wording of the template very clearly says is required knowledge for use of the template. See for example Image talk:BicycleWomanStereo1900.jpg. Distressed, puzzled, shocked, -- Infrogmation 04:54, 8 January 2006 (UTC)


Please, insert de euskara 'eu' link. Thanks! Kabri 22:47, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Template:PD-old. What about unknown authors?[edit]

In the UK, at least, this template only works when the author is actually known. When the author is unknown and can't esily be found the rules are quite different. I don't know about the US and other EU countries, but it seems to me that uploaders using this tag ought to specify who the author is, and his/her known or assumed date of death. And perhaps there should be another generic tag for anonymous US/other EU works? --MichaelMaggs 18:47, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm facing the same problem. Nichalp 07:11, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
  • So this was a decade ago, but was it ever resolved? We don't have a {{PD-unknown}} for works ostensibly made over 120 years ago but for which PD-anon would be inappropriate (since the authors are not necessarily anonymous just not cited wherever the picture originated on the Internet). Or would this depend on the unknown first publication? czar 00:33, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

70 or 100 years?[edit]

There is a discrepancy between en:WP and commons as to whether PD-old is life of the author plus 70 years (commons) or life of the author plus 100 years (en). Presumably en wants to make sure to cover countries with life+100 (Mexico, etc.). For images in which the author died more than 100 years ago, there is no current tag at commons. Should we have a PD-old-100 to complement PD-old-70? The preceding unsigned comment was added by RP88 (talk • contribs) at 05:33, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg Support I would support this. What countries besides Mexico would be included by such a template that are not covered by this current PD-old template?   — Jeff G. (talk|contribs) 21:25, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support I support as well. On the en:WP there is the same discussion: [1]. There someone states: "There are a few countries (Argentina and I think Armenia or Georgia)". The text of the 'PD-old-100' template on en:WP is currently: "This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less." Wiki-uk 14:41, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Argentina has date of publication + 50 years. See: {{PD-AR-Anonymous}}. For unpublished works the case is of course different. --ALE! ¿…? 19:50, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support 100. After making w:List of countries' copyright length sortable, these countries copyright general works for life + 75 or more:
  1. Mexico: 100 pma
  2. Cote d'Ivoire: 99 pma
  3. France: 70 pma + 14 years and 272 days for the two World Wars [+ 30 years if the author died on active service]
  4. Colombia: 80 pma
  5. Guatemala, Honduras, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines: 75 pma--Jusjih 17:48, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
To specify that a work is PD in Mexico, please use {{PD-Mexico}}. As this tag has been translated into so many languages with number 70, changing it to 100 is too hard.--Jusjih 19:05, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
I think a {{PD-old-100}} should definitely be created. Does anyone object to that? Superm401 - Talk 12:10, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Not so "free"[edit]

Of paintings, photos, and files[edit]

When loading a picture on commons, you have three aspects (at least) to take into account:

  1. (painting) Intellectual property of the artistic work itself (picture by Goya, sculpture by Pigalle,...).
  2. (photo) Intellectual property of the photograph (subject, angle of view, frame, light & focus...).
  3. (file) Immaterial property of the file (.jpg,...) representing the picture.

Whatever the 2D work, we need to know the author & date of death, and date and country of creation/publication (because the duration of the protection depends on the country where the work was first published). Most of the time, these informations are lacking.


The "PD-Art" essentially means "when the picture is that of a painting or a scanning, point #2 is irrelevant". Actually, if "faithful reproductions of two-dimensional original works are not copyrightable" (which I tend to think), this applies worldwide.

Lack of protection in some obscure barbarian country (for instance the USA...) does not mean that it is not protected elsewhere. See Berne convention], article 5, item 2: "The enjoyment and the exercise of these rights [=Protection of Literary and Artistic Works] shall not be subject to any formality; such enjoyment and such exercise shall be independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin of the work. Consequently, apart from the provisions of this Convention, the extent of protection, as well as the means of redress afforded to the author to protect his rights, shall be governed exclusively by the laws of the country where protection is claimed." If the picture is taken in the US and a case is introduced in France for a counterfeit with respect to intellectual property, the juge will have to decide wether artistic creation exists per se. If it exists, then the photo will be protected in France, hence cannot be freely used on any site accessible from France, including Commons.

So Wikipedia has to decide an internal policy, about wether potential copyright introduced by "2D > 2D" should be taken into account or not. If our policy is to follow the US precedent, then the mention should be "faithful reproductions of two-dimensional original works are not copyrightable" / period.

Meaning, for instance, that we can freely scan art books, to put it boldly? well, see next point.


A picture has been taken and a file is created. The file is the property of the creator. When it is uploaded on commons, two cases must be distinguished:

  • The uploader is the creator of the file: no problem, he owns it, and can do whatever he wants, including duplicate it and give the property of the resulting copy to Commons, with the right to use it (technically, this is an implicit licence).
  • The uploader has found the picture freely accessible somewhere on the net: he can certainly copy it and use it for his private use (this is the essence of internet), but he can't use it for a professionnal use without a licence from the source, and he has no title to transmit such licence to use to Wikipedia (since he can't give what he doesn't own).

So writing "We should make it clear that PD-Art never needs to be used when the uploader is the person who has taken the photograph since the uploader can and should then license the photo as eg GFDL or CC-by" shows a misconception of the "2D>2D" situation: Either the uploader took the photograph himself, and the only licence tag needed is that of the painting, or he just found the file somewhere on the net, and Wikipedia can't use it because in the first place, the uploader had no right to upload it and give wikipedia the licence to use the file. The problem may be the same when scanning art books, BTW.

Yes, we have (IMHO) a big problem: all "2D representations", "PD-Old" and so forth that have been "found on the net" (generally uploaded from museum catalogs) are used illegally by wikipedia. See for instance, according to french law:

Article L341-1: The producer of a database [...] benefits from protection of the contents of the database [...] This protection is independent and applies without prejudice to the protection of copyright or any other right over the database or one of its component elements.
Article L342-2 The producer may also prohibit the repeated and systematic extraction or reuse of insubstantial parts, qualitatively or quantitatively, of the contents of the database when such operations manifestly go beyond the conditions of normal use of the database.

Unless the site where the picture is taken from says something about free reuse of pictures, it cannot be assumed, and wikipedia must consider that their detention is illegal. Bad news, since:

Article L343-1 The infringement of the rights of the producer of a database, as defined in Article L. 342-1, shall be punishable by a three-year imprisonment and a fine of € 300.000. Where the offence is committed by an organised criminal group, the penalties will be increased to a five-year imprisonment and a fine of € 500.000.

And, yes, sanctions can be applied to Wikipedia foundation in that case.

PD-Art rule

IMHO, the rule should be:

  • Always indicate the author and date of death, if possible (and if recent enough) date and country of publication (not required if > 200 years).
  • Consider that "2D>2D" introduces no special artistic right, but introduces immaterial property right nevertheless.
  • Always require an indication of the source (where was the picture taken), and if the source is not the contributor (found on the net...) a clear indication that the source allowed such uploading.

Michelet-密是力 06:38, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Comments from Lupo[edit]

Just a four things:

  1. Bridgeman v. Corel being overturned by a U.S. Supreme Court decision is apparently unlikely, as the Supreme Court in Feist v. Rural rejected difficulty of labor or expense as a consideration in copyrightability.
  2. Whether similar reasoning would hold elsewhere is a matter of the laws and the judicial decisions in other countries. "Sweat of the brow" does not give rise to copyright in Germany, and also not in Switzerland (see {{PD-Switzerland-photo}}; the reasoning in the case linked indicates that merely reproductive photos of 2D originals also would not be eligible to copyright in Switzerland). Other countries may have other laws. Maybe a survey similar to COM:FOP would be in order.
  3. Wherever the Bridgeman v. Corel reasoning that plain 2D reproductions of 2D originals are not copyrightable holds, the creator/owner of a graphics file containing a digital representation of such a reproduction has no copyright on that reproduction, and thus I think we can actually use such files (even if found somewhere else on the net) if the original is PD or freely licensed. (Unless the argument was that the file were different from the reproduction... but in the case of digital images, the reproduction—the sequence of bits—is the file...)
  4. The database copyrights mentioned by User:Micheletb do not give rise to a copyright on the individual items in the database. (See article 5 of the WIPO Copyright Treaty.) It's a copyright on the collection as a whole. I think we're fine as long as we don't copy substantial parts of a database and don't organize the items as a similar database. (Presuming that the individual items in some external database/collection are themselves PD or freely licensed.)

Lupo 07:24, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

♦ IMHO, the "no copyright in 2D>2D" is a good jugement. The fundamental element for an artistic proprety right is creativity, absent in a simple technical reproduction. This is conform to the Berne treaty, so it should apply worldwise.Michelet-密是力 14:41, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

there is some other law that would regulate copying of works besides the copyright law[edit]

♦ You missed the difference between intellectual property of an artistic creation (commonly called copyright) and property of an immaterial object (the file). Its "the file" that causes problem when "found on the internet", whatever the content.
Michelet-密是力 14:41, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand you correctly... are you trying to argue that there is some other law that would regulate copying of works besides the copyright law? Care to elaborate a bit more what exactly you mean? Which law? Lupo 16:44, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes: law on property. The file is an object, which has an owner. Even when it is published on the internet, the file itself is still associated to property laws. And nothing alows us to say it is a res nullius, something abandonned by its owner, on which any operation can be freely conducted (including copying and/or appropriation). Hence, any operation on the file/picture must be authorized/licenced by the file owner, or alowed by explicit law, or at least be coherent with a reasonable assumption of the owner's intention.
♦ Most of the time, as long as the usage is a private one, the licence is implicit (because the file was posted on the internet, and is freely accessible): private use is OK.
♦ BUT when wikipedia hoists the file AND make assertions on the licence usage, the right for Wikipedia to say so is questionable. Indeed, if the file was just "found on the internet", Wikipedia has no right to claim whatever right on the file.
♦ Short version: when found on the internet, no "free licence" can apply, explicit authorisation is needed. Michelet-密是力 19:47, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Could you provide any sources for that theory? Lupo 21:04, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

This line of reasoning is seldom used, because artistic property and database protection give a juridical framework where protection is far more easy to obtain. Some jurisprudential data based on "unlawfull competition" or "parasitism" (? fr:>en: uncertain) can be seen here(caution! in french), together with a theoretical analysis of the legal possibilities involved (interesting coments here as well).

There is a property right on a file, because all classical attributes of property are present: usus (right to use it), fructus (right to make profit with it) and abusus (right to sell or destroy it). Speaking of a computer file accessible on the internet, anybody is given the usus (may use it), but that's all. Of course, usus of a file includes the right to copy it, so litterally you create a new object (a new file) with new property rights attached to it - the catch is that the new copy is still juridically linked to the original file. Article 544 & 546 of the french civil code says explicitely: " Ownership is the right to enjoy and dispose of things in the most absolute manner" and "Ownership of a thing, either movable or immovable, gives a right to everything it produces and to what is accessorily united to it, either naturally or artificially. / That right is called right of accession.".

Here is an example: this site has posted Hevelius' star maps (1690), by themselves without copyright. The files are the property of the site (Milan university, they won't bite ;o). But the star atlas is a rare old book: there is no way to go in the wild and make one's own "free" copy. If someone badly wants to use these pictures, he will have to pay for the file usage: this is the fructus associated to the atlas and the files created from if. Now, we have on commons this image, clearly taken from somewhere - but I don't know from which copy of the star atlas. If Wikipedia posts a copy of a private file, and acts as an owner of it, the original owner may protest that his property right has not been respected, because of the fructus: the existence of a concurrent file copied from his own creates an unlawfull competition, and can therefore be sanctionned.If the owner of the source file finds out that the file on wikipedia spoils his fructus, he can complain: Wikipedia had no right to supress the link between its copy and his, and even if the copy has not been made by wikipedia, keeping the file is illegal because of the law principle "Fraus omnia corrumpit". Michelet-密是力 07:25, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't know about Civil Law juridictions such as France, but this reasoning is not at all applicable in Common Law jurisdictions such as the US and the UK. The general law of movable property does not typically reach as you describe into Intellectual Property areas: items of incorporeal property need to be covered by some specific provision such as copyright, trademark, design or patent in order to restrain someone from copying. --MichaelMaggs 08:05, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I think you are making a double confusion here (if I understand it correctly).

♦ Your argument means that incorporeal property is usually outside Intellectual Property areas. Good. But who cares? my reasoning here is not linked to intellectual property anyway. The debate here is in the field of movable / incorporeal property alone. But I must admit I'm not that familliar with Common Law.

♦ Anyway, saying that "the reasoning is not applicable to Common Law" -even if it's true, which I doubt- does not alleviate the danger of Commons being faced to a trial in Civil law countries.

Michelet-密是力 08:51, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Copy of file and attached rights / implicit licence?[edit]

I strongly reject anything you said in your point No 3, what you called “property” on a file. If the University of Milan, the Louvre or who ever out there puts a file on their web server it is their file on their hard disk. Once I access that file, a new instance that is identical bit-by-bit is created in the memory of my computer and/or on my hard disk. This isn't their file anymore, but my computer, my hard disk, my file. You've fallen victim to a logical fallacy, which was precisely the reason, why the Right of DistributionRight of Communication to the Public was included in the 1996 WIPO treaty as Art 6Art 8. Property rights do not apply to files online. --h-stt !? 12:22, 14 April 2007 (UTC) edited --h-stt !? 14:18, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Same confusion as above. ♦ WIPO is about artistical property (see art. 1). My argument is about file property, which is a different legal field, to which WIPO is irrelevant. ♦ WIPO-Art. 6 is indeed about "Right of Distribution", but this does not mean distribution restrictions were inexistent before: it simply states that this right belongs to the authors. Or see it ad absurbum: if your line or reasoning were correct, the existence of article 7 on the " Right of Rental" would mean that before WIPO there was no juridical framework alowing music rental ??? (lol)

Be careful in your reasonment, & watch the step: At this stage, when you have copied their file on your HD, it is not "their" property any more (they have no right of usus, fructus et abusus on your file), but it is not "your" file in plain property, because it still retains its statute of "copy of the XYZ source". What you are saying boils down to: "let's consider that the link is forgotten, then it's my file in plain property". Sure, but the point is: you have no right to dismiss that legal link. A legal link makes no physical difference, so indeed, it may appear to be "your" file. The big difference is that negating or concealing a legal link, when you have no right to do so, is a fraud. Michelet-密是力 13:26, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I disagree too.

  1. A owner exercise his/her right to broadcast his/her own property. (i.e. put it where can be accessed legally.)
  2. The broadcast material (1) has been is in the public domain.
  3. The material is reproducted by the other.

I don't think there's any problem in the case above. 3. is just the result of 2., and owner's right cannot change the copyright status. At least, in Japan, the Supreme court rejected owner's claim like that. [2] "If owners had right to reject making reusing reproductions of their properties which had been out of copyright, the spirit of copyright law which limit the term of protection would be totally abandoned".--Kareha 13:29, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Nothing alows you to state that a broadcasted object is PD. If this were true, any TV emission would be... It has rights attached to it, and these rights must be respected. Michelet-密是力 13:43, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I corrected my statement. Now it make sense?--Kareha 14:04, 14 April 2007 (UTC) (♦ It does make sense, this was a bad response of mine anyway. ♦ thanks for the link, but japaneese is worse than chineese to me.) Michelet-密是力 14:26, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Once again, the problem is not the copyright status of the artistic creation that is reproduced in the file, but the property status of the file itself (whatever the copyright), and the meaning of its being posted on the internet. Does that mean any passing by can appropriate it? No. Take an example: I feel philantropic, and make available for thirsty passing-by a free fountain. They certainly can drink all the water they want: I don't care. When I come back two years later to visit my fountain, I discover that someone has taken position on it, bottles all the water and sells them. Of course, technically, the water was given "free", but don't you think there is an abuse and that I could complain? Here, the problem is the same: something is left to public use, does that mean that any kind of appropriation is legitimate? IMHO, -no- and the courts will be on my side. Michelet-密是力 14:26, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Don't focus on this property problem, though: it is simply ment to explicitate the legal problem. If such a case ever comes to court, the only discussion will be wether or not the usage made of the copy causes a prejudice (moral or financial) to the source owner. If no prejudice, then there will be no problem (this is why file copies on WP cannot be contested as such, BTW). Michelet-密是力 13:43, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Sorry - I got confused by the translation. It is not Art 6 but Art 8 (Right of Communication to the Public) in the WIPO treaty I wanted to refer to. It was created precisely because once a work is online, copys will be created all over the world and there is no such thing a property on a digital file that is transmitted electronically. Thus your claims about "my file" being a copy of "their file" are void. --h-stt !? 14:18, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Let me repeat myself: Same confusion as above. ♦ WIPO is about artistical property (see art. 1). My argument is about file property, which is a different legal field, to which WIPO is irrelevant. If someone posts a file from the Gutenberg project, the text in the file will be PD, outside WIPO reach, but copying that file will still be governed by laws on property (of the file), and this is my (little, academical...) concern in this subsection. ♦ Article 8 of WIPO clearly states that authors have a right to publish their works at different times in different places, which is common practice for movies, but was unclear under the previous Berne convention (quoted in art. 8). "there is no such thing a property on a digital file" is your claim. I disagree: IMHO, licence consideration must be attached to the file. Do you have legal or jurisprudential evidence to sustain that? I stated mine.

Right of the owner to control the image[edit]

Micheletb, have you read COM:FOP#France? It says, among other things: "The owner of a thing does not have an exclusive right over the image of this thing; he or she can however oppose the usage of this image by a third party if this usage results in an abnormal disturbance to him or her." / Fred Chess 13:50, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I have. There are some analogies, but the cases are different. To support your remark, this is why I pointed out that "the only discussion will be wether or not the usage made of the copy causes a prejudice (moral or financial) to the source owner." In the case of file copying, if there is no prejudice, then file copying is de facto legal. The point is: when wikipedia uploads such a file, it cannot be claimed to be "free of right". The problem is in the licence used and in the legal situation attached, not in the copying itself. Michelet-密是力 17:25, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree with those who disagree with Michelet. Usual property laws do not apply because we are not taking a file away from any one. We are copying them. Whether or not we can do that and then distribut the copy, depends on the copyright law. Samulili 21:25, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

No. What you call "copyright law" is actually a law on "artistic property", and you may have trouble copying things outside of the artistic domain. If there is no artistic property (for instance, because it has fallen into the public domain) then you may freely copy the artistic work as far as artistic property is concerned. But other considerations (outside artistic property) may prevent you to do so. If the owner of the object won't let you see it anyway, you won't see it, and that's that. If he lets you see it but doesn't want you to take a picture, then you have no special right to take a picture of the object, PD or not. If the owner of the object takes a picture and gives you access to it, but asks not to reproduce the picture, then you have no right to reproduce it. That's property law, and it is pretty well enforced in the real world. You may chant about free access to knowledge and culture, and I sympathesise with these views, but it won't stand in court: if your taking the picture / copying the file was not allowed and causes a prejudice to the owner, you will have to repair it, and there is no "legal right to free diffusion of PD art" that enables you to ignore the problem. Michelet-密是力 06:03, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

database copyrights[edit]

article 5 of the WIPO Copyright Treaty says the same thing as Article L342-1 of the french CPI (actually, it's the other way round, of course). The point is: once the thing is protected, no copy is alowed exept when (1) authorized by law, or (2) authorized by the copyright holder. This being said, Article L342-2 is a truism: "The producer may also prohibit the repeated and systematic extraction or reuse of insubstantial parts, qualitatively or quantitatively, of the contents of the database when such operations manifestly go beyond the conditions of normal use of the database." The only point in saying so explicitally in french law is that it can be referenced afterwhile, to explain how this offence should be punished (Article L343-1).

So Lupo, your line of reasoning is incorrect. Indeed, the database is copyrighted as a whole, but that does mean that individual items cannot be freely copied. The exeptions provided for by the law are just the transcriptions of the right of citation in the case of a database, and

  • These exceptions do not allow things like putting the Mona Lisa under a free licence, when it is copied from the Louvre database (like this one : Image:Mona Lisa.jpeg copied from here).
  • Anyway, it has always been said that picture exerpts made under the right of citation are forbidden on commons, because it is a kind of "fair use".

So prepare yourself for a great storm in Category:PD Old.

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I quite agree with Michelet. PD-Art is seen by all as “the common way to upload any reproduction of any old 2D artwork found anywhere”. Actually, it is used as a kind of Commons fair use: You want it?—Just take it!
We took very bad habits since the beginnings by making PD-Art an easy thing; question is far more tricky. Bibi Saint-Pol (sprechen) 15:21, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
"Compilations of data or other material, in any form, which by reason of the selection or arrangement of their contents constitute intellectual creations, are protected as such. This protection does not extend to the data or the material itself and is without prejudice to any copyright subsisting in the data or material contained in the compilation." ([3], emphasis added)
The producer of a database has the right to prohibit:
1°. The extraction, by the permanent or temporary transfer of all or a substantial part, qualitatively or quantitatively, of the contents of a database to another medium, by any means or in any form;
2°. The reuse, by making available to the public all or a substantial part, qualitatively or quantitatively, of the contents of a database, in any form whatsoever. ([4] emphasis added).
So you can use single items from a database. Samulili 15:28, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
You certainly can, as long as it is for private use. See below. Michelet-密是力 15:52, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
What ever 342-2 means, does not arise from WIPO treaty, and I would very much like to hear what it actually means. Samulili 15:37, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Here it is, Article L342-3
When a database is made available to the public by the rightholder, he may not prohibit:
1°. The extraction or the reuse of an insubstantial part, evaluated qualitatively or quantitatively, of the contents of the database, by a person having lawful access;
2°. The extraction for private purposes of a qualitatively or quantitatively substantial part of the contents of a non-electronic database, subject to compliance with the copyrights or neighbouring rights over the works or materials incorporated into the database.
Any provision that is contrary to item 1° above shall be null and void.

The problem we have with the "Louvre database" is not an individual picture (alowed by 1°) but the fact that (1) since we have no control of the quantity downloaded, it may eventually become a substantial part of the source; (2) the licence used in wikipedia make it clear that this is not limited to "private purpose". We can plea "non profit" and avoid hanging... ;o) Michelet-密是力 15:51, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Seems this comes from EU directive 96/9/EC and applies EU-wide. Looks like the EU went further than the WIPO... the "insubstantial copying" is disallowed if it "conflict[s] with normal exploitation of the database or unreasonably prejudice[s] the legitimate interests of the maker of the database". Ho-hum. Lupo 17:57, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes and no. Indeed, it may have come from the EU directive - so what? EU stated limits on what is coherent with normal quotation right against intellectual property. French legislation complies. ♦ Outside EU, if a case is introduced against database abuse, the juge may or may not follow the line of reasoning stated bu EU regulations, sure, but given the interests on stake when an EU rule is formulated, chances are that the same logic will apply, leading to the same conclusions in front of any court. So the safe policy is to assume that EU regulations may apply worldwide. ♦ Anyway, if a case is raised in France, the answer will clerarly be given according to french law - which says it's illegal. Michelet-密是力 20:03, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
In all this discusion, you seem to link the image portrayed from Mona Lisa, to the Louvre database. However such link is not proven, and it's easy to see that the images are different: in effective resolution (the images on the Louvre site have a much better resolution with crisper details, even if the image dimension is smaller!), in colors and contrast (the images on the Louvre site were clearly made by professional photographers with more accurate lighting equipement), in composition (the Louvre displays the frame which is absent here). My opinion is that this image was not taken by the Louvre, but is a snapshot made by an unknown photograph (that's why the colors are "dried") with a cheaper camera (you can easy see the various "spots" of noise in this image, and the various JPEG compression artefacts, plus additional regular "hatched" patterns coming from the approximation of colors by patterns of colors: there is no color continuity, and you can't even see the 3D details of the surface, like the evanescent reflections on the surface: either this snapshot was taken from a numeric camera, or this is a scan of a printed reproduction, most probably in a book, on a cheap scanner).
Conclusion: this image does not come from the Louvre database (at least not at the link given above). This is a different snapshot. But now I would like to know who was the photograph, because the work done by the photograph (even if it has lower quality than what the Louvre displays on his site) is still a subject of copyright and artistic property), or the publisher of the book from which the image was scanned !
Final note: you cannot go to the Louvre and take an independant photo yourself: to get a good quality image, you would need to get the portray exposed without the glass that protects it from vandals (with this glass, any flash would cause excessive reflections), and you would also need to install lighting equipement. Finally, you can't take a camera in the Louvre and use a flash: to protect the paintings, flashes are completely forbidden. All this demonstrates that the image actually comes from a printed publication. I can even say that the image in this book (possibly bought in the Louvre shop) was printed using "offset" technics: you can see the ink dot patterns created by this common technic ! 10:06, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Protection of the database, not of individual pictures[edit]

Only the database as such or significant parts of it are protected, single works that are entries in a database are never protected by the database rights. See Art 3 No 2 of the Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databases: “2. The copyright protection of databases provided for by this Directive shall not extend to their contents and shall be without prejudice to any rights subsisting in those contents themselves.” --h-stt !? 12:33, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
The question is how to reconcile this very clear statement on copyrights (the database copyright does not give rise to a copyright on the elements of the database, article 3(2)) with the sui generis right prohibiting "repeated and systematic insubstantial copying" (article 7(5) of 96/9/EC). It appears that the European Court of Justice has indeed ruled on that, see case C-203/02 and this (lengthy) discussion. Lupo 13:19, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
P.S.: The Evaluation from 2005 of directive 96/9/EC is also an interesting read. Lupo 13:36, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
This one is easy. Just read the very last paragraph of the ECJ decision: “4. The prohibition laid down by Article 7(5) of Directive 96/9 refers to unauthorised acts of extraction or re-utilisation the cumulative effect of which is to reconstitute and/or make available to the public, without the authorisation of the maker of the database, the whole or a substantial part of the contents of that database and thereby seriously prejudice the investment by the maker.” Extraction and reuse of single works from a database are only covered by the derective if they are repeated and cumulatively amount to a substantial part of the database. Remember French Wikiquote? --h-stt !? 14:23, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Indeed I do. I haven't followed that one closely, but from what I gathered, it was closed precisely due to this sui generis database protection because some people did copy substantial amounts from a third party's protected database. So what happens if commons contributors copy (individually, non-systematically) individual images from a protected database to the commons, such that we end up here with a substantial amount of the (PD) contents of that other protected database? Lupo 09:54, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Remember the discussion is not whether "Mona Lisa" is PD or not, but whether copying the file from the Louvre website and keeping it on commons is legal or not. This may fall under the "sui generi" protection ("sui generi" meaning it is a protection "of its own kind", not related to existing mechanisms: neither intellectual property right, nor property btw). The legal discussions on these cases turn around two conditions:

  • Is the database within the scope of the law? There must be a "substantial financial, technical or human investment" (see Article L341-1 CPI) which the defendor must demonstrate.
  • Is the extraction made "repeated and systematic extraction or reuse of insubstantial parts, qualitatively or quantitatively, of the contents of the database" and does "such operations manifestly go beyond the conditions of normal use of the database" (see Article L342-2 CPI).

Symetrically, if Wikipedia is called in court to answer this charge, there may be several lines of defence:

  • The upload is not Wikipedia's activity, but that of independent contributors which should answer the charge. IMHO, it's a very bad argument, given the obvious link between contributor's activities and the existence of wikipedia. So indeed, IMHO, wikipedia must be ready to answer the problem.
  • The website of a public museum is not a substantial investment. Mmm... says who? I'm waiting for arguments on that line, but it's clearly arguable.
  • The uploading has not been substantial. Well, the first time a picture was copied, it clearly wasen't substantial, but as time goes by, what happens? the museum site has just to wait for the big fish to swallow the bait, day after day, and ten years from now pull the line and take it out of the water: the case will then be clear.

On french wikipedia, I have occasionnaly advised for the uploading of such materials, but whith the caveat that such pictures should always clearly mention their source, so that there might be a chance to control the "non-significantness" of the upload from time to time. If no such control is ever made, then there is a legal risk, and this kind of upload should be refused. Michelet-密是力 05:45, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

There's an additional condition that must be fulfilled by the cumulative copying of individual items by different uploaders as addressed by §7(5): it must "unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests" of the database maker. At least in the context of databases accessible for free (gratuit), such as those of museums, I think it is hard to see how these "legitimate interests" might be harmed if PD elements from the database end up here, provided they are properly sourced to the database they were taken from.
§7(1) appears to me to be less important to us, as we can detect mass copying from a protected database more easily, and it is also easier to remove or prevent in the first place (by disallowing). Lupo 09:13, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
(You're speaking of Directive 96/9/EC, article 7). No, read it completely: "acts which conflict with a normal exploitation of that database or which unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the maker of the database". This additionnal condition is an alternative, it is sufficient to note that downloading Louvre picture is not the normal exploitation of that database. Michelet-密是力 12:08, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
That's debatable. §7(5) applies only to "repeated and systematic extraction/re-utilization implying acts which conflict with a normal exploitation of that database or ..." In French, it's even more clear: "L'extraction et/ou la réutilisation répétées et systématiques de parties non substantielles du contenu de la base de données qui supposeraient des actes...", where "qui" clearly references "L'extraction/la réutilisation (répétées et systématiques)" and indicates that not all, but only those extractions/re-uses that would imply such non-normal conduct are meant. (I know, linguistic analyses of laws may not always lead to correct results :-), especially in tricky cases. So I may be wrong in my reading. But some extraction/re-utilization is clearly considered a "normal exploitation", see §8(1)). (All §§ refer still to 96/9/EC.) Lupo 14:13, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

The point is: we seem to reach an agreement that such detection of mass-copying will be a necessity. How can it be achieved?

What should we do?[edit]

IMHO, the first step is to make sure every PD-old art either ♦ explicits its internet source, or ♦ is a self-taken photograph (where the author should explicit the conservation place anyway). With the conclusion: if no indication of this kind is given, images should be tagged, questionned, and (eventually in some future) deleted. The next step may then be to evaluate whether or not the pictures from any given catalog represent a substantial amont of it, but (a) there's no need to hurry (b) it won't be possible as long as sourceless PD-old are a majority.

If the whole point was to require to have all PD work an immediate source, I think we could have arrived at that understanding without making the detour through database copyrights and their sui generis protection. :-) All images need a source, including those tagged "PD-whatever"; at the very least to enable verification of the PD claim. And yes, where known both the immediate source and the original source should be given. Lupo 14:13, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Clearly yes: we need an immediate source. But this is just the first step. After that, what do we do to insure that no trial will ever be made by a museum, based on "sui generis" protection? Commons will have to take a second step, state a local policy saying that ressources taken from such-and-such museum should not exceed x% limit, and put in place some kind of mechanism to insure the limit is under control. This limit can even be transmitted to the museum, if they have something to say it may be worth taking into account. The alternative is either to refuse any kind of museum upload, or to be prepared to face a museum legal contestation. IMHO: :(( Michelet-密是力 17:36, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Ignore the problem[edit]

Ignore Michelet - that would be the best solution. I agree with Lupo and H-stt and reject ALL arguments of Michelet. The directive is forbidding any contract which doesn't allow extraction of small parts of the database. My own interpretation of this rule is that this is mainly on Public Domain works. It is a general principle that PD should be free. Database protection cannot re-monopolize PD works, it protects only the database as a whole. --Historiograf 19:47, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Please don't make it a personal argument. You may call to "ignore the law", or "ignore the problem" if you want to.
  • Who says we have a contract with Le Louvre?
  • Where is the legal reference saying PD should be free? this is a copyleft revendication, that's all. Will it stand in court?
  • You are making a confusion between "artistical property rights" and copying files from a database. There is more in copy-rights than just "artistical property rights", and you may have no right to copy a thing devoided of artistical interest. Even PD may have copy-rights.

Unlike GFDL licence, PD is not a contaminating notion: you may use PD material to create a non-PD database, and restrain the right of users to use the PD material thus gathered. Your reasonning (?) amounts to consider that PD should work like GFDL material. Wishfull thinking - well, it doesn't, that's that. Michelet-密是力 05:56, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Historiograf, I agree that it is certainly not something to panic about. No reason to run circles, scream, and shout. But especially the database protection stuff seems to me like something one should keep an eye on. The approach of "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" may not be good enough. AFAIK, that was what took fr-WQ down. Since you joined the discussion: could you explain what exactly the problems at the German Wikiquote were, and what steps were taken to remedy the situation? IIRC, you invested quite some time and effort to clean up there. Also, Micheletb has expressed elsewhere interest in the Schlechtachten ;-)) on de-WP... I don't know off-hand where to find the relevant discussions, could you provide him with the pertinent links, please? Lupo 09:20, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Argh... Ist es nur auf de-WP? dann brauch ich hilfe es zu verstehen! Michelet-密是力 11:47, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Of course an expertise commissioned by the German Verein, written by a German lawyer, and examining the problems in the context of the German UrhG, is in German. :-) I have now found the text at meta:Rechtsgutachten, where there are also some links to old discussions about it. Lupo 14:25, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
The text is far aboev my level in german, sorry. I may be able to discuss a sentence or a paragraph, but just finding the relevant passages may take me some days - this reminds me of what my german teacher allways said when in front of me: hoffnungslos - wonder what it means ;o) Michelet-密是力 17:09, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Did they prohibit?[edit]

"The producer may also prohibit..." Well, did they? The case for prohibiting the use of insubstantial parts of a database seems to be reverse from that of copyright: copyright is automatic, protection for unsubstantial parts of a database seems to require an explicit prohibition. BTW, I also suggest that some one checks the definition of a database. I recall reading definitions which imply that a regular website, like that of a museum, is not considered a database. Samulili 21:18, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

See http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartelen/visite?srv=car_not&idNotice=14153# The page shows a "copyright" sign. The credit and information page speaks of a database. Michelet-密是力 05:24, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Note: see this jugement (fr:) saying (against previous jurisprudence) that the prohibition should have been explicit for the protection to be effective. To be followed? Michelet-密是力 08:18, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
    • Interesting indeed. Is the decision online somewhere? (Found it. I should know how to follow links! Lupo 08:33, 17 April 2007 (UTC) :-)) Will be interesting to see what the cassation court and possibly the ECJ will have to say on this. Lupo 08:31, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

PD-old and French law[edit]

Just drawing your attention to Article L123-9 of Le Code de La Propriété Intellectuelle.

  • French Les droits accordés par la loi du 14 juillet 1866 précitée et l'article L. 123-8 aux héritiers et ayants cause des auteurs, compositeurs ou artistes sont prorogés d'un temps égal à celui qui s'est écoulé entre le 3 septembre 1939 et le 1er janvier 1948, pour toutes les oeuvres publiées avant cette date et non tombées dans le domaine public à la date du 13 août 1941.
  • English The rights afforded by the above mentioned Act of July 14, 1866, and by Article L123-8 to the heirs and successors in title of the authors, composers and artists shall be extended for a period equal to that which elapsed between September 3, 1939, and January 1, 1948, for all works published before that date and which did not fall into the public domain on August 13, 1941.

And also to Arrêt n° 281 du 27 février 2007 - Cour de cassation - Première chambre civile. français link. PD-old may not apply for works made in France until several years after the date you may think, because the period during which the French Republic was discontinued does not count towards the 70 years. However the decision by the Cour de Cassation appears to contradict this as do European Directives, as France is not a Common Law country the Cour de Cassation's rulings do not become law, and in theory only apply to the parties present at the case. Just letting people know. Jackaranga 15:56, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

You are right and this is why I have made template:PD-Internationale to explain that while Pierre Degeyter's Internationale melody is now PD in the USA and countries copyrighting for life + 70 years or less, it is still copyrighted in France and likely in
  1. Mexico: 100 pma
  2. Cote d'Ivoire: 99 pma
  3. Colombia: 80 pma
  4. Guatemala, Honduras, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines: 75 pma (should be PD there since 1 January 2008)--Jusjih 17:59, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Files that never were under copyright?[edit]

This Template imho fits only files that - once in their lifetime - have been under copyright protection. It seems somewhat ridiculous to find it attached to medieval documents, for instance. See [[5]] for an example. Has this ever been discussed? --RolloM 08:13, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I do not consider it ridiculous to find it attached to medieval documents. However, moral rights may still apply, which is the case in Red China where moral rights are perpetual and retroactive so even ancient Chinese works still have their moral rights protected.--Jusjih 18:01, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, Commons has found it useful to tag items as to WHY they are in the public domain. I wouldn't call it "ridiculous", but you have a point in that the template does seem to cover two seperate things-- material that was once copyrighted, but all copyrights have expired with time, and material that is so old that it predated the legal concept of copyright. -- Infrogmation 19:52, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Basically, the template is saying, this work is old enough to have its copyright expire, if there ever was a copyright to expire. The latter question (was there ever a copyright?) is not important. Superm401 - Talk 12:28, 13 January 2008 (UTC)


Hi, could somebody add this Irish translation to the box? Thanks.

Tá an íomhá seo (nó comhad meán eile) sa domhain poiblí toisc go bhfuil a cóipcheart imithe as feidhm.

Baineann sé seo leis na Stáit Aontaithe, le Ceanada, leis an Aontas Eorpach agus le gach tír eile ina leanann an téarma cóipchearta ar aghaidh seachtó bliana ina dhiaidh bás an údair. 14:22, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

✓ Done - or should I say ✓ déanta :) I also translated Template:Translated tag - Alison 02:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Edit requested[edit]


The line about Meixco is excessively confusing. It should be changed to something more understandable, such as "Note that Mexico's copyright term is 100 years after the death of the author and they do not recognize the law of the shorter term; see also {{PD-Mexico}}". Thanx, 02:32, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Rephrased somewhat, removing the bias towards Mexico at the same time (there are other countries with copyright terms longer than 70 years...) Also removed the suggestion to tag as {{PD-Mexico}} as it would be inappropriate for these other countries. Lupo 08:22, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
On Honduras: that country has a general copyright term of 75 years after the death of the (last surviving) author, but it does follow the rule of the shorter term, meaning that foreign works from countries with shorter copyright terms are protected for at most the shorter foreign term. (See article 44 of Decreto 4 99 E: Ley del derecho de autor y de los derechos conexos.) However, for photographs, the copyright term is 70 years since the publication for published photos, and, if not published within 50 years since the photo was taken, 70 years since the creation of the photo. (See article 30 of Decreto Ley 16 2006: Implementación del Tratado de Libre Comercio entre la República Dominicana, Centroamérica y Estados Unidos.) The maximum protection for photographs in Honduras is thus 120 years since the creation of the photo. Lupo 08:34, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
This was originally for 100 pma, but on 31 August 2005 Paddy changed to 70 pma [6] then dozens of translations follow 70, so it is too hard to change back to 100 unless someone can make a bot to distinguish so many media whose authors have died for more than 100 or 70 years. I mentioned Mexico because of a separate tag available without intending any bias while other countries with 75 pma or more do not have separate tags. Côte d'Ivoire has a general copyright term of 99 years but does implement that rule of the shorter term (possibly except Mexico based on the wording of Article 4, http://www.wipo.int/clea/docs_new/en/ci/ci001en.html). Colombia probably accepts the rule of the shorter term (Article 11, http://www.wipo.int/clea/docs_new/en/co/co012en.html). Please take a closer look.--Jusjih 17:07, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
St. Vincent and the Grenadines also has 75 pma, but a closer look at http://portal.unesco.org/culture/admin/file_download.php/vc_copyright_2003_en.PDF?URL_ID=30444&filename=11425886943vc_copyright_2003_en.PDF&filetype=application%2Fpdf&filesize=333544&name=vc_copyright_2003_en.PDF&location=user-S/ is needed.--Jusjih 17:12, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

German translation: plural ... sind es 75 Jahre, aber in diesen Ländern wiederum wird der Schutzfristenvergleich angewandt.

Warning sign[edit]

I think the warning sign is unnecessary in this template. Even I, an experienced Commons contributor, am constantly confused when that sign pops up - it seems to indicate that something is wrong with the file. Since this is true only for some countries, and does not apply for msot of the files (most are surely not between 70 and 100 years old, but much more than 100 years), I think it should be deleted. The text is warning enough. --AndreasPraefcke 12:41, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

On that note (that most PD-old works have authors that died > 100 yrs. ago), I'm planning to create a {{PD-old-100}}. That way, works for which the author died more than 100 years ago can eventually migrate to it, and for those works we won't have to worry about those countries that use pma (remainder of term after death) between 70 and 100 years. See #70 or 100 years?. As for the warning sign, it doesn't make a big difference to me either way. It's small so doesn't bother me much, but I don't think it's critical either, because the text is clear enough. Superm401 - Talk 04:54, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree that we should remove the warning sign from the template. -- penubag  (talk) 06:28, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. There is no need to mention those specific (very small) countries, either. --MichaelMaggs 06:36, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Regarding copyrigth and laws, there are NOT small countries. Under WIPO, all countries have equal rights to have their national laws respected by other countries, even if those countries are very big and powerful like USA... USA cannot ignore these countries and unlawfully abuse the rights protected by other countries (or their legal successor(s) recognized internationally if those countries have ceased to exist: Yugoslavia, USSR, the two Yemen, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and even the Nazi Regime of Germany during IIIrd Reich or Germany in the early time of post-WW2 occupation before the split and the creation of the BundesRepublic). The rules of pma-years and the status of recognition (or non-recognition) for the WIPO rule of the shorter term are applicable worldwide by all WIPO members that MUST respect the source law.
Each country offers legal protection for authors themselves: some are even extending this author's right retroactively (China, Russia) to introduce copyright restrictions on artistic creations that were only supposed to be in the public domain (the truth is that the public domain was not asserted in most case and only appleid by default due to lack of legislation before introduction of copyright and signature of membership to the WIPO treaties. China and Russia have been long to recognize copyright and to respect the rights of other countries, but when they signed the treaties they had legitimate right to define their own national rules for works created before their adoption of copyright rules : most countries have pressured China and Russia to sign the treaties and respect others rights; finally you should know that, not all countries have signed the WIPO treaties or implemented them in their legislation, so the concept of "public domain" is still not aplicable to them and, by default, we can just assume that their authors are protected indefinitely by copyright and author's rights, and their local "public domain" is not transposable internationally and applies only for the property, usus, fructus, and abusus by people or organizations living or established within the borders of those countries). 10:32, 6 February 2009 (UTC)


{{editprotected}} After a week with no objections (and support when the idea was suggested before), I have created {{PD-old-100}} and its associated category Category:PD Old 100. Now, we need to:

  1. Mention this in a <noinclude> on Template:PD-old.
  2. Translate {{PD-old-100}}.

I'd like this tag will be used where applicable, because it cleanly resolves the 70-100 pma issue for works where the author died more than 100 years ago.

--Superm401 - Talk 03:11, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

I've gone through and changed about 2 dozen {{PD-old}} tags to {{PD-old-100}}. Superm401 - Talk 04:32, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I have edited something for you and even added separate {{PD-old-80}}, {{PD-old-75}}, and {{PD-old-70}}. When using these tags, please be sure that authors have died for several years, as some have misused them for works that are old for several years.--Jusjih 19:48, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

One question: I thought that the EU has a copyright term of 'year of author's death + 70 years'. Why is then the EU mentioned in the PD-old-100 tag? --ALE! ¿…? 08:57, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I also wonder why mention the USA, Canada, and the EU in the PD-old-100 tag while it is believed to be worldwide.--Jusjih 01:23, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
It's correct that EU has a term of pma 70. Of course, that means pma 100 content is also PD in the EU. If the author died more than 100 years ago, they also died more than 70 years ago. The reason the USA, Canada, and EU are mentioned is that I copied it from {{PD-old}}. Also, Wikimedia Commons is hosted in the U.S. Do you have an alternative wording? Are we fairly sure absolutely no country has more than pma 100? Superm401 - Talk 05:01, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

All this is the appropriate templates, Canada's copyright term is 50 pma.(ex. Article 6) Description of the "Canada", to "Australia" had better change with it? --Machina in DBS 16:22, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Additional templates[edit]

I don't think we need PD-old-75 and PD-old-80. That seems to be making things too complex. I chose to create PD-old-100 because there seemed to be consensus, and to my knowledge, no country has a longer term than 100 pma. PD-old-70 is also of course useful, because it is the term through much of Europe, and eventually will apply to the U.S.A. as well. I would suggest that PD-old-75 and and PD-old-80 be deleted. Also, both PD-old-70 and PD-old should continue to refer to 70 pma. This means PD-old-70 can go back to redirecting to PD-old. Superm401 - Talk 08:41, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Also, the categories are currently inconsistent. {{PD-old-100}} has Category:PD Old 100, which I put in Category:PD Old. However, {{PD-old-75}} has the category Category:Author died more than 75 years ago public domain images, which is directly in Category:Public domain. {{PD-old-80}} is similar. If we keep all the tags, this would need to be resolved. Superm401 - Talk 08:51, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I am totally against any thoughts to delete PD-old-75 and PD-old-80. Please looking at w:List of countries' copyright length and w:rule of the shorter term. Columbia copyrights for life + 80 years without rule of the shorter term. Guatemala, Honduras, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and possibly Samoa copyright for life + 75 years. m:Mission says: "The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop neutral educational content under a free content license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally." In order to be truly global we cannot disregard users in countries copyrighting for life + 75 or 80 years, no matter how few. After adding PD-old-75 and PD-old-80 on English Wikisource, I have not seen any thoughts to delete them yet. While changing PD-old to PD-old-70 or PD-old-100, even if you cannot handle PD-old-75 or PD-old-80, please allow other experienced users to use them when appropriate.--Jusjih 01:38, 23 January 2008 (UTC) (admin here, on Meta, and on Wikisource)
By having only PD-old-70 and PD-old-100, we wouldn't be completely disregarding users in pma 75/80 countries. They could still safely use PD-old-100 content (which is the vast majority of all PD old content), and some PD-old-70 content with manual review. However, I see your point. Having PD-old-70, PD-old-75, PD-old-80, and PD-old-100 does means extra work, but it may make sense to have a tag for each pma status. Let's see what some other people think before further using any of the new tags. I've posted at Commons:Village pump and Commons talk:Copyright tags. Superm401 - Talk 04:56, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
How about making {{PD-old}} a template with parameters? Have one parameter, which is the year the author died. If none is given, default to PD-old-70. Otherwise, display by default "in countries with a copyright term smaller or equal to X", where X can be calculated as CURRENTYEAR - author_death - 1. If that expression comes out smaller than 70, subst a copyvio template. Oh, and also make people aware of {{PD-URAA}}. See also Commons talk:Licensing#Two statements, and in particular this statement by Mike/Florence. Lupo 13:54, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
One issue with an author's death year parameter is that in many cases one knows with confidence that they died e.g. more than 100 years ago, but not the actual year. Also, it becomes absurd to have things like {{PD-old|year=500}}. Superm401 - Talk 02:51, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
It shouldn't be too difficult to include logic to saturate at 100. I.e., if CURRENTYEAR - author_death > 100, still emit 100. BTW, did you mean an author who died in the year 500, or someone who died 500 years ago? :-) That possible confusion might be a more serious problem with that approach... Lupo 08:50, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Another idea is to categorize works by authors' years of deaths for those who died in the 20th century, so updating the tags may become easier.--Jusjih 03:41, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
I suppose we can do template logic this way. A caveat is for works whose authors don't have an exactly known year of death. Should we allow approximations in the template? By the way year=500 clearly means they died in the year 500... By the way, people would inevitably going to handle negative years wrong, but those are in the minority. Superm401 - Talk 17:57, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
There appears to be no clear consensus. I think it's okay to keep all of them, because they are all the relevant term in some country. Templates shouldn't be created unless they correspond to at least one country's law. However, note again that for a work to be on Commons, it must always be legal in the U.S. (where it's hosted). To finalize this, I have modified all the templates to read the same, including saying work (not image), noting that the work must be legal in the U.S., and using Category:Author died more than x years ago public domain images. I'm keeping {{PD-old-50}} longer, because it's important people realize PD-old-50 works must be PD in the U.S. (and many works with pma 50 are not PD in the U.S.) To hold the individual subcategories, I've created Category:Public domain due to copyright expiration, renamed Category:PD Old 100 to Category:Author died more than 100 years ago public domain images, and placed all the author died categories into Category:Public domain due to copyright expiration. Superm401 - Talk 03:49, 10 February 2008 (UTC)


Time to update this so it doesn't contain the words United States which can very easily mislead people into thinking that the US has a generally applicable 70 pma rule? Haukurth 21:18, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Probably. The wording may be tricky. The point is that it must be PD in the U.S. (otherwise it wouldn't be allowed on Commons absent an explicit license) , and the author must have died more than 70 years ago. Currently, these are independent. Superm401 - Talk 02:53, 25 January 2008 (UTC)


{{editprotected}} It should be noted in the list of the preferred tags below the template that the {{PD-US}} tag should be used for U.S works published prior to Jan 1st, 1923. Now it implies that it is for all works published before that date. --Botev 09:51, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, PD-US should be used for US works, but PD-1923 (which is basically the same except PD-US is meant to imply a US work) is for any work before 1923. Superm401 - Talk 18:10, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Of course. What I mean is that we should write it exactly that way on this list. Currently it says:

 {{PD-US}} for works published before 1 January 1923.

And it should be:

 {{PD-US}} for U.S. works published before 1 January 1923
 {{PD-1923}} for non-U.S. works published before 1 January 1923.

I cannot edit it because the template is protected. --Botev 22:34, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Your modification makes sense. I can't edit either, so I put a editprotected. Superm401 - Talk 22:54, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
As always, if it's not a U.S. work it's necessary to explain why it's PD in the source country. Superm401 - Talk 18:10, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes. That's what's written on the {{PD-1923}} tag. --Botev 22:34, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

✓ Done. [7] giggy (:O) 07:12, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Macedonian translation[edit]

{{editprotected}} Can you please add [[Template:PD-old/mk|Македонски]] amongst the other translations? Thanks. --INkubusse (talk) 15:12, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Template:PD-old/lang this page can be edited by all autoconfirmed users. :) ✓ Done anyway. giggy (:O) 07:56, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I think the /lang should be protected, because PD-old is a very high visibility template. Superm401 - Talk 14:58, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, didn't care to notice Template:PD-old/lang at all. :/ Thanks anyway. But I also think that the subtemplate should be protected, as per Superm401's reason. --INkubusse (talk) 14:32, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
✓ Protected. I guess it doesn't make much sense to have one fully protected and the other just semi (which is actually more used). And with 487,045 links, I think it's safe to say protection needed. Thanks. Rocket000 (talk) 14:41, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

how to tag incorrect use[edit]

Could the template documentation include what to do with image pages that use the PD-old template with insufficient sourcing? I vaguely recall something like {{incomplete}}, {{nosource}} or {{unknown}}, but none of those is relevant. For example, see File:Paulo Porto e Sônia Oitica como Romeu e Julieta.jpg, a photograph taken in 1938 with unknown author and no country. What should I replace the PD-old tag with in these cases? {{Cleanup}}?. 84user (talk) 20:17, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Answering my own question, it seems the best thing to do is either to nominate the image for deletion (stating how and why the source is insufficient), unless the image is an obvious copyright violation, in which case I should add the {{Copyvio}} template. 84user (talk) 03:40, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
I tagged the image in question with {{PD-Brazil-media}} since it seems to be a Brazilian one. Alternativelly, I believe you could use {{anonymous work}} in this case. --Botev (talk) 13:10, 17 May 2009 (UTC)


{{editprotected}} For obvious grammatical reasons, please replace the word "that" with "the" in the following excerpted text from the template: "but they do implement that rule of the shorter term".--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 02:04, 5 June 2009 (UTC)


This template includes the text 'NOTE: Please do not use this template directly! This is just for translation. Use {{PD-old}} instead!'. However, {{PD-old}} is the name of this template, the template {{PD-Old}} being a #R to this one. This text should be removed, or a better explanation of which template to use should be given. V85 (talk) 10:53, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Armenian option[edit]

I created armenian option of this template, but i can't add it to template. Please, help me.--Elegant's

I have asked an administrator to do so on Template talk:PD-old/lang. --Botev (talk) 12:20, 8 October 2009 (UTC)


The current template language states that the term is death+70 in the EU, but in Spain it's not that simple. For works by people who died before the 1987 EU normalization, the term is still death+80 and that's the term that currently matters: no one who died after 1987 has been dead for more than 60 years yet (for reasons that I hope are obvious). It would be better to say "EU (except Spain)" and list Spain along with Colombia as a death+80 exception. -JasonAQuest (talk) 19:47, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

PD-old for US works[edit]

I now this has been addressed before but this template is misleading when it comes to US works. Many assume that the author's date of death is relevant in the US (it is now, but not for works older than 1978, i.e. anything this template would be used for). Right now it's says the template's to be deprecated, but I don't think that will happen. I think we should clarify the text instead. Rocket000 (talk) 18:19, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support please do - it is quite confusing. We should also change default in PD-Art, and maybe start changing some non-US PD-olds to PD-old-xx. --Jarekt (talk) 03:45, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Anglo-Saxon translation (Angelseaxisc āƿend)[edit]

I translated this into Anglo-Saxon, if someone will please add its link to the template, which can be found here: Template:PD-old/ang , thanks.

(Iċ āƿendode þis onto Angelseaxisce, ȝif hƿā his hlenċe ēacie to þǣm bysene, þe man mæȝ hēr findan: Template:PD-old/ang , þancas.)

Wōdenhelm (talk) 15:50, 11 April 2010 (UTC)


On the French version of this template can be read "Union Européenne" whereas the correct writing is "Union européenne". Treehill (fr) Treehill 23:25, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Remove the language list ?[edit]

Do we really need to display the list of languages in the template ? It has been removed on {{PD-self}} and on CC tags, and it makes {{PD-Art}} look intricated and rather ugly with its two language lists..--Zolo (talk) 10:45, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Recommending an amendment to avoid being misleading about the US[edit]

Currently the tag claims "This applies to the United States, Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years." As noted in the documentation, this is not true in the US for works created 1923-1977. In other words, no work first published in the US will enter the public domain for this reason until at least 2048. For this reason, my suggestion is to remove "the United States" until that time and deprecate this tag for US works in favor of {{PD-1923}}, {{PD-US-no notice}}, {{PD-US-not renewed}}, and {{PD-US-1978-89}}. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:21, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

I see this was already proposed above and received one support and no dissent, I'll go ahead and be bold and change it. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:22, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support--Jarekt (talk) 03:37, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Remark of US copyright tag is not necessary.[edit]

There's already a template for that: {{PD-old-70}}. This one should be changed back to also mention it is Public Domain in the USA. mechamind90 16:44, 5 April 2011 (UTC)


{{editprotected}} The en:Great Patriotic War years + 70 have come. Plz, add to notes that generally Russia has 70 years, but in some cases copyright terms extended to 74 years. Alex Spade (talk) 17:23, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Please clarify and give citations? Dcoetzee (talk) 21:38, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Civil Code of the Russian Federation (Part Four). Article 1281
General cases (+70 years) have described in points 1-3.
If author had worked during the Great Patriotic War (June 22, 1941 - May 9 (May 11 in some cases), 1945) or had participated in it copyright terms extended to 74 years (+70 years + 4 years) according to point 5.
Since 2012 has come, the most of Russian/Soviet authors died after June 22, 1941 had worked during the GPW or had participated in it. Alex Spade (talk) 10:44, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

✓ Done in en version. Although one would think we would have this problem since 2009 since Russia entered World War II in 1939, not 1941. So works of authors working during Great Patriotic War from 1939 to 1941 were not extended? --Jarekt (talk) 03:17, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

(а) Good news. (а1) The extended copyright terms are applied only to non-anonymous works. (a2) The extended copyright terms are not applied, if author had worked during the another event of WWII (without time limits of GPW) only, for example author had been killed in Soviet-Finish War, 1939-40 (WWII event before GPW) or had been call up for military service for Soviet-Japanese War, 1945 (WWII event before GPW). (а3) The pre-GPW copyright terms was +50 years. See template:PD-Russia-2008 for more info. Alex Spade (talk) 13:44, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
(b) Bad news. If (known, non-anonymous) author had worked during the GPW (even one day, even one minute), it is totally unimportant, when his work was published - before, during or after GPW. Alex Spade (talk) 13:41, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

If current English version of OK, than can users knowing other languages, edit other versions? --Jarekt (talk) 15:04, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

{{Editprotected}} Can someone please change the text from "Soviet Union has 74 years for some authors" to "Russia has 74 years for some authors" - seeing as the Soviet Union hasn't existed for 21 years? Magog the Ogre (talk) 18:46, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

✓ Done --Sreejith K (talk) 11:31, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

German translation: plural[edit]

{{edit request}} Someone just added: German translation: plural ... sind es 75 Jahre, aber in diesen Ländern wiederum wird der Schutzfristenvergleich angewandt., Can some German speaker evaluate this request? --Jarekt (talk) 04:03, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Was this an edit or an edit request? I can't find either... I've implemented it at Template:PD-old/de, as it is a simple grammar correction. Rd232 (talk) 11:58, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Unpublished works[edit]

I've just had an interesting omission pointed out to me with this template (and various others in the PD-xx years family) - it doesn't fully take account of the EU Copyright Duration Directive / Copyright Term Directive.

This standardized the EU at life+70, but also established a new system of 25 years "restored" copyright for first publication of previously unpublished works. This mostly applies to text, and is so quite rare for material on Commons - most of our images are publicly displayed paintings, or scanned from books - but there's the possibility it applies to personal photographs which may never have been publicly distributed until now, and we sometimes hold scans of documents.

It is independent of life+70, and can potentially apply even in vastly old cases - a rediscovered and first-published medieval text would gain copyright for a set period under this rule. Should we have a caveat about this on the template? 10:54, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

To further muddle the waters, the UK CDPA provides for an unusual transitional provision; all unpublished work by an author who'd died before the act came into force (ie 1989) has an absolute copyright for a period of fifty years from that date, until the end of 2039. See w:Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988#Transitional provisions. This makes unpublished works by some creators copyrighted despite having died some centuries earlier, which is bizarre and possibly unintentional, but that's the rule... Andrew Gray (talk) 12:57, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

redirect to PD-old-70[edit]

Would bere be any opposition to redirecting this page to redirect to {{PD-old-70}}? They are just old and new wordings of the same template. --Jarekt (talk) 01:14, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

What are your plans regarding Category:PD Old and it's subcategories? Currently that is a tracking category for images that need to have their deprecated {{PD-old}} tags examine and replaced with more up to date licenses. —RP88 (talk) 01:49, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
We could still track them by looking for pages transcluding {{PD-old}}. An alternative to redirect would be to use the same code as {{PD-old-70}} but separate directory structures. --Jarekt (talk) 02:59, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
Your latter suggestion (i.e. same code as new PD-old-70 except using PD-old category) would be perfectly safe, so I can't imagine anyone would object (I certainly wouldn't). That would definitely have the advantage of consolidating all of the PD-old style templates into using your new translation sub-templates. —RP88 (talk) 05:14, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

Suggested fixes to the Estonian (et) translation[edit]

Current version, smalltext, with mistakes in boldface or struck through with <strike></strike>:

Pead samuti lisama Ühendriikide avaliku omandi malli näitamaks, miks see teos on Ameerika Ühendriikides avalikus omandis. Arvesta sellega, et mõnes riigis kehtib autoriõigus kauem kui 70 aastat: Mehhikos 100 aastat, Jamaica 95 aastat, Colombias 80 aastat ning Guatemalas ja Samoas 75 aastat. See pilt ei pruugi olla avalikus omandis neis riikides, mis lisaks ei kohalda lühema tähtaja reeglit. Elevandiluurannikul kehtib autoriõiguse üldiselt 99 aastat ja Hondurases 75 aastat, kuid nendes riikides kehtib lühema tähtaja reegel. Autoriõigus võib kehtida kauem, kui autor on prantslane, kes suri Teises maailmasõjas Prantsusmaa eest võideldes (lisateave); Venemaa kodanikele, kes teenisid Idarindel II maailmasõjas (Venemaal tuntud ka kui Suur Isamaasõda) ja postuumselt rehabiliteeritud Venemaa kodanikele (lisateave).

Proposed new version, with mistakes removed:

Pead samuti lisama Ühendriikide avaliku omandi malli näitamaks, miks see teos on Ameerika Ühendriikides avalikus omandis. Arvesta sellega, et mõnes riigis kehtib autoriõigus kauem kui 70 aastat: Mehhikos 100 aastat, Jamaical 95 aastat, Colombias 80 aastat ning Guatemalas ja Samoas 75 aastat. See pilt ei pruugi olla avalikus omandis neis riikides, mis lisaks ei kohalda lühema tähtaja reeglit. Elevandiluurannikul kehtib autoriõigus üldiselt 99 aastat ja Hondurases 75 aastat, kuid nendes riikides kehtib lühema tähtaja reegel. Autoriõigus võib kehtida kauem, kui autor on prantslane, kes suri Teises maailmasõjas Prantsusmaa eest võideldes (lisateave); Venemaa kodanikele, kes teenisid Idarindel II maailmasõjas (Venemaal tuntud ka kui Suur Isamaasõda) ja postuumselt rehabiliteeritud Venemaa kodanikele (lisateave).

-Mardus /talk 11:17, 12 April 2018 (UTC)


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to get the attention of Administrators. -Mardus /talk 11:20, 12 April 2018 (UTC)