User talk:Clindberg

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Welcome to the Commons, Clindberg!
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Hello. Want to thank you for your message pointing out the 'no-commercial' requirement on some of the Flickr photos that I uploaded. This was a genuine error on my part because of my ignorance of the intricacies of the cc licences. I have gone thru my recent uploads and flagged the offending ones for copyvio. I just don't have the time to chase up the copyright holders for permissions for these particular images. Thanks again for your vigilance. Kahuroa 00:34, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

No problem. Thanks for taking the effort to deal with it... easy mistake to make. Shame about the photos though. I now wish I'd taken more pictures while I was there... could have sworn I took at least a couple of other Maori-related pictures but I can't find them. Carl Lindberg 04:11, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Cheers. Never mind - the photos can be replaced. I must remember to take my camera with me more often. Kahuroa 05:07, 20 September 2006 (UTC)


Thanks for noticing this. This is a bug that was introduced during my latest tweaks of the software, in which I had hoped to solve a same kind of bug. I will fix this bug before doing the next run. -- Bryan (talk to me) 09:16, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I have already tagged all wrongly reconized images. (Which was a hell of a job) Actually, the problem was that I has already made a fix to this bug, but I forgot to upload it to the server where the bot runs ;) -- Bryan (talk to me) 09:53, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Re: Link in Commons:Licensing[edit]

Thank you for your message. I have revised the description so the 1990 Copyright Law of Red China has restored copyright in Article 55 and the 2001 Law has the same thing in Article 59.--Jusjih 14:52, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Re: Rule of the shorter term[edit]

Thank you for your comment. you said, "That may be a more effective way of putting it; not sure." However, what does "that" mean, my proposed petition?--Jusjih 15:21, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

EXIF information on Flickr uploads[edit]

Unfortunately, the number of pictures you are allowed to upload to Flickr is restricted with respect to the file size. You can choose to only have low resolution versions available to the public. It is possible to retrieve EXIF values from Flickr through its api. However, I currently do not know a way to write this information to the file. -- Bryan (talk to me) 17:26, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Minnesota state seal[edit]

I tagged it as PD-US not because the image is pre-1923 but because the tag also applies in other general cases where an image is PD in the US. The other tag asserts state seals are PD, so that was the basis. But the change is also good. -Nard 19:43, 5 August 2007 (UTC)


Hi Carl. I've noticed your insightful comments related to logos comprised solely of a general typeface (a "word mark"). Would you consider commenting at Commons:Help desk#Is this scalable (svg) wordmark copyrighted?, and offer guidance related to that specific image and to the {{PD-textlogo}} template in general? If my question is not clear, I can try to restate it or clarify it.

If you would comment there or here, I would be very appreciative. Thank you, Iamunknown 12:34, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Hmm. Simple logos like that would not be a copyright violation of the company creating the logo (which is often the case with logo artwork), as there is no creative work by that company. I guess the question then is it a copyright violation of the original font. In the U.S., the general design of typefaces is not copyrightable (unless they have substantial ornamentation separate from the shape of the letters). However, the vector font files themselves are, under the "computer program" protection. The protection is more for the precise placement of the points, bezier control points, etc -- you cannot create a new font with just some simple modification or systematic transformation of an existing (copyrighted) vector font. However, bitmap representations have none of the actual point information embedded anymore and are therefore not copyrightable (no matter how big the bitmap). The situation is different in Europe -- typefaces can be copyrighted to an extent. I guess the question is whether the use of a few characters is a derivative work. I would lean towards no, just on a "feels right" basis, but I could easily be wrong.
If the SVG is just made with text of the Helvetica Ultra Condensed font (i.e. no actual outline information is in the SVG), then it's definitely OK. If the Wikimedia servers have that font (legally), then they can render bitmaps for web pages, which are not protected. The potential problem would only occur if you converted the characters to outlines in the SVG itself (which I assume is the situation here). The UK law referenced in w:WP:PD#Fonts explicitly says that the usage of fonts is not a copyright violation... you would think the situation is de facto the same in the U.S., otherwise things like embedded fonts in EPS/PDF files would be violations (even if just partially embedded). However, you may have to argue it on a "fair use" basis since the U.S. has the "computer program" aspect to it, and parts of it are copied. I'm not really sure.
It seems to me as though the protection is mainly to prevent direct competitors from selling identical or derivative font files. For example, pulling outline characters out of several SVG/EPS/PDF files to cobble together a font would be a violation, as may be pulling out individual characters to combine into a different logo just to avoid having to pay the font vendor so they can render it directly. But, as long as the original SVG was rendered by someone with legal access to the fonts, it seems to me usage of that image would be OK. There may be fine print in the original font purchase agreement when it comes to logos though, who knows. If you want to be safer, you could create a big bitmap and upload that instead. Carl Lindberg 05:06, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you very much, Carl, for the specific advice and for helping me to understand that quirk in copyright law! I uploaded the rasterised image to Image:Bushnell wordmark.png.  :-) Cheers, --Iamunknown 23:17, 12 October 2007 (UTC)


Thank you for calling attention to the opinion of the Minnesota Attorney General. As discussed on the template talk page, the safer course of action may be to deprecate use of the template, or delete it entirely, in the absence of an uncontested opinion allowing free use. While there seems to be little question that the only image which now uses it is free use by the public, having been reproduced in numerous news media, that image is not now being used in any en:WP article, so its loss would not cause any present harm. Thanks again, Kablammo 21:55, 15 January 2008 (UTC)


The U.S. has a common-law trademark system. An insignia like that is trademarked regardless of whether it's registered. See . Superm401 - Talk 05:21, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

No, the template's still useful. If you want, you can create a registered trademark template, with an associated subcategory of Category:With trademark, and have both. But most content on Commons is not trademarked (not even common law), and thus it's important to provide a way to identify the content that is trademarked for both computers (e.g. commercial mirrors may want to automatically avoid trademarked content) and people. Superm401 - Talk 05:42, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Image needing work[edit]

Do you think you can take a crack at cleaning up Image:OFCCP-Seal.png? Thanks. Evrik 18:43, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Thanks for the advice. I'll look to that other source. Evrik 19:15, 23 April 2008 (UTC)


There seems to be a problem regarding the description and/or licensing of this particular file. It has been found that you've added in the image's description only a Template that's not a license and although it provides useful informations about the image, it's not a valid license. Could you please resolve this problem, adding the license in the image linked above?

This message was added automatically by sz-iwbot, if you need some help about it, ask its master (Sz-iwbot) or go to the Commons:Help desk. --Sz-iwbot 16:11, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Oops, fixed. Carl Lindberg 16:54, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Gandhi Downing Street.jpg[edit]

Hello Clindberg :) Would you be kind enough to check and give your point of vue on this particular image. Best regards. -- Perky (talk) 08:30, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Commons:When to use the PD-signature tag[edit]

Could you look at this proposal and comment please? Do you know of any cases or legal opinions which specifically say that signatures are copyright-ineligible in the US? I am a little concerned that the current US text relies too heavily on an assumption that a signature falls within the scope of "Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; and mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring." I would be happier if we could cite a legal commentator, at the very least, who specifically says so. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 20:36, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

U.S. sculptures[edit]

Some more things to consider:

  1. Sculptures commissioned by the U.S. federal government. For pre-1978 commissions, we may presume that the copyright was transferred to the commissioning party, i.e. the government. See Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid 490 U.S. 730 (1989), where the Supreme Court states that under the 1909 Act "the courts generally presumed that the commissioned party had impliedly agreed to convey the copyright, along with the work itself, to the hiring party." (Section II(A), paragraph starting with "In 1955...") For current commissions, there is evidence that the U.S. government insists that the copyright be transferred to them. See Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Boy Scout Memorial-27527.jpg. What now? Can we simply assume that since the U.S. government would not object to freely licensed images of sculptures (and other commisssioned works), we may keep such images; kind of an "implied free license"? Whom would one have to contact to get an official statement? (On the Boy Scout Memorial, I'm not even sure it was commissioned by the government. Looks like it was commissioned by Boy Scouts America and then donated to the government...?)
  2. What shall we do for sculptures erected 1923-1977? We may perhaps treat them as published, but we have no way of determining their copyright status. If we strictly delete them all, we'll delete way too many, since many will indeed not have had a copyright notice or will not have had their copyrights properly renewed. Maybe treating them as unpublished and applying 70 years p.m.a. would be a workable pseudo-solution. It may not be strictly correct if the sculptures were indeed published, but it'd be a best-effort approach. Either way it looks as if we're going to empty Brookgreen Gardens... If we just keep these 1923-1977 sculptures, we may actually keep many non-free images claiming them to be free. Brookgreen Gardens themselves state one had to attribute the sculptors for copyright reasons...

Thoughts? Lupo 20:34, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Ugh? :-)
  1. Interesting; agreed that there does seem to be an implied transfer on older works (needing to be explicit, post 1978 -- according to en:Copyright Act of 1976#Transfer_of_copyright it was rather conflicting before that). en: Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid also says that afterwards the lower court ruled that both the artist and commissioning party own "joint rights" on "two-dimensional reproductions"; not sure how to interpret that. It may be best to assume an implied license in these older cases... the idea of the federal government actually suing over something like that is rather far-fetched (it is rare enough -- and somewhat controversial -- when regular sculptors do for folks taking snapshots). Maybe they still hold copyright just in order to prevent sculptural copies, and otherwise it is like the LoC who does not restrict anything in collections which it purchases, but who knows. I would think the NPS would administer anything in national parks; getting a statement from them would be helpful of course... but judging by pages like this, not sure they want to take a position one way or another. Some statues may still be copyrighted by others -- here they mention a statue's copyright (but say nothing of the photo), while here they give a slightly different indication. Sounds like that statue was commissioned (but after 1978), but en:The Three Soldiers indicates that the sculptor successfully sued someone (which included 3-D reproductions though); maybe that is why the NPS is careful to note this. The NPS does seem to allow photography in general, but charges for commercial photography which needs special props, special access, etc.[1] apparently to recover administrative costs.
  2. I think we should treat them as published... so the question would be if there is any way to determine if there is a copyright notice on any of them. I am tempted again to think if the Art Inventory Catalog thoroughly documents a sculpture but does not mention a copyright, then that may be enough to consider it as PD-US-no_notice. Or, maybe if an uploader goes back to look over a statue specifically for it. I noticed the Brookgreen site (and Art Inventory Catalog) mentioned that a couple of statues were "unsigned"... that would be clear indication of no notice, I would think. The 1909 Act was pretty specific in the need for a notice, and copyright was lost without it (even things like being ambiguous as to who the author was invalidated the notice and thus the copyright). I think statues did not need the year, but did need the author (or at least initials, with the author spelled out somewhere nearby). The 1909 Act did allow for one or two accidental missing notices, but in those cases there were apparently no penalties for infringement for existing copies of the works lacking a notice. As for renewals... hard as ever. Have any fine art renewal listings come online yet? As for the required attribution, I think that is due to VARA (17 U.S.C. 106A), which while technically separate from copyright (they are moral rights) is still part of Title 17. Those still exist even if copyright has expired.
Messy stuff, to be sure. Carl Lindberg (talk) 08:57, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, renewals may not be that hard. The 1950-1977 renewals are here. It would appear that sculptures should be in there somewhere if they were renewed, or for 1978-1991 renewals, they should be in the LoC's catalog. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:01, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I take that back... the Gutenberg listing may not include art renewals other than for 1950-51. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:26, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm. We'll have to work out something. In any case, I disagree to treat the Smithsonian catalog as a copyright listing. While their descriptions of e.g. the sculptures at Gettysburg are very detailed, others, such as the Brookgreen listsings, are not. Absence of a copyright mention in the Smithsonian catalog cannot be treated as evidence that the sculpture was uncopyrighted. (Unless we get a statement of the Smithsonian to that effect.) Lupo 20:17, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Agreed that many statues are not documented too well, but even for the Brookgreen ones, they are mentioning copyright in several cases. I do feel if they say it is "unsigned", that is clear evidence of no copyright notice (since that is a required part of a valid notice). For entries which do not seem to be well documented, agree with that. Definitely a hard problem. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:26, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Also see here. We'll need to work this out in one place. Lupo 20:41, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
P.S.: Yes, The Three Soldiers is copyrighted. Anyway, for sculptures erected 1978 or later, 70 years p.m.a. applies. But you're right, it's a prime example against an "implicit free license". Glenda Goodacre's Vietnam Women's Memorial Statue also is copyrighted, and it appears there was also a lawsuit about images of this one.[2] Lupo 21:49, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
More on The Three Soldiers: indeed Hart and the VVMF successfully sued someone who was selling t-shirts that had an image of the sculpture printed on them. It looks as if the Wall and the Three Soldiers are not owned by the U.S. government at all but by the private non-profit corporation VVMF.[3] Ditto for the Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation.[4] Lupo 07:24, 13 October 2008 (UTC)


Not sure if you noticed this, but I agree; excellent research! Well done. Giggy (talk) 23:46, 12 October 2008 (UTC)


You've got great knowledge, doing deletion requests, and even Lupo asks for help :) What do you think? --Kanonkas(talk) 12:36, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Why aren't you replying back? --Kanonkas(talk) 14:57, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Just did :-) Didn't edit much the last day or so. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:37, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
So, now that you've had half a year to "keep this in mind" - I really think Commons (and you) would benefit from you having those extra buttons... :) Finn Rindahl (talk) 22:33, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I also have to chime in (I understand this thread is somewhat old, but I didn't wanna create a whole new thread on the same topic) that I believe you should be an admin. I read your response to Kanonkas when he initially asked you over a year ago, and I understand your reasoning. However, every little bit helps. Some days you might feel like working in admin-related areas on Commons, which the tools could help with, and other days you might wish to work in non-admin related areas. I think that you being a sysop would be a complete gain for the project, and I would be willing to nominate you should you be interested in that. Feel free to respond here or on my talk page. :-) Killiondude (talk) 09:31, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

It's beyond time to raise this question again. It doesn't take much to be an Admin, but every little bit helps and you clearly have the skills.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 17:28, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

I second that. Your contributions to deletion discussions are irreplaceable, and admin bit would be useful for you at least for viewing deleted pictures on COM:UDEL. Trycatch (talk) 22:53, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
+1 --Leyo 08:59, 22 June 2011 (UTC)


Could you take a look at Commons talk:Licensing#Floats, and perhaps comment on the separability issue? Many thanks, --MichaelMaggs (talk) 05:41, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Library of Congress[edit]

I just want to thank you for your answer to my question about the Library of Congress. I think I have all ready the definitive answer of the Wiki administrator that deleted the two files because Commons doesn't accept Fair Use. Thank you very much and good luck.--eliasjorge4 (talk) 00:49, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Arilang1234 asking for help[edit]

Hi, I saw your name on Commons talk:Licensing and I thought I drop by and ask you for help. I am new on Commons, somehow I learned how to upload images onto Commons so one things lead to next I have upload quite a few images from Google images. I know there will be copy-right problems, but if I use Photo-shop software to digitally alter them, would I still have copy-right problems? Thank youArilang1234 (talk) 07:45, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Hi, it is me again. I have used template(PD-Art) on some of the images I have uploaded, and user How do you turn this on mentions the copy right issue is unclear because information on author is missing. Could you help me out in this aspect?Arilang1234 (talk) 00:47, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Revisisted deletion debate[edit]

I have taken a second look at two old deletion debates and proposed a solution. You participated in the earlier discussion, and I thought you would like to comment on my proposal.--HoboJones (talk) 19:15, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Communists from the United States[edit]

Hi Clindberg, there are probably some more pics with communists from the US. I have found only one till now (but we are expecting 95000 more - not all are communists :-)): Image:Bundesarchiv Bild 183-Z0414-148, Berlin, David Silberstein, Franz Loeser.jpg. I'm expecting some pics of Paul Robeson and Dean Reed and of some deserted US soldiers. Are American communists relevant? How you would categorize them? Regards Mutter Erde (talk) 18:12, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Lack of Copyright jurisdiction[edit]

I thought I'd just point you to the {{PD-Afghan}} tag for future use, hopefully save you a few headaches. Sherurcij (talk) 21:00, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Old DR needs closing[edit]

Would you like to comment on Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Movie Trailer Screenshot (34).jpg ? --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:28, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks! --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:13, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Building interiors[edit]

Thanks. Assuming there is a solid consensus, is there any place we can get this codified more clearly, so I don't keep having to fight with an admin over it? - Jmabel ! talk 21:02, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for decategorizing File:View of the Yosemite Valley 1865 Thomas Hill.jpg[edit]

I didn't fully read the description. --BrokenSphere 00:03, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Published/not published[edit]

Hi Carl, Lupo and I have a little discussion here: Commons:Deletion requests/File:George Sanders-Debra Paget-Movie Still.jpg. There are some problems, for example Kanonkas, who tried to revert my contributions. So I called for some arguments on Jimbo's talk page. No reaction. This question seems to be hairy stuff. But a decision whether this film still/promo pic/lobby card is in PD or not might concern some more pics? So I beg you for a little statement on this DR. Regards Mutter Erde (more alive as ever) 16:38, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

  • Hi Carl, I have found a proof, that this film still was normally published - even on the Italian poster as here: The problem is: I can't present it on the DR page, because User:MBisanz has locked it and has manipulated my contributions without a note that he was the manipulator. (Here a second manipulation by MBisanz). But I gave Jimbo a note, what kind of admins of shame are around here on commons. If he thinks that this is not his business, then he gets a second, a third note, period and so on. Regards Mutter Erde 11:38, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
    1. On the topic at hand: OK, publishing a derivative work (the painting on that Italian film poster) is also a publication of the underlying base work (the photo), see Harris Custom Builders, Inc. v. Hoffmeyer, 92 F.3d 517 at paragraph 22 (7th Cir. 1996), quoting Nimmer § 4.12[A]. So, what's the effect of the publication of the derivative in Italy (where at least the derivative, if not the photo, is still copyrighted to 70 years p.m.a.) on the status of the U.S. photo in the U.S.?
    2. Mutter Erde, you're technically blocked indefinitely here. (Though you know anyway where to post such that interested parties see your comments :-). Admins are well within their rights if they enforce that block and/or revert your contributions. And bugging Jimbo about it won't change anything. Neither will crusading against admins.
    • Lupo 12:23, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
    1. On the topic at hand: I think, that's good news. So we can concentrate now, who had to renew the copyright. RKO or Warner Brothers?
    2. No No no, Lupo, I do not allow that boys with bad manners or simple fakers are manipulating my contributions without a note. Jimbo seems to have no problem with such people currently, but they will be his problem some day. See also little ABF, abused by Jimbo, only to get rid of Mutter Erde. Whom's reputation do you think will be damaged more on the long run with such dirty stories? Jimbo's or mine? No answer needed. I will take care that Jimbo in future will have a sharper look on what's happening on commons. Commons, a file repository for currently 649 projects, is not Jimbo's Kindergarten. Regards Mutter Erde 19:11, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Capitol Visitor Center[edit]

I wanted to thank you for this. The new SVG logo looks great, and I appreciate you upgrading an article that I spent a lot of time on. If you feel the need to reply, please do so on my Wikipedia talk page. Thanks again! ~ ωαdεstεr16«talkstalk» 09:07, 14 February 2009 (UTC)


Thanks for getting to the bottom of whether this photo could be undeleted.Wikijsmak (talk) 04:40, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Dali image[edit]

Would you like to comment on the de minimis policy? See Commons talk:De minimis/Public scenes. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:25, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

A proposal to relax the rules on fan art[edit]

Hi Carl. I have made a proposal to replace the current policy page on fan art with something more legally correct and I hope useful. Of course the whole area is pretty murky from a copyright point of view, and it's not really possible to do much more than waffle and set out some general principles. I'd really appreciate it if you could help improve the wording. It's at Commons:Fan art/Proposal. Many thanks. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 19:12, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

A talkback of sorts[edit]

I replied to your reply here. Thanks for the help! —Ed 17 (Talk) 15:58, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks again for all of the help you have provided! :) —Ed 17 (Talk) 20:13, 24 March 2009 (UTC)


Do you happen to know of any references that might help me on this, other than the various Lucasfilms cases in the US and UK? --MichaelMaggs (talk) state seals[edit]

As per our conversation at Commons:Deletion requests/U.S. State seals, I reviewed all uses of Template:US state seal and tagged all images from as Template:US state seal from A note has been placed on Template:US state seal telling people not to use the template. Images where the usembassy was overwritten have not been modified.--Svgalbertian (talk) 02:24, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

URAA litigation[edit]

Greetings. Do you know how I can find out more about litigation against the URAA in the U.S.? I saw you mention it on the admin noticeboard, and I'm keen to know more. Quadell (talk) 01:46, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

See URAA and Template talk:Not-PD-US-URAA. Also see Tyler Ochoa's comments. Lupo 06:26, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Re: restored copyrights[edit]

Re Commons:Village pump/Archive/2009Apr#Pre-1923 US-Copyright of foreign works: see [5] and [6]: he now agrees with us. Lupo 19:27, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Ah excellent; thanks for following that up. Good to have confirmation. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:28, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Request for advice[edit]

Hi, I have a question on what country of origin should we assume for a photo when a foreigner goes on tour. Could you advise at Commons:Village pump#British photographer takes photo in Australia—which is the country of origin?? Thank you. Jappalang (talk) 07:49, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Country of origin is the country of first publication (per the Berne Convention). Lupo has that DR covered it looks like. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:00, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

PD review for LORAN coverage charts[edit]

Hi Carl,

I had to submit these two for the reasons I stated at Commons talk:PD files. I am afraid you are the only regular participant in discussions about copyright who follows the principle of common sense and assumes good faith. For whatever reason, Wikimedia Commons is infested by a number of copyright extremists who file a deletion request for any file there is a real or imaginary suspicion. Therefore a PD review, if properly documented, may protect an image in the future, especially if there are no proper source and date notices on it. Regards, Sv1xv (talk) 08:51, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Opt-out discussion[edit]

Hello Clindberg, I am trying to develop a larger consensus around the opt-out issue. Consistent with that, I have started a new section on the talk page and plan to advertise it widely. Your previous comments are linked from that page, but I am mentioning it here in case you want to address the issue directly in the new thread. Apologies, for the duplication of effort, but I think restarting this is more likely to gain participation rather than trying to draw new voices into an thread that had already grown stale. Dragons flight (talk) 00:22, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Heads up on a discussion[edit]

Hi, I have mentioned your opinions at Commons talk:Licensing#Foreign government works and URAA. I am seeking clarification on whether the Treaty does restore/extend the copyrights of foreign government works. Could you weigh in and perhaps clarify your views? Thank you. Jappalang (talk) 03:50, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Policy change?[edit]

Hi Carl, I have asked Lupo, whether commons policy has changed in . But this question was probably to difficult :-)


might be interesting for you. Regards Mutter Erde 00:00, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

You have a thank-you note at here[edit]

Bsl-thank-you.svg--Kiam-shim (talk) 03:51, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Speaking of which, I just wanted to thank you for your constant helpfulness on so many aspects of this project. - Jmabel ! talk 16:22, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

And thank you both for the note of thanks ;-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:24, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Rule of the shorter term[edit]

As a matter of public policy, I think the rule of the shorter term is a bad thing; the copyright holders keep putting pressure on each side to increase their terms so no works from country A are out of copyright in country B just because they're out of copyright in country A. Decoupling the copyright systems helps stop some of the pressure to increase copyright terms. Perhaps this would have been better put on COM:L, but I figured it'd add more noise to a discussion which could little afford it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:08, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, that is an interesting take -- that was partly behind the increase from 75 to 95 years, to increase protections in Europe. So, a short-term solution could be a long-term problem. It also takes a lot of interpretation of foreign law out of it, which is probably why the U.S. has never done it. On the other hand, it was effectively the rule of the shorter term on the URAA date :-) And, there are folks who want copyright to be perpetual, and will keep fighting to make it longer no matter what. The public domain has no lobby who can write campaign donations :-/ Anyways, I've not seen any realistic chance that a change like that would happen (and even if it would, it would *only* apply to URAA restored works, not works created after 1978 -- the U.S. has 70pma terms for those like many other countries.) Maybe for the restored works, they could use the shorter of the old (95 years from publication) or new (70 pma) U.S. copyright styles. But, the law is complicated enough as it is, and that could just make things worse, and I don't think anyone wants to deal with it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:40, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

File:Standard Of The President Of The Unites States Of America.svg[edit]

Do you know what colors are supposed to be used on the shield? I think the blue we have on there is a tad too light. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 17:18, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Executive Order 10860 says "light blue". That was actually a 1945 change from the previous presidential flag. So it's pretty close, I think, but could be a bit darker. File:US-President-Seal.svg is another version, with more faithful outlines I think (but weird stroke widths in that version), and that does have a somewhat darker blue. Though, the colors on this in general seem less vibrant than that one. There is a pretty wide latitude allowed I think. Here is a photo of an actual flag, and it doesn't seem too far off actually. But darker could also be OK. I hadn't actually looked at that aspect much... just kept the same as the original seal version (which is from U.S. Government PDFs). The misspelling of "United" irks me more than anything else ;-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:02, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Ok, the flag image looks fine now with thanks to your links. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 06:16, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I went ahead and darkened it a bit (and also changed the talons to better match the spec). And the file has finally been renamed ;-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:15, 9 October 2009 (UTC)


Hi, I noticed the discussion was archived. I made some changes in the text of the template. I hope you agree. Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 09:34, 20 November 2009 (UTC)


This message was added automatically by Nikbot, if you need some help about it, ask its master (Filnik) or go to the Commons:Help desk. --Filnik 05:19, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Oops. fixed. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:21, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Follow-up question (Australian Historical Mission)[edit]

Thanks for the advice you gave at the Village Pump here. It seems that the David Barker you found is the same at the one who drew the picture I wanted to upload (though I am still not 100% that they are the same, it does appear probable). What I wanted to ask is what happens when you can't find out the year of death of the photographer? The picture I want to upload is this one. It says "One of a series of photographs taken on the Gallipoli Peninsula under the direction of Captain C E W Bean of the Australian Historical Mission, during the months of February and March, 1919." Does that count as a work-for-hire? Was it for the Australian Government? It dates from 1919 and also says "Donated by J Knight". I'm planning to write an article about the Australian Historical Mission (AHM). More information on that can be found here. Another question concerns the photographs taken by the official photographer, Hubert Wilkins. Article on him is here. Any idea what rules apply for his official war photos and his later photos for the AHM? Carcharoth (Commons) (talk) 12:22, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Ugh. Sure seems like that would qualify for Commonwealth Copyright... Per §177, the Commonwealth or a State is the owner of the copyright in an original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work first published in Australia if first published by, or under the direction or control of, the Commonwealth or the State, as the case may be. The description of the mission says Australian governments have commissioned four separate series of official war histories over this period, including the WWI one under discussion. On the other hand the War Memorial explicitly claims copyright in the WWI histories, even though those were published more than 50 years ago and would seem to be PD in Australia now. Maybe they are only claiming copyright to the 1980 editions, which seem to be the ones published on their site -- if there were changes made to the text, that would be reasonable. As for that photograph, it lists as a "Maker" the Australian War Records Section, which was a military unit. Per §180(2), Commonwealth Copyright in photographs made prior to 1969 lasts 50 years from when the photograph was made (§180(c), which changes it to 50 years from publication for photographs, is only for photographs made in 1969 or later per §233). So yes, given that the photo was made in 1919 I think {{PD-Australia}} applies to that photograph as a government work. It is marked as PD on their site as well, and that seems to be the most likely way they would determine that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:11, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
You didn't want to consider Turkish or Ottoman copyright law, if that existed? :-) I'm only half-joking there! But many thanks, once again. I'll wait a bit and when the article is ready I'll check back and then go ahead with uploading the picture. Carcharoth (Commons) (talk) 19:07, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
 :-) Just to respond to the half-serious part of the above: country of origin, per the Berne Convention, is the country where a work was first published regardless of where it was taken or what the nationality of the author is (provided, of course, that that country is a signatory to the Berne Convention, which the Ottoman Empire was not). Someone actually has looked up Ottoman Empire stuff; see Commons:Licensing#Ottoman Empire.


I undid several of your edits because they didn't make sense. Removing the Standards of the US Vice-president and the Governors of the States from the Category Presidential Standards, idk why you did it, but they belong there. Two your your created categories I have makred for deletion because they are superfluous, there is no need for them. I don't see the point in there being a Category called personal flags of the United States, if it only has on flag in it. That flag better belongs in the Category Military Flags of the United states, where all of other Standards of Military Officials are. Your edits in Norway were also pointless, why have Personal Flags of Norway, when that's not what they are. The Rank flags are generic flags used for many men within the Norweigan Forces. The True personal flags are the Royal Standards, and the flags of the Inspectors General of the Forces. They have their own Categories. Fry1989 (talk) 07:51, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

sorry by the way, I didn't mean to sound harsh with using Speedy, but I like to be prompt Fry1989 (talk) 08:06, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree with some of what you're saying. Surely we can come to a concensus. How about we take the Standards of the Vice President and the State Governors out of the Presidential Standards category, but leave them as subcategories inside Standard of the President of the United States. I'll put the Standards for Prime Ministers and Defence Ministers in the Personal Flags Category alongside Heads of State Standards. After that is done, we can add over time other personal flags, such as those of the US military, Norwegian Inspectors General, and other such flags. How does that sound? Fry1989 (talk) 23:30, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I've done some of it as you can see here: and I can work on the personal flags of the US Military shortly if you like what I have done so far. I guess I misunderstood your original intentions, and I apologize for that. I hope we can work together on this in the future :) Fry1989 (talk) 23:41, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

I like your ideas, though I am a bit worried about over-categorization, and making it too complicated. Perhaps for the United States, since they have the most and it would make a good example for others, is to have the category Personal Flags of the United States, then have within it the subcategories for the Air Force, Navy, and Army, as well as the President, VP and Governors Fry1989 (talk) 23:58, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

I can see what you mean about the difference in language between US English and the rest of the world regarding the word "Standard", but in proper vexillogical language, they are standards, and I think we should use that term, for lack of a better one. I would have to debate with you regarding the Naval Jack of Norway, it's not a personal flag or standard, but an additional flag for military vessels, so I don't feel it would also belong in the category Standards of the Norwegian Military. I agree we should set a good rythem for the US ones before we move on to any other countries though. Fry1989 (talk) 03:20, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

That sounds pretty good actually. I have to go to bed pretty soon as I got things to do tomorrow morning, but tomorrow afternoon I have plenty of time and can get right to sorting the personal flags of the US. I'll do subcategories for the different forces, and that sort, should turn out all right. I'll forego the use of the term "standard" for now and use "personal flags", as it seems the most neutral. Thanks mate :D Fry1989 (talk) 06:03, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Sound recordings[edit]

Hi! Regarding our discussion at the Village Pump in January, I've made a proposal here to add a section for US sound recordings to the licensing policy. Any input on the proposal would be welcome. Regards, Jafeluv (talk) 02:10, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Thank youuuuuuu! You explained what I wasn't able to. Thanks a lot for clarifying :) --Sailko (talk) 11:32, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
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Request for you to weigh in on one[edit]

Since I know you tend to be pretty knowledgable on rights issues, and since I may be biased because the photo in question is mine, can I ask you to please weigh in at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Seattle - University Heights School 03.jpg? Thanks. - Jmabel ! talk 00:31, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Limited publication again[edit]

Hi Carl. The "limited publication" thing has re-surfaced. We once went into this at Template talk:PD-US-statue/proposal, now it comes up again at File talk:Mae West LAT.jpg. I'd very much appreciate your opinion there on the issue of "publicity stills" (which are not single frames from a movie or trailer, but separately shot photos).

Open points for me currently:

  • Do we have more court cases on that issue?
  • What were the © notice requirements for photos included in newspapers under the 1909 Copyright Act? Did they need a separate notice, or was a global notice for the whole newspaper as a collective work sufficient, as it is since the 1976 Copyright Act?
  • Can we just presume that photos coming from some newspaper archive that don't bear a visible © notice on the front did not have such a notice when they were given to the newspaper by the film studio? Truly checking for a notice would imply physical access to the newspaper's archive, I guess, since such a notice might also have been on the back, or the version published might have been a crop of a larger image (possibly the case with File:Mae West LAT.jpg; I was able to find a larger, more complete version).
  • If we have a crop like that file and decide it was OK to use, can we extend the reasoning to the larger version from which the crop was made?

Lupo 11:06, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure where to insert comments in that talk page, so I'll reply here :-) Publicity shots would not be covered by a film's copyright; they would have needed their own. Simply distributing those photos to newspapers (regardless of whether they were actually used in the newspapers) would I think constitute general publication; I can't fathom any way that could be claimed limited publication. Only if photos were made and never distributed (certainly possible). The actual copies sent to newspapers would have needed notices I would think -- and if actually put in the newspaper with permission, that should most definitely be general publication.
  • I don't know of any specific court cases on these, unfortunately. s:Gaiman v. McFarlane has a couple of paragraphs which discuss the newspaper's overall copyright, and cite some older court cases which may be relevant, not sure. Basically says that a user should assume a collective copyright covers elements, even if authored by someone else.
  • I don't think the 1976 Copyright Act changed much in this area (collective copyrights) -- I think it was pretty much the same under the 1909 Act. (Though the description of this case may indicate otherwise.) The copyright notice on the newspaper should be assumed to cover everything without a separate notice in the paper itself, other than specifically advertisements (which needed their own notice or were immediately PD). A question came up on letters-to-the-editor type things, and this was pointed out. Without evidence that the original photo print itself was missing a copyright notice, I'm not sure a lack of notice in a newspaper is solely enough to go by. But... there are complications. Circular 3 covers most of this I think; it does say: If the owner of the collective work is not the same as the owner of an individual contribution that does not bear its own notice, the contribution is considered to bear an erroneous notice. I don't think an "erroneous" notice eliminated copyright the way a "defective" notice did; someone just having a copy of the newspaper should probably assume items are copyrighted. On the other hand, that situation is probably very dicy once it comes to renewal -- I'm not sure someone could claim that a renewal of the collective copyright (which has an explicit copyright owner named) can cover items authored by someone else. And if there was no renewal of the collective copyright, I'm not sure at all where that leaves individual works without their own notice. And as noted, lots and lots of newspapers never renewed their copyrights, particularly outside New York. I'm pretty sure the actual copyright owner would have at least had to properly register the separate work on their own at some point -- if that never happened, I would think copyright would lapse 28 years after publication. I believe artwork renewals are now online (not sure how easily searchable they are though), so perhaps soon we can actually start investigating visual arts renewals rather than just assuming copyrighted.
  • Not sure we can, but from reading some internet links (say here), apparently most of them did not have such a notice. Some did though. But maybe for old (i.e. pre-1964) ones, we can look for renewals -- if nothing is found, they are probably fine.
  • A crop would follow the copyright of the original I would think. Either both are copyrighted or neither are. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:23, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
It's clear that such publicity photos are separate works and do not fall under the copyright of the film. I think that was clear to anybody. Anyway, thanks for your answers, which seem to coincide with my thinking. And thanks for this link, looks very useful. Lupo 07:32, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Gaiman vs. McFarlane references Abend vs. MCA, where indeed a copyright notice for the whole collection was deemed sufficient for a single contribution to be considered properly copyrighted. Some follow-up thoughts on File talk:Mae West LAT.jpg. Lupo 08:30, 11 June 2010 (UTC)


Commons:Deletion requests/Star wars logos[edit]

You have usefully participated in the old discussion, could you participate in the new one? Honestly I'm quite afraid that the text only logo (ultra heavily in use) will be deleted without analysis by some admin, who can be impressed by all these delete votes. Trycatch (talk) 20:54, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

De minimis use of book covers[edit]

Carl, I am writing an article on the 6800 microprocessor (1975) and want to show the amount of documentation Motorola provided. Their manuals are copyrighted so I couldn't just stack them up and take a picture showing a front cover. I found a Motorola 6800 document that was public domain so I placed it on top. The edge of the two thick manuals has the title text on the edge. Is File:Mototola M6800 Manuals.jpg OK? It shows less "copyrighted" material than File:Bookcase.jpg. -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 02:49, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't see how it contains *any* copyrightable material at all (if that front sheet is indeed PD; that little graphic background bit at the top would normally be copyrightable I'd think). But basic titles on solid colors wouldn't pass the threshold of originality. If that was all the front cover was, that is fine too. The copyrighted part of the manual would be the text inside, but that's not shown obviously, and that has no relation on the copyrightability of the cover itself (which is a separate graphic work). Carl Lindberg (talk)
Thanks, I didn't think there was a problem. My first interaction with the Commons (July 2007) was when one of my images that was transferred to the Commons got a speedy delete. Commons:Deletion requests/Image:FloppyRom Magazine.jpg. -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 02:26, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Tips on mechanics and kosherness of snagging photos of old book plates[edit]

I don't understand [7] at all; it made more sense to me the first way.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:18, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Whoops, yep, fixed. Thanks. Somehow when I re-read my comment it registered the other way in my mind. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:19, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Your name[edit]

User_talk:Martin_H.#.27stupid_wikilawerying.27...have a look.....Captain......Tälk tö me.. 04:33, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

FBI SVG seal[edit]

nice work, very nice work. Decora (talk) 23:33, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Wasn't my work at all. Just converted from a government PDF. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:33, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Italy off rights transation to US?[edit]

If it's off CR in Italy, will that make it off rights in US, or do we use our 1923 standard? Also, what if it were published in London. (God, I hope not in the U.S.) TCO (talk) 16:44, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

There would be two ways for it to be copyrighted in the U.S. First, if it was published with a copyright notice, and was renewed with the U.S. Copyright Office (i.e. followed all U.S. copyright formalities). In that case, it would still be under copyright regardless of anything else. Obviously, most foreign works did not do this, so most became public domain in the U.S. A few did however so it would be good to see if there was a notice on the copies you got (and if there was, many of the renewals are now online, so we could look. The second way is for copyright to have been restored by the URAA. For something first published 1923 or later in the UK and nowhere else, it would have had its full 95-year U.S. copyright restored, yes. If the song was first published in Italy, then their copyright terms would seem to have made this public domain well before 1996, so the URAA would not have applied to it. If it was simultaneously published (within 30 days of each other) in both the UK and Italy, it gets slightly more interesting, but the URAA in that case specifies the country with the "greatest contacts" to the work (which should definitely be Italy), and as for the country of origin the Berne Convention specifies the country with the shorter copyright term in that case, which would also be Italy. And, if the song was considered published before 1923, the URAA is completely irrelevant anyways. For uploading the actual 1932 sheet music, I would use the 1932 date, but if it looks to have been simultaneously published in Italy then even that publication should be OK in the U.S., by my reckoning. If something was simultaneously published in the U.S. as well, the URAA cannot apply, and we need to look for notice and renewals only. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:00, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks.TCO (talk) 18:22, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

I saw the related discussion on the village pump and wanted to ask you: How did you know that Italy used 50 pma as of the URAA date? Is that information hiding around here somewhere that's easy to reference? VernoWhitney (talk) 22:13, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Mainly by looking at laws you can find online :-) has a huge collection of them... not always everything you need, but it has a lot, including many of the pre-1996 laws. w:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights (referenced in that discussion) pulls together a lot of it, but it's not complete -- many countries only have current licensing terms. But the Italy and France stuff is there, along with a bunch of others. A lot of the links are now dead, though easily fixable -- if they are to a "text_html.jsp" page, it just needs to be changed to "details.jsp" with the rest of the URL the same. I'll get around to fixing them at some point. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:42, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
Ah, thanks. I knew it should've been online somewhere, it's finding it in the first place and then remembering it for later that's trick. Cheers! VernoWhitney (talk) 03:35, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Toros de Osborne[edit]

Reopening Commons:Deletion requests/Toros de Osborne. Salud. --Javier ME (talk) 09:38, 2 April 2011 (UTC)


Original Barnstar.png The Original Barnstar
Thanks for your excellent contribution of State SVG seals, and for trying to help explain copyright to other users. Svgalbertian (talk) 23:07, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

free speech flag[edit]

thank you for your work on Free-speech-flag-ps3.svg Decora (talk) 14:34, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Seal of North Dakota[edit]

You wrongly consented to that file's deletion. While I got it from Vector Images, i altered the file greatly (and I can prove it!), and therefore I hold the rights. The file is now being requested for undeletion here. I don't appreciate this at all, and I will re-upload the file if I have to. I hold the rights and released it as PD. Fry1989 (talk) 19:53, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Answered at the undeletion request. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:55, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Seal of Texas?[edit]

You wouldn't happen to have a PD-USGov version of the Seal of Texas would you? The current version just got deleted due to being a copyvio from Thanks.--Svgalbertian (talk) 23:47, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

I haven't found one -- one of the three missing states. Ugh. Category:State seals of Texas has several derivative works of that deleted one. The original upload of File:Texasstateseal.jpg is OK but not the overwrites. It should be possible to make one though -- that is not a complex seal; we mainly need oak and olive branches. I could also upload a graphic from a 1909 book, which at least would be a PD version, even if bitmap. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:10, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Hm, the Texas PDF from the USGov source (archived here) does at least have a color bitmap. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:15, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Uploaded that one at File:Texas-StateSeal.png. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:46, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
The 1909 one is now at File:Texas-StateSeal-1909Book.jpg. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:56, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
I have created a quick and dirty version of the seal based on the 1909 drawing. See: File:Seal of Texas.svg. Thanks for your help!--Svgalbertian (talk) 14:32, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Cool. In reading more this morning, apparently in the 1950s the usual artwork was corrected to use live oak leaves, not post oak like the 1909 image sort of uses. There is also now "official" artwork dating from 1992 or so. I'm not sure what that means for copyright status of that "official" version. There is a USGov version of a Texas National Guard symbol here which does resemble the official version pretty closely (still a bitmap though). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:48, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
I just wanted to make a version that I know would be safe. Trying to replicate the 1992 version might cause issues as the official version most likely carries copyright.--Svgalbertian (talk) 15:20, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah. We may want a version with leaves closer to the current design, at least. But the graphic you made looks rather good, and should at the very least be kept as a historical version (as I think that was basically the actual seal in use for a long time). Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:29, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Well now, look here. I think that may well be {{PD-EdictGov}}. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:28, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Interesting, although somewhat dubious, I wouldn't contest it (though I am sure others will).--Svgalbertian (talk) 15:44, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Nepal template[edit]

Can you help me make, or just create, a new template {{PD-NepalGov}} based on this discussion and the links I provided there? I looked at some other similar templates but could not figure out how to make it and saw that you had created some I viewed. The base period is 50 years. I have already added a redlink to Commons:Stamps/Public domain templates which is where we need it, though it will be good to to add Nepal to COM:L with full details too. Thanks Ww2censor (talk) 15:11, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Hmm. That seems like a 50 pma country... I do not see separate terms for government works in the law, so I'm not sure there should be a separate tag. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:14, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
The discussion has been archived but the copyright law is on WIPO here and you are correct that it is a 50 year pma country though there is an exception for "work relating to applied art and photographic work" in Chapter 3, Section 14 #5. So what template should we be using? Thanks

Ww2censor (talk) 04:43, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, it looks like they use the Berne minimum protection for photographs. I'm not sure we have a template for that situation, so a new one can make sense -- my point was it should probably just be named PD-Nepal, not PD-NepalGov, as the terms apply to all works there, not just governmental. One thorny little twist is that Nepal uses the Vikram Samvat calendar -- so "year created" etc. goes by those, and copyrights expire at the beginning of those years (mid-April in the Gregorian calendar, though the actual date can shift around by a couple days from year to year). That will make the template more of a challenge. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:24, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
So, can you help make this template as I am completely lost when I look at the file structure of such templates? Perhaps using end-of-April, or latest ever day, would get past any objections and who is really going to object for a few days when there are much worse things going on re serious copyvios. Thanks Ww2censor (talk) 15:25, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/Money of Poland[edit]

I'd appreciate it if you took a look at this -- I'm inclined to "delete" -- but it hasn't had a lot of solid thinking. Thanks,      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 12:22, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

One where you may want to weigh in[edit]

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Judgment Bus New Orleans 2011.jpg. I suspect you will have thoughts on this, and that they will be sounder than mine. - Jmabel ! talk 15:16, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

PD-ineligible ?[edit]

Hi, if you've got time, could you comment on this, thanks :-) --Tony Wills (talk) 11:41, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for that checking, and your comments. --Tony Wills (talk) 21:37, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Run for Admin[edit]

I've raised this before, as have four of our colleagues. Given your knowledge, experience, and ability to stay cool, I think you'd make a perfect Admin.

It need not take much time -- five or ten actions every six months would take five or ten minutes. How many times have you wished you could see an image that was under discussion at Commons:Undeletion requests -- you almost certainly did at Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests#Photographs_of_R._E._by_Dontworry?

I'd be happy to nominate you.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 11:44, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Кашинская_писцовая_книга_л.61.jpg[edit]

I'd be interested in your thoughts here. Thanks,      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 15:40, 1 July 2011 (UTC)


We don't always agree, but I always appreciate your thoughtful comments. Am I off base here? Thanks,      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 11:22, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Help request[edit]

Hi, because of your very helpful and knowledgeable comments over at [8] I've decided to be a bit bold here and ask for a bit of help. Basically I want to upload the first image (maybe the subsequent ones too) from this website [9] under the ({PD-Poland}) license ([10]). It appears to satisfy all three criteria; it is a photograph, the author was Leonard Jabrzemski (this took some searching, particularly since there was another Polish wartime photographer named Jabrzemski), a Pole, and the photo was published in Poland before 1994 (in a 1970 Album - there might have been prior publication in Poland). However, going through the uploading procedures I don't know how to properly indicate the PD-Poland license since that is not one of the options. Do I just add the template after the image has been uploaded, and if so, which option do I choose?

Thanks ahead of time.Volunteer Marek (talk) 09:08, 10 July 2011 (UTC)


User:Fry1989 seems to be obsessed with a "clean" display of categories, and sometimes resorts to dubious measures to obtain this. No matter how many times he is told that categories are comprehensive while galleries are selective, it never changes his behavior... AnonMoos (talk) 04:58, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

I tried; we'll see how it goes. He seemed receptive to today's message. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:24, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

URI or URL[edit]

Hi Carl, I remember from the long & hot disputed DR over Wolfgang Pehlemanns credit requirements and now from this comment, that you are convinced that use of CC-BY-SA-licensed images/works requires only to provide the URI (instead of the URL) to/of the license. However, this opinion has been contested here (in German) by Gnu1742, quite convincingly in my opinion. As I value your expertise in licensing matters as well as Gnu1742's, I would welcome if you could talk to each other some day over this issue. --Túrelio (talk) 08:07, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

The CC license explicitly says URI. But yes, if you define URI as being either a URN or URL, and there is no defined namespace for a license URN (given that those do have an explicit syntax), it may effectively mean a URL. You may be able to argue something like "license:cc-by-sa-3.0" could qualify, as being an invented URI scheme, not sure -- there is no explicit requirement that the URI be a commonly-used scheme. Obviously a URL should be used if possible, but I'm not sure the technical definition (as updated by the various RFCs) is necessarily the same as the legal definition -- I'd find it hard to believe another form would violate the license depending on the medium of use. Even a Creative Commons page gives an example of "Some Other Song” by fourstones, available under a Creative Commons Attribution license as a valid way to credit a song as part of a video, and the FAQ for proper attribution just says Cite the specific CC license the work is under. If you are publishing on the Internet, it is nice if the license citation links to the license on the CC website. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:29, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Commons:National Archives and Records Administration/Error reporting[edit]

By popular demand, error reporting is here! I'm just letting you know personally since you've been involved in one of the threads related to errors encountered in the NARA catalog. If you can add error reports to that page from now on, we'll have an easier time relaying them to the NARA digital description staff, and we'll be able to track our progress. Let me know if you have any problems using the page; I already added one report as an example. Providing corrections for mistakes in the online catalog is one of the best ways we can show demonstrable benefits to the institution, and you'll be helping all the other users of the archives, so it's really useful. Thanks! Dominic (talk) 23:46, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Further question on FoP[edit]

You might remember our discussion at Commons talk:Freedom of panorama/Archive 7#Can some explain "no FOP?". In that discussion we agreed that it was the policy of Commons that an image had to be free both in the country of origin and in the United States, but only the latter applied on the English Wikipedia, so images from countries without FoP such as the UAE were okay to be uploaded there as they would be free in the United States. You reached this conclusion by arguing that the US would apply its own FoP standards even for architecture/artistic works from other countries, which makes sense. However, I am completing a presentation on FoP for Wikimania 2011 and there is one issue with this I have noticed with this - only buildings are covered by FoP in the United States. So if this argument is correct, how can images of sculptures from countries with a near comprehensive FoP such as Germany be free in the United States? Even if they are free in the country of origin (e.g. Germany), they still need to be free in the US too for Commons? Could you clarify this for me please? CT Cooper · talk 11:14, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Copyright of International Organizations[edit]

I am not sure why you are so determined to disregard everything I say as well as disregard the very point of my main argument. Fine. Do as you please. Delete all existing logos ranging from the UN logo to NATO and prevent upload of international organizations whom would have no way to pursue copyright in any way. You are doing commons a great service. Commons as always finds new lows to disappoint me. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 16:31, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Your argument appears to be international organizations cannot own copyright because they are not conceptually located in any particular country -- I tried to show you (not ignoring you) that that logic does not hold up; most countries explicitly grant copyright to those organizations (even in the absence of the Berne Convention) and anyways, protection for Berne countries is based on country of publication -- and those organizations typically do make the actual publications in a particular country. Additionally, Berne by default grants copyright automatically; any special loophole for international organizations would have to be explicit if it exists, as otherwise they are a legal entity just as any other corporation. If I am misunderstanding that argument, please explain it again. There are indeed many ways though that such logos can be kept, and I was arguing why the UN flag/logo should be kept, but instead using my understanding of what copyright law should apply. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:53, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
International organizations unless explicitly stated cannot own copyright. That is why United Nations is in the copyright law as being an exception. Otherwise the mere mention wouldn't be necessary in US Copyright Law. UN is given this privilege to allow it to publish works like post cards or other publications to collect donations for sub-UN bodies like UNESCO by selling such items for profit. The copyright might extend to the UN logo - though I doubt it. International organizations typically are exempt from copyright primarily not to give any single country advantage of another. This is a direct result of extraterritoriality.
Also the copyright of countries do not necessarily match so if we take NATO for example, just the individual main headquarters and agencies are distributed to 5+ countries. Functioning would be difficult if people had copyright issues all the time. Majority of the people working for NATO for instance aren't contract blinded employees but instead citizens of member states who work on a specific office for a limited duration of time tasked by their respective governments. Multiple people of multiple countries work on practically all documents. The work itself often is never "published" outside of the extraterritorial headquarters. Also copyright would prevent member nations from copying the material such as official recordings/transcripts of sessions, logos, flags.
In the case of UN, they have a very special status and really complicates the discussion on "copyright of logos and flags of international organizations in general" unnecessarily. Even so, they specifically requested exception from the US copyright law to allow stuff like works by US federal government employees to remain copyrighted. Likewise they have a less restrictive equivalent for US fair-use (educational use). Their special status may even exempt them from other clauses of fair-use. Since fair-use isn't welcome on commons that is a moot point.
Publication of works (like books postcard and etc) are often neither made for or by international organizations itself. They are instead outsourced outside of the headquarters buildings themselves by registered companies (with some extraterritorial privileges if at all) on behalf of the International Organizations. This is done to circumvent the "loophole" I mentioned. How copyright applies in such cases is beyond what I want to do here on commons so it is also a moot point as far as I care. I am not seeking to find a way to bring official publications to commons through a loophole.
So for logos and flags for organizations like Interpol, African Union, World Trade Organization you'd find that they will be unable to pursue a "copyright" to limit or prevent the use of these logos as a side effect of extraterritoriality which is necessary to allow member states to use such logos and flags.
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 05:04, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
I've never seen it stated that international organizations cannot own copyright. Can you provide some references on that? The UN is probably special as that is closer to a "world government" type of thing, rather than a normal organization. In general, international organizations are treated like legal entities I would think (they are entitled to bring lawsuits, etc., I'm pretty sure), and it would stand to reason they can own copyright just like any other legal entity, particularly under Berne. These organizations certainly all claim copyright. The mention of the UN and OAS is because those are explicit treaty requirements of the respective charters when the U.S. joined them -- I don't think that implies anything for other organizations. On the other hand, I think that does make those organizations subject to the normal notice and renewal laws, and I doubt the URAA helped them, though it might have if a publication can be shown to have been first published elsewhere, though those are probably rare. Also, the U.S. gives protection to *all* unpublished works, regardless of the nationality of the author. So, works are either protected because they are unpublished, or they are published in some country and gets protection based on that. And while the UN HQ has some measure of extraterritoriality, it is still in general subject to U.S. law (any crimes committed on the grounds will go through U.S. courts using U.S. law). I also doubt that many other organizations' HQs have similar status. The US Government employee thing is interesting -- I don't recall a special exemption in US law for that, like there is for the Post Office, but in general I would think at least for the UN works would be deemed works for hire given the explicit bit in U.S. law. That may have implications for USGov employees working for NATO, I guess. But in general, the U.S. will give corporate entities a 95-years-from-publication-or-120-years-from-creation-whichever-is-shorter term, and other countries without an explicit term would give it the anonymous works term (unless an author is identified). But my guess, particularly after Berne, is that international organizations are treated like any other foreign organization, and able to hold copyright. There are good arguments for PD status on the UN logo within the above limits, and NATO too. But many international organizations are closer to private entities in nature, and it feels (to me) as though we need to treat their logos under normal copyright rules -- I really can't see grounds otherwise, unfortunately. It may be difficult to determine a "country of origin" for Commons policy, agreed, but failing that we should probably just follow U.S. law on the matter. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:04, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Do you know what extraterritoriality entails? Yes UN has an EXCEPTION because it explicitly agreed (and perhaps requested since adding it to the law required congress to pass it probably) for it. That is by no means the standard. International organizations cannot function without extraterritoriality. Even so, even if someone is murdered in UN HQ it would require permission for US police to even try to investigate it. You are confusing international organizations is with NGOs.
I have not heard an international organization filing a lawsuit (except UN maybe because of their special agreement). I do not believe such a thing is possible at all unless explicit copyright agreements were reached with a Berne signatory (yes like what UN has with US I know...). Can you cite a single example? I cannot cite something that cannot be done. At best I would find a news article of such an attempt getting rejected but I doubt any international organization tried such a thing because they too know the problems of attempting such a thing.
The legal argument is getting us nowhere. You will never agree to my point unless I cite you a legal document or law explicitly giving exemption to copyright - I cannot provide that since my argument is that such a thing isn't even needed. And I will not agree with your standpoint where you are essentially downgrading international organizations to NGOs.
Why are we able to host flags and coat of arms of countries on Commons? Do we have evidence that these are freely licensed? How is this any different from International Organizations.
Also on an unrelated note, why do you not have a userpage?
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 16:45, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
I just don't think that this type of extraterritoriality, to the extent it exists, has any real effect on copyrightability. In the UN case, that is more for the physical headquarters anyways. You'd think that fact (automatic ineligibility for copyright for international organizations) would be mentioned somewhere. Part of the original UN treaty was to make sure they were allowed copyright (remember they predated the UCC, and the US was not a member of Berne then, so it was probably necessary). So yes, every UN country has to allow them copyright. From what I have seen, every single one of these international organizations claim copyright, and I fail to see how U.S. law exempts them -- really, under Berne, everything is copyrighted unless there is an explicit exception from what I see. The EU has specific copyright claims (including the design of the euro), as does NATO, etc., etc. Organizations like the Olympics, Doctors Without Frontiers, etc. are NGOs really as well. While many of these organizations are typically exempt from criminal law (mentioned e.g. in this article) I don't think they are exempt from civil law, which is usually where copyright lies anyways. I guess this isn't going anywhere, if you believe their status means they can't copyright anything (wouldn't that also mean that nobody could sue them, because there would be no country to sue them in?). I most certainly do not, and have never seen any indication for that to be true. All of these organizations clearly own U.S. trademarks on a great many logos (e.g. here); I can't fathom how they would be allowed to own a trademark but not a copyright. Several of them do have per-country organizations (such as the USOC or the American Red Cross) which makes that kind of thing easier, but those administer material really owned by the international organizations as far as I can tell. There is nothing in the wording of U.S. copyright law which would indicate to me that these organizations cannot claim copyright -- merely simultaneously publishing a work in at least one Berne or UCC country would do it, so far as I can tell. 17 U.S.C. 104 doesn't leave much room for other interpretations, to me.
As far as countries go, the U.S. does not recognize copyright in the content of law or other legal edicts (be it in the U.S. or elsewhere) -- that has been the subject of several court cases, and does not apply to most works of governments. That may apply in some cases for EU directives, or WTO decisions, or that kind of thing where there is a real legal effect, but definitely not all works, and it is a very specific exemption to copyright law. Flags and coats of arms are typically defined in such laws however. The UN does disclaim copyright in certain types of its documents, and arguments can definitely be made that they lost copyright control over the symbol a long time ago. Also, read Commons:Coats of Arms -- there is generally not a copyright in the idea of the design, only in the actual artistic representation, so individual artists (whether they are employed by a government or not) can hold copyright over specific representations. The same often goes for flags; the general design is not a subject for copyright when it comes to arms and flags. For example, the contributors to Flags of the World should own the copyright on the bitmap images they submit, unless they are too simple for copyright to exist. We therefore do not allow people to just take images of arms or flags off of external websites -- the ones we have are generally actually drawn by wikipedia contributors, or are from other open source art collections. Sometimes similar logic can apply for international organizations, absolutely. It gets dicier in the case of logos, without any written description or specification. There are also cases like the WTO logo, which was made by a Singaporean and the copyright was later transferred to the organization... it can get difficult. But I try to limit arguments to well-known concepts of copyright law... your claim of extraterritoriality essentially defeating copyright claims simply does not ring true to me at all. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:03, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
I really think we should agree to disagree on the entire debate. I will say something and you will find it insufficient and likewise it is the same for me.
So why is it that African Union logo/flag isn't allowed on commons then?
Also please carry the conversation to both talk pages.
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 17:16, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I know nothing of the subject (good way to start any contribution ;-), and I don't really understand the ways in which organisations or other 'legal people' (who are not actual people) own copyright, other than it being transfered from the people who actually (creatively) create it. But my point is (I got here eventually), if a body (super-national or not) was deemed to not be able to hold copyright, then that just means that the creator(s) of the item still does? No? --Tony Wills (talk) 11:35, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Freedom of panorama and Wikimedia Commons presentation[edit]

Since your advice was very helpful for producing it, I thought I should let you know I have uploaded my presentation at File:Freedom of panorama and Wikimedia Commons.pdf after presenting it at Wikimania 2011 a week ago. The presentation itself was video recorded, but that is not yet available. CT Cooper · talk 21:28, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

License change[edit]

You might add your expertise/opinion here. --Túrelio (talk) 20:31, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-PhilippineGov[edit]


I'd appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks,      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 16:12, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

The Guidance Barnstar[edit]

Compass barnstar.png The Guidance Barnstar
... for your help others to locate valuable resources, information such as [11]. --Snek01 (talk) 23:32, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Query on Wikiwatcher1's Stanley Kubrick photoes[edit]

For non-free images on Wikipedia, the deadline for resolving deletion disputes is 7 days. When (more or less) will we resolve the Stanley Kubrick photos that User:Wikiwatcher1 uploaded here to commons. As one of the chief custodians (on a de facto basis) of the Kubrick article, I would like to know.--WickerGuy (talk) 17:22, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

And also, can you give a succinct summary of the copyright status of a book that has a collection of photos of which some lack individual copyright status? Regards,--WickerGuy (talk) 17:22, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Deletion requests should usually go for at least seven days, but there is no deadline. Once admins think there is no new information coming, they will make their best judgement. That often happens after seven days but if there is continued debate, or a decision is hard, it could stay open for a long while.
As for the general question, being in a book changes nothing about their copyright status (unless the book itself has no copyright notice). It's not evidence for anything by itself, though of course the book could contain provenance information which can help. To be public domain, a work needed to have been published without a copyright notice -- we'd need at least a solid indication that both publishing happened, and that no copyright notice was present when it did. Publishing in a book guarantees the first one, but also means the latter part is hardly ever the case (and even more than that, the book would normally get registered with the Copyright Office, which triggers a couple more things, including much higher penalties for infringement and also meaning it's a lot more likely to survive a PD-US-no_notice claim -- the 1976 Act allowed a registration to counteract a publication without notice in some circumstances).
For File:Kubrick-Shining-Nicholson.jpg, I personally think there should be no hope, as while it was published in a book, there is no evidence of publication without copyright notice, and being a 1980 photo it would not need to be renewed (and also got the more lenient rules of the 1976 Copyright Act -- it was harder to prove PD status after that). There is no indication whatsoever it was published separately from what I see. It seems like a photo the studio had on hand, and made available to the book author, and that would be that -- it's copyrighted until 2076 or so. Back in the 40s and 50s, it was apparently common for movie studios to distribute head shots of actors and actresses by themselves, which would be publication and if there was no notice on them, copyright was lost, so some of the other photos seem like they have a better chance of staying. But that does not mean that every photo owned by a movie studio can use the same logic for public domain status. File:Kubrick-Lyndon.jpg looks to be in a similar situation. File:Kubrick-Fear-LoBrutto.jpg... not as sure, but no evidence for separate distribution outside the book has been offered up. If the only evidence is being in a book with no copyright notice, that is not evidence at all unfortunately. If some of those photos have no other source information, that may mean you could contact the book authors and try to get permission that way... but failing something like that, it looks to me as though most of the images in the Kubrick article are in jeopardy. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:52, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
That is very useful. Thank you.--WickerGuy (talk) 20:57, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind chiming in, since although the logic and conclusions by CL are reasonable, some of the premises they're based on are less so. But this subject has now been discussed in a number of places in the Commons during the past few weeks, so I'm not sure where to comment. Should this topic be discussed in a more open forum, rather than the more private user talk? There are clearly some facts not mentioned that imply opposite conclusions than the ones CL arrives at.--Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 18:41, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
I was trying to get a succinct summary of the discussion so far based on what was mentioned in other places, so best to take new points elsewhere, IMO.--WickerGuy (talk) 23:57, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Reply to your comment at UDR[edit]

Hi Carl, in reply to this: I did not personally attack Jcb. I did just comment on his admin activity - and the stuff which is going on here recently really annoys me. And what is the cause? These admin actions at the end because another file got deleted. He got the message. Yes, I know, not by using the best way - sorry for this. I really try to avoid it, I do not like it, I do not like what is happening with our beloved Commons and that we all are wasting our time here. Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 01:47, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, not awful, but... it was beginning to border on personal, to me ;-) The "admin from 2005" bit, and the barnstar most of all. Born out of frustration, yes, legitimate issue, yes, but it felt like the criticism was veering into areas which threatened to derail the main point, that's all -- seemed to me the line had been crossed a little bit, that's all. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:42, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Carl - appreciate your comments. I am not sure if the "Wikipedia admin of 2005" was understood in the way I meant it. I wanted to refer to those times when disk space was short (or thought to be short) and unused pictures were deleted (also from disk). Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 15:51, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:水は方園の器に.jpg[edit]

A question that may interest you.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 15:29, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

The Commons Barnstar[edit]

Commons Barnstar Hires.png The Commons Barnstar
... for your knowledgeable, balanced and dedicated support in many cases dealing with difficult copyright issues e.g. undeletion discussion about File:EveMillerInKansasPacific1.png. Groetjes -- Neozoon (talk) 20:40, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Question: Copyvio Tags[edit]

Newbie (me) wants to know if simply tagging an image in Commons as a speedy delete and/or copyvio with a reason is all that's required to get the ball rolling for it to be reviewed by an Admin for deletion. Is there a Bot that picks up the tags, or should editors post the deletion request somewhere else?Atsme (talk) 15:39, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Speedy tags put them in a category which admins will go through. See Commons:Deletion policy, and Commons:Deletion requests/Speedy deletion for a bit more on how to do it. Those are reserved for obvious cases though. If there is any possibility of debate, it is better to put up a regular deletion request. That can be done wit the "Nominate for deletion" link on the file pages. That especially goes if you are challenging long-standing practice like Commons:Stamps/Public_domain#Moldova. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:00, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

25-year typographical arrangement copyright[edit]

Hi Clindberg, if you have the time, could you elaborate a little bit more about the "25-year typographical arrangement copyright", which you mentioned in the now archived Commons:Undeletion_requests/Archive UR discussion about the 3 Atheist campaign tube images, at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Atheist campaign tube3.jpg, which I have re-opened just to check/discuss for this aspect. Thanks. --Túrelio (talk) 06:35, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:"Appreciate America. Come On Gang. All Out for Uncle Sam" (Mickey Mouse)" - NARA - 513869 - cropped and tidied.png[edit]

Would you take a look at this please? -- I opened it mostly based on your comments at Commons:Deletion requests/File:"Appreciate America. Come On Gang. All Out for Uncle Sam" (Mickey Mouse)" - NARA - 513869.tif. I think I understand the issues, but maybe you can explain it better than I. Thanks,      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 15:07, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

Hey Carl, could you please comment on round 2. I still have substantial concerns about this image. Thanks! Kaldari (talk) 18:54, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Your opinion please[edit]


I have found you to be able to make particularly wise and well-informed comments on liscensing issues.

Do you weigh in on liscensing issues on images on the English language wikipedia?

I came across this image -- w:File:Obaidullah photo.PDF -- which had questionable and contradictory liscensing. I tried to draft a fair use rationale that would start to bring it into compliance. I also initiated a discussion of the image at Wikipedia:Non-free content review#File:Obaidullah photo.PDF

Another contributor removed the purpose field from that attempt I had made to draft a compliant fair use rationale, and nominated the file for deletion at Wikipedia:Files for deletion/2011 October 23#File:Obaidullah photo.PDF

I know that if a source can't be found the image can't be kept. If a source can be found however, the original photographer would either be his original Afghan friends, family or neighbours, or Afghan security officials, or American security officials. Can you remind me of your opinion of the IP status of unpublished images taken by Afghan citizens, in Afghanistan?

It is my opinion that my challenger lapsed by:

  1. Initiating a deletion discussion when I had already initiated a review discusion;
  2. Not informing those participating in the review discussion that they had initiated a deletion discussion;
  3. Their decision to excise the key field from the fair use rationale rather than state they disagreed with it;
  4. I also think it was intemperate to call my initial draft a "rant" -- FWIW.

I'd be grateful if you would offer your opinion on the copyright status of unpublished Afghan images, either here, or there.

Thanks! Geo Swan (talk) 17:06, 24 October 2011 (UTC)


If you're up for the task, I think this template could use a rewrite. The cited source is a dead link, and the text itself doesn't really seem completely accurate even to a copyright novice like me. I thought it would mention that the work has differing copyright states based on jurisdiction and explain the difference between the English Wikipedia and Commons regarding country of origin, but instead the template seems to take the US point of view, stating unequivocally that the work " considered public domain because..." I expected this to be much more carefully written than it is. Dominic (talk) 15:55, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

That template is on the English Wikipedia only; indeed there are different situations in different jurisdictions, but en-wiki is typically only concerned with U.S. copyright law so other aspects are not really mentioned. It probably should have a note to not move such images to Commons though. The situation with seized WWII material is very complicated, but there was the court case which basically explicitly ruled they were PD (there is a special exemption of the URAA which did not restore some such copyrights) so there is little doubt of that status in the U.S. (and also little doubt in Germany -- they are 70 pma there). With dead links, you can always look at the Internet Archive to see if there are old versions -- in this case there is, here. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:31, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Corrections to Indian or Inuit image descriptions[edit]

You mentioned on Dominick'c talk page that you have found more errors in these uploads. Are you maintaining an errata list, or is someone? the lists on Dominick's talk page appear static. I've found a couple more switches, which you may already know about.

File:Buffalo dance of the Mandans, 1833 - 1834 - NARA - 530978.jpg‎
switched with File:Medicine Man Charlie Turquoise (third from right) leads a group of Navajo dancers, Fort Wingate, New Mexico, 1941 - NARA - 531134.jpg

Buffalo Dance of the Mandans is a pretty famous image and we already have several other versions. I'd like to know more about the origin of the NARA B&W versions of Bodmer's works.

File:Great Camp of the Piekanns near Fort McKenzie, Montana, 1833 - NARA - 530976.jpg‎ switched with
File:Bird's eye view of Sioux camp at Pine Ridge, South Dakota, 11-28-1890 - NARA - 530802.tif

I put the Select List urls on the pages (except the last). I will file renames on these within the next couple days. If you have more, I could do some more. Dankarl (talk) 14:55, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

There are a couple more referenced in Commons:National_Archives_and_Records_Administration/Error_reporting, particularly one at the bottom. My guess is that if we go through the entire select list, a majority of them would have a problem. It would seem that the program adding the ARC records had an issue with the images, and was often off by one, often in whole blocks. If you don't want to move images around (cleanest in some ways, but those are huge files we would be duplicating) then maybe completely swapping descriptions is the better way to go -- including retaining the NARA-image-full template, and pointing to the ARC record which has the correct description (or at least noting the two ARC records, one with the description, and one with the image). I don't like removing all the relevant information and pointers, the way it was done with File:An Uainuint Paiute aiming a rifle, southwestern Utah - NARA.tif. It's a simple image swap issue at NARA; the ARC record with the correct description would have all the correct source info I'd think. That one should be pointing to ARC record 517730, as that has the correct information on the image, except that the Digital Image with it is wrong -- that record provides far more information about it than the select list page does. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:28, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm coming around to Dominic's opinion that simply keeping the names the same, and just uploading the correct image for that name, is the easiest approach, and doesn't have to involve anyone else. Dominic's bot could probably handle things itself if NARA would fix their records, but obviously we can't rely on any sort of a timeframe for that. Is there a way to purge the bad revisions later, which could free up disk space? Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:59, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Carl - Thanks for the pointer to the errata page.
I don't intend to leave the NARA descriptions off forever, but to put them up in an interim basis implies, to me, a degree of "officialness" and confidence that I am not ready to ascribe to either my fixes or the original uploads. Also the Select List descriptions sometimes have the photographer and/or location when ARC does not. We'll get all these fixed eventually but I don't want to propagate errors so I'm putting up only what I know. See also my response on Dominick's page. Dankarl (talk) 23:06, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
From what I've seen, the ARC record seems to have everything (sometimes you need to look in one of the other tabs, or the info is just in the title, the group record, or something like that). I think they even reference the Select List number (this one certainly does). But, nothing wrong adding a link to the Select List either. Leaving off the NARA descriptions means that likely we will forget to re-add them someday, which would just make this situation worse than it already is. I think the quickest solution is to simply upload the correct image associated with the description and ARC number, so it is all consistent. That will not risk messing anything up, I don't think, and can be done by us without waiting for NARA and any automated solution. I have not come across any ARC record which was internally inconsistent, other than having the wrong "Digital Copy" associated with it, so I think I'd prefer to just fix them along those lines -- fix the image and not the description, which is otherwise correct  :-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:24, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Take for instance ARC 531119 "Eskimo dance orchestra, including..." The Select List entry has the photographer listed as Stanley Morgan, while ARC has "Author unknown or not provided" (in the template as uploaded ) and I can't see anything to the contrary on any tab of the ARC page I get by clicking the number 531119 in the template display. If I've missed a whole section please provide both a url and instructions how to find the next one.
I'm willing to put the templates back in after a little checking, but I've got some questions. I'll post them to Dominick's page, since that's where people will look first. Dankarl (talk) 02:19, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Hm, that is interesting. It's possible, reading this, that Stanley Morgan was the only Signal Corps person at Point Barrow, so it could be deduced that way -- the Select List pages list him as the photographer for several of those photos. (Morgan seems to have been the person to first reach the crash site where Will Rogers died.) But, that information never made it back to the ARC records, it would seem. The UMIACS page on it doesn't seem to have an author either. The images do have a Signal Corps Identification Number on them... I wonder if there was some corresponding documentation there. Anyways, interesting. May as well add that (the "Unknown or not provided" means the parameter in the template was blank). Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:07, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Interesting article Dankarl (talk) 14:13, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
There are no pending renames. The four switched files I listed above are the only ones I know about that do not appear in one of the errata lists. I'll update Dominick's page with a list of the renames I put through Dankarl (talk) 20:10, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
BTW the first pair above, and wrong image for 530976 also appear in the errata page.Dankarl (talk) 20:31, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
So did you get a chance to try any uploads? Dankarl (talk) 22:47, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Not just yet -- Dominic indicated many have been fixed at NARA but not yet updated. A few things came up in personal life too. Still, I'll have a go at the four images you have noted above tonight. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:25, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Okay, done those. The TIFs are only 5-7MB (I wast thinking more like 70) so this really isn't a big deal at all. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:29, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

PD in Israel, but not outside?[edit]

Hi Clindberg, in case you are interested, your comment in Commons:Deletion requests/File:Beit Alpha 1933.jpg might be welcome. --Túrelio (talk) 11:01, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

(un)deletion of some of our files[edit]

Many thanks for your help and suggestions. We will proceed accordingly. With best, ESDC Secretariat

Some sculptures[edit]

Base on some remarks you made recently, I was wondering whether these photos of mine might be usable on Commons: They are post-1923, but pre-1978; I doubt there was any proper copyright, but wouldn't know where to begin to work it out. - Jmabel ! talk 22:34, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Benjamin Haldane and other known photographers in the Wellcome collection (NARA)[edit]

I was wondering what license to use for these. They clearly are not government works. A few may have been distributed widely enough at the time they were made to constitute publication, and the Josiah Guthrie portraits may nave been works for hire. In most cases they were private portraits and there is no indication Wellcome got anything more than a copy. Haldane died in 1941 so they could be PD-old (or be so in a month - how do you count?) but there is that nasty 1989-2002 period when publication would extend the copyright. If I understand the timing, NARA got the images in 1961. Do we know when they started distributing the digital files? What date counts? see category Benjamin Alfred Haldane and [12]. Dankarl (talk) 02:32, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Commons:Village pump/Copyright#Generic questions, using Kroger as an example[edit]

Thanks for the info, Carl Lindberg!

I've never posted in Commons, so I'm not sure of the protocol. Should I have posted a brand new question? Also, I couldn't find a Talkback type template that worked right...

Could you please look back at Commons:Village pump/Copyright#Generic questions, using Kroger as an example? I'll have a followup about another Kroger logo, but the Ford examples I cite might influence my understanding.

If I don't respond right away it's because I may be off Wiki for the next few weeks due to holiday functions. Thanks again! --Chaswmsday (talk) 00:03, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

U know ur stuff well![edit]

Carl - Thanks for the paragraph on why anonymous people can be involved it copyrights. Very good! Your discussion needs to be saved so it isn't just archived into nowhere. Is there an appropriate place for such things? Doug youvan (talk) 14:19, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

+1 Rd232 (talk) 09:36, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Discussion moved[edit]

A discussion you were involved in has been moved to Commons:Village pump/Copyright. Please continue the discussion there. Thank you. Rd232 (talk) 09:35, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

File:Occidental Avenue South (Seattle, Washington).jpg[edit]

Could I ask you to look in at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Occidental Avenue South (Seattle, Washington).jpg? You usually are sharper on borderline copyright cases than I am, and I don't really want to keep arguing with two people who are becoming increasingly personal about it, since I really have nothing further substantive to add. - Jmabel ! talk 18:51, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

A couple more switches[edit]

I have identified a couple more photo switches; these apply also to the respective TIFs. I wonder if you could upload the correct versions?

These are currently catagorized according to the (incorrect) image, not the description. Thanks, Dankarl (talk) 19:21, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Done. In the future, you might report them at Commons:National Archives and Records Administration/Error reporting first (I've done that for these), then just let me know. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:34, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. Will do. Dankarl (talk) 20:48, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

3D artwork in a public place[edit]

Hi. :) Since you took part in this conversation, I just wanted to let you know that the legal team has been looking into this question. One of the legal interns has posted some thoughts on the matter at the village pump. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 19:52, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

The content now lives at Commons:Public art and copyrights in the US. Kaldari (talk) 08:46, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
As somebody else said at the village pump: nice to see that this essentially confirms our understanding. I might add that the latter is essentially based on the discussions at Template talk:PD-US-statue/proposal some three years ago. It's reassuring to see that the new Commons:Public art and copyrights in the US seems to agree with the tentative table there. Lupo 11:12, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

COM:TOO example[edit]

Hi Carl, File:Hercules 1998 Intertitle.png is listed at COM:TOO as an example, but the discussion at Commons:Village_pump/Copyright/Archive/2011/07#File:Hercules_1998_Intertitle.png suggests it should be proposed for deletion again because of the background complexity. Would you do that, if you agree? Rd232 (talk) 13:52, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Request for help[edit]

Hello Clindberg! User:Túrelio recommended you as the undisputed copyright guru, so I've come to you for a somewhat complicated copyright question. I've recently submitted an image for deletion (Commons:Deletion requests/File:Fort Lachine.jpg) and was hoping you could provide some input. When I originally uploaded the image, I thought it was published before 1923 and in the public domain in the US. However, with a little more research and help from other Commons editors, it was discovered that the image came from a book that was published in Belgium in 1927 (I don't believe it was ever copyrighted in the US). Since then, I've become concerned that the image isn't in the public domain in the US because its copyright was restored by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. After reading this table (under Works Published Abroad Before 1978) on the Cornell University website, the book from which the Fort Lachine image was taken would fall under the following category: "Solely published abroad, without compliance with US formalities or republication in the US, and not in the public domain in its home country as of 1 January 1996" for material published 1923 through 1977. Therefore, the US copyright would expire 95 years after initial publication. The book was published in 1927, so it appears to be under copyright in the US until 2022. This is in agreement with Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights and the current Commons license tags for non-US works. Therefore, I suspect that the image should be tagged with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} and deleted. If you have time, could you please provide your opinion on this matter. Kindest regards, --AlphaEta (talk) 14:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Use of the image[edit]

Hello, Clindberg!

User:Jmabel advised to address to you. I placed an emblem of the Wiki any doubts about the possibility of its use. On the one hand, according to Russian law national symbols freely used. But can I use a particular image it conveyed to me in the city administration. Regards, Yuri We are talking about this file:

with respect, yuri

--Юрген1986 (talk) 20:29, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:The Lost Prince.djvu[edit]

The work was speedily deleted after the enWS contributor believed that the images are copyright (presumably based on UK copyright thoughts). It is a US work and we need to chase it down through there and if you are able to assist that would be great, or at least some of your informed opinion would be great.  — billinghurst sDrewth 00:08, 20 January 2012 (UTC)


Thanks for your help with this. Because it was closed rather quickly, I left a note at User_talk:Davodd#Commons:Undeletion_requests:Current_requests/File:Churubusco_map.png.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 02:15, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Trying to understand the application of URAA: a concrete example[edit]

You seem to have a good understanding of many of the nuances of copyright and the URAA. I am trying to ensure I understand it, and I have a specific example (which is not hypothetical; we have Commons images, which I tagged as Not-PD-US-URAA based on my understanding at the time). The Rite of Spring, by Igor Stravinsky, was first published in an arrangement for piano four-hands in 1913, I believe in France (Stravinsky lived in Switzerland at the time, but most of his commercial activity was taking place in France). For the sake of current argument, let's assume it was published in France, and let's also just look at this version and ignore the fact that the full orchestral arrangement wasn't published until 1921, though I think the end result is very similar if we assume Switzerland and/or count from the 1921 publication. Stravinsky died in 1971. It appears to me that France's rule is, and has been for some time, 70 years pma. Time is added to the duration (now only for musical works, but that's what this is) for each of the World Wars, but for the sake of simplicity for the moment I will ignore that. It appears that The Rite of Spring (and Stravinsky's other compositions that were first published in France) remains under copyright in France for several more decades (January 1, 2042, plus the extra time for each war). Since it was under copyright in the origin nation as of the restoration date, it would have been eligible to have its copyright restored under URAA. However, you commented that the URAA restored works to what their copyright status would have been if they had been first published in the US, correctly registered, and correctly renewed. If I understand correctly, a work such as The Rite of Spring would remain PD-1923 in the US (but of course still copyrighted in France) despite URAA. Did I get that right, or am I misapplying some aspect? Thanks for you help, cmadler (talk) 07:02, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

That's correct. Something published in 1913 would have become PD in the U.S. on Jan 1, 1989 if it had correctly followed all formalities, so the restoration had no effect. For something published in 1921, it actually would have been restored with a 75-years-from-publication term, and its U.S. copyright was valid throughout 1996. However, its U.S. copyright expired again on January 1, 1997. Stuff published in 1922 (in the U.S. or elsewhere) expired on January 1, 1998, as normal. During the year in 1998, the U.S. extended terms to 95 years from publication, so there is a 20-year freeze of copyright expirations in the U.S. On January 1, 2019, works published in 1923 are scheduled to expire. But yes, anything published before 1923 is still PD in the U.S., regardless of the URAA. Stravinsky's copyright in France will last a good long time, as you say. Something published in 1913 would get the extension of both wars, something published in 1921 would just get the WWII extension. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:21, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

URAA and French works[edit]

Hello, I am having a new doubt. Please see what I wrote here. Teofilo (talk) 15:39, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Works of Maurice Ravel[edit]

Hi Carl, FYI Hsarrazin is a French jurist specialized in documentation. If there is someone who knows how French copyright works, it is certainly her. Regards, Yann (talk) 20:30, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Message tied up in Ribbon.jpg Hello, Clindberg. You have new messages at Commons_talk:Licensing#Romania_-_extension_of_copyright.
You may remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

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Hello, there is an unanswered copyright issue at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Eurovision Song Contest 2012 logo.svg, and since you have a strong familiarity with copyright law, I thought I would ask you for your input. We have established that File:Eurovision Song Contest 2012 logo.svg is PD in the US, but the question remains outstanding on what about the country of origin? Could you please help determine the country of origin (is it Switzerland?), and provide some information on whether the threshold of originality in that country is higher than the complexity of this logo? Many thanks in advance. CT Cooper · talk 10:14, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Admin Question, again[edit]

I think your last word on the subject was User_talk:Kanonkas/Archive_2#Adminship, where you basically said that you didn't want to make the commitment. Normally I would honor that and go away and shut up -- I try to recruit active Admins, not people who won't help with our growing backlogs.

I think, though, that you are a special case. Today, for the nth time, you said in an Undeletion Request, "I can't see the [image], so can't directly comment -- but...." Your knowledge of the law and ability to put it in simple words is so valuable to Commons that it would be boon to us all if you would become an Admin and be able to see images when commenting in a UnDR. I would be delighted to nominate you on that basis -- that you might use the tool only when you needed to see an image in order to comment fully on it. While you would have to do five Admin actions every six months to keep the tool, that doesn't need to take more than five minutes if you pick off five non-controversial items from any daily log. Please consider it.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 14:46, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

+1 I would like to endorse Jameslwoodward's excellent suggestion. --AFBorchert (talk) 16:01, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
I would also like to second Jim. I am sure you would be highly accepted as an admin, even if you would not “actively” use the tools. --Leyo 16:33, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
My opinion remains the same :) Kanonkas // talk // e-mail // 20:07, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Likewise, I steadfastly believe you'd make a good admin. Killiondude (talk) 08:54, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Personally, I'd be willing to consider a CLindberg user group, with the relevant viewdelete user rights... ;) Failing that, perhaps we could figure out an RFA predicated on an automatic desysop arrangement which kicks in if you exceed, say, 10 admin actions per quarter... :0 Well, perhaps we shouldn't try to press-gang you into something you don't want. Rd232 (talk) 18:33, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Czar Admin - Your contributions to our recent very complex discussions are excellent. Are you a copyright attorney? Doug youvan (talk) 00:52, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I'd also encourage you to accept adminship. I was also more dragged into it than not, but I do find that some of the tools are quite useful. - Jmabel ! talk 05:04, 8 February 2012 (UTC)


Thanks for the work on Template:PD-Romania. Maybe you wish to clarify its specific usage at Commons:Copyright tags#Romania. Best regards.--Codrin.B (talk) 20:06, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

There is a fair amount of overlap between {{PD-Romania}}, {{PD-RO-photo}}, and {{PD-RO-1956}}. Not sure we need all three tags. Anyways, I made a note about using PD-Romania for works where the author died before 1946, as that is the most common situation, and that case is not covered by the latter two. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:20, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
That's what I felt too, as it seems a little confusing. Thanks for clarifying. We need some lawyers for this ;-) --Codrin.B (talk) 20:41, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
BTW, not sure if you seen this Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Images from the Romanian Communism Online Photo Collection.--Codrin.B (talk) 21:06, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Village Pump[edit]


I just added this: From User_talk:Kraaiennest / Crowsnest: "Dear Doug Youvan, I do not intent to make the code available, since it is (in part) the property of others." Doug youvan (talk) 16:05, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

It does not appear that we are arriving at a consensus. Could you comment on the Pump as to what the quote (given above) implies for our discussion, please? Doug youvan (talk) 18:40, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

I think I understood your last comment. Very good. I reduced it to one sentence and asked you a yes / no question. Please help again. Thank you. Doug youvan (talk) 00:47, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Copyright on photograph by an Italian author[edit]

Could you take a look at Commons:Valued image candidates/Charles Lucky Luciano.jpg and weigh in or let me know what you think about the copyright issue raised? I know there's been a fair amount of discussion about {{PD-Italy}}, but it all seemed to have to do with works that were first published in Italy, while here an editor is asserting that this law applies to "all works of Italian authors, wherever first published." Thanks, cmadler (talk) 11:32, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Thank you![edit]

... for the new insights that you gave me on the reasons some of the copyright laws are formulated one way or another. While I knew the letter of the Romanian laws and I've read some things about the international IP treaties, both at commons and elsewhere, there were some things that seemed quite strange to me. In the discussions we had about RO copyright laws you managed to clarify some of the reasoning behind the laws for me.--Strainu (talk) 11:21, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Template:Walters Art Museum license/en[edit]

Carl, Could you have a look at Template:Walters Art Museum license/en? We are preparing upload of 20k+ images and would prefer to make sure all the licenses are proper before the upload. Please reply at Template talk:Walters Art Museum license. --Jarekt (talk) 13:55, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

No panoramafreiheit in France: possible copyvio[edit]

I wanted to get your opinion before I go off nominating most of Category:Galeries Lafayette (Paris) for deletion (all except subcats Category:Views from the Galeries Lafayette (Paris) and Category:Spice display - Galeries Lafayette (Paris)). My understanding is that there is no freedom of panorama in France, and buildings are under copyright for 70 years pma (which extends 70 years from the death of the last survivor in the case of multi-author works). From what I can find, this building was designed by Georges Chedanne and Ferdinand Chanut; Chedanne died in 1940, and Chanut in 1961, so the building itself is under copyright until 2032 (70 years pma). For the night images, there's an additional issue of the lighting display; if the creator of the display lived beyond 1942 -- I'm guessing the display wasn't even created until at least the 1960s -- that is also still under copyright. Am I right that these should be deleted from Commons, or is there another consideration I'm missing? Thanks, cmadler (talk) 17:20, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

DR redux[edit]

I would be interested in your response at User talk:MBisanz#File:Бой_Максима_Кривоноса_с_Иеремией_Вишневецким.jpg. Thanks. MBisanz talk 21:14, 17 February 2012 (UTC)


You made File:US-WhiteHouse-Logo.svg, would you be willing to make this one used by Hawaii? Fry1989 eh? 22:26, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

I didn't make it, a government artist did -- I only extracted it from a PDF file, and converted to SVG. File:US-WhiteHouse-Emblem.svg is another version of it. I'm not too good with creating that stuff; the ones I've done myself have taken me quite a while. And, since that one is the work of a state government artist, anything too close would probably be a derivative work (someone could take the White House logo style, look at photos/plans of the Hawaii house, and make their own version -- but if they follow that graphic too closely, it could still be a derivative work). There is actually a similar graphic for the Lieutenant Governor on this page; if you need that to use under fair use. However, I'm not sure how relevant the Governor's version is anymore -- that particular house is no longer used for government purposes, but has been a museum since 2008 I think, as they built a new building to serve the government purpose that year. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:27, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Ah, I didn't know you extracted it. Bugger. Anyhow, thanks anyways :) Fry1989 eh? 18:42, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Hold Anything.jpg[edit]

Could you take a look at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Hold Anything.jpg if you have the time? I'm not sure if I've searched everything I need to search for renewal on Bosko, among other things.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:42, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Raising a totem pole[edit]

Could I ask you to look in at Commons:Village_pump/Copyright#Totem_pole:_possible_copyright_issue.3F? My question, but so far no one who has weighed in knows any more than I do, and no conclusion at all has really been reached. - Jmabel ! talk 00:38, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:John F Kennedy Official Portrait.jpg[edit]

Hi Carl, if you have the time, could you take a look at this DR? The interesting question is whether official portraits of the White House count as works of the Federal Government. Thanks and kind regards, AFBorchert (talk) 08:53, 18 March 2012 (UTC)


Commons-emblem-issue.svg File:US-FishAndWildlifeService-Logo.svg has been listed at Commons:Deletion requests so that the community can discuss whether it should be kept or not. We would appreciate it if you could go to voice your opinion about this at its entry.

If you created this file, please note that the fact that it has been proposed for deletion does not necessarily mean that we do not value your kind contribution. It simply means that one person believes that there is some specific problem with it, such as a copyright issue.
Please remember to respond to and – if appropriate – contradict the arguments supporting deletion. Arguments which focus on the nominator will not affect the result of the nomination. Thank you!

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Czech statue in U.S.[edit]

Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Statue of Lenin (Fremont, Seattle, Washington). I suspect you will have a much better idea of the status of this than either the nominator or myself. - Jmabel ! talk 00:15, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Need advice re: undated train images[edit]

There are several I'd like to upload but they have no date. Some are older postcards which have no date and were never mailed. To the best of my knowledge, they are pre-1978, and certainly pre 1983 as they don't have the "+4" ZipCodes on the back. Have been to on searches for both the company who printed them and the respective photographers given credit and no information has been found.

The others involve photos of the defunct Seaboard Air Line railway. Two aren't marked re: date or photographer, but can be dated by the company's 1967 merger. One is marked as being from Culver, who did not mark the photo with copyright information. It can be dated as being before the 1967 merger. The other is not dated or marked but is a photo of a train the railroad premiered in 1938 as a streamlined diesel train. Can any of these be uploaded and if so, what's the best thought re: licensing the postcards that are a bit more difficult to date? Thanks, We hope (talk) 23:47, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Do you have the physical postcards? I'm not sure the lack of "+4" codes is a reason to date it (though inclusion would prove a minimum date). However, if you have the actual postcards, and there is no copyright notice (which was permitted to omit the year actually, but would need the C symbol or the word copyright), and there is good reason to believe they are from before March 1, 1989, and they were from the United States, then they could be uploaded. It would be best to upload a scan of the back first, then a scan of the front, so that the back is also included in the image history (copyright notices could be there so it's nice for that proof to be available). Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:35, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Don't have the cards personally, but have access to both sides of the cards, and there's nothing that would indicate "copyright" in any form on the cards, which were all printed in the US. My general practice with all images is to include a front and back as a "first upload" so there's proof there is no notice on the item and also proof of dating in many cases. Haven't started digging through my own "train stuff" yet. ;-) We hope (talk) 01:58, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

A cup of coffee for you![edit]

A small cup of coffee.JPG Thanks for your timely feedback! Truthskr (talk) 16:19, 9 April 2012 (UTC)


I wanted to ask if you have received anything from your emails yet. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 20:22, 9 April 2012 (UTC)


Would you take a look at this, please? Thanks,      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 17:31, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Body Art[edit]

I'd like to explore this a little further, if you don't mind, because I'm not certain I understand your reasoning. If we stipulate that body art is creative, then an artist should be able to copyright his work so that others cannot copy it. That is, after all, why copyright in art exists -- to prevent copying a creative work. If that's true, then a photograph of body art is just as much a DW as a photograph of an Andy Warhol.

As for the utilitarian question, we accept that a painting on the side of a truck has a copyright -- it does not matter that the canvas is a utilitarian object if the creative work is separate from the object. The same is true of dinner plates and many other things. Why is it different if the canvas is skin?

I don't, by the way, buy the argument that body art is thin clothing. It is true that really well done body art is hard to tell from clothing in a photograph, but there is no question of that in person. So body art does not conceal and does not protect one from the elements, which are the two utilitarian aspects of clothing.

You mentioned tattoos. Is there some case law on tattoos that I don't know about? I would think that a tattoo, whether henna fake,or real under the skin, would have a copyright on the same reasoning.

Thanks,      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 11:04, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

The same thing exists for clothes though. The patterns on clothes can indeed be registered with the copyright office, even if the clothes themselves cannot. The idea is, obviously, to prevent other manufacturers from copying the same patterns. However... a picture of someone wearing clothes with such patterns we generally don't consider a derivative work -- depicting its use in everyday life just doesn't seem like the kind of thing derivative works were meant to control. Body art... a little different, but unless the photo is really focusing in on the art itself to the exclusion of the person, I really don't see it being considered derivative. Body art is not something which copies can really be made; it's not something the artist can commercially exploit other than selling their painting services at the time. In countries with FOP, that is more or less the equivalent of an ice sculpture in terms of its permanence -- the work is destroyed forever once the wearer takes a shower. Deletion of pictures of a street fair which contain people wearing body art -- I really don't see how that would affect the normal exploitation of that particular type of work, and I would be really surprised if a court actually ruled that type of thing derivative. I've never heard of a photo of someone wearing clothes being deemed derivative of the clothing pattern copyright, never heard of a photo of a costume being deemed derivative of a mask or even a copyright character (making the costumes themselves is very different of course), and never heard of a photograph of a street scene like those being deemed derivative of body paint or tattoos or the like. Just like a photo of the bottle is not derivative of the label, even if the label is copyrightable and prominent -- that is not the focus of the photographs, usually. It's a photo of the street scene, or a photo of the entire person. I would rather not delete photographs like that without some sort of court precedent we can point to -- and really, Ets Hokins and the Latimer decisions instead point to that type of photo not being a derivative work. It might be different if the photo was focusing in on the artwork itself to the point of barely showing the body, i.e. the artwork is truly the focus of the photograph, but for one-off, non-permanent works like body paint, I'm not sure there is too much in the way photographs could do to affect their normal exploitation. I mean, has there ever even been a copyright transfer of such a work? At some point the theory of copyright can break down when it comes to certain real-life situations :-) Tattoos are a thorny problem because they become part of the person -- you are kinda saying a person no longer has rights over their own body, and cannot distribute photos of themselves or post them there without permission of every tattoo artist they've ever used. Tattoo templates sold by artists -- sure, that's different. But there are some real-life practical limitations with that kind of thing. (There is only one tattoo case that I'm aware of, involving Rasheed Wallace, which did not go well for the artist, who settled quickly -- but Wallace may have been a co-author in that case, which would destroy most any claim anyways). Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:03, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks very much for the detailed explanation. I think I agree, mostly because, as you say, it is so transitory. Otherwise, it feels to me like a painting, with skin for the canvas. I suppose one could say that it is like street art -- pastels on the sidewalk -- in that respect. The other issue with the images in the DR that brought this up is the masks, and I think those do have copyrights and therefore images are DWs.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 14:00, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
If it's a photo focusing on the mask itself, that's possible. If it's a photo focusing on the entire person in public... I think that is kind of doubtful. Basically like the Ets-Hokin decision -- a photo of the entire bottle is not a derivative work of the label. In the Latimer decision, a photo of a motorcycle was not derivative of the copyrighted, painted design on the side of the motorcycle -- the definition of "derivative work" in U.S. law at least was narrower than that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:15, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I understand your reasoning, but I'm not sure I completely agree. Take File:Pulikali-2011-11.jpg, which was not one of the files in the recent DR. The focus of the image is on the mask and body paint of one man. He probably didn't do his own body paint, and he may or may not have made the mask, so we most likely have two copyrights, not one, but everything there is under copyright, so the image certainly focuses on copyrighted works. If the tiger were drawn on a wall, or a mannequin, it would clearly be an infringement, so I have trouble with the fact that the canvas is skin somehow makes it not.
I also don't agree with your application of Ets-Hokin to this, or indeed anywhere else in DW discussions. Since it is a complex case, I could well be missing something -- if so, please set me straight.
I assume we are talking about 225 F.3d 1068 (9th Cir. 2000) which is, I think, the first appeal. The reason that the image of the bottle was not a DW was that the Circuit Court found that the bottle was not copyrightable. The shape of the bottle was routine (the court did not note that it was made of expensive and unusual blue glass) and the label contained only text -- no graphics -- and therefore was not copyrightable either -- see the fourth and fifth paragraphs at C(2) The Bottle Is Not Copyrightable. The judge then went on to say that the question of whether the label was copyrightable was moot, because the image was of the bottle as a whole and not the label -- this is where you and others hang your hats. I think, though, that it would be a much stronger hat rack if the judge had found that the label was copyrightable, but, notwithstanding that, that an image of the bottle as a whole was not. I might even suggest that if the label had been copyrightable, then the case might have been appealed further.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 16:42, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Right, the decision says exactly that -- it doesn't matter if the label was copyrightable, because the "underlying work" is the bottle itself, and the derivative works determination does not go further than that. Latimer v Roaring Toyz makes a pretty similar statement, though they found a way to skirt around actually making that ruling. That was a case about photographs of a motorcycle which had clearly copyrightable artwork on the side. The district court decision in that case was a pretty wide-ranging ruling which basically said that photographs in general were not derivative works of 3-D objects; the circuit court toned that way down but basically ended up in the same place as the Ets Hokin decision: Further weakening defendant-appellees argument is the fact that the ZX-14 motorcycles were the subject matter and primary focus of Latimer’s photographs. Latimer’s photographs can best be described as being “based upon” the ZX-14 motorcycles, useful articles not subject to copyright protection. The fact that Hathaway’s artwork appears in the photographs is merely incidental. However, we need not resolve the derivative work question if the photographs were made with Hathaway’s authorization. So there, again, the copyrightable artwork on the motorcycle was incidental to the photograph of the entire bike, and likely would not cause the photo to be deemed derivative, because it's "based on" the entire bike, not the artwork. As alluded to in the last sentence though, the court found a way in all the contracts surrounding the matter to find that the photographer had implied permission to photograph the work anyways, so they avoided actually making the ruling on derivative works, but the hint there is pretty strong. I'm not aware of a counterexample when it comes to situations like this-- there was a case of SHL Imaging a number of years back which went even further with a the photos-are-not-derivative-works-almost-ever route, but several rulings contradict that (including these two, one of which explicitly rejected the SHL Imaging logic as overbroad). They seem to be the best guidance we have, as the more conservative rulings on things like this. As for that photo above, yes, that blurs the lines. When the artwork is the entire covering, it's harder. But is the photo really there to depict the scene at a fair by giving an idea of the people around, or is there something in the actual artistic expression that makes the photo itself much better? The mask is in the dark, so I don't think it adds much, but yeah I could see a court struggling with the rest of it. Even with the above label vs bottle interpretations, there are tough questions -- is a picture of product packaging a photo of a box, or is it really just a copy of the artwork which takes up the entire surface of the box? So yes, it's not always clear-cut. But on the other hand, I'm not aware of a court case anywhere which *has* ruled something like this a derivative work. Photos of statues, yes, we can back that up when people complain about being deletionists. Deleting stuff like the above is harder to defend if we can't point to actual court cases which show a real danger. Photos like this are taken all the time, and if nobody in history has been convicted for it... well... Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:49, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you again for your patient review of these cases. As is often the case with copyright, what seems obvious is not always the case. I don't like depending on these rulings for this issue, but they're all we've got, so we're stuck with them. I wish I could see the Ets-Hokin image and the bottle -- it's still hard for me to grasp that a closeup of a whole wine bottle with an artistic label occupying most of the front of the bottle, is not DW of the art.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 15:21, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
It may be more of what is the point of the photograph... the small details can make differences in cases like this. If the intent of the photograph was to focus on the label, or they are making some intentional use of the artistic expression in the label, things could go the other way. In both the above cases, the photographer was hired to take photos of the entire product -- whatever label or designs were on the surface were therefore clearly not a concern of the photographer's at all; they just happened to be there while the focus was on the entire product -- that's basically incidental. If someone is taking a picture of Mike Tyson, they are going get a facial tattoo in there whether they want to or not -- I don't think the tattoo artist suddenly gets derivative rights over every picture of Tyson from there on out. I think you're right that painting on skin doesn't automatically preclude copyright, but the nature of all the details of the situation can affect the outcome. I think there was a copyright granted to the facial makeup used in the play Cats -- but of course, those have explicit designs written down so the makeup can be applied the same way repeatedly to different performers and on different days as needed. On the other hand, particularly in the U.S., you have to file a copyright registration to get statutory damages, which is impossible in the case of most body art. If not, any infringement would be limited to actual damages, which I think means the artist would have to show how the photographs prevented him from being able to paint more people (as he presumably already received payment for that one). I know did some searches before; there is a bit at Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 32#FOP and body painting. From there, I did come across this paper where a lawyer looked into some of the theoretical issues. It does note a case where an advertisement photographer intentionally placed a pair of copyrighted glasses on the model (which was mainly to show off the clothes); this was deemed to not be incidental and not fair use. But, a photo of someone on the street who happened to be wearing those same glasses would probably be different, if the point of interest was the person themselves. With tattoos, the option to show them or not show them really isn't there. I recall a publication getting a public backlash over a photograph of Allen Iverson where they airbrushed all of his tattoos away -- that was deemed offensive to Iverson, as it seemed to by trying to alter his image in a way he may not have wanted, as his tattoos are apparently pretty important to him. You also might like s:The Background, written in 1911 ;-)
(smiling) Thank you for the story of M. Deplis. With all the subtleties of the American copyright law, and different subtleties in the laws of other countries, it is a wonder we get anything done here.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 21:53, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
For patient explanation.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 21:55, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Team Barnstar Hires.png The Teamwork Barnstar
for fixing some errors here. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 17:33, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Bridge names in Brest[edit]

I have added another question over bridge names in the village pump. (tread: Dating pictures)Smiley.toerist (talk) 23:17, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Coats of Arms[edit]

Commons:Coats of Arms seems to be fairly clear that the definition of a COA is not usually copyrightable, but then goes on to imply (if not actually state) that a COA redrawn as an SVG is fine if it is sufficiently different from any copyrighted representation of that COA (eg picture of it found on the internet) that it doesn't look like a derivative, but can be argued to be a new expression of that COA created from its definition. Which appears to mean: look at someones drawing/painting/photo of a COA, infer the definition of it, and then draw it and you will create a non-derivative, copyrightable, SVG. ("As soon as the change in the drawing is substantial enough, so that the original picture can't be identified, it is a derivative of the ... PD-definition", "Now, if you hurry to make a .svg version inspired of a to-be-deleted CoA, it's OK (check! easily indeed a copyvio): there is no "derivative rights" involved with coats of arms")

  • Is that how you read the advice on that page?
  • If so, do you agree that it may be practical advice, but not really the sort of thing we can legally suggest as adequate?
  • Would it be to pedantic to change the wording to say that an SVG must be created only from a PD or freely copyrighted source, or from the definition?
Thoughts ? :-) --Tony Wills (talk) 11:58, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
It would be best if somebody only drew a version from looking only at PD sources, of course. That's not always realistic :-) A graphical work should never derivative of a written description (that is basically the epitome of "separate expressions of the same idea") so yes, coming up with a heraldic description, then drawing a new version based on that should be fine. Really, you should be able to just look at the image to see if any of its authorship is attributable to the other image, rather than just the general design. It doesn't really matter what the process was; it would be judged based on the similarity of the two versions. [The reason people will sometimes go to lengths to avoid even seeing the copyrighted sources, particularly when writing software, is that infringement is a combination of "substantial similarity" and access to the original -- if you can prove that there was no access, then any similarity is completely coincidental, and not infringement. It has been ruled that two people, each independently coming up with the exact same work, each have their own valid copyright.] For one example, there was an undeletion request over File:Coat of arms of Antigua and Barbuda.svg. I did not think that was derivative of versions seen here or here, however, I think it is derivative of the bitmap here (not exactly the same, but many small details were copied, regardless if it was traced or self-drawn to be similar). The SVG was kept, but only because that particular source bitmap appears to be licensed as {{NGW}}. If that determination ever turns out to be incorrect, then the SVG would have to go as well, I'd think. In general though, I think the advice is fine -- we can simply look at the two versions to see if they are "substantially similar" or not. If there are small details in the SVG which are really only present in a particular source bitmap, that probably means there is an issue. But if the SVG was different enough that no source bitmap can be identified, I'd think it would be its own original work. If there is a freely-licensed bitmap source, then subject to the license of that bitmap. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:59, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Hi all - I am sure you don't mind my admitting that I am little bit confused by the differentiations being used here to describe the authorised use of coats of arms. Those that I was challenged about, were granted by the College of Arms so my exposition particularly related to that specific enquiry. It could become a vast subject in terms of law, if only that were the case! COAs were granted with the explicit intention of being used by or with/in association with their rightful bearers. Should anyone "redraw" any such image(s) so far as I glean from the argument above, please understand it is immaterial who drew the image (& were an artist to take the view that they "owned" the image they would be subject to legal challenge (under the laws of England and Wales, and therefore globally if said arms were granted there)) so long as that image is displayed properly, ie. by or in association with a rightful bearer of the said COA. Please advise if further clarification is required. M Mabelina (talk) 01:05, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
PS. upon further reading worth also seeing Revent's further comment below.
It matters to copyright law who drew it. It's still a copyrighted work. That person would have no right to display it in association with themselves, but they would still own the copyright. Just as who draws a COA is irrelevant to the bearer's rights that the College of Arms deals in, the bearer's rights are also irrelevant when it comes to who owns the copyright. They are two separate rights, and (depending on the situation) one or both may apply. Yes, if someone draws a coat of arms, it gives them no right to display it in association with someone, at least if there are heraldry laws in the jurisdiction of the use (or if trademark applies). That does not change the ownership of the copyright. It's possible someone else could use their drawing under a fair use guideline thus the use may not be actual copyright infringement, but Commons is particularly concerned if there is a *possible* use which could be a copyright infringement -- it is a database of media for use elsewhere, so they have a much weaker claim to "fair use" to begin with, and site policy forbids it anyways. Therefore, Commons is concerned if the copyrights simply exists. If it does, then it needs to be licensed, without exception. If a question of a legal "use" came up to the College of Arms, yes who drew it would not matter, but if a potential copyright infringement came up in a copyright court, it certainly would. Generally, Wikimedia projects are showing images in an educational context and would just be displaying an image to show what it looks like, which would likely not be a "use" in the way that would violate bearer's rights (there is no association claimed). But since Wikimedia Commons images are also made available for use anywhere, we do often add the {{insignia}} template to indicate there are other rights (such as bearer's rights) which could come into play in other situations. Nothing here would authorize a "use" in the College of Arms sense -- we need to make sure only that it's OK in a copyright sense, where "use" has a completely different and unrelated meaning. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:55, 22 November 2015 (UTC)


Re: the information you posted here, I think there's a problem with this. The license says it had no notice, but it's certainly visible in the original upload, and in the scan of the photo offered for sale. Thanks for any help you can offer, We hope (talk) 01:06, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Think there's also another one here, as it looks like a c in circle on the original upload. Again, thanks. We hope (talk) 01:10, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
First one is definitely a problem. That's a valid copyright notice. Second one... yikes. Is that an "O" or a copyright notice? The "O" in "CORP" has the top curling down inside a bit as well... that's pretty ambiguous. The compendium (Chapter 4) said that A variant of the symbol © will be acceptable only where it resembles the © closely enough to indicate clearly that the copyright symbol is meant. Not sure that one does. Is that "CR Corp" or "OCR Corp" ? Secondly, that Bergman image would have to have been renewed, so there's another (rather likely) possibility of PD status. I may leave that be, but nominate the first one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:29, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
I'll nominate the first one for deletion then. I think it's supposed to be c in circle CP-Columbia Pictures.Thanks, again! We hope (talk) 01:33, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
OK, that's a pretty good possibility. You'd have to find the renewal in 1967 or 1968 for copyright to still exist, though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:36, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

When I see something like that, I leave it where I saw it, sometimes with regret, but I leave it. We hope (talk) 01:43, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Help ...[edit]

Hello ... Pls Delete all Old & New version of this file

Thanks  :)

copyright infringement of uncopyrightable derivatives[edit]

Hi, could you comment on Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests#File:100_рублей_Путин-лидер_партии_жуликов_и_воров.jpg about my comment, on your comment :-). I am also wondering about extracting an image of a COA (original designed 1865) as it appears on a Google street view image showing a window of a building - If I cut out just the COA (not longer in copyright), I am not infringing Googles copyright? (I don't quite see how a 180 degree view taken by an automated system actually entailed any creative authorship by Google or it's employees but that is a different matter (and given Google's gross afront to peoples copyright by digitizing books without permision I don't think they have many moral legs to stand on, but that is a different, different matter ;-)). Thanks :-) --Tony Wills (talk) 12:30, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

You don't need that much to make something copyrightable :-) There would be little doubt on Google's copyright of their street view photographs. As for the COA... each drawn version can have its own copyright, regardless of when it was designed. Whether it would be considered derivative of the Google photograph, erm, if it was head-on and there is no surrounding context left in the crop, then that should be OK, at least in the U.S. If you can identify the source photograph though, perhaps not in some other countries. If you use the photograph as a reference to make your own drawing of the COA, such that the photo itself is not used at all, then the only issue is if your drawing copies copyrightable aspects of the COA representation seen in the photo. Google Books is pushing the limits of fair use, but it may be within them. Google since its very beginning has been indexing and copying the content of websites the world over without explicit permission; not a whole lot different ;-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:52, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
I was simply thinking of taking a copy of [13] as evidence of which rendition (in the non CIA sense ;-) of a COA was in use in 2009, but yes even with close cropping there would still be elements of reflection from the glass which are particular to that photo. Ok, I will forget that idea :-) --Tony Wills (talk) 23:58, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

your opinion please?[edit]

You seem quite knowledgeable about copyright issues. Do you ever weigh in on copyright issues on the english language wikipediaʔ

I started a copyright related thread at en:Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#When should administrators decline to email the source text to deleted material?

Surprising statements made there triggered me to start two related threads. en:Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Copyright and cite templates, spelling and punctuation corrections en:Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#transmittal by email and the meaning of publishing

If you only have time for one, the last one might be the one you would be most interested in.

I would be interested in your opinion(s). Thanks! Geo Swan (talk) 20:34, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Heads up![edit]

I have replied here: Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests#File:.E0.A4.B2.E0.A4.BE.E0.A4.B2.E0.A4.BE_.E0.A4.B9.E0.A4.B0.E0.A4.A6.E0.A4.AF.E0.A4.BE.E0.A4.B21299.gif --Tito Dutta (Send me a message) 19:56, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Another heads up, same page! --Tito Dutta (Send me a message) 16:47, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Another reply has been posted which might be interesting! --Tito Dutta (Send me a message) 17:35, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Heads up, same page! --Tito Dutta (Send me a message) 16:25, 10 June 2012 (UTC)


A new reply, same page! --Tito Dutta (Send me a message) 05:01, 13 June 2012 (UTC)


Cornflower blue Yogo sapphire.jpg Image licensing
Thank you for your superb knowledge of image licensing, specifically jewelry and helping settle an issue at the Yogo sapphire FAC on en wiki! PumpkinSky talk 00:23, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Notice on paintings question?[edit]

Do I remember correctly that under the old US law, the copyright notice on a painting did not need to include the (c) but could be just the artist's name and the date? Could you please give me a cite either way? Thanks,      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 15:14, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

It had to have the (c) (or the word "copyright", the abbreviation "copr.", or something unambiguously similar). It did not have to have the year though, as that was only required on certain classes of works. See {{PD-US-defective notice}}, and s:Copyright_Act_of_1909#sect18. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:53, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

You have mail[edit]

Sorry for copying you in on an e-mail exchange without much context, but I thought you'd be a good person to consult. Let me know if you're confused, though. :-) Dominic (talk) 20:42, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Clarification request...[edit]

Hi...If a photograph is made of a painting in the public domain, is the photograph automatically in the public domain? My understanding is no, not automatically, but I thought I'd ask You re-characterized my File:K-21225.jpg on the painter. I did it on the photographer. Why are you more right? ☺ JMOprof (talk) 19:45, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

In the U.S., the photograph does not have sufficient creativity to support a copyright. See Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag, and the w:Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. court case. I should have used that tag, though. Or {{Licensed-PD-Art}}, since the photo is free as well. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:56, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Hi Carl...we look to be double covered now ☺ Thanks.


Thanks for your quick answer above.

We you please take a look at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Minecraftlogo.png? C3F2k is giving me a hard time about it because it is a Swedish logo and the font may have a copyright under Swedish law. It is my understanding that we regularly apply {{PD-textlogo}} to logos, that, like this one, are simply text with nothing else. Is that wrong? Thanks,      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 14:01, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

We have looked at the laws of other countries -- the "pure letters" thing, regardless of custom fonts or not, is a U.S. thing. The UK seems to see if there are customizations to a font (though logos using a standard font, even if the font itself is copyrighted, seem to be OK). But even for that one in the U.S., I'd say it's not pure letters. There is a texture on the surface of the letters, which has arbitrary lines, which probably push it over the edge, and that is not related to the shape of the letters. I'm also not sure about the 3-D effect... though it's somewhat related to the shape of the letters, the depth and angles etc. may be separate decisions. In all the copyright office appeals decisions where they rejected logos and other graphic works, I don't recall seeing any with substantial 3-D effects yet, so I'm a bit wary on that alone, even though that is relatively simple 3-D effect. However, the license is not PD-textlogo, so I don't know why it was nominated that way -- it was a faulty nomination to begin with. It's listed as PD-author. There was some sort of discussion about the Minecraft licenses, but I can't remember how that turned out. Hmm..... from a search, probably should have been part of Commons:Deletion requests/File:Minecraft 1.1 Title.png. They had been kept numerous times before -- Commons:Village pump/Archive/2011/10#Minecraft images, Commons:Deletion requests/File:Enderman.png, Commons:Village_pump/Copyright/Archive/2011/12#Minecraft_screenshots, but enough nominations and I guess it will eventually succeed. It is an ambiguous license to be sure, and I'm not sure that PD-author really applies, though arguably it would be pretty hard to rip textures from this particular image (the main condition of the license). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:49, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
Based on your cites, including Commons:Deletion requests/File:Minecraft 1.1 Title.png which was just a few days ago, we should probably delete. None of them, though, address the issue of whether there can be a copyright in this is one word made from a special font. It's my experience that we do not delete single word logos that have no other copyrightable features, no matter how complex the font. Do you disagree?      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 15:18, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
That's correct. The word is not copyrightable, and the typeface (outline of the letters anyways) is also not copyrightable in the U.S. The squiggly lines on the top of the letters, on the other hand, most probably are. That is basically separable artwork on top of the utilitarian letters. The 3-D effect may also cause it to cross over the line; those are decisions (how deep, what angles) not truly based on the outline of the letters. That's fuzzier to me -- if it's a simple matter of repeating the same outline at the top and then drawing connecting lines without any perspective maybe that's not enough -- but I haven't seen a solid example of a 3-D effect logo be ruled non-copyrightable yet, so I haven't seen a legal basis on which to think those are uncopyrightable. There are several decisions though on custom fonts not mattering, even fanciful bubble-type fonts, but when it comes to textures on the letters, or other artistic effects which are not letter outlines, it can start to be different -- in that case there are other copyrightable features. In this case, if you remove the letter outlines entirely, and just have those squiggly lines on a gray background -- I think that's copyrightable. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:34, 15 June 2012 (UTC)
OK, thanks. I see the squiggly lines as simply part of the font, as is the 3-D effect, but I defer to you on such matters. I (and others) will have to rethink our approach to PD-textlogo, as it is not as obvious as I thought. Thanks again.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 15:49, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Team Barnstar Hires.png The Teamwork Barnstar
For your outstanding support and dedication in getting Yogo sapphire from a new article to DYK to GA to FA and FOUR. The team effort of the uncountable people involved in getting this unique article to FA is a textbook case of teamwork in article improvement, ie, what Wikipedia should be, not what it all too often is. I can never thank everyone enough. PumpkinSky talk 23:32, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Kapara relief Gilgamesh winged sun.jpg[edit]

Hi Clindberg, this DR is an interesting case where we are discussing if {{PD-Art}} can be applied to photographs of bas-reliefs and/or if Bridgeman v. Corel applies in this cases according to US law. Your insight would be most welcome. Thanks and kind regards, AFBorchert (talk) 11:40, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Photos of photos[edit]

If a photo was taken in America of a person about 1960 and never published and a wiki user takes a photo of that photo, which is on the wall in a frame, is the photo the wiki person took free?PumpkinSky talk 23:06, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

No. If the original photo was unpublished through 2003, then its U.S. copyright lasts either for 70 years after the photographer dies (if they are known), or the earlier of 120 years from creation or 95 years from publication, whichever comes first. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:49, 9 July 2012 (UTC)


I have asked a license related question, can you add your opinion there? I want to become fully sure before uploading (bunch of) images in Commons! Commons:Help_desk#Indian_film_certificates_license.21 --Tito Dutta (Send me a message) 06:22, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Superseded images policy[edit]

Got it, I didn't know about that thanks. I don't really understand why this policy is strictly apply on basic stuff like File:Color icon orange.png where .svg is obviously better than .png, it just duplicate files for nothings and bring more mess on this project but anyway I'll apply it. I take care to remove the delete mentions and restore the inernal links but no needs to restore external's ones cause they're already superseded by better files. Thank you again for the intel and regards. V!v£ l@ Rosière /Murmurer…/ 12:54, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Several reasons -- SVG may be better for our purposes, but not necessarily everyone's (they are fundamentally different media types even though the displayed result can look the same); the PNGs probably have been used in articles in the past, and keeping them preserves the article histories better, and often they are required to document the authorship history. They may seem silly to keep around, but they don't hurt much by being here. By all means, bury them in subcategories though :-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:37, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Chevy Super Sport side2.jpg[edit]

Is there another issue here -- and with all images of concept cars? A concept car is typically not drivable (see Concept car) and therefore is not utilitarian. That would make it a copyrighted sculpture, would it not? .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 14:12, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

If you are talking about a clay model, maybe. Not even positive about that, depending on how it was designed -- may still just be industrial design. That particular one sounds like it has an engine and everything, so that sounds like a car. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:57, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand "may still just be industrial design". I have seen a lot of concept cars, that, as the WP:EN article says, are not intended to be driven -- usually because the pieces are not really put together that well and they don't have important detail pieces, like brake and fuel lines. Since such a thing is not utilitarian, why doesn't it have a copyright? Or put another way, why isn't it treated like a 1:1 scale model, a toy? (My apologies for being dense, but you're very good at explaining difficult concepts, which, Lord knows, copyright is.) .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 11:05, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Some advice, please[edit]

Have run across quite a few "old newspaper files" photos from a photographer, Lee Pickett. In the 1920s he was the official photographer for the Great Northern Railway (US) and did extensive photos documenting the railroad's construction of the Cascade Tunnel in Washington State. Since he was working for the railroad, they appear to have distributed many of his photos to local papers in Washington State to publicize their project.

Some of the photos are identical to those online at UW (where the issue would be "fair use", the same problem as with the Otto Perry collection at Denver Public Library); UW has shared some of them at Flickr with "no known copyright restrictions" tags. Others I've found don't appear in either place, but can be dated by referencing one of the UW photos. (UW has the front of the train, I have the back of it, etc.)

My thought is that there would be no problem with the copies which are identical to the UW Pickett collection photos because by uploading both sides of the photo, it can be proven that the images weren't taken from the University. This looks to be a good opportunity for us to get some historic photos re: what it was like to be doing this in that era. Thanks, We hope (talk) 02:11, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

J.L. Richards Photo[edit]

Carl, thanks for taking the time to review the photo and copyright issues of J.L. Richards. Your comment supports 'Undeletion". I wholeheartedly agree. But it has been a week since the post, and nothing has happened. In addition, this is my first article and I don't know how to proceed. All I want to do is add his photo back to my article. Please help. Thanks. Jtlanghorne (talk) 12:59, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

PHOTO RESTORED TO ARTICLE 8/2/12 - HUGE THANKS!!! Jtlanghorne (talk) 12:28, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Clifford-the-Big-Red-Dog-title-card.jpg[edit]

Hi Carl,

Could you give your opinion about the copyright status of this file? Thanks a lot in advance. Yann (talk) 06:42, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Helping with my images[edit]

I just wanted to thank you for fighting my corner with regard to the images that I have uploaded onto wikimedia, as I really appreciated it. I was wondering, if you might consider adding the images I have uploaded to their articles on wikipedia by any chance, I completely understand if you wouldn't want to, but I thought that I could add the images to wikimedia and you add them to their articles (Only if the images are licensed under the OGL of course haha), as I would be eternally grateful especially since many of the articles of these politicans currently lack any image at all, so with your help I would be able to rectify this problem. Kind regards Slytherining Around32 (talk) 17:45, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

westward the course of empire[edit]

thanks for the aoc image. however, you might want to consider the "for educational, scholarly, or personal (i.e., nonpromotional, nonadvertising) purposes." [14]. perhaps a fair use is warranted on en wikipedia. Slowking4 †@1₭ 15:58, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

No, the image is public domain from a copyright perspective; no fair use is needed. The painting is PD, and the photo does not add any copyrightable expression ({{PD-Art}}). Secondly, the Architect of the Capitol is a federal agency, so the photo would be PD-USGov even if it was copyrightable. The restriction they refer to is more along the lines of trademark and/or personality rights -- you can't make a usage seem as though it has the backing of the U.S. government, or something like that. But any such restriction cannot be based on copyright; it must be based on other rights (if they exist). Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:03, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
i'm with you, it just seems like an NC ND restriction, although that's not what they did at flickr. we've been discussing with Smithsonian about their NC flickr restriction, so i'm overly sensitive. Slowking4 †@1₭ 17:03, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Whatever restrictions there might be, they are Commons:non-copyright restrictions. Whatever rights they claim, they cannot be based on copyright, and our definition of "free" is specifically based on rights enforced by copyright. "Fair use" is only for when works are under copyright and we need to use the copyright fair use provisions; when there is no copyright, that is moot. The Smithsonian is a little different and thornier; while many of their employees are federal, not all of them are, and there is a decent chance that works done by those other employees are not public domain but rather have a valid copyright owned by the Smithsonian (and of course, private copyrights can possibly be transferred to the Smithsonian, which would remain valid). For photos of public domain paintings, we will typically use the template {{PD-Art}}, as our policy is to assume there is no copyright in the photo itself (backed up by court decisions). Whatever CC licenses may be present on Flickr are moot. Of course, if the Smithsonian does not want their photos uploaded regardless, it may be a good idea to respect those wishes anyways. For other types of photographs though, those licenses may be quite relevant. It'd be great to have access to those, but if the copyright legitimately exists, the Smithsonian may prefer to keep control -- that would be up to them. That's why I asked if the photos of the sculptures that we uploaded were done by federal employees -- that made the licensing easy, otherwise we would need a specific release. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:32, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
well, some of these institutions upload their images with a NC ND license (for example here [15]. "You may not use the Content for commercial purposes." [16] they take a pic of a PD work and appear to restrict their photo of it. these are salaried people taking the scans. they are evolving in their upload position. - that verbiage "non-advertising, promotional" is confusing. is it house rules? are you saying that a gov't salaried person cannot restrict their work? do we know it wasn't a contract worker? i guess i'm inclined to defer but it will make an interesting conversation. Slowking4 †@1₭ 00:07, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
If the painting itself is still under copyright (possible with that one), then that may well be an appropriate restriction. If not, then... en:Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp.. They can claim the restrictions, as I'm sure they are trying to protect a revenue stream (can't blame them), but it's unlikely there is any bite behind that bark, at least as enforced by copyright. As for government employees, correct, they cannot restrict their work (made as part of their duties anyways -- anything they do on their own time is of course theirs). The government can have other rights like trademark, or some other special laws surrounding particular emblems, so it's possible there is a problem if you use the image in an advertising context, and make it appear as though the Architect of the Capitol or the Congress is promoting a product or something like that, there could be an issue. And course things like classified documents are restricted by other laws. But they absolutely cannot use copyright as enforcement, which is the critical distinction on Commons. Some entities would prefer that no money be made by others based on their work, and while they have no real right to prevent it, they will try to claim all the vague rights they can to discourage such use. Not entirely sure what the AOC's issue is exactly, but they definitely would not want any private concern to make it appear they had some governmental backing. They may also want to protect something like the artist's moral rights (requesting that crops be so labeled); I can't imagine VARA could possibly apply but it is always possible in common law that a judge could feel a particular use was "wrong" and come up with some right (or invent a new one) which could cover a particular use. But there is no way that copyright covers it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:27, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
excellent. that 1934 exhibition was about the "Public Works of Art Project," where artists earned a salary from the feds. [17] lots of depression era murals, and art out there like this. confirmed verbally that those scans were by SI salaried people. i think restrictions are by "intellectual property controlling" institutions, hung over from before the cc license era. explaining at commons deletion could be fun; maybe a note at Licensing is in order. Slowking4 †@1₭ 18:41, 16 August 2012 (UTC)


Dear Carl,

thanks for the clarification. Well. I've just typed "hubblesite" in the search field and got 808 hits. I've checked the the first files:

So we got 5/12. Should we put a copyvio Tag in the rest ?

Best regards, --Fabian RRRR (talk) 22:35, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

The ESA licenses many of their hubble images -- see {{CC-Hubble}} or {{ESA-Hubble}}. They once also placed them in the public domain, but nowadays have a CC license. The site says the STScl ones are also fine, quite possibly even ones where they have partial credit (apparently the contract which pays for that work mandates public domain status). Most images taken by the Hubble itself are probably OK; the image in question in the undeletion requests involved images taken by observatories on Earth (or at least derivatives of them) so they didn't originate with NASA at all, and are definite copyright issues if not licensed. For the others, we need to figure out if the non-NASA credits have to do with actual authorship, or some non-copyrightable aspect (for example, NASA often credits the institution who built the instrument used to take the photo, even though that does not figure into the copyright, and things like that). Given the description of that other image though, there was definitely an authorship issue, as it used non-NASA photographs. It's possible, even likely, there are other problem images among the hubblesite ones we have uploaded. The note you saw at the bottom of the copyright page though may well be significant though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:46, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Request for comment[edit]

Can I request your opinion on Commons:Deletion requests/File:Dr. C. W. Saleeby, obituary, 1940.png? I'm not sure how EC regulations, UK law and the URAA interact here.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:31, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Template:PD-Ottoman Empire[edit]

Hi, could you possibly take a look at my major revisions to Template:PD-Ottoman Empire (and put any comments in the COM:VPC thread)? Thanks. Rd232 (talk) 12:00, 23 August 2012 (UTC)


I notice your quite large talk page has threads dating back to 2006... I commend User:MiszaBot/usertalksetup to you for instant auto-archiving. cheers, Rd232 (talk) 12:03, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

« Wemmick's Castle »[edit]

Thanks for the information. You're absolutely right. The best thing is to remove the file from Commons. It's not all that important, since it's not a genuine illustration. Personally, I'm deleting from the article Les Grandes Espérances. Best wishes, Robert Ferrieux


I think you will find this raises an interesting question. .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 11:02, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

User_talk:Jameslwoodward#Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Mali Village Dance.ogv[edit]

And another one, please. .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 13:06, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your help with both of these. Your expertise makes me feel good about them, even though you changed my mind in both cases.
This is another case where it would have been helpful if you could see the file -- please let us get you Admin permission -- I think you would be a shoo-in and helpful to all of us. .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 22:05, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Request to Undelete File: 125th_Reg_Color.jpg[edit]

Please undelete the file at your earliest convenience. Thank you--Donaldecoho (talk) 21:08, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

The file was at File:125th_Reg_Color.jpg and was deleted on September 6 for having no source. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:36, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I have both obtained permission and stated the source ( ), website of the Capitol Preservation Committee.--Donaldecoho (talk) 21:46, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Freedom of panorama vs. character copyright[edit]

Hey Carl, what do you think of this one: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Paris Parade Navidad 2010-09.JPG. Kaldari (talk) 00:43, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Discussion about copyright status of non-artistic photos created in Hungary[edit]

Hello, Carl! Please see en:Wikipedia:Possibly unfree files/2012 September 7#File:Pál Teleki 4th World Scout Jamboree Gödöllő.jpg and advise what should be the next step. Thank you, Razvan Socol (talk) 17:46, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

File:Peru - 34770 - President Leguia.tif[edit]

Commons-emblem-issue.svg File:Peru - 34770 - President Leguia.tif has been listed at Commons:Deletion requests so that the community can discuss whether it should be kept or not. We would appreciate it if you could go to voice your opinion about this at its entry.

If you created this file, please note that the fact that it has been proposed for deletion does not necessarily mean that we do not value your kind contribution. It simply means that one person believes that there is some specific problem with it, such as a copyright issue.
Please remember to respond to and – if appropriate – contradict the arguments supporting deletion. Arguments which focus on the nominator will not affect the result of the nomination. Thank you!

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Commons:Deletion requests/File:Flickr-spoogman-cc-by.jpg[edit]

I don't understand your comment here. FOP does not trump the Rockstar Games copyright unless the graffiti/mural was authorized by them, does it? Since we have no proof that it was authorized, FOP is irrelevant. .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 21:55, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Correct -- I thought it was clear there that I think it's authorized, as part of an organized advertising campaign. The exact same mural is in multiple locations around the world. I can't believe it's graffiti -- I think it's a mural. To the point it's almost silly to think otherwise. I'm actually less sure the photo was from Germany... Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:35, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Sorry -- I missed that. I get it now -- you are probably right. However, it's still a delete as the Flickr image is ARR. .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 13:53, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I believe it was Flickrreviewed, so it was flickr-change-of-license, but not deletable on account of that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:05, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
It may have been Flickrreviewed while at WP:DE, but, if so, the tag was not copied to Commons and there is no Flickrreview tag on the file now. .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 11:06, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
OK. Thought I remembered seeing the tag there, but if not, then fair enough (obviously). Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:08, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:SLO-Tišina1.JPG[edit]

Hi, as you have participated in Commons:Deletion requests/Images of coats of arms of Slovenian municipalities in an insightful way, I invite you to voice your opinion at Commons:Deletion requests/File:SLO-Tišina1.JPG. Thanks. --Eleassar (t/p) 11:08, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Can you please also comment at Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Coats of arms in Istria? These files were taken down from official municipal web pages. Thanks. --Eleassar (t/p) 12:54, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests#File:Europe by satellite 2010-07-14 B&W lite.gif[edit]

Would you take a look at this? It's a similar question to Ursa Minor Dwarf, on which you helped my thinking. Basically, can a satellite image of earth have a copyright? Thanks, .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 22:24, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Aeou[edit]

Several interesting questions here -- most important, does a building that was created in Poland but is now in the Ukraine because of the border change, have Polish or Ukrainian FOP? .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 20:45, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

trailer photos[edit]

Hi Carl, in case you have the opportunity (and the nerves), could you eventually take a look at the underlying copyright question in Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Dr. No Bikini and here (same on different boards). Thanks. --Túrelio (talk) 21:07, 7 October 2012 (UTC)


I asked a question at Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests#File:Dziwne_.2A_and_related_improper_deletions_by_Krzysiu to make sure I fully understand your point. Could you comment there if I did? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:13, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I've summarized our discussion at User:Piotrus/PolishCopyright. Could you clarify (you are welcome to edit that subpage directly) the following: "that is very rare outside of books" (I am not sure what you mean by that?). "Exception: it's possible for works for Polish authors who died before 1942 to still be copyrighted, if the works were published posthumously 1946 or later." (what's the basis for that claim? It shouldn't be EU, so I guess it's something to do with the US copyright?) --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:26, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Advice, please[edit]

Hi Carl, Would like to use this. This is the first photo I've seen from this show of his. Have been through copyright records for 1952, found no record (early TV days), and none for any possible renewal. The photo was taken from a kinescope at Paley Center. My concern is that it's a copy made by the museum. TIA for your thoughts, We hope (talk) 15:51, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Athens Olympic Stadium[edit]

Interesting question here. NASA satellite image of modern stadium in Greece. Does US FOP apply? Greek FOP? Neither? .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 14:24, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

It was an interesting question, but I missed one important point - the photo is not a NASA image as was claimed. So it's just a straightforward copyvio. --Avenue (talk) 14:52, 30 November 2012 (UTC)


Carl, would you take a look at this? Thanks, .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 14:16, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Seems to be closed now. While I can't see the images, I would never delete an image where a building is just part of a wide panorama (even if it's the only really notable thing in the photo). In that case, the building is not the primary subject of the photo, the entire area is. It should not matter if there is a nondescript city skyline with one building which really stands out -- the subject of the photo is still the skyline. While it may not pass a strict de minimis test, that is not the only reason why something would not infringe. The French courts applied a "theory of the accessory" to photos where the building was prominent but only part of the larger focus, and U.S. courts have also said that something which is incidental to the main subject should not cause the photo to be deemed derivative. If it's a photo of the entire area where the building is, then the area is the subject, not the building. Of course I'm sure there are lots of gray areas with something like that, particularly when the building is centered, but... Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:08, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to see them. In the most egregious of them the cathedral was in the center of the image, and occupied at least a third of the image horizontally and half of it vertically. The rest of the buildings were just red tile roofs and white stucco. My test is "would this image be in scope if we replaced the problematic object (building, sculpture, etc.) with clones of the rest of the image area?" In this case, I don't think so.
I think it's about time for my periodic reminder that you could see images like this if only you would let us get you Admin status. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 12:38, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

Picture of the Year voting round 1 open[edit]

Dear Wikimedians,

Wikimedia Commons is happy to announce that the 2012 Picture of the Year competition is now open. We're interested in your opinion as to which images qualify to be the Picture of the Year for 2012. Voting is open to established Wikimedia users who meet the following criteria:

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Hundreds of images that have been rated Featured Pictures by the international Wikimedia Commons community in the past year are all entered in this competition. From professional animal and plant shots to breathtaking panoramas and skylines, restorations of historically relevant images, images portraying the world's best architecture, maps, emblems, diagrams created with the most modern technology, and impressive human portraits, Commons features pictures of all flavors.

For your convenience, we have sorted the images into topic categories. Two rounds of voting will be held: In the first round, you can vote for as many images as you like. The first round category winners and the top ten overall will then make it to the final. In the final round, when a limited number of images are left, you must decide on the one image that you want to become the Picture of the Year.

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Delivered by Orbot1 (talk) at 09:01, 19 January 2013 (UTC) - you are receiving this message because you voted last year

violating derivative or not?[edit]

Hi Clindberg, in case you also have some expertise about when a derivative may violate the original's copyright, would you mind to have a look at Commons:Deletion requests/File:GADDUM.png? Thanks. --Túrelio (talk) 17:39, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. --Túrelio (talk) 20:15, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Public Record vs. Public Domain? Deletion discussion for Template:PD-WAState[edit]

Hey, thanks for your comments on the deletion discussion for Template:PD-WAState. I've briefly replied to your comments there, and would appreciate your feedback. Peace, --Wikibojopayne (talk) 03:53, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Undel req question[edit]

Hi Carl. Can you take another look at Commons:Undeletion requests/Current requests#Files deleted by Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Gobierno de España? This discussion has gotten a bit stale, and I'm trying to get these older undel reqs taken care of. Do you think these should be restored? Thanks for your time. INeverCry 21:23, 10 February 2013 (UTC)


Hi, do you remeber this message? this cancellation procedure is about the same issue, another piece of Industrial design nominated for deletion due to the strichtest reading of law (?). They are already discussing about cancelling pictures of Italian cars... Can you please support your opinion again? Thank you! --Sailko (talk) 09:39, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Question about PD-Romania[edit]

Last year, you added this, saying that a work may be in the public domain in Romania if the following is true:

  • The copyright is owned by someone older than 25 other than immediate family or descendants, and the author died before 1981 (15 pma)

Would you be able to confirm this? I suspect that this only applies if the work entered the public domain before 1996 (i.e. if the person was older than 25 years before 1996) if it ever applies at all. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:49, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes, that was likely older than 25 as of 1996. You can see the notes at en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S._copyrights#endnote_tab_romania, and the links from there. It appears that the 1996 law was deemed non-retroactive, so it had to be PD by those terms on Jan 1, 1996. There were also discussions here on the Romanian copyright, where the confusion in the text of the law was brought to attention here. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:07, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Heidi Brühl (1942-1991).jpg[edit]

Hi Carl,

Could you please give your opinion about this? Thanks, Yann (talk) 12:59, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Victory at Sea[edit]

Another potentially interesting copyright question if you're interested in having a look. – JBarta (talk) 14:25, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Interesting question[edit]

I think you will find Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests#File:Pablo_Picasso_The_blind_man.27s_meal_1903.JPG interesting. I think your clarity on complex issues would be helpful. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 12:26, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Notification about possible deletion[edit]

Commons-emblem-issue.svg Some contents have been listed at Commons:Deletion requests so that the community can discuss whether they should be kept or not. We would appreciate it if you could go to voice your opinion about this at their entry.

If you created these pages, please note that the fact that they have been proposed for deletion does not necessarily mean that we do not value your kind contribution. It simply means that one person believes that there is some specific problem with them.
Please remember to respond to and – if appropriate – contradict the arguments supporting deletion. Arguments which focus on the nominator will not affect the result of the nomination. Thank you!

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Thanks, moogsi (blah) 06:44, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Free photographs of copyrighted architecture[edit]

Hi, Carl. Could you as an experienced user please comment at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Postcard of Ljubljana, Bank of Slovenia.jpg. The nominated photos depict architecture, which is still copyrighted, but the photos themselves were published before 1970 and are in the public domain in the source country. Does this make them free for any usage? Perhaps it's best if you reply at Commons talk:Freedom of panorama#challenge the Slovenian interpretation, where this question has also been asked by another user. Thanks a lot. --Eleassar (t/p) 09:36, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the opinion. --Eleassar (t/p) 15:54, 22 March 2013 (UTC)


Hi, I have another question for which I would value your opinion. I've tagged an image of a banner as 'derived -no source';[18] however, if banners qualify as works of applied art it would be in the public domain (the photo was created before 1970 so it is free too). What do you think? --Eleassar (t/p) 09:12, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Not sure it would be applied art. Also not completely sure that would be derivative of individual design bits itself, as it is focusing on the entire banner, but that is debatable. The photo was lifted from though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:56, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. The owner of the web page has been confirmed through the OTRS to be the same as the uploader of the image, and the photo was created before 1970 (in Yugoslavia, they were protected for 25 years; in Slovenia this was extended to 70 years in 1995). I'll leave the tag. --Eleassar (t/p) 07:57, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

To not delete unnecessarily, I've replaced the 'ns -derived' tag with a request for deletion. --Eleassar (t/p) 15:26, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Limited licence[edit]

Hi, the rights holders of File:Ladies Of Oz Jim Creighton.jpg are wondering if they can limit the resolution they are licensing even though larger sizes may be found on the net. If so did I annotate it correctly?--Canoe1967 (talk) 23:11, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes they can, and it looks fine. It's best to send (or have the copyright owners send) that email to OTRS as well, so the permission is documented. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:10, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I have a few more she emailed me as well. She is the rights holder as producer on most of them. She has contacted the photographers on the few that she doesn't have rights to and sent them a copy of the permission form. I am trying to get her draft article ready to go live this weekend so I will be uploading a few more for the layout. The OTRS forms should be in by Monday/Tuesday. I assume she can use the same ticket number for the ones that she produced but I will let her sort that with her OTRS volunteer. Do you know if WMF bikinis have ever been proposed for the shop or would that be politically incorrect?--Canoe1967 (talk) 11:34, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
One OTRS email can apply to multiple photos, yes. Just use the same number on all the photo pages. They can even give advance permission for future photos, I'm pretty sure -- just be as specific as possible about how those photos are identified. As for the shop, no clue whatsoever. I'd have my doubts they would want to do something like that but I don't know them and can't really speak for them at all. Not sure if they collaborate with other organizations with that stuff or not either. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:13, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

FOP Australia[edit]

It seems we need to delete all our Batmobile images because of a recent court case. File:BatmobileBegins.jpg was taken in Australia with FOP. Can you translate the copyright law to English from Australian? Does "situated, otherwise than temporarily, in a public place", mean permanent display and how long is permanent? We are discussing at pump/copyright and the DR page. Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Batmobile (1966)--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:37, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Permanent is more based on intent -- is it scheduled to be removed from display? Not sure I'd call that permanent in any way. On the other hand... a photo of a (legal) car is very different than making an actual replica. Just as there have been several cases where costume makers were convicted of creating unauthorized character costume replicas, but I've not ever heard of a photograph of a (legal) costume being ruled a problem. Those would be completely different situations in a court case. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:07, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
You may wish to pop over to that DR then. I think they are doomed to deletion even though that ruling doesn't cover images of the cars. I assumed they had declared it a 3D work of art so even images of copyvio cars cannot be hosted here? Same as my painting by Ed Miracle was deleted. I still haven't recieved word back on authentication. If Chanel likes her article she may buy a t-shirt and pose in that for us. I still think a bikini would be better..--Canoe1967 (talk) 00:24, 7 April 2013 (UTC)


The batmobile may be a vehicle but so is the Millenium Falcon. The Falcon is fictional and so is most of the batmobile. The car is just a model of that fictional vehicle made from a one off prototype of which many aren't operable like the Falcon. It just happens this one was operable. Thoughts? I copy/pasted this from the pump/copyright thread. Delete here if you wish.--Canoe1967 (talk) 00:33, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

can a "for wikipedia" statement invalidate a simultaneous CC/GFDL licensing?[edit]

Hi Clindberg, a user in good standing (not an undercover agent of DCRI) found that the currently very hot image File:Base militaire de Pierre-sur-Haute.jpg was released (likely by its creator) under a CC+GFDL license, but at the same time with the statement "Utilisation Libre sur Wikipedia et pour tous les contenus dépendant de la Wikimedia Foundation."[19]. Does this — from Commons' perspective restrictive — statement invalidate or legally impair the free licenses for this image? The related DR is Commons:Deletion requests/File:Base militaire de Pierre-sur-Haute.jpg. --Túrelio (talk) 19:25, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Corporate ownership and Canadian copyright term[edit]

In a discussion at VPC, it arises that File:Canadian Public Domain.svg says corporate ownership leads to PD at 50 years post publication, a point not addressed by Commons:Copyright rules by territory#Canada which says 50 pma except for anonymous works that remain anonymous 50 years post publication. Your help would be appreciated. Thanks, Dankarl (talk) 03:10, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Oscar may be PD[edit]

See: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Academy Award Winners 1972.jpg. If the Academy sent the photo to the Baltimore Sun in 1972 then is that image of the statues in public domain? I also remember that proper notice is copyright mark, name, and year. A 1960 image and many others I found on Ebay jusy have " © A.M.P.A.S. " on the staues. No year and just the initials.--Canoe1967 (talk) 16:11, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

CMG vs Milton Greene and Tom Kelley, 4 years, last appeal decided in late 2012.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:04, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
w:Margaret M. Morrow was the judge in one. It is listed last in her significant decisions section but the link is broken. Do you mind if I put a 'skip to bottom' template at the top of this page?--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:23, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
That case was primarily about publicity rights, not copyright. The most recent appeal was the one I linked on the Monroe deletion request; the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed the decision after California changed its law to retroactively create posthumous publicity rights, but New York's law was the one which still applied to Monroe. It's possible early rounds of that court case affirmed Kelley's copyright but the plaintiffs could never have had any copyright interest in the first place so I'm not sure there ever would have been a ruling on that with Monroe LLC as plaintiffs -- their only claim would have been to Monroe's likeness, which (if valid) could have restricted some of the potential uses of the photos. The archived link is here but there were later appeals. I see reference to another case here but it would appear by that listing that the suit was dismissed. Many of the registrations are for derivative works (computer enhancements etc.) but the original renewals probably were filed before the records start. It would not surprise me though if the copyright question had come up in other cases -- I see reference to some cases here as well where copyright ownership was at least assumed. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:45, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
The few cases, including the analysis you listed above, that I have looked at state that TKS (Tom Kelley Studios) is the copyright holder of the original 10 images. If the public domain for no notice had ever arisen then I assume that would change things and be mentioned. Having so many pirate/bootleg versions out makes it murky but very hard to prove no notice on the official ones including calendars by Western Lithograph. One can assume that if they produce one official version that shows notice then they should all have notice as they would probably use the same printing plate as a basis for all official calendars. What year was the pre-1977 no-notice creates public domain decided on? Was it always the case from 1923, 1909, or earlier, or a recent decision? This is similar to why the rights holders of my no-notice I Told You So painting by w:Ed Miracle emailed WMF to have it deleted here. I still beleive that he officially had ones produced, (mine which seems too high a quality to be a pirate), that had no notice. With so many pirates out then he only has to produce one with notice. I have tried to get his people to authenticate it but if they do as being pre-1977 then that would release them all to public domain.--Canoe1967 (talk) 01:18, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
The copyright notice form was part of the 1909 Copyright Act, though I think different forms of notices were required before that (probably not as regimented). It was made less stringent by the 1976 act, then done away with on March 1, 1989 when the U.S. joined the Berne Convention. But yes, if there were lots of bootleg copies out there actually proving distribution without notice becomes very difficult. And technically, the copyright owners do not have to prove anything in regards to notice -- it's up to the defendants to prove PD status by showing distribution without notice. The plaintiffs would have to show valid copyright registration, and (if old enough) renewal, but that's about it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:04, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Thanks again. I just noticed that Category:Academy Awards probably has a few thousand that aren't De min. I mentioned it at ANI and they will probably clean it up soon. WMF legal has my query on the top of their list for the week of May 6. Can we host images of Oscar from the four FOP countries that he is on perm display in? I don't know why our De min, FOP pages, etc, don't specify yea/nay already.--Canoe1967 (talk) 02:07, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Well it's legal to host them -- they would be fair use in most non-commercial contexts. It's just a question if they are "free" and that can be kind of subjective, particularly when they are free in some places but not others, and it's sometimes a matter of degree. Per previous policy we would host them (and there was no real decision to change policy). If they are truly derivative works, it's kind of murky. The U.S. might use foreign FoP law, at least to a point, or they may use U.S. law alone to determine the scope of the sculpture's copyright. It may even be a mixed bag -- something like the Oscar statuette which was taken and displayed abroad without any control by the copyright owner may be less likely to be OK then a sculpture knowingly placed in a FoP country by the sculptor, who was or should have been aware of the FoP situation where he was placing it. But it's also likely that a photo would have to be focusing on the statue itself in order to be derivative -- a photo of the entire ceremony may not be even though they aren't truly de minimis. I don't think the Academy gets derivative rights over every photo where the statuette happens to appear (although, cropping to just the statuette would be a problem). Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:10, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
That is why WMF may wish to look into it. I brought it up with User:Mdennis (WMF) on her en:wp talk page if you would like to pop over there and offer any info that may help them sort it out. The 'Clarify FOP' section of her talk page. Can we crop an FOP image down to just the statue and use it in the infobox of the award article? Can we also use a cropped version to replace the copyvio statue in all of those no-notice images of winners holding it on eBay? The soup gets thicker.--Canoe1967 (talk) 15:26, 23 April 2013 (UTC)


Hi, does File:Branson Belle stage curtain 2005.jpg look below threshold for the USA? I asked at pump/copyright and no response yet. I don't want to bother the DR backlog with it. I will just tag it speedy delete, uploader request it you feel it is copyvio. I uploaded it with some other images of the same ship and it isn't used in any articles yet.--Canoe1967 (talk) 13:42, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Peruvian copyright, 1976 image[edit]

Dear Clindberg,
I am sure that the image (see [20]) is of free license in the United States since it was published in Peru (1976) in the local sports magazine Ovacion. Peruvian copyright laws did not become standard with worldwide copyright laws until 1996, and the ambiguity of the copyright status was (and still remains) a huge problem in Peru.
However, I am not sure that the image has a worldwide free license (maybe Ovacion in Peru still has some sort of copyright claim over it). The image itself is quite unique since most Teofilo Cubillas images found online are from FIFA or with a clear copyright status. What do you think?--MarshalN20 (talk) 14:35, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Here is the Ovacion sports magazine with the image (see [21]). No credit is given to the person who took the photo. The whole magazine is filled with these kind of pictures.--MarshalN20 (talk) 14:41, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
I can't see how it would be public domain, although I'm unsure of exactly what the terms of Peru's pre-1996 law was (which did appear to conform to the Berne Convention just fine). The U.S. URAA restorations would apply to anything still protected under the terms of their previous law on January 1, 1996 -- from what I can find, it was Law 13714 of September 1, 1961 amended (at least) by Law 24518 of 5 June 1986. Can't find the text anywhere. The current law protects even simple photographs for 70 years from creation. It's not clear if the 1996 law retroactively restored such works or not... the transitional section at the very end just says works "protected by the previous legislation" got the new terms. I don't see any regime to deal with people using PD works which were brought back into copyright, which suggests that the 1996 law was *not* retroactive. I'd have to guess the previous law was at least 50pma (since they were Berne convention members), but no idea about photographs. But even if the photograph had a term of 20 years, a 1976 photo would have only expired at the end of 1996, which means that (a) it would have been extended by the new law so it would still be protected in Peru, and (b) would have been restored by the URAA so its U.S. copyright would last until 2072. If the work was not protected at all in Peru, then it probably was restored by the URAA anyways -- it was only works where the term of protection had expired which got excluded. I would be very surprised if the previous law had a term of protection less than 20 years (though it's very slightly possible). So... I'm pretty seriously doubtful that it is PD in the United States, or even in Peru. We would have to show that it was PD in Peru on January 1, 1996 by the terms of the previous law. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:37, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Clindberg, thank you for the information.
Regarding the Berne Convention, Peru did not accede to it until 1988 (according to WIPO: [22]). Peru had two previous copyright laws, the first in 1849 (under the Castilla administration) and the second in 1961 (under the Prado administration).
According to the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru's blog (see [23]), the 1961 law was modified twice (but these modifications do not concern copyright terms).
I found the text of the law (in Spanish, from Peru's government website here: [Blocked by Spam protection filter]). Several important points, but a few are relevant to this case (of photographs):
  • All photographs are subject to copyright protection for 20 years starting for those who were published on or after January 1, 1962 (Page 6, article 27).
  • This seems to indicate that all photographs prior to 1962 are PD (assuming the 1849 law's protection for them, if it ever existed, ended).
  • Only photographs part of "literary or scientific works" (and whose authorship is clearly defined) can be protected for a longer period (which the law defines as "all the time that the work enjoys legal safety", which is ambiguous).
This raises the question: Is Ovacion, sports magazine, a literary or scientific work? (I know it sounds like a silly question, but sports can be considered a science, and Ovacion does have a literary context to it; I am really not sure).
In any case, the photo was not PD by January 1, 1996 (since it published in 1976). Under the 1961 law, its protection would have ended in 1997.
I'm going to conclude that this means the photo in question is not PD. If this is the case, could you please list it for deletion (I am not sure how to do that here in Commons)?
Thank you again for the help. You are awesome!
All the best.--MarshalN20 (talk)
Here is the link to the 1961 law in Spanish (You have to connect the "google" link, I added a space between the two "o" in order for it to pass the spam protection filter): http://www.go
Regards.--MarshalN20 (talk) 15:46, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. Peru was a member of the Universal Copyright Convention from the 1950s; that was the United States' primary international convention until they themselves joined the Berne Convention in 1989. They also joined the Andean Community of Nations; I believe there was a common agreement in 1993 or so for a general term of 50pma, although certain types of works could be shorter. The text of the 1961 law you posted is here; you just have to remove the Google search wrapper to avoid the spam filter. However there is no text layer, so it's not easy for me to paste that into Google Translate :-) The 1986 modification is here; that seems to have something to do with terms but I'm not sure it's too significant. Typically, magazines would be literary works, but I've not heard the distinction of "scientific work" very often so maybe we'd need to look into the definitions in that 1961 law. It's possible that the 1961 law granted protection to existing photographs -- if there is any specific information like that, it would usually be at the end in "transitional provisions" or something like that. I'm sure the 1849 law did not protect photographs explicitly but they had been protected by general international practice before 1961 (and probably the UCC), so there may have been an amendment at some point. This would all be good information to have, particularly if the 1996 law is non-retroactive (which it looks like to me, but not positive). But yes, if the previous protection was 20 years, it would seem this photo is definitely still copyrighted. You can use the "Nomination for deletion" link on any image page, which I'll do for this one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:46, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

I am going to research more about this and see what more can be found. The good thing is that we now know for sure that most photos published from 1976 until later (in Peru) are not in the public domain (at least until 2046). The 1996 law seems retroactive to images still protected by the "prior law" (that being the 1961 law, with the 20 year protection). If the law was retroactive to even prior years, would this not only affect those images published until 1943 (with the 70 year protection)? I'll update you on my findings as soon as I get them. Regards.--MarshalN20 (talk) 00:24, 26 May 2013 (UTC)


I'm a bit surprised you brought up simultaneous publication. For URAA purposes, 17 USC 104A(h)(8) seems to select in such cases "the eligible country which has the most significant contacts with the work.", not the one with the shortest duration, like the Berne Convention. So for works published 1923 or later of Russian authors who died or were rehabilitated 1943 or later (or died 1939 or later, if active during the Great Patriotic War), it doesn't look as if simultaneous publication would help. I hope nobody takes it up; it might lead to only even more "forum shopping" and arbitrarily claiming PD-Ukraine or PD-Kazakhstan or whatever just to bypass the annoying re-copyrighting in the Russian copyright law. If the author was born and worked in e.g. Kiev, Ukrainian law would be a reasonable choice. Moor, however, was born, lived, worked, and died in the RSFSR, so for him and his 1917-1922 works, "simultaneous publication" will only muddy the waters. (As an aside, Moor was active during WWII, so for him the copyright term in Russia is actually 74 (formerly 54) years.) Lupo 19:16, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Yes, simultaneous publication would work differently for the U.S. when determining the "source country" for the URAA. However, for a 1920 work like the one under discussion, that really wouldn't enter into it. Also remember that in 1996, the Russian terms were 50pma, so if works were PD at the time, they were also not restored by the URAA, regardless of what the 2008 law did. So it would be authors who died 1946 or later, technically. The Berne Convention definition is a little bit odd from some perspectives, but really, the works *were* published in say Azerbaijan at the same time, technically. They were all part of the Soviet Union and it seems pretty odd to claim that say Soviet government works were *not* published in those territories at the time, since the works were just as much for them as the RSFSR. The U.S. definition is more common-sense, and definitely comes into play for the URAA, but when it comes to other countries which use the rule of the shorter term, the "country with the shortest term" *would* seem to be the way to do it. It's right there in the Berne Convention, so I don't know why we wouldn't use it for determining the "country of origin", since being PD in the shorter-term countries is one of the reasons why Commons has that rule. Granted the borders were in pretty extreme flux at that time of Soviet history so it does get murky as to what territory it was really published in. I'm sure the Berne Convention definition was really more for situations where the authors chose to publish in more than one country, but it would also seem to be the a somewhat sensible solution to determining the "country of origin" for works from countries which later split up, and there needs to be some solution there -- not sure why we would make a different one up when the treaty itself gives a definition. We don't have many (any?) guidelines on that sort of thing in terms of court rulings, unfortunately. Authors are allowed to publish in countries other than where they live, in which case the country of origin has nothing to do with their home country. For a Berne country which has the rule of the shorter term, which do you think would end up being the country of origin? Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:03, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Of course the URAA doesn't enter the picture for pre-1923 works. I thought I had carefully phrased my statement above to that effect. U.S. courts also use, quite outside of URAA issues, the laws of the country with the "most significant relationship" with the work to determine copyright ownership (Itar-Tass Russian News Agency v. Russian Kurier). As to your closing question: I don't know. That would depend what that country's laws or case law said. Possibly other countries have similar rules about which country to choose in cases of simultaneous publication, or maybe they just do follow the Berne Convention and take the one with shortest copyright term. Depends on the country. Lupo 05:23, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Help please, I am clueless and you are smart[edit]

Please advise on this image: [24]

TCO (talk) 19:10, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Libyan copyright law[edit]

Would you be able to help with Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Wiki erudito? The problem is that COM:CRT#Libya is based on the wrong law and that no one is able to find out what the correct law, let alone find a copy of the law. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:29, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps I could help Carl here - since the overthrow of Gaddafi there has been/is no consistent government in Libya, so such law is open to view (& therefore cannot be challenged in Libyan courts). M Mabelina (talk) 01:49, 22 November 2015 (UTC)


Can I get a second opinion on this? (I.e from someone other than myself on the situation now in Mass. ) --Elvey (talk) 07:21, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Deletion request for files in Category:Logos of Eurovision that uses the Eurovision heart[edit]

Hello Clindberg, As you have previously participated in a discussion regarding deletion Eurovision Song Contest logos, I would like to direct your attention to Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Logos of Eurovision, where a discussion regarding deletion of 79 logo files are taking place and I would also like to encourage you to participate in said discussion, so we may all benefit from what-ever knowledge and experience, you may have gained during the last discussion. In kind regards, --heb [T C E] 13:33, 12 September 2013 (UTC)


Hey mate, just thought I would pop by and ask if you would consider an RfA here on Commons. You are active, always ready to help editors, and have a sound knowledge of copyright issues, etc, and I think the community would benefit from you holding the admin tools. Is this something you would be willing to consider? russavia (talk) 04:19, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

I really respect your knowledge as well as your kindness and calmness (deletions debates amp most people, including me, up). Even if you were just kind of a nominal admin (not a lot of banhammering), you probably elevate the whole office. 19:29, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Calling in the best[edit]

Please help out at the deletion discussion for the Happy Pan image (just want it resolved so I can use the thing.) [25] 19:29, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Chandra and Hubble images[edit]

Help! Category talk:Chandra images. I think I'm on excellent ground here, but would much like to have your input. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 14:09, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Works of art by William H. Johnson and Gene Davis[edit]

Hi Carl,

Could you please add your opinion there: Commons:Village pump/Copyright#Works of art by William H. Johnson and Gene Davis. I think there is some significant doubt about the copyright status of these works. Thanks, Yann (talk) 14:30, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

A kitten for you![edit]

Cute grey kitten.jpg

Merry Christmas! And thank you for your work here.

Yann (talk) 15:33, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Pennsylvania state historical markers[edit]

I'd appreciate it if you would comment on the "unpublished" argument here. Thanks, .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 17:48, 1 January 2014 (UTC)


Appreciating your opinion here. Jee 03:29, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your opinion. Jee 07:33, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

A very big thank you![edit]

I just wanted to send you my sincerest thank you for your comments regarding the URAA on Canadian Crown Copyright. Your comments alone have switched the tide at a time when I was days away from hanging up my hat as an editor. So, for renewing my faith and saving years of work from being a waste, I thank you once again! Cheers, Floydian (talk) 04:54, 5 January 2014 (UTC)


Commons-emblem-issue.svg Template:PD-US-record has been listed at Commons:Deletion requests so that the community can discuss whether it should be kept or not. We would appreciate it if you could go to voice your opinion about this at its entry.

If you created this template, please note that the fact that it has been proposed for deletion does not necessarily mean that we do not value your kind contribution. It simply means that one person believes that there is some specific problem with it.
Please remember to respond to and – if appropriate – contradict the arguments supporting deletion. Arguments which focus on the nominator will not affect the result of the nomination. Thank you!

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-- Green Cardamom (talk) 19:17, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Picture of the Year 2013 R1 Announcement[edit]

Round 1 of Picture of the Year 2013 is open![edit]

2012 Picture of the Year: A pair of European Bee-eaters in Ariège, France.

Dear Wikimedians,

Wikimedia Commons is happy to announce that the 2013 Picture of the Year competition is now open. This year will be the eighth edition of the annual Wikimedia Commons photo competition, which recognizes exceptional contributions by users on Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia users are invited to vote for their favorite images featured on Commons during the last year (2013) to produce a single Picture of the Year.

Hundreds of images that have been rated Featured Pictures by the international Wikimedia Commons community in the past year are all entered in this competition. These images include professional animal and plant shots, breathtaking panoramas and skylines, restorations of historical images, photographs portraying the world's best architecture, impressive human portraits, and so much more.

For your convenience, we have sorted the images into topical categories. Two rounds of voting will be held: In the first round, you may vote for as many images as you like. The top 30 overall and the most popular image in each category will continue to the final. In the final round, you may vote for just one image to become the Picture of the Year.

Round 1 will end on . Click here to learn more and vote »

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You are receiving this message because you voted in the 2012 Picture of the Year contest.

Picture of the Year 2013 R2 Announcement[edit]

Round 2 of Picture of the Year 2013 is open![edit]

2012 Picture of the Year: A pair of European Bee-eaters in Ariège, France.

Dear Wikimedians,

Wikimedia Commons is happy to announce that the second round of the 2013 Picture of the Year competition is now open. This year will be the eighth edition of the annual Wikimedia Commons photo competition, which recognizes exceptional contributions by users on Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia users are invited to vote for their favorite images featured on Commons during the last year (2013) to produce a single Picture of the Year.

Hundreds of images that have been rated Featured Pictures by the international Wikimedia Commons community in the past year were entered in this competition. These images include professional animal and plant shots, breathtaking panoramas and skylines, restorations of historical images, photographs portraying the world's best architecture, impressive human portraits, and so much more.

There are two total rounds of voting. In the first round, you voted for as many images as you liked. The top 30 overall and the most popular image in each category have continued to the final. In the final round, you may vote for just one image to become the Picture of the Year.

Round 2 will end on . Click here to learn more and vote »

the Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year committee

You are receiving this message because you voted in the 2013 Picture of the Year contest.

This Picture of the Year vote notification was delivered by MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 19:22, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

File:The Merchant Illusteration.jpg[edit]

Hi Carl,

Would you please add your comment on this issue: Commons:Undeletion requests/Current requests#File:The Merchant Illusteration.jpg. I undertand that a work and a reproduction have a different copyright, but maybe I have it wrong. Thanks in advance, Yann (talk) 09:32, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-US-record[edit]

Hello, since you were a participant in the above Deletion discussion I wanted to make sure you were informed of the new Wikilegal report at meta:Wikilegal/Copyright Status of Sound Recordings Fixed Prior to February 15 1972 related to this issue. Wikilegal left a notice on Template talk:PD-US-record saying "Wikilegal is a place for the community to engage in a discourse on legal issues the projects face. Although made by Foundation legal staff or interns, these posts are not intended as legal advice, but they are an opportunity for inquiry and discussion. See meta:Wikilegal for more." -- Green Cardamom (talk) 19:48, 19 March 2014 (UTC)


Hi Carl. I saw your note at above and you're quite right. I'm very sorry. Truth is I was a bit frustrated. I'll look through your remarks properly at a later date and I apologised on the page itself. Cheers. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 17:13, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Hm ... interesting user page!

Picture of the Year 2013 Results Announcement[edit]

Picture of the Year 2013 Results[edit]

The 2013 Picture of the Year. View all results »

Dear Clindberg,

The 2013 Picture of the Year competition has ended and we are pleased to announce the results: We shattered participation records this year — more people voted in Picture of the Year 2013 than ever before. In both rounds, 4070 different people voted for their favorite images. Additionally, there were more image candidates (featured pictures) in the contest than ever before (962 images total).

  • In the first round, 2852 people voted for all 962 files
  • In the second round, 2919 people voted for the 50 finalists (the top 30 overall and top 2 in each category)

We congratulate the winners of the contest and thank them for creating these beautiful images and sharing them as freely licensed content:

  1. 157 people voted for the winner, an image of a lightbulb with the tungsten filament smoking and burning.
  2. In second place, 155 people voted for an image of "Sviati Hory" (Holy Mountains) National Park in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine.
  3. In third place, 131 people voted for an image of a swallow flying and drinking.

Click here to view the top images »

We also sincerely thank to all 4070 voters for participating and we hope you will return for next year's contest in early 2015. We invite you to continue to participate in the Commons community by sharing your work.

the Picture of the Year committee

You are receiving this message because you voted in the 2013 Picture of the Year contest.

Delivered by MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 22:59, 26 March 2014 (UTC)


Would you care to join this [26] discussion about Olympia at Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates talk page. We might need a voice like yours, (calm and wise). --Hafspajen (talk) 21:52, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Nyc transit authority token.png[edit]


Could you please add your opinion there? Thanks in advance. Regards, Yann (talk) 14:25, 23 July 2014 (UTC)


Hi Clindberg, would you like to comment at Commons_talk:Watermarks#m:Wikilegal/Removal_of_watermarks_from_Commons_images? --Túrelio (talk) 06:33, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Seal of the Vice President[edit]

Hi, what is the font you used for inscription in the seal of the Vice President of the US? --Rymich13 (talk) 17:18, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

Imperator maybe? looking at some source files. Looks like I experimented with a few; not sure it's quite right. There may be a more appropriate font out there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:05, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Luxembourg Leaks / new document[edit]

Hi Clindberg. Another Lux Leaks' document appeared here. Maybe you want to help to sort things out. -- Neudabei (talk) 22:34, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Hemingway portrait.jpg[edit]

Hi Carl, Could you please give your opinion about this case? Specifically, does the renewal by the magazine covered also the picture? Regards, Yann (talk) 19:51, 4 January 2015 (UTC)



This file is licensed {{PD-USGov}} but does that apply to works by the States of the United States?

Another thing en:File:Boise Idaho City Seal.PNG is fair use but the same file de:Datei:Boise Wappen.PNG is "Bild-PD-Amtliches Werk". I think it sounds wrong. --MGA73 (talk) 17:35, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

That license does not apply to works by the states, but that file is a work of the federal government. The copyright belongs to whoever did the actual artwork, and has nothing to do with the general design (see Commons:Coats of arms). We can't just pull graphics off of state websites; we have to either draw our own, find representations old enough to be PD, or find some that are PD in other ways. For the South Dakota one, I found a set of state seal drawings from the federal government, which is why they are PD-USGov. (They were in CDC PDFs, but I have seen the same representations in various U.S. embassy websites as well.) The Boise city seal, if the source is correct, would only be fair use -- unless that graphic was scanned from an old work. I don't fully understand the German license, but they may be applying local law where that type of thing is not copyrightable at all in Germany. That rationale would not work for Commons. In the U.S., that file is under copyright and we can only claim fair use (unless that particular representation was published before 1978 without a copyright notice, which is very possible, but we'd need a source for that). Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:53, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you very much. --MGA73 (talk) 23:20, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Re: State seal copyright[edit]

The thing is, File:Ohio State Seal, 1967.svg was not merely based on the written description. Other than the incorrect addition of an 18th ray (which I removed) and the addition of some color, it's a facsimile of the reference image included in 107 HB 164 / ORC 5.04. You can see a seal just like it in this 1967 Toledo Blade article. In File:Seal of Ohio (Official).svg, which I linked, I explained exactly why the seal would've been {{PD-old}}. But after reading [27], I'm convinced that the seal couldn't be copyrighted anyways, even if the state had placed a copyright notice on the 1967 Journal. Regardless, authorship definitely doesn't rest with the federal government because they did nothing but add some color and an extra triangle (which I removed). – Minh Nguyễn 💬 19:48, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Also, File:Seal of Ohio.svg is a well-known example of a seal that is based on the written description but not the reference image. (Various agencies use something like it, with the understanding that it's "substantially similar" to the reference image.) – Minh Nguyễn 💬 19:53, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes, thanks for the removal of the 18th ray. If there is a graphic representation in the law, then it's likely that many representations are based on that (and it looks like the government one is), and those can indeed be derivative works. The law representation also really should be PD-EdictGov in that case. However, most vectorizations will have their own copyright, given the different artistic decisions which go into making vector versions (placement of control points, etc.) There are numerous small lines which are different between the two SVGs, and those are enough to carry copyright on their own. While quite clearly based on the version in the newspaper (there are some aspects which clearly show "based on"), they are still different works, and probably with different copyrights. They may seem like small details, but even though a lot of the image is based on the earlier graphic (and those aspects are not copyrightable), there are numerous small additions/changes which would be enough. The threshold is very low, unfortunately. They are not "facsimiles", which would be a direct mechanical copy -- these look like a lot of the individual lines were altered by hand as well. You are correct that just adding color would not be a copyrightable change, but when it comes to specific outlines, copyright will almost always exist with those, unless they were the pure result of a mechanical vectorization mechanism, with no hand-altering, unless the changes were "slavish imitations" of the original. Just making differences in the shadows in the mountains can be enough, or the lines in the field, or the bits of grass. That is why specifying the PD-USGov is more accurate on that one -- it appears that one comes from a government-vectorized set of images (the CDC was not the author; the same images show up on embassy sites so it's likely they are graphics distribute in the government, maybe made by the State Department at some point in the past, as most of them have details of older versions of the seals such as the number of rays). And it's why I would be very careful about importing a vectorization from Brands of the World -- do you know there was no hand-tuning done to the small details? Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:08, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Ironically, the Blade article wasn't printed or scanned with the highest fidelity. (After all, it was probably printed under a hot type process rather than electronically.) I cite it mainly to prove the image's vintage, but plenty of Ohio government websites display seals that are much closer to File:Ohio State Seal, 1967.svg or File:Seal of Ohio (Official).svg. Some examples of the top of my head: [28][29][30][31] In any case, I'm surprised that the bar for creativity would be so low, given the kinds of images I've seen that are tagged {{PD-ineligible}} and {{PD-shape}}. If we're concerned about the creativity that went into File:Seal of Ohio (Official).svg, I might try to find a copy of Laws of Ohio that we can scan, vectorize, and refine ourselves. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 05:43, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, from a general view they are probably going to look very very similar. But it's also quite true that there can be copyright over the small details -- if someone tweaks all of the points to make it look better to themselves, as opposed to trying to slavishly copy exact outlines found elsewhere, that can hold a copyright. I'm sure there is some abuse of those tags, but the Copyright Office decisions often go to the small details -- if something is just letters or standard shapes arranged in an obvious way, that will usually be ineligible. But if there are small, creative details in the background -- they can give a copyright based on that even though the rest is ineligible. They did give a copyright on this sculpture (another image here); the specific curve and angle were enough. I have read cases where the designs of diamond rings were denied, but in one or two cases a copyright was given based on the decoration on the band. So yes, the small details can matter, even if the image is largely the same. I can see that the newspaper scan may have eliminated a bunch of details which the SVGs both scanned in -- they are pretty similar -- but when you look closely there are tons of small differences, and if that is something beyond an automated vectorization program, then there could be a copyright involved. That may not be something you would know until you go to court and found out exactly what the creation process was. So yes, if we could find a good bitmap or scan of something we know to be PD, then do our own vectorizations off of that, it would be better. Secondly, even though something might be ineligible in the U.S., it could have a copyright in other countries (the UK can allow something of a "sweat of the brow" copyright) and thus it's best not to change otherwise valid copyright tags to PD-ineligible, since if it turns out to be eligible (or it's used in another country), we then have the other tags to fall back on. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:06, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

I guess then we should be concerned about File:Seal of Ohio.svg. The source is clearly a distinct imitation of the Artist's Version. [32] Unfortunately, we don't know enough about the original painting to say whether its copyright holder would have allowed a derivative to be produced. (We don't know even if the copyright was assigned to the state or a work-for-hire.) I reached out to the state historical society to get more information but haven't heard back yet. And even if the contributor to got permission, the Commons users who modified it probably didn't get permission to make their own derivatives... – Minh Nguyễn 💬 12:46, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Whoops, missed replying to this. That one would be an interesting case… not clear-cut. That is a separate vectorization, and all of the small details are completely different. It does look as though the basic arrangement was copied somewhat. Whether that crosses into the threshold of being a derivative work is a close one -- there are some similarities which show some of the same ideas were used, but the question really is if there was a copyrightable arrangement on the bitmap version which was copied in the re-vectorization, as opposed to the basic idea of the arrangement. Given that it would be a pretty edgy deletion request, and there was not any wholesale copying, I would tend not to nominate it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:27, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Fake US notes[edit]

Hi Carl,

I would like your opinion about the copyright of fake US currency, i.e. File:500-Million-Dollar-Series-1934-Federal-Reserve-Note-Cleveland-Ohio-Coupon-Bond-D-45183601-A-Obver.jpg and File:US-Federal-Reserve-Note-Series-1934-1-B-Cleveland-Ohio.jpg. I believe that we can keep these because, these bonds being illegal, the author cannot claim a copyright. What do yo think? Thank you in advance for your help. Regards, Yann (talk) 13:34, 26 January 2015 (UTC)


Could you comment on this, please. Jee 16:08, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

WWII period music score[edit]

Your opinion on Commons:OTRS/Noticeboard#WWII_period_music_score is highly appreciated. Jee 17:41, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

File:March Impromptu Code.jpg[edit]

You may wish to look closely at the words in German above each bar. These were added to the printed score by what appears to be a typical mid-20th C. typewriter based on ink colour and impact blur. Who may claim copyright over that added text is not defined so far. I mentioned this on OTRS/N but you may have overlooked the observation. Thanks -- (talk) 23:51, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I noticed that… they seem to clearly be additions to the original printed material, presumably by the same person who made the written annotations. Titles and short phrases are not copyrightable (in most places). If they are lyrics then maybe, but they didn't have that look to them -- seemed more like titles or cryptic phrases. I took them as uncopyrightable additions, really. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:31, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
After the more than a little confused replies from the original uploader, I find the document highly suspect. It is now clear that it is just a printed copy from Collection Litolff printers, rather than a document that would have been retained in Litolff's papers or archive as was the impression given on OTRS/N (and indeed is the way it is quoted in the book for sale on Amazon). The EXIF data on the image claims copyright in 1945 and has no other dates, so is meaningless. I would rather have a complete copy of the music score without unverifiable alleged Nazi codes without a verifiable chain of provenance.
But I guess "educational value" cuts both ways. If this turns out to be nonsense to sell more books, then it is a moderately good example of nonsense. -- (talk) 15:36, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Right... it seems to be a regular printed copy with some custom annotations. I won't guess on the provenance of those annotations. I'm not sure that OTRS matters at all -- seems to be a PD work no matter what (don't see where 1945 enters into the copyright) -- but who knows, might be helpful in some countries. Whether or not there is any secret meaning doesn't really matter for the copyright -- seems beyond far-fetched to me, but if people want to have fun with it, whatever. Since it has gotten news coverage on its own, it would seem to be in scope (especially say for wikinews) regardless if the theory is complete nonsense or not. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:22, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

I just noticed your addition of the LoC scan[33]. Based on that score, it appears to my eyes that this arrangement of Marsch Impromptu (Gottlieb Federlein, 1876) is not the same piece. You may want to update your analysis in the DR, as then Low is the only name put forward as a suspected composer and German copyright law would apply if that abduction is correct. I suspect that there may be many Marsch/March Impromptu variants or different pieces with that title, so a valid deduction may not be possible unless a full score that matches is found. -- (talk) 00:23, 11 February 2015 (UTC)


Hopefully you took my comment in the spirit it was meant, as a 'teasing' joke. What you said was quite apt, just a bit of a 'wall of text'... I try to keep things friendly.. the OP's comment was rather not, so a bit of a digression seemed in order. Revent (talk)

Oh, no offense taken ;-) That's hardly my worst example of a stream-of-consciousness wall of text reply on here either... I have some pretty long ones sometimes ;-)

Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Boston Public Library collections - Vintage Travel Posters‎[edit]

Hi Carl, This DR would require your expertise. Thanks for your help, Yann (talk) 10:46, 18 March 2015 (UTC)


this got archived within hours. :-( Missed it?

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Albro lithograph.jpg[edit]

Dear Carl Lindberg,

Could you please reply at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Albro lithograph.jpg? Natuur12 (talk) 15:48, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

File:Hot seat.jpg[edit]

Hi Carl, about five years ago you made clear in the undeletion request of the File:Ettore sottsass, libreria casablanca, 1981.JPG, that pictures of design objects are not subject to copyright other than the copyright on the picture itself. There is no additional permission required from designers (and for that there are tons of pictures of modern products on commons).

However, when I wanted to upload this image, I was notified that this image was proviously deleted here, see here. Do you think it makes sense to fill an undeletion request or am I missing something here. -- Mdd (talk) 21:41, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Well... that can differ by country. In the U.S., utilitarian objects are not subject to copyright, unless there is an element which is conceptually separable from the functional parts of the design (say a 2-D design on the surface, or what amounts to a sculpture attached as a decoration, that sort of thing). The rest of that is generally called "industrial design". The U.S. has something called "design patents" for those; the protection is generally against competitors for manufacturing something identical or very similar, and the protection is nothing like copyright and should not prevent photographs (it also has very different terms). Many other countries have something along those same lines. Some countries, however, choose not to develop a separate realm of intellectual property, and simply lump "industrial design" or "applied art" into the category of artistic works protected by copyright, and let them be protected by that. At that point, it could be up to courts to decide if photographs are a problem. I believe the Netherlands is one of those countries (I think Sweden is another), which would explain that deletion. That photo would have been OK on the English Wikipedia, which uses U.S. law. The Berne Convention says (Article 2(7)): Subject to the provisions of Article 7(4) of this Convention, it shall be a matter for legislation in the countries of the Union to determine the extent of the application of their laws to works of applied art and industrial designs and models, as well as the conditions under which such works, designs and models shall be protected. Works protected in the country of origin solely as designs and models shall be entitled in another country of the Union only to such special protection as is granted in that country to designs and models; however, if no such special protection is granted in that country, such works shall be protected as artistic works. So, it is very much a country-by-country thing, and the scope of protection can also vary quite a bit. I think there had been a court case or two which actually did rule photographs infringing, though most I've heard of are about competing products. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:02, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks very much. If you are saying "That photo would have been OK on the English Wikipedia, which uses U.S. law...," couldn't the picture be uploaded with some sort of restriction only to use it on the English Wikipedia (and others with similar regulation). -- Mdd (talk) 22:12, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

I believe that would be en:Template:Do not move to Commons. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:47, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
OK, I see what you mean. Thanks for explaining. -- Mdd (talk) 09:29, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:4X-AHC Martin Harrison.jpg[edit]

Hi, could you take a look at this one? As an application of De minimis, it may be useful as a case book for the policy if kept, as it would set a new standard for all vehicles. Thanks -- (talk) 08:00, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for participating. The case has been added to the de minimis examples. Refer to Commons_talk:De_minimis#Incidental_decoration_for_utilitarian_objects. -- (talk) 14:23, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

cat-a-lot error?[edit]

Hi, you recently moved several of my uploaded images from Category:C-130 Hercules to Category:Category redirects (which should be for categories only). You may want to check that action again. :-) -- (talk) 09:31, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Whoops, operator error, sorry about that. Fixed ;-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:01, 7 July 2015 (UTC)


Hi! I was wondering if you would permit me to open a request for adminship in your name? Given your skills and the style in which you contribute, I know you would make a fine sysop. --Hedwig in Washington (mail?) 01:17, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:San Diego TwinPorts proposal-Ron Roberts 1991.jpg[edit]

Hi Carl, could you look into this and made a comment, please. Jee 01:18, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

NJ draft statute copyright.[edit]

This PDF of proposed ABC regulations is linked to from this web page, at the bottom of which is a menu with Legal Statement & Disclaimers linking to [34]. Section F therein reads:

Section F. Copyright and Trademark Limitations
The State of New Jersey has made the content of these pages available to the public and anyone may view, copy or distribute State information found here without obligation to the State, unless otherwise stated on particular material or information to which a restriction on free use may apply. However, the State makes no warranty that materials contained herein are free of Copyright or Trademark claims or other restrictions or limitations on free use or display. Making a copy of such material may be subject to the copyright of trademark laws.

I want to check with you whether you see any copyright issues that preclude uploading of the PDF at the first link. As you see it, is the verbiage, "anyone may view, copy or distribute State information found here without obligation to the State." clear enough to free the PDF, given where it's hosted? It doesn't speak directly to attribution, derivatives or commercial use, but a restriction on any kind of use would be an "obligation", so perhaps that's specific enough. ( is somewhat on point. Proposed regulations aren't government edicts.)--Elvey (talk) 23:13, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure about derivative works. I think the clause probably encompasses commercial use. I guess the question is if the "copy" term would encompass the copying that happens with adaptation, or if they would explicitly need to allow "adaptation" as well. Granted, that is the type of work where most realistic uses are verbatim copies. We do have a {{PD-IDGov}} tag which sounds somewhat similar, although that is based on the text of copyright law itself and uses the term "reproduction" which might also imply derivative works depending on the law's definition; a license statement like the above may not be bound as tightly to the law's definitions. It does sound like they note that there may be material from third parties in which case the license would not apply. I have to admit that does sound like a {{CopyrightedFreeUse}} type of license, particularly given the clause which indicates that there needs to be an explicit statement to limit "free use". I'd probably vote "keep" if that showed up in a deletion request, but I could see others having some doubts. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:12, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I agree, it seems that {{CopyrightedFreeUse}} would be appropriate (though I don't see any significant way in which the NJ works are less free than works that are PD). Indeed, the clause that uses the term "free use" does imply that making content available on those pages without an explicit statement to limit "free use", thereby allows "free use". Such additional indication that the works are free is important, given that the license contains the ungrammatical gobbledygook, "Making a copy of such material may be subject to the copyright of trademark laws."
(Can I press you to be more specific about how one could interpret the without obligation clause in a way that would restrict the creation of derivative works, if you see a plausible way to do so? I just don't see how one can interpret the verbiage, "anyone may view, copy or distribute State information found here without obligation to the State" in a way that restricts the distribution of derivative works, other than to flat out ignore it. As I see it, a person cannot be obliged to not create or distribute modified copies of covered works. Specifically, a person cannot be obliged to not create or distribute modified copies unless there's an obligation to the State to not do so, and any such obligation would be voided by the verbiage in the license which instantly frees the person from any such obligation.) We (usually) don't allow works on commons whose licenses prohibit derivatives, so I agree that we need to be confident that in the case of this NJ content, derivative works are not prohibited.
TIA. --Elvey (talk) 23:57, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
? I guess you are making the (IMO extremely conservative) assumption that by "without obligation", the State may mean only "without financial obligation"?--Elvey (talk) 20:10, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Kindness Barnstar Hires.png The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
thank you for helping Jonnymoon96 (talk) 17:33, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Local California officials and copyright[edit]

Hiya Carl: I saw your comment that PD-CA-gov refers to local officials as well. However the language of that says "paid" and "working". Most local California officials (per Betty Yee's website) are not paid. They are elected volunteers. How would licensing affect those people? For example, we have a well known photographer on our city council, unpaid and elected. How do you determine which of his pictures are his? Are any of his photos covered by PD-CA-gov because he's unpaid? And then how would it shift if he were a paid, elected official? Are all his photos public works? It's a tough test and I'd like to understand it better. Thanks. Ellin Beltz (talk) 15:56, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Where does it say paid and working? I would imagine, like Florida, the works in question must be 1) public records by California law, and also 2) works for hire of the government body per copyright law. The latter question can be tortured, but it does not apply to just paid employees I'm pretty sure. In Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid, I think the Supreme Court ruled that the principles of the common law of agency must be used to determine a "work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment" (which is part of the "work for hire" definition in copyright law), and the agency laws are usually trying to find the distinction between an "employee" and an "independent contractor". It is only employees where the default case would mean the government agency would own copyright; for contractors it depends on the contract, and if not specified, the contractor would retain copyright. The law of agency is probably more usually concerned with liability in labor law; if someone is directing the activities of the government agency, they are probably an "employee" and not a "contractor". From what I can see, there is a publication called the Restatement of the Law of Agency which tries to summarize the state of common law on the subject, and that does have this:
§ 7.07 Employee Acting Within Scope Of Employment
(1) An employer is subject to vicarious liability for a tort committed by its employee acting within the scope of employment.
(2) An employee acts within the scope of employment when performing work assigned by the employer or engaging in a course of conduct subject to the employer's control. An employee's act is not within the scope of employment when it occurs within an independent course of conduct not intended by the employee to serve any purpose of the employer.
(3) For purposes of this section,
(a) an employee is an agent whose principal controls or has the right to control the manner and means of the agent's performance of work, and
(b) the fact that work is performed gratuitously does not relieve a principal of liability.
That last clause seems to say that volunteers, despite not being paid, are still employees. Works conducted within the scope of their employment would therefore probably be works for hire. If that person took photographs because they were assigned that task by the agency, then they are works for hire most likely. If they were photos taken on his own time, or really just on his own initiative without intending for them to be used by the agency (even if at work), then they probably are not, if I'm reading the above right. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:51, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the clarity! I agree 100% with your statement "If they were photos taken on his own time, or really just on his own initiative without intending for them to be used by the agency (even if at work), then they probably are not." Thanks! Ellin Beltz (talk) 17:15, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
Before there is any confusion about San Diego Councilmen, they are PAID positions with large well paid staffs. They have large budgets and work done by their office is not private. The Chief of staff of a San Diego City councilman earns well over $150,000. San Diego City Councilmen and their staffs are NOT volunteers. The TwinPorts rendering was done within the "scope of their employment" it was NOT done on private time. Public money was used and it was done on public time, not private time. The San Diego City Council is not staffed by volunteers. I worked WITH Ron Roberts not FOR Ron Roberts. I was not on his staff or a "volunteer," I worked on my own projects. The letter submitted by Ron Roberts office to permissions-commons is quite clear. Respectfully Rnieders (talk) 16:19, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

File:San Diego TwinPorts proposal-Ron Roberts 1991.jpg Ticket#2015082010023931[edit]

Hello Carl Lindberg, Ron Roberts has submitted a letter to permissions-commons and received a confirmation of receipt on August 20th. It is under Ticket#2015082010023931. I had initially forwarded the letter and email from the office of Ron Roberts to permission-commons but as recommended by Jeevan Jose, to maintain transparency, I asked that the email be sent directly from the office of Ron Roberts to permissions-commons. The letter is quite clear about the issue of public domain and the email from the the office of Ron Roberts also attached a copy of the image in question so that it is clear we are referring to the same color rendering. I would appreciate that the discussion be closed and that the disclaimer stating that the image "has been nominated for deletion" be removed. Respectfully Rnieders (talk) 14:44, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

I just read the prior discussion of Ellin Beltz. The position of City Councilman in San Diego is a PAID position, San Diego is a major City, not a small town. San Diego councilmen are full time positions with large well paid staffs, e.g. the chief of staff earns well over $150,000 (dollars) annually. San Diego city councilmen are not volunteers, this not a small town where councilmen are part time unpaid officials who also have to hold full time jobs. This is all public record. Respectfully Rnieders (talk) 14:58, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
As mentioned above, I don't think it matters if they were paid or not. If a work was done in the course of their employment, paid or not, it's a work for hire and the government entity would own the copyright. It's only works made for personal purposes which would still be a private copyright. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:07, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
I did make another comment on Commons:Deletion requests/File:San Diego TwinPorts proposal-Ron Roberts 1991.jpg, but that discussion needs to be resolved in order to remove the notice. It's simply a notice that the discussion is ongoing. Hopefully the email will be enough to remove any remaining doubts others have. I'm not an admin, nor do I have access to OTRS, so I can't directly do anything on those counts. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:07, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, I did read it and I can understand the confusion. The Valenzuela rendering was part of the counter-proposal I wrote to try to counter ASA's position of no north side runway, meaning they did not want any runways on the San Diego side and basically wanted San Diego to finance the entire expansion of Tijuana, something U.S. airlines would not buy into and that position was also unacceptable to the City of San Diego which was going to own and operate the airport. What few people know is that the San Diego airport at that time was owned and operated by the San Diego Port and now is an independent airport agency (airport legislation introduced by Steve Peace which took it away from the port and placed it into am airport agency). So at my own expense I changed the Twinports rendering, again this was a City project not a Port project. You will note on Ron Roberts/TwinPorts rendering there is NO cross-border terminal, so the counter-proposal involved developing a Mexico/San Diego "transborder" airport in stages with the first stage building a cross-border terminal and the full expansion of Tijuana, and the second stage building a north side runway (San Diego runway) meaning a staged development in which U.S. airlines would be encouraged to invest on the Tijuana side to develop international routes which could then tie into their domestic flights on the San Diego side as the downtown San Diego airport would be phased out. It also should be noted that the time frame for building any new airport in the U.S. is 10 years minimum during which the Tijuana airport and international routes would have been developed. The negotiations were very complex and politically charged both in the U.S. and Mexico, especially after the governor of California, Pete Wilson had a confrontation with Mexico's Minister of Foreign Relation Solana over the issue of the illegal immigration which basically torpedoed the airport negotiations. I am sure you have had enough of this, but if you like, I can be contacted by email or telephone. Respectfully Rnieders (talk) 22:18, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

You Got Mail[edit]

Josve05a (talk) 19:49, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Wellcome collection[edit]

Thanks for response to the deletion request File:Unidentified man... There are several others listed on Dominick's talk page. They are in my judgement PD for various reasons but nailing those reasons down for a whole set is more than I can handle now. Could you reiterate your argument for the rest if appropriate? Thanks. Dankarl (talk) 02:30, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

For the photographs in the set these are from (except File:Unidentified man which is clearly much older) the most likely author is Henry Wellcome (d1936). A trip (or two) through Alaska 1897-1901 contains the set. Dankarl (talk) 02:38, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

They are probably either by or works for hire of Henry Wellcome, and all came from his Washington DC office. The country of origin would almost certainly be the U.S. Nailing down a publication date can be fuzzy or impossible, but they are almost certainly PD one way or another. If they were released to the public domain by the Wellcome Trust directly, then it's basically PD-author. If the rights were transferred to NARA and they are simply releasing them, I guess it's basically the same thing. If they were published at some point, copyright likely expired earlier than the donation, or certainly since (I doubt NARA would bother renewing any copyright they owned). Perhaps we could go with PD-author for most of them, or a PD-because and link to the NARA collection. But NARA believes these are "Unrestricted" (i.e. PD) and since they are US works there is no good reason to doubt that determination. It's a matter of choosing a different tag. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:01, 22 September 2015 (UTC)


I see you have been getting pings about this for years now (long before I was active on Commons instead of enwiki) but...really... you are rather the 'go to guy' on many aspects of copyright. Not that being an admin would obligate you to do any kind of 'maintenance' stuff, but you really do merit the bit, to the point (IMO) that it's rather silly that you don't have it. I would be happy to nominate you, if you would accept it, and there is no doubt at all in my mind that you would be a unanimous pass. I can understand if you don't think you 'need' the bit, but you are obviously trustworthy, and you have a much higher level of clue about copyright than the large majority of editors. You'lll find that the bit is useful even without getting into any kind of drama (for instance, I delete a lot of obvious duplicate files as speedies) and.... you just should have it. Really. Revent (talk) 02:36, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

me to :) Revent, User:Leyo, User:Trycatch, User:Killiondude, User:Jameslwoodward, User:Kanonkas, User:Finnrind i tried to enter a request here --ThurnerRupert (talk) 09:16, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
I quite understand (and agree with) the sentiment but I feel that if Carl became an admin the changed perception of his position might reduce his influence and authority. Thincat (talk) 09:45, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
@Thincat: Much delayed response (Carl, you need to set up archiving on your talk). You are rather correct, though that is an unfortunate aspect of the social environment on wikis. It was never supposed to work that way... adminship not being a big deal, just that you're trusted to not break shit with the buttons, and all that. Carl is obviously trustworthy, the rest of it is just silly social foo... but I can understand it, while finding it regrettable. Revent (talk) 08:52, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
@ThurnerRupert: You failed to successfully transclude that on to the actual request page. It would, of course, be dependent on his actually accepting the nomination, however. Revent (talk) 09:15, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

User talk:Mabelina[edit]

Hi Carl - I really am most grateful for your spending time explaining this matter and I am learning a lot - I hope you are too? Scrope vs. Grosvenor is the classic case always recited by Heralds to this day - largely because the Grosvenors lost but became the richest aristocratic landowners in Britain whilst the Scrope family (which was rich back then) won and now doesn't even have an hereditary peerage to their name... Nonetheless, with regards to this vexed matter of copyright, your example of en:Edge (magazine) doesn't prove anything about the law of arms. How to explain this? because I totally understand what you are saying but we are talking at cross-purposes.

In a nutshell, there are many make-believe armorial images floating around globally, some of which look the same and are legally valid under different jurisdictions. In such cases, so far as the arms have been used correctly I cannot see how your image rights issue comes into play; I say this because any heraldic artist to be named would be well aware that their artwork was a reproduction of someone else's coat of arms. If there were no grant of arms for the image they created, then naturally it could be deemed as original artwork, but where there is a legally granted and proveable coat of arms how would you suggest this said artist could win such a case? The "E" in Edge is well understood, but when Letters Patent come into play (& I know this is a far-fetched and remote possibility) what type of court would disregard them (in any jurisdiction)? The type of arms I am talking about are ones which have the full weight of the Law behind them, not just some made up pretty picture - which of course would get crucified if the rightful bearer of such arms took objection to such display. M Mabelina (talk) 21:37, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
PS. how can this undeletion discussion now be closed when you haven't answered the central legal point?

The undeletion discussion is not closed -- the marker when closing the section below shows up while editing unfortunately. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:54, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
The right to bear arms and copyright are completely different topics. I don't think either one affects the rights of the other -- but they can both exist. For example, if a photographer takes a photo of a celebrity, they would own the copyright of the photograph (the celebrity does not own any of it). However, the celebrity does own their own publicity rights, so if someone wanted to use that photograph in say an advertising context, they would have to obtain permission from both the copyright holder, and the celebrity because of the publicity rights, since both sets of rights applied to the intended use. In other words, both sets of rights are separate, and can overlap. Similarly, I'm guessing copyright is just a separate right from bearer's rights, and they can also overlap. If someone has arms granted, and gets a drawing from the College of Arms, I assume they can use that drawing -- that is probably an implicit license. If an arms owner commissions someone to create a representation of their arms, there would be a license to use that drawing (and the copyright might also be transferred, depending on the agreement). But if someone unrelated makes their own drawing of the arms, I don't think the bearer has any right to use that specific drawing without getting a license from the copyright owner. Copyright is copyright, whether it is a regular drawing or a drawing of an arms. On the other hand, the person making that drawing would have no rights to really use their own drawing in the UK, because bearer's rights would come into play. Commons is primarily concerned about copyright, so if it's a copyrighted drawing, it needs to be licensed. It's not the overall design of the arms which is copyrighted; it is the exact drawing (the precise lines chosen by the artist, etc.) If two different people make a drawing of a lion holding a spear, there are two independent copyrights despite the similar design. Copyright does not care if those drawings were a part of a coat of arms or not -- they are artistic works. You are correct that the Edge case doesn't imply anything about the laws surrounding arms -- but it does say something about how minimal someone's graphic contribution needs to be to create a copyright. Most arms drawings would therefore also have a copyright, separate from the rights of the arms design itself. Users cannot simply take any illustration (arms or otherwise) off the internet even if it does make a better illustration than the one we have. Even if such a use would qualify for fair use (or fair dealing in the UK), Commons cannot host them even if it would be technically legal, as we do not allow fair use works (mandate from the Wikimedia Foundation).
Obviously, Commons does not want to perpetuate any of the make-believe arms floating around... if an arms drawing is fake it could be deleted as having no educational value, or at least clearly labeled as a drawing of a made-up arms design (having a library of "free" arms images helps in creating free versions of real arms, so there could still be educational value). Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:53, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Carl - hopefully the following provides further clarity to Wiki licensors:
Technically all true coats of arms are protected as artistic works because they are hand-drawn and painted on vellum by the heralds at the College of Arms, but more importantly they are protected by Royal Prerogative because each is granted by the Sovereign. There are medieval laws about the misuse of coats of arms, which are enforced by something called the Court of Chivalry. Despite sounding a bit medieval itself, it still exists and does occasionally issue decisions over the use of arms. If a coat of arms you are interested in is one granted by the College of Arms, then no-one other than the grantee (or rightful descendants) may use it, except in very special circumstances (think of the 'By royal appointment' use of Royal cyphers by firms who have been issued Letters Patent authorising such use). As I'm sure you are aware there is nothing to stop anyone creating their own version of a coat of arms so long as it does not copy an existing grant of arms, and in such cases, although the Royal Prerogative would not apply, copyright would protect the artistic work. And in certain cases they may be registered as trade marks (qv. M Mabelina (talk) 20:10, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
PS. thus, coats of arms (under the jurisdiction of the College of Arms) are very appropriate to be used by way of representation of any rightful bearer of such armorial bearings, this being their purpose, and such use can only be illegal if depicted in association with anyone not entitled to said arms. Should Wiki be in any further doubt, I would advise contacting the College of Arms on this. Many thanks.
I would be very surprised if bearer's rights negated copyright law. You are saying anything legal under bearers' rights automatically means there is no copyright infringement -- I have my doubts about that. Like you say, armorial rights are similar in intent to trademark (other than how they are transferred), but trademark rights have no impact whatsoever on if a given use is a copyright infringement or not. It can be very easy to violate one, but not the other. If someone makes a new artistic work which is too close to an existing trademark, they would be violating trademark law if they "use" it (while having full ownership of the copyright). However, if the trademark owner tried to use that exact drawing without permission from the artist, they would be violating copyright law. You are saying, with armorial bearings, that second part would not happen -- what evidence is there that copyright is different in this particular circumstance? The rights, most likely, are purely overlapping which means that depictions must be treated as normal works per copyright law. Even if not technically infringement because such use might be considered "fair dealing", that would not matter on Commons -- we are not allowed to upload works where fair use or fair dealing is the only defense to infringement. They must be fully unencumbered by copyright or liberally licensed. Furthermore, the Court of Chivalry has no jurisdiction outside of the UK (and perhaps some countries which still have the Queen as their sovereign). Commons is a global project, and as such must also be aware of use in many countries of the world. In most of them, a drawing like this is a simple artistic work subject to copyright, and copying it to Commons requires the permission of the copyright owner. It might also be subject to trademark rights, but as those are Commons:Non-copyright restrictions, we just make sure that our use does not violate trademark. Typically, "use" in that context doesn't mean simply displaying it (like "use" of copyright), but rather using its symbolic meaning. In general, we would consider bearer's rights to also be non-copyright restrictions, which we would also like to respect, but do no think those affect the copyright in any way, so we would consider every individual drawing can have its own copyright. If we want to upload a depiction, either the copyright needs to be expired, or it needs to be drawn by someone who licenses the copyright freely. That can be either yourself, or asking someone else. Commons:Graphic Lab/Illustration workshop used to be more active, but there are still artists there who may take requests to make graphic versions. It's best to start with the blazon and not an existing copyrighted work as an example, of course. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:45, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Hi Carl - thanks for your further reply and I much appreciate your attention to detail and willingness to learn about legal rights in what admittedly is a quite esoteric area of the Law! Yes, I am saying that coats of arms (under the jurisdiction of the College of Arms) correctly displayed in association with a rightful bearer are not subject to copyright law which would be trumped by English Law (to which foreign courts would submit, in the unlikely event that such a case were ever to be presented and assuming of course that the defence team had sufficient wit to invoke its applicable legal standing!). For further reading, see Wiki's article on the Earl Marshal's Court wherein you will note that the court last formally sat in 1954 and that more recently Aberystwyth Town Council declared its intention to launch proceedings against ‘Aberystwyth Confessions’, who had no right to bear their arms (having "assumed" Aberystwyth TC's coat of arms without authority), which case was swiftly settled (by ‘Aberystwyth Confessions’ taking down the COA) before reaching court because the law is entirely clear in this matter. Please let me know if I can help further, or as previously suggested, contact the College of Arms for verification. Many thanks M Mabelina (talk) 14:23, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that is the same thing as "not subject to copyright law". That is "subject to both copyright and bearer's rights". Any use would have to conform to both laws -- I didn't say copyright intrudes on bearer's rights at all either; just that both apply. Basically, for Commons, if the copyright exists then it must be licensed to be uploaded here. It doesn't matter that a particular use might not be infringement; our site policy is that the copyright must be free to use in a great many circumstances. You may be right that a use in your described situation may well be "fair use" in the US (or "fair dealing" in the UK), but say I wanted to copy a lion portion from the drawing and use it in my own non-COA drawing? That would be copyright infringement without a license, and therefore the source file is not "free" since all uses of that nature must be allowed as well. Bearer's rights (and/or trademark) might also apply to a particular use, which must also be respected in any jurisdiction where those rights apply, but that does not change the copyright -- Commons policy is that the copyright must be licensed to host here. We will delete files where the copyright has not expired and is not licensed, regardless of any other rights which might come into play in some situations. Files can be uploaded to English Wikipedia directly under a "fair use" rationale, though they have restrictions on those, as they want to minimize such files. Commons on the other hand is not allowed to host files at all which depend on a "fair use" rationale for not being infringement. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:44, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
I am advising Wiki, or at least I hope I am, that the use of a relevant coat of arms is protected under English Law and therefore against infringement under copyright law elsewhere. What you are saying about the Lion for example is tangential at best because of course that has nothing to do with a properly displayed Coat of Arms and I never said it was. Many thanks M Mabelina (talk) 14:51, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
PS. by giving this advice, I am attempting to give Wiki full-scale knowledge of the laws of arms, but perhaps it would be better and more legal (so-to-speak) if you could put your legal team on to me directly and I shall pay for a judgement by the College or a QC, so as to allay any fears you may have. Let me know. M Mabelina (talk) 14:57, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
Well... from everything I have seen, I think the "therefore against infringement under copyright law elsewhere" is completely incorrect. UK law only applies within the UK -- same as any other national law. For example, it would have no effect whatsoever on uses inside the US -- US courts will only apply US law. Copyright cases might look to foreign law for aspects of copyright ownership, but as to if a use is infringement, it would only use US law (per en:Itar-Tass Russian News Agency v. Russian Kurier, Inc.. And if it was a US user who made the drawing, then even that would just use US law. The court case you cite does not appear to bring up copyright at all -- that was a simple question under bearer's rights in the UK, which additionally would apply of course. If someone takes a "free" file and uses it to violate the laws of arms, that is their own problem. The copyright license would not help them. Same with the 2012 situation -- copyright didn't matter at all; if it was a bearer's right violation that was still a problem and still illegal (even if a copyright was not violated), so there was no need to consider copyright law. Anyways, I don't work for the Wikimedia Foundation; I'm just a user who has a decent idea as to what Commons policy is. According to meta:Wikilegal, there is a email address which you could try. I'm not sure what authority the College of Arms has when it comes to copyright law. But the lion example is not at all tangential -- that is actually the core of what Commons is. It is a library of free images which can be used in a large number of ways. Files which are not "free" are not allowed since it would unduly restrict those wide-ranging possibilities of uses. Even if your particular desired use is not infringement under copyright law, the file is still not "free" and is therefore against the site policy -- it has to be legal (per copyright law at least) to copy the lion in the manner I described (and even use the result in a commercial context). Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:32, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
OK Carl - it is good to be in touch with one who has a decent idea as to what Commons policy is, which is why I have been taking the time to explain the law of arms to you. Of course laws are not supranational, but where there is a legal right under a valid (and in this case multi-laterally respected) law, national courts would give way to the relevant jurisdiction (qv: Lex loci contractus). Please advise further. Many thanks M Mabelina (talk) 15:40, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, learning about the laws of arms is definitely interesting. However... in cases like these, other laws generally do not "give way"; they simply overlap and both can apply to a given use. I'm not sure there is any precedent when it comes to the laws of arms specifically, but there is lots of precedent for trademark rights which are pretty analogous. In those, the existence of a trademark does not affect the copyright in any way, and vice versa. A particular use can be a copyright violation, a trademark violation, or both -- and there are plenty of cases where people have been convicted of both. I would imagine the same would happen with the laws of arms. For countries which have no laws of arms, then those rights simply don't exist -- such as in the US. It could be considered a trademark violation, but that would have to be argued under US precedent. I suppose it's possible that a common-law trademark could exist if the design was well enough known, with the ownership being determined by UK laws of arms, but 1) I don't think anyone at Commons has brought such a case up, and 2) it would not matter in respect to the scope of copyright, other than perhaps the interpretation of "fair use". Commons' fixation on copyright can border on the absurd sometimes, and can be divorced from reality somewhat because we ignore fair use, but that is what we focus on. If the copyright exists at all, that copyright must be licensed in order to upload it here, even if the intended use would be legally OK without it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:54, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks again Carl for getting to the crux of the matter, namely this is not so much to do with law but Wiki Commons policy. Would you be so kind as to send me Wiki Commons policy details in this regard for perusal, preferably by email (because online this subject matter is seemingly not described sufficiently - as far as I can see)? Let's liaise privately further as to how to do so, if agreeable. Many thanks indeed. Best M Mabelina (talk) 01:29, 8 November 2015 (UTC)
The primary one is Commons:Licensing -- Wikimedia Commons only accepts free content, that is, images and other media files that are not subject to copyright restrictions which would prevent them being used by anyone, anytime, for any purpose. The Foundation uses as the definition of a "free" work; you can also see en:Free content. Because of the pervasiveness of copyright laws, it can now be hard to find artistic material which can be legally used to build other works, so the definition requires wide-ranging freedoms be given by copyright holders in order to allow that. "Fair use" can mean that a particular use might not be infringement without a license, but since Commons is just making it available for many uses, it's harder for us to claim that. For example, many people will link directly to our images from their blog sites, etc. Secondly, fair use can vary wildly in different countries (some are limited to the specific use cases listed in their national copyright law), and Commons has more of a global audience. Accordingly, there is wmf:Resolution:Licensing policy, which mandates that Commons does not hold any fair use works (and therefore, Commons:Fair use is the policy). Individual projects like English Wikipedia can allow some fair use material (if they make an exemption policy), though since they are trying to be the "free encyclopedia", they also limit such use, so they may still disallow something even if it might be legal in the US (or another country); their policy is at w:Wikipedia:Non-free content. Images which qualify for that policy may be uploaded directly to the English Wikipedia, but will be deleted from Commons. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:35, 8 November 2015 (UTC)
Not to interject randomly, but I was actually reading this because I was posting below, and because I'm generally interested in what Carl has to say (don't feel too special, lol). I think, though, that in regard to a coat of arms, what largely matters in respect to Commons is the 'manner of use'... when displaying a coat of arms, we are not claiming any kind of right of entitlement to the arms, we are merely displaying what the coat of arms 'looks like' in an educational context.... it would be directly equivalent to a publication such as Burke's Peerage displaying what a COA 'looks like', with an independent depiction that does not violate the copyright of any prior art. Revent (talk) 08:45, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Light Show[edit]

I'm intentionally not pinging him, this is just an FYI... I appreciate you engaging with him at VPC. Light Show is someone who was previously indefinitely blocked here, and is still under an uploading ban at enwiki. He's a good faith contributor, I think, but has a major issue with grasping the idea of the PRP... he was, well back, the source of many probable copyvios, due to a tendency to argue about things such as 'it was an invalid copyright notice' (because of lacking something like a date, on the particular 'defective' copy we have at hand) or 'generic' arguments about 'such things were never copyrighted'. I unblocked him here a short while back, after his explicit agreement that he would upload no new images without prior approval of their copyright status by other editors.... it was largely in the hope that letting him edit outside of his talk page would result in clearing up some of the still outstanding issues with old uploads, since he was never 'actively' disruptive. He is explicitly required, by the terms of his unblock, to seek prior 'explicit' approval that his proposed uploads meet the terms of the PRP before he actually uploads them, through a discussion either on a community venue such as the VPC, or though a discussion on his talk subpage that he has advertised on a community venue.

I'll openly admit, the type or arguments he's made since, and his related behavior on enwiki (where he apparently was attempting to use the fact I unblocked him here, with conditions, as an excuse to violate his uploading ban there) has made me somewhat regret in engaging in the experiment in 'rehabilitating' him here. He seems to still totally not grasp the PRP... I have lectured him, to some degree of detail, that a copyright registration was never 'required' to establish protection, for instance, as he seemed to believe strongly that a lack of a registration invalidated any copyright notice on the published copies. If he uploads a new image without approval, I'll happily reblock him, at this point, and be shut with it... he has annoyed me, quite, but not actually violated the condition that he proposed and I agreed to (as a reason to believe it would avoid the prior issues), so I am still stuck keeping an eye on him.... at the same time, I hope we can get something useful out of the experiment. I would appreciate anyone with a 'known clue' who was willing to engage with him. He needs, by the condition of his unblock, a fairly explicit statement of agreement that something should be okay before uploading it... he's rather not allowed to assume any kind of 'tacit' agreement.

Thanks, for any help you can give with this. I know it's rather a pain, and a bit above and beyond. Any effort you were willing to give toward specifically looking at things he submits, and giving a 'definite' opinion, would be greatly appreciated. As the person who conditionally unblocked him, I really don't want to be the only person 'ruling' on his uploads. Revent (talk) 08:25, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Commons:Village pump/Copyright#Images from Facebook albums[edit]

Hi Carl. I can tell by your activity that you are already involved in so many discussions that you may be wanting another one less than lego pieces all over your carpet. But if in those discussions you've talked about Facebook albums at least once, than you may be the right person to help me sort out this question: Commons:Village pump/Copyright#Images from Facebook albums. Thank you in advance! //  Gikü  said  done  Wednesday, 18 November 2015 21:56 (UTC)

Follow up on flickr topic[edit]

Hey, thanks for answering my flickr question on November. Sorry that I haven't followed it up due to RL issues. I should have mentioned that the person I asked in question has made the license to CC BY-NC 2.0. I'm just not sure on what I should do next after that. Help is appreciated since it's my first time doing this. Ominae (talk) 13:27, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

Commons will only accept CC-BY or CC-BY-SA, so there is nothing to do. Non-Commercial restrictions (while quite understandable) make a file non-free. See Commons:Licensing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:50, 13 December 2015 (UTC)


Hi Carl-

I am a graphic designer for the U.S. Department of the Treasury and we are currently trying to ensure correct usage and versions of the Department of the Treasury seal. We have come across the aforementioned in the subject line above, and would like to have it removed for Wikimedia Commons. This version was never approved by the agency and we would like to have it not available for reference.

Thank you,

Timothy Garner Visual Information Specialist Printing and Graphics Division U.S. Department of the Treasury

Thanks for the info. The designs/colors in question were in fact used (on the department's own website, such as the 1999 Treasury home page, and in other government publications, like this 2007 report from another government organization), whether that was "approved" by today's graphic standards group or not. Wikimedia Commons generally does not remove works unless there is no educational use at all, and historical usage would be plenty for educational use. We should update the descriptions though (and possibly the filename) to make clear they are no longer used today, if they even ever were official. That, and see if usages on Wikipedias should be changed. Thanks, Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:41, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

Merry Christmas!![edit]

Christmas cat.jpg Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2016 !
  • Look sweet...
  • Eat everything...
  • Seek the warmest spots to nap and purr...
  • Try to wait until after to demolish the paper and ornaments...

-- Ellin Beltz (talk) 20:35, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

Happy New Year![edit]

Pyro wiki.JPG Fireworks from the Philippines to celebrate 2016
Happy New Year Clindberg! I hope you still do your great work in 2016! Face-smile.svg Poké95 05:22, 31 December 2015 (UTC)

File:CUA Cardinal 2008.png[edit]

Whats your take on copyrightability of a mild derivation from a widely used very similar in each instance logo. Can you please comment on the issue in this discussion Wikipedia:Files for discussion/2016 January 4? Thanks Rybkovich (talk) 19:58, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

Sorry for confusion I first posted this on your talk
I wanted to ask you a follow up question. You said that:
Even if there are similar logos, it can still be copyrightable. It would not prevent someone else from designing a similar logo, but one which reproduced the exact lines seen in this one could still be a problem.... The other chance is if this exact logo was in use before 1989 or especially 1978; I would suspect that there were many publications of it without a copyright notice, and if so its copyright may have been lost then. I could not find any in a quick search, but the team name has been in use since the 1920s.
Does it mean that: If I did find a pre 1978 poster without a copyright and that had the logo in it - it could be argued that the logo itself would lose the copyright not just the image of the poster? Would it make a difference if there was also another poster with the logo in it but this poster had a copyright? Thanks allot this is all very interesting. Rybkovich (talk) 19:50, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
There is probably no bright line rule, but in general, all copies of a work needed a copyright notice before 1978. If you put out copies for several years with a copyright notice, but then you started putting out copies without one, then copyright was lost at that point. Courts would generally allow a "relative few" copies exist without notice to not lose the copyright, so there is a bit of a judgement call -- if you are creating a million items with the logo on it, and 1% of them did not have notice (still 1,000 instances), that would probably not lose copyright. If something counts as a derivative work (i.e. the original work was altered in some way), then lack of notice may not affect the original (just the additional expression in the new work). But if a logo is copied wholesale onto a poster, that is probably an individual part of a composite work, and not a derivative. A copyright notice on the poster would cover all the elements, but if no copyright notice on the poster, that should count as publication of a copy of the logo without notice -- if that is still within a "relative few", then the copyright may not have been lost, but otherwise I'd think so. I would imagine companies were most concerned about the trademark on a logo rather than the copyright so I'd guess that in most cases they would not have cared about the notice. But it's still good to find actual instances of it happening. If it was published prior to 1964, then there would also have to be a copyright renewal for it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:55, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

File:Venera 9 - Venera 10 - venera9-10.jpg Public Domain status[edit]

Can you please comment to the Wikipedia:Files for discussion/2016 January 8, File:Venera9.png discussion. This discussion is regarding whether or not this file qualifies for non-free content. Per WP:NFCC#1 - A non-free file cannot be used if there is a public domain equivalent. In this case the possible equivalent is File:Venera 9 - Venera 10 - venera9-10.jpg The file is from the NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive. Can you comment on whether or not the information provided by the curator of the archive is sufficient for determining that the file can be considered as in the public domain under standards.

Wikipedia:Files for discussion/2016 January 8 venera 9 and 10 discussion
NSSDC policy

Thanks again Rybkovich (talk) 18:16, 13 January 2016 (UTC)


Thanks, and thanks again. I was away for a bit, for medical foo, and unable to keep watch. Glad that you were giving your usual erudite comments. :) Revent (talk) 01:17, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

Requesting your opinion[edit]

Hi Carl, I hope you are well. If you have a minute or two, I was hoping you could offer your expertise on whether FOP applies to Prada Marfa at Commons:Deletion_requests/Files_in_Category:Prada_Marfa. Thanks for your time, Storkk (talk) 10:53, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

RFC on Meta[edit]


Revent created this RFC to get a change or clarification on the position of posting non-free text on project discussion pages. Users may expect this can be done as "fair use" but it is possible this is invalid as Commons has no fair use exemption (and this appears to apply to both hosted media files and the meta-content that forms our discussions and forums and licencing pages). Additionally, people may quote emails for which they have permission but not a free licence. Looking at some of our forum discussions, it seems you are a "serial offender" :-) as you frequently post text from legal works to help with the discussions. You may also have an opinion as to how much text could be quoted before it becomes a copyright concern at all, and how much text could be quoted before it is no longer fair use. For example, I note this page contains several paragraphs quoted from "Nimmer on Copyright" (not by you) that might be considered excessive. Anyway, your wisdom on copyright matters and opinion on the request would be helpful. -- Colin (talk) 08:22, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

Two files[edit]

w:File:Plainsman.jpg (a poster for a film from 1936) is marked as unfree while File:Plainsman.jpg (a screenshot from the same film) is marked as PD-US-no notice. There seems to be some fine print on the poster which might include a copyright notice, and I suspect that a film company would be more interested in protecting a film than a poster for the film, so I suspect that at least one of the pictures has wrong copyright information. It may be useful to search for the film in renewal records, but do you think that there is any reason to search for the poster or do we just assume that it is PD-US-not renewed? Films and film posters needed separate notices and renewals, didn't they? --Stefan2 (talk) 22:20, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

The poster is a completely separate work so it would need its own notice/renewal, yes. Agreed we can't see the small print enough on the poster to see if it's PD-no_notice. I see a copy of the film on and it definitely had a valid copyright notice (for 1936) right after the title in the opening credits. I don't see that screenshot though at the beginning nor the end -- it's possible it was from a trailer. Yeah, looks like it's at the end of . I don't think that trailer had a notice, from the looks of it. So that tag looks to be correct actually. But the poster... would help if we at least did a search for 1963 / 1964 to see if there is a listing. Looking at an image here there is a copyright notice on that poster... might even be for 1937; can't quite read the date. But the poster is claimed by Paramount Pictures. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:48, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't see any renewals for Paramount in the artwork sections for 1964 or 1965. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:55, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
I added a link to the trailer from the screenshot image and will retag the poster, then. --Stefan2 (talk) 23:00, 8 March 2016 (UTC)

Template:PD-textlogo and Common law[edit]

Hi Clindberg. I've been reading the thread COM:VP/C#Template:PD-textlogo and Common law with interest. I am wondering if you have any opinions on COM:VP/C#File:BBC Three logo.svg and File:BBC Earth logo.png and COM:VP/C#WHTX (AM) logos and Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2016/03#File:NBC 2014 Ident.svg.

There are lots of non-free logos uploaded to Wikipedia, some of which might be more suitable for Commons, but probably should be deleted if they are not since their usage does not really comply with en:WP:NFCC. I'm trying to help go through and sort some of them out, and often look to Commons for examples of what is PD OK. Thanks in advance. -- Marchjuly (talk) 21:34, 29 March 2016 (UTC)


You might wish to comment on this. --Stefan2 (talk) 16:08, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

Copyright search and non-renewals[edit]

Hello Clindberg. As I'm still required to seek pre-approval for PD images, what is the best way to get that for U.S. images, online or in my possession, where there is a copyright notice pre 1963, and a thorough search finds no renewal? I'm familiar with all search options. It seems that User talk:Revent is away from his talk page, so I'm hoping you can fill in. Thanks for any feedback. --Light show (talk) 22:18, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Regarding the Korean copyright discussion from May[edit]

So I reread Commons:Village_pump/Copyright/Archive/2016/05#A_guide_to_Korean_copyright several times, but I think your understanding of the issue is still better then mine. Could you change the User:Piotrus/KoreaCopyright accordingly? I used the 1957 date, but it seems you figured out why the 1963 is better. Also the provision for photographs is still not fully clear to me. Bottom line, when I am explaining this to my students, can I tell them that except for photos of copyrighted art, photos by Korean people from or before 31 December 1976 are PD (and anything that was taken later, is probably not PD)? So basically pma (which is from then on +70) has little practical relevance for Korean photos? And for art or photos of it and such, the pma of 1962 or before is ok, otherwise it is not? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 11:45, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Chełm Nowe Miasto[edit]

thank you for your interest, these files I posted for public discussion held two years ago, but have been thoughtlessly and arrogantly deleted from wikimedia (after I asked the Polish administrators for help in choosing the right "license"), so today they are no longer as useful :( - I've seen your changes, but I still have doubts as to the proper "license" for many reasons (first, work made between 1925 and 1926, which is in the public domain since 1926, because it was for this purpose made and purchased, there may not be post factum and still the subject of private law, because it is elementary collision of laws; second, these works can not relate to copyright system, which in Poland then even did not exist, nor does it force before 14 June 1926, because the law can not be retroactive as you know; third, we have the alleged authorship dealing here, forced post factum only by the copyright system; fourth, even today many architects (like me and my masters) signs drawings compiled by their office only because of professional responsibility, and never because of authorship enforced by the copyright system, which they do not recognize, but copyright system forced by wikimedia against their will, because their will it does not account and forcibly assigns them authorship, etc.) and for these reasons, I also have serious doubts about the role of wikipedia and wikimedia in blocking national culture and historical knowledge, because for such a role of wikimedia boils mindless deleting files, anyway, thank you for helping to restore these files and the necessary adjustments "license" (google translation), --wkaczura (talk) 11:31, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Copyright can absolutely be retroactive, and for EU countries, is supposed to be. Even works which had long, long been part of the public domain were changed to be copyrighted if the EU directive was complied with -- which Poland did. Per their copyright law, article 124(3): Provisions of this Act shall apply to the works: (3) whose copyright has expired under the provisions hitherto in force and which under this Act shall continue to enjoy protection, except for the period between the expiry of protection under the previous Act and the date of this Act coming into force. That means the new copyright terms (life of the author plus 70 more years) apply to existing works, even if they had previously been public domain, from the effective date of that law going forward. The part about "law can not be retroactive" means that you can't change someone for infringement for acts which occurred while the works were considered public domain, but countries can make future uses of a work protected again. That is what the EU required and what Poland did, though they of course mention that acts done in the period between the expiry of protection under the previous Act and the date of this Act coming into force are of course still fine, but going forward they are not. Article 127 says that existing uses are still allowed (i.e. the newly-restored copyright owner cannot stop them) but payments will start to be required. Even if that type of work had been public domain since 1926, if they were made by someone who was or would be a Polish citizen (or even just a citizen of an EU country), then that new law and new copyright terms would apply to them within Poland, and Poland would be considered the "country of origin". Yes, copyright sucks, and retroactive copyright sucks even more, but that is the law. Following those laws is one of the founding principles of all Wikimedia projects and is not something that Commons can ignore, even if some want to. Any arguments need to be made within the wording of those new laws, or court case decisions, etc. It's possible we made a mistake in assuming the named author actually made the drawings, and should have instead treated it as an anonymous work (article 36 in that law). That does involve the date of publication, which can be tricky, but perhaps that should have been done. I'm not sure we have an appropriate licensing template for that -- it does go further than the normal {{PD-anon-70-EU}} tag.
In the case of PD-Polish, many photographs can be considered below the threshold of originality for the new terms, in which case a country can decide how those are treated -- and it would seem that Poland treats those as it did under previous law, according to the tag. But that does not apply to other types of work, such as drawings, which definitely get the new copyright. Thus, I changed the tags to be the ones that apply given the full terms, because the PD-Polish tag only applies to the photographic portion, and not the drawing, which also needs to be accounted for. It is certainly nobody's desire to block culture or historical knowledge, but Commons is specifically only allowed to host works where either 1) the copyright has expired (and has not been restored), or 2) the copyright has been licensed freely. Some projects will allow "fair use" or "fair dealing" or similar situations, for situations where copyright law does allow for limited use of works without permission -- but Wikimedia Commons is not allowed to do so (per Wikimedia Foundation resolution). Some projects will allow under-copyright works in some situations (for example --żytek) but Commons cannot. Onerous copyright laws are a reason that Wikipedia / Commons exists -- we want to create a body of work which can be re-used by others without worrying much about copyright law; however that does not give us the right to use works made by others without permission -- we need to follow the law. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:02, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
 :D thanks again, I think I understand well what you're saying, because some time I already devoted to this system to understand - by force you can force all breaking the fundamental rules & principles, and then call it "law", can even be considered that the "law" running back, but then it is not law only lawlessness and can force all to became authors against their will, when they do not wish to, etc., so it is not a law, only a grave violation of the law (I mean especially the european legal system, but this also applies probably to the universal law systems) - so I posted this a few notes in the margin, because you sacrificed your time to constructively help in this matter, but more scares me the role of Wikipedia and Wikimedia, as mitigation instruments of knowledge for creating confusion under the veil of untoward, wrongheaded manifestos and slogans of promoting universal knowledge, (google translation) --wkaczura (talk) 14:56, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, most of "real life" issues are covered under things like "fair use", "fair dealing", or other specific usages which are allowed by copyright law without permission of the author. Usage in educational contexts would quite often not actually be illegal. Unfortunately, those type of usages are not "free", in that there can be other usages which could be infringing (usually involving making money off them). Since Commons is a repository of media to be used in any and all circumstances, we can't accept works which are not free per the definition. Yes, this goes beyond strictly legal per copyright law, but "acceptable" uses vary greatly between countries and for a work to be free it needs to be usable in a great many circumstances. This "free" movement goes well beyond Wikipedia / Wikimedia -- it is a reaction to the extremely onerous new copyright laws which have become standard the last 30-40 years, and tries to actually use copyright to ensure that there is a body of works which can be used without worrying about copyright infringement -- but since it uses copyright law as its basis, we need to fully respect the copyright of others. So yes, we go beyond a strictly legal/illegal standard by choice. It may be that typical copyrights are ignored in an industry, but we are conservative about those -- even if 99% of copyright owners ignore their copyrights as a practical matter, the 1% who don't can cause large problems. If there are court rulings which clarify the law, those can always help us. But as sucky as it is, we do need the follow the law as best we understand it. Wikipedia is the "free encyclopedia" -- and sometimes the "free" part does make the "encyclopedia" part harder to do. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:19, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
yes, thanks for attention, I see you understand probably what I mean - at the beginning I also fell into the trap of the "free" encyclopedia, but since this system alarmed me, I limited my edits, and since I already understood this system, I practically not have a look here (very rarely), because the basic problem I have here with publishing my own knowledge and work to convey my experience to the next generation - why should I be a hypocrite and choose a license ? although it is not possible (either logically or legally), because the license is a contract, and you can not conclude a contract with the public in the public domain, because the contract requires two specific parties to the contract that are clearly identified in the contract; why wikipedia and wikimedia steals my work from the public domain and reserves themselves on the license CC-BY-SA? this already in general I do not understand any way; on the other hand, the mere assumption that someone may have copyright is based on a false assumption, because based on the appropriation property of common knowledge, used to "create" a work, and this is already evident plunder of public property, aside from the paradox that can not sell the rights to the public domain and still hold them, using against the public domain, because it has no any logic does not make, as much, as you can not have the butter and at the same time cream from which the butter has been done - because it's a universal truth, that we do not need to explain by any provisions of the "law" - if the purpose or effect of Wikipedia is a false picture of the truth, we should beware of and avoid it - take more attention for these problems, (google translation) --wkaczura (talk) 21:42, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Actually no, a license is not a contract -- they are quite different. See The GPL Is a License, not a Contract or License v. Contract --- Jacobsen v. Katzer (this was in response to a lower court ruling that the Artistic License was in fact a contract and not a license, but that was overturned in a higher court ruling, see w:Jacobsen v. Katzer). As for being an "author against your will"... well yes, that is what modern copyright law does. Under the Berne Convention, all original works (over a very low threshold) are automatically copyrighted, and copyrighted for a very very long time. The knowledge itself is not copyrighted, but the specific word choice you use when writing a description is, or if you make a drawing, that specific drawing is copyrighted, etc. Someone else can describe the same idea using different words, and that is not copyright infringement -- only if someone copies your exact words and uses them. The law then says that copyright is the default, assumed status, and you need explicit permission if you want to copy someone else's work. The free licenses are therefore a mechanism, within the framework of copyright law, to let others use such works widely. You can use the {{CC0}} (Creative Commons Zero) license to give up as many of those rights as possible, or others which require attribution, etc. We simply can't ignore the realities of copyright law, unfortunately. For a long time, there were many countries (among them the United States, USSR, and Warsaw Pact countries) which did not participate in Berne, but rather something else called the Universal Copyright Convention which allowed significant differences, such as requiring works to have a copyright notice or copyright was lost, or registration, things like that. However, as countries (now virtually all of them) have joined Berne, those different treatments are now gone, and everything is automatically copyrighted like it or not. In many cases, people don't care, but occasionally some do and they have the right to enforce it. If we want the free encyclopedia to be able to be copied far and wide under virtually all circumstances, we have to make sure that all its content is not unduly restricted by copyright -- that means either copyright expired, or explicitly licensed. Thus, those are the only types of media that Commons accepts. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:13, 29 July 2016 (UTC)
 :) great, you throw me the challenges and a lot to analyze, hard work - but I will try to answer when I 'm done with it, (google translation) --wkaczura (talk) 16:16, 29 July 2016 (UTC)

Malaysian copyright[edit]

You always seem to have good answers to copyright questions when I see your replies, so hence I would like your opinion on this one. My concern stems from a question about their stamps. I did some research and wrote up an initial summary at Commons:Stamps/Public domain#Malaysia. I also found a working link for the copyright act which is dead on the general copyright page section but I'll fix that. I'd like your opinion on my concern with the fact that since 1992 the post office is now a corporation, so is there any real difference from the government work 50 year rule and the corporate rules, or post-1992 is the copyright period determined by the life of the author. However, I have not seen any records of the authors or engravers, like we do with France where the stamps usually have the name of the engraver and designer on the stamp. This WIPO page may be of help and this does not mention corporate works. Thanks Ww2censor (talk) 09:01, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

I see you have been active since I posted these questions but I'd really like to read your reply. Ww2censor (talk) 13:50, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

File:Manuel A Roxas.jpg[edit]

Hi Clindberg. Thanks for your help with Commons:Deletion requests/File:Manuel Acuña Roxas.jpg. I am wondering if you wouldn't mind also taking peak at File:Manuel A Roxas.jpg when you get a spare moment or two. The file is listed as PD and it is sourced to, but it's not clear if that particular website is the creator of the photo. At first glance, it looks like they have just uploaded various old photos/videos to their website and I'm not sure how Tumblr's licensing works. When I searched "Manual Roxas", I found 8 pages of old photos of Roxas that look like they come from a variety of sources, including some newspapers and magazines. The website is also showing versions of the colorized/non-colorized photos that were deleted in the above-mentioned DR (scroll through page 1 and page 5 to find them). It looks like this photo can be found on page 7 and it seems official, but I'm not sure. It seems the Tumblr page is part of which says "All content is in the public domain unless otherwise stated", but it's not clear if that includes the Tumblr images or even can include the Tumblr images. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:40, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

About Mahabharata Book in Hindi[edit]

Then what about this sir. User INeverCry Delete the File. Why--Baddu676 (talk) 05:39, 5 September 2016 (UTC) Commons:Deletion requests/File:Child Bhima magic.jpg

SVG and "own work"[edit]

Hi Clindberg. Thank you for the information you provided at COM:VP/C#File:Saipa FC logo.png. I am wondering if you wouldn't mind commenting at User talk:GTVM92#Meaning of "own work" when you have a spare moment or two. Perhaps you can clarify the times when an svg file is OK to claim as "own work"? Thanks in advance. -- Marchjuly (talk) 23:53, 14 September 2016 (UTC)


I posted the last question about the files from Algeria, COM:VP/C. I upload the files, can you see if i did in the right way? here and here and here, Thank you and have a nice day.--Jobas (talk) 06:16, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

I think they are fine. Thanks for your contributions. Wikicology (talk) 19:39, 25 September 2016 (UTC)

Odd question[edit]

What do you think is the status of an old -- 18th century, say -- anonymous work in the EU that was in private hands from inception and never seen by the public? The US rule is 120 years from creation, but is there anything in the EU rules that makes something PD by age? .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 12:21, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

tps - (general case in the EU) a publication right has to be claimed within 70 years of creation or death of the author, whichever is longer. As a corollary, exploitation/publication rights only exist on first publication if they are claimed and for archaic material it would be almost impossible for a modern publisher to defend a claim of publication rights without first being able to present continuous provenance. It would only need an alternate copy to surface in a separate archive to debunk a claim (a pragmatic concern for WW1 photographs). -- (talk) 12:47, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand -- who would own the copyright? Let's say it is painting, so it is unlikely that there would be another, duplicate, work. And can you give me a cite for your statement -- I don't doubt you, but if it comes up in the future I'd rather cite the law than "Fæ says". .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 13:28, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
The claimant is the publisher, presuming there is no estate with a default prior claim. Even for a painting, if there is no continuous provenance, then a claim of publication rights would be debunked if someone had published a photograph in a catalogue years before. To have publication rights there can be no evidence of prior publication. Feel free to use "Fæ says" if that pleases you, however you could use the sources quoted at Publication right if you prefer to be civil. -- (talk) 13:59, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
If someone obtained such a work, they probably obtained the copyright as well, so they would be the copyright owner -- but that would not affect the term. Current EU law for anonymous works says it is 70 years from publication, or 70 years from creation if not published in that period. So, per today's law, such a work would no longer have copyright. However... when first published, there would be a 25-year publication right owned by the publisher that is otherwise equivalent to the copyright. For some EU countries, if they previously had an infinite copyright on unpublished works, the previous terms might still be in effect. The UK did away with the infinite copyright (which only applied to certain types of works, notably not pre-1957 photos) in their 1988 law, which was effective in 1989, but gave such works 50 years of protection from that date -- so in the UK some really old works may be protected until 2040. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:56, 2 October 2016 (UTC)


How are you? is it possible to upload file from here and here. Thank you and have a nice day.--Jobas (talk) 10:35, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

No. You can't upload anything you find on the Internet, unless they have been explicitly licensed freely. And if it's not clear, they haven't been licensed. Those, not at all. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:20, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Reply timeframe[edit]

A number of images I've requested a review of have received no comments from anyone even after nearly a week. There are only a handful of new image questions daily, yet the VPC gets about 300 page views. Would it be a major violation to upload something with no comments before they disappear off the page or the source photo gets sold or removed? Thanks for any feedback. --Light show (talk) 18:53, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

@Light show: I've been busy, but I'll try to look, and hopefully Carl will have a chance as well. You can also archive the ebay pages at I think I mentioned that to you once. It would be a good idea anyhow. Reventtalk 00:11, 18 October 2016 (UTC)


You said something (back in August) about trying to write more friendly deletion templates. User:Steven Walling is probably still the #1 expert on that subject. He could probably point you towards useful resources. You (and he, for that matter) might also be interested in phab:T148439 about the welcome template. (Please {{ping}} me in replies; I otherwise don't visit Commons very often in my work account.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:04, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

@Whatamidoing (WMF): Ugh, sorry I missed responding to this at the time. The welcome template is probably fine, although it is largely general information that apply to all Wikimedia projects. There is one link to the licensing page, which can be a bit dense. The deletion templates though can be a bit harsh. "This file is a copyright violation because it is copyrighted and not published under a free license". That statement is not strictly true -- there are many, many situations where an upload is not a copyright violation, although at the same time it is not "free". That statement completely ignores fair use and other legitimate uses; it directly emphasizes the term "copyright violation" which makes it sound as though the uploader actually broke the law when it is likely they did not -- it is simply non-free, so the desire to only host files which are "free" is the problem (a self-imposed restriction), not an actual breakage of the law. Commons users often use the term "copyright violation" to simply mean non-free but that distinction is going to be lost on many first-time users who upload material which is absolutely educational, but can run afoul of the technicalities of copyright when applying "free" criteria and pointedly ignoring fair use / fair dealing / other normal exceptions to copyright law that educators may be used to using. The English Wikipedia warning templates bend over backward to assume good faith for initial editors; by contrast ours are overly accusatory from the start. Commons is the place where the difference between an encyclopedia and a "free encyclopedia" most often comes to a head -- they understand the need to write their own text on a wikipedia article, but often don't understand that the same concept also extends to making your own illustrations. We may need a better introductory page which better explains "free" (Commons:Licensing is a bit dense), but even more so that Commons is not allowed to host fair-use works, which makes illustrating articles (and uploading here) much harder than in "normal" usage, as our requirements far exceed those of real-life situations. I imagine that clash will turn off a lot of first-time contributors. And getting some of that understanding into the upload tools (worded respectfully) is probably key to avoiding the first-time-user problem uploads that many of those tools have brought on. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:34, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. Have you previously tried changing the deletion templates? I hope and would expect that Commons would not object to factual corrections such as changing "is a copyright violation" to "is not free, and maybe a copyright violation", since there are many contributors here who understand that distinction. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:05, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Ulorin and Bloom[edit]

This file has sourcing problem and I tagged the file. The uploader could address the problem within 7 days. However, I was reverted two times by him and my edit was called "bogus and disruptive nomination" although I had told the user that he could "simply find the proper source and remove the tag." Please address the case. Thanks. --Mhhossein talk 10:13, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

What sourcing problem? There is a valid source given, Flickr, and the license was verified by Flickreviewr. The tag you applied was incorrect. If the Flickr author is not the actual photographer, then we'd have a problem. But it's a pretty hi-res file, again, so that is likely. We don't delete just because the Flickr source page disappears (unless that happens before the license there is verified, but it was). Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:39, 19 November 2016 (UTC)
But it's not normal to have a file without a source! Flickr is not a robust reliable source, some of it's files were proven to be copy vio. So, the link could have been disappeared for many reasons and the bot could have made a mistake.--Mhhossein talk 05:28, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
Flickr is one of our most common sources, and yes that is most definitely a valid source (many many many files are licensed there). If you can show Commons:License laundering, then that would be different. But a source of Flickr does not mean "delete". It's usually pretty obvious if the Flickr page is the actual author or not -- unfortunately, it has been taken down in this case. But a full-size photo with EXIF was uploaded, and those are less commonly available just over the Internet from professional photographers. The license given was definitely there on Flickr when uploaded, though. Anything else is possible, but you have to show actual evidence that shows the Flickr was not the author. The fact that other Flickr uploaders ignore copyright has no bearing on this file -- find evidence associated with this file. If you can find the photographer's name elsewhere, and the Flickr user is a real name (and a different person), that sort of thing. But you need some actual reason to doubt that file in particular (not just Flickr percentages or the fact the author's account is now gone). Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:09, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
.... and I was wrong about the account, it's still there (just this particular photo is gone). And yes, it looks like a professional photographer, who has many photographs of the same ilk, and generally does put a free license on them. This is virtually certain to be OK. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:13, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
I never said that Flickr means delete. I just said that merely being from Flickr does not mean keep! I think you tacitly confirmed that in your prev comment. It appears that you move on a common sense basis which includes checking res, EXIF, date, quality, professionality and etc. --Mhhossein talk 13:21, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
By the way, it was clear that "bogus and disruptive nomination" is far from a good faith approach. --Mhhossein talk 13:24, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
Correct, simply being on Flickr doesn't mean keep. It is however a source, so putting the no-source tag on it was incorrect, and a speedy delete was not remotely warranted -- that is bordering on vandalism, actually. If you find specific evidence that the Flickr page is not the original source (or at least that the account owner is not the author), then there are grounds for deletion -- but it's best as a regular DR, not adding a speedy tag, unless it's obvious that the Flickr user simply copies images off the internet and puts them on their page (i.e. lots of images from different authors, and the uploaded image seems similar). Such Flickr users can be added to Commons:Questionable Flickr images. So yes, there is common sense involved -- if the Flickr user is the author, then the license and source is absolutely valid, and if not (and the Flickr page is the only source) you can nominate for deletion. But adding speedy tags is rarely the right approach -- and in this case, you tagged a file no-source which 1) had a source, and 2) by all common sense reasoning, the Flickr uploader is in fact the author. So it should never have been nominated for deletion, let alone speedy. You need to look further into it yourself, and then provide the specific reason you think the given license is invalid when you make the deletion review. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:37, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. The reason I tagged was that the pic actually were left with a dead link source and I thought that the review bot could have naturally made a mistake and there was no way to address that. Probably, I would not do that if I had paid attention to the size. Although I think, AGF, what I did was the best thing I could do at the time because 1) there was no de facto source (it was dead), so 2) no author or license was reachable for the work. Consider that the uploader had 7 days to fix the problem. I don't agree with "adding speedy tags is rarely the right approach" per huge number of files uploaded daily, although one should be careful before adding them. Anyway thanks for the points. --Mhhossein talk 01:30, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
A dead source is still a source. Pages go away, that is natural on the Internet, but that does not suddenly mean the Commons requirements change, or that the source becomes invalid. And the author page was still available. Things like can often be used for dead links anyways. We want to know the source, even if dead now. If a Flickr license has not been verified (Commons:License review) then a dead source might be a problem, but this one was verified. Bots do not make mistakes -- always trust those. Speedy deletion tags are only for *obvious* copyvios -- see Commons:Criteria for speedy deletion. Ones where you are not 100% sure, start a regular deletion request. It needs to be an obvious problem, not just possibly a problem, for a speedy tag. A deletion review gets more eyes and more opinions; a speedy tag will only be noticed if one particular person (the uploader) gets online, or if an overworked admin bulk-cleaning a category happens to notice the tag should not have been applied. DRs are also typically open for at least seven days, and in the end there is a record of why we deleted the file as well, unlike with speedy. There are enough obvious copyvios that you should drop to a regular DR if you are not sure. In this case, you shouldn't have been sure even given your assumptions. There are lots of obvious copyvios out there, and it's definitely good to clean them up, but I may stick with regular DRs for a while until you have a better understanding of policy and normal practice. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:39, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
That always trustable bot is "currently disabled due to malfunctioning." Thanks for the rest of explanation. --Mhhossein talk 06:46, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
Generally, a bot will stop working altogether, not verify a file it should not have or partial failures like that (i.e. it will err on the side of not verifying files it should, known as "failing safe"). The Flickr bots will not verify or upload a file unless it has a free license -- that is tested thoroughly. Like any bit of software, external changes can require code updates to continue to work. In this case the original programmer was no longer active, so someone else took the code and started a new version which does the same function. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:11, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

No known CR restrictions[edit]

The source for this file is flickr. There it's mentioned that "No known copyright restrictions". How do we treat such a file? Thanks. --Mhhossein talk 15:26, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

As public domain, which is what "no known copyright restrictions" means. It has the appropriate license tag -- in this case, it would be either #3 or #4 on the list, meaning it was a photo by the institution that they gave up copyright on. This is generally the license tag for anything uploaded by participating institutions in the Flickr Commons project (unrelated to us) where libraries and other institutions vet some of their holdings for public domain works and put them online. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:14, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

Threshold of originality[edit]

I am wondering for logo ? --Mile (talk) 16:38, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

AN/U comment on LS discussion[edit]

Thanks for your fast reply! I really don't understand what happened, somehow the c-not-renewed tag slipped my mind. Thanks again for being so responsive! --Hedwig in Washington (mail?) 05:08, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

Category:George Charles Beresford and the URAA[edit]

Hi, Carl. Do you have a moment to look at this? I'm thoroughly confused. --Rrburke (talk) 14:28, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

Indian Navy permission[edit]

Hi Carl, The permission for the Indian Navy files comes from the webmaster, and I am not sure it is legally valid. More answers are ‘this is what I was told’, and ‘go to see the permission on the website’.

Do you think it would cover us in case of a complain, even if it is not valid? Because if yes, let it be. If not, we'd better fix it.

If it is valid, we could try to get a similar permission from the Army webmaster. I don't we would get anything better without some official contact in India. If it is not valid, it is not even worth trying to get it. Regards, Yann (talk) 22:33, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

FYI: Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Photos from Yann (talk) 18:43, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Activist Gloria Steinem Tells Women's March Protesters 'Put Our Bodies Where Our Beliefs Are'.webm[edit]

Hi Carl, I would like very much to have your opinion about this, specially the point made by Revent about fair use. Thanks in advance, Yann (talk) 12:05, 3 February 2017 (UTC)

Joint copyright ownership[edit]

Hi Carl, these are the discussions about the joint copyright ownership, I mentioned in VPP. I deliberately decided not to mention the links there as some people already commented that it is not fair to make a public discussion affecting their privacy. Hope now it is settled per these discussions. Jee 02:52, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

NARA copyright license options[edit]

Hi Carl. I am currently working on a new bot to upload NARA images to Wikimedia Commons, and I am trying to improve on some of the practices from the first round of uploads several years ago. One of the criticisms I have heard several times was about using a general {{PD-USGov}} template for all uploads. We attempted to only upload records marked as public domain in NARA's catalog, so it was not a copyright issue per se, but some Commons editors weren't thrilled with the template because (1) there is a preference for using agency-specific templates, and (2) some archival records may be official records of the government, but not works of the government (e.g., petitions sent to Congress), so they are technically in the public domain due to age or other reasons, which doesn't line up with the text of PD-USGov. The main problem I have with these in doing automated uploads is that it would be a very big task to map all the thousands of creators in the NARA catalog with agency-specific Commons PD-USGov templates, and while NARA catalog records will have an "unrestricted" use rights statement for PD records, there is no way to programmatically determine whether that is specifically because it is a government work, or because it is a government record that has fallen into the public domain for another reason.

I think these issues are really all cosmetic, because the important thing is that they official US federal records that have been determined to be in the public domain by an archivist, but I am trying to think through the best option going forward. The best thing I can think of, other than the status quo, would be to have a copyright license for works determined to be in the public domain by the US National Archives. It could even have a parameter for the agency, so the text could say something like: "This media comes from the official records of the United States War Department, and has been determined by an archivist of the National Archives and Records Administration to be in the public domain as a work of the US federal government, and/or due to age, donor agreement, or another factor". Do you think there is a way to do that which would be clear and acceptable to Wikimedia Commons? Or do you have an other ideas for how to handle the licenses for bulk NARA uploads? I really appreciate your help! Dominic (talk) 16:12, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

By the way, some work has been done for automatic diffusion, see User:Fæ/code/PD-USGov. This may, or may not be helpful, as some uploads from NARA could be diffused just by setting up a REGEX filter on this task, rather than designing new templates. -- (talk) 16:16, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
Thanks @:, I wasn't aware of that work. That approach would help mitigate the first issue above, though not really the second problem (images mixed in that are archival records that come from an agency but aren't produced by them as the template states). It would certainly be an improvement over the status quo, though, (and I could maybe even add some of your code to mine for the pre-upload processing). Dominic (talk) 16:29, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, this is a hard problem. All the PD-USGov variants are really just cosmetic -- those are more just a categorization thing, since legally all the PD-USGov* tags are all the same thing. Frankly, the default of PD-USGov makes sense, though if you can map creators to a more specific tag, that could help. But I don't think it's a big concern about using PD-USGov versus e.g. PD-USGov-Military-Navy. License-wise, it's just as accurate. If it's relatively easy to do, go ahead, but if that type of thing puts a big barrier onto getting them uploaded in the first place, that's not a good thing.
The larger concern is material from non-government sources which is legally a different status. They may be OK for the U.S., and thus OK to upload, but having a different license tag can mean a very different situation in other countries -- it may have expired via lack of U.S. formalities, but other countries which do not use the rule of the shorter term for U.S. works, it may still be under copyright -- which re-users would need to know. And of course if NARA has any foreign material, we would need to evaluate on country of origin. Unfortunately, I don't see any way around that other than work-by-work analysis. Because the "creator" will still just be the government department which collected the material, you usually can't use that to determine anything. I can't think of a good way other than by noticing them on an individual basis, and then changing to {{PD-US}} or a more specific template. The PD-USGov tag would be correct on 99%+ of those uploads (and defaulting to PD-US would be far worse), so your current approach may still be best even though occasionally inaccurate. Most of the time, the license would just need to be fixed -- it should be relatively rare for deletions to happen. You could put them in a NARA-upload-license-not-checked category, and have a more manual process where people can check the license and remove the category if OK or fix the license if not. That type of thing can be helpful with mass uploads since it can get them categorized better too. But it could also be a maintenance category which just gets ignored too. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:01, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
I guess you're right. I have no problem with admitting that there will always be a small amount of error in the data, and it's a good thing when the Commons community looks at NARA uploads and decides some need further discussion. I would guess maybe 100 have been deleted out of the first 100,000, which I think is not a bad error rate. I am also concerned, aside from potential deletions, with the community's goodwill, and not giving the appearance that we are being sloppy or lazy with a decision to apply a {{PD-USGov}} broadly, which will then look silly for some individual or sets of files in isolation. I worry that the community to double-check them all might invite that kind of perception, implying that we don't really know what we're uploading. I think one think we definitely need is an FAQ, maybe linked in {{NARA-cooperation}} that addresses some of the concerns. I'd definitely like to be proactive about these issues as much as I can. Dominic (talk) 16:04, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Your Rainbow Panorama[edit]

I wonder if I could invite you to give your opinion on this FoP case. It affects quite a number of photos (including my own) of this popular tourist attraction. Thanks. -- Colin (talk) 18:38, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for your input there. I didn't know whether FoP was excluded from the inside or not. I guess if he'd painted a detailed scene on the walls then that would count as a 2D artwork and be copyright that wasn't exempted by FoP. -- Colin (talk) 17:11, 8 May 2017 (UTC)
Right, separate works inside would be different, unless the interior was considered a "public place" and they could still qualify for FoP. But the architectural FoP would not apply there. I just assume that since some laws make it explicit that only the exterior surface applies with FoP, that would mean the "default" is the interior would apply to, which is why countries need to specify if that right should not apply to insides. But I think in plenty of places, the interior would not qualify as a "public place" so other works on the inside would still be an issue. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:50, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
The Dutch Barn Chronicles Award (Two Stars of the Royal House) for you; Job Well Done to you and yours in 2016. We have a great head start on 2017 because of you and your work. Many thanks! Publican Farmer (talk) 22:31, 19 May 2017 (UTC)

PD Austria 1932[edit]

Hello! I have a quick question: A 1928 photograph is {{PD-Austria-1932}}, do you think it is necessary to add {{PD-1996}} as well? Thanks for your input!

File:Averof WWII.jpg (present on Wikipedia, since 2007)[edit]

Hi, Carl.

As I have already spent a full-time week of my life (or more) attempting to first keep, and then undelete this B&W photograph (you probably have done the same in reviewing the matter), I'd like to ask how and when this determination will be made.

Ellin Beltz, the original DR administrator, has returned to restate her original case for deletion. Overriding her opinion has always been the matter at hand.

Currently, excepting Ellin, there appears to be agreement for keeping the Black & White version of this photograph. Without Ellin re-voting her own DR decision, I count the current tally at 5x SUPPORT, 1x OPPOSE, 1x NEUTRAL.

Who is now in charge of the UNDEL decision? Is it the first UNDEL administrator who appeared in the UNDEL discussion? How do we bring this administrator back to the table to make a final ruling? Thanks very much for your advice. I grow weary of this issue.

-BillBbaldwin7 (talk) 00:59, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

An admin will come along, and decide on the best argument, and restore or not. Honestly though, I can't blame someone for opposing. It's a hard thing when so little is known about the photograph and where it came from. If it turned up in an IWM collection, or other government type of source, even that would help. Facts are the best thing for cases like this, honestly. Without that, there are always other possibilities. Were there still Greek sailors manning ships in the area? If one of them took it, the situation could be different. Same if it was taken from the ship of another navy, etc. There is uncertainty, and many of those other possibilities could mean the photo is still under copyright. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:49, 22 December 2017 (UTC)

Carl, why are you again returning to the question of other non-UK photographers or unauthorized photographers, after we've put this point to bed? All Greek sailors on this Bombay Naval Station were under UK Royal Navy command, as much so as any Royal Navy personnel or any other legitimate servants of the Crowd on that base. If any Greek sailor took this photo it is not "different", as it is not within his right to do so. Especially, as this is an image of a camouflaged ship that would have no possible clearance for publication. His Majesty was first claimant to all images made on a UK Naval Station in wartime. That's all ships of all navies. Of course, allies like the US Navy and the Greek Navy were allowed the use of permitted and distributed photographs, within the rules of military security which they all adhered to. Any unauthorized photography has no claim to copyright. As first claimant, His Majesty challenges any such assumption.

If we found this picture as an unidentified item within the wartime files of the IWMuseum or other UK or Commonwealth archive, you said -- "even that would help". No, it would more than just help, it would be a slam-dunk, as its age and presence would prove the UK source. We don't have a UK government archive to support the claim of Crown-Copyright, but we do have all the circumstantial evidence needed to argue that this can only be considered Crown Copyright from the moment of creation, regardless of the photographer, authorized or not. His Majesty is first claimant to all documentation, in any visual form, on a UK naval base in wartime. The right to photograph anything (much less a photo-restricted subject) is not given unless His Majesty retains the copyright. Any attempt at unauthorized photography is criminal and HM's first-claimant right to copyright, based on the subject matter and location, would still be retained.

Now, the DR administrator, who made the deletion, has returned to argue her case. She has already made the deletion. That was the opening fact here. This UNDEL request is supposed to focus on whether circumstantial evidence can attach expired copyright in the case of this photo. Her continuing to ask for a source, when she knows there is no source, is just stonewalling the thrust of what is being considered. If this debate was in the matter of a Crown defense for UK-copyright claims, the government would be challenging the rights of any photographer, based on the date, location, and subject matter of the image. That is what we are discussing here, not the lack of an archival source. Whether there is presently some unknown copyright claimant for this photo (or one will yet come forward in future) the response to such a holder or claimant's position is the same -- Sorry, HM has always owned the copyright in this image, by statutory claim to exclusivity in both location and subject matter, and has already released it into UK-PD. The Crown only approved wartime copyright-exemptions for certain publication by contract (LIFE Magazine, etc.). Being a restricted subject (camoflague warship) that possibility cannot apply to this photo. So the only source is -- UK Government Photo, Crown Copyright-Expired. Bbaldwin7 (talk) 01:35, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

Carl: I intend to enter my last "talk" segment seen here to the UNDEL page. I am not going to allow the DR administrator to switch focus from the main point of the UNDEL request Please feel free to challenge me on grounds of "uncertainty", but I feel this clarification is necessary in what has become a lengthy and muddled debate. Bbaldwin7 (talk) 02:05, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

The authorship issue is the main question -- it has not been "put to bed", but rather a decently strong case has been made. It is not a slam dunk. It could have been taken from a cargo ship that it was escorting -- those were typically civilian ships. It could have been taken by another country's ship -- there were a number of Allied navies with ships in the region. And if a Greek sailor took the photo on his own, not sure that would be "under the direction or control" of the UK government. The fact that it may have been illegal at the time is not relevant to copyright today, especially if never caught. Ownership of a property does not give anyone the right to claim copyright of photos taken on (or of) that property -- copyright is owned by the photographer, period. You may feel differently, but I am not nearly so sure on that, and others may not be either. It's not a clear-cut issue unfortunately -- a better source would tell us more. There is definitely doubt; the main question is if there is a significant doubt. What may be just enough over the line to me may be just short to some others. You have laid out your (fairly strong) case; the only thing that can help further is uncovering more facts, not arguing the same points more. If the case is deemed good enough, then fine, but I don't think it's a slam dunk, so be prepared -- it could go either way.
The admin who originally deleted it is of course free to voice their opinion there. It should be a different admin who closes the undeletion request though. Each side is free to air their arguments, or to say they are unconvinced by the argument of the other side. The final admin will pick the best argument, and generally not count votes. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:20, 23 December 2017 (UTC)


hi, thank you for your information, but I'm not that user locked in spite of identical file uploads, I just want the deleted uploads of those users to be restored, in good copyright licenses--Kailsers (talk) 21:20, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

You say "looking at these files", but you are not an admin, so you can't see them (like me) unless you were the original uploader ;-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:37, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Thanks a lot[edit]

For your answers there Commons:Village_pump/Copyright/Archive/2017/12#Uraa_help_page and happy new year--Pierpao.lo (listening) 10:37, 6 January 2018 (UTC)[edit]

Hello If possible, look at it: [35] --►Cekli829 12:17, 8 January 2018 (UTC)


Commons-emblem-issue.svg File:US-CIMMS-Logo.svg has been listed at Commons:Deletion requests so that the community can discuss whether it should be kept or not. We would appreciate it if you could go to voice your opinion about this at its entry.

If you created this file, please note that the fact that it has been proposed for deletion does not necessarily mean that we do not value your kind contribution. It simply means that one person believes that there is some specific problem with it, such as a copyright issue.
Please remember to respond to and – if appropriate – contradict the arguments supporting deletion. Arguments which focus on the nominator will not affect the result of the nomination. Thank you!

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Esummars (talk) 15:32, 25 January 2018 (UTC)

photo of a person taken without their consent[edit]

Dear Admin, I found you on the talk page of this article :

this photo has been taken without the consent of the person. the author knows but she published it anyway on

I've started a talk page but I really don't know what to do next Thomas Louis Jacques Schmitt --2A01:CB04:83F:D100:43C:CD46:5414:92EE 21:40, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

I don't think there is anything per policy that would require deletion. By U.S. law, virtually positive there is no problem there. Even by Netherlands and French law (which we would not necessarily use), at least given the descriptions on the page you found, it would appear to be a photo of a public figure at a public event, publication of which is usually allowed from the looks of it. We are not lawyers here though, and there are many aspects to such cases, so we are never fully sure. You could file a deletion request/review if there is a particular, non-obvious reason why the subject wants the photo deleted, and the community would weigh the request. You could also contact the photographer; if the photographer/uploader joins in the request to have it deleted, it would be a much stronger request. I would guess though that a request to have it deleted just because the subject doesn't like it would fail, at least without the photographer agreeing. For example, would appear to be a photo of the subject at a different public event. Not sure why the photo here would be any less legal than that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:02, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
A contrary UK case (and exceptional even in Britain) Thincat (talk) 13:33, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
That was not a public event. The UK definitely allows more photos in public, but you can understand that particular case. The photo in question though appears to be the subject standing at a publicity setup at a film festival. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:44, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

Expertise needed – suspicious move[edit]

As an ardent detractor of Romanisation on Commons, could you investigate what is was recently File:蘆洲-忠孝新生列車.jpg (histlogsabuse log)? The history currently is here. Walking to you directly because the person who effected the move has a long record of whitewashing his user_talk. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 10:39, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

Yeah, can't say I would agree with that move. Unfortunately lots of times moves will just be approved with bogus reasons -- especially if the reviewer can't read the filename in question. Given Google Translate, it wasn't the best name before, but it was probably good enough, and it almost seems over specific now. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:10, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

No source = speedy?[edit]

I'm confused. No source is speedy? I know {{copyvio}} and {{speedydelete}} are speedy. No source is too? I just discovered the "No author" template, I suppose that's another possibilty so now I added that. - Alexis Jazz 03:20, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Yes, "no source" is a speedy deletion template. As is "no permission" and "no license". There are also cases where we don't need a source to determine copyright status, so for those the tag shouldn't be used even if there is no source. "No author" is not a speedy delete, though "unknown" and "anonymous" are valid authors as well and it's probably best to just use those instead for a photo like that. I'm on the edge of nominating the photo for regular deletion -- it may be out of scope now that we know it's of a different non-notable person, though any photo that old may be of interest, and there is a chance it is still under the UK 25-year publication right. On the other hand, there may be value in keeping it with a correct identification if there are misidentified versions out there. The date would be before 1879 as well, as that is when Julia Eliza Northey Hopkins/Shum died. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:20, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm not really sure how we can tell which ID is correct. Or maybe even both are wrong. The site that says Julia Eliza does look more credible and has a higher quality image, but what is the reason the poet site identifies her as Eliza Acton? - Alexis Jazz 18:41, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Inquiry about the picture for Trump-Kim Meeting[edit]

Hi talk:Clindberg,

Thank you for your kind guide, Would it possible to remove the notice from the picture source above? Goodtiming8871 (talk) 19:30, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

Paintings by Edward Hopper[edit]

Hi Carl,

Could you please have a look at Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Paintings by Edward Hopper. He is an American painter, so the date of death is not sufficient to determine the copyright status. Thanks in advance, Yann (talk) 13:23, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

Portrait drawings[edit]

Quick question, if you have time, about copyright in portrait illustrations. If you look in Google Images for 'nyt portrait illustrations', you will get lots of the NYT portraits. My question is whether people like Jillian Tamaki are drawing their portrait illustrations from life, or from reference photographs? If they are using reference photographs, are they creating derivative works, or are they carefully combining elements from different photographs to create something that is indisputably new (and avoiding infringing copyright of the photographs - presuming the photographs were not provided for them by the NYT)? Examples are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. You can see an array of these sort of illustrations here. A bit of an insight into the process here (from a different illustrator): "I was asked by the NYT to draw Glenn Beck for the cover of the Sunday magazine - apparently, he wasn't going to sit down for a photo-shoot with the Times and so they had to hire an illustrator for their big profile." Jillian Tamaki's portrait gallery is here. Carcharoth (talk) 13:36, 28 March 2018 (UTC)

Yikes. That can depend on the details of how it was made, so courts would get into those details for each case. You would have to identify copied expression from a source photograph in order for it to be derivative. For photographs, that is not necessarily the subject, but the angle, framing, and that sort of thing. For portrait photos, that can include the specific pose of the subject, or a facial expression evoked. If you can identify one specific photograph that was the source, it is probably in the dangerous area -- the angle at least was likely copied. If several photos are used for reference of what a person looks like, but an original pose and angle are used by the artist, it is probably not derivative. It can get more interesting with something like the New York Times, which probably has licenses to use say AP images, so they could possibly print a derivative of an AP image even if others could not. While it did not reach an actual decision, all signs in the Obama "Hope" poster were basically heading to a derivative work violation (which was not fair use), as one example. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:31, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. I will point to this from the deletion discussion. I hope it will be possible to encourage and guide such efforts, even if the images in question mostly get deleted. The ideal outcome would be that we end up with usable portrait representations that Commons will accept. Carcharoth (talk) 08:27, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

Closed UDR[edit]

Hello. Please read this: [36] [37]. --Turbojet (talk) 19:51, 19 April 2018 (UTC)