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A quick guide to what copyright templates to use, and the copyright status of Polish works, with the focus on what is public domain both in the USA and in Poland (an image may be in public domain in only one of those two jurisdictions, and if this is the case, it cannot be hosted in Commons).

Note: The date 1943 should be read as 1st January 1943, and is relevant to the year this guide has been last updated (2013). In 2014, it will be 1944, and so on.

What copyright templates to use:

  • works by Polish artists with pma (post mortem auctoris - after the author's death) before 1943 published in Poland before 1923: {{PD-old-70}} or {{PD-Art|1=PD-old-70}} (for photos of 2d art) and {{PD-1923}}, or {{PD-old-auto-1923|1=}} with the 1= parameter being the date of death of an artist
  • works by Polish artists with pma before 1943 published in Poland before 1946: {{PD-old-70}} or {{PD-Art|1=PD-old-70}} (for photos of 2d art) and {{PD-1996}} or {{PD-Art|PD-old-auto-1996|country=Poland|date=1996|reason=|deathyear=}}
  • works by presumably Polish anonymous artists published in Poland before 1943: {{Anonymous-EU}} and {{PD-1996}}, plus {{PD-Art|1=PD-old-auto-1996|country=Poland|date=}} (for photos of 2d art), with date parameter being (I think?) the data the work was published
  • photographs published before 1994 by Polish photographers (or published for the first time in Poland or simultaneously in Poland and abroad), without a clear copyright notice: {{PD-Polish}}
  • official documents, materials, signs and symbols (published as acts, laws, their parts and similar) : {{PD-Polishsymbol}} (note: unlike in USA, not every work of the official administrative institutions and other governmental agencies is PD).

What is not PD in Wikimedia Commons: any works by Polish artists who died after 1943, as they are not covered by {{PD-old-70}}/{{PD-art}}, subject to exceptions due to specifics of Polish copyright law, in particular {{PD-Polish}} (for some pre-1994 photographs) and {{PD-Polishsymbol}} (for government symbols). 1946 and later works were restored in the U.S. by the URAA, and (if published 1923 or later) will have a term of 95 years from publication regardless of when the author died. (It's only works published 1978 or later which have a U.S. term based on the author's life dates, which is rarely relevant). So, 1946-and-later anonymous works are protected for 70 years in Poland and 95 years in the United States.

How was the above arrived at: look at Commons:Hirtle_chart, section "Works First Published Outside the U.S. by Foreign Nationals or U.S. Citizens Living Abroad. On Commons these cases also need to be free according to copyright terms in the country of publication." (The latter is covered by {{Anonymous-EU}} for up to 1941). The next step is "1923 through 1977: Published without compliance with US formalities, and in the public domain in its source country as of URAA date; 1 January 1996 for most countries." This sends us to w:Wikipedia:Non-U.S._copyrights#endnote_tab_poland, which states "Poland extended its copyright term to 50 years p.m.a. on May 23, 1994, and then to 70 years on January 1, 2003. This means that on the URAA date of January 1, 1996, the shorter term of 50 years was still valid", which is how you get the 1946 date. The following sentence "However, some of these works then became re-copyrighted in 2003 within Poland (and later the European Union" explains why the works from 1943-1946 are now copyrighted in Poland/EU (hence, {{Anonymous-EU}} comes into play again).

It is *possible* that Polish works did conform to all U.S. formalities (copyright notice and copyright renewal 28 years after publication), and thus didn't need URAA restoration since their copyright was never lost, but that is very rare outside of books.

Majority of works by Polish authors who died before 1943 are in public domain in EU/US, thus we can say that "almost all works by Polish authors who died before 1943, and all anonymous work published in Poland before 1943, is in public domain". Following exceptions apply: 1) it's possible for works for Polish authors who died before 1943 to still be copyrighted, if the works were published posthumously 1946 or later. 2) Also, for some individuals who died during World War II, but whose exact date of death is not known, Polish law set the date 9 May 1946 as their legal date of death; thus for example works of Janusz Korczak who died in August 1942 (exact date of death unknown) are copyrighted till 2017 (1 January of the first year after legal date of death, +70 years).

In case the rights are inherited: {{PD-heirs}}

See also: {{PolishSenateCopyright}}, {{PolishPresidentCopyright}}, Category:Templates related to Poland (should contain all copyright templates related to Poland), Commons:Copyright_rules_by_territory_-_full#Poland, Commons:Freedom_of_panorama#Poland ({{FoP-Poland}})

Outstanding issues: please see the talk page.