User talk:とある白い猫/Archive/2011/08

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A Certain White Cat
Bilinen Bir Beyaz Kedi

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Hello this is an Archive. Please do not edit. You are welcome to post comments regarding material here at my user talk page.

Always believe in yourserf and your dreams, you have a wing!
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Archive, August 2011

Rename confirmation[edit]

Rename confirmation -- Cat ちぃ? 23:24, 3 August 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)


Hi White Cat, I just wanted to say hi and see how you've been... I haven't seen you around in a long time. I hope you're doing well. Take care. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:40, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Doing good. Dealing with issues one at a time. Recently cleaned up my backlog of *GASP* 2 years. How about you? :) -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 12:11, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm good :-) Been doing the admin thing here and on En, was involved in the National Portrait Gallery and Wikimedia Foundation copyright dispute, working with the new Global Education Program to get more Wikipedia in the classroom. Doing research for my CS PhD at UC Berkeley, just finishing up my 2nd year. And of course playing/spectating a lot of Starcraft 2 :-) Two years is a hell of a backlog! Let me know if I can do anything to help you get started back up with contributing here. :-) Dcoetzee (talk) 22:48, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Nice. I too am working on academia though I am only at a masters degree level at the moment. I am working on preparing a paper for a workshop involving Machine Learning and Wikipedia Vandalism Detection also looking forward to my internship on CyberDefense. I am travelling as always :p.
I am unsure how much I am "missed" on commons. My memory is hazy but when I left for my self imposed wikivacation of 2-2.5 years, I vividly remember it was not with the best of terms. It is not like I had a fight with anyone though. I am hesitant to contribute as a result. I doubt people are still upset but I really do not want to deal with wikidrama. Of course it could be that I may be misinterpreting people. However, if there is something I can do here on commons, I'd be more than happy to do so.
Right now I am working on a pet project on En.wikipedia that you may help if you like. I am trying to create more templates like en:Template:Membership/France (documentation (sort of)). Idea is adding membership dates of countries to allow lists like this mock example. There is a lot of work to be done. :)
A problem I have to this end is not having images for some international organizations. Evidently logos of some of these organizations are only available under fair use... This is the debate I am having at the previous section on my talk page.
That dispute looks iffy. I hate it when people do not want to share knowledge in a free manner. Fortunately that dispute had a happy ending more or less. Though I do feel a bit sad that those guys probably spent a lot of money to restore images and they would not be able to restore more such images without the income...
It is very pleasant to hear from you! :-)
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 11:46, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
I didn't realise you left under bad terms, I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm glad you're back and I can assure you we're glad to have you. :-) If you take any photos or anything in your travels they'd be welcome. I'll also help with your degree program if I can - you offered to send me the draft of your paper tonight but I didn't receive it for some reason (e-mail should be I'm vaguely familiar with the organization logo issue... I haven't looked at the details but I'm willing to believe that this is one of those cases where something really feels like it should be public domain but it's not (generally because somebody decided to use copyright instead of trademarks for brand control). Which is unfortunate because I'm not sure if NFC on En will cover your use... Dcoetzee (talk) 03:47, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't know it felt bad, not sure if it was hence my hesitation. I emailed you the report(s) for your info. I welcome feedback of any kind. Fair use is inadequate for my use since I am slapping the image (24 pixels) very liberally.
-- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 16:54, 15 August 2011 (UTC)


This is me. -- とある白い猫 ちぃ? 19:41, 25 August 2011 (UTC)