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Welcome to the Village pump

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Broadwick St, Soho, London: a water pump with its handle removed commemorates of Dr. John Snow's tracing of an 1854 cholera epidemic to the pump. [add]



The Charinsert extension is installed but I can't find its management in the Gadgets. In Wikipedia and Wikisource, I added a row of "User" characters and strings but here it doesn't seem to work. User:Ineuw/common.js -- 01:28, 21 June 2014 User:Ineuw

Media Viewer software feature[edit]

Reminder: @Rillke, Jkadavoor, Emw, RP88, Alvesgaspar:@Taxiarchos228, Jebulon, Ipoellet, Johnbod, Smiley.toerist:@Kelvinsong, Russavia, Keegan (WMF), Jmabel: You have all expressed interest in what happens with this feature; I want to make sure that you see, I did start the RfC, so you might want to consider moving or adapting any statement you made above in casual conversation, for this more formal discussion: Commons:Requests for comment/Media Viewer software feature A few of you have posted there, but many have not. -Pete F (talk) 17:11, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

My previous input on Media Viewer was in the vein of a bug report, and I haven't thus far been very concerned about the merits of Media Viewer as an idea. If I do participate in the RFC, it will be as a general Commons contributor - my participation will not flow from my previous comment. — Ipoellet (talkf.k.a. Werewombat 23:34, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

June 26[edit]

File summary—upload date vs date of creation[edit]

On the file pages, the date entry is ambiguous, especially when one uploads another person's creation (which usually has a much older creation date, and likely an earlier publishing date). I therefore propose to change the entry from "Date" into "Date of creation".

The upload form furthers the use of the wrong date, as the upload date is suggested when you fill in the form. I therefore propose to give only the YYYY-MM-DD format in the upload form, to let the uploader think about it, but tell in which format to write. Furthermore, the clocktime is not really useful, if not misleading. --Wickey-nl (talk) 07:25, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

There are templates like {{taken on}} and {{published in}} that are supposed to be used there to clarify what you mean. Sometimes the date of publication will be the only information you know, and that can be very relevant information e.g. for copyright reasons. darkweasel94 08:27, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
  • If the photograph has an EXIF date of creation, then I think that this date should be suggested by default. This date is more likely to be accurate than today's date. There are still going to be some errors, but fewer of them. For example, if you scan a mediæval manuscript, the date when the document was scanned might be filled in as 'date of creation' in the scanner's EXIF data. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:30, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
The date= parameter is often useless (f. ex. with BSicons), so in my opinion it should disappear in the {{information}} if left blank, also, not providing any date should be possible in the UploadWizard (and the case if otherwise the date of uploading would be used).    FDMS  4    20:40, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes the date field has always been ambiguos, but changing the infobox entry to "creation date" would just make the data it contains wrong on an awful lot of files and definitely should not be done. The upload date may well be the date of first publication which is more likely relevant to copyright than the actual creation date. Separate date fields for creation and publication might be sensible as it would make parsing the field easier for bots etc (do many files have both {{taken on}} and {{published in}} ?). --Tony Wills (talk) 21:14, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I came at the issue because of the upload form, which may be a more urgent point. The explanation is hidden behind a button. Once you have used the form, you are inclined to ignore it the next time. It must be not difficult to fix that. And I think two entries in the infobox is a good idea. It forces uploaders to think about it. If kept empty one of them, it will simply not appear on the page. --Wickey-nl (talk) 14:16, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Link to {{edit request}}[edit]

When you click "view soure" in proteced pages appears a message that links to {{editprotected}} but it is now a redirect. Could someone change it in {{edit request}}. thanks--Pierpao.lo (listening) 08:10, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

And what's exactly wrong with a link to a redirect? The redirect will stay forever. -- Rillke(q?) 08:29, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
We keep some old, cryptically brief template redirects that say nothing about what they're supposed to be used for, like {{db-f9}} or {{editprotected}}, for the benefit of those who are already used to them. In instructional texts, it makes sense to use real template names if they are more readable (i.e. use full words with spaces between them) and descriptive. LX (talk, contribs) 21:57, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
thanks LX --Pierpao.lo (listening) 10:46, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
✓ Done by an admin--Pierpao.lo (listening) 10:46, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Change to other resolution line on image description page of svgs[edit]

Just a heads up, starting on tuesday, the other resolutions line on the image description page will change for svg files (bugzilla:6834). Previously it only showed other resolution links for sizes smaller than what the width and height attribute on the SVG was. The end result was usually the other resolution line was not shown for SVG files. To see what the new functionality looks like, compare File:CC_some_rights_reserved.svg on beta wiki vs commons. Given that SVGs are vector images, it will now shows other resolution links for all sizes regardless of the source image size. Given this change, I think it would make sense to disable the SVGThumbs function in mediawiki:Common.js, as it essentially duplicates MediaWiki functionality (but with slightly different size choices). Bawolff (talk) 18:01, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

That's great news, thanks! -Pete F (talk) 18:17, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. We can then drop function SVGThumbs() { from MediaWiki:Common.js. Less code. Less maintenance work. Less JavaScript load. Superb! -- Rillke(q?) 09:51, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Flickr2Commons: inadvertent censorship?[edit]

Flickr2Commons (on labs) apparently sees (and therefore can transfer) only those Flickr images which are marked as "safe" in terms of which Flickr users may view them: e.g. no visible female human breasts, no visible genitalia, etc. (Yes, some people mis-mark their Flickr images in this respect, but they are cruising for getting their accounts blocked on Flickr.)

In theory, at least, Commons is not censored in this respect, and images of nudity, etc., should be exactly as available for upload as any other images. This came up because I was uploading from my photos of this year's Solstice Parade, and the bulk of the images of the naked, body-painted cyclists never showed up in the list of images to be transferred. As a result, at present Category:Solstice Cyclists in 2014 consists entirely of rather anodyne and unrepresentative images of this aspect of the parade.

I first brought up this Flickr2Commons limitation in an online meeting with some of the Labs folks about a year ago, at that time with respect to my photos from the 2013 parade, and was told it would be addressed, but obviously it hasn't been. Now that Bryan's tools are no longer available and labs effectively has a monopoly on such uploads from Flickr, I think the matter should be considered reasonably urgent. I really don't want to have to re-upload all of these images from my own computer: it is markedly faster to transfer them from Flickr. - Jmabel ! talk 05:44, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Censor, shmensor. No censorship involved. The uploader would need to have a Flickr account to see "non-safe" images, which would be technically quite a bit more complicated than the current implementation. I think this matter is of very low priority. And this is the wrong venue anyway; talk again with the people who maintain that uploader. They're the only ones who could do something about it, so you'll have to convince them that spending their time on this was time well spent. Lupo 07:03, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
  • As I said, inadvertent censorship. But since the only tool we've got is completely unaware of the images, most people attempting a bulk upload will never see these, which effectively carries Flickr's filtering into our domain as censorship. As for venue: I pinged Magnus, who is the relevant person from Labs to see this. Other than him, it is mainly relevant to people at Commons, not Labs. - Jmabel ! talk 17:01, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I checked the API, but there is no easy way to do this; requires MD5 signature, oauth token, whatnot. Gave it a quick try, didn't work. Unlikely to fix anytime soon. --Magnus Manske (talk) 08:38, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
While Jmabel know this perfectly, others may not and be wondering: It is always possible to upload these (or any) images from Flickr to Commons manually, with more work. -- Tuválkin 10:32, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Then no one should have assured me a year ago that this would be fixed promptly. And, yes, eventually I will upload these from my own machine, but I have a rather slow connection at home, so uploading twice (once to Flickr, once to Commons) is a pain. It is normally far simpler for me first to upload images I want on both to Flickr, then bulk upload from there to Commons. Apparently, this is not (and will not be) the case for anything Flickr considers "moderate" or "restricted". At the very least, this deserves a note at Commons:Flickr files, which I will add. - Jmabel ! talk 17:01, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
By the way, I find the new OAuth verification a bit more complicated than the previous TUSC identification:
  • Verification is made on Mediawikiwiki (not Commons), so I must log in as mw:User:Stefan4. As I do not have an SUL conflict on that project, I typically do not use that user name there. Also, Commons users must enable SUL and eliminate SUL conflicts on Mediawikiwiki in order to use the tools.
  • If you disable all third-party cookies, then you need to reauthorise the tools each time you delete your cookies. If you have SUL conflicts, then you have to disable all third-party cookies, as SUL's autologin otherwise makes it very cumbersome to go from one project to another project. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:11, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Just tried to load the "new" Flickr2Commons, and for me, it doesnt't even load properly. It just doesn't stop loading, the browser window flashes constantly, and every now and then you can glimpse some input fields which are gone again in an instant. If you hit the stop loading button of your browser, you get the message "IF YOU SEE THIS, THINGS HAVE GONE VERY WRONG! Wait half an hour, then complain to [mailto: management]." What a disgusting mess is this? --Rosenzweig τ 21:36, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

July 05[edit]

Question DR - keep duplicates of SVG because IE6 support.[edit]

As I tagged some duplicate images of SVG in the past which were deleted, now a DR was speedy closed (with false reason, there was only a template use on arabic wiki) with a PNG rendering copy.

Is this DR really invalid? I mean we really don't need IE6 support of transparency, which does simply add white background, which is also for this image "nearly completely" irrelevant. (The interpretation of Commons rules seems completely arbitrary and between decisions are worlds apart.)User: Perhelion13:36, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Do what you want, I only want understandable justice. However, some admins seem to be incompetent here.User: Perhelion14:03, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Perhelion -- I didn't use MSIE 6, but with MSIE 5.5 the handling of PNG images with alpha channel was definitely more complicated than filling transparent areas with white. Often a mysterious grey appeared, and occasionally black... AnonMoos (talk) 13:30, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Imo the DR was closed correctly. (We can not delete Files which are in use at other projects). --McZusatz (talk) 14:30, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Files which are in use should not be deleted. Also, if lots of people use IE6 in China, then files which work with IE6 are needed by some people, for example Chinese Wikipedia. I don't know what the files look like in IE6 as I haven't used IE6 for at least a decade. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:39, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
As I put the DR I was not aware of the high usage (it was not displayed for me) anyway this image is now deleted as duplicate (which I was also not aware). Anyway, nobody should support IE6 anymore (apart from the fact that even the IE 9 is set punishable)

✓ Done Thanks for response User: Perhelion21:01, 11 July 2014 (UTC)


E pluribus unum.jpg

What do you think of my image? Is it OK and why? --Alex‘s SeeSide 14:08, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Commons:Photography critiques is a better place for these kinds of questions. darkweasel94 14:33, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
It would be a lot more useful if you could add the location where it was taken, please! - MPF (talk) 23:15, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
What is it for? No More Cats (talk) 15:50, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Upload of 200,000 Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) high resolution images[edit]

Main HABS category · Batch upload Project Page · Live Catscan list

43.8% — 87,642 files uploaded out of 200,000 (as of 13 July)


This huge upload of high quality photographs and plans is from the archive of the U.S. National Parks Service. Over the last couple of weeks I have been uploading most of those available from the Library of Congress. The images date from a year or two ago, to more than a century. Some are archives of the first photographs taken of buildings, others are surveys of buildings in ruins, and they vary from details of door knobs, through to landscape views of lakes and mountains. This first class collection provides Wikimedians and other re-users photographs to illustrate and learn about American history.

Sample gallery

There are a significant number of plans uploaded as TIFFs over 50 megapixels resolution but of a modest/small filesize. Derivative versions are being created as PNG files which can display on Commons, at precisely the same very high resolution though with a larger filesize, and there may be a minor/imperceptible loss of quality so it is important to keep the original file. See Uploads by Fæ (over 50 MP). Other systematic improvements are gradually being made to add geographical coordinates, fix minor format problems, add missing place categories, identify color photographs from the image EXIF data and cross-link sheets of drawings from the same archive document.

As well as the main HABS files, the collection includes the archives of the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) and the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS).

Uploading is going to take several more weeks at a rate of around 2,800 per day. No special kit was needed, this is an example of an independent project with no funding or special support. I'm using my 7 years old macmini with a free installation of the Python programming language, and I have a 1GB freebie memory stick as a "swap space" to convert very large resolution TIFFs to PNGs when necessary (though I do have to turn off some processing when doing stuff in parallel is overly ambitious for my old machine and I start getting the wheel of death Rotating Pie 2.gif). -- (talk) 14:22, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Nice work. --99of9 (talk) 13:06, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
+1, Yes. Nice work! Smile fasdfdsfoiueire.svg --Steinsplitter (talk) 13:11, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Things you can do to help with the HABS uploads[edit]

Corinthian style column in Pension Building (now the National Building Museum), Washington D.C., taken 1959—NRHP:69000312
  • All images need better categorization. Individual sites or buildings can be found by their location category, which is being added to files by finding the nearest existing Commons category matching the places listed on the Library of Congress record. Additional categories are needed relating to the image content, such as decoration styles, particular events or special categories for the building to help users find the images they might need.
  • Descriptions tend to be weak. Better explanations of the significance and background to a building and links to other articles or images would be helpful.
  • On the English Wikipedia, you can discuss issues such as whether to include images on articles, or create articles for the historic site or building at the WikiProject National Register of Historic Places. The photographs probably cover all major buildings currently on the National Register of Historic Places (84,000 sites). There is currently no automatic way to link to NRHP references, though {{NRHP}} can be used to add any that are spotted, volunteers are needed to explore and discuss the best way of identifying NRHP sites. At the time of writing, 200 photographs were already identified with NRHP numbers, see this live catscan report.

I am hoping to finish, or mostly finish, the uploads in advance of Wikimania in August, to use as a case study for my talk about the GWToolset. If you have ideas for improvement, or are using the images to create Wikipedia articles or use elsewhere, please do leave a comment. Smile fasdfdsfoiueire.svg -- (talk) 14:22, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Using the new search engine to categorize HABS uploads[edit]

Thanks to the new search function on Commons (thank you to everyone involved), it is easy to produce relevant lists of images and use Cat-a-lot to sub-categorize along with the new "incategory:" filter. Obviously the results will get longer as the main HABS category gets populated with the archive, so worth running searches again in a few weeks. Some example searches to get you going:

Great stuff to discover and reuse in there. Smile fasdfdsfoiueire.svg -- (talk) 17:42, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Copyright status of works by the North Carolina government[edit]

North Carolina General Statutes § 132‑1(b) holds that "The public records and public information compiled by the agencies of North Carolina government or its subdivisions are the property of the people. Therefore, it is the policy of this State that the people may obtain copies of their public records and public information free or at minimal cost unless otherwise specifically provided by law. As used herein, "minimal cost" shall mean the actual cost of reproducing the public record or public information." Is this statement enough to consider works by the NC government automatically in the public domain? I'd like to get photos #9 through #11 from this page onto Commons, though I could settle for the Coast Guard ones, as well. (Uploading atm.) Cloudchased (talk) 15:58, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

NC government works are public domain, the statute just allows for admin fees if they are relevant. If media is already released online, then it can be taken as PD. {{PD-US-GovEdict}} is probably the best license to use. Take care if images are taken by independent citizens and uploaded to a NC Gov website, as these may not be PD. -- (talk) 17:27, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
en:Wikipedia:Reference_desk_archive/Humanities/March_2006#North_Carolina_public_records / en:Wikipedia:Templates_for_deletion/Log/2006_March_23#Template:PD-NCGov concluded the situation is not clear. Available to the public does not mean public domain. --Martin H. (talk) 17:55, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
I briefly looked through the template deletion discussion from 8 years ago on the English Wikipedia, and I found it bizarre. The close appears to go against an overwhelming consensus to keep, and I note that the closer has not contributed to the projects for the last 5 years. That discussion should not be considered to represent an existing consensus for Wikimedia Commons. If you wish to find an example uploaded file that is public domain under the North Carolina general statutes, you may want to either take the time to write to the NC local government IP department, or create a DR on this project to test the matter. As far as I am concerned, if the local government has stated in a binding statute that the intellectual property in their works is to be owned by "the people", then it is intellectual sophistry to interpret that as anything other than public domain, as no individual or organization can ever have a claim of copyright in the work that they could defend in a court of law that could stop "the people" (i.e. us) from reusing the works as we see fit. -- (talk) 21:39, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
The regulation is even older, so its hard to simply ignor previous discussions. But sure, it always worth reviewing someting like that. You say that "property of the people" means "public domain" and is not only related to public access. Can you provide a source for that? --Martin H. (talk) 23:46, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Ownership of property typically goes hand-in-hand with an ability to decide what can be done with that property. I don't think a source is needed, though it definitely couldn't hurt. Rather, I think a source would be needed for the opposite -- "you own this, but you CANNOT use it." That, it seems to me, would be a very strange thing for the authors of the NC law to have said, and I would definitely want to see a source for a conclusion like that.
It should be noted -- like PD-USgov, this is "public domain" for a limited group of people -- in this case, the people of NC. I don't have a clear idea how much that should affect our approach to NC gov-authored works. -Pete F (talk) 23:55, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
That does not mean that each individual has a choice over how it is used, as I said below, releasing the works -ND-NC would meet the policy, the state (for the benefit of its Treasury and thus the People of the state) could then licence the works for a fee. LGA talkedits 00:11, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
The statute is about public access, it says nothing about copyright. The people - the sovereign - also decided that there is a copyright law, its not up to us to make a different decission. --Martin H. (talk) 00:15, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
(Edit conflict × 2) @: I don't see the outcome of the enwp debate as bizarre, rather thoughtful "This issue cannot be solved by a vote. It requires us to do legal research, and possibly obtain legal advice" shows a high degree of common sense in fact. That aside, if the North Carolina government released it's works -ND-NC it would be complying with it's own policy so we need to have a more definitive source as to how they are licensing the works to host them on Commons. {{PD-US-GovEdict}} is not appropriate unless the works are of an administrative nature such as "judicial opinions, administrative rulings, legislative enactments or public ordinances", none of the images listed by the OP are such. LGA talkedits 23:56, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
This discussion about various U.S. states keeps coming up, and for some reason people keep wanting to reply by looking at laws, requiring public agencies to provide access and copies, and re-interpret them as laws about the right of random private people to copy things from other random private people when neither of the people were the creator. Just because a state law says that a public agency has to allow you to get a copy from them, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have a license or any other right to copy it to others. The laws are usually written to be a required behavior of public agencies; remember that public agencies are created and ruled by the state, and the state can tell them to do anything the legislature wishes. That is not the same as the state releasing the copyright or any other rights over the intellectual work contained in the copies. If a book author gave you a copy of a book as a gift, would you consider that to be permission to make more copies and distribute them? Copyright law does not make a distinction between a state or local government work and a private author's work. (In the U.S., any part of the work that is an edict of government cannot be restricted, however, regardless of its source.) For North Carolina specifically: I am not a lawyer, but I think the phrase "the property of the people" is more rhetoric than any legally defined meaning; many legislators are lawyers, and if they meant to say "public domain" they would say it. Absent specific law, court ruling, or order by the state to limit the power of the state to restrict further copying, I would say that North Carolina doesn't have a law releasing its (non-edict) works from copyright. --Closeapple (talk) 02:31, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Map of the State Offices, published by the North Carolina General Assembly and consequently "are the property of the people", i.e. you and me, who are free to try to sue themselves.
Perhaps I'm tired, but this discussion seems rather pointless, verging on discussing what the word "word" means. Creative works which "are the property of the people", and nobody can make a valid sole claim of ownership without overturning a statute, is pretty obviously intended to make the property public domain. To make this real, real easy, (A) the file uploaded and displayed to the right of this text has been made and published by the North Carolina state government, so that could be a suitable DR if anyone feels like setting a precedent and (B) if anyone wants to actually write and ask the North Carolina government, you can contact the Governor at or there is a phone number for the NC Secretary of State at -- (talk) 02:46, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
this upload is so clearly POINTY that I would think the first administrator that comes across it should speedy delete it as such. The North Carolina State Legislative Building is owned by the people, that does not mean anyone could demand to hold a meeting in either of the chambers, the same goes for these documents, they need a specific copyright release from the state not someone trying to bend a law to imply something that is not clearly intended. LGA talkedits 07:13, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Please follow either A or B above. It's easy, you can even see some past examples of my writing letters to governments at User:Fæ/email, I just don't see why it should always be me that does this when so many good contributors have time to put up hypothetical reasons against keeping PD works.
As for pointy, nonsense. I am well known for uploading over 300,000 public domain government works; this is just another on that pile and perfectly valid based on that experience. I just don't hang around talking about uploads, rather than getting on with it. -- (talk) 10:12, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
By the way, I'm not that familiar with US law (not living there), however the distinction between physical property and copyright is made in Title 17 U.S. Code § 202. Consequently property law pertaining to public buildings is quite a separate matter from IP law. -- (talk) 16:40, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
My appreciation for your dedication. But one tip: It would be very helpful if you lable your personal opinion as such. "NC government works are public domain" is not a fact, it is nonproven or unprovable and it is very much possible that others conclude different on the basis of the same legal framework. Its your personal opinion. Just dropping it here like a fact can be seen as very disruptive by others - at least by me, dedicated to reliability rather than number of files. --Martin H. (talk) 15:09, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Your use of the words "very disruptive" has a conventional meaning within the Commons:Blocking policy. The words you have chosen to use appear to be a warning from an administrator which I do not find appropriate if we wish to encourage open discussion. I have no intention of qualifying every comment I make on the Village pump with a disclaimer saying that I am not a lawyer or that my views are my own rather than any organization I am associated with; it can be presumed that applies to every comment that everyone makes here, and were I to start doing it, it would probably be quickly complained about as pointy and sarcastic. My viewpoint is based on both my experience over several years with government copyright issues and as supported by the precise wording of the NC statute, as explained above, which I find convincing unless there is some evidence that the North Carolina government defines media files belonging to "the people" as something other than public domain when not (as the statute goes on to give an example case of) specifically qualified otherwise.
With regard to the idea that just because one Commons contributor creates ten times or a hundred times the number of uploads compared to another, that they must be more sloppy when it comes to copyright; if you wish to provide feedback on my uploads, I would appreciate some real numbers, perhaps you could spend a moment statistically comparing accuracy on copyright on uploads for this year before jumping to assumptions. Before I start a major upload project such as the HABS upload of 200,000 images above, I run tests, discuss options on a specific project page and canvass for opinion on improvements to accuracy and template use. During the upload I continue to respond to feedback and improve the process and make corrections to existing uploads. As a result the percentage accuracy in terms of copyright statements for my uploads is highly likely to be a magnitude more accurate than the vast majority of regular contributors to this project. Faster is not always better, however it is a lazy assumption that faster must always be worse. -- (talk) 18:07, 6 July 2014 (UTC)


If any other volunteer has a moment, particularly those that actually live in the USA, perhaps they could write or phone appropriate contacts as per if we don't get a speedy reply from the Governor. -- (talk) 11:09, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Just a quick thought on this debate. South Carolina also has a Freedom of Information Act which permits the public to have access to public documents (with a few exceptions involving on-going police investigations and stuff like that) at a very low cost. But, that has been interpreted by a court as not surrendering the copyright in the documents. It's the same idea as a library. Just because I have a right to access the materials for free doesn't mean I have a copyright in them. (Yes, I know there are differences, but it's an analogy.) Also important is who the "People" are in the law. In Virginia, it is only citizens of Virginia who can get cheap copies of government documents, not everyone. So, that would be a problem on Wikipedia.ProfReader (talk) 23:27, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
It is worth looking at the specific wording of this act. The whole leading sentence of sec. 132-1 is "The public records and public information compiled by the agencies of North Carolina government or its subdivisions are the property of the people." The term "public information" would include the map above. Even if "property of the people" were interpreted by a court to mean "property of [citizens of North Carolina]", this would mean that if an uploader to Commons were a citizen of North Carolina, basic property law would mean they could provide a free release when uploading any media files published by NC government. A natural corollary would be that no court would bother hearing a case by an agent of the NC government to enforce copyright on such files.
Anyway, this is a bit overly hypothetical when we can get an answer direct from NC government by simply asking them. -- (talk) 06:02, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
They would not be able to do that on their own, they would need the consent of the rest of the population of the state. LGA talkedits 22:04, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
A literal legal reading would indicate that rather than consent from all citizens, all we would need would be a release from a single citizen. Just phone one up at random. Smile fasdfdsfoiueire.svg -- (talk) 22:11, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I contacted an acquaintance of mine at the State Library of North Carolina. She told me that it is the opinion of the State Library that North Carolina public records are public domain. However, she cautioned that the State Library is aware of no definitive ruling by a court of competent jurisdiction on this matter, nor is the library aware of a clear statement to that effect by a relevant official. Consequently, the official position of the State Library contains a few weasel-words and is as follows: "Public records and public information compiled by the agencies of North Carolina government or its subdivisions are the property of the people (G.S. § 132); consequently the State Library of North Carolina considers this item to be in the public domain according to U.S. copyright law (see Title 17, U.S.C.). Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item." The official State Library of North Carolina position is here, a link to which can be found on any NC state document in the North Carolina Digital Collections (e.g. following the Rights link at the North Carolina state government flag guide leads to that statement). While the statement from the State Library is not as official as we might like, the State Library is part of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, which is a state agency of North Carolina. We could probably build a template {{PD-NCGov}} with that statement as a reference, somewhat along the lines of {{PD-MAGov}} (assuming we agree that PD-MAGov is itself valid). —RP88 (talk) 14:19, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Draft template started at {{PD-NCGov}} so it can be hacked about and discussed. It probably should stay draft until we have a statement from NC Gov itself. -- (talk) 14:41, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

July 07[edit]

Photo with questionable copyright[edit]

I have questions about the claim that this photo is copyright free. It was taken in 1933, so unless the photographer died within 10 years of the photo being taken, it is still under copyright. What's the rule about photos where the photographer is unidentified, but the date of the photograph is known? LK (talk) 04:47, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

See File:PD-US table.svg for the likely applicable terms. As the image was taken in Chicago, it was likely also first published in the U.S. --Túrelio (talk) 06:38, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
No newspapers outside New York renewed copyrights prior to WWII, so if this was first published in Chicago, or simultaneously in a number of US newspapers, this will be out of copyright in the US. US copyright law is a lot different then that other nations, and death of author matters only for US works in cases where the work wasn't published prior to 2003.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:18, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes:: On a side note, that "no newspapers outside of New York" is new to me. If it's true, maybe we should put it on one of the U.S. copyright pages as a general hint. Where did you get that? --Closeapple (talk) 00:36, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
John Mark Ockerbloom discovered this fact when putting up (which really just a summary of what that page says.) (Though it looks like he's corrected it a bit: e.g. "Chicago Daily News: no issue copyright renewals found in CCE or registered works database; contributions renewed at least as far back as Jan. 20, 1923; see 1950 Jan-Jun", "Chicago Daily Tribune: issues renewed from July 15, 1946 (v. 105 no. 168); see 1974; contributions from prior to 1923 renewed; see 1950 Jan-Jun", "Oakland Tribune: no issue renewals found in CCE or registered works database; contributions renewed at least as far back as April 1, 1923; see 1950 Jan-Jun".) I assume syndicated material that was published in a huge number of papers at once would need its own renewal, and it's possible it got it at some points.
So that statement may not be entirely accurate, but it's basically true that there's a ridiculous amount of non-syndicated material and photographs that is PD in the US, probably all the way up to 1963. Virtually every semi-major figure should have PD photos in some local newspaper. Those contributions are probably a negligible volume compared to the PD newspapers; unfortunately, they mean a non-negligible amount of work checking for renewals.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:20, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
A few years ago I interviewed a magazine editor/publisher who was active from 1946 to 2003. He said that many companies didn't think it was worth the effort for 28 year old articles. There was a lot of recording keeping and paperwork involved. Gernsback Publications and Ziff Davis rarely if ever renewed a copyright. This changed with the Copyright Act of 1976. -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 22:54, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
The 1976 said that works not published before 1978 didn't need a renewal. It was the 1992 act that said that renewals for anything published after 1963 weren't needed.
I have mixed feelings for it. The renewals put a huge amount of material available to everyone, but it really feels random what was and wasn't included (and a lot of people felt screwed by bureaucratic rules here) and figuring out that something wasn't renewed can be pretty complex. A relatively short copyright consistently applied would be more fair and less taxing on reusers.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:32, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
And then USA signed a copyright treaty which restored the copyright to all of those works outside the United States.[1] The idea with a renewal requirement is that "unimportant" works quickly enter the public domain and become accessible to everyone, whereas "important" works remain protected for a long time. It helps people who occasionally need access to "unimportant" works, but also makes things difficult to people who need to use "important" works. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:03, 11 July 2014 (UTC)[edit]

A user has requested a discussion, but there is no comment in the page now. see the link above.
p.s. HappyMidnight, You don't have to apologize, since Commons is a multilingual project. --Puramyun31 (talk) 06:49, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Date formatting used by {{Information}} and other infobox templates[edit]

As some of you might noticed some in last month template {{date}} was rewritten using Module:Date, allowing us to use parser functions to internationalize/localize/translate dates displayed by {{Information}} and other infobox templates. The outputs of the new {{date}} are in most cases identical to the old version (preserved as {{date/old}}); see Module talk:Date/sandbox/testcases. Localizations for new languages can be set up at Module:I18n/date, so if you know other languages and the dates do not show up correctly in them please modify that file or request edit at it's talk page. The new code should be easier to maintain and customize than the old template. A question was raised about how to format dates from 1st to 10th centuries. Old template {{date/old}} have different behavior for each language, but in English it did not do any formatting of the year string, while {{#time}} always pads the dates with zeros, so the dates are always 4 digit long. What is the formatting we would like to use on Commons. Options are:

  1. trim dates, so we might have years: 1999, 999, 99, and 9. This is the behavior of {{date/old}} for many languages
  2. pad dates, so we might have years: 1999, 0999, 0099, and 0009. This is the format used by {{#time}}
  3. hybrid approach, depending on language and/or on date range
  • One proposal was to pad dates on 0-99 range and trim in 100-999 range, so we might have years: 1999, 999, 0099, and 0009.

Padding dates makes them easier to understand, for example "August 23" may be month-day or month-year, but "August 0023" is clear, on the other hand en-wp (like en:Caligula article) does not use padded dates but dates in "22 January 41 AD" format (due to backward compatibility we can not add "AD" automatically to such dates as they might be added separately)
So what format should we use? I am inclined to use the proposed hybrid approach of padding only dates in 0-99 range, may be with added overwrite option to allow trimming is desired. --Jarekt (talk) 14:32, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

CirrusSearch now live for all users on Commons[edit]

As part of our continued rollout of the new search I've enabled CirrusSearch as the primary search engine on Commons. If you're having any problems searching, please let us know in this thread or on Bugzilla. If you're looking to compare search results to the old search engine, you can do this by appending &srbackend=LuceneSearch to your api.php queries and Special:Search queries. Thanks so much for your feedback and patience :) ^demon (talk) 17:12, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Pleclown found a query that's worse in the new search. I started a list at User:Bawolff/search_result_comparision. Please add to it if you find any that are worse in the new so we can keep track of them somewhere (Perhaps that page shouldn't be in my userspace. I didn't know where to put it). Bawolff (talk) 19:04, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
The search that I run on a regular basis to search for copyright violations grabbed from Google which looks something like "source: google" -"book search" -"" -"booksearch" -"google art project" -"google books" -"google scan" now returns no results. How do I use negations with this thing? LX (talk, contribs) 08:55, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
I had better luck with insource:"source: google" -insource:"book search" -insource:"" -insource:"booksearch" -insource:"google art project" -insource:"google books" -insource:"google scan. Bawolff (talk) 22:32, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

July 08[edit]

File:WM Sport National.png[edit]

What is the base image for this map? It may be required for attribution purposes (policy says that we need it even if not). Magog the Ogre (talk) (contribs) 07:24, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Looks much (but not exacly) like File:BlankMap-World-alt.png. We have thousands of maps like this, most of them lacking attribution of the original source or even intermediate sources like File:BlankMap-World6.svg. It seems however, that they are ultimately based on the CIA Factbook (=Public Domain). It would probably take months to clean up this mess … --El Grafo (talk) 09:34, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

New RfC: Proposed overhaul of the "Which files should be renamed?" section of Commons:File renaming[edit]

An RfC has been started at Commons talk:File renaming, with a proposed overhaul of the criteria for which files can be renamed. Your input would be appreciated. Sven Manguard Wha? 19:21, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

July 09[edit]

Confusing gadget documentation[edit]

I see the following pages:

Should some of these talk pages perhaps redirect to others, as is done with, say, MediaWiki talk:Gadget-AjaxQuickDelete? If not, someone needs to improve the documentation at the top of each talk page, because it all seems very confusing. - dcljr (talk) 01:45, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Certain pages extremely slow in Firefox[edit]

Pages such as Paris are extremely slow in loading and navigating in Firefox 30.0. The CPU uses 100% and the used memory is 1.1 GB. After 10 minutes I have to force stop Firefox, start Firefox again and immediately delete the page where I was looking at. Then it is back to 7% CPU. My Mac with OS 10.8.5, 2.9 GHz Intel Core, 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 apparently can’t handle it. The same applies for certain Wikipedia pages with a very long list to links to Wikipedia pages in other languages. The strange thing is that I have it with Firefox and not in Safari. The use for Safari is 2% CPU and 100 MB. As I prefer to use Firefox I like to know whether there is a solution to adapt it so it works better? Wouter (talk) 06:45, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Your link doesn't work. For me, the page Paris loads within 3 seconds, also with Firefox 30, but on Windows 8.1. --Magnus (talk) 07:30, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Link is broken, plus wondering if that also happens with a fresh profile and no add-ons in Firefox. No problems here. --AKlapper (WMF) (talk) 07:42, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
If you can generate and post a js profile in firefox it might be able to diagnose where the problem is (Yeah, I know, those instructions aren't exactly user friendly). Bawolff (talk) 21:05, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Wouter, please note that all slashes in URLs must be like this: "/", and not like this: "\". But actually, in this case you could just use an "internal"-style [[wikilink]], as Magnus did. I've taken the liberty of fixing the original link. Anyway, now to my comment: FYI, that page loaded in about 7 seconds in Gentoo Linux FF 17.0.9, with no noticeable slowdown when scrolling... which I offer just for comparison sake. I occasionally run across pages that behave as you describe (not on any Wikimedia sites, thankfully). I don't know what causes it, but when it happens to me, I suspect bad Javascript code. I know this is an insultingly simple thing, but: have you tried reloading the page by clicking on the URL and hitting the Enter key (not using the Reload button or keyboard shortcut)? Sometimes whatever was causing problems is bypassed or fixed, or somehow fails gracefully on the second load, and things go back to normal. But usually not. [g] Worth a shot, if you haven't tried it. - dcljr (talk) 00:28, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I think my "fix" only works (to the extent that it does) if the page is still trying to load. Nevermind. - dcljr (talk) 00:42, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestions. Now the behaviour is normal again. When I have it again I will try the suggestions. Wouter (talk) 07:38, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Looking for an image[edit]

I am wondering if anyone can help me find a better copy of a wartime image. You can see the image here:, I am looking for the aircraft between Stuffy Dowding and the ambulance. This is Avro Anson K8758, which acted as a target aircraft for K6260, which was equipped with the first production air-to-air radar system. Google image search didn't turn anything up, but I strongly suspect on of the usual suspects here will know how to find this in one of the archives. Maury Markowitz (talk) 11:09, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

I cannot find the K8758, though there are around 200 matches at the IWM for Avro Anson link and many of there are in Avro Anson. -- (talk) 02:43, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Geogroup template dead[edit]

For example, Category:The Bronx, New York City does not lead to maps of the pictures as it did a few days ago. Jim.henderson (talk) 13:36, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

See here; it's a WMFLabs issue, not an issue with Commons alone. I've requested help from the maintainer. Nyttend backup (talk) 14:18, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
It's now working, at least at en:wp. Nyttend (talk) 01:04, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

July 10[edit]

"Donating" images?[edit]

For those interested: I posted a topic on the Mediawiki Talk Page about the use of the word "Donate" for the commons mobile app. --Gambo7 (talk) 09:28, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

July 11[edit]



Commons:Tools needs a big update with replacement by WMF labs links. I am looking the replacement for [2]. The gadget needs updating too (as well as several others). Regards, Yann (talk) 10:20, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Some tools are listed but accounts are also listed. But I don't think a replacement tool exists (yet). Bidgee (talk) 08:46, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

broken template[edit]

The {{Header}} on Commons:Geocoding seems to be broken showing the wikicode and comments. Anybody has time to debug it? The template itself and the Commons:Geocoding page were not changed recently. --Jarekt (talk) 12:39, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Vandalism or whatever in Template:Lang-GEO. -- Rillke(q?) 12:55, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe it was whatever: An edit made with VisualEditor which messed up the code, maybe? -- Tuválkin 13:27, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

July 12[edit]

Wanted: Clashing of the Swords[edit]

As I've commented at Jimbo's page, there are news reports that France (specifically w:Bernard Cazeneuve) is preparing to introduce draft legislation that "will not tolerate messages calling for or glorifying jihad to be shown on its soil with impunity." I think that this (like their previous actions on hate speech) will turn out to be a spectacularly counterproductive idea, and that a freedom of navigation exercise separating Commons from this idea would be useful.

Presently in the news is a very depressing but very instructive video, "Clashing of the Swords IV", being distributed by an al-Qaeda media center called "al-Furqan Media Productions" on CD. They seem very eager to have the world see it, though I don't think it will help their cause; for our part, well, I saw more IED attacks in that footage than I've seen in two decades of media, and that is alas by no means all that is in it. Presumably we want the whole series. The problem is, is there some way that we can see clear to claiming we have permissions on this content? (If so, we may need to find a version closer to the source - I don't know if those subtitles are al-Qaedas, and I haven't even figured out how to rescue the Liveleak content from its Flash prison. We want it in a format that is easily subdivided and stills taken at full resolution to assist commentary web-wide) Will we have any trouble seeing clear to getting this content for Commons? Wnt (talk) 03:02, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

I should add that on searching, I found we have a current ongoing issue with a file from ([3]) which is under a flag for unknown copyright status at File:AbuBakrBagdadi.jpg. I remember there was some contention over "PD-press release", but seriously, is there any way we see clear to hosting content that is obviously being disseminated in an unrestricted way by the author's permission, when it doesn't use the formal magic words "public domain" because the people who made it tend to burn their passports and limit their legal issues to sharia? Wnt (talk) 16:23, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
They may want their video disseminated, but presumably there's no explicit licence that permits modifications and commercial use. Perhaps they aren't likely to sue regardless, but that's meaningless for Commons. --ghouston (talk) 23:19, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Cat-a-lot unavailable in User uploads[edit]

Cat-a-lot used to be available in User uploads, but it is no longer - not for me, at least. What happened? --Jonund (talk) 08:15, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Help needed: fixing a file[edit]

Good afternoon. I found a minor typo in this map: just above Verona the municipality of Grezzana is misspelled 'Grezzano'. While I can upload a corrected version of the file without trouble, I've no idea how to substitute the new file to the old one so that it gets replaced in all of the pages where it's used. Thank you Cloverleaf II (talk) 12:58, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

And doing that will overwrite the incorrect original file? Alright, thanks! Cloverleaf II (talk) 16:53, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Laptop on old photo[edit]

Please help me to discover the laptop on this image. Looks like ThinkPad 750. Thank you. --Переславская неделя (talk) 21:48, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

try w:WP:Reference desk/Computing, unless you get lucky here. Wnt (talk) 22:19, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Commons wont accept a word doc[edit]

Commons wont take a word doc, which is what i have. what can i do?? Stuart roche44 23:37, 12 July 2014‎

Convert to PDF (try this). But content that was originally in MSWord format is very likely to be off topic in Commons, and your converted PDF may be flagged for deletion soon. Depending on its content, you may want to isolate any illstrations or diagrams as individual images and upload them separately, leaving the text to be added as such to any of the content projects (Wikipedias, Wikisources, Wikibooks, Wikiversities, Wikivoyages, etc.). -- Tuválkin 06:03, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Stuart roche44 -- Commons is mainly for media in free file formats with a fixed visual, audio, or audio-visual form, and Microsoft Word files don't really satisfy either part of this definition. PDF files are intended for externally-generated documents, not really for new user-generated documents (user-generated text content should be added to a suitable language-specific project, user-generated graphic content should be uploaded as image files, etc.)... AnonMoos (talk) 07:32, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

July 13[edit]

Proposal for naming of staff accounts[edit]

After an incident a couple of days ago on the English Wikipedia, it seems more relevant than ever to reconsider how Wikimedia Foundation staff accounts with powers for office actions should be distinguished from personal accounts with no non-community granted special rights. This has been created at:

Your opinion is welcome! -- (talk) 05:57, 13 July 2014 (UTC)