Commons:Village pump/Copyright

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Welcome to the Village pump copyright section

This Wikimedia Commons page is used for general discussions relating to copyright and license issues, and for discussions relating to specific files' copyright issues. Discussions relating to specific copyright policies should take place on the talk page of the policy, but may be advertised here. Recent sections with no replies for 7 days and sections tagged with {{section resolved|1=~~~~}} may be archived; for old discussions, see the archives.

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Picture is not own work.[edit]

It is not possible to identify users registered, but the names they choose tells something about them. User:SteinarGlimsdal has uploaded File:Kjetil Haga.jpg as own work. The picture is created by Kathrine Nygård and is previously published here - . User:SteinarGlimsdal is an employee at Blå Kors Norge where Kjetil Haga used to work. This does not make him the owner of this workout it is possible he in this role had access to photos of Haga. This picture lacks a licence from its creator Kathrine Nygård and probably should be deleted.   Dyveldi    16:02, 14 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sounds to me like a classic case of referring the uploader to COM:VRT. Felix QW (talk) 17:07, 15 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Probably years to late for OTRS. The user made a few edits: user edits and then stopped. All of the edits was connected to Blå Kors who Steinar Glimsdals employer at the time. The user should have been contacted at the time and made aware of Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest. Probably would have helped the user.
- Glimsdal uploaded two pictures. The other one is File:Geir Gundersen - foto Steinar Glimsdal.jpg and as is typical of own work this file does give information about the camera that was use. File:Kjetil Haga.jpg does not give any such information.
- Steinar Glimsdal used to work for Blå Kors and they might well have bought the right to use a copy of the picture from the photographer. This might have led to a misunderstanding of what own work means. Blå Kors may have owned the right to limited use of the picture. Blå Kors might have a contract with the photographer which could have resolved the matter. Glimsdal no longer works for Blå Kors and it is highly unlikely that he have bought the rights to publish it on commons as a private person.   Dyveldi    14:57, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
First of all I do not think I am the right person to refer the user to OTRS (COM:VRT) or follow up. I am not that experienced on Commons.   Dyveldi    15:06, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am sorry if it came accross as explicitly telling you to do something. I just wanted to point out that in these situations, the community usually requires VRT approval to keep the image. While what you are saying sounds plausible, I doubt the image would be kept should someone file a deletion request without evidence of permission or transfer of copyright from the photographer. Felix QW (talk) 16:11, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No you did not come across as telling me. I just was very reluctant here and as you say what I think about this picture is plausible. It is not a fact though. I have tried to nominate the page for deletion, but am unsure if I used the correct procedure. --  Dyveldi    19:43, 22 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It was almost correct - the right tag was "no permission since" rather than "no license since". I fixed it now - thanks for bringing this up! Felix QW (talk) 21:39, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Indian banknotes[edit]

There is currently conflicting information regarding the copyright status of Indian currency. According to COM:CUR India, Indian banknotes are released under the GODL, while the header text at Category:Rupee (India) suggests that only banknotes before 1962 are in the public domain and uploading images of later banknotes is not admissible. Do we have any actual evidence that all (or even any) Indian banknotes have been released under the GODL? See also the potentially related discussion at Commons:Deletion requests/Media in Category:Unreviewed photos of GODL-India. Felix QW (talk) 13:50, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think anything is automatically released under the GODL. Like the British OGL, it needs to be specified somewhere. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:30, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Clindberg: according to this gazette notification, it applies to anything generated using public funds by various agencies of the Government of India. It doesn't need to be specified --Matr1x-101Pinging me doesn't hurt! {user - talk? - useless contributions} 16:56, 21 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There was a long discussion about it at Commons:Deletion requests/Media in Category:Unreviewed photos of GODL-India. That document you link to does say the open license for data sets published under NDSAP and through the OGD Platform remained unspecified till now, which implies then that that license only applies to "data sets published under NDSAP and through the OGD Platform", which are generally all on the website. The license and policy does seem to be targeted at "data", which is defined fairly broadly but not sure it really is meant to apply to all works of government -- the policy seems to require a vetting process to make sure it is covered data. Many Indian government websites do have a pretty open policy, but I never see this license in particular mentioned anywhere else. It's definitely a fairly nebulous situation. The license does explicitly say that it does not apply to any "data subject to other intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks, and official marks" -- I do wonder if currency comes under that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:32, 21 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Clindberg: The quote you said "the open license for data sets published under NDSAP and through the OGD Platform remained unspecified till now" is simply an acknowledgment that data sets published under NDSAP and through the OGD platform didn't have a license. In the legal sense, it doesn't imply anything. --Matr1x-101Pinging me doesn't hurt! {user - talk? - useless contributions} 22:11, 21 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The other issue is that even if we assume that the license holds automatically, does it hold for works published before it came into force? For an official document, the gazetted scope remains terribly cryptic. Felix QW (talk) 21:43, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File is licensed pma 70+4 as per COM:Russia. Is performer’s copyright valid on Commons? If so, many actors there are died less than 70 years ago. What local policy one can find on this issue? -- 20:21, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In any case, this recording would still be protected in the US since it was still protected in Russia at the URAA date. Therefore, we should not host it here anyway. Felix QW (talk) 00:02, 21 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In Russia copyrights for audiorecordings are regulated by neighbouring (related) rights (RU: Смежные права), not by copyrights (RU: Авторское право). If base work (text, music, etc.) is in the PD or uncopyrighted, then record company copyrights for audiorecording expire after 50 from record date and perfomer's copyrights for audiorecording expire on Jan.1 year after 50+4 after from record year or on Jan.1 year after perfomer's death year, which are later. See for example Файл:Gagarin-Poyekhali.ogg Alex Spade (talk) 20:22, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GODL-India only applies to works with a DOI, URI, or URL.[edit]

I think {{GODL-India}} only applies on files published with a URL, URI, or DOI. This is because according to this gazette notification, [t]he user must acknowledge the provider, source, and license of data by explicitly publishing the attribution statement,11 including the DOI (Digital Object Identifier), or the URL (Uniform Resource Locator), or the URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) of the data concerned.. Failure to do so means the GODL is terminated per Section 7a of the Gazette notification. Of course, you can't credit a URL/URI/DOI if it doesn't exist, so GODL-India only applies to files published online (with a URI/URL) or with a Digital Object Identifier. --Matr1x-101Pinging me doesn't hurt! {user - talk? - useless contributions} 17:01, 21 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Including" means if available. You interpretation makes no sense. Ruslik (talk) 19:59, 21 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Including" does not mean "if available". According to Britannica, including means having (someone or something) as part of a group or total. The DOI/URL/URI must be part of the attribution statement. Failure to do so (i.e. if there is no DOI/URL/URI to attribute) results in termination of the license per Section 7a of the Gazette notification.
Think about it. If a legal document asks you to include a signature, including a signature is not optional. Including does not mean "if available". --Matr1x-101Pinging me doesn't hurt! {user - talk? - useless contributions} 21:20, 21 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If a license says a uri must be included then the uri to be included must be provided. Otherwise it would look like the license was issued in bad faith. So, to avoid this interpretation, one concludes that uri inclusion is compulsory if and only if an uri has been actually provided. Ruslik (talk) 20:20, 22 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, it says either DOI, URL, or URI, meaning that at least one of those must be included. Bsslover371 (talk) 06:59, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Bsslover371, does it say "must"? Where does it say "DOI, URL, or URI must be included"? It would seem that "must" attaches to the requirement to uniquely attribute the source, rather than the method used to do so. Elizium23 (talk) 10:41, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You underestimate the flexibility of URI naming schemes. A URI can refer to practically anything, especially anything digital. You could generate a hash for a digital file. You could mint a tag for it. You could create a new URI scheme for the type of thing you're describing. You could use one of the hundreds of existing schemes. This restriction you're imagining is no restriction at all; it's a license to let our imaginations run wild. Elizium23 (talk) 03:13, 22 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nice save, @Elizium23! I only thought URIs extended to http(s), irc(s), ftp, ssh/scp, rsync, etc. So you're saying we can generate a SHA 256 hash for the file and attribute it via that "Named Information" URI scheme? --Matr1x-101Pinging me doesn't hurt! {user - talk? - useless contributions} 12:45, 22 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Eve (Davidson) of IUPUI[edit]

One public art listed at w:en:User:Ww2censor/FOP statues, w:en:Eve (Davidson) (1931, by w:en:Robert William Davidson), may actually be in public domain, if erected up to 1977 without copyright notice. However, I need assistance from other users to know if it is in public domain ({{PD-US-no notice}}) or not. JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 02:47, 22 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The entry of this sculpture at Smithsonian Institution's public art catalog is [1]. Ping @Jameslwoodward: to help me determine if this can be {{PD-US-no notice}} (or {{PD-US-not renewed}}) or not. JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 09:49, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
According to its enwiki article, this statue was erected in the public Ball Gardens by 1937. So if it did not carry a copyright notice then, it would certainly be {{PD-US-no notice}}. Felix QW (talk) 21:35, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Felix QW: the Smithsonian's public art catalog states the inscription as: (On base:) Robert Davidson (On side of base:) Priessmann Baver v Co. Munchen Bavaria signed Founder's mark appears. JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 00:42, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Wrong license" added to hundreds of photos[edit]

Greetings Commons editors,

Today I noticed that this user, Matlin, in February 2022 added {{Wrong license}} to hundreds of photos, possibly about 600 or so. First such edit is here. The one I examined is File:Akt urodzenia Heleny Kowalskiej.jpg which seems completely legitimate as its description indicates that it was cooperatively released from a Polish agency. This user has left no trail of rationale or discussion about why they may consider the licenses to be invalid or wrong, and the user may not speak much English as home wiki is the Polish one. The photos seem to be Poland-related. The user also has many warnings and deleted photos, so I am raising the issue here for deeper scrutiny. Thank you! Elizium23 (talk) 03:01, 23 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, These files are certainly in the public domain, but the license provided (CC-0) makes no sense. Only the copyright holder can attributes a CC license. However the copyright of these files expired long ago, and the license can't be attributed by the agency which owns these documents. So the {{Wrong license}} template is useless, but it is not technically wrong. So just revert this, and add a useful license. Yann (talk) 22:04, 23 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Yann I would love to get right on 600 reverts, but I don't have tools or automation to make that less painful. For the same reason, there is much friction before I consider nominating multiple files for deletion, because Commons's deletion process requires that each file be tagged, and I haven't come across any automated methods for doing that. I've used Twinkle and RW/Ultraviolet. Is this a job for Huggle/AWB/JWB? Elizium23 (talk) 05:41, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Commons:Archiwum Państwowe w Poznaniu was last updated in 2014. It says very clearly that "the State Archive in Poznań has opted for the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 license". So have things changed on the ground? Was that wrong from the get-go? Could @Polimerek follow up on this? Elizium23 (talk) 05:48, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Kustoszka, @Crashzeroo as uploaders. Elizium23 (talk) 05:50, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
VisualFileChange on the meta category Category:Media contributed by the State Archive in Poznań can probably do the job. Yann (talk) 08:01, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Strange permission tag[edit]

I just came upon a file where the uploader added a tag saying "The copyright holder of this file allows anyone to use it for any purpose, provided that the copyright holder is mentioned."

Now I wonder: How does this work, without a VRT ticket? The uploader is a publishing company that may own the usage rights to the photo but not the copyright. So how can they speak for the photographer?

This appears to be a Munich-based independent photographer, and by law there is no way this publisher can have the Urheberrecht.

Thanks, -- 23:58, 23 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The {{Copyrighted free use provided that}} tag is deprecated. Looks like this should have used {{Attribution}} instead. I won't speak to whether the uploader owned the economic rights enough to license the image that way. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:43, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Presumably, given the account name, the uploader is associated with the publisher My guess is that someone with better German than mine can contact them at the email given on that page, and that there is a fair chance they would help us sort out a proper license, including getting the actual copyright holder to contact VRT as needed. - Jmabel ! talk 04:25, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is there a good reason why this 1958 building is in PD? The architect died in 1979. I see some provision about public buildings at Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Italy, but I do not quite see why it should apply. Thanks. Ymblanter (talk) 20:29, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Current consensus is that de facto Italian FOP starts at 0 pma. -- King of ♥ 20:39, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Great, thanks. Ymblanter (talk) 21:53, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

{{PD-algorithm}} seems too good to be true[edit]

{{PD-algorithm}} states that "the work of a computer algorithm or artificial intelligence" is in public domain because "it has no human author in whom copyright is vested." However, this seems too good to be true. If anything generated by an algorithm was PD, then this would mean we could just copy any AI art to Commons. It would also mean we could publish screenshots of any software (or at least video games that don't use textures) because almost all computer graphics are generated by algorithms. So I don't think it's that simple. Furthermore, there are claims that AI-generated images are derivative works of the data used to train the programs. [2] Is there any validity to this?

I also know some AI programs like Midjourney only allow paying subscribers to use the generated art for commercial purposes. [3] If "the work of a computer algorithm or artificial intelligence" is really in public domain, then does this mean these terms are unenforceable? Or is there something I'm missing? Ixfd64 (talk) 23:09, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In general, software screenshots are a derivative work of the creation of the human authors of the software, even if the specific arrangement at the time is computer-generated. A screenshot of a game is usually derivative of the artwork drawn by the human artists, though in extreme cases there are exceptions, e.g. Commons:Deletion requests/File:Dwarf Fortress - mapa świata.png.
As for AI specifically, the legal situation is not 100% clear, but de facto consensus on Commons seems to be that it is allowed in general. For sure, Midjourney's terms cannot be worse than an AI model that does not have explicit terms of use. So if we choose to treat Midjourney's conditions as enforceable, then we must not allow any model that does not explicitly permit unrestricted commercial use. For the record, it is my personal opinion that model owners do not hold any rights to the output of their models, regardless of what their terms say. I am undecided on the question of whether the human creator of the prompt holds any copyright: one possible interpretation is that the output is a DW of the prompt (in which case the output would be copyrightable by the human prompter unless the prompt is below COM:TOO), but another possible interpretation is that it's nothing more than a human teaching a monkey how to take a selfie (note: this is not actually what happened in the Slater case, but that's what it would be analogous to). -- King of ♥ 00:49, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What is this "Slater case" you refer to? AFAIK, there has been no such case. The question of the validity of David Slater's claim to hold the copyright there has never been tested in court. Nor has the PETA case (thrown out beforehand) because that wasn't even about Slater's copyright (or not), it was making a claim for the macaque that had already been rejected by earlier precedents.
The point is that there is no Slater case (and no precedent established), so cannot be analogous to AI generation. Andy Dingley (talk) 01:14, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see. So it looks like we're operating on the assumption that the courts will rule that AI-generated art is not copyrightable. Hope we won't have to deal with DMCA takedowns or lawsuits down the road. On a related note, would it be a good idea to create something like Commons:When to use the PD-algorithm tag in the not-too-distant future? Ixfd64 (talk) 01:24, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We have Commons:AI generated media which is in progress. Borysk5 (talk) 11:41, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The US Copyright Office refused to register a work with an AI listed as author, so we have their opinion on it. Most computer games, even without textures, use 3D objects that are basically virtual sculptures. I'd say that a computer program that simply displayed a 3D object wouldn't add anything to the 3D model copyright, any more than Adobe Acrobat does. For 3D models, there is the Toyota case where they successfully argued that an exact 3D model of a Toyota doesn't get its own copyright; this might apply to some computer 3D models, thought games are almost always going to be able to argue a creative reduction of a real life object into a usable and appealing computer model.
I've played around with NightCafe some, and I'd be wary of too broad use of this tag. Throwing elf into the machine doesn't produce copyrightable output, but a complex enough prompt and complex enough settings should be copyrightable, and the output a derivative of that.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:54, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photoshopped or otherwise altered hoax images[edit]

I'm wondering how Commons treats photoshopped or otherwise altered hoax images. I'm guessing that such images might be considered COM:DERIVATIVEs if they incorporate copyright content created by others and could be licensed as such. In some cases, a photoshopped hoax image may actually be the subject of commentary (e.g. political satire, a meme) based on the fact that it's been photoshopped; so, such an image could possibly satisfy COM:SCOPE. What about cases where the image is simply intended to misrepresent and realistically has no potential encyclopedic value at all. Are these treated as COM:CSD#F3 or COM:CSD#F10 When it comes to English Wikipedia and hoax articles, there is a way to tag such things for speedy deletion per en:WP:G3; however, there no doesn't seem to be a corresponding speedy deletion criterion for hoax files uploaded to Commons. Do such images simply need to go to DR to be deleted? FWIW, I'm asking about this because of Commons:Deletion requests/File:Bruce Lee and James Demile.jpg, which does seem to be a case of photoshopping to create a hoax image having zero educational value. -- Marchjuly (talk) 01:27, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Marchjuly: Generally speaking (I will leave it to others to deal with the DR):
  • Altered images (the alterations may use any software; the images may or may not be hoaxes) are generally derivative works. Where they violate the copyright of the original work, they are eligible for CSD F3.
  • These images may or may not be in scope, as you explained (but note that the criterion is educational value, not encyclopedic value). Where they are not in scope (and therefore not a constructive contribution) and any other contributions by the uploader are also non-constructive, they may be eligible for CSD F10.
  • Actually, Commons does have a CSD that is similar (in some respects) to enwiki’s G3, also called G3: Content posted with the intention of creating/spreading hoaxes may also be deleted under this criterion.
  • If the file’s presence is not doing immediate harm and there is reasonable doubt about how to handle it, it should always go to a DR.
Brianjd (talk) 10:35, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you Brianjd for all that information. Just for reference, I'm aware of COM:EDUSE, and I thought I touched on that at the very end of my post. My apologies, however, if that wasn't clear. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:44, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Deleted. I warned the uploader. Any more issues should lead to a block, as they were already warned several times. Yann (talk) 10:45, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you Yann for taking a look at the file. Just for reference, while I was pretty certain the photo was fake, I have no way of knowing who created it. It could've been someone other than the uploader. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:44, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, but it doesn't matter. The abuse is in uploading. Yann (talk) 08:19, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since Brazil's URAA restoration date is 1 January 1996, shouldn't this template only apply to works finished before 1936? If a work was finished in 1936, my expectation would be that it entered the public domain in 1936+60+1 = 1997. —CalendulaAsteraceae (talkcontribs) 02:33, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Would have to agree. Not entirely sure if there were any earlier, shorter terms in Brazilian that may have still been in place (and not retroactively restored), but on the face of it a 60-year term which started in 1936 would only have expired on January 1, 1997, and been restored by the URAA. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:40, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DarwIn may want to participate here. He told me once that it’s until January 1, 1936 or something similar (I would have to check), but certainly not 1937. RodRabelo7 (talk) 09:01, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Similar photos[edit]

Is it ok to replace File:Alexandru Pesamosca.jpg with this? - Coagulans (talk) 04:44, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What do you mean by "replace"? If you meant, replacing the image on the project(s) where it is currently used, that should be discussed on the projects, not here. If you meant deleting the 1st image to replace it by the 2nd one, no. If the 2nd image is also under a valid free license, you might upload it under a different filename to Commons. --Túrelio (talk) 08:38, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is the same picture, so if the license is valid for one, it is also for the other one. Yann (talk) 08:47, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
this looks way better... Stemoc 09:16, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. Indeed, "replace" wasn't the right word to use. - Coagulans (talk) 11:35, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

en-native-speaker willing to adapt a COM:CB-paragraph?[edit]

See here: Commons talk:Copyright rules by subject matter#COM:CB-statement about Noticeboards/signs is incorrect. Thanks. --Túrelio (talk) 11:59, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sharlott Hall scan of Federal publication in their collection[edit]

I want to apply an abundance of caution in my uploads.

I want to upload two higher-resolution crops of the USDA Forest Service's 1976 Kaibab National Forest road map. The Sharlot Hall Museum possesses a copy of this map in their map archive, which they catalog as Map #175, and provides a low-resolution scan of the map for public view.

I purchased the right to access the Sharlot Hall high-resolution scan of the map from which I made two clips for intended use on Wikipedia. The museum staff recognized that the map is public domain and that they are not permitted to charge for U.S. government publications, and I recognize that the museum has rights to their scan of the map.

I submitted a Sharlot Hall Museum Permission to Use Material application to upload the two clips to "Wikimedia Commons file space per Creative Commons license" the "cropped sections of map #175". The specific crops are identified in the application.

The Sharlot Hall Museum has approved this application. I wish to know for certain from the Village Pump if it is indeed safe for me to upload these images. (I think so because intent for Creative Commons license is stated.)

Files to upload:

  • Kaibab National Forest Map 1976 Ash Fork-CJ-Williams.jpg
  • Kaibab National Forest Map 1976 Cucamonga Junction.jpg
  • Kaibab National Forest Map 1976 Sharlot Hall PTO 2023-01.pdf

IveGoneAway (talk) 02:30, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As far as I can tell, while you may recognize that the museum has rights to their scan of the map, Commons generally considers faithful reproduction insufficient to attract new copyright (cf. PD-Scan). If you want to keep a record of the Creative Commons license too, you could use Licensed-PD-Art, which enables you to specify a separate license for the reproduction. Felix QW (talk) 17:42, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for the response, but I am having trouble parsing a yay or nay. "faithful reproduction insufficient to attract new copyright" I think this is telling me that the museum may not claim rights to control the use of their scans.
However. my recollection was, perhaps mistaken and/or out-dated, that the scanner has certain rights to the scan. In initial discussions, the museum assumed that all of the maps were Arizona government and could not let me use it "for free". But, they in the end saw that is was US Government PD.
How do I use those templates with PD U.S. government documents?
The scanner acknowleges that the original work is PD. The scanner states that they aggree to CC as far as the two clips of their scan are concerned. My original question was is whether the PTO (I can upload) with that statement indeed confers CC to the clips.
IveGoneAway (talk) 22:11, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Handwritten annotations (inscriptions) on a published work - copyright or not copyright?[edit]

Hi all, apologies if this question has been asked before. A friend previously uploaded an image of the title page of a published work that includes 2 handwritten additions (by family members of the authors, no relation to the uploader) which has been noted by a patroller as "a derivative work, containing an "image within an image" ", the original being in copyright, and therefore subject to potential deletion; the page in question includes the title to the work as printed characters.

My question is, if the image were cropped to remove the title of the work (i.e., to show just the handwritten annotations), would that still be an image (photograph by the uploader) that could be released as CC4 or whatever, or would permission be required from the annotators themselves (i.e., would their handwritten annotations still be copyright?). All advice appreciated. Regards, Tony Rees, Australia Tony 1212 (talk) 06:29, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In case it helps, the particular item under discussion is here: File:Time_means_Tucker_signed_by_Dule's_daughter_&_nephew-837.jpg - however the question can be construed as a more general one, I think... Regards Tony Tony 1212 (talk) 20:39, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In theory, it is possible for inscriptions to be long enough to qualify for a literary copyright. In the U.S., and most countries, there is no copyright on short phrases, or perfunctory text or bare information. Titles usually fall under that. Additionally, most countries do not have any copyright on the typographical arrangement of printed editions -- the UK and Australia does (or did); its was 25 years though so that has passed. Something like signatures ... usually not copyrightable, but there are some countries where it might be -- see Commons:When to use the PD-signature tag. These issues are complicated and not generally the subject for speedy deletion; at most that should be converted into a regular deletion request so it could be discussed. From what I see, the inscriptions are not copyrightable, nor is the title. The graphic of the person might be, if it was original to that work. Title pages of books are almost never problems (just the book text, or images). The only real issue is the graphic of the person; if that is blurred then no problem. And if that was something common to that publisher, it could be older than that and thus PD by age. Or it could be considered Commons:de minimis for this photo -- it's certainly not avoidable. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:11, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the other hand, this photo appears at , with a photographer credit. That may well be the uploader, but it might be best to have them send a private email using the process at COM:VRT to confirm that, if the free license cannot be specified on the source website. Accounts here are anonymous, and it's easy to use a name which looks like an author to falsely upload images they cannot license. We delete lots of uploads every day. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:23, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks Carl, I happen to know that the uploader is the same person as the photographer credited in the blogspot mentioned. Maybe she/we can just replace the image with a new version with the graphic suitably blurred then, and add a note somewhere to say that the issue has been addressed? Tony 1212 (talk) 21:43, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If a work has been previously published on the internet, and the source page cannot be updated to mention the license, we do require those private emails, and the VRT team (volunteers) should provide the OK once confirmed. Since 2007, we don't accept forwarded permissions, basically. See Commons:Volunteer Response Team#If you are NOT the copyright holder (or the photographer can look at the previous section, and follow those steps, since she does own the copyright). That would be the most likely reason for it to get deleted, honestly. It can be aggravating but we have constant people uploading copyrighted internet photos without permission, and have found that the email templates work the best, including to make sure there are no misunderstandings (for example, the photo can't be licensed just for Wikipedia). But yes, slightly blurring the graphic would eliminate any other possible problem (and even that might be OK; I'd argue to keep it probably). Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:05, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Alternatively to VRT, since the page of interest is clearly two-dimensional, a crop could suffice to make it eligible for PD-Art? Felix QW (talk) 17:45, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks all, I have alerted the uploader to the discussion above and added some advice of my own. It seems there are 2 separate aspects to deal with, one the potential derivative work originally flagged as the trigger for possible deletion, and two, the fact that she previously published the image without an appropriate licence, both of which will require attention, so we will await her decision as to what next steps she will take... Also the original patroller deleted both this image and another from the relevant Wikipedia article unilaterally, so ideally they could be restored there as well. Regards Tony Tony 1212 (talk) 18:14, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Licensing concerns about 3 images[edit]

I'm concerned that File:Cardano_Founder,_Charles_Hoskinson_and_Professor_Brummer.jpg, File:Charles_Hoskinson,_Keynote_Binance_Blockchain_week_2022.jpg, and File:Aggelos_Kiayias,_Chief_Science_Officer_at_Input_Output_Global.jpg have all been uploaded as CC licensed but they don't appear to be the uploader's own work and there isn't any indication they're CC licensed at their sources. JaggedHamster (talk) 17:03, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

✓ Done Tagged, user warned. Yann (talk) 19:39, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

FOP-related question[edit]

Can this album be uploaded to Commons? There’s no FOP in Argentina, but ithe author of those images is the same person who photographed them. RodRabelo7 (talk) 05:11, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Surveillance camera footage question[edit]

Would the surveillance camera footage of the beating of Tyre Nichols (source here) be covered by copyright? The direction the camera is pointing changes at the beginning of the video but I'm uncertain of whether that's due to a human changing it or something automatic. Per Commons:Copyright rules by subject matter#Surveillance camera footage this seems rather ambiguous but would be good to know. Elli (talk) 07:21, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Usually CCTV videos are in the public domain. {{PD-ineligible}} is OK for this case. Yann (talk) 12:09, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

PD-CSPAN question[edit]

This is related to COM:HD#File:David Bunning Confirmation.jpg and has to do with the licensing of File:David Bunning Confirmation.jpg. The file was uploaded under a {{PD-USGov}} in March 2022 and according to its source it is a screenshot of 2006 US Congressional Committee hearing that was broadcast by C-Span. According to C-Span's licensing information page and {{PD-CSPAN}}, broadcasts of US Congressional Committee hearings taking place within official chambers are within the public domain, but this screenshot is from a hearing held in Dirksen Senate Office Building and not the US Senate's official chamber. The original licensing of "PD-USGov" is probably not correct, but I'm wondering if "PD-CSPAN" could be used instead. If not, then I'm not sure this file can be kept by Commons. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:11, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No. PD-CSPAN is in reality a synonym for PD-USGov, since it only applies to the material broadcast from cameras in the main chambers, which are government-owned and therefore PD-USGov (despite the C-SPAN logo being added). Any footage that CSPAN films itself is their copyright, and not allowed by that tag. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:59, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you Carl. I've nominated the file for deletion at Commons:Deletion requests/File:David Bunning Confirmation.jpg. -- Marchjuly (talk) 07:55, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

North Carolina State Judge photos[edit]

File:Robin Hudson.jpg and File:Samuel Ervin IV.jpg are uploaded under a {{PD-USGov}} license by the same uploader. These two files appear to be official photos attributed to the "North Carolina Judicial Branch", but it's not clear if this is part of the US federal government or is a state-level body that wouldn't be covered under "PD-USGov". According to Harvard University's State Copyright Resource Center, works created by employees of the State of North Carolina as part of their official duties are not clearly within the public domain. So, if these files aren't covered by "PD-USGov", then I'm not sure Commons can keep them.

In addition to the aforementioned two files, there are also File:African American Justices of the NC Supreme Court.jpg (which has been cropped various times) and File:Justice Anita Earls.jpg. The group photo and its crops are all licensed as "PD-USGov", but once again these are not federal judges and it would seem that the photo was taken by an employee of the State of North Carolina and not the US federal government. The photo of Earls was uploaded under a CC license as "own work", which seems quite questionable given that this looks like an official photo and thus likely a copyvio. At the very least, the "own work" claim would seem to need to be verified by VRT or the licensing converted to something else. I'm interested what others might think about these photos regarding whether they're OK for Commons. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:23, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Marchjuly: These photos are copyrighted by the photographers. See en:Copyright status of works by subnational governments of the United States#North Carolina, and the lack of mention of North Carolina at COM:US#US States.   — 🇺🇦Jeff G. please ping or talk to me🇺🇦 02:43, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Possible new additions for Category:United States law deletion requests/pending, unfortunately. Those files need to be taken down. JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 02:47, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you Jeff G. and JWilz12345. I've tagged the first two photos and the one claimed as "own work" as copyvios. The other photo might be better off discussed at DR since it's been cropped many times and it's been sourced to two different sites. -- Marchjuly (talk) 08:10, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jeff G., JWilz12345, and Clindberg: Would you mind taking another look at File:African American Justices of the NC Supreme Court.jpg? In particular, take a look at the file's description. I missed it the first time I looked at the file, but it states that photo was taken by the "Staff of G. K. Butterfield". en:G. K. Butterfield, who's in the photo, was a former justice on the North Carolina State Supreme Court who was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 2004 after retiring from the court. He's still serving as a US Congressman which means this might actually be "PD-USGov" since the file's description states the photo was taken on August 31, 2017. -- Marchjuly (talk) 12:44, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Marchjuly: Is that staff member a direct employee of the US federal government? Is taking photos of the Congressman a part of the official duties of that staff member?   — 🇺🇦Jeff G. please ping or talk to me🇺🇦 13:07, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The source is a website. So yes, would be PD-USGov, pretty clearly, if taken by the Congressman's staff. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:40, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you Carl for looking at this. As for who took the photo Jeff G., I'm not sure who actually did only that it's attributed to a "staff member" and is sourced to the verified Twitter account of US Congressman Butterfield and this official US government website for Butterfield, which says the photo comes for Twitter. It might be best to assume COM:AGF here unless there's strong reason to doubt the claim of "PD-USGov". -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:38, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sweden photo copyright template issue[edit]

(I originally posted the same text in the main Village pump, not realizing that there's a separate board for copyright)

The copyright template for Swedish photographs (Template:PD-Sweden-photo) is in need of a clarification, since a few years back. Right now it has two sections.

  • Terms and conditions for copyright expiration, with auto-updating years that increment for every year that passes.
  • A long text which is technically correct but not very useful.

How about replacing the entire second part, with something like this?

Photos also need to comply with {{PD-1996}} to be legal in the United States. This limits the practical use of the template to photos created up until 1968.

This clarification exists in an obscure place on the template's page, but it would be more clear if it was presented directly.

Here's a good example with how Romania's old copyright terms are shown to the reader of a file page: Template:PD-RO-photo

- Anonimski (talk) 11:16, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bonn zoological bulletin[edit]

Files in Category:Bonn zoological bulletin were from the Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr where they were changed from "No known restrictions" to CC0 public domain in 2022 (example: but they are from which has a noncommercial licence by-nc-sa/3.0. There was a deletion request in 2020 (Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Bonner zoologische Monographien (2011)) where files with the same licence from the same publisher were deleted, but that was before the licence on Flickr was changed to CC0. Was the 2020 deletion the correct decision, and if it was then should a deletion request be made for the Bonn zoological bulletin category? Is the licence on Flickr likely to be correct, and does the change to CC0 make a difference? Peter James (talk) 21:45, 29 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I suspect that does not hold copyright to that bulletin and the reason they published it is because it was published in United States in 1971 without a copyright notice, making it public domain. Borysk5 (talk) 09:48, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As far as I can see, most of the pictures in this category are from around 2010. However, the publisher itself releases the journal under a CC-BY-4.0 license, so as far as they are not courtesy images it should just be a matter of relabelling the files. Felix QW (talk) 10:30, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Flickr photo crop and de minimis[edit]

File:Dr Gaositwe Chiepe (cropped).jpg is a crop and enlargement taken from File:Samantha Budd with Dr Gaositwe Chiepe.jpg. The uncropped photo is sourced to Flickr and is released under an acceptable license. I guess it could be argued that the photo of Chiepe being held by Budd in the uncropped Flickr photo might be a case of de minimis or incidental, but that personally that seems a bit of a stretch. However, I also think that any kind of de minimis or incidental claim for the Chiepe photo becomes invalid for any crop on only the Chiepe photo unless it can be clearly shown that Flickr account holder took both photos. If they didn't, then the crop woould seem to need to be treated as a COM:DW and the Flickr license for the uncropped photo can't be applied to it. For such reasons, tagging the crop with {{Dw-nsd}} or starting a COM:DR for the crop might be warranted, but I'm interested in what others may have to say before doing either. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:33, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Marchjuly: I think we need permission from the original photographer for the crop.   — 🇺🇦Jeff G. please ping or talk to me🇺🇦 02:39, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, This requires opinions from people understanding complex US copyright issues. Thanks, Yann (talk) 11:14, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photographs of artwork in public domain, relicensed to Creative Commons[edit]

Hi, I discussed copyright issues with this user last May. They have taken and uploaded numerous photographs of artwork in European locales, typically with a public domain status, give or take local FOP regulations. Unfortunately this user has claimed authorship and copyright for themselves. They have attempted to relicense each photograph as Creative Commons, despite having no standing to do so, and if the original works are already PD, then they cannot be encumbered with more-restrictive licenses. This editor has only taken photographs, and I don't know what credit can be conferred as an author of a digital reproduction, but I have ensured that none of these photographs are claiming spurious Creative Commons licensing, which is patently impossible. The user denied wrongdoing and refused to fix any problems. I am unsure anyone else was unaware of the issues, but a recent mass-nomination for deletion seems to have culled a few of the photos, but unfortunately did not bring scrutiny on the poor licensing and authorship claims. I've repaired them as best I could. Elizium23 (talk) 12:58, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Couldn't this have been resolved with {{Licensed-PD-Art}}? We include both the PD licence for the depicted object and the Creative Commons licence for the photograph. For legal jurisdictions that only need the PD tag, they have that available. For legal jurisdictions that protect the copyright of the photographer, we have that too. From Hill To Shore (talk) 13:06, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My uploads are better licensed than the uploads I was inspired to upload. At least my uploads have a license, others often not. I'd also like to point out this really fabulous rant by Elizium which in no way is anything constructive. If such behavior is not addressed and warned for, what do you support?Paradise Chronicle (talk) 13:29, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
While your diff clearly indicates that I removed that message nearly immediately, I stand by what I said: you've claimed authorship and copyright control for works you didn't create. That's wrong and dishonest, and probably illegal. Elizium23 (talk) 13:32, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To most of my uploads I add (work) ... by (painter/sculptor)... many do it the same way as for example EinDao or Roland ZhCourtesy pings to EinDao and Roland zh. Mine of the same sculpture has a FOP license his not. Paradise Chronicle (talk) 13:43, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Two more files here and here with now FOP license but mine has. Another one here and mine has. If it is forbidden, it should be forbidden for all. Here even author, own work and attribution goes all to the editor with no FOP license, mine had. Either rules go for all, or else we need to expect that others follow their example. Paradise Chronicle (talk) 14:42, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here again. Same sculptor, same rail station. Editor mentions own work, but no FOP license. Mine of another statue at the same railway station has a FOP license but also mention own work as many many other editors as well. Paradise Chronicle (talk) 15:07, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here and here works that were nominated for deletion having a license. One a FOP and another in public domain created somewhere in 1780. Paradise Chronicle (talk) 15:24, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • We have in the past here deleted photographs of old PD works on the basis that the photographer hadn't also released or licensed their copyright. This is wrong under most jurisdictions (for a "mechanical reproduction of 2D art", at least) and is not required under any Commons policy or practice that I know of. And yet, still there are attempts at deletion.
We have a large ongoing DR regarding old photos in modern books, on much the same basis.
So I'm not going to criticise any photographer who tries to clear that up by also relinquishing their own rights to an image. Even if there had been nothing there that was under their rights in the first place! Andy Dingley (talk) 15:27, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's fine if Paradise Chronicle elects to dedicate their photographs to the public domain. But they've attempted to: claim authorship of the entire work, and then restrict the rights of reuse by attaching a Creative Commons license that is, by definition, more restrictive than the Public Domain designation on the original work.
I can see cases where a photographer, claiming authorship of the reproductive/derivative work, wishes to restrict usage of that photograph, but it'd need to be clearly articulated who is the author of what, and what rights attach to what work. Elizium23 (talk) 18:44, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Elizium23: I have taken a quick look through Paradise Chronicle's recent uploads and they are all correctly licensed using {{Licensed-PD-Art}}. Now it is possible that there are older uploads I haven't seen that are problematic, but I can't see any evidence that they are deliberately making false claims. In this scenario it is best to assume good faith and work with the uploader to improve any historic problems rather than come to a public forum and take a confrontational tone. From Hill To Shore (talk) 19:50, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I just spotted this "fix" which is clearly wrong.[4] While it is arguable that the author field could have been clearer, we have gone from a validly licensed file to an invalid file that could be deleted at any time. @Elizium23: I would strongly encourage you not to make such edits. You are not improving the situation. From Hill To Shore (talk) 20:00, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The photograph itself has a copyright, where the author (photographer) must be credited, and they can license that part of the copyright however they like. A photo of a statue does mean that the statue's copyright must also be satisfied, either via a FoP provision in the location's copyright law, or if it has expired. You can certainly make a copyrighted photo of a public domain statue -- at that point there is no derivative rights, so the photograph is the only copyright to be credited. I restored the author claim in the photo mentioned above, because it's completely accurate. There was already FoP tag which explained why the derivative copyright was not an issue here. It's only straight-on photos of paintings or other 2D works (which basically amounts to a copy) where {{PD-Art}} is used, and we have {{Licensed-PD-Art}} for when the uploader wants to give a free license for the photo in case it helps in certain jurisdictions. Photos of 3D works however have a new photographic copyright which must be licensed just like normal photos (before we get to the derivative aspect). They have every right to claim authorship of the photographic copyright. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:54, 31 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

John Fielder, billed as “Colorado’s most famous nature photographer,” has donated more than 5,000 photographs to public domain[edit]

I'm not sure if your images should be uploaded as CC0, but citing his website: "THIS SPRING HISTORY COLORADO WILL MAKE ALL OF MY PHOTOGRAPHS AVAILABLE FOR FREE DIGITAL SEARCHES, FOR PERSONAL AND COMMERCIAL USE BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC, AS WELL AS HOST ONGOING EXHIBITIONS FEATURING MY WORK." It look like CC0, but public domain actually is not a license. Wilfredor (talk) 16:17, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is also another discussion about this at Commons:Village pump#FYI: Celebrated Nature Photographer Donates Life’s Work to Public Domain. User:Koavf has apparently been in contact with the organisation digitising the files "to see if there's some way to collaborate on showcasing the work." From Hill To Shore (talk) 16:42, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Super Bowl Rings[edit]

I have just come across Category:Super Bowl rings, after first seeing File:Super Bowl LIV Ring - NFL Draft Experience 2021.jpg. I opened up a deletion request on the Kansas City ring, since the image prominently features a copyrighted logo and jewelry seems to me like it could be copyrightable. I see there have been multiple discussions on it in the past, and COM:CB#Jewelry seems to be in agreement. However, since there have been multiple discussions on jewelry before, I am hoping for other opinions on this: Are NFL Super Rings, including but not limited to the ones which feature the team's logo, a piece of art that therefore falls under copyright and COM:FOP? Elisfkc (talk) 18:33, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If the jewelry is original enough for a copyright, it can be registered. The U.S. Copyright Office appeals rulings have several related to jewelry where they show what is on the borderline. I would suspect most Super Bowl rings (if not all) would be copyrightable. I'm not sure any have actually been registered for copyright, as fake rings tend to get seized on trademark violation grounds by customs agents (easier to prove) rather than copyright. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:16, 31 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]