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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Own work?[edit]

Would like to know what others think about File:DWDeamer.png and the claim of "own work". The same image can be seen used here, but the Commons upload predates that use by a few years. The EXIF data provided is very minimal and the uploader could be the subject of the photo. This is listed as a "Cross-wiki upload from", but there's really nothing more about the source of the file to be found. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:55, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Marchjuly: Tineye reports that the image was found at on May 28, 2010 (it's not there anymore). So the date is suspect. However, it could have been a right-hand selfie that DWDeamer kept using for years.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 03:25, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you Jeff G. for checking on this. Would you, as a VRT member, accept this as licensed or would you request the uploader email VRT to confirm their copyright ownership. The uploading of this file appears to be the only contribution made by the uploader on any WMF project. FWIW, the English Wikipedia article (en:David Deamer) where the file is being used was created by a different account, but it was created on the same day only a few minutes after this file was uploaded; so, the accounts might be connected. Since neither account is active any more, I don't think asking the uploader for clarification is going to lead anywhere. However, this English Wikipedia Teahouse question might be an indication that one of the two above-mentioned users is back asking for help about the article. -- Marchjuly (talk) 05:46, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Marchjuly: Please see Commons:Deletion requests/File:DWDeamer.png.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 11:07, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Category:Media uploaded without a license[edit]

There are many ways on Commons to tag problematic files for deletion, where they are more or less monitored by administrators on a daily basis. And if you do not specify any license at all, the file is dumped into a category that, at first glance, no one is watching for at all. Does anyone care of those 2k files? Xunks (talk) 06:42, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As you can see at these are processed, but oldest ones were tagged on 26th May. I expect that in about 10 days everything dating back to May will be processed (right now it is 100 files) Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 17:29, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I used to check this category regularly, but no time these days. Yann (talk) 18:06, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
BTW it is not helpful to tag files which have a license as "Media without a license", i.e. [1]. Right, the license may be wrong, but the tagging is also wrong. Yann (talk) 18:13, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Now down to 834. In fact, most of these files are obvious copyright violations, so can be speedy deleted. We used to have a bot (KrdBot) which tags images from an external source without a license as copyvio, but it stopped working. :( This was very helpful. If anyone wants to take the job, it would be great. Thanks, Yann (talk) 21:31, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
KrdBot - is its source code available? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 19:57, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Mateusz Konieczny: No idea, but User:Krd can tell. Yann (talk) 21:01, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Open Geodata" license compatibility[edit]

I found a few files (e.g. [2] [3] [4] [5]), all uploaded by the same user (@Okernick) carrying "" as source, with an "Attribution" licensing template with additional attribution text:

"Datenquelle: Stadt Braunschweig - Open GeoData, 2019, Lizenz: dl-de/by-2-0. Veränderungen, Bearbeitungen, neue Gestaltungen oder Abwandlungen sind im Quellenvermerk mit dem Hinweis zu versehen, dass die Daten geändert wurden."
[loosely translated: "Data source: City of Braunschweig, Open GeoData, 2019, License: dl-de/by-2-0. Modifications, editing, rearrangement or derivatives must carry a note in the reference that the data has been changed."]

However, the referenced weblink mentions additional restrictions, especially:

"Die Geodaten dürfen nicht für Anwendungen und Veröffentlichungen verwendet werden, die kriminelle, illegale, rassistische, diskriminierende, verleumderische, pornographische, sexistische oder homophobe Aktivitäten unterstützen oder zu solchen Aktivitäten anstiften."
[translated: "The geographical data must not be used for applications or publications which support criminal, illegal, racist, discriminatory, slanderous, pornographic, sexist, or homophobic activities, or instigate such activities.]

I don't think that these additional statements are compatible with the Commons project, but I'm not sure whether they are part of the actual license terms, as they are under the "netiquette/notes" section on the page… --Rohieb (talk) Rohieb (talk) 15:16, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

it seems to be that those are legal notices, that government may prosecute you for those things in Germany if you try to do this, regardless of license terms. Borysk5 (talk) 18:37, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I thought so at first too, but at least pornography and sexism are not illegal in Germany. --Rohieb (talk) 22:53, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I found the situation rather similar to what the Commons community discussed on the Japanese government's {{GJSTU1}} license, where similar restrictions are imposed by the Japanese government. Some proposed that the restrictions were not compatible with the definition of free license, while others contended that it's a kind of non-copyright restrictions. Anyways, as (per my experience) the deletion standard for templates is somewhat lower than individual files, the retention of GJSTU1 template may not mean the files would be kept here.
Anyways, that's just some personal opinion. Inputs from other more experienced users are appreciated.廣九直通車 (talk) 12:56, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, I didn't know about non-copyright restrictions. --Rohieb (talk) 16:33, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is it PD-shape in Germany?[edit] - would it be OK to treat it as a PD-shape or not?

I tried reading but I am not even a bit more sure than before Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 17:28, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photograph of an old (pre 1900) postcard[edit]


this time around I'm rather optimistic, but want to make sure I'm getting it right anyway: So I have searched around for a picture to got with an article about the East Louisiana Railroad, and found this photograph of an old postcard. While the collection states that the item is a "copy photoprint" dating from "between 1950 and 1973", the original postcard is stated to be from "between 1887 and 1891" – which is very likely true, since that railway line ceased existing in 1905. So, the original postcard is undoubtedly in the public domain. Now, from looking at similar items like File:Postcard-Malta-Old-Barriera.jpg, I deduce that a simple photographical reproduction of the postcard does not amount to a sufficient "threshold of originality", and as such can be uploaded to commons and tagged per Commons:Reuse of PD-Art photographs, or maybe Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag in this case.

Am I missing anything here, or am I mistaken? I hope not, as it would be nice to have grasped some weird copyright legal stuff. -- LordPeterII (talk) 19:18, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, No, not mistaken. -- Asclepias (talk) 20:18, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Alternatively, {{PD-scan}} might work here, not that it really makes a difference from what I can tell. -BRAINULATOR9 (TALK) 00:09, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

POTD on 2022-08-03[edit]

The POTD on 2022-08-03, taken in Kyoto, Japan

The file attached is the POTD on 2022-08-03, which depicts illuminating pillars covered in kimono (a type of traditional Japanese clothing) patterns, in which the patterns are created by still-alive designer Yasumichi Morita (i.e. his works are still copyrightable in Japan, per pma+70 years copyright protection). The image is beautiful, but I have a minor worry that it may be a violation of COM:FOP Japan, which states that there are no free FOP in Japan for artistic works. Speaking of the patterns, I think they are likely over the threshold of COM:TOO Japan (there are flowers and birds in some of the patterns), though inputs from users familiar with Japanese copyright law is appreciated.

Therefore, I'd like to ask whether you think the clothing patterns could be considered an "artwork" under Japanese copyright law? As the file is a POTD, I'd like to solicit more comments before any actions would be taken, thanks!廣九直通車 (talk) 07:13, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Are not those kimono patterns de-minis in this context? Ruslik (talk) 08:07, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why they would be as a focus of picture? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:16, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The kimonos themselves are not de minis, but the parts which are over the threshold of orginiality (the alleged birds and flowers) could be. Borysk5 (talk) 19:41, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Pictogram-voting-question.svg Question@Borysk5: So, are you asserting that the file itself may survive under COM:DM#5? As a high-resolution 6,585×4,390-pixels image, I found that most of the patterns are shown rather clearly on my screen.廣九直通車 (talk) 12:49, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@廣九直通車: Does high-resolution of image prevents them from being de-minimis? The copyrighted context here are as I understand 2d patterns which are printed on columns. Each pattern on itself takes small part of image, and is also distorted and only partially visible. It would be comparable to this photo: File:1 times square night 2013.jpg in which there are dozens of otherwise copyrighted and clearly visible billboards, but entire photo has de minimis tag. Borysk5 (talk) 14:05, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@廣九直通車: High resolution does not invalidate de-minimis. The individual kimonos are de-minimis in this context even if they are clearly visible. The only potential copyright claim I could imagine for this image would be for the entire artwork as a whole, not for the kimonos or the kimono designs. Nosferattus (talk) 14:44, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Right, but without the designs this is just a row of evenly placed cylinders, seems too simple to be copyrighted. Borysk5 (talk) 18:22, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Borysk5: Thanks for correcting my misunderstanding on DM#5. As the examples listed there are mainly low-resolution images, I thought DM#5 is only for these cases. Perhaps more deletion examples in relation to that criteria can clarify our case.
Also, note that there is no free FOP for all artworks in Japan, and I think both the patterns and the pillars should be construed as a whole work. This is similar to illuminated advertisements in the metro — you can't take out the advertisement and say "the empty advertisement board is too simple to be copyrighted".廣九直通車 (talk) 11:05, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is there some separate criteria for utility objects such as clothes, even beautiful ones? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:17, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
While clothing is often considered utility, the columns here are not being used as clothing. Here they are purely decorative, and would not be considered utility. Huntster (t @ c) 19:46, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, if someone takes photo of unused toy then it is also not fulfilling utility role. AFAIK "it is utility object" applies also when chair is in for example museum of design Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 22:11, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Could the overall work be considered a type of sculpture, and protected by copyright in Japan? --ghouston (talk) 03:30, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • That's what I suspected. The classification doesn't matter, as long as the work can be determined as a copyrightable artwork in Japan, then there's no free FOP available, so delete in such case.廣九直通車 (talk) 12:39, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File on English Wikipedia[edit]

w:File:Gopal Swarup Pathak.jpg (source) is uploaded to English Wikipedia under the fair use claim. However, I think the file can be uploaded to commons under {{GODL-India}} as it is the work of the central government. Thoughts? --Ratekreel (talk) 07:27, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can you show where it is explained that GODL applies to this image? Yann (talk) 10:30, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Copyright query[edit]

The source of File:Rajiv Gandhi 1986.jpg is copyrighted. But before that site uploaded the pic on 6 April 2016, its cropped version was already available at the official site of Prime Minister's Office (India) – its oldest archived version is dated 26 September 2014. So, is the Template:GODL-India applicable on this file? - NitinMlk (talk) 11:13, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GODL-India needs to be explicitly marked on images in order to use it. I'm not sure it has actually ever been applied to any photograph, but rather data sets on There was a discussion at some point which demonstrated how we were using that tag very wrongly, but it was never fixed. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:19, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"GODL-India needs to be explicitly marked on images in order to use it." - is it documented somewhere? @Carl Lindberg: Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 20:43, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the discussion was at Commons:Deletion requests/Media in Category:Unreviewed photos of GODL-India. I was arguing that the GODL license's wording would allow images to be licensed, if desired, but Hrishkes was pretty convincing that none really have been licensed that way -- it has to date just been used for specifically datasets. Exacerbating the problem is that images from certain government websites are OK per their license, but some of those custom license tags were redirected to GODL so it's all a bit messy now. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:45, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Commons:Deletion requests/File:ShashiTharoor.jpg - hopefully I have not misunderstood things @Carl Lindberg: Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 05:59, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

PD-US-no notice?[edit]

I'm wondering whether anyone can help sort out the coyright status of en:File:'Le Rendez-Vous des Quatre Formes' from the portfolio 'Les Formes Vivantes', lithograph on paper by Alexander Archipenko, 1963, Smithsonian American Art Museum.jpg and en:File:'The Gondolier', bronze sculpture by Alexander Archipenko, Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg. They are file uploaded locally as non-free content, but it's possible that they might not need to be treated as such. If was opined at en:Wikipedia:Files for discussion/2022 August 6#Non-free Alexander Archipenko images that they could possibly re-licensed as {{PD-US-no notice}}; so, perhaps that's a possibility. One of the files appears to be a graphic work, but the other is a photo of a sculpture. The file that is a graphic work probably would fall under COM:2D copying if the work itself is PD, but the photo of the sculpture would be subject to its own copyright in addition the the copyright of the sculpture, wouldn't it. Since the sculpture photo is described as being a photo of a museum display, I'm not quite sure how COM:FOP United States and COM:CB#Museum and interior photography apply since photos of 3D works generally generate their own copyright separate of the work itself and there's nothing to indicate that the photo has been released under an acceptable license. -- Marchjuly (talk) 01:47, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Who took the photo of the sculpture? Ruslik (talk) 20:48, 9 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Marchjuly: Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment the sculpture photo exists on Commons, but only deleted (speedily-deleted): File:'The Gondolier', bronze sculpture by Alexander Archipenko, Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg. JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 05:50, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So [6] could be imported to Commons under {{PD-Art|PD-US-no notice}}. It would be useful to find a higher resolution. Yann (talk) 09:28, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Archipenko had died in 1964, so none of it's works be it 2D and 3D are in the public domain yet. So both images may be OK in the English Wikipedia with fair use, but the problem with the sculpture is to interpret how their are "first published" in the sense of the US Copyright law. Is there already a definitive response to this ? Is it the first public display, or the date of creation on the work ?.
For exemple, for 'The Gondolier', According to the MET it was cast in 1914 and firstly exhibited in 1969. If 1969 count as the first "publication" then it may be indeed a PD-US-no notice work, but if it's the cast time, in 1914 Archipenko was living and working in France, not in the US...
Also, some of the works in Category:Sculptures by Alexander Archipenko are also problematic, either because the place of the works are not in the US (if public display count as first "publication") or the descriptions did not even give a localisation or the date of erection for the sculptures. Miniwark (talk) 10:29, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Public display is not publication, though before 1978, public display while allowing anyone to make copies (via photography or drawing) could constitute publication -- see Commons:Public art and copyrights in the US. In the EU, public display would be "making available to the public" (though not publication); some of their copyright terms start then. Determining "publication" for the U.S., in terms of losing copyright through lack of notice, can be different than determining it under Berne for the "country of origin" determination. Something created in 1914 but not exhibited until 1969 seems odd. It sounds like that particular casting was made in 1961, so the exhibition history may just be for that casting (and after the MET acquired it in 1964). If the artist was selling copies beforehand, it may well have been publication -- but did those other copies have notice? MOMA has another copy, apparently cast in 1966. A New Zealand museum has another copy; unsure when that one was made. There is a 1957 casting in the Hirshorn Sculpture Garden, which has apparently been there since 1977 or earlier, so that is a pretty strong case for no-notice. The photo was originally uploaded as PD-self, so that part may be OK. The MET still gives copyright ownership to the artist's estate. We may need more information on other castings to really know, but it feels like if published in that older era then the country of origin would be somewhere in Europe, meaning it's not OK for Commons. The URAA could then have restored copyright, and the U.S. term would be 95 years from publication -- so then the question is when exactly was that first publication, for it to be OK on en-wiki.
The other work is also possible, but again no history of the work is given. You would need to identify the copies without notice, and that the country of origin is the U.S. In looking, they were apparently first published in St. Gallen, Switzerland in 1963. If there was no notice anywhere on the grouping (entirely possible but I haven't seen the full publication), then they may still be PD in the US, since not sure that Archipenko's works from that period would have been eligible for the URAA, given that he was a U.S. citizen and actually living in the U.S. (if he was living in Switzerland or another foreign country at the time, then the URAA would have restored them). However, they would appear to be copyrighted in the country of origin until 2035, so the question about U.S. notice is moot for a while (at least for Commons; en-wiki might mark them as PD if lack of notice is shown, though with a NoCommons tag until 2035). Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:59, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Derivative work[edit]

I recognized that File:United Nation Peacekeeping Iranian Forces.svg was deleted for being a derivative work. I can't see the deleted file but from the name I guess it had UN logo as derivative work, which is licensed with {{PD-US-no notice-UN}}. Can anyone please see that it is a UN logo and confirm that the license will apply so that I can request undeletion? Thanks. HeminKurdistan (talk) 07:37, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I undeleted this. Please add the source, and fix the description. Thanks, Yann (talk) 09:38, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you! I will do it. HeminKurdistan (talk) 11:16, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Borysk5 (talk) 10:45, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wrong rationale for copyright exemption?[edit]

In the description of File:Bronze Medal of Valor.svg and File:Bmv.png it is claimed they are not eligible for copyright because they are the work of the "USAF-AUX". In fact, it is an award of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), which is the auxiliary of the United States Air Force. CAP is a private not-for-profit corporation chartered by the US Congress. It is not part of the government, and the works of its employees and volunteers are not exempt from copyright.

The files might be eligible to remain on Commons for some other reason, such as being simple shapes. Jc3s5h (talk) 11:47, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

✓ Done Fixed. Yann (talk) 12:12, 10 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Borysk5 (talk) 14:37, 12 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Iranian national football team badge[edit]

I wondering whether en:File:Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (low res).png might possibly be {{PD-logo}} per COM:TOO United States and COM:TOO Iran. The file was uploaded locally to English Wikipedia under a non-free license, but perhaps it doesn't need to be treated as such. The three main three elements of the logo appear to be the Iranian flag, a soccer ball, and some text (both in English and Farsi). The flag can be found already on Commons at File:Flag of Iran.svg and the words "Iran" and name "Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran" aren't eligible for copyright protection (I don't know what the Fari says); so, that just leaves the soccer ball. There are also plenty of soccer balls used as part logos which have been uploaded to Commons as can be seen in Category:Association football balls in logos, but probably quite a few of those files probably need to be reviewed. Even if the soccer ball in this case is also not eligible for copyright protection, then perhaps the combination of all the elements together is. That is what I'm interested in figuring out and would appreciate opinions on. FWIW, even if this isn't PD in Iran but is PD in the US, then that could help as well because then it might be able to be relicensed as en:Template:PD-ineligible-USonly for local use on English Wikipedia. -- Marchjuly (talk) 01:48, 12 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Translations of foreign works that are public domain in the USA and other issues[edit]

  • We have several book scans up for deletion where the book is an English translation in the public domain in the USA. It is a translation of a foreign book, where the foreign language work is still under active copyright. Most of the books were scanned in a federal project at Fort Meade library. I would assume vetted by lawyers that upheld the public domain status before releasing the books to the Internet Archive. See for example: File:Two men in me (IA twomeninme00dani).pdf (this one not part of the Fort Meade project) and about 5 others. Is the English language book independent of the original language work for copyright purposes.
  • We have up for deletion several books that were published in the USA that have illustrations by someone who may have resided in a foreign country at the time of publication. See for example: File:The friendly playmate and other stories from Norway (IA friendlyplaymate00poul).pdf It would be good to have a discussion if that fact invalidates the USA public domain status. RAN (talk) 04:29, 12 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For the first one, it is not independent. The original translator still has a license of course, but the works are still under control of the original author. The other copyright likely expired in the U.S. at one point but was presumably restored by the URAA; I would undelete that in 2026.
For the second one, the residence of the author does not matter for "country of origin". It is where works are first published. If those illustrations were re-used from an earlier Norwegian book, then there is likely a problem (though could still be OK on en-wikisource if earlier than 1927). But if the U.S. book was the first publication, then it's a U.S. work, and lack of renewal lost copyright. There could still be copyright in that author's country that re-users there need to be concerned about, but Commons would still host it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:32, 12 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Complex images versus simple images/art images[edit]

See for example Commons:Deletion requests/File:Francisco Goñi.jpg where we have to decide whether an image is simple versus complex. Several countries give shorter term protection to "simple photographs". Sweden didn't even award copyright to non-art images until the 1970s. The argument is made that commercial photographs are never simple, but the wording would have used the term for commercial photography if that was the intention. See for example File:Salvador Dali A (Dali Atomicus) 09633u.jpg for a complex art photo that requires complex staging with set dressing and multiple takes. RAN (talk) 04:58, 12 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Adding a Flickr account to Questionable Flickr images/Users[edit]

Some DRs has been issued against pictures from the Flickr account [email protected]

As you can see with the first two listed DRs, an contributor even tried to contact the Flickr user to clarify the ownership of those pictures. I discuss this situation with an admin on their talk page. They pointed out this was the official account of a magazine publisher and then might be not a Flickrwasher but could qualify for the bad author list to have a manual reviews of the pictures. QTHCCAN (talk) 15:00, 12 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]