Commons:Village pump/Copyright

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Welcome to the Village pump copyright section

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Commons current copyright policies seriously affecting images from sub-Saharan Africa[edit]

I'm writing this based on my own personal experience and frustration in trying to upload suitable and relevant images to provide even an infobox image for some of the most important historical figures on the continent. According to Commons current policies, it's almost close to zero to find a freely licensed photo of such a leader. If you're lucky, you can find an image uploaded to Flickr under a free CC license by, mostly a photographer from Europe or America - on such leader's trip to Europe or America. It is very hard for Commons to accept, for instance, the official portrait of an African leader taken in his/her country, as compared to uploaded portraits of leaders from other, at least non-African countries. This may be one reason why many Wikipedia articles on Africa lack suitable images as compared to articles on other developed countries.

I believe, still many content providers across the continent haven't gained a proper grasp of Creative Commons and how you could upload your work online and allow others to reuse it as this is a concept well understood in the US, Europe and many other places. If many had more understanding of CC, and how it works, I believe many photos that are taken in Africa that if uploaded, will not meet Commons policy would instead not be deleted.

So, the concept of looking for an explicitly indicated Creative Commons license for images from Africa as applied all over by Coomons is disproportionate. (No pun intended) there are many creators in Africa who flatly don't know what Creative Commons is, but if you ask them for instance, "if you see your photo you took of Nelson Mandela in Ghana in 2001 someone used on Wikipedia, will you sue the person?" I believe they won't say, "yes, I will sue."

This in effect, is seriously affecting and frustrating editors, such as me, who are trying to find images on African related topics. Evidence of this can be seen in my recent issues with User:Lord Belbury, in which almost all my uploads have been deleted. And it left me really frustrated.

Africa is far less developed when it comes to information technologies (including the sharing and use of intellectual property). I believe Commons' universal policies should be reviewed by taking into account the practical implications of such policies across the globe. My point is, policies that are applicable to countries that many people have a grasp of CC shouldn't be applied to regions where the concept of CC is close to "not known". Once more, many photographers and creators on the African continent are yet to understand the issue of Creative Commons. Not explicitly indicating a license doesn't mean they can't allow their work to be reused - even government works. So it would be really good for policy makers to take this into consideration. Thank you.--Hassanjalloh1 (talk) 18:53, 17 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Hassanjalloh1: according to the licensing policy at COM:L, this media repository "only accepts free content, that is, images and other media files that are not subject to copyright restrictions which would prevent them being used by anyone, anytime, for any purpose." It further adds that Commons does not allow fair use content or non-commercial licensing. Commons strictly adheres to the principles of the Free Cultural Works. The main point here is that image files must be freely reusable by people anywhere in the world, including commercial purposes. JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 19:07, 17 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
(After edit conflict) Failure to understand copyright law does not make copyright law vanish. It is unfortunate that a lot of creators in Africa and other regions are unaware of Creative commons licensing but the answer is not to weaken our protections against copyright violations. Maybe you are right that most creators won't sue reusers of their files, however if you suddenly condone copyright violations at the continental level, we are bound to end up hosting files from some people who will sue. We cannot be in a position of encouraging creators to sue reusers of files hosted on Commons. It goes against every principle of the project. From Hill To Shore (talk) 19:10, 17 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I understand this, thanks. My point is, I believe most times Commons policies focus on the explicit indication of CC BY licenses at source for an image to survive on Commons, or at least a written permission. And this concept of providing free-license images by photographers or creators in Africa, is relatively new. It doesn't mean that they don't want to provide their work to be reused, but many are not aware or understand CC. You can find a suitable image now that the creator doesn't indicate either it's free to use or not. But according to current Commons policy, this image shouldn't be used simply because it has no indicated free-license boldly written, accompanying it. This is clearly the most dificult part for available images on Africa, taken in Africa. I believe Creative Commons restrictions shouldn't strictly applied to regions where the concept of Creative Commons is less or not known. Hassanjalloh1 (talk) 19:33, 17 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Right, we don't have really anything to deal with situations where, in practice, copyright law is ignored. But... that is the cornerstone of *all* Wikimedia projects, not just Commons. It's not something we can avoid, and not simply a policy here that we can change. If any of those editors are editing Wikipedia, they are licensing their work in the same way (CC-BY-SA and GFDL, usually). For the same reason we ask Wikipedia editors to write original text, and not copy, we ask them to take their own pictures too, and not copy. You can see in wmf:Resolution:Licensing policy that *all* Wikimedia projects are expected to conform to the Definition of Free Cultural Works for their primary content. All projects are expected to host only content which is under a Free Content License, or which is otherwise free as recognized by the 'Definition of Free Cultural Works' as referenced above. You may also note that projects are allowed to have an "Exemption Doctrine Policy", where some unlicensed works are used under "fair use" or "fair dealing" rationales or similar, if appropriate. However, you will also note it states that Commons (this project) is not allowed to have such an exemption -- so we have no real way to avoid copyright law, as a foundational principle. Even if copyright is largely ignored in one country, it can have an effect -- if an African author's work is used in another country, that author can sue in those other countries. If they do, that lawsuit would have real teeth -- those authors own those rights, fully. Files on Commons are supplied for *everyone*, so we can't really justify uploads because they are OK in one specific locality, since it can expose users everywhere else to lawsuits. While most people wouldn't sue, a few will, eventually. (In the worst case, someone could upload those not-really-licensed images in the hope that other people will use them, just so they *can* sue.)
I do understand the frustration... if people expect their photos to be copied anyways, they may not bother learning the niceties of licenses. Which means content is technically unlicensed, and it's hard to find anything that is. Commons doesn't need CC licenses in particular -- but any custom license would need to be evaluated to see if we think it conforms to the Definition of Free Cultural Works, which can get even more frustrating. We generally try to find any reason we can to host works, but only within the bounds of the actual copyright law, or court cases which can define some boundaries of what is right or wrong. Countries which largely ignore copyright won't have such court cases, though. But since joining the WTO means joining the Berne Convention, lots of countries have joined even if it's lip service only, meaning authors in those countries do in fact have worldwide rights. It's a hard nut to crack -- you have a completely valid concern, but you are also asking to change something which really isn't changeable.
I'm not sure of the best way to solve it honestly, outside of educating people. Or maybe some governments could adopt a U.S. style policy of no governmental copyright, so works produced by the governments would be OK -- that has always given U.S. users a pretty substantial base of public domain material to work from. Possibly, a African-language project could allow local uploads under a wider "Exemption" doctrine, if local custom typically allows such things. But that would only get the images used on that one project; it can't help you document African topics in the English Wikipedia or anywhere else. There have been many users frustrated by trying to improve articles with illustrations, and then finding out that creating a "free encyclopedia" is much harder than just an "encyclopedia", given the licensing requirements for illustrations. The African situation you describe though is a real problem, which I'm sure the WMF is eager to solve. Unfortunately, allowing copyright violations (even it's really usually a concern in some other countries) is not going to be a solution, short of changing the very character of WMF projects. We need some sort of solution that works through copyright law, not around it, unfortunately. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:16, 18 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The COM:VRT process is the alternative to marking a CC-BY license on the source website... but is the email requirement to get permission too much of a burden? If so, about the only thing I can think of is maybe to go back to a less-strict permission criteria, such as the one we used to allow (see COM:GOF), for African authors -- i.e. allow forwarded permissions and that sort of thing, rather than require emails direct from the author, if many authors are unable to deal with email that way. Unsure on how easy that would be to implement though, while ensuring it's enforced elsewhere. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:38, 18 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
We already allow scans of paper documents if there is a good reason, e.g. the author appears to be someone who plausibly has no access to the Internet, such as a very old person or someone living in a remote village. -- King of ♥ 23:38, 18 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
One other major problem is historical images, especially images before the advent of digital files. Most of these files have now been digitised and somehow photo stock companies like Getty Images and Alamin have claimed ownership, and no way suitable for Commons. And in most cases these photos were taken by individuals who can no longer be identified.
In many African countries, before digital images and uploads, most times ownership of photographs used to be with the idividual who hired the photographer. In essence, after the photographer submits their work, and collect their pay, their own is done with whatever rights lie with the work. That's why you can find a lot of images from Africa without a clear indication of the author. And one of the main reasons many of my files were deleted. For instance, some time ago I uploaded a scanned copy of the official photograph of Africa's youngest military head of state, Valentine Strasser, to use it as WP infobox image. Strasser was the head of state of Sierra Leone from 1992 to 1996; took power at age 25. Just because this file has already been uploaded onto Alamin stock, it was flagged as copyvio and later deleted. The photograph itself was taken in 1992 and the hard copy was distributed all over the country - available in government offices, schools and some homes. And now according to Commons policies, Alamin has proprietory and copyright lies with them. Like I mentioned above, the photographer was never identified, because this was a normal thing. So now, you have this plethora of images flying around the place without an identified author, such images that could be very much useful for Africa to be uploaded to Commons, but current policies won't allow for such images to survive.
I understand that the Wikimedia Foundation is trying hard to get new images taken in remote places across the globe, including Africa, but the main issue of historical images - images that have already been taken that could be used, I believe - should be given consideration. Hassanjalloh1 (talk) 17:24, 19 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Anonymous creations are protected by copyright in most legal jurisdictions. If there is an African nation that has laws that place anonymous works in the public domain on creation or publication, we would still need to address the copyright situation in the USA. This is not a matter of Commons policy, it is a matter of copyright law. We all get frustrated through being unable to use certain photographs but that does not give us the right to break the law. If the creator is known and still alive, get them to release the image under a suitable licence. If the creator is known but has died with the image still in copyright, get the creator's heir to release the image under a suitable licence. If the creator is anonymous, follow the local law for dealing with anonymous works and ask here for advice on how the US copyright applies. If you feel the local laws are restrictive, campaign to get those laws changed. If creators are unfamiliar with licensing their works, then educate them. As much as you want to change Wikimedia Commons into a site that ignores the law, that will not happen. You have to change the laws that Wikimedia Commons has to obey. From Hill To Shore (talk) 21:11, 19 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Also to add: images publicly visible on the internet or social media are not freely reusable. See COM:NETCOPYRIGHT. The lack of a copyright sign (©️) does not automatically mean the web content is not copyrighted; many countries' laws today guarantee copyright protection to works from the moment of creation and not registration. Another thing, it is commonly accepted that the person who took the photo usually owns that copyright. The person in the photo has no copyright over it, unless the copyright has transferred from the photographer to the owner via contract or other formal-type document. JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 19:14, 17 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Keep in mind here that it's not just whether someone's photograph gets used on a Wikipedia article: putting a photo on Commons opens it for reuse by anyone for pretty much anything. A picture might end up in a television documentary, on a magazine cover or in a bestselling book, with no payment going back to the photographer. The Open Societies Foundation presumably licenced their Sierra Leone civil war photos very deliberately as CC-BY-NC-ND so that they could raise money by selling usage rights whenever a commercial enterprise wanted to use their pictures.
If African photographers generally haven't heard of CC licencing, tell them about it! If you find something useful on Facebook or YouTube or a website, contact that person and ask if they'd be happy to CC-Attribution licence the image, or even to release it into the public domain. Like you say, a lot of people would be fine with that. But we should ask them, rather than deciding that because they probably haven't heard of CC licencing, it would be easier to just take it. --Lord Belbury (talk) 20:11, 17 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Note that "artists/photographers/programmers are confused about licensing, copyright and free licensing" is happening also in Europe! I definitely had some discussions on this topic with people unaware about legal situation, some confidently claiming something untrue. Either way, ignoring copyright does not make it go away. You need to educate/convince people. Maybe translating some educational materials into local languages would help? Or making new more adjusted to situation? Or sharing existing ones? Or lobbying for laws so government produced work is automatically CC0? Yes, this is hard but problem is complicated. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 08:08, 18 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Also @Hassanjalloh1: , more than half of African countries do not have suitable freedom of panorama for the uses of depictions of copyrighted artworks permanently located in public spaces, especially architecture and sculptures/monuments. Only 14 countries have Commons-acceptable FOP that do not restrict commercial uses (unlike Malawi etc.) and do not limit the public works' presence in images (unlike Côte d'Ivoire etc.): Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Eswatini, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritania, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 07:17, 19 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This whole thing is really complicated and frustrating. Hassanjalloh1 (talk) 17:40, 19 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That's true for the rest of us, too. I've got a favorite actress, started acting 1979 and died 1996, meaning about the only chance of getting a picture of her on here is finding the owners of an old picture and negotiating with them for a CC license, which won't be free. In the US, photos published 95 years ago are free, and many published before 1964 are free, but for all the stuff between then and the early 2000s (Flikr and Wikipedia starting freely licensed photos being available) it's hard.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:23, 20 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]


-- Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 22:16, 19 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Is it OK to upload to commons image that I know that used to be CC0 licensed but site now offers it on a different license?[edit]

To be more specific, this is about at Pixabay ( )

Is it really OK to upload it to commons just because I know that it used to be licensed differently? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 12:10, 19 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

This is a rather grey area. The creative commons licences are written so that they can't be revoked; you can add a licence that has less restrictive conditions (such as going from CC-BY to CC0) but not the other way around. However, we find that creators do this all the time, either because the original release was a mistake (for example, they clicked the wrong box) or they realised that they had not considered all the implications of the previous licence. The problem comes with proving it. If we have the creator saying the image was released under one licence and an uploader saying it was released under another licence, we (and any reusers who need to defend themselves from a copyright law suit) are placing a lot of trust on the uploader. Ideally there would be a record of the original release at the Way Back Machine or some other sort of evidence. At a personal level, I wouldn't want to take on the responsibility of uploading a file that could lead to a reuser getting sued if I had no evidence to support my belief in the previous licence release. From Hill To Shore (talk) 12:38, 19 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
In this specific case we have definitive record that Pixabay used to be CC0 licensed, see and it is clear that they actually intended such licensing rather than missclicking Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 12:44, 19 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, Creative Commons licenses can't be revoked. Borysk5 (talk) 13:49, 19 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Borysk5: See {{Pixabay}}: images that were uploaded there before 9 January 2019, are ok to be uploaded at Commons too. The image in question was added to Pixabay in 2016 so you can upload it here using the "Pixabay" licence tag. De728631 (talk) 14:03, 19 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Borysk5: but downloads from Pixabay are impossible without registration where you agree to their new licensing. I will likely skip this Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 10:44, 21 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Don't let them gaslight you. They can put whatever they want in registration terms which doesn't change facts of the matter. Borysk5 (talk) 11:01, 21 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Question about Template:PD-US-no notice advertisement[edit]

Hey, does anyone know of a reliable source that confirms what Template:PD-US-no notice advertisement says; i.e. that advertisements in collective works need their own copyright notices? I checked the link within the template, but it doesn't actually mention the topic at all.

And more importantly, does anyone know if this rule also applies to works between 1978 and March 1, 1989 which weren't renewed within 5 years (a la Template:PD-US-1978-89)? I want to upload this Kodak advertisement from 1980 but I'm not sure if it's truly free.

Any help would be much appreciated. Cheers, IagoQnsi (talk) 06:43, 20 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@IagoQnsi: Template talk:PD-US-no notice advertisement has various links where we go over this. Also, this does in fact apply to post-1977 works, as the rule has been explicitly codified into law. -BRAINULATOR9 (TALK) 18:08, 20 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Brainulator9: Great, thanks for the info. I've gone ahead and created Template:PD-US-1978-89 advertisement to cover post-1977 works now. Cheers, IagoQnsi (talk) 14:09, 21 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Thomas Müntzer[edit]

Hey, i updated the picture of File:Thomas Muentzer.jpg to a Version with higher resolution. I noticed afterwards that the colors in some areas changed (beyond the conversion to greyscale). Im not sure if i used a picture that was recreated (Source: and therefore of higher resolution. When i try to undo my own edit it says "The edit appears to have already been undone.", but my version still seems to be online. I would love if someone checks my edit. Sorry for the bad english and the naive edit. LukeTriton (talk) 10:58, 20 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

It looks like we have three different versions of this file from 2005, 2008 and 2022. Is there a tool we can use to split them into separate files or do we have to manually upload the two newer versions and revert to the original? From Hill To Shore (talk) 16:25, 20 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]


According to the rules, advertisements are usually not free. The category is full of images from public advertisements. They really shouldn't be protected. The freedom of panorama does not apply either (e.g. in Germany). --Geoprofi Lars (talk) 17:07, 20 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Geoprofi Lars: What category are you talking about? From Hill To Shore (talk) 18:18, 20 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This main category and all subcategories. Everywhere you can find advertising posters and large advertisements. Geoprofi Lars (talk) 18:21, 20 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
According to the rules, all old enough advertisements are free, and most US advertisements up 1977 or 1989 are free. There's a few I see that I could quibble with, but when I found one that was clearly copyrighted, and went to send it for deletion, I realized it was covered by {{FoP-Austria}}. It couldn't hurt to have someone go through that, but it's hardly filled with copyright violations.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:33, 20 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
But the freedom of panorama in Austria only applies if the object is permanently installed at this location. Advertising is always only temporary. Geoprofi Lars (talk) 10:14, 21 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Advertising is not always temporary; murals often run the lifespan of the structure they're on. And now we're getting into the details of FoP, which is an item by item analysis, not a category level one.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:37, 21 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Can you give example of three copyright violations from that category? How many images you looked through before spotting them? Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 06:09, 21 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

File:Decca Records.svg[edit]

As I just found out, a Decca Records logo (File:Decca Records.svg) was uploaded in 2020. Does anyone here think the logo is below UK's threshold of originality? George Ho (talk) 06:43, 21 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Almost definitely doesn't meet the US standard for threshold of originality and I would be surprised if it met the UK standard (or any standard), but I know less about the precedents in the UK. Nosferattus (talk) 05:33, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think it could be above UK TOO. However, given its complicated history straddling both countries, perhaps we just accept it as a US logo and call it a day? (Our standard practice when dealing with two competing countries of origin is to take the more lenient one.) -- King of ♥ 06:35, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Would COM:TOO UK help, Nosferattus? George Ho (talk) 08:29, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@George Ho: Wow, in that case it probably meets UK's threshold of originality. Nosferattus (talk) 23:42, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
According to Commons:Licensing: "In cases where a work is simultaneously published in multiple countries, the 'country of origin' is the country which grants the shortest term of copyright protection, per the Berne Convention." Since the current logo has very gradually evolved over many decades and been used in numerous countries, it seems virtually impossible to determine specifically when and where the logo was first published, but it seems like there's a good chance that many parts of the current logo were simultaneously first published in the US and UK. Thus I would probably defer to US copyright law per the Commons' policy. Sorry that's not a very clean or definitive opinion! Nosferattus (talk) 00:31, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Nosferattus and King of Hearts: I found the logo (more likely white variant) to be introduced in late-1990s albums, like this one, that one, and then used in later albums. By then, it was "a Universal Music company". Nonetheless, a different variant of the same logo was seen in 1950s releases, like this one and that one. Somehow, one of Brunswick logos using the same variant is seen in another release. I can't be exactly sure whether it's derived from a 1950s logo variant, but apparently it's most likely so. Honestly, I was close to nominating it for deletion until I saw your latest further response. George Ho (talk) 01:34, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@George Ho: Wow, nice research! Now I'm beginning to doubt my previous opinion. It looks like all the elements of the current logo were present in the 1950s UK pressings,[1] but not in the simultaneous US releases.[2] What's the earliest US use of the logo you can find? Nosferattus (talk) 01:53, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

For one of exact variants, I couldn't find any other to this date. The late-1940s and 1950s US releases used rectangular and oval-ish variants using the same logo font: (rectangle) this one, that one, that one, that one; (oval-ish) this one; (circle) this one, that one; (no shape) this one. None of them using that shape variant, like Decca's French label and 1955 UK release since the mid-1950s. Another British label of UK Decca also used the same shape for its own logo, e.g. this one. So far, I've not yet found any 1950s US release using the same logo variant. I guess 1999 is the earliest for a US album using the logo variant. George Ho (talk) 03:22, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@George Ho: Is it possible that the country of origin for the shape is actually France? It looks like Disques Decca was using it in 1954,[3][4] which seems to predate the UK uses. Also, it feels a bit absurd talking about the copyright of a shape. Surely someone else used a similar shape with text in it somewhere in the world before Decca. And if so, that would only leave the text itself as the original element, which would be a stretch to claim copyright on. Nosferattus (talk) 03:42, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Primary sources, like portions of releases seen in pictures, are more reliable than what users have put in Discogs. However, I can't tell whether the French label came first before the UK one, especially without the publication years printed. A 1954 edition uses the shape-less "Decca" logo. As I would say, the former link you provided shows possibly a reissue a while later. Regardless of whether the French label came first, Decca Disques (or Disques Decca), more likely Decca Records must have established its own French subsidy. Speaking of that, I tried finding books and news articles about the French label without avail. George Ho (talk) 03:59, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Ah, found out that London Records used its own logo similar to the Decca variant. Earliest possible is 1955: [5], [6]. Unsure whether it was actually 1954 UK. No year indicated, but the images indicate the same catalogue number. I don't think it's 1953 US; must have used a generic Decca sleeve from another release, like other used items have been in certain oldies shops. George Ho (talk) 06:27, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@George Ho: And here's the similar London Records logo published in Canada in 1954.[7] Clearly, this logo and its variants were published in a lot of different countries during the 1950s, so it would be hard to prove that the UK is actually the country of first publication. I say we let sleeping dogs lie and give it a PD-textlogo pass unless you can find a smoking gun demonstrating a clear first publication in the UK. Nosferattus (talk) 21:19, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
FWIW, France seems to have a rather high threshold of originality and would likely not consider the logo (or the shape) copyrightable, IMO. Nosferattus (talk) 03:54, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

French recording copyrights?[edit]


I found some recordings of works published in France in the 1950s uploaded in the BnF Gallica website. According to the description ([8]), the work is in the public domain. However, both the composer Phạm Duy (1921-2013) and singer Thái Thanh (1934-2020) only passed away within the past decade. Phạm Duy's songs are still copyright-protected in Vietnam. These and similar recordings are valuable records of pre-war Vietnamese popular music and are of enormous encyclopedic value at least to the Vietnamese Wikipedia. Is this copyright status for these recordings legitimate? If it is, I'd like to start uploading them to Commons. DHN (talk) 01:02, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I don't know why the website classified the sound recording as "public domain". Probably for French copyright, I guess? Or maybe the site's misinformed? Per COM:Vietnam, the song is copyrighted in Vietnam for fifty years after composer's lifetime, i.e. 1 January 2064. Couldn't find info about sound recordings in Vietnam, but let's consider US copyright on non-US sound recordings as well. Suppose the sound recording was released in 1959, the recording's US copyright may last until 15 February 2067. However, if released between 1950 and 1956, the US copyright may last until 110 years after first non-US release, i.e. between 1 January 2061 and 1 January 2067. For the lyrics and music, more likely 95 years after the song's first non-US publication, i.e. between 1 January 2046 and 1 January 2056. Even when the song's copyright might expire by then, the sound recording's copyright would still be intact. George Ho (talk) 02:08, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@George Ho: If I understand it correctly, the BnF is the definitive source of the copyright status of works published in France. From their description it looks like the BnF is aware of the composer's birth and death years. I'm assuming these works were published before 1954, since I found some similar works published in 1956 that have restricted copyright status on the site. Suppose these work are PD in France but not in Vietnam or the US, can we upload them to Commons? DHN (talk) 02:18, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Per COM:Licensing, a work must be in the public domain in both the home country and the US. However, it is neither in those countries, so.... no. I suggest you don't. You can create your own works instead, right? George Ho (talk) 02:32, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@George Ho: France is technically the "home country" for these works, since at the time of their publication Vietnam was under French rule - hence BnF has a copy of it. DHN (talk) 02:37, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Reading COM:France, French copyright for a song may last for author's lifetime plus 70 years... or just 70 years if anonymous. Even then, COM:URAA may also apply. Speaking of URAA, I read people were against URAA-based mass nominations years ago. George Ho (talk) 02:49, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
BTW, don't know what to think about BNF's stance on the recording. George Ho (talk) 02:58, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Successor nations are always a bit of a problem. Much argument has been had about whether we could count Soviet works as PD under Ukrainian law (as a successor of the Soviet Union) even if they had been published in Russia and wouldn't be PD in Russia. In this case, though, Vietnam may have been under French rule, but it wasn't part of France. In 1950, the w:State of Vietnam became an associated state. I don't see any reason not to consider this a work of Vietnam. In any case, Vietnam is a party to the Berne Convention, France is a party to the Berne Convention, so I don't see any way for this to be PD in either of those nations.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:32, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
BnF Gallica copyright claims are not reliable, whether they say a document is in the public domain, or the opposite. I don't really care what they write, I just follow rules used on Commons. Regards, Yann (talk) 21:32, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Yann: Why do you say they are not reliable? Isn't determining whether something is under copyright or not in France part of its job? DHN (talk) 21:35, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That's my experience for the last 20 years. And no, copyright is not decided by the BNF/Gallica, but by law. The BNF/Gallica job is to preserve documents, and (should be) to make them available to the public (they are not always successful for this point). I don't know exactly why they claim a copyright on public domain documents (or the opposite). I suppose they are archivists, not lawyers, and also partly because of government policy to try making profit on public services. BNF/Gallica sell reproduction of the documents they host, so claiming a copyright scare people, who pay them for access. Regards, Yann (talk) 21:47, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

File:Juventino Rosas Sobre las Olas Over the Waves.ogg[edit]

Is the use of sound recording legitimate? There's not much description about it, even when the work itself is in the public domain already. I also tried finding the exact source without avail. George Ho (talk) 22:18, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Attribution in Wikipedia[edit]

When writing in Wikipedia I love to add as many (relevant) images as I can. Always from Commons. So far I never named the photographer in the articles or in the captions. Should I have done this with {cc-by-...} licensed photo's? --Judithcomm (talk) 22:55, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

English Wikipedia policy is only to credit the photographer in the caption if they are notable, and even then not always. The reader can see who took the photo by clicking through, if they are curious. --Lord Belbury (talk) 23:01, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, the attribution is done on the file pages at Commons which is sufficient in most cases. There are certain authors who may require that you attribute their work directly where it is being shown, but such files are very rare. De728631 (talk) 23:18, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for you swift responseǃ --Judithcomm (talk) 23:20, 22 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

India's TOO[edit]

Any opinions on whether File:DD National new logo.png meets both c:COM:TOO India? It seems to be a bit of a close call even for c:COM:TOO United States and India's TOO is described as being currently similar to the US's, but previously closer to the UK's. The globe imagery in the center of the logo seems to be the only element that might not be a "simple geometric shape", but I'm wondering as to whether it would be something that is these days considered a "utilitarian" shape in a sense as described in c:COM:CB#Utility objects or c:COM:CB#Maps & satellite imagery. -- Marchjuly (talk) 21:54, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

IMO the globe makes it above TOO. Tagged. Yann (talk) 21:57, 23 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Federal employee[edit]

Is the image on page 154 (here) copyrighted? I'm not sure whether the US federal employee waiver covers the image. Heesxiisolehh (talk) 17:17, 24 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I would say it is copyrighted. The study was published by the American University on behalf of the US Army, so the editor and most likely all the other contributors are not federal government employees. De728631 (talk) 17:29, 24 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The copyright notice at the beginning is very bizarre: "Copyright © 1982 United States Government as represented by the Secretary of the Army. All rights reserved." I am not seeing what gives them the right to do that. -- King of ♥ 18:00, 24 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The U.S. federal government can have copyrights assigned to it -- so if it was originally an external work, they could have had copyright transferred. That would appear to be the case here. Although, if they are basically treating it as a work for hire, that is basically what PD-USGov was meant to be -- if the contract was set up in an attempt to sidestep that section of copyright law, it could be an interesting court case. But, if it's deemed valid, then that work is copyrighted until 2078.
The map on page 154 could have come from a different PD-USGov source maybe, but the quality is not good enough to see if there are any particular credits on the map different than the rest of the work. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:40, 24 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Copyright holding of rebel group[edit]

So I have tried to submit a ticket for permission to use media produced by Coalition of Patriots for Change, here: (Commons:Volunteer_Response_Team/Noticeboard#Ticket#2022021810005112). For the record, Coalition of Patriots for Change has been created as a merger of rebel groups (which have been signatories to 2019 peace agreement: [9]). in the Central African Republic in 2020, and still controls part of the country. However I have been told that rebel groups cannot hold copyrights. Is this true? i don't think there is any exception in copyright laws for rebel groups. And I also didn't find the requirement that group must be registered to hold copyrights.

Also I have seen many times media produced by armed groups being removed from there with reason that copyrights to them belong to those groups. So it was logical to me that uploading them with consent of those organizations should be OK. Borysk5 (talk) 18:25, 25 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

What I was saying is essentially, only legal persons may hold copyright, and if a rebel group is not incorporated under the laws of any country, then it is not a legal person. Because ultimately, copyright is the right to sue people who make unauthorized use of your work. But how can you sue when the legal system of your country does not recognize your right to exist? -- King of ♥ 21:26, 25 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Unless the Coalition of Patriots for Change is a legally recognized organization, which seems unlikely, the copyrights belong to the individual person who created each work. Nosferattus (talk) 23:21, 25 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The individual armed groups have been part of 2019 peace agreement: [10] which was in C.A.R. If they can make agreement with the government wouldn't that make them legally recognized organization? Creation of CPC in 2020 was simply merger of those armed groups. Borysk5 (talk) 07:07, 26 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I do not know anything about the group in question, but presumably if the group is not a legal entity, copyright belongs to the individuals who created the media. Hogweard (talk) 09:42, 27 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

File:Kashgar Xi Jinping billboard.jpg[edit]

COM:FOP China says that it can allow un-permitted commercial use of "reproduction of artistic, architectural, or applied artwork" but only if such artwork is attributed. Does this apply to billboards, like the one seen in File:Kashgar Xi Jinping billboard.jpg? From what I see, the billboard itself is either anonymous or unattributed. I can't be sure whether the government made the propaganda billboard (of Xi Jinping with non-Han kids). George Ho (talk) 10:05, 26 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

File:Juejiangluobo.jpg Similar problem.When taking pictures of people, the poster becomes the background. But that poster is not complete.Berthe (talk) 19:44, 26 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Your case is different, because the poster is COM:DM (which is not subject to FoP restrictions): it is impossible to take a picture of the people without including the poster. -- King of ♥ 22:20, 26 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I would say that in this particular case, we can simply attribute the Chinese government as the author. -- King of ♥ 22:20, 26 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Copyright tag in a template, missed by the bot[edit]

Files created from {{Cc-by-4.0}} data have been tagged by a bot for deletion. The licence was put in using a Template, {{BAS data}}, which I created today to make it easier to mark all the licence / attribute aspects of map images from that data. However a bot spotted the files have no {{Cc-by-4.0}} in the raw code and so tagged them for deletion. I could just add that licence to the code, but it would be neater to have it all bundled up in {{BAS data}}. Is there a way to get the bots to recognise the licence within the template? Hogweard (talk) 19:04, 26 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

You should talk to the bot's owner. Ruslik (talk) 19:57, 26 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

File:Starship S20-B4 Illustration.png[edit]

I found this image to be highly suspicious, since it contains a lot of shaders and such, along with the author's poor history of respecting copyright. Since cannot found this image on Google Images, Tineyes, Bing search, etc., I want someone more experienced to help me on this case. Cheers, CactiStaccingCrane (talk) 09:39, 27 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]