Commons:Village pump/Copyright

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Welcome to the Village pump copyright section

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The Arch Linux logo's license has not been stated. However the Arch Linux website's github repository, which has the Arch Linux logo is licensed as GPL-2 (repo here -> Would this mean the logo are GPL-2. Please remember thats this is the official Arch Linux website's github repository, and the Github repository is not made by a third party. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Matr4x-404 (talk • contribs) 21:32, 9 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Moved from en:Wikipedia:Media_copyright_questions. This is image I uploaded from this paper.[1] The figure originally consisted of this illustration and two photographs. Original description is this, "Figure 13. (A) Ethological reconstruction of Manipulator modificaputis, drawn by Mr Jie Sun. (B,C) Zaprochilus australis, shared by Reiner Richter © CC BY-NC-SA 3.0" This means that two photos are CC-BY-NC-SA, however is that safe to upload other illustration? Paper itself is CC-BY-4.0. If that is not clear, I'd send it to quick deletion. Ta-tea-two-te-to (talk) 03:45, 15 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If Jie Sun were a coauthor of the paper, then the images would be under the CC-BY-4.0. However he is only acknowledged and therefore the images' status is unclear. Ruslik (talk) 20:32, 15 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
His name is in Acknowledgments. "We thank the reviewers for their useful and informative comments. Jie Sun drew the ethological reconstruction. The micro-CT operation was undertaken by Su-Ping Wu at NIGP." Ta-tea-two-te-to (talk) 03:35, 16 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You could trying contacting the authors of the paper and asking them to clarify the status of image. If the copyright holder sends a COM:CONSENT email to COM:VRT, then it would make it clear that it's OK for Commons. Whether it actually gets used in a Wikipedia article is another question altogether since that's not really a concern of Commons, but from a copyright standpoint it wouldn't end up being deleted from Commons. -- Marchjuly (talk) 11:40, 16 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, now I sent e-mail to author, and will wait for reply and hopefully they will send COM:CONSENT. Ta-tea-two-te-to (talk) 12:25, 16 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
After consulting with User:Hemiauchenia, I came to the conclusion that this image is probably fine. Because the two photos in the description of Figure 13 clearly show the NC license on the website, it's almost obvious that the NC license applies only to photos. Most certainly, the use of NC images in a CC-BY-4.0 licensed paper caused some confusion. I haven't received a reply to the email from the author yet, but it would be better if they noticed it and made it clear. Ta-tea-two-te-to (talk) 17:14, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photo of Alfred Krupa: 'public domain'?[edit]

I like to use a photo of Alfred Krupa in an article about trolley suitcases (nl:Rolkoffer). This photo can be found on several places on the internet (amongst them here and here), and there I read "Krupa family archive/Public Domain" and simply "Public Domain". But is that indeed true? Can anyone tell me if I can legally upload this image to Commons? The image seems to be made in 1954 in Croatia. Erik Wannee (talk) 14:25, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photos form 1952 and later may not be in public domain. Ruslik (talk) 20:27, 19 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's possible, but only in very rare circumstances in Europe. Italy for example would have a shorter term for snapshot photos, maybe a couple other countries. But in most of Europe, it would be under copyright for a minimum of 70 years. And if this was a family photograph just recently made available to the public, it's probably not OK even in those countries. If it was authored by a family member, and they gave it a public domain license on Unsplash or something like it a few years ago which that first link hints at, that may also work. The question is where did the public domain status come from, though. There is a link here which gives a credit of "Krupa family archive/public domain/ Kevin Baquerizo on Unsplash" . There is a Kevin Baquerizo user on Unsplash, who gives his location as Barcelona, but this photo no longer appears among his uploads. One does wonder if he uploaded a copy to Unsplash with a public domain license once upon a time, but did not have the rights to do so (see Commons:License laundering), and it has since been taken down -- but maybe some other news sites used it under that probably-incorrect license. Or maybe the user saw "public domain" somewhere else, and thought they could upload it. So, this maybe be pretty hard without finding out exactly where the Krupa family actually made this public domain. If they did not, then there is almost no way it could be PD yet. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:58, 19 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, thanks for your comment. I think it is best not to upload the photo. The reader of the article may find the (could-be illegal) photo via the external link in the references. Erik Wannee (talk) 10:55, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Use it freely. It is from the family archive, an unknown author (family member). It has been published in many, many places now. You can contact me directly if you need formal permission ( Gabackokorabac (talk) 05:32, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Gabackokorabac: If you want to send an email directly using the COM:VRT process (they have email templates there further down the page), that might help. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:13, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If there is a legal permission, I would be thankful and then I can add the photo to the article Rolkoffer to give the inventor some honor that he did not get during his life. Perhaps it will also be added to en:Alfred Krupa and other language versions. Erik Wannee (talk) 07:22, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You have the permission. If you wish me to write it in another form, please let me know. Gabackokorabac (talk) 07:35, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Determining if a photo of art is public domain if the artwork is public domain?[edit]

I had always understood that a simple photo reproduction of 2-D artwork (like a photo) cannot have a separate copyright from the 2-D artwork itself. But looking into this, it seems slightly more nuanced: if given special lighting or just a part of it, it seems that a photo might have a separate copyright. Is there a guide to this somewhere in Wikimedia? I have seen a bunch of 2-D pieces of art where the photographer lists it as some form of CC (or even GNU) license, but I suspect they are in the public domain as simply a reproduction of public domain 2-D art. I don't want to be changing these pages to public domain unless I check so I'm sure they are so. (If I do know for sure, I think I'd be changing a lot of images to state they are in the public domain, as I'm often going through these images to add to my slides as a professor, and can easily spent 90 seconds making an image indicate that it is public domain below it when I see it if I know the rules.) Can someone please help clarify this?

I posted on main village pump [2] and someone said I should post here. The person there noted Wikimedia generally considers it the same copyright as the work if nothing but the 2-d art, thus public domain for old art (I'm often dealing with stuff made in the 1700s or earlier so past all countries copyright limits), but some countries like the UK sometimes seem to allow "sweat of the brow" claims. I would assume there is a guide somewhere, but I don't know where. MPSchneiderLC (talk) 15:36, 19 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On Commons we don't care what other countries than the USA claim about copyright when it comes to PD-art, see Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag. So you can upload regardless of source and it won't be deleted. The caveat is that the uploading user might be liable. If you are based in a country does grant new copyright to reproductions and you upload these to Commons, you might be breaking copyright in your country. Multichill (talk) 16:32, 19 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would also recommend keeping any licence added by the uploader, for uses in countries where "sweat of brow" or similar claims may be relevant. A reuser can then choose whether to use the file as PD or using the licence, in the same way that one can choose between GFDL and CC-BY-SA for many files. –LPfi (talk) 09:01, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the same note, a variant of the question at Category talk:Hagia Sophia (Istanbul) - Komnenos mosaics. -- Asclepias (talk) 12:32, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Can I upload logo for a bank on Commons?Ziad Message Me 22:27, 19 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@زياد محمد: Hi, and welcome. Where did you find the logo?   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 02:40, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Jeff G.: I find it from the bank's official website. Ziad Message Me 17:05, 20 September 2022 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ziad Mohamed (talk • contribs) 17:05, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ziad Mohamed: Where exactly? Also, please fix your signature.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 18:22, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Copyright issue[edit]

Which is the right forum to raise copyright issues. For example, File:Fortification_of_Guwahti_during_the_wars_with_Mughal.png is tagged as own work, even as it is clear it is a scanned image from (p637), a PhD thesis. Chaipau (talk) 01:33, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Chaipau: Please see COM:DP in general, and in this case use {{Copyvio}}.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 02:41, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jeff G.: thank you. The user has uploaded the image again File:Fortification of Guwahti in 1670.png. I am unsure though if it is actually licensed CC as the uploader claims. Indian PhD theses are "encouraged" to be released under a CC license (, way down at the bottom). Is there a convention in commons which is followed as regards these sources? Chaipau (talk) 15:32, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Chaipau: You're welcome. Pinging @Túrelio as the deleting Admin for File:Fortification of Guwahti during the wars with Mughal.png.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 16:27, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Shodhganga encourages the submission of content under Creative Commons Licence Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International". Even if the author of this thesis followed the advice and he had the rights on the image, this CC license would be incompatible with Commons.--Pere prlpz (talk) 12:08, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Logo review - Semantic Scholar[edit]

Does this logo meet the criteria of {{PD-Shape}}, making it eligible for hosting in Wikimedia Commons?

This is a trademarked logo of Semantic Scholar (Q22908627). It has been in English Wikipedia under a fair use rationale since 2021. Thanks for anyone who can review. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:13, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In USA it is probably below the ToO. Ruslik (talk) 20:07, 20 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Syndicated articles[edit]

Who owns the copyright on a syndicated article? Is it the first newspaper to publish the article (despite the fact they didn't write it), or the organization that wrote the syndicated article (despite the fact that they didn't publish it)? Zoozaz1 (talk) 19:51, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Syndicate owns all copyright of course, which they then license to republishers. Ruslik (talk) 20:42, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ruslik0, so I would calculate copyright length for the US by the year of first publication of the article (even if it is through being licensed to a newspaper), but for renewals the syndicate itself would have to renew the work? Zoozaz1 (talk) 21:14, 21 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The copyright owner is responsible for renewals. Ruslik (talk) 20:42, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Permission to upload an audio file[edit]

I wanted to upload an audio file of a historical speech of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1948 but I didn’t know that uploading audio file was restricted. Can I get the permission to upload the file. I believe it is under public domain of Pakistan and 74 years already passed after the speech. I collected the audio from a website that uploaded by a person who collected the audio from Radio Pakistan. Here is the audio file: link — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mehediabedin (talk • contribs) 02:29, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It may be in public domain in Pakistan, but still not in USA (due to the URAA restoration). Ruslik (talk) 20:47, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Same file, same source and author, different release rights - which rights take precedence?[edit]

The following image, 38GpPO-OFFICIAL-20200714-0125-684.jpg, was released to Defence Imagery in two different iterations:

  • "RAF REGIMENT CONDUCT SPECIALIST PROTECTION TRAINING", released under the MOD News Licence which is incompatible with this site
  • "Best of Defence Imagery 2020", released under the Open Government Licence (OGL) which is compatible with this site

As far as I can tell, the images are otherwise identical and even share the same filename as indicated above. The question I have is which licence takes precedence, particularly since this seems to be the only such dual-licenced image I've found on Defence Imagery? Dvaderv2 (talk) 18:43, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The MODNL copy has a publication date of 2021, the OGL copy has a publication date of 2022. I suppose they first published the photo under the MODNL only, and later they released it more freely under the OGL. It should be good with the OGL. -- Asclepias (talk) 20:11, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks! Dvaderv2 (talk) 00:03, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Both licenses apply -- it's an example of multi-licensing. Commons would use it via the OGL license only, of course. If the MOD license version has a higher resolution, I would only use the resolution licensed under the OGL. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:09, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Except the version released under the MOD News Licence can't even be downloaded, or at least not as simply as the version released under the OGL, and so there's no way to compare resolutions as such.
Anyway, I'm in the middle of uploading the file now, and will be adding a link to this discussion in order to have something to rely on. Thank you all. - Dvaderv2 (talk) 16:27, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Zimbabwean banknotes[edit]

According to the text of template:PD-ZW-currency and Commons:Copyright_rules_by_territory/Zimbabwe#Currency, demonetized Zimbabwean currency is public domain. However, this text relies on the 1967 Copyright Act (Section:22:1), which has been taken out of force by Article 136 of the 2004 Copyright Act (Section 22:5). I was unable to find an equivalent clause there. So while the old rules are helpful in establishing US public domain for Rhodesian currency, I am not sure they cover their current use here for the currency of post-1980 Zimbabwe. Does anyone here have any thoughts or insight on this? Felix QW (talk) 17:38, 23 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Glass sculpture in the United States[edit]


What about File:Las Vegas, 2016 Dale Chihuly Sculpture en verre du Bellagio_(1).jpg? It is a glass sculpture by artist Dale Chihuly, installed on the ceiling of the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

FoP United States#Artworks and sculptures states "For artworks, even if permanently installed in public places, the U.S. copyright law has no similar exception, and any publication of an image of a copyrighted artwork thus is subject to the approval of the copyright holder of the artwork." and we have a template {{NoFoP-US}}.

It was recently nominated at FPC, and now again, so potentially future candidate for POTY or a POTD -- Basile Morin (talk) 03:44, 24 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is a copyright registration (VA0001644783) for "Fiori di Como" by Dale Chihuly, from October 2007, with Portland Press saying they are the employer for hire. It says it's a "2-Dimensional artwork". But, yes that would make photos of it very concerning, if that registration is regarding the same work. Portland Press has registered lots of works by Chihuly. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:41, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Looks three-dimensional to me, and more like a work of craft than (high) art. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 17:51, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Higher res image[edit]

Hi, So we have File:High Barnet Station - - 1480084.jpg which was transferred from Geograph however we also this image which is the exact same image but 10x larger however that image is obviously on Flickr but is under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 licence which isn't compatible here,

As the Geograph/Flickr uploader have the same names and as both files are completely identical ([3][4]) I would be well within my rights to replace the Geograph image with the Flickr one as the file is under a CC licence on Geograph wouldn't I ?, Thanks, –Davey2010Talk 21:25, 25 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think that is correct. The author has produced two versions of an image of different quality and released each version under a different licence. That is the legal right of the author. For you to try to apply the licence of the inferior quality image to the higher quality image appears to be in breach of the author's intention and the conditions of the licence. If not outright illegal, it would probably stray into the morally grey areas that Commons tends to avoid. From Hill To Shore (talk) 00:07, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi @From Hill To Shore, Ah okay that makes sense, I just assumed that irrespective of what site you uploaded the image too the CC licence would still stick to that image and if a higher res version was found then that could be used, It just baffles me that someone would upload a generally poor quality image under a cc licence but then could upload the same image in higher res elsewhere on a non-cc licence. But then again like you say if they want to do that then that would be up to them, Oh well glad I asked here first, Many thanks for your help, Thanks, –Davey2010Talk 00:50, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
An author can decide the scope of their license -- they could license one chapter of a book, for example. If a painter wanted to only license a low-res version, and keep a high-res reproduction under license, that's probably fine. Basically, if you can identify expression which exists only in a high-resolution version, you can license that expression differently. That is highly likely in the case of a painting. With photos like this, you are getting into untested legal areas. It's possible that all of the copyrightable expression (angle, timing, framing, etc.) is present in both versions. However, that could depend on the particulars of copyright law (and previous decisions) in a given country, so it could be inconsistent. I would expect a judge would try to side with authors in cases like that, but it gets into theoretical areas where I'm not sure there is any court precedent. For us, that probably amounts to a significant doubt, so we tend to respect the author's wishes and only upload resolutions where the author applied the license. Authors do need to be aware that licensing snapshot photos that way could be problematic, possibly depending on country, but re-users also who assume they can use the higher-resolution one could also run into problems. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:33, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi @Clindberg, Ah I see that does make a lot of sense, For the examples you gave I had no idea it could even ever work like that, I've certainly learned a lot here today so thank you both for your detailed help today I greatly appreciate it, Truly glad I didn't go with my brain and upload that image very glad indeed, Thanks again, –Davey2010Talk 14:25, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Does a 15th-century painting need permission?[edit]

Hello guys. I uploaded this today, but fellow Wikimedian Didym proposed the file for deletion, arguing it lacks permission. I don't think permission is necessary (as with all other old paintings' photographs on Wikimedia,) because imo the creator of this object is the 15th-century painter and all rights belong to them. What do you think? Dirk0001 (talk) 19:54, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Likely because the object is 3-dimensional and thereby doesn't comply with {{PD-Art}}. --Túrelio (talk) 20:04, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Dirk0001: I agree with Túrelio. Any photo you took of the painting yourself would be fine, but because it is a folding triptych, there are copyrightable decisions being made in photographing it. - Jmabel ! talk 20:22, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok got it. Thanks.--Dirk0001 (talk) 20:23, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry, but I don't agree at all. Why are 3D objects excluded? Because the photographer's copyright comes into being as he chooses position, distance, lighting etc. so that it is not a simple, faithful photographic reproduction. Of course also a frame itself might be copyrighted, but that's here not the case, it's as old as the painting. This frame protruding 3 or 4 Millimeters is a borderline case that IMO doesn't generate a copyright of the photograph and thus can be treated as a 2D image. I'd like to hear Carl's opinion, thank you. --Achim55 (talk) 21:55, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Eisenstein film posters[edit]

I'm having trouble understanding why some Soviet film posters are currently tagged with different copyright statuses and want to figure out if any might marked incorrectly. File:Vintage Potemkin.jpg and File:Kino0.jpg don't have an author's name but are marked as {{PD-Russia}} because they were created by/for Goskino in the Soviet Union. Since they're posters and not films, I expected the copyright status to depend on who the author was. ru:File:Стачка плакат.jpg was also created by/for Goskino, and its author is listed as Anton M. Lavinsky. It's tagged as copyrighted since he died less than 70 years ago. Does the status of the Battleship Potemkin posters depend on who their authors are, can all of these be considered PD because of Goskino, or is there a reason they'd have different statuses? hinnk (talk) 03:14, 27 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]