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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Margaret Tomlinson, National Buildings Record (United Kingdom)[edit]

Would the works described here, taken for the w:National Buildings Record during WWII by Margaret Tomlinson, be Crown Copyright? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:46, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

template talk:Moegirlpedia[edit]

Just wanted to put more eyes on this. Also, some files at the source wiki at first appear to by tagged with a 'full-copyright' template, but upon closer inspection seem just to be a disclaimer that files without a specific license should be assumed to be full-copyright ( is an example that has additional text releasing 'for any purpose', for which I believe we have a template here). Arlo James Barnes 19:54, 2 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Would the newest revision of en:File:Nic-chile.png be OK here?[edit]

It looks simple and below the TOO to me, Though I'm not confident about this when looking at the below text and the star symbol in the middle of the textlogo, especially that this is from outside the US (Chile). -SergioFLS (talk) 20:31, 2 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

It is simple enough in my opinion, although the threshold of originality in Chile appears to be rather low. Ruslik (talk) 20:44, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I see. Thanks for the reply.
Now I wonder if re-licensing the file under en:Template:PD-ineligible-USonly would be a bad idea... (meanwhile until someone confirms the logo is OK for Commons) SergioFLS (talk) 14:04, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

What tag to use for Indian satellite photos?[edit]

Recently I uploaded photos from the w:Indian remote sensing program which I downloaded from the USGS EarthExplorer website. I looked to see if anyone else had added their photos, and there weren't any. Today I looked up the copyright information. Resourcesat-2 data was originally under the copyright of the ISRO[1], page 6. In 2016, the USGS signed an agreement with the Indian equivalent of NASA, ISRO, which states that the "USGS may redistribute the Resourcesat-2 data on a public, nondiscriminatory basis without restrictions"[2]. Following this agreement, the USGS published select ISRO satellite photos on its website, specifically stating each photo was "public domain".[3]. It follows from this that all ISRO photos released by the USGS under the agreement are now in the public domain.

The photos I uploaded are all under the {{USGS}} tag, such as File:Great Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie, on March 20, 2022 R2AWF03202022280038, IRS AWiFS.png. Is that what I should be doing, or should I use another tag, or ask for a tag to be written for this?.

So far no one has scolded me for using non-public domain photos. If anyone has knowledge to the contrary that the USGS was wrong to label them as public domain, my recent uploads will need to be deleted. I don't expect that to be the outcome from me asking about it, but you never know.--Epiphyllumlover (talk) 17:55, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

If those are from Indian government websites then either {{GODL-India}} or {{PD-IndiaGov}} may apply. Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 05:16, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It seems we need a new template, i.e. {{PD-ISRO}}. {{GODL-India}} or {{PD-IndiaGov}} do not fit these images. However we need to find the statement by the Indian government. Regards, Yann (talk) 15:04, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Copyright status for photos of East German periodical cover[edit]

Hi there, I'm trying to determine if it's okay to upload to Commons some photographs that I took of a magazine / journal published by a now-defunct organization, the [Women's International Democratic Foundation]. They were published in East Germany, between 1960 and 1964, before the fall of the Soviet Union. I haven't been able to determine if current German copyright law applies to these, and if so, how does the "death date of the author" principle apply to an organization? I've documented my research so far, and my confusions, here on my Talk page. Any help would be greatly appreciated! - Triciaburmeister (talk) 15:26, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The current German law does apply to them. As to dates of death, you can treat them as anonymous if the authors are not known. Ruslik (talk) 20:41, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Seems very unlikely even for an anonymous photographer to have been dead for 70 years if he took an image in 1960. :-)
I don't see how the organization should come into play here; by German law, the copyright (rather: Urheberrecht) is non-transferable and always remains with the author of the image. -- 18:30, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
For anonymous images the copyright last for 70 years since their publication. Ruslik (talk) 20:44, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

To be more precise, this doesn't seem to be so much about the photos being anonymous but rather about them being published by a now-defunct organization in a now-defunct country. I think it has been settled that German law applies. But what about those photographers? I would assume that their names are listed in the magazine somewhere, so I would actually be quite surprised if they really were anonymous.
@Triciaburmeister: What I don't quite get about your question is why you are concerned about publishing those pictures on Commons when you have already done so on Wordpress - ? -- 23:22, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Licence query[edit]

File:Maharaja suraj mal.png was deleted as its source of origin wasn't known. It was actually cropped from the following old Indian painting present at the site of Free Library of Philadelphia: Is the licence of that site compatible with the Commons? Note that the subject of the painting is Suraj Mal who died in 1763. - NitinMlk (talk) 20:58, 4 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

  • It seems the licence is incompatible, although the painting seems very old. - NitinMlk (talk) 21:07, 4 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    • I don't see any licence on that page, or any claim of copyright. The agreement on the request form explicitly says the person ordering a reproduction is solely responsible for determining the copyright and getting needed permissions. As I can see the agreement is only on making and handling over the reproduction. They do want to know the intended use, and reserve the right to decline a request, but without trying, you don't know what they'd say if you want to publish it for public use, and what payment they'd ask for in that case. –LPfi (talk) 18:56, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Aboriginal flag[edit]

Bring this back up again, I have recieved a personally signed letter from [external link to the scanned letter] the Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt.

Interesting part of the letter is “The Commonwealth does not consider the copyright in the Aboriginal Flag to be in the public domain or covered by Crown copyright.” From what I can understand from the letter is that personal use is ok but commercial production/reproduction is not. Bidgee (talk) 02:39, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Yeah, this seems to be just the usual 'shareware' arrangement -- roughly attribution, no derivatives, no explicit enumeration of terms. I'm surprised that the deletion and undeletion discussions ended up the way they did. That said, I suspect this issue will clarify itself as the government does or doesn't pursue legal actions over time related to the flag. Arlo James Barnes 13:00, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The problem is that as long as they don't, any use may be the first to be brought to a court. –LPfi (talk) 18:58, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think their statement was "The Aboriginal flag will now be managed in a similar manner to the Australian national flag, where its use is free, but must be presented in a respectful and dignified way." They explicitly talked about allowing commercial use on clothing, as that was one of the contracts they bought out. So it would seem commercial use is fine. If they don't consider the copyright Crown Copyright (which may end up a legal question due to the wording of the law), and they are right, then the copyright has not expired and we can't claim PD-AustraliaGov. So, that is good to document. But, we may simply instead consider it a copyrighted-free-use license which should not violate moral rights, like many of our others, based on their statements (and which that letter pretty much states). The only sliver of copyright left in private hands is the flag-making one, which definitely still exists, but is likely only valid in Australia anyways. That is undoubtedly a commercial use, but the question for us was if that one restriction really meant the entire thing was non-free. Technically it would be non-free based on that, but it may practicably be free since we don't make physical flags on Commons, so I think the decision came down to that really -- do we want to disallow its use here naturally just because of the one flag-making application, which wouldn't be relevant in most countries anyways since the flag would be PD-ineligible almost everywhere else. I can completely understand the decision, either way it went. Perhaps we need a special license tag, which is mostly {{Copyrighted free use}} but has their exact statements, and mentions the moral rights (which could not be bought) and the one flag-making restriction, which to me would be the only basis for deletion. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:41, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Section 180 of the Copyright Act, for a 50 year expiry, only requires that the Commonwealth or a state owns the copyright, it doesn't need to be "crown copyright". If there's any ambiguity, it's because this section is under "Division 1—Crown copyright". --ghouston (talk) 03:58, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Can the scan of the letter be used as a reference on the en:Australian Aboriginal Flag article? I get confused about what enwiki permits. --ghouston (talk) 04:03, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

BBC copyright review[edit]

May I get an opinion on the copyright of this video: [4] [5]. The source link is [6] and it claims Public Domain Mark 1.0. The Commons file has a Crown Copyright tag, and an editor has questioned the tag in This diff based on BBC v Wireless League Gazette Publishing [1926] in This link. Thanks in advance. Bammesk (talk) 01:38, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]