Commons talk:Licensing

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to Commons:Licensing.

For discussions of specific copyright questions, please go to Commons:Village pump/Copyright. Discussions that do not relate to changes to the page Commons:Licensing may be moved, with participants notified with the template {{subst:moved to VPC|Commons talk:Licensing}}.

For old discussions, see the Archives. Recent sections with no replies for 14 days may be archived.


Archived discussions[edit]

Seven 2006/2007 discussions organized as subpages, ignoringincl. comments added in 2014:

License creation[edit]

Are there procedures set in place for creating a new copyright license? Does a new license need to be vetted or discussed in some way before it can be used? I am asking about this because of Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-TXGov and Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-TNGov, which were two recently created US state PD licenses. Even assuming that the users who created those two did so with the best of intentions, it seems odd that they could simply create a license without it being proposed or discussed in any way. As soon as a license is created, it's likely going to start being used, which means files uploaded under it are also eventually going to need to be sorted out. This sorting out could end up taking a bit of time and multiple DRs as shown by Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-MNGov (2nd nomination); so, it seems like a good idea to establish some procedures for creating a new license if they don't already exist. If they do exist and are simply not being followed, then it might also be a good idea if there was a way to find such licenses more quickly so that they can be dealt with. -- Marchjuly (talk) 03:15, 29 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Such licence template pages can be created and edited by anybody, like (most) other template pages. Restricting template creation in general would make for a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy. It might certainly be a good idea to discuss a licence before creating a template for it, but there are obvious cases where experienced editors know the licence is uncontroversial (and how to create a good template). I don't know whether such deletion discussions are common enough to warrant any guidelines. –LPfi (talk) 09:49, 30 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree G3nseven (talk) 03:45, 19 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Importing old images from de.wp[edit]

I would like to import this picture from de.wp, but get "This file cannot be transferred to Wikimedia Commons, because it is not marked with a compatible licence." The file is from 1897, hence {{PD-Old}}


Is there an easy way to do this? (I tried putting {{PD-Old}} on the file, but that didn't work) Huldra (talk) 23:17, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just change the license tag like this (adding |Commons=Ja). Try again now, I think it should work. --Rosenzweig τ 23:45, 6 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, User:Rosenzweig, but sadly no: it still don't work (I get "This file cannot be transferred to Wikimedia Commons, because it is not marked with a compatible licence. Wikimedia Commons does not allow such files. This might be resolvable, but most probably means the file is not compatible. Please consult the Wikimedia Commons community policy and talk pages about licensing.") Cheers, Huldra (talk) 20:49, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also tried adding |Commons=ja, |Commons=Yes, |Commons=yes; none of those worked, either, Huldra (talk) 22:01, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're right, none of that works, sorry. Only changing the license tag to {{Bild-PD-alt|Commons=Ja}} helps. That's strictly speaking not the correct tag for the file, but if you definitively know the file is ok here like in this case, it's a workaround. --Rosenzweig τ 22:20, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah, thanks, great, that worked! Thanks again, cheers, Huldra (talk) 22:42, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Army Air Force License Tag[edit]

The United States Air Force did not exist until 1947 and the aerial arm of the U.S. military that was around at the time, the United States Army Air Force (and before that the United States Army Air Corps), was subordinate to the United States Army. Therefore, which license tag should be used for files created by the aforementioned organization during World War II? Therefore, it seems there are four options:

However, I am not sure which route to take. Any suggestions? –Noha307 (talk) 17:04, 22 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would probably just use the Army tag, though I could see the Air Force tag if works were part of the WWII strategic air effort. Don't think it's worth another tag. In the end, all PD-USGov* licenses are the same licensing reason; the more specific tags are just there for subcategorization, and also to be more specific on the authors/source (and certain government agencies have more specific warnings for non-government works they are likely to have). So, doesn't much matter. The USAAF was part of the Army, so that would be fine, though the successor agency was the USAF, so Air Force could be fine too using that logic. Don't think it matters much. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:37, 22 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed with Carl; given the time, I'd just use the Army tag and be done with it. It's all PD regardless. Huntster (t @ c) 05:20, 23 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requirement for US copyright status in foreign works[edit]

It seems that our requirement for the foreign works to be in the public domain in the US runs afoul of Berne Convention. Article 7 says: "The term shall be governed by the legislation of the country where protection is claimed" and that "unless the legislation of that country otherwise provides, the term shall not exceed the term fixed in the country of origin of the work". Also, the Copyright Alliance says that the US as a member of the Berne Convention "honors the copyright in works of authors from all member countries, whether the work has been registered in that foreign country or not". Thoughts? Brandmeister (talk) 14:45, 8 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Last time I checked, the WMF is not a Berne Convention signatory, so can't run afoul of it. The US doesn't have the rule of the shorter term, as permitted by the text you quote, and since WMF is founded and has servers in the US, it has to follow US law. I don't know what you think the last quote means; if the US didn't honor foreign copyright, we wouldn't have this problem.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:44, 8 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is WMF a legislative body and does it stand above Berne Convention? Hardly so. What US law exactly requires foreign works to be public domain in the US? Currently we just proclaim that requirement ex cathedra. What's more, the link to a US public domain tag in templates like Template:PD-old-70 leads to tags that are either applicable only to the US works or have outlandish requirements conflicting with existing copyright law of a given country, such as Template:PD-1996. Brandmeister (talk) 20:08, 8 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Title 17 makes it a crime to violate the copyright on copyrighted works in the US, whether they are foreign or US. That's actually what the Berne Convention is all about.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:09, 9 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I forgot to clarify, but we're talking about foreign works that are public domain in their home country, not the copyrighted ones. If under Berne Convention the US "honors the copyright in works of authors from all member countries", why we have the requirement that a foreign public domain work must also be PD in the US (as in Template:PD-old-70)? That means some weird extraterritorial jurisdiction. Brandmeister (talk) 07:39, 9 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]