Talk:Copyright status of work by the U.S. government

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Layers[edit]

I think it would be best to layer the sections a little more. The article seems to just contain a loosly related list. I'm not sure how exactly I would fix it, but I figured it would best be mentioned.

Anthony intially used this page as a redirect, now it is a disambiguation page to the page he wanted it redirtected to. He obviously just wants to pick a fight. GrazingshipIV 03:05, Apr 7, 2004 (UTC)

Heh, you are the one picking the fight. First you blanked the page, now you're trying to remove the examples. All of this with no explanation whatsoever. anthony (see warning) 03:07, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)

not even close you know that you have no clue on how to create a page for this it's textbook disambiguation. Now it will go to the page you orginally wanted it to. GrazingshipIV 03:08, Apr 7, 2004 (UTC)

No Domestic Copyright Does Not Mean No International Copyright[edit]

(I made a comment substantially similar to this originally on http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Template_talk:PD-USGov, but I guess it belongs in here--I'll try to clean it up to make it more understandable...)

There's a pretty fundamental problem with the way U.S. Government copyrights are being characterized here.

The problem is that 17 U.S.C. sec. 105 applies domestically, but under TRIPs, Berne and so forth, copyrights are entitled to national treatment. That means that 17 U.S.C. sec. 105 has no legal effect abroad, and the protection offered internationally under the conventions only places copyrights on par with homegrown copyrights, meaning that the protection offered to U.S. government coprights internationally is not protection "under this title," in the words of 105.

Long story short: while conventionally the U.S. has not asserted international copyright ownership, it IS NOT TRUE that (1) U.S. government works are in the public domain (because the statute doesn't purport to release it into the public domain, but merely denies domestic protection under U.S. law, which has no effect internationally because of the way the agreements have been written) or that (2) removing protection of U.S. copyright law has any effect internationally (because the domestic treatment standard removes the international effect of what is being used as the basis for the assertion).

There's precedent for this, too, and calling the Copyright Office should bring more details on it, but Japan called and asked for special permission to reprint the Starr Report. Although the Office found the question somewhat baffling (because they hadn't ever bothered to parse this out themselves until Japan's lawyers asked them to), they offered special, one-time permission to reprint the Starr report. In effect, they pulled something like a "judicial review"-style slight-of-hand trick and asserted the substance of what I'm articulating above.

The bottom line is the page is fundamentally wrong from the technical legal standpoint. Is the U.S. government likely to assert the copyrights it has internationally? No. Have they indicated they reserve the right to do so? Yes. Is Wikimedia's characterization misleading? Yes. I really can't tell the community how it should feel about this, but the bottom line is that Wikimedia's "Government Work" rights box is plain wrong as to international applicability. Junkmale 03:53, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I believe the entire discussion above is fundamentally wrong. International copyright agreements apply only if the material is copyrightable in its country of origin; U.S. government documents produced in the U.S. are not copyrightable (the law in question is part of the U.S. copyright law), so they are in the public domain in the U.S., and thus internationally as well. (Under TRIPS and similar agreements, the U.S. has now essentially "revoked" public-domain status of works first published outside the U.S. that are still under copyright where first published but had lost copyright here, usually due to lack of renewal; thus other nations are bound to honor the copyright law of the country of origin. However, this does not apply to non-copyright restrictions such as the "letters patent" which protect the King James Bible in the UK, but not in the U.S. or internationally.) Japan's asking for reprint permission for the Starr Report was itself out of an abundance of caution, as most other English-speaking countries DO copyright their government documents; for example, see Crown copyright (for most Commonwealth realms including the UK, Canada, Australia & New Zealand) and Parliamentary copyright (a modern variant specifically for the UK Parliament). Please note that non-U.S. government documents subject to copyright in their country of origin are likewise protected in the U.S.; the statute in question specifically applies only to the U.S. government. (15 July 2006) 70.232.95.4 07:24, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

I believe the status is somewhat unclear, and would probably have to be tested in court for a definitive answer. The Berne Convention requires signatory countries to 'protect the copyright on works of authors from other countries in the same way it protects the copyright of its own nationals' - in other words, apply the national standard (subject to other requirements to establish more uniform regimes. There are minimum time periods that are set (e.g. life plus 50 years in most cases), but these can be extended by national laws.
On the other hand 'unless legislation provides otherwise, the copyright term shall not exceed the term fixed in the country of origin of the work' - it could be urgued that US Government works have a copyright term of zero years, and thus don't get protection - although personally I think that's unlikely.
82.153.96.176 22:41, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Surely a zero year copyright term is exactly the same thing as no copyright term? And to cite the "protect the copyright" wording assumes the consequent - you can't argue that a copyright exists by starting from the assumption that it exists!—greenrd (talk) 19:54, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
I just asked someone working on international copyright law. The key point is that you always have to apply the law of the country where you want to distribute the work (principle of national treatment). So, while there is no copyright on NASA images in the US, it is still protected by the respective laws in any country that has signed the Berne convention or a similar international treaty. Hweimer (talk) 18:18, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Doesn't the rule of shorter terms applies to this case? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.196.91.173 (talk) 18:00, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Protected[edit]

I protected this page on a IRC request. Please resolve your difference on the talk page, and I or someone else can unprotect it. Thanks, Dori | Talk 03:10, Apr 7, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks Dori well the ball is really in Anthony's court, he wanted to redirect now he wants a different page, ultimately he wants attention. GrazingshipIV 03:14, Apr 7, 2004 (UTC)

"Disambiguation in Wikipedia is the process of resolving the conflict that occurs when articles about two or more different topics have the same natural title." "Disambiguation pages serve a single purpose: To let the reader choose between different pages that might reside under the same title." If a page is created on the work of the United States Government, i.e., the activities of the United States Government, then a primary topic disambiguation, with a link to the activities page would be appropriate (clearly this would be a case of primary topic disambiguation, see google). Otherwise, this falls under "See Also", not disambiguation. anthony (see warning) 03:53, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Anthony we have discussed all this already you are blinded by your own point of view the point of having a link is for people who got there by mistake. You intially wanted a redirect and now refuse to compromise. There needs to be a link to United States government for people who to the page looking for how the government works. You include one in he current protected version, why be difficult just to be difficult? GrazingshipIV 04:12, Apr 7, 2004 (UTC)

You're both aware of the 3 revert guideline and quickpolls, so don't start reverting as soon as I unprotect. Start a poll if you can't agree, or something. Dori | Talk 14:34, Apr 8, 2004 (UTC)

Shouldn't this be in the Wikipedia namespace?[edit]

Shouldn't it belong there? I don't think it's encyclopaedic, and it's more-or-less used to describe WP policy. Maybe it even belongs in the meta-wiki? splintax (talk) 09:54, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Agree. Nimur 18:51, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Opening paragraph[edit]

In the opening paragraph it is written: "For example, the Central Intelligence Agency logo cannot be used deceptively without permission...». Is that wording correct and if so does it mean that the CIA logo can in effect be used deceptively with appropriate permission ? If not, I suggest re-writing this way: «For example, the Central Intelligence Agency logo cannot be used without permission...».

Question[edit]

If a picture appears in a US Government Internet site, will it be defined as a Work of the United States Government even if the painter/photographer doesnt belong to the government? For example pictures from the National Portrait Gallery [1] (belongs to the Smithsonian Institution which is administered and funded by the government of the United States)? (81.235.166.78 11:03, 30 June 2006)

Certainly not. Possession, display or distribution of copies or derivative works has nothing to do with ownership of the copyright, and ONLY works authored by a U.S. government officer or employee can be Works of the U.S. Govt. There may be a technical question of who made the collective work in which someone may claim very limited rights (e.g., selection, organization, indexing), or there could be statutory or implied licenses in certain administrative works submitted to the U.S. (e.g., patent applications, federal court filings, SEC filings, etc); but the ownership (or existence) of copyright in the underlying work (if any) is unaffected, and the right to its benefits typically belongs to someone else. Lupinelawyer 15:21, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Thank you.


Stars and Stripes[edit]

I posted a question about copyright status at the Stars and Stripes (newspaper) article. However, I doubt many wikipedia editors with significant understanding of intellectual property intricacies frequent that talk page, so I'm posting a link here. Please leave any comments on that talk page! Thanks, Nimur 18:50, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)[edit]

--Timeshifter 17:13, 13 August 2006 (UTC). Are Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reports in the public domain? Since BJS is a federal agency I assume that one can freely copy and post parts of this report?: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/pjim05.pdf

It is linked from this page: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/pjim05.htm

Table 1 from the BJS pdf report is on this page: http://gallery.marihemp.com/charts

Direct link to Table 1: http://gallery.marihemp.com/charts/USA_BJS_Bulletin_NCJ213133

I assume it is OK to copy and paste the tables from BJS reports to web pages, wikipedia, etc.. So I did. Here it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:USA_BJS_Bulletin_NCJ213133.gif --Timeshifter 18:55, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Bureau of Printing, Manila[edit]

Hi, just wanted to ask a question (and maybe it should be noted down in the article itself. Are works published by the "Bureau of Printing in Manila" (circa pre-1945) considered works of the US Government? The Philippines was under American control from 1898 all the way to the end of World War II so I'm wondering if it is.

The reason why I'm asking is that I have access to a lot of monographs that were published by the Bureau circa 1920's and I'd like to upload the images/diagrams to WP if possible. Shrumster 06:54, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Works donated to the Library of Congress.[edit]

This photograph was donated by the artist's estate in 1966 with a 20-year publication restriction.

I want to use the image of Beni Montresor. The LOC now claims the image is in public domain.

Rights and Restrictions
As a publicly supported institution the Library generally does not own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections.
Summary: Donor restrictions expired in 1986 (see below for amplification). However, privacy and publicity rights may apply.
Access: Permitted; subject to P&P policy on serving originals.
Reproduction (photocopying, hand-held camera copying, photoduplication and other forms of copying allowed by "fair use"): Permitted; subject to P&P policy on copying, which prohibits photocopying of the original photographs in this collection.
Publication and other forms of distribution: Per the instrument of gift, "for a period of 20 years from the date of this Instrument [1966], none of the photographs contained in said collection may be sold, reproduced, published or given away in any form whatsoever except with my [Saul Mauriber, Photographic Executor for Van Vechten] express permission in writing." This restriction expired in 1986. In 1998 the Library’s Publishing Office was contacted by Bruce Kellner, Successor Trustee for the Van Vechten estate, who disputes Mr. Mauriber’s authority in executing the Instrument of Gift. Upon review of the relevant materials, the Library continues to believe that the photographs are in the public domain. However, patrons are advised that Mr. Kellner has expressed his concern that use of Van Vechten’s photographs "preserve the integrity" of his work, i.e, that photographs not be colorized or cropped, and that proper credit is given to the photographer. Privacy and publicity rights may apply.
Credit Line: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-54231]

Wikipedia dose not have a copyright tag that matched this situation exactly. Any ideas? --Knulclunk 15:29, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Nevermind! I found the correct tag at WikkiCommons. All of Van Vechten pictures donated to the LOC are Public Domain. --Knulclunk 15:55, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Copy editing[edit]

I am copy editing this page as it has been listed since January 2007 --Careless hx 18:19, 1 August 2007 (UTC) Copy editing complete. Article needs additional cleanup and citation by someone more knowledgable than me, however I will remove the copyedit tag. --carelesshx talk 00:31, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

The U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry[edit]

TITLE 18 USC 33, Section 704 governs as follows:

Sec. 704. Military medals or decorations

(a) In General. - Whoever knowingly wears, manufactures, or sells any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States, or any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, or the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration or medal, or any colorable imitation thereof, except when authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

see comment in article - feel this section may be incorrect, need citation of correct law --Careless hx 18:44, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

NIST Standard copyrights[edit]

I think this page should mention the exception to copyright law created by the Standard Reference Data Act that allows the US Dept of Commerce to hold copyrights on works regarding standards, which is why many NIST standards have copyrights held by the government. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.64.133.112 (talk) 01:20, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

I just happened to have added this. TJRC (talk) 20:34, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

are all images on domains ending in .gov federal copyright[edit]

The article business.gov uses an image from www.business.gov, but I am not certain that is not a contracter as it states it is _managed_ by the SBA, but how easy is it to get a .gov extension - maybe contractors are given them - don't know ! The question really is if it's got a .gov domain name is it covered by this licenceLeeVJ (talk) 01:20, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Absolutely not! The Government posts many things on their websites to which they only have permissions. You have to know that it was in fact created by the government. BTW, this isn't a license, it's a lack of copyright altogether, when the work is created by the US Government.--Doug.(talk contribs) 05:46, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Additionally, many .gov sites are actually US state government websites. .mil websites belong exclusively to the US Department of Defense (though some may be used by contractors or the National Guard); however, they may contain many images that were not created by the United States government and many images that were created by employees or officers of the United States government but outside the territory of the United States; a point that I have rarely seen discussed here but which inserts another layer of gray to what too many people think is black and white.--Doug.(talk contribs) 08:44, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

the language of the statute implies no geographical restriction[edit]

I removed

However, the language of the statute implies no geographical restriction on its denial of copyright protection to U.S. government works as it says, "Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government…."<ref>{{USC|17|105}}</ref>

from the article, and someone without saying so in the edit summary reverted it. It's not properly cited, as we don't cite primary sources. And it's wrong; it says "copyright protection under this title", but this title only applies to the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 06:32, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Kill it. It's very clear that "this Title" refers to Title I of the 94th Congress's S. 22/H.R. 2233 (which was eventually enacted as the 1976 Copyright Act); and a reference to copyright under "this Title" is not a reference to any non-U.S. law. So, the comment above sentence you quote, to the extent that it is trying to counter the prior passage (as it begins "However...") is wrong. But in any event, more than wrong, it's someone's original interpretation of the statute; it's WP:OR and has no place in the article. The preceding sentence is sufficiently clear without it; and the reference it points to is unambiguous.
If you really want to make the point, House Report No. 94-1476 says unambiguously
The prohibition on copyright protection for United States Government works is not intended to have any effect on protection of these works abroad. Works of the governments of most other countries are copyrighted. There are no valid policy reasons for denying such protection to United States Government works in foreign countries, or for precluding the Government from making licenses for the use of its works abroad.
TJRC (talk) 23:17, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I've made the edit. TJRC (talk) 23:33, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, if no protection in the country of origin it means - no protection in any country that do apply the "rule of the shorter term" that's the point --RussianTrooper (talk) 07:05, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
No. First, you're confusing two distinct things. You're confusing the concept of whether a particular work falls within the scope of copyright with the concept of the term of a work that is subject to copyright. Second, and more importantly for Wikipedia purposes, your interpretation here is your own original research, and Wikipedia is not the place to publish it. Now, if you have a reliable source that makes this claim -- for example, a law review article -- and it's not a fringe view, it can be included with appropriate citation to that source. TJRC (talk) 16:37, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Works Made for Hire for the US Government[edit]

§ 201 (b) Works Made for Hire. — In the case of a work made for hire, the employer or other person for whom the work was prepared is considered the author for purposes of this title, and, unless the parties have expressly agreed otherwise in a written instrument signed by them, owns all of the rights comprised in the copyright.

-US Copyright Statute

So, I'm reading a NASA-hosted and funded Law Review article, Copyright in Government Works and it reviews legislative and case history and goes into some detail as to situations where Works Made for Hire for the US Government under the statute are not subject to copyright even if author was not an "employee" or "officer". The author notes that the work made for hire "expression includes both employees and independent contractors on special order or commission".

Also, bespoke software written for the USG is "unlimited rights data," NOT "computer software developed at private expense and that is a trade secret". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Elvey (talkcontribs) 28 May 2013

I think that John Tresansky, the author of this law review article, is reading the House Report 94-1476 a little carelessly. Here's what the report actually says:
Although the wording of the definition of “work of the United States Government” differs somewhat from that of the definition of “work made for hire,” the concepts are intended to be construed in the same way.
But here's how Trensansky interprets it:
Although the definition of “work of the United States Government” differs somewhat from that of the definition of “work made for hire,” the concepts are intended to be construed in the same way.
The Report is talking about specific wording in the definitions, not the entire definitions. The text that follows in the Report makes clear that the part of the definition being discussed is the part that is common to both definitions: "prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties" in "work of the United States Government"; and "prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment" in "work made for hire." As you can see in the actual report, after that discussion it continues with the issue of contractors, and states that the WotUSG does not parallel WMFH:
"A more difficult and far-reaching problem is whether the definition should be broadened to prohibit copyright in works prepared under U.S. Government contract or grant.... The bill deliberately avoids making any sort of outright, unqualified prohibition against copyright in works prepared under Government contractor grant." (There's more, but that gets the gist.)
Tresansky's article is interesting, but the only real bit it authoritatively discusses is whether a work is one that is "part of that person’s official duties" (analog to "within the scope of his or her employment"). His basic thesis is that a work needs to be within the scope of employment to qualify as a WotUSG; and that's not all that controversial. He gives a couple examples of cases where the work in question was held not to be within the scope (and more where it was held to be within the scope). He's basically arguing (as a government employee, quelle surprise) that some works are outside the scope of employment and that government employees may have more rights to assert copyright than generally believed. He does a lot of hand-waving and arguing by analogy to patent cases (which is a very imperfect analogy, given that there is no equivalent prohibition on the U.S. government obtaining patents) to make his case.
I agree with your analysis.--Elvey (talk) 02:08, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Elvey, I note that you added a {{dubious}} tag in the passage on the FAR general data rights clause. Is this discussion related to that? Because that passage is not an issue of what the statute says, as discussed in the Tresansky article; it's an issue of what the clause incorporated in the government-contractor agreement says. TJRC (talk) 23:19, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
I said:
Also, bespoke software written for the USG is "unlimited rights data," NOT "computer software developed at private expense and that is a trade secret", and was referring to the clause in the FAR. Separate issue. I can make an article edit to more clearly show what I think is in error, by fixing it. Done. --Elvey (talk) 02:08, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Works Made for Hire for the US state Governments etc[edit]

TJRC, you dispute that "The copyrightability of state and municipal government works is not determined by the federal government. A few states and their local governments cannot hold copyright in most of their works, but most can." and claim that "copyright is determined exclusively by federal law, not state law"! But the linked page supports me not you, as does PD-FLGov, which is more clear. In particular, Florida's Constitution and its statutes do not permit public records to be copyrighted unless the (state) legislature specifically states they can be. OTOH, works made by NY can be copyrighted, according to NY law. Please put back what you removed or something like it. In the mean time, I'll blank the section, leaving just the link to the main page. --Elvey (talk) 05:03, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Oh, and your reverting this seems careless seemed to be in error, TJRC. --Elvey (talk) 06:34, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Elvey, you're removing content that is well-sourced and citing the U.S. Copyright Office as authority. You're adding unsourced and incorrect statements that copyright is determined by state law, and that has not been the case for 35 years. In the United States, copyright is (with the exception of pre-1972 sound recordings), exclusively federal law. To the extent any state law purports to change copyright law, that is preempted by section 301.
Your template is not a source. I think you're misunderstanding it in any event. Here's the correct way to understand it. Federal law governs copyright. Under federal law, works of the United States government are not subject to copyright under section 105. The Section 105 limitation is exclusive to the federal government, and does not apply to state governments.
A state's works (subject to certain exceptions, e.g. edicts of government) are subject to copyright. A state, like any other copyright owner, can choose to do what it wishes with its copyrights; including deciding to assert them or deciding to abandon them. Florida has largely apparently chosen to abandon its copyrights.
However that is no different than you, as a copyright owner, deciding to abandon your copyrights. Regardless, under U.S. copyright law, those works are subject to copyright, and the edits you are making are extremely misleading in suggesting that they are not.
If you want to include something (with appropriate sources) to the effect that many states waive some or all of their rights under copyright law, I have no objection to that; but you should not misstate the law as you've been doing.
With respect to this edit, it is incorrect, and reverting it is appropriate. Your text is "The non-copyright rule ... does apply to 'organized territories' under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Government." As the Copyright Office document cited says, "Works of the governments of the 'organized territories' under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Government are acceptable for registration under the rule." That is, the non-copyright rule does not apply to organized territories; their works are accepted for copyright registration.
With respect to this edit, it is incorrect, and reverting it is appropriate. Your text is "The non-copyright rule ... does apply to 'organized territories' under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Government." As the Copyright Office document cited says, "Works of the governments of the 'organized territories' under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Government are acceptable for registration under the rule." That is, the non-copyright rule does not apply to organized territories; their works are accepted for copyright registration. (add: see more below)
I'm reinstating the long-standing text. Not only is it correct, but under WP:BRD, you have been bold but been reverted, and it is now up to you to make your case via discussion. TJRC (talk) 20:09, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
With respect to the organized territories, there's a page-break in the Compendium that makes it look like the sentence ends where ai quoted it above, but it actually goes on: "Works of the governments of the 'organized territories' under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Government are acceptable for registration under the rule of doubt." What this means is that the CO is not taking a position on whether section 105 applies to "organized territories"; it will accept the registration, but leave to the courts a determination of whether section 105 precludes copyrights. For unorganized territories, it goes on: "Works of the governments of other territorial areas under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Government are considered to be U.S. Government works." This is probably a wrinkle worth adding. TJRC (talk) 20:59, 30 May 2013 (UTC) (add: I've now added that, with appropriate citations.) TJRC (talk) 23:17, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
(Note inline replys formerly above now here:)
Your central point is valid, but wow, there are a lot of wild accusations there too! A lot of straw men, e.g. of course "my" template is not a WP:RS; no template is (and perhaps with a few irrelevant exceptions, no wikipedia page is). But it does cite and reference reliable sources that back me up.
You've provided no evidence that there is only one correct way to understand it, though the way you have outlined - treating the state as copyright owner like any other - seems to be a valid way of seeing it. But how 'bout we simplymove forward, rather than argue, as we both think it's fine to just
"include something (with appropriate sources) to the effect that many states waive some or all of their rights under copyright law"!
Cool? How 'bout we copy some text and sources from Copyright status of work by the Florida government? --Elvey (talk) 21:46, 30 May 2013 (UTC) (restored 08:31, 6 June 2013 (UTC))
Oops. (See below.)
"non-copyright rule" is a what? Google doesn't know. A made-up term? With what shall we replace it?--Elvey (talk) 21:46, 30 May 2013 (UTC) (restored 08:31, 6 June 2013 (UTC))
It seems you were skimming/rushing, but finally read 206.02e IN FULL and realized you chopped off "of doubt".
You seem to have missed the rest of it at first:
"Works of the governments of other territorial areas under the jurisdiction of the u.s. Government are considered to be u.s. Government works."
It looks like you concede that these U.S. Government works are NOT accepted for copyright registration. How 'bout we simply state that?
Oops: I seem to have missed the organized vs unorganized territory (e.g. American Samoa), so [my edit] was indeed wrong. Yes, there should be a wrinkle for each. How 'bout we include the links ( organized , unorganized territory )?†
Lastly: You seem to have been skimming/rushing as you didn't address my edit summaries which state that I moved the content to Copyright status of work by U.S. state governments; I didn't simply delete it! Did you think I had?† How else do you explain your accusation that I was "removing content that is well-sourced and citing the U.S. Copyright Office as authority"† --Elvey (talk) 21:46, 30 May 2013 (UTC) (restored 08:31, 6 June 2013 (UTC))

"Inaccurate"/"confusing" tags[edit]

Elvey, you've repeatedly tagged the "State, territorial and local governments" section twice with an "accuracy" tag, then with a "confusing" tag. Please describe what it is you find confusing.

The article is about the doctrine that works of the US government are not within the subject matter of copyright, under the doctrine now codified in § 105. This article discusses the extent of that doctrine, and this section is part of that, including that it does not apply to state/municipality works, which are under a different government; and the extent to which is has been settled (or not) with respect to territories. The {{for}} template directs readers to the other article, where they can read about how individual state, etc. jurisdictions choose to treat their own copyrights; which is a separate subject from eligibility for copyright under § 105.

Are you taking the position that an explanation of what is not covered by § 105 may not be in the article?

Please note, many of your discussions with me and with others, here and elsewhere have been hostile and incivil. I am not interesting in participating in a discussion of that type. If you are unable to discuss this civilly, I will not engage in the discussion.

As noted above, please respond below existing comments, and do not edit directly within my comments. TJRC (talk) 07:26, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

What part of my previous comment do you not understand?

Lastly: You seem to have been skimming/rushing as you didn't address my edit summaries which state that I moved the content to Copyright status of work by U.S. state governments; I didn't simply delete it! Did you think I had?--Elvey (talk) 2:46 pm, 30 May 2013, Thursday (1 month, 30 days ago) (UTC−7) (restored 08:31, 6 June 2013 (UTC)) Hello? Look! (Bump Elvey (talk))

--Elvey (talk) 18:43, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Elvey: Please identify what you find confusing in that passage. TJRC (talk) 19:34, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Do you dispute that you ignore my questions, revert me and demand I answer yours? I told you why I placed the tags. Multiple times. Multiple ways. Respond. Shame on you. Your actions are hostile and uncivil. Hostile is reverting the tag and not discussing at all, and then reluctantly reverting and then discussing. Civil is leaving the tag in place until the issue has been discussed.
The article is about "Copyright_status_of_work_by_the_U.S._government", in my view. Not what you say it is. If it was purely about § 105 then the title would be § 105.
And answer my questions. Instead of answering my questions, YOU'VE DELETED THEM FROM THIS PAGE! I'm wondering what sort of problem would cause you to delete my questions of you from this talk page. --Elvey (talk) 20:11, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Elvey: your tag says you believe that section to be confusing. Please explain what you find to be confusing. It's not any more complicated than that. TJRC (talk) 21:29, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
For the 6th time, Puerto Rico and DC are not part of the U.S. Government; they are subnational entities. --Elvey (talk) 05:13, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
Okay, great. Thank you. Now let's talk about how that might be confusing. The fact is worth including, because it makes clear the extent of the prohibition of works of the USG being subject to the exclusion.
Because DC is the seat of the U.S. government, someone interested in the scope of the prohibition may wish to know whether DC is within that scope. The article includes the fact that it is not, to address that question.
Similarly, a reader may wish to know about territories such as Puerto Rico. The section addresses that, too. It says that unorganized territories are treated as USG works (at least by the Copyright Office); but organized territories such as Puerto Rico are treated as independent of the USG.
In both cases, I think the text is clear and not confusing. Is there a wording change you suggest to clarify it? TJRC (talk) 17:12, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
Puerto Rico and DC are not part of the U.S. Government; they are subnational entities. Therefore, they don't belong in Copyright status of work by the U.S. government, and the fact that they're discussed there anyway is what's confusing because they belong, rather, in Copyright status of work by U.S. subnational governments It's that simple. Will you admit that Puerto Rico and DC are not part of the U.S. Government, but rather are subnational entities? --Elvey (talk) 02:44, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
To the extent that those arguments make any sense, they justify including information on CA and FL more than DC and PR, as I've said before. As I've said, California and Florida are part of the U.S., so someone interested in the copyright status of work by the U.S. government may wish to know about them. The article includes no information but a pointer, although these states are far far more populous / influential.
A reader may wish to know about territories such as Puerto Rico or DC can read the other article; it's relatively minor info, AND doesn't belong, here based on the name of this article. The the other article addresses all that, about DC and PR too. The other article also says that unorganized territories are treated as USG works (at least by the Copyright Office); but organized territories such as Puerto Rico are treated as independent of the USG…
Your insistence that the DC and PR info belongs in both articles AND that the CA and FL info flies in the face of these arguments. --Elvey (talk) 02:39, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree that the governments of Puerto Rico and DC are not part of the U.S. government for purposes of the section 105 exclusion of US government works for purposes of copyright. (They are not states, and there may be some intertwining of governmental functions in other areas; I'm not expressing any comment on that.) But that does not mean that the scope of the exclusion should not be made clear. It's made clear with respect to states in the opening sentence, and states aren't USG for 105 purposes, either.
It is worth including because it clarifies the scope of the exclusion.
The exclusion of US government works from copyright protection is an actual exclusion from the subject matter of copyright; This is a completely different question than what a particular state opts to do with its own copyrights, which is the subject of your other article, which I intend to stay clear of. TJRC (talk) 09:53, 18 August 2013 (UTC)
This article is (obviously) about Copyright status of work by the U.S. government. IMO, details of the copyright status of work NOT by the U.S. government that is covered in the appropriate article on subnational entities don't belong HERE. Will you admit that the other article provides well-cited and accurate information on the copyright status of work by the governments of Puerto Rico and DC? --Elvey (talk) 15:18, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
Hello? TJRC (talk · contribs) You have time to complain today that I "will not enter into a civil discussion", but you won't reply to the above? Who is it who "will not engage in a civil discussion" again? Fine, I'll put back my content. --Elvey (talk) 01:00, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
First: stop with the inflammatory language. I'm sick of "accused" and "do you admit." Start behaving civilly. Are you reading nothing in the AN/I?
Second, the fact that I do not leap to respond to you and invite more of your abuse and invective in no way indicates that your edits are correct or justified. Believe it or not, editors have more going on in their lives than responding to petulant incivil people like you. Given the choice between helping my six-year-old with her piano lessons, or dealing with you, believe me, it's no contest. You have no priority in my life.
Third, your preferred text has been reverted by two other editors, Prosfilaes (talk · contribs) and myself. Your lone-wolf version in no way represents a consensus.
Finally, the content of the other article is immaterial to the content here. This article is about the exclusion of works of the United States government from the subject matter of copyright, including the limits, qualifications and definitions of that. The issue of whether DC, PR and individual states' governments are within the scope of that limit is within the scope of that topic. That's why the Copyright Office and other authorities deal with it in those discussions. However, once that issue is dealt with, and it is made clear that those governments are not within those limits, further discussion of those government works is not material. In sum whether such works are within the scope of the limitation is within the scope of a discussion of the limitation. TJRC (talk) 02:50, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't know where to begin. For now, what is your problem with this edit? Also, please just answer the question I asked nicely : Will you admit that the other article provides well-cited and accurate information on the copyright status of work by the governments of Puerto Rico and DC? --Elvey (talk) 03:18, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Your argument above is perverse. You define this article to be "about the exclusion of works of the United States government from the subject matter of copyright, including the limits, qualifications and definitions of that." But that's just YOUR definition. As I've said before, that's not what the title says, but here you are again, ignoring the title and presenting your notions of what the article is about as fact, and using those notions to justify the inclusions and exclusions you prefer. You've defined the article subject in a way that makes your boundaries valid, but that's perverse because you don't get do do that defining for anyone but yourself, doing more would be OR. You act as if your definition is the only valid one. --Elvey (talk) 10:09, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If you look at the text of the article from its inception, you'll see that that has always been its focus. It's had some oddities in there, like the heraldry stuff, but it's pretty much always been about the doctrine that works of the U.S. government are ineligible for copyright.

The title of the article does not determine its contents; it's the other way around. Arguably, the title here is slightly misdescriptive. The label Congress used for this subject is "Subject matter of copyright: United States Government works," but that's cumbersome and not very clear to non-specialists who might not know what "subject matter" means in a legislative sense. The Joyce textbook (Joyce, Leaffler, Jaszi, Ochoa & Carroll, Copyright Law, 9th edition) uses just "U.S. Government Works" as a section name (in a chapter entitled "Prerequisites for Copyright Protection"). Nimmer's treatise uses "Works of the United States Government" (in the chapter "Copyright Entitlement").

As far as I know, every significant copyright authority treats it this way. I've mentioned Nimmer and Joyce already; they each treat it this way. I don't have a copy of or access to the Goldstein treatise, but looking on the excerpt provided on Google books, it looks like he does as well. And, you've seen the Compendium II treatment. (A couple I looked at have no substantial discussion: I was surprised to see Marshall Leaffer's book Understanding Copyright Law barely discusses it, with only a one-line footnote. The Nimmer/Marcus/Meyers/Nimmer textbook (Cases and Materials on Copyright; as distinguished from the Nimmers' treatise) appears not to discuss it at all.)

Just to go back to the basics, do you realize that, other than one (well, possibly 2 or 3, depending on what you count) minor exception, states do not have the authority to enact copyright laws? That factor makes the pronouncements of the federal government and the states (or other subnational governments) very different in character. The federal rule is a matter of copyright law; it takes the universe of things that are actually subject to copyright in the United States, and slices works of the US government out of that. It removes US government works from the sphere of works that are copyrightable (I don't like using that word, because it really isn't meaningful post-1978, but it's convenient shorthand). In contrast, a state is completely without power to determine what is and is not copyrightable; the only power it has is to determine what it will do with the copyrights that it is entitled to assert.

On the question of whether the other article discusses Puerto Rico and DC; yes, it seems to. But again, that has no impact on the content of this article. Given that this article is about copyright status of works of the U.S. government, it remains material to this article because it addresses the question "what constitutes a work of the U.S. government such that it falls within the prohibition that is the topic of this article?" TJRC (talk) 01:03, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

As the title of the article is not consistent with your theories as to what this article is about, they just aren't terribly relevant, but feel free to come up with and seek consensus for a title change that makes the US' abandonment of its copyrights under international copyright law on topic, but ,US states' abandonment of their copyrights under US copyright law off topic. How about you answer the questions I asked of you that remain unanswered that I've just tagged with with a cross ('†')? These are questions that you deleted several times. As they're now undeleted, and bottom-posted, as per your insistence, I think it behooves you to answer them. Later, we can, "go back to the basics" as you suggest - and "include something (with appropriate sources) to the effect that many states waive some or all of their rights under copyright law," as you also suggest. --Elvey (talk) 15:40, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
I'll address the question that pertains to improvement of the article: "How 'bout we include the links ( organized , unorganized territory )?†" That's a good suggestion; let's go for it.
Any other suggestions, or can we remove the hatnote now? TJRC (talk) 23:44, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
If you're not going to discuss things, then don't don't revert; to do do is to edit war. Specifically: I edited, adding the comment,
Per TJRC's TP suggestion that we "include something (with appropriate sources) to the effect that many states waive some or all of their rights under copyright law."
I edited per your suggestion. And yet: Your response was (diff):
Reverted to revision 569514616 by TJRC: Revert to the version approved by two editors; Elvey is the lone wolf here. (TW)
A reminder: WP:!VOTE says, "[!VOTE] serves as a cute little reminder that it is "not the vote" that matters, but the reasoning behind the !vote that is important."
Should I not take you on your word when you suggested we "include something (with appropriate sources) to the effect that many states waive some or all of their rights under copyright law" - - then what?--Elvey (talk) 21:49, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Oh, my goodness. I responded to your suggestion "How 'bout we include the links ( organized , unorganized territory )?†" That that was a good idea, go ahead and make that edit.
I did not say or imply to go ahead and make all your other edits inserting unrelated stuff about works that are not works of the US government and to delete the sourced material already there. Prosfilaes and I have each objected to this. You are the only one trying to shove your pet material from Copyright status of work by U.S. subnational governments into this article. Please stop it. You have no consensus to so so.
As I said, your good idea is to link Organized incorporated territories and unorganized territory. That's a good edit (in fact the second part is already in there). TJRC (talk) 22:27, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
I hope that a third party will let us know if I've been telling the truth when I've said that you've said that it's fine if I "include something (with appropriate sources) to the effect that many states waive some or all of their rights under copyright law", or if you were telling the truth when you say you didn't! There's a diff to the relevant edit at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/Edit_warring&oldid=573851388#User:TJRC_reported_by_User:Elvey_.28Result:_.29 Do you still deny saying it, even now that there's a diff for you to look at, that shows you said it?
Since you keep reverting my edits even after agreeing to such edits, I'm not going to add the organized, unorganized territory as I expect it would end up opening yet another front in the current edit war. Please add them yourself. Thus far, it appears that your ownership of the article is such that no wording that I can come up with is acceptable to you, and that your response to whatever wording I contribute is to revert, instead of refactor/improve. Suggested reading: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?RefactoringWikiPages --Elvey (talk) 01:50, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Hatnote[edit]

Can we please have a hatnote on this article directing interested readers to Wikipedia's rules about copying from sources published by the US federal government. I'm trying to look for it but this article is as close as I've got so far... Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 16:48, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

I've added the most relevant link I could find. Addendum: Actually, there's already in link in the See also (WP:PDOMG) that seems to be related to this. I've added it to the hatnote as well. — Reatlas (talk) 13:21, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

WARNING[edit]

WARNING: this page may be missing content. TJRC has repeatedly deleted my comments from the page: diff, then diff, then diff and later diff. I've restored them, as he's not undoing a TPO violation by deleting my comments. LOOK AT THE EDITS HE MADE. THEY'RE NOT REMOVING ANY SORT OF INTERRUPTION! TJRC refused to fix the mess he created, so I have done so, by restoring the comments he and I have made since then, without deleting my comments. --Elvey (talk) 19:39, 16 August 2013 (UTC) (updated with add'l and later diffs: 17:37, 25 September 2013 (UTC))

For the last round of reverts, it would help if you didn't add commented-out comments to the page, as that breaks the basic goal of being able to read the talk page without having to go into edit mode. When there's energetic disagreement, being willfully unclear is not helpful at all.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:52, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
I hear you accusing me of being willfully unclear… is that your intent? Are you saying that TJRC's umpteen and at times surreptitious removals of my comments were somehow acceptable? Both of you seem incapable of admitting to your mistakes. --Elvey (talk) 05:14, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, adding comments that only appear when you read the page source is being willfully unclear. Given that you've deleted his comments a number of times, you don't exactly have clean hands here.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:23, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
At least you see that TJRC's umpteen and at times surreptitious removals of my comments were unacceptable. Are you saying that you can provide a diff that shows me performing an edit that involved deleting your/his comments surreptitiously or in violation of policy? I don't believe you can, but feel free to provide evidence to back your accusation of unclean hands. I have no doubt you can provide a diff that shows me performing a revert that involved deleting your/his comments in conformance with policy, however - because the revert was simultaneously restoring my own comments that he had deleted. Besides, I recall you swore off this feud, but here you go again. You have an uncanny ability to fail to see the obvious: the comment you claim to be concerned about and claim was willfully unclear starts off with <!-- Commenting out excess verbiage. If you are trying to equate it to his many deletions, your judgement is severely impaired. --Elvey (talk) 17:37, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Taking the first diff you complain about above and going back one shows you [2], where you deleted an entire section of discussion in your so-called policy-conformant reverts. If it's excess verbiage, then it shouldn't be added to the talk page.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:55, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Great, thanks! You proved me right when I wrote, "I have no doubt you can provide a diff that shows me performing a revert that involved deleting your/his comments in conformance with policy, however - because the revert was simultaneously restoring my own comments that he had deleted." To the extent that you have shown me I should act differently in future or must act differently per policy, I will endeavor to do so. To the extent that you or I have shown TJRC he should act differently in future or must act differently per policy, I have reason to think he will not endeavor to do so. --Elvey (talk) 02:34, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
You deleted an entire section of discussion. I don't care what policy says; you've made it impossible to discuss things with, because you delete whatever you want, when you want, and blame someone else.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:20, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Discussions during Page Protection[edit]

I've just protected the page due to the edit warring. Please discuss the matter here or seek dispute resolution (WP:DR). Mark Arsten (talk) 19:15, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Protection expired - please heed WP:BRD[edit]

Good day,

In order to avoid another round of full protection, editors are reminded to adhere, strictly, to the principle of Bold, Revert, Discuss when editing existing content. For the purpose of clarity, the present revision at the time of this writing should be considered the starting point of a WP:BRD cycle.

Last but not least, this talk page is peppered with comments directed at other editors that serve no editorial purpose. Editors are encouraged to focus on content, not each other, and concentrate on improving the article for the benefit of Wikipedia's readers. MLauba (Talk) 12:32, 2 October 2013 (UTC)