Template talk:PD-Poland

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WikiProject Poland (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject icon This template is within the scope of WikiProject Poland, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Poland on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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It should be said, that such photographs are not necessarily public domain. A copyright law stated, that a photograph is a subject of copyright if it has clear copyright notice. Therefeore, if we see, that a photograph was published without a copyright notice - we may assume, that it was not copyrighted (unless it was first published in other place with such a notice). Anyway, it is the copyright holder, who should prove, that a person, who used such photo without a notice, knew it was copyrighted.

Some explanation:

According to the copyright law of Polish People's Republic of July 10, 1952: a photograph is a subject of copyright, if there is a clear copyright notice on the work (Art. 2 §1). There was a similar rule in the previous copyright law of 1926. This rule existed for the works published until 23 May 1994.

According to some court verdicts, general © in a book is enough copyright notice.

The copyright law of 1952 concerned photographs taken by the Polish author, or first published in Poland.

There is a situation possible, when original prints of the photograph had copyright notice, but they were published in some later book without any copyright notice. As a result, somebody who sees them without copyright notice, might not know, that they are copyrighted.
According to the Polish Highest Court verdict (published in OSNC 2003/7-8/110): if there was no copyright notice on later prints, the photograph is still copyrighted, BUT it is the copyright holder to prove, that the person, who used it, had known, that it had been copyrighted. Remember, however, that Court verdicts are not precedent law in Poland, and can only be treated as opinions for future - and note, that this is not a legal law opinion on my side. Pibwl 20:27, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Commons: commons:Template:PD-Polish.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:34, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Dodgy template all the same[edit]

I am willing to go with the various discussions on Polish copyright law, but there is one question which remains unresolved: how do we know that these images were first published without a copyright notice? In short, we don't, and we shouldn't assume it by stating that they are public domain: we shoudl treat all Polish images under the 70 pma rule unless there is proof to the contrary. Physchim62 (talk) 10:45, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

In any case, it is not at all clear that the copyright exemption for images without notices would be sufficient to prevent US copyright restoration under 17 U.S.C. §104A: the restriction at para. (h)(6)(B) applies only to a work which is "in the public domain in its source country through expiration of term of protection" (my italics), not to works which for whatever reason were not copyrighted in the source country (so long as they would have been eligible for US copyright had they been published in the US). Physchim62 (talk) 07:53, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Right, we don't know for sure, if it was first published without a notice. However, as I've said above, we may assume, that if it is copyrighted, it should always go with copyright notice in later publications. Otherwise, if we see such a photo without a notice - we may assume, that this is public domain. And if we use such photo, the copyright holder must prove, that we knew about copyright (that's why a copyrighted photo should have a notice). In practice, I suspect, that at least 90% of Polish photos of that time were not copyrighted - excluding art photography, commercial postcards with landscapes, etc. As far as I know, pre-war photographs are currently freely published by magazines and in books in Poland without any problems. If wee agree, that copyright never existed, then (as I understand) 17 U.S.C. §104A does not apply here, because it didn't expire. However, if copyright existed, there's rather no need to use this article either, because Polish newer copyright laws extended a term of protection to 70 years after death of author.

There is also other interesting issue: according to Polish copyright law, the subject of copyright are "works" (dzieło or utwór). It is explained by law doctrine (and confirmed by at least one Highest Court verdict of 1976), that not all photographs are "works", only those, that have some individual photographer's creative input, not mere recording. Apparently most of photos are simple records of views, without a creative input. However, this may be tricky issue. Unfortunately, there aren't generally many court cases on copyright law published in Poland (what may mean on the other hand, that there are not many problems of this type with old photos). Pibwl ←« 20:06, 13 September 2006 (UTC)


To give some perspective to this discussion, there are less than 200 images in Category:Pre-1994 Poland images. Physchim62 (talk) 10:54, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Is it the intention of this template to have the images deleted after 7 days with no resolution? If not it probably shouldn't place the images in Category:Images with unknown copyright status. - cohesion 06:54, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
I have removed it from this category. Category:Images with unknown copyright status is a deletion queue, not a general category images should go in. If images are in this category for > 7 days that is a criteria for speedy deletion, which I don't think is the intention here. :) - cohesion 19:32, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

What if there was a notice?[edit]

Assuming a photo was published with an unambiguous copyright notice, at what point does it expire? I'm wondering if Image:Wladyslaw Zelenski musician.jpg might be old enough that it's public domain in any event. —Chowbok 01:04, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

A copyright notice has never been necessary for Polish copyright protection; I can't see how this would affect it's current U.S. status either. Physchim62 (talk) 11:50, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Numismatics project[edit]

I just wanted to clarify that this template is in the numismatics project because it is (or could be) used to mark images of Polish currency, and is in Category:Currency copyright tags.


Perhaps this template should be changed to note that it applies to pre-1952 photos (from 1926)? Rationale: According to the Art.3 of copyright law of March 29, 1926 (valid until 1952) and Art. 2 of copyright law of July 10, 1952 of the People's Republic of Poland, all photographs by Polish photographers (or published for the first time in Poland or simultaneously in Poland and abroad) printed without a clear copyright notice before the law was changed on May 23, 1994 are public domain. Status of those photographs did not change after Polish Copyright Law of February 4, 1994 was enacted.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 08:01, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

In commons:Template:PD-Polish the 1926 copyright act is mentioned. This templated was discussed there and went through deletion request; I suppose we can simply put commons version here. A.J. (talk) 07:48, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

"Only if they were aware that copyright had not yet expired"[edit]

Although what is said about Art 2 sec 2 of the 1952 law is correct as far as it goes, it should be noted that sec 3 makes things less clear:

In the absence of a visible date of copyright on the work, as referred to in sections 1 and 2, a finding may only be made against third parties if they were aware that copyright had not yet expired. (my translation)

In other words, it seems that you are not entitled to publish a photograph if you know that it must date from a time which means it is still in copyright (eg because it is of a particular event or is in any way datable by its content or context). -- (talk) 20:22, 31 January 2009 (UTC)


Please see the discussion here. In particular, I think that this template may need rewarding, as nowhere in the source documents I can find a rationale to support the word "published". It seems to me that even unpublished photographs are affected by this template. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk to me 22:15, 20 February 2012 (UTC)