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Wikipedia:Copyright problems

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This page is for listing and discussing possible copyright problems involving text on Wikipedia, including pages which are suspected to be copyright violations. Listings typically remain for at least five days before review and closure by a copyright problems clerk or administrator. During this time, interested contributors are invited to offer feedback about the problem at the relevant talk page, to propose revisions to the material, or to request copyright permission. After the listing period, a copyright problems board clerk or administrator will review the listing and take what further action may be necessary.

Pages listed for copyright review appear in the bottom section of the page. The top includes information for people who have copyright concerns about pages or images, for those whose pages have been tagged for concerns, for community volunteers who'd like to help resolve concerns and for the clerks and administrators who volunteer here.

If you believe a Wikipedia page has infringed on your copyright, please see special note below.
If a page you created has been marked as a copyright problem and you own copyright in the original publication (or have permission from the owner), please see this section.

Handling previously published text on Wikipedia

Under the United States law that governs Wikipedia, copyright is automatically assumed as soon as any content (text or other media) is created in a physical form. An author does not need to apply for or even claim copyright, for a copyright to exist.

Only one of the following allows works to be reused in Wikimedia projects:

A) Explicit Statement. An explicit statement (by the author, or by the holder of the rights to the work) that the material is either:

B) Public Domain. If the work is inherently in the public domain, due to its age, source or lack of originality (such as Copyright-free logos); or

C) Fair Use. United States law allows for fair use of copyrighted content, and (within limits) Wikipedia does as well. Under guidelines for non-free content, brief selections of copyrighted text may be used, but only if clearly marked and with full attribution.

Even if a source is public domain or compatibly licensed, material should be properly attributed in accordance with Wikipedia:Plagiarism. This is not only a matter of respecting local custom. When content is under a license that is compatible with Wikipedia's license, proper attribution may be required. If the terms of the compatible license are not met, use of the content can constitute a violation of copyright even if the license is compatible.

Repeated copyright violations

Contributors who repeatedly post copyrighted material (text or images) may be subject to contributor copyright investigations, to help ensure the removal from the project of all copyrighted material posted in contravention of policy. Contributors who repeatedly post copyrighted material after appropriate warnings will be blocked from editing, to protect the project; see 17 United States Code § 512.

Backwards copying: when Wikipedia had (or may have had) it first

In some instances, it is clear that two pieces of text (one on Wikipedia, and one elsewhere) are copies of each other, but not clear which piece is the original and which is the copy. "Compliant" sites that copy Wikipedia text note that they have done so, but not all of our re-users are compliant.

If you've found such a case, you might first check the discussion page to see if a note has been added to the top of the talk page to allay people's concerns. If not, you can look for clues. Do other pages in the other website copy other Wikipedia articles? Did the content show up on Wikipedia all in once piece, placed by a single editor? If you don't see good evidence that Wikipedia had it first, it's a good idea to bring it up for investigation. You might follow the Instructions for listing below or tag the article {{copy-paste|url=possible source}} so that others can evaluate. If you confirm definitely that the content was on Wikipedia first, please consider adding {{backwardscopy}} to the article's talk page with an explanation of how you know.

If you see an article somewhere else which was copied from Wikipedia without attribution, you might visit the CC-BY-SA compliance page or Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks.

Instructions for listing text-based copyright concerns

Copyright owners: If you believe Wikipedia is infringing your copyright, you may request immediate removal of the copyright violation by emailing us at info-en-c@wikimedia.org. Please provide the address or title of the page, and evidence to show that you are the legitimate copyright holder. Alternatively, you may contact Wikipedia's designated agent under the terms of the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act. You are also welcome to follow the procedures here. See the copyright policy for more information.

Blatant infringement

Pages exhibiting blatant copyright infringements may be speedily deleted if:

  • Content was copied from a source which does not have a license compatible with Wikipedia, and the content was copied from that source to Wikipedia and not the other way around (Wikipedia has numerous mirrors);
  • The page can neither be restored to a previous revision without infringing content, nor would the page be viable if the infringing content were removed.
  • There is no credible assertion of public domain, fair use, or a free license.

To nominate an article for speedy deletion for copyright concerns, add one of these to the page:

Both of these templates will generate a notice that you should give the contributor of the content. This is important to help ensure that they do not continue to add copyrighted content to Wikipedia. An administrator will examine the article and decide whether to delete it or not. You should not blank the page in this instance.

Suspected or complicated infringement

If infringement is not blatant or the speedy deletion criteria do not apply:

  • Remove the infringing text or revert the page to a non-copyrighted version if you can.
    The infringing text will remain in the page history for archival reasons unless the copyright holder asks the Wikimedia Foundation to remove it (unless it is tagged for {{copyvio-revdel}}. Please note the reason for removal in the edit summary and at the article's talk page (you may wish to use {{subst:cclean}}). When possible, please identify and alert the contributor of the material to the problem. The template {{Uw-copyright}} may be used for this purpose.
  • However, if all revisions have copyright problems, the removal of the copyright problem is contested, or reversion/removal is otherwise complicated:
  • Replace the text with one of the following:

    {{subst:copyvio|url=insert URL here}}{{subst:copyvio|identify non-web source here}}

  • Go to today's section and add

    * {{subst:article-cv|PageName}} from [insert URL or identify non-web source here] ~~~~

    to the bottom of the list. Put the page's name in place of "PageName". If you do not have a URL, enter a description of the source. (This text can be copied from the top of the template after substituting it and the page name and url will be filled for you.) If there is not already a page for the day, as yours would be the first listing, please add a header to the top of the page using the page for another date as an example.
  • Advise the contributor of the material at their talk page. The template on the now blanked page supplies a notice you may use for that purpose.

Instructions for special cases

  • Probable copyvios without a known source: If you suspect that a page contains a copyright violation, but you cannot find a source for the violation (so you can't be sure that it's a violation), do not list it here. Instead, place {{cv-unsure|~~~|2=FULL_URL}} on the page's talk page, but replace FULL_URL with the full URL of the page version that you believe contains a violation. (To determine the URL, click on "Permanent link" in the toolbox area, and copy the URL.)
  • Instances where one contributor has verifiably introduced copyright problems into multiple pages or files and assistance is needed in further review: See Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations.

Instructions for handling image copyright concerns

Image copyright concerns are not handled on this board. For images that are clear copyright violations, follow the procedure for speedy deletion; otherwise list at Files for Discussion. To request assistance with contributors who have infringed copyright in multiple articles or files, see Wikipedia:Contributor copyright investigations.

Responding to articles listed for copyright investigation

Copyright owners and people editing on their behalf or with their permission, please see below.

Any contributor is welcome to help investigate articles listed for copyright concerns, although only administrators, copyright problems board clerks, and OTRS team members should remove {{copyvio}} tags and mark listings resolved.

Assistance might include supplying evidence of non-infringement (or, conversely, of infringement) or obtaining and verifying permission of license. You might also help by rewriting problematic articles.

Supplying evidence of non-infringement

Articles are listed for copyright investigation because contributors have reason to suspect they constitute a copyright concern, but not every article listed here is actually a copyright problem. Sometimes, the content was on Wikipedia first. Sometimes, the article is public domain or compatibly licensed and can be easily fixed by supplying attribution (e.g. through a dummy edit). Sometimes, the person who placed it here is the copyright owner of freely-licensed material and this simply needs to be verified.

If you can provide information to prove license or public domain status of the article, please do. It doesn't matter if you do it under the listing for the article on the copyright problems board or on the talk page of the article; a link or a clear explanation can be very helpful when a clerk or administrator evaluates the matter. (As listings are not immediately addressed on the board, it may take a few days after you make your note before a response is provided.)

If the article is tagged for {{copyvio}}, you should allow an administrator or copyright problems clerk to remove the tag. If the article is tagged for {{copy-paste}} or {{close paraphrasing}}, you may remove the tag from the article when the problem is addressed (or disproven), but please do not close the listing on the copyright problems board itself.

Obtaining/verifying permission

Sometimes material was placed on Wikipedia with the permission of the copyright owner. Sometimes copyright owners are willing to give permission (and proper license!) even if it was not.

Any contributor can write to the owner of copyright and check whether they gave or will give permission (or maybe they in fact posted it here!). See Wikipedia:Example requests for permission. In either case, unless a statement authorizing the material under compatible license is placed online at the point of original publication, permission will need to be confirmed through e-mail to the Wikimedia Foundation. See Wikipedia:Confirmation of permission. If a compatible license is placed online at the point of original publication, please provide a link to that under the listing for the article on the copyright problems board or on the talk page of the article.

Please note that it may take a few days for letters to clear once they are sent. Do not worry if the content is deleted prematurely; it can be restored at any point usable permission is logged.

Rewriting content

Any contributor may rewrite articles that are or seem to be copyight problems to exclude duplicated or closely paraphrased text. When articles or sections of articles are blanked as copyright problems, this is done on a temporary page at Talk:PAGENAME/Temp so that the new material can be copied over the old. (The template blanking the article will link to the specific temporary page.)

Please do not copy over the version of the article that is a copyright problem as your base. All copied content, or material derived from it, should be removed first. Other content from the article can be used, if there is no reason to believe that it may be a copyright issue as well. It is often a good idea - and essential when the content is copied from an inaccessible source such as a book - to locate the point where the material entered the article and eliminate all text added by that contributor. This will help avoid inadvertently continuing the copyright issues in your rewrite. If you use any text at all from the earlier version of the article, please leave a note at the talk page of the article to alert the administrator or clerk who addresses the listing. The history of the old article will then have to be retained. (If the original turns out to be non-infringing, the two versions of the article can be merged.)

Rewrites can be done directly in articles that have been tagged for {{close paraphrasing}} and {{copy-paste}}, with those tags removed after the rewrite is complete.

Please review Wikipedia:Copy-paste and the linked guidelines and policies within it if necessary to review Wikipedia's practices for handling non-free text. Reviewing Wikipedia:Plagiarism is also helpful, particularly where content is compatibly licensed or public domain. Repairing these issues can sometimes be as simple as supplying proper attribution.

Copyright owners who submitted their own work to Wikipedia (or people editing on their behalf)

If you submitted work to Wikipedia which you had previously published and your submission was marked as a potential infringement of copyright, then stating on the article's talk page that you are the copyright holder of the work (or acting as his or her agent), while not likely to prevent deletion, helps. To completely resolve copyright concerns, it is sufficient to either:

See also Wikipedia:Donating copyrighted materials.

Please note that it may take a bit of time for letters and e-mails to clear once they are sent. Do not worry if the content is deleted prematurely; it can be restored at any point usable permission is logged. Your e-mail will receive a response whether the permission is usable or not. If you have not received a response to your letter within two weeks, it is a good idea to follow up.

One other factor you should consider, however, is that content that has been previously published elsewhere may not meet Wikipedia's specific guidelines and policies. If you are not familiar with these policies and guidelines, please review especially the core policies that govern the project. This may help prepare you to deal with any other issues with the text that may arise.

Should you choose to rewrite the content rather than release it under the requisite license, please see above.

Information about the people who process copyright problems listed on the board

Copyright problems board clerks

For a more complete description of clerks and their duties, as well as a list of active clerks, please see Wikipedia:Copyright problems/Clerks.

Copyright problems board clerks are experienced editors on Wikipedia who have demonstrated familiarity with Wikipedia's approach to non-free text and its processes for dealing with them. They are trusted to evaluate and close listings, although their closures may sometimes require completion by administrators, when use of administrative tools is required. Clerks are periodically reviewed by the administrators who work in copyright areas on Wikipedia.

Copyright problems board administrators

For a more complete description of administrators on Wikipedia, please see Wikipedia:Administrators.

Any administrator may work the copyright problems board. Working the copyright problems board may involve evaluating listings personally or using tools as necessary to complete closures by clerks. Clerks have been evaluated in their work, and their recommendations may be implemented without double-checking, although any administrator is welcome to review recommendations and discuss them with the clerks in question.

Closing listings

Pages should stay listed for a minimum of 5 days before they are checked and processed by copyright problems board clerks, 7 days before they are checked or processed by administrators, who close the daily listings. OTRS agents who verify images may close listings at any time.

For advice for resolving listings, see:

The templates collected at Template:CPC may be useful for administrators, clerks and OTRS agents noting resolution.

Listings of possible copyright problems

Very old issues

From Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2015 October 25:

  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. Yikes, Justlettersandnumbers! Do we still need to spot-check other edits? That one was pretty bad. If I had known how widespread it was, I might have stubbed it to begin with. :( I thinkI got it all. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 02:09, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
Moonriddengirl, I haven't looked at this recently. But the quick off-the-top-of-my-head reply from what I recall is "yes, definitely". I'll try to dig a bit later today. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 09:02, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Justlettersandnumbers, I've found copy-pasting in Ethnicity (album). That was an unsourced copy-paste, so we have plagiarism going on here as well. That means, sadly, that we can't rely on this user to identify where he copied his content from. :( I don't have time to look through it at the moment, but there's definitely copy-pasting in this edit (and close paraphrase) at least from [1] (the epiphany line and subsequent.) We may be heading towards a CCI here. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 12:32, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2015 November 28:

  • Psychonaut, I'm not managing to access that page, either directly or via archive.org. Can you provide a different link? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 14:46, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
  • [2]. That particular section was removed, though there is possibly more to be concerned about. MER-C 12:18, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2016 January 13:

  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. Revdelete request added for admin attention. As Trey Maturin has said, the editor wasn't notified; but he/she has been indeffed since 2012, so I don't think that matters. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 18:58, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
  • This editor, Barbara Osgood, may need looking at more carefully. She has text-copyvio warnings going back to 2008 (from Moonriddengirl) and 2011 (from Shirt58), and appears to have copied publisher's blurbs (or descriptions from Amazon or somewhere) as plot summaries in several articles, including the one above and The Killing Doll, partly from the book itself. I'm having some trouble seeing whether there's enough to justify a CCI request. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 18:58, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2016 May 20:

Looks as if there may be around 234 articles to be checked, Doc James. If you've already identified about five instances of infringement, the next step could be a WP:CCI request. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 22:28, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
User says they will rewrit [3] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:01, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

Older than 7 days

Below are articles that have been listed here for longer than 7 days. At this point, they may be processed by any administrator (see WP:CPAA). When every ticket on a day is clear, the day may be removed.

14 November 2016

  • Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children (history · last edit · rewrite) The majority of the article seems to be ripped word for word (or close to it) from the hospital's website. The last version of the article without these issues had other issues like not having enough sources or being a stub. I have tagged the article with the ad template, the cleanup-rewrite template, and the copypaste template. Elisfkc (talk) 18:28, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

4 December 2016

  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. Revdelete request added for admin attention. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 10:28, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Out of date clock icon.svg User was not notified, relisting under today's entry. --— Diannaa 🍁 (talk) 22:49, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. --— Diannaa 🍁 (talk) 00:50, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

23 February 2017

@Justlettersandnumbers: Thanks for your work on dealing with the copyright issues on the article. Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 18:07, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting wait red.svg Article cleaned, still needs a history purge to remove original copyvio. --Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 18:07, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
There is definitely a lot of content in common here with that source but I'm not sure which order the copying occurred in. The source seems to date from September 2010 according to the retrieval dates on the links in the footnotes, at the time the article looked like this and contained a lot of the common material. Some of it goes back to 2006. As the link looks like a student university project it wouldn't be that surprising if some of it was plagiarised. However there is the possibility that some of the more recent content was copied from that source, or that both the source and the article are copied from somewhere else. Hut 8.5 22:18, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

15 March 2017

19 March 2017

4 April 2017

10 April 2017

  • Pictogram voting wait red.svg Viable rewrite proposed; rewrite on temp page can be used to replace problematic article. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 09:29, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

14 April 2017

  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. Calliopejen1 (talk) 01:28, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

18 April 2017

  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:25, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Nominated for deletion. Let's see how this plays out. Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:51, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

21 April 2017

25 April 2017

Also, a point of order: the text has been removed and reinserted several times over the life of New Orleans Police Department. I've notified the original contributor, but should I notify individually every editor who has reinstated the content at some point? /wiae /tlk 01:02, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. Calliopejen1 (talk) 00:07, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
  • This may have been more a style issue than a copyright issue but removed the quotations nonetheless. Calliopejen1 (talk) 00:07, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. Calliopejen1 (talk) 00:07, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. Calliopejen1 (talk) 23:43, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

28 April 2017

  • Cleaned. Revdel request, if appropriate would be from 576634200 to current. That's going to be near 100 revs going back to 2013, so admin discretion on the RD1. Otherwise close this day. CrowCaw 18:22, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

6 May 2017

12 May 2017

  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. Calliopejen1 (talk) 19:39, 19 May 2017 (UTC)
Murph9000, it's worse than you thought. There's copyvio from this 2006 book (and probably elsewhere too) in the first version, another from here in version 488985645. The whole page needs to be checked, and probably rewritten from scratch. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 08:18, 13 May 2017 (UTC)
@Justlettersandnumbers: Oh, that's not good. I've removed my "article cleaned" tag above, so there's no confusion. I'm glad (in quite a disappointed way) that I listed it here. You never know what will crawl out when you kick over a rock. Thanks. Murph9000 (talk) 08:42, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

14 May 2017

17 May 2017

18 May 2017

19 May 2017

New listings

Notice:If the links below in this section are broken, it's because there are too many unresolved copyright problems, If enough issues are closed, they'll work again. (So help!)
(Above notice per MER-C.)
WARNING! It also means that some reported problems are not on this page!!!

New listings are not added directly to this page but are instead on daily reports. To add a new listing, please go to today's section. Instructions for adding new listings can be found at Instructions for listing text-based copyright concerns. Entries may not be reviewed and are not closed for at least 7 days to give the original authors of the article time to deal with the problem.

Older than 5 days

Below are articles that have been listed here for longer than 5 days. At this point, they may be processed by a copyright problems board clerk. After 7 days, they may be closed by an administrator.

Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2017 May 21

22 May 2017

Recent listings

Below are articles that have been listed here for 5 days or less. Anyone in the community may help clarify the copyright status on these. See the section on responding for more information.

23 May 2017

  • Cleaned the copvio from the given source, rd1 requested. Also found a paragraph that appears to have been copied from [11] which has been added and removed from the article several times, so if RD1 is needed for that, I leave it to them with the tools. CrowCaw 18:07, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

24 May 2017

I have warned the user and requested a revision deletion. Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 18:44, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting wait red.svg Article cleaned, still needs a history purge to remove original copyvio. Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 18:44, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting keep.svg Article cleaned by investigator or others. No remaining infringement. Emir of Wikipedia (talk) 20:16, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2017 May 26 The text of the Summary of Decameron tales is filled with an English that has not been seen in more than 80 years. My guess is that it is a copy and paste from an early 20th century source. Here are some gems from the first 40 summaries:

  • "take his own advantage of her"
  • she "habits herself as a man" .. "then resumes the garb of a woman"
  • "Paganino da Monaco carries off the wife of Messer Ricciardo"
  • "He consents, provided she be willing"
  • "whereby she is induced to go thither, where, thinking to have been with her husband, she discovers that she has tarried with Ricciardo."
  • "rears as his own a boy begotten by the abbot upon his wife.
  • "Gerbino, in breach of the plighted faith of his grandfather, King William, attacks a ship of the King of Tunis to rescue thence his daughter."
  • She "is threatened with violence.. but will not brook it. Her father hears how she is bested; and, her innocence being established, causes her to be set at large; but she, being minded to tarry no longer in the world, becomes a nun."
  • "Coming to wit thereof"

[addition] It seems to be a cut and paste of the daily summaries from the J.M. Rigg translation of 1903. Scarabocchio (talk) 08:07, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

  • @Scarabocchio: Do you have a link online we could reference? If it is from 1903 then it is public domain so all we need to do is attribute it and tag as PD. Thanks, and I find your edit summaries of these to be most accurate. CrowCaw 17:24, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, @Crow:. I googled one of the more bizarre texts and got this. A small portion of my hind-brain worked out that this would be PD ... so likely to remain as-is :-( Magnificent, mayhaps, but the language doth reflect badly upon WP, I am afeared, and will not enter easily into the ear of the base, common and popular reader. Scarabocchio (talk) 18:24, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
The fault, dear Scarabocchio lies quite
upon the page and not its copyright.
And so to there the case be made for change:
for sooth, the reader's mind shalt find it strange. CrowCaw 21:48, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2017 May 28

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Wikipedia's current date is 28 May 2017. Put new article listings in Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2017 May 28. Images should be handled by speedy deletion or Wikipedia:Files for discussion.