Wikipedia talk:Copyrights/Archive 4

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Photos from concerts which ban photo-ing...

(William M. Connolley 09:20, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)) If I take pictures at a concert which bans (in the programme, say) photos of the artists but clearly takes no action to enforce this; am I then able to release those pictures under GFDL for use in wikipedia?

I would say: Public place, yes, private, no. Brianjd 11:52, 2004 Dec 23 (UTC)

syntax amelioration :)

In the "Image guidelines" section, it currently says:

Image description pages can be tagged with a special tag to indicate the legal status of the images, as described at wikipedia:image copyright tags. It is unclear what should happen if different images have been uploaded with different copyright statuses.

Can I suggest we change that to read:

Image description pages can be tagged with a special tag to indicate the legal status of the images, as described at wikipedia:image copyright tags. It is currently unclear what should happen in cases where the same image got uploaded more than once with different respective copyright statements.

The meaning — as I understand it — would thus remain identical, but it would hopefully be slightly clearer. Ropers 20:10, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I agree, and have made this change. --Slowking Man 06:17, Jan 2, 2005 (UTC)


Why is the word libre included in the text after "free" in the fair use section. We don't carry translations of other words and there is nothing underneath the link or in the text to imply any special legal significance of the word? --BozMo|talk 10:05, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

It's a clarification of free (as in speech) as against free (as in beer). PhilHibbs 10:17, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Surely it should be liber, not libre.  :) — Helpful Dave 10:45, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

2004 Summer Olympics

There appear to be a number of images on pages relating to this years games that have been lifted directly from the official Athens 2004 website [1]. On reading their Media Guidelines & Contact Information it appears that we may be breaching their re-production guidelines.

Images that we may have problems with:

Scraggy4 23:18, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Bad example

There is no Foo page, just a redirect. Please would a sysop replace

This article is licensed under the <a href="">GNU Free Documentation License</a>. It uses material from the <a href="">Wikipedia article "Foo"</a>.

("Foo" and the Wikipedia URL must of course be changed to match the article you are using.) For other acceptable notice formats, and more information on your rights and responsibilities under our copyright license, read on.


This article is licensed under the <a href="">GNU Free Documentation License</a>. It uses material from the <a href="">Wikipedia article "Su Pollard"</a>.

("Su Pollard" and the Wikipedia URL must of course be changed to match the article you are using.) For other acceptable notice formats, and more information on your rights and responsibilities under our copyright license, read on.

Cheers. Dmn / Դմն 11:31, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I've replaced Foo with Metasyntactic variable since that what it redirects to. Angela. 16:25, Aug 27, 2004 (UTC)
Poor poor Su Pollard. Why does she deserve this treatment? [[User:Dmn|Dmn / Դմն ]] 23:43, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Using GNU GPL content in Wikipedia

Does anyone know if GNU GPL text is compatible with the GNU FDL? Any requirements? Reason I'm asking is that I'd like to include some documentation licensed under the GNU GPL. --Dittaeva 18:34, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)

From "For instance, anyone publishing the book on paper would have to either include machine-readable "source code" of the book along with each printed copy, or provide a written offer to send the "source code" later."
So, I'd say sadly no. Can you contact the copyright owner and ask them to dual-licence it? PhilHibbs 19:21, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The GFDL has the same machine-readable requirement. And we provide exactly that. →Raul654 19:26, Aug 19, 2004 (UTC)
It's odd, then, that the FSF should list that as a reason not to use GPL for documentation. PhilHibbs 19:31, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
On reading and comparing the GPL and the GFDL, the difference seems to me to be that the requirements for the transparent copy are not as stringent as for the source code. Source code should be the "preferred form for modification", where as a transparent copy can be plain text, HTML, LaTeX, PostScript, etc. So, while Wikimedia might conform to the GPL by providing the database source, I could publish printed Wikipedias with an HTML snapshot of the wiki available online. If there were GPL text mixed in, then I would not be able to exercise my rights under the FDL to do this. So, if we include any GPL content, we might as well have chosen the GPL with all its extra lawyerly goodness all along. Professing to be GFDL would be disingenuous. PhilHibbs 19:42, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I discussed this with Anthony before (you might want to ask him about this) - he was advocating the use of the GPL for text documents. In my opinion, the big problem with GPL'd docuements is interpretation - interpreting the GPL for a text document instead of a program is mighty difficult. →Raul654 19:40, Aug 19, 2004 (UTC)
OK, I can accept that for plain text, the GPL and GFDL could well be identical. However, inclusion of GPL'd PostScript documentation wouldcould require provision of PostScript source for that document. PhilHibbs 19:44, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
No, that's blatantly not true. The GPL and GFDL both say that the machine readable version should be provided in the form that the human works with (or something to that effect) - so in the case of a program, you have to provide the source code and not the binary. In the case of wikipedia, that means we have to provide the wiki-markup, not the postscript. →Raul654 19:50, Aug 19, 2004 (UTC)
I don't think anything to do with the GPL could be described as blatant except that it's blatantly difficult to fully understand! :-( You may be right, but I can only conclude from the FAQ quote that the FSF consider this to be a problem with the GPL that users of the GFDL would wish to avoid. PhilHibbs 19:53, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Text should almost never be licensed under the GPL, and the GNU website says so. Contact your source and explain this to them, and hopefully they can be persuaded to change their licensing. Derrick Coetzee 20:13, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
As an aside, there is other GPL material already in the Wikipedia such as Image:Smiley.png - what's the official policy on inclusion of GPL material? PhilHibbs 20:17, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Images are different, because it's the position of Jimbo that images don't have to be GFDL compatible. anthony (see warning) 00:40, 22 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Thanks for the enlightening discussion. I was thinking about a file describing USE flags in Gentoo Linux, its probably GPL because its in their CVS, and I don't think they will prioritize to change it GFDL anytime soon, but I probably wont find any good use for it here either. I was thinking (now) about something like List over USE flags in Gentoo Linux. But there are probably many much more useful GPL resources out there. --Dittaeva 22:01, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)

IMHO, it all hangs on the difference between "the preferred form ... for making modifications" (GPL) and "a machine-readable copy" (GFDL). With plain text, there is no difference. With images, again, not a problem if you distribute the original image format (conversion from .bmp to .jpeg would not be suitable for GPL, IMO, but from .bmp to .png would). One could interpret the GPL wording as permitting conversion to an equivalently-modifiable form, but anything that decreases modifiability (such as converting wordprocessor documents to plain text or HTML) would be problematic. PhilHibbs 09:46, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I would think that including the source code of a program in a GFDL text would count as providing the source. The problem is that the GPL requires derivative works to be released under the GPL. The only way I could see this being legitimate is if you consider the text to be "mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of a storage or distribution medium". If you keep the text clearly separated from the rest of the article, this might be OK. anthony (see warning) 00:38, 22 Aug 2004 (UTC)

(--Francis Schonken 23:37, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC):) I suppose this discussion above was a bit more complex than it needed to be:

  • What is the difference between "GPL" and "GFDL"?
GPL can only be applied to a work for which the distinction between (1) a form of the work that is interpreted by a machine, and (2) a form of the work that is interpreted & worked on by people, is not void of meaning. Since GPL was written with software in mind, GPL can not be applied to other works than "software", unless both the equivalents of the "machine readable" and the "human readable" forms are defined (e.g. for HTML code, which is mark-up code and stricktly speaking not software, it will depend on the case and the given definition whether it is the "human readable" form of the work -e.g. for a web developer- or the "machine readable" form -e.g. for my granny who is only able to click in a browser window and type in text boxes, and leaves the interpretation of the HTML to the browser software). For GFDL the case is simpler, except that it is entirely unpractical for copylefting software (and also was never intended for software): GFDL uses the book metaphore: one has a text, and possibly some images and lay-out, preferably in an electronic format that is modifiable by any common text processor, but if not, there are still Xerox copiers, scanners, OCR, and what more, to start making an extra copy or a derived work. So there is no real issue of two mechanically different "forms" of a work for GFDL (and that is why it cannot really be used for software as such)
  • Is everyone allowed to write documentation of GPL-ed software, and if so under what licence should that documentation be published?
Yes, anyone can compose documentation of GPL-ed software, and can publish it. The licence for that documentation should be GFDL, even if citing extensively from the software, regardless if these citations are exlusively source code or exclusively binary code or both, or whatever. Note that this was exactly the reason why the GFDL licence was created: FSF came to realise they couldn't publish documentation of GPL software, even if that documentation was only an extract of the comment lines of the software, while this documentation could not be defined as software, and so could not be GPL-ed.
  • Hey, is this not in blatant contradiction with the GPL license that says that any derived work (so also the documentation, because that is a derived work) should be published under GPL?
No, there is no contradiction, but that rather derives from general philosophy of copyright law, under which both GPL and GFDL operate, than from what can be read in the license texts only (don't forget that these license texts both are a specific implementation of copyright law): citing from a copyrighted work in an effort to document it, and when citing your sources, is generally considered "fair use", unless when intending to circumvent copyrights (circumventing would be e.g. publishing the source code of a not yet published plug-in to copylefted software, without publishing the binaries; or publishing backwards-engineered source code of traditionally copyrighted software). For GPL-ed software there is generally less a problem than for traditionally copyrighted software, because extended citations of source code, or extended illustrations of the graphics used in a program, etc, are even less a threat to the copyright holders, when published under GFDL, than when a publisher publishes a manual like e.g. "Windows for dummies" under a traditional license.

So, summarizing: for Dittaeva there is no impendiment whatsoever to start documenting and publishing examples of Gentoo USE flags under GFDL, and if it is of general importance, publish it in Wikipedia (and if not: publish it in one of Wikipedia's sister projects).

Just discovered this one: m:Avoid Copyright Paranoia: what I described above is another implementation of the principles described on that "meta" page. --Francis Schonken 15:44, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)


PS: while for once in a while the topics treated below are not about what can go "in" Wikipedia exclusively, but on other important topics that relate to copyright too, I copy-paste this to: Wikipedia talk:Copyrights and Warranty Disclaimers (proposal), and propose to continue the discussion there. --Francis Schonken 15:52, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Do I misunderstand the GFDL? I thought that the GFDL requires attribution to the author(s). Afaik, Wikipedia caters for this by having the history function. However, are not all copy&paste edits (copy from one article and paste in another) violations if the original author/article is not mentioned? Also, I've come across a number of images stating from German Wikipedia as source. This is probably true, but should there not be a link (and credit to the contributor), too?

I there a project working on image licensing? (tough on images ;-) I mean making sure images are tagged accordingly or removed? (BTW, what do you think about this source: Image:Michel-foucault.jpg?)

Summa summarum, should we not take licensing a bit more serious? Kokiri 21:25, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)

This is a matter of some concern to me also. The issue of other encyclopaedias "grabbing" WP content is also pertinant. They shouldn't be allowed - WP "knows" who its contributors are, and has histories, these others do not. Bah! People getting confused between "copyleft" and "copyabsent". Sue them all I say :o) zoney  talk 00:47, 21 Aug 2004 (UTC)

If they link to the wikipedia article, the edit history there. So no problem. As for images - I do think people should put a link in to the image description page on the other wiki [[User:Theresa knott|Theresa Knott Sig.gif]] 01:12, 21 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Yes, we should advertise this to make wikipedians more aware of the need of attribution. It is therefore also important to remember to use the edit summary to attribute to someone else when copy-pasting, for example by writing "merged from Wikipedia:Village tap" when doing a merge, using the links-in-summary feature. [[User:Sverdrup|Sverdrup❞]] 17:27, 21 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The history information isn't exported in the cur dump, so it's really hard to get the information without downloading and parsing a multi-gig file. If Wikipedia wants individual authors credited, they should make this information more readily available. anthony (see warning) 00:28, 22 Aug 2004 (UTC)

It does look like copying and pasting anything that is not solely one author's contribution is against the GFDL. If you export the history that should be fine, and you don't need to link to wikipedia, likewise manually attributing to the authors in the history would be ok. If, however, you copied a chunk of text from one article to another within Wikipedia, and failed to attribute it to it's author (or its constituent parts to the relevant authors) that would be a violation.

(--Francis Schonken 21:51, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC):) I just re-read the opening paragraph of Wikipedia:copyrights, and found this as the third sentence:

Wikipedia content can be copied, modified, and redistributed so long as the new version grants the same freedoms to others and acknowledges the authors of the Wikipedia article used (a direct link back to the article satisfies our author credit requirement)

I want to focus on the last part of this sentence (the part I put in bold), because I have some questions about it (and this is the only discussion I found that relates to some of these questions I have myself):

  1. It's not only about author credit, but also about wikipedia contributors/authors being copyright holders, in the sense of how GFDL becomes "legal" by using copyright law and its terminology, am I right?
  2. Presently, the wikipedia:copyrights page gives clear instructions regarding what people have to do when they want to use content from wikipedia articles. As a GFDL requirement, and for whatever just reason that is imaginable, these same people ought to be able to find back any author that contributed to the article (unless the author deliberately obfuscated his name by using an intracable nick, or a TCP-IP number that happens to be non-traceable). From the examples given above, and from personal experience that includes some more "cases" than what is mentioned above in this section, this seems not always to be possible: what can be done about that? Anyway, I'm willing to put my energy in this when someone has clues how this issue can be tackled!
  3. Presently it is Wikipedia policy that someone wanting to re-use wikipedia content only has to mention "Wikipedia" as source (besides all other obligations following from GFDL). Being a fervent wikipedian myself, I can nonetheless only agree with no individual authors needing to be mentioned (which they should if GFDL is applied in all its severity), when the list of authors of that content is only one (or maximum two, say in extremis three) clicks away when opening the wikipedia URL that is prescribed for the copyright notice in that derived work and if wikipedia web-usability is such that people with few Wikipedia experience immediately find where to click to find that list. Presently this appears to be all but true. What I propose is that a section "Copyright holders" would be added to the Wikipedia:copyrights page that in brief, but unambiguously clear & understandable terms, explains how lists of contributors can be retrieved. Is it OK that I start writing such paragraph on that page?
  4. Is there a list of all Wikipedia contributors? Maybe there is, but I didn't find it yet? Can someone help me on this one? -- (End of this intervention)

I may add a very concrete suggestion about this problem of authorship attribution ; I have been looking at the question today concerning Wikipedia clones (I posted comments on Wikipedia_talk:Mirrors_and_forks, see under "GFDL compliance and author listing"). Indeed I am among the minority who think that Wikimedia Foundation does not do enough to respect paragraph 4B of the GPDL. Looking throughout clones, I saw that one and only one of them, that is (example page at ) had the excellent idea to link to the history page on the wikipedia with a text clarifying clearly the meaning of the nick list that is to be found there : The list of all authors is available under this link. I would greatly appreciate a similar improvement from the Wikimedia Foundation, that is a sentence appearing on each page pointing clearly to a non-expert reader that the "history" link is the door to the author list. (Indeed my remark applies to every language version and I should have posted it on Wikimedia, but nobody would have read it there...) --French Tourist 17:21, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

How a webpage owner confirms that he gives permission?

How exactly an author of a text copied into wikipedia confirms the permission? (See, e.g., Talk:Florin Popentiu Vladicescu Is it enough?) Mikkalai 00:45, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

That talk page looks rather crappy - for a better example (a non-controversial one at least) see WJRE. Brianjd 09:46, 2004 Dec 29 (UTC)

Copyright on tooth x-ray

I had an x-ray of my teeth a while ago, I need my wisdoms out :(

I was wondering who owns the copyright on the x-ray?

I know the guy who did the x-ray (although i don't know if it was him or a student who pushed the button), so he could give me GFDL permission if he had copyright. The problem is that it was done at a Dental School, so do they have copyright over everything their employees produce?

It's my health information, so I own the 'information' (whatever that is), but the film is owned by the Dent School.

I'd appreciate others thoughts/facts on this T 04:57, 25 Aug 2004 (UTC)

If X-ray photography follows the conventions of other professional photography, the person taking the picture has the copyright unless you agree otherwise with them. I do not know whether this is the case though.

This is an interesting case. UK and European data protection laws say that you have some control over the image, but this is primarly what is *not* done with it, rather than what *is* done with it (for example, the person who took the x-ray couldn't post it on wikipedia without your permission - even if he owns the copyright). I'd contact the dental school and ask them for permission, just to be sure though. Darksun 10:04, 25 Aug 2004 (UTC)

This is a problem of privacy rather than ownership of the image. The doctor cannot publish your photo (x-ray, etc.) without your consent in the same way as he cannot publish your clinical data without your consent. He owns the x-ray in the same way as the person who takes a photo of you owns the negative. Pfortuny 15:55, 25 Aug 2004 (UTC)
If someone takes your photograph, sie owns the (copy)rights to it. In some juristictions, there are limitations to how it can be used, and that is especially true for clinical data, I believe. However, the person who took the photo definitely owns more than the negative. — David Remahl 19:00, 25 Aug 2004 (UTC)

In the U.S., for a work to be protected by copyright, there needs to be some creativity involved. A purely scientific photograph, that simply documents objectively is probably not elligible for copyright protection. Granted, not a lot is required for a work to be considered creative, but putting a piece of film at a fixed position in your mouth and pushing a button is almost certainly not enough. In my opinion, the x-ray is public domain. — David Remahl 19:00, 25 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Imagine this thought experiment. A professional photographer takes your photograph. He owns the copyright. If you step into a photo-me boothe, put your dollar in, and get the photo, who owns it? You, or the company that owns the boothe? I think you do. But what if there is a person opperating the booth - let's say loading the film and making sure you are sqaure to the camera, then pressing the button, in much the same way the X-ray technician does. Who owns it?

I've asked my friend to make a copy for me, and i'll try to get a nice digital photo of it. I think the best bet is to ask the dental school, although I don't think they'll actually care. It's unlikely that they'll ever want to publish my boring x-ray in any other source.

In terms of privacy, I always thought a doctor/dentist/etc could use the photos without my permission, as long as I was not identifiable. It'll be quite cool to have my dental records on wikipedia, just in case i ever go missing. :-) I'll try to get a copy of the post-wisdom teeth removal if i can too. T 05:15, 29 Aug 2004 (UTC)

US Navy History site: how PD are photos?

Although it states that they are PD ,

are these still PD if has e.g. "Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1971"? I want one for smoke-screen. Dunc_Harris| 19:12, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)


I presume that it is ok to make quotations from copyrighted texts, as long as it is clear that it is a quote and a reference given to where it came from? What about long quotes, is there a limit on the length of quotes allowed before it infringes copyright?

This would often come under fair use. There are no fixed rules on how long the text can be, but you should make it clear it is a quote and cite the source. See Wikipedia:fair use for more about this. Angela. 17:18, Sep 12, 2004 (UTC)
Quotations are a well-recognized form of fair use - the Berne convention explicetely reocgnizes it. See Wikipedia:Copyright FAQ. →Raul654 17:22, Sep 12, 2004 (UTC)

Sure, I agree to your concerns. I'll post something in that forum a bit later. Although, my question is because I have about 9 other articles waiting to be posted, all along the same lines. PZFUN 22:08, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Captured Images - Fair Use

My question ist : Can the use of Images captured from TV - possibly in low res - be considered fair use ? The specific case I am talking about is the fact tham I am looking for pictures to counterbalance a questionable impression given by the usage of photos from on the Afghanistan-invasion page and in this case screen captures from for example Al Jazeera would be really handy. I have already tried to get pictures otherwise and even contacted the copyright holder of the publications of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan but the didn't want any of their pictures published on Wikipedia. I am grateful for any tips concerning alternative locations of usable images.


Surely, if these images were captured from a free-to-air broadcast, then their use is fair use. Brianjd 07:41, 2004 Dec 27 (UTC)

GDFL images with significant fair use content

How to label images such as the one on the right which have artistic content, yet a large part of them includes a copyrighted work -- in this case the style of the nose of the train, which I think falls under fair use. Given proper attribution etc and notices, and not using it against the company concerned, this shouldn't be a problem. However, how should they be tagged? Dunc_Harris| 22:39, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Hmm. I thought that pictures of logos displayed in a public place are fair game, BICBW.
James F. (talk) 13:23, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)


I'm just curious why the GFDL was chosen, the pros and cons of it, why other possibilities weren't used, etc. Is there an archived debate on this subject? --Golbez 16:55, Sep 16, 2004 (UTC)

This decision predates Wikipedia going online. See Nupedia for some background. Andrewa 01:22, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Thanks. However, that link, and the Nupedia and Wikipedia link, don't seem to say why GFDL was chosen. That's what I'm curious about. --Golbez 02:29, Sep 17, 2004 (UTC)
Well for one thing, Creative Commons didn't exist at the time, but thats as much as I can say. siroχo
And this probably isn't the best place to ask what the differences between Creative Commons and GFDL are. And it's probably impossible to switch from one to another. --Golbez 03:27, Sep 17, 2004 (UTC)
Difficult, certainly. The point I was making is that the issue probably hasn't arisen. Wikipedia was GFDL from day one. Whether to use the GFDL has no more been an issue than whether to use a Wiki, or whether to use the Internet. I guess you could ask Jimbo why he and Larry were interested in using the GFDL, whether they considered any alternatives and why they settled on the GFDL if so, but that's academic now IMO. It worked. As for the rest of us, the GFDL was a given when we started editing. Andrewa 08:08, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Well, it is an issue for some, and I am pretty sure that the discussion has been had many times, although I don't know where. It would be a major pain to switch over, but would be (at least partly) possible to change if there was enough interest. Probably the drawbacks of the GFDL do not warent the teethpullingly traumatic process of changing. Mark Richards 02:05, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Many of the problems with Wikipedia's use of the GFDL can be seen at Why Wikitravel isn't GFDL. I remember there being some talk of working with the FSF to fix some of the brokenness of the license, but it's been a long time. -- Cyrius| 03:37, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

One thing that we could do, is dual license all new contributions under the creative commons license. This would keep backwards compatability, and, eventually, allow us to move towards a position where much of the content was CC compatible. - see [2] - Mark Richards 03:58, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
That is not a good idea like it might seem to you at first, what you get yourself into that is the situation where derived content from wikipedia cannot be merged back into it.
For example, someone takes article foo on wikipedia and changes it under the GFDL, some wikipedians notice this and decide to merge it in wikipedia again, however the person that changed it did not dual licence it (as is his right, by defenition he can choose which licence if it is dual licenced) and thus the merged content and therefore the entire article from that point forward is only under the GFDL.
Lets say this then happened with another article here, bar, only this time the person modifying it modified it under the CC licence, same thing happens it gets merged back into bar which from that point onward can only be licenced under the CC licence.
We would then have a situation where either we could not merge most of the content that people take from here and change or a situation where we could not copy content between articles on wikipedia. This is of course a bad thing and is why we stay away from the much proposed dual-licence nonesense. -- Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 18:02, 2004 Sep 23 (UTC)

I was one of the people who have proposed that the Wikipedia migrate to Creative Commons. One of the critics mentioned that the CVS that Wikipedia uses isn't fine-tuned enough to nail down exactly who contributed what. So there would be some difficulty in writing a script that decides at what point an article would be free of GFDL-only material. Of course, in theory, a flesh-and-bone person could manually go through the page histories and make the decision themselves. This might work if someone wants to reuse an article in some manner, such as in a CC-based wiki. However, this would too time consuming and the possibilites for mistake are too great for migrating the entire Wikipedia to CC. So, basically, yeah, migrating to CC is possible but very difficult.

I'm a moderator at the LQwiki, which is a Creative Commons based (by-sa variant to be exact) Linux documentation wiki. We'd like to use Wikipedia material, not to mention the gobs of Linux documentation available under the GFDL, but our licensing scheme prevents this. So far, we've been asking the original authors of GFDL material for permission to use it under the CC-by-sa, but this is simply not possible to do with Wikipedia articles - too many editors, too many of them are anons. So I've been following the situation pretty closely. We're thinking of lobbying the FSF ourselves on the issue. Does anybody have any suggestions on the best way to contact them or to argue our point?

In a way, this restriction is good thing. I've been incorporating the public domain Jargon File, and our wiki is small enough that I've been single-handedly causing a Rambot Effect. I'd hate to think what a flood of GFDL material might do. crazyeddie 07:18, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Direct licencing under PD

Hi, if I choose to directly licence text and photos I created under PD, is this possible? Or must anything I write or take be simultaneously licence with the GFDL? --DF08 (English) 17:43, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

All text here is GFDL. Images you can licence under whatever terms you wish, including public domain, despite what the edit war on Special:Upload would have you know otherwise --BesigedB 02:13, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

National Portrait Gallery

see e.g. are claiming copyright on paintings. However, Bridgeman Art Library Ltd. v. Corel Corporation would appear to indicate that they can't do this, atleast not under US copyright law, though UK copyright law might be different. Wikipedia operates under US copyright law, but would those from the UK who copy the work be then breaking copyright or are the NPG talking out of their arses? Dunc| 16:26, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

But then claims that reproduction is allowed if no changes are made. Does this violate the Holy Grail of the GFDL? Dunc| 16:32, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

They're not claiming the copyright on the paintings (which, if old enough, are in the public domain), but on their photographic reproductions of the paintings. The ruling in Bridgeman Art Library Ltd. v. Corel Corporation is explictly based on English law as well as US law, so an English court might come to the same conclusion (i.e., that mechanical reproductions of two-dimensional works of art are not in themselves copyrightable). But as far as I know there have been no test cases in the UK. Template:PD-art is intended to be used for (possibly copyrighted) reproductions of works of art in the public domain. Gdr 18:48, 2004 Oct 20 (UTC)
National Portrait Gallery has to accept the Bridgeman v. Corel decision. Works (photographic reproductions) made by federal employees are not copyrightable in the US. The only legal ground on their website declaration could contract law and thus might be a very dubious one. I would like to suggest to sue NPG. -- 14:47, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Question about external links, website versus webpage

Is it okay to make an external link to a webpage that does not infringe copyright when some other webpages on the same website does break copyright? Thanks in advance. Andries 15:56, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I thought you could make an external link to any webpage; it doesn't matter whether or how that webpage breaks the law. Brianjd 07:34, 2004 Dec 27 (UTC)

Translation of Wikipedia articles

How are the rules if I translate a Wikipedia article in some language to a Wikipedia artcicle in some other language, for example translations from English to Danish or inverse? Do I have to follow the normal rules of GFDL in such cases, and if so what exactly is required to do so? (The license text is hard to understand)? Byrial 00:02, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Dual and Multi Licensing

A number of people have chosen to dual license their own changes under the Creative Commons, public domain, or other license in order that it might be usable elsewhere. Should a note possibly be added on this page that individual users may place the {{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA}} message on their user page in order to release their own changes under a dual license? A number of users with large numbers of edits have done this already. I understand the pros and cons of dual licensing, but since a number of people have done so, might it at least be advantageous to mention it? (See meta:Guide_to_the_CC_dual-license and the discussion above). -- Ram-Man 20:14, Nov 4, 2004 (UTC)

I am requesting a review of the Wikipedia:Multi-licensing page with the later possibly adding a link from the Wikipedia:Copyrights page to notify users of the potential for multi-licensing their contributions. I believe that many users would willingly multi-license their contributions if only they knew that such an option existed. -- Ram-Man 00:02, Nov 17, 2004 (UTC)

interwiki pl

dear admin -- please add link pl:Prawa autorskie to interwiki. thanks! =} kocio 08:14, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I assume you meant pl:Wikipedia:Prawa autorskie? I've added that link. —No-One Jones 07:21, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)

InterWiki it:

Would an admin please add it:Aiuto:Copyright to the Interwikis? TY, --M7it 20:49, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Done. —No-One Jones 07:21, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)


WP:C redirects here; there should probably be a link pointing users to Wikipedia:Cleanup and any other WP: namespace pages with single-word C names. -Sean Curtin 04:25, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)

Old-time movie snapshots

I have a snapshot of Rudolph from the old-time movie produced back in the '50s. More recently, I recieved the snapshot through my local CBS affiliate's broadcast of the movie. I was wondering if the snapshot from the movie would be violating copyright laws, or if it is in line for fair-use.

See Template:Screenshot and Template talk:Screenshot. Brianjd 08:53, 2004 Dec 24 (UTC)

Photograph of a person

I'm not sure this is even worth asking, since the Christopher Lee page has an Attack of the Clones screenshot and this is even more minor, but would it violate copyright law to add an image of biochemist Rupert Sheldrake to his Wikipedia page? I figure it's better that I should ask this and wait a few days rather than assume and be wrong. Thanks in advance for any help.

--BDD 22:00, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I think it depends on how you obtained the photograph - whoever took the photograph probably owns the copyright unless they release it into the public domain, the copyright expires or the photograph is too old (in which case whoever took the photograph would be dead anyway). Brianjd 08:39, 2004 Dec 24 (UTC)

Of course, it's impossible for the photograph to be old in this case, unless time travel is possible! Brianjd 08:52, 2005 Jan 2 (UTC)

Power Point projects

I was wanting to use lines from a wikipedia in a Power Point presentation for a class room and I'm wondering how I would place the copyright info. 17:58, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

You don't want to try to use anything licensed only under the GFDL in a PowerPoint presentation. Its requirements regarding the copyright info are ridiculous (Noone would came to Wikipedia if it complied with the GFDL. I think it only really works for books.). Brianjd 10:41, 2004 Dec 23 (UTC)

Invariant sections

Wikipedia:Copyrights#Contributors'_rights_and_obligations currently says:

If you contribute material to Wikipedia, you thereby license it to the public under the GFDL (with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).

which I read to mean that Wikipedia should not contain invariant sections. But then, it also says:

...if you incorporate external GFDL materials, as a requirement of the GFDL, you need to acknowledge the authorship and provide a link back to the network location of the original copy. If the original copy required invariant sections, you have to incorporate those into the Wikipedia article; it is however very desirable to replace GFDL texts with invariant sections by original content without invariant sections whenever possible.

which is where it gets confusing. That could be interpreted to mean that Wikipedia articles can have invariant sections, but only if the text was licensed under the GFDL for some other purpose prior to being submitted to the wiki (preposterous, I think). I realize that the Wikipedia:Copyrights page is not legally binding, and Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License is what really matters. Can someone please clarify Wikipedia's policy on invariant sections? And if there are actually articles with invariant sections, can someone point out where they are and how they are preserved? ~leifHELO 21:50, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

If you contribute material to Wikipedia, you thereby license it to the public under the GFDL (with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).

This doesn't make much sense to me. If it's your own material, you can license it to the public under the GFDL with any combination of invariant sections, front-cover texts or back-cover texts you like. Brianjd 10:34, 2004 Dec 23 (UTC)

Or even a non-GFDL license that doesn't allow anything. However I believe that the non-invariance requirement makes sense here, since Wikipedia is by no means required to carry the material and hence it can place arbitrary restrictions (here: the material must be licensed under GFDL with no invariants, else it may not be submitted at all) for the material contributed to it. --SLi 09:15, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

As for external content, this appears to be an error by the authors of this page, with the Wikimedia Foundation's (yes, as far as I know, there is no organisation called "Wikipedia") policy being: replace texts with invariant sections where possible, but otherwise, keep the invariant sections.

I think they are preserved simply by the idea that those who do modify them are breaking the law (questionable, since the Wikimedia Foundation is itself not complying with the GFDL). Brianjd 10:34, 2004 Dec 23 (UTC)

US Government PD is not worldwide PD!

It should also be noted that governments outside the US often do claim copyright over works produced by their employees (for example, Crown Copyright in the United Kingdom). It should also be noted that the US Government is free to claim copyright over works which are PD in the US. -- 14:41, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Huh? I thought public domain means noone can claim copyright. Brianjd 10:18, 2004 Dec 23 (UTC)

The latter sentence in the above statement is complete and utter nonsense - a perfect example of Raul's 4th law - For every one person who knows something about copyright law, there are at least ten who don't, and two who think they do but don't. →Raul654 10:30, Dec 23, 2004 (UTC)
Well, there is more than a grain of truth to it. US govt. works are not eligible for copyright protection under US law, but they are eligible outside the US. That's the intention stated in H.R. 94-1476. "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." --iMeowbot~Mw 19:51, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Filling in some more: Yes, these reports do matter, enven though they are annotations rather than the laws themselves. The courts do use them when trying to figure out what hairy language in laws is intended to mean. For example, this report is cited a few times in the Sony v Universal (Betamax) SCOTUS decision. --iMeowbot~Mw 20:09, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Also adding Berne 1971, article 5. "(2) The enjoyment and the exercise of these rights shall not be subject to any formality; such enjoyment and such exercise shall be independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin of the work. Consequently, apart from the provisions of this Convention, the extent of protection, as well as the means of redress afforded to the author to protect his rights, shall be governed exclusively by the laws of the country where protection is claimed." --iMeowbot~Mw 15:02, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Some further clarification: The relevant U.S. law is 17 USC 105, which states "Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government" -- this is not a grant of public domain status in the international sense. It was carefully written to allow article 5 of Berne, as above, to apply, and copyright protection for these works therefore remains in force outside the U.S. Individual U.S government publications, or the policies of individual government departments, are still able to release material for unlimited use, and often they do publish such explicit grants. In the absence of explicit statements, however, the default state is the automatic Berne protection. --iMeowbot~Mw 16:20, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Raul, you would be one of those who DOES NOT understand copyright law. I recall you making statements earlier, with a very high level of certainty, telling people that the GPL and GFDL were compatible. They are not, even the FSF acknowledges this. Before you critcize people for spreading misinformation about copyright, you should do a serious check yourself. You're not a lawyer, but you were pretending to be one spreading blatantly wrong and bad misinformation that could have been proven wrong with a quick search. People will say "ooh, he's an admin and he seems very certain, he must be right!" Frankly, it's sickening and I strongly suggest you not even speak about copyrights in the future and discontinue any and all discussion on any copyright pages. I'll make a new law: those who make ridiculously specific laws based on personal encounters more than likely fall into the category of people they criticize with that law. -Nathan J. Yoder 22:04, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

InterWiki pt

Please add the following translation to "Other Languages": pt:Copyrights

Done. --Slowking Man 06:17, Jan 2, 2005 (UTC)

Where is the copy of the license?

A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

Of course, that would normally be correct. But here, wouldn't that refer to the article called GNU Free Documentation License (despite what the link points to), which is about the license, and does not contain a copy of the license? Brianjd 06:32, 2004 Dec 22 (UTC)

Shouldn't we read legally binding documents first?

IMPORTANT: If you want to use content from Wikipedia, first read the Users' rights and obligations section. You should then read the GNU Free Documentation License.

Huh? Shouldn't we read the legally binding document first? Brianjd 06:32, 2004 Dec 22 (UTC)

Minor edits

There are some edits which we normally would never mention but in this case can't do unless we're admins. One of them is to change "wikipedia:verbatim copying" to "Wikipedia:Verbatim copying" near the start of the first section, "User's rights and obligations". Also (not so minor), "section 2" (of the GFDL) -> "section two".

Done. --Slowking Man 06:17, Jan 2, 2005 (UTC)


Please add [[esWikipedia:Copyrights]] es:Wikipedia:Copyrights

Added. --Slowking Man 06:17, Jan 2, 2005 (UTC)

Michelangelo's pieta image



Site's copyright policy

The site clearly doesn't own the copyright to any of its images but claims either public domain or fairuse. Since it probably isn't pd because its a picture of a statue, Wikipedia:Copyright_FAQ#Derivative_works, I'm thinking that it could also be fair use under wikipedia, but I can't be sure. Uploader wasn't able to provide any clarification. Thanks for any help. --Aqua 09:33, Jan 2, 2005 (UTC)

Publicity photograph

I have a publicity photograph for an author which she has given permission to use but not for third-party use: her preferred label is {{copyrighted}}. However when I go to upload the picture I am apparently required to tick a check-box stating that "I affirm that the copyright holder of this file agrees to license it under the terms of the Wikipedia copyright" which is obviously not the same. Should I just tick the box and go ahead, even though I'm aiming to add the more restrictive licence immediately afterwards? … And now I see from Wikipedia:Image copyright tags that I shouldn't even upload the picture at all if I'm aiming to add that tag to it! What should I do? --Phil | Talk 09:21, Jan 20, 2005 (UTC)

Can someone change the "Government photographs" sub-title to "US governemnt photographs" please. -- SGBailey 10:52, 2005 Jan 20 (UTC)

Done. --Slowking Man 04:25, Jan 21, 2005 (UTC)



I downloaded the above from which says that all images there are believed to be in the public domain. I have added a "fairold" tag to it, since the photo is atleast 57 years old, used for informational purposes, and a photo of a famous personality.

Could someone please take a look at the above image and let me know if the rationale I provided at the image description page is ok? And can we go ahead with using it under vintage fair use? Thanks in advance. --ashwatha 06:10, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

How do I deal with obvious, but not provable, image infringement?

I've encountered a number of cases of images that have been ripped straight off of personal webpages and stuck into articles. So far, I've been dealing with these without much of a policy: I generally remind the offender (who is, nearly universally, a first-time Wikipedian) that any uploaded text needs to have copyright information added to the file, and that a good way to do this is to release the image under the GFLD if you're the copyright owner.

Unfortunately, I've never encountered a situation where the user then noted, "I'm the original owner and release this under the GFDL." In around half of the cases, the user will find the Public Domain or Fair Use tags and stash them into the image without any further commentary. In the other half, I never hear back and the images are left untagged. Occasionally, I'll see a user go and contact the copyright owner and post a proper release on the image page; but, this is quite rare.

It's pretty clear that these images have been ripped off—in most cases, they're among the first images to pop up under Google Images. The problem is that I've now got images that have incorrect licensing information on them.

Is there a policy for dealing with A) approaching new users about potentially embarrassing copyright infringements, and B) evaluating copyright tags that have been attached solely to cover someone's ass? This is the type of problem that new users get pretty upset about, and having a simplified policy page that says, "in most cases, you can't rip images off of other websites" would be a good deal more polite than what often amounts to a lecture on attribution. Users with a history of copyright infringement are unlikely to be making positive contributions to the Wikipedia, but I've seen some very talented writers get scared off because they got a stern talking-to after posting an image of uncertain origin.

Having some sort of policy in place would make my job a good deal easier, too—it's draining to have to inform users that they're doing something wrong. It makes me squirm to see new users scramble to put PD or fair-use tags in their images while deleting the discussion of copyright infringement from their talk pages. Does anyone have any hints for making this easier?

Thanks --Milkmandan 06:59, 2005 Jan 28 (UTC)

For dealing with first time Wikipedians, I suggest you direct them to Wikipedia:Copyright FAQ, which Jamesday and I wrote to explain copyright law to layfolk in plain, simple english. →Raul654 07:14, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)

Library of Congress texts

Are texts from Library of Congress websites in public domain, so are they free to copy them to Wikipedia? example: Myrtle Hill Cemetery Myrtle Hill Cemetery article was submitted to LOC by one Congressman, but its on public (.gov) site, so it should be free to use. Wikipedia is non-profit educational organization. Darwinek 15:07, 5 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The important part is that Bob Barr wrote that text in his official capacity as a federal employee. Material hosted by is not a free-for-all -- you need to check for each individual item -- but that piece is a government work. It doesn't matter that Wikipedia is nonprofit, because text on Wikipedia must allow both nonprofit and for-profit copying. --iMeowbot~Mw 16:33, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

American Civil War era photos

Is there a chance, that the American Civil War era photos are NOT in a public domain yet? Specificly, I'm thinking about these. The librarian wrote to me: we are unable to grant permission to individuals or groups wishing to mount images from our collections on their websites. Instead, we ask that links be created directing researchers to the site of the original images. Can we use them then? Pibwl 00:04, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Title 17 Sec. 105 is not viral.

There seems to be an assumption (even implied by our image copyright tags) that works derived from U.S. government works are also in the public domain. It's not so, derivative rights and license requirements still work as normal.

17 USC 403 expressly recognizes that copyright is afforded to such derivatives, provided that the government and original contributions are identified. --iMeowbot~Mw 00:55, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Copyright question

I have contacted Sherry Shriner by email, asking for permission to use her image @ . She wrote back saying:

"you can use any images off my sites you would like..."

If you look near the bottom of the page, she also states

"copyright 2005 the only copyright I have is that you copy it right"

So anyhow, I want to make extra sure every thing is ok before I start uploading images from her websites. Also I'm wondering what to label the images, since I'm not very aware of the various copyright types. Advice please, thanks,

(Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 16:06, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The only advice I could offer is to first check to make sure that the images on Sherry's web site aren't themselves a copyright from another web site. If they are, you might have to upload them under the fair use tag. --Deathphoenix 18:34, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Indeed. You need to judge whether Sherry is the kind of person you expect to have done due dilligence. In the case that you don't, you're taking a big risk claiming fair use - many of the fair-use justifications (listed in Image_description_page#Fair_use_rationale) require you to make certain assertions connected with whomever is the copyright owner - and if you're sure Sherry isn't and you don't know who is, making those assertions is difficult. -- John Fader 22:38, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, the only images I'm interested in are her self portrait and advertisements for her book, so I think I can safely assume those belong to her. (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 13:00, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That seems reasonable. -- John Fader 13:09, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Any chance you could email her and ask for specific permission under the GFDL? — Matt Crypto 13:12, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Emailing her doesn't seem to be a problem, she is very friendly and replies quite promptly, but I don't know much about what "specific permission under the GFDL" entails. Have you seen the disclaimer on her site? It says right next to the copyright:
"copyright 2005 the only copyright I have is that you copy it right"
(Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 13:17, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Isn't it possible for her to give us permission to use the image here, w/o it becoming public domain? I'm not sure I'd want photos of myself to be public domain... (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 13:21, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
PD is not the same thing as the GFDL. What we don't want is permission that's specific only to Wikipedia, nor permission that doesn't allow derived works -- we want WP content to be as free as possible. We don't want to use non-free images when there's the possiblity of getting hold of free images. — Matt Crypto 13:33, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I can understand that. Given what info I've so far provided, what sort of status would the images have? Lets say I upload one now, what tag would I put on it? (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 14:07, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
My best guess is {{permission}} (from the email), and maybe {{CopyrightedFreeUseProvidedThat|"you copy it right"}} from the website. — Matt Crypto 14:22, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Cool, thanx. (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 14:39, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

If anybody's interested, have a look @ Sherry Shriner. Cheers, (Sam Spade | talk | contributions) 15:10, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Portion of London Underground map

The King's Cross St. Pancras tube station article is illustrated with Image:Tube map King's Cross.png which is obviously and explicitly a portion from the tube map and tagged as fair use. I was under the impression that Transport for London were pretty keen on their copyright, so I went to the site and found the following copyright statement:


The copyright in the material contained within the document you are about to view belongs to Transport for London. All rights reserved.

Except solely for your own personal and non-commercial use, no part of this document may be copied or used without the prior written permission of Transport for London.

By clicking on the links above to view maps, it is understood that you have read this copyright notice and accept these conditions.

Maps last updated: September 2003. 

Please could someone confirm whether this is actually fair use or not. Thanks. Thryduulf 17:40, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Try asking at Wikipedia talk:Fair use. --Slowking Man 23:06, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)

Interwiki th:

Please add th:วิกิพีเดีย:ลิขสิทธิ์ into interwiki, thank you :-) PaePae 15:30, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Done. --Slowking Man 23:06, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)

Suggested modification to the project page

In section 3.3 the first occurence of the word "article" must be replaced with "content" and the second occurence must be replaced with "page", so that it takes care of images as well. -- Paddu 08:01, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Done. --Slowking Man 23:06, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)

Passport images

I'm not the first person to do this, but I scanned the cover and front page of my passport for the Passport Canada article. Who owns the copyright to this? Me or the Queen in right of Canada since they own the passport? --Spinboy 03:58, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I should add that there's no personal information given out. --Spinboy 03:58, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I think that the government does, because it's a visual reproduction of a printed work, similar to album covers and the like (see Eleanor rigby single usa.jpg for an example). DISCLAIMER: I'm not a copyright lawyer. Try asking at the Village pump. --Slowking Man 23:06, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)
If you look atImage:British-passport-inside-front-cover.jpg it is licensed under GFDL. And Image:French passport front cover.jpg is in the public domain. --Spinboy 00:17, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Nursing diagnoses

I have a question about copyrights. There is an organization (NANDA) whose purpose is to develop a standardized language for nursing diagnoses. The wording of these diagnoses is specific. NANDA claims copyright on the diagnoses, is this valid and if so, what does it mean? Can I write articles about these diagnoses or make a list of nursing diagnoses? Some of the diagnoses seem to be pretty uncopyrightable (eg. risk for infection), but others are less clear (eg. Ineffective community therapeutic regimen management). I've already started to work on some of this (as you can see), but I'd like to know what my boundaries are before I start putting too much effort into it. All the stuff I've generated so far was a) generated from multiple sources, b) paraphrased where possible (eg. the actual terminology wasn't paraphrased because the exact wording is important, though there are some variations that you do see from time to time.) If this is not the right place for this question, could someone direct me to where I could get an answer? Matt 21:09, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The copyrightability of a language is unclear (we had problems over this regarding the Klingon and Toki Pona Wikipedias a while back). I would argue that you can't copyright a certain terminology, but (DISCLAIMER) I'm not a copyright lawyer. Try asking at the Village pump for more visibility. --Slowking Man 23:06, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)

Otto Bettmann Archives

What is the copyright status of the Otto Bettmann Archive images which were acquired by Corbis a few years ago and vaulted in a mine in PA? Does Corbis now own the copyright on all these images as they claim? They have claimed copyright to images in the past to which they certainly do NOT own rights....There are 11 MILLION pieces in the collection. It would be a tragic shame for the entire archive to be locked away under Corbis' thumb forever.--Deglr6328 06:24, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

GFDL History Requirement

As regards section 4 of the GFDL, "MODIFICATIONS", does the article history as available from the "history" link constitute a "section Entitled 'History'" ?

Andrew Rodland 19:46, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Vietnamese Wikipedia

Can a sysop please add the following interwiki link to the page, directly after the th: link:

[[vi:Wikipedia:Quyền tác giả]]

Thanks. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs, blog) 02:06, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Editing free use covers, etc.

Hi, forgive me if this has been covered anywhere, but I can't find it. Does it still fall under free use for an album cover, book cover, etc. to edit it? For instance in an article on Joe Blow, can one provide a picture of Joe Blow cropped from the cover of the book the Life of Joe Blow, captioned as "picture of Joe Blow from cover of The Life of Joe Blow" under free use? Does it matter at all if the book is referenced in the article? Gzuckier 15:39, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Invariant Sections on Wikipedia?

From the article:

Wikipedia does use some text under licenses that are compatible with the GFDL but may require additional terms that we do not require for original Wikipedia text (such as including Invariant Sections, Front-Cover Texts, or Back-Cover Texts). When using these materials, you have to include those invariant sections verbatim.

I'd be interested to know what portions of Wikipedia use such text. Is there a canonical list somewhere? There probably should be, to facilitate replacement with less-encumbered text.


The image Image:Branstock.jpg is taken from an Internet site. Since it is placed in a relevant article, I judged it to be fair use (such as images taken from movies). If I am wrong, please delete it. I just want to make sure.--Wiglaf 10:28, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Need link to Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks/GFDL Compliance

We need better coordination of pages which deal with people who use our articles without permission. Can someone please link to Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks/GFDL Compliance and perhaps meta:Non-compliant site coordination in a prominent way? All the relevant pages are hard to find in google, but I just put a link here from Copyright as a start. Lunkwill 03:16, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Copyright status of photos taken by a UK Govt worker while on official duties, but not taken for official purposes

I have some photos that I took of the location of the monastry at Athelney (located on private land) while I was on a visit as part of my job with Defra. The photographs weren't taken for any official purposes, but as part of an informal record of a training event. The land owner had no objections to photographs being taken of his land, but I didn't think to ask about the photos being used on the Internet. The photographs do not show any people, and do not show anything that could lead to the landowner being penalised by Defra. In the normal course of events, I would upload the image to the commons with a creative commons liscence ({{cc-by-sa-2.0}}), but as offical works of the UK Government are Crown Copyright would I be allowed to do this?

  • I assume that other photos I have taken under similar circumstances, but are taken from a public place would be acceptable?
  • What about photographs taken on a visit by Defra staff to a visitor attraction (which doesn't yet have an article) at a time when it was not open to the public? (i.e. they were taken in March or April, but the attraction doens't normally open until May).

If any of them are not possible for me to upload with a copyleft liscence, would it be allowable to upload them here as fair use or possibly copyright free use? Thryduulf 13:44, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

Crown copyright subsists when a work is made "by an officer or servant of the Crown in the course of his duties". If they were not taken for official purposes then I would interpret that as not being in the course of the duties of an officer or servant of the Crown. Therefore the person who took the photos would probably own the copyright, rather than the Crown. However, it would probably be best to consult a lawyer about this as it has the reek of one of those nasty situations where law can catch you out. David Newton 17:35, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Please clarify our upload licensing policy - is it really this bizarre?

I am confused by the text at the bottom of Special:Upload. If I have interpreted it correctly, the following is our policy for image uploads.

  1. If I own the copyright to an image, then
    1. I may upload the image to en.wikipedia under the GFDL
    2. I may upload the image to en.wikipedia, releasing it into the public domain, or releasing it under an equivalent license such as {{CopyrightedFreeUse}}
    3. I may not upload the image to en.wikipedia under any other circumstances
    4. I may upload the image to the commons under any free licence
  2. If someone else owns the copyright to an image, then
    1. if the image is GFDL-licensed, then I may upload the image to en.wikipedia
    2. if the image is in the public domain or released under an equivalent license, then I may upload it to en.wikipedia
    3. in fact, if the image is released under any free license, then I may upload it to en.wikipedia
    4. if the image is released under any free license, then I may upload it to the commons

Is this correct? If so, then I have two questions:

  • Where is this policy documented?
  • Are not these rules highly bizarre? The situations 1(3) and 2(3) seem at odds with one another. For example, if I own the copyright to an image and I wish to license it under a creative commons license and place it on en.wikipedia, then I may not upload it myself, but I can release it under the creative commons and then ask anyone else to upload it for me. So in this case the procedure for upload is more complicated for the copyright holder than for a licensee! What's the rationale for this?

I've been trying to find answers to these questions on MediaWiki talk:Uploadtext without much luck so far. Lupin 04:51, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

I upload photographs that I have taken and want to release under a creative-commons liscence to the commons, and use the image from there. This seems to be fine. Thryduulf 15:33, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
Yes, this is covered above, situation 2(3). I still find it really odd that you can't upload them to en.wikipedia, and I don't know why this appears to be the case or what discussion lead to this policy. Lupin 17:20, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
AFAIU uploading free images to the commons is preferable, as it allows the picture to be used on all languages and projects, rather than just the English Wikipedia. Thryduulf 18:20, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

US federal works and websites

The section Wikipedia:Copyrights#U.S._government_photographs is somewhat misleading. Photographs on .mil and .gov websites are only generally PD if they are labeled as having been produced by the federal government. However if they have been produced by contractors of the federal government this is not necessarily true, i.e. Brookhaven National Laboratory has their own copyright policy separate from the fact that they are a DOE national laboratory, as does Sandia National Lab. Additionally, photographs on government websites may not have been produced by the federal government at all. I.e. Los Alamos has a photograph on their website without a credit given [3] which I happen to know was taken by wire-press photographers and is held under copyright [4]. Some more caution should be injected into this paragraph, because it incorrectly makes it seem that photos from .mil and .gov websites are always in the PD, which is unfortunately not true in a number of important circumstances worth highlighting. Something should be added which implies that you should 1. first check to see if the site has its own copyrights/permissions policy (they often do) which implies something other than it being in the public domain, and 2. one should try to verify as well as possible that the photograph itself was likely produced by the government agency in question (the Los Alamos one above is a pretty hard one to check as there was no obvious reason to suspect it was not produced by the government). --Fastfission 17:07, 23 May 2005 (UTC)