Wikipedia talk:File copyright tags/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Article surgery

Hey all, sometime in the past, the entire article was duplicated in itself, with headings and discussions repeated. I just trimmed it down by removing the top half, in the theory that people prefer to reply to the part on the bottom. My apologies for any lossage involving people who were talking in the upper parts. --Improv 19:47, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Unknown Source

I am creating a new image tag, Template:Unknownsource. It should be used in the case where the license of an image is assumed or suspected to be usable with another tag (perhaps Fairuse, Promophoto, etc.) but the actual original location and copyright status is not known for certain. This differs from Template:Unverified which is used when the license is totally uknown. An example of an image where I think this tag is justified is Image:Alexis Bledel.jpg, where fair use promotional photo is assumed, but the image does not have a known source or credits for its creators.

The text of the notice currently is:

This is a image with an unknown source. Any assumptions about the copyright status or license of this image is opinion or speculation. Use of this image in articles should be avoided if an alternative is available with more clear copyright status.

Comments welcomed. Thanks. --ChrisRuvolo 01:30, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

This has been replaced with {{fairuseunknownsource}}, shortened to {{fuus}}. --ChrisRuvolo 22:21, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Ease-of-use suggestion

When I am adding images I can never remember the tags. Invariably I have to open another window, navigate to the tags page, and look them up.

What I would recommend is a pop-up containing all of the tags and a short description. When selected, they would insert that tag into the text at the current cursor location. Yes, I realize this would only work on 95% or more of the browsers out there, and I'm sorry about the other 5%, but I think this would make tagging dramatically easier, and as a result, more widely used.

Maury 13:35, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I disagree. Image tagging is a specialized function; there's no reason to muddle up the software to pander to our admittedly small project. Tree of Life didn't get a software rewrite to deal with their template issues; they worked around it. Keep another window or tab open in the background---that's what I do, and it works fine. grendel|khan 18:50, 2005 Feb 27 (UTC)
There is a lot of discussion over at Wikimedia Commons about doing something like this for uploads. When uploading, a user would have to select an image tag from a list, or it won't let you upload. Something like this may happen on Wikipedia. Or image uploading may occur at one single location. Or the deal with Google may change everything. It's all up in the air right now. I like the idea though. – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 19:05, Feb 27, 2005 (UTC)
I like it too, it would mean the end of untagged images--nixie 06:13, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

United States Census Bureau

The Census Bureau is a great source of pictures, could someone clever make a template for tagging these images? Incidently we also have no tag for the US Department of Commerce--nixie 06:13, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There doesn't need to be a tag for every single agency. Just use {{PD}} or {{PD-USGov}} if you must be fancy. Superm401 | Talk 20:03, Jun 14, 2005 (UTC)


Have tried looking around to see if the BBC permits its images to be used online, their site policy says you can use its media for personal non-profit use, which I guess makes it not permitted on Wikipedia? Does anyone know if the BBC have permitted their images to be used? --PopUpPirate 22:02, Mar 6, 2005 (UTC)

As the front page of has a copyright notice, I'd assume all their content to be copyrighted unless you find something stating differently. Note that says: "You may not copy, reproduce, republish, download, post, broadcast, transmit, make available to the public, or otherwise use content in any way except for your own personal, non-commercial use. " So it seems that no, we cannot make free use BBC images. -- Infrogmation 16:59, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Catégorie:Image Art Libre

I noticed an image copied here from fr:Wikipedia, where it was tagged with the template "ArtLibre". This is apparenly some type of free licence, but I don't know the en equivilent, and fr:Catégorie:Image Art Libre has no interwiki. Can someone clarify this, is this equivelent to an existing en category, or is it something different that we can/or can't use? Wondering, -- Infrogmation

There's an equivalent en tag: Template:FAL. Both tags declare Copyleft, so they seem suitable for use on Wikipedia. I've taken the liberty of transwikifying the two templates. -- EagleOne 21:10, Mar 8, 2005 (UTC)

Clip art?

I've been using this image ([1]) for a while on my user page and it's only recently occurred to me that this might be copyrighted.

The image itself is based on fairly poor-res version of a piece of Microsoft Word clip art. I traced over everything again to clean it up and then changed the colors. But is this enough to distinguish it from the original? And if not, could the original be copyrighted? Can someone shed some light on this? IKato 08:48, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Unfortunately, we can't use Microsoft clip art. MS is not at all helpful about this. "In some instances, Microsoft cannot specifically grant permission for end users to reproduce, redistribute or modify clip art located in our products, because certain clip art may be owned by third parties and licensed to Microsoft. . . Microsoft will not assist you in making this determination, and special permission to use Microsoft clipart will not be granted to you by the Permissions/Copyright Group." [2]
However, if you've traced over it and changed the colors, I'm not sure whether the copyright holder would have a case or not. Either way, I applaud you for caring; lots of people have copyvios on their user pages, and these have been mostly ignored. – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 13:37, Mar 13, 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for your help. Unless something mitigating comes up, I'm going to remove it for now just to be safe. IKato 22:43, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Been getting no reply to this at Wikipedia talk:Image use policy - anyone here any ideas? or at least know where to ask to get an answer?

There's a huge collection of tree and forestry photos at Most are taken by private individuals and copyrighted, with (usually) a non-commercial licence note attached; fair enough.

However, some are marked as taken by United States Forest Service personnel - these photos carry the same non-commercial license restrictions on the page (typical example: this one). Yet surely as US Government photos, these are in the public domain and free of copyright? Can I ignore the stated restrictions as being incorrect, and use these USFS photos with the tag {{PD-USGov-USDA-FS}}? - thanks, MPF 11:59, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

AIUI, they would only be PD if they are full employees and the pictures were taken in the course of their duties. Whether or not this applies in each case is difficult to ascertain, and in every, very much highly unlikely.
James F. (talk) 12:35, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Granting into the public domain

Lately I've become concerned about works on Wikipedia supposedly granted into the public domain by their authors, including a number of my own. According to an e-mail I recently received from the U.S. Copyright Office:

"Please be advised that one may not grant their work into the public domain. However, a copyright owner may release all of their rights to their work by stating the work may be freely reproduced, distributed, etc."

In other words, it's currently impossible to grant one's own work into the public domain, and a statement willing it into the public domain has no legal effect. This suggests that such works currently put us in some danger, since the owner still retains full copyright despite what we or they might think (although you might argue in court about their intent).

It would seem we need some kind of statement that authors can apply instead — a sort of "public-domain-equivalent" license that irrevocably releases all rights to the work. Although it might seem like there's no harm in also saying it's granted into the public domain, I'm concerned that, like a contract, there exists the possibility that one unenforcable stipulation might render the entire license void. Of course, I am not a lawyer, and I'd like to hear a real lawyer's opinion on all this. In any case it seems like some action needs to be taken. Deco 18:23, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm. Creative Commons seems to imply the opposite, but Public domain#Disclaimer of interest seems to agree with you. Damn legal stuff. --SPUI (talk) 18:42, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Nor am I a lawyer, but I agree, something needs to be done. We could modify the language of the PD-self, PD-user, and PD-link tags to reflect the language of the note from the Copyright Office. I suggest the following:
I, the creator of this image, hereby release all rights to this work. Permission is granted to freely reproduce, modify, and distribute this work. This applies worldwide.
Again, I'm not a lawyer, so the language may need tweaking. – EagleOne 18:54, Mar 14, 2005 (UTC)
So is anything going to be done about this? Your wording looks good, but no lawyers in the hizzy. --SPUI (talk) 01:48, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Unfortunately, changing the language of existing licenses is likely to get us in trouble — since, legally, the contributors have not yet released any rights, we can't go releasing rights on their behalf without their permission. That's why I propose below we simply retire the existing tags and ask the original authors to change the tags. Deco 06:57, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Who needs a new tag for this? Just {{CopyrightedFreeUse}} should do the trick. dbenbenn | talk 05:21, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I hesitatingly recommend we retire the {{PD-self}} and {{PD-user}} tags, recommending {{CopyrightedFreeUse}} in its place, since technically no one can place their own works in the public domain. This could save us a lot of potential trouble, and convincing contributors to change over probably isn't a big deal. Is everyone for this change? I realise we might want a {{CopyrightedFreeUseUser}} tag to indicate which user is the copyright holder. Deco 06:03, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

{{MultiLicenseMinorPD}} and {{MultiLicensePD}} are also in trouble, then.msh210 15:40, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

These never made any sense anyway — a work is either copyrighted or in the public domain, not both. In fact, even multi-licensing both free-use and GFDL makes no sense, because this is simply equivalent to free-use. We should encourage users of these to move to the appropriate free-use tag for text contributions (what would that be?) Deco 18:10, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Just pinging this for people's watchlists — if there is no complaint in the next several hours, I will proceed to deprecate the tags that claim that an author has released their work into the public domain and inform the necessary users about the change. I've created a project page explaining this here: Wikipedia: You can't grant your work into the public domain. I will deprecate the text-licensing tags later on after I've warned them properly. Deco 03:24, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think you're right; I have never liked {{CopyrightedFreeUse}} because I suspect people don't realize quite what they're letting themselves in for (in particular, I'm not sure they realize this includes modification and sale). I made a suggestion on Wikipedia talk:You can't grant your work into the public domain for an unambiguous replacement tag (which may need some discussion). --Andrew 04:56, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)
For the record, the final consensus seems to be that there's no consensus and so no changes will be effected. See Wikipedia talk: Granting work into the public domain some discussion. Deco 06:23, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

photographs of trademarked products

I've become interested in taking photographs to illustrate articles. If I take a picture of, say, a Coca-Cola can, can I release that into the public domain or under the GFDL? Or since it is a photograph of a presumably trademarked design, can I not do that? — Knowledge Seeker 04:14, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

As I understand it, you can release any extra rights you would have over the fair use of the product under any license. So someone using it would have to comply with fair use and whatever you specify. Trademarks are a different matter - if they're old enough to be PD as copyrights, the only restrictions are on using them in a way that violates the trademark (like selling the image on a soda can). --SPUI (talk) 01:48, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
A trademarked word cannot be copyrighted, and is free for you to use with or without the trademark symbol. Logos, however, are frequently copyrighted in addition to being a trademark. I am not a lawyer, though, and this isn't professional legal advice. Deco 06:52, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Text in Template:PD-USSR is incorrect:

According to the laws of the Soviet Union, all works published before May 27, 1973 were not protected by copyright and were thus in the public domain.

It's incorrect. These works were protected by copyright in USSR (and they are protected in Russia now), but until May 27 it was not recognized internationaly. So it's not worldwide public domain! See ru:Википедия обсуждение:Источники информации/БСЭ (in Russian). --ajvol 07:08, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

So, where does that leave us with this tag? Are there any Russian laws on works in the public domain? Should we scrap the tag altogether? — EagleOne\Talk 04:06, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
New text:
All works published in Soviet Union before May 27, 1973 were not protected by International Copyright Conventions and were thus in the public domain in many countries (in Russia some of these works yet protected).
Is it OK? --ajvol 05:59, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Looks good. I've made a couple grammatical changes; see below. Do you have a link to a website on Russian copyright laws that we can throw in there? Possibly in English?
Also, what is the copyright status of these texts in contemporary Russia? The text needs a little more information in that area. — EagleOne\Talk 19:02, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
User:DaeX has done large research in this field [3] (in Russian). As result: all works published in Soviet Union before July 28, 1954 are now in worldwide public domain (protection expired). Works published in Soviet Union before May 27, 1973, but after July 28, 1954 are now in public domain in all countries except Russia and, probably, ex-USSR countries (these works were not protected by International Copyright Conventions, but they were protected by national copyright), they will in public domain in Russia in July 29 2024. Works published in Soviet Union after May 27, 1973 are protected by modern international copyright. But all my sources only in Russian, so we need Copyright in USSR article in English (I'll request it in Russian Wikipedia community. Sorry for my English :( --ajvol 12:35, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Proposed text

All works published in the Soviet Union between July 28, 1954, and May 27, 1973, are not protected by international copyright conventions and are thus in the public domain in many countries. (In Russia and other former Soviet republics, some of these works may still be protected by copyright.)

This is misleading. Solshenyzin's "August 14" was published illegally in France as a member of the Berne convention and was thus protected in Germany (German decision in 1990 BGHZ 64, 183). -- 22:20, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Was it published in Russian language? Otherwise, probably, only translation are protected. --ajvol 05:40, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I made a few grammar changes. – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 19:41, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
And I; also, I added the info about 1954 and the other former SSrs per above discussion. —msh210 14:34, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I cannot verify that anything written here is correct. If we have no extensive translation of the Russian legal position we cannot assert that the facts are as assumed in our template. Please do not ignore the following links:

Copyright term in Russia: 50 years post mortem auctoris: (Copyright Act 1993, engl.)

We should avoid wishful thinking and if there is a doubt we should avoid claiming one opinion for a fact. -- 21:13, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC) (de:Historiograf)

From here (PDF) This may help to clarify things:

Each of the following Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan (but not the CIS countries Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia) is a successor state to the Soviet Union’s copyright treaty obligations, in particular, the obligations under the UCC Geneva, and accordingly is a member of the UCC Geneva effective May 27, 1973, the date the Soviet Union became a party. The successor status in each case was confirmed in a bilateral trade agreement between each of these countries and the United States, effective in each case on the date set forth below. Note that the successor status is consistent with the treatment by UNESCO (secretariat for the UCC) of these countries. The effective dates of the bilateral agreements with the United States confirming the successor status are as follows:

Azerbaijan (April 21, 1995)
Belarus (Feb. 16, 1993)
Georgia (Aug. 13, 1993)
Kazakhstan (Feb. 18, 1993)
Kyrgyz Republic (Aug. 21, 1992)
Moldova (July 2, 1992)
Russia (June 17, 1992)
Tajikistan (Nov. 24,1993)
Turkmenistan (Oct. 25,1993)
Ukraine (June 23,1992)
Uzbekistan (Jan. 13, 1994)



UCC Geneva May 27, 1973
SAT Dec. 25, 1991
UCC Paris March 9, 1995
Berne March 13, 1995 (Paris)
Phonograms March 13, 1995

 ALKIVAR™ 07:26, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

New icon

I took the liberty of changing the template icon from Image:Hammer and sickle.png to the more discrete and correct Image:Flag of the Soviet Union.png. Salleman 19:04, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Templates should link here

Every template's talk page should link back to here or something:

"See Wikipedia:Template messages/Image namespace and Wikipedia:Image copyright tags"

- Omegatron 18:33, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)

Commons templates

I think commons templates for PD and stuff are prettier. Can we copy them? - Omegatron 18:33, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)

My guess is that we can copy their design. I've looked at most of the templates, and the wording appears to be identical. The question is, do we want to go through the trouble of replacing all of the templates that we have developed thus far? — EagleOne\Talk 03:59, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)


I've been having a long conversation at User talk:Dbenbenn#M1911 Pistol image about what kinds of restrictions are allowed on the {{CopyrightedFreeUseProvidedThat}} tag. My position is that since the tag places its images in a subcategory of Category:Free images, certain restrictions are not allowed, such as disallowing modification. User:Twthmoses disagrees, and tags all his images, such as Image:P38 AC44.jpg, with

{{CopyrightedFreeUseProvidedThat|it remains unmodified (except re-size), credit is given and copyright is attributed.}}

Opinions? What restrictions exactly are allowed with that problematic tag? dbenbenn | talk 05:28, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • I was looking over at your entry at Commons:Commons talk:Copyright tags#What is free content exactly?, and you indeed have found some interesting cases. I would say they are not free images, and thus can’t be on Commons. They have clear reproduction and use restrictions. I found some interesting cases too looking around. Some of them make my entry look like a schoolboy copyright, and some of them are clearly not free images. It would be nice with some guidelines here…
Commons:Image:BSD-daemon-rendering.png Is such a large credit requirement not an image restriction too?
Commons:Image:E 022 3A.jpg Notification of author on use!
Commons:Image:Embraer supertucano.jpg Weird!
Commons:Image:Minhocampusparty2002 logob.gif Not alter
Commons:Image:Nickshanks.png Use and reproduction restrictions.
Commons:Image:Pär Nuder.jpg A valid date? Huh? Twthmoses 06:26, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • I looked at some of the other tags.
How can CrownCopyright be an ok tag to use when it stats “reproduced accurately”? does that not mean ‘Not edit”? how else can you reproduced accurately?
WorldCoin seems to be a halfheaded tag. It grants Wikipedia full permission to use, not users of wikipedia or any other! and does full permission for use also mean full permission to modify?
LearningandSkillsCouncilCopyright also contains the reproduced accurately string. "Accurately" most mean a modification restriction. Right? What else does it mean? It also contains reproduction restrictions, since you can't use it in "misleading context". Is that not a reproduction restriction? Btw the above CrownCopyright also has this as well as NationalAuditOfficeCopyright and NHSCopyright
CanadaCopyright is much better and much more accruate if no restriction is allowed on images on Wikipendia, they only ask that the user "use due diligence" in ensuring the accuracy of the materials reproduced.
OntarioCopyright Does not state it specified, but state "reproduced for non-commercial purposes" does that mean you cannot use it for commercial use? If so is the image then actually free? Should it not be listed under none-free images?
CACTVSGIF has clear restriction on use.
HABS is just plain weird. What it is basically saying is that it is the users responsabillity to find if the images are really free. How do one know if images under this tag is really free? What an easy way to make it PD!!
PAphoto may not be supplyed to 3rd parties?? Huh? A restriction and what excatlty is 3rd party? In the link it is stated that it has clear mod. restrictions. This is not free images.
Many weird things here........Twthmoses 07:38, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I have a different position. I believe {{CopyrightedFreeUseProvidedThat}} should not be considered a free license — nor, in fact, should it be used at all except in exceptional cases. People who are not lawyers should not be randomly inventing a multitude of licenses. Not only will many of them create non-free licenses, willingly or accidentally, but many will create licenses that courts are likely to rule unenforcable, self-contradictory, or meaningless. It also makes them very difficult to combine with other works under other licenses. This really isn't the sort of mess we want to get into. Deco 08:21, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • That might be a valid and good opinion, but as you can see some of the tags already listed right here as FREE or PD tags, are actually not free (in the true sense of the word) and contain restrictions of both use and modifications. Why should a normal mortal user also not be able to makes such same restrictions? Why is CrownCopyright more "right", and allowed, then a user making the same restrictions? Because they can better enforce it? Does capability to enforce make you more right? Hmm... I think the real question here is; how free must an image be to be on wikipendia? I think that needs to be resolved first.Twthmoses 08:52, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
By a free license I don't mean a free-use license. It's alright to place restrictions, but the issue is that it's easy to create a license that is completely bogus if you don't know what you're doing. For example, take a look at the Artistic License or the zlib license. They're well-intended but much too vague to be useful or safe. Licenses like the GFDL or the CC licenses (or, yes, the Crown Copyright) were carefully reviewed by professional lawyers, which is a luxury we can't afford for every license invented by a user. (To clarify, the statement in the template is not necessarily legally accurate, but it refers to a fully reviewed license statement elsewhere.) Deco 18:27, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Deco, do you think we should move Category:Conditional use images to a different parent category? And move {{CopyrightedFreeUseProvidedThat}} to a different section of Wikipedia:Image copyright tags. I totally agree with your point about creating bogus licenses; we shouldn't be encouraging that. dbenbenn | talk 18:57, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think it is two different subjects here. Is it allowed to put images on Wikipedia where there are restrictions on both modifiability and reproduction?
If it IS allowed then there can’t be any argument that a normal user is allowed to enter whatever he likes on the {{CopyrightedFreeUseProvidedThat}}, even make up bogus copyrights.
If it is NOT allowed, then about two dozen other established tags, which are currently listed under free licenses and PD, includingCrownCopyright should be listed under un-free images, and eventually deleted.
The original discussion came about because dbenbenn thinks that my tagging makes my images un-free. Fair enough. But I can’t take a CrownCopyright Winston Churchill image and paint a Hitler moustache on it and then re-publish it. That is absolutely no different then my tagging. So either they are both disallowed or they are both allowed.
dbenbenn even gives a tag that is listed as un-free on wikipedia Cc-by-nd-2.0. But how is "No Derivative Works" of this "Do not upload images for which one of the tags in this section applies" tag different from "reproduced accurately and not used in a misleading context" from the CrownCopyright, which is a tag that is allowed? This is not a wording contest is it? Create the most hidden restrictions and still manage to slip it in under "free".
As for the 2nd subject. Creating bogus licenses. I agree on that (even though I do it myself :)), it should not be encouraged. I will probably retool to GFDL, after reading it carefully.Twthmoses 19:55, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Releasing all rights

After a painful and unpleasant discussion on Wikipedia talk:Granting work into the public domain, the lack-of-consensus seems to be that we should ignore the legal problems with granting one's own work into the public domain. Fair enough. But I want to release all rights to my work unambiguously. The current recommendation is {{CopyrightedFreeUse}}, but that license makes me nervous: I'm not convinced people who use it realize how broadly we interpret "free use" (i.e., including modification and commercial use without credit). Of course, once a tag has been slapped on an image, we can't change the tag (we should perhaps be using subst) without consulting the author.

So I propose (sigh) a new tag that unambiguously releases all rights to an image. Here's my suggestion:

© This image is copyrighted. However, the copyright holder has irrevocably released all rights to it, allowing it to be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited in any way by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial.

It could become {{NoRightsReserved}} (or something else if a better name is available). There could also be corresponding {{NoRightsReservedUser}} and {{NoRightsReservedSelf}} if they're useful.

Note that I am not suggesting some sort of giant project to replace all PD-release tags with this; I just want a good tag for my own work, and I personally am not comfortable with the uncertainty involved with PD-release or CopyrightedFreeUse. --Andrew 21:02, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)

Actually, I still find it unclear whether one has to provide a copyright notice when exploiting the image, or not. Jonas Olson 22:04, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

© This image is copyrighted. However, the copyright holder has irrevocably released all rights to it, allowing it to be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited in any way by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, with or without attribution of the author.

Is this clearer? When someone uses the image for something, they can't legally claim their own copyright on it (although they can claim copyright on any expressive changes they make) but they are not required to attach attribution or indicate in any way what the original copyright permissions were. --Andrew 23:37, Apr 17, 2005 (UTC)

Ok, done. --Andrew 13:00, May 3, 2005 (UTC)

Releasing your own works under a certain version of GFDL

Currently, it seems like you have to accept current, and future, versions of the GDFL when uploading your own works. I have always found it strange to release something under a licence you have never seen, so I wonder why it shouldn't be possible to specify the version which should be applied. Jonas Olson 22:00, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Protection of copyright tags?

Twice now, I've tried to fix minor wording errors in copyright tags only to find them protected. Questions on the talk page have not elicited responses. Protected pages include {{CopyrightedFreeUse}}, {{CopyrightedFreeUse-User}} (but not {{CopyrightedFreeUse-Link}}), {{CrownCopyright}}, {{NationalAuditOfficeCopyright}}, {{NHSCopyright}} (but not {{CanadaCopyright}}), {{Cc-by}}, {{Fairuse}}, and so on.

Why were they protected? Wouldn't some discussion, or at least, an explanation have been nice? And can someone unprotect them please so I can fix (for example) the wording of {{CrownCopyright}} to indicate that it's specifically for UK government material? --Andrew 23:49, Apr 17, 2005 (UTC)

Importing Cornell Copyright Table

This table is helpful [4] - fills incomplete holes in this artice's explanation. Any objections to importing it under publicdomain? Lotsofissues 15:33, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The table is not public domain. It is under the cc-by-nc license, which is listed under "non-free licenses". I don't think you can use it in Wikipedia. --ChrisRuvolo 15:47, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
© 2004 Peter B. Hirtle. Use of this chart is governed by the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License. In addition, permission is granted for non-profit educational use, including but not limited to reserves and coursepacks made by for-profit copyshops.

Charts from United Nations reports

I have used a chart from the PDF of a UN report on HIV for the AIDS in Africa article (Image:UNAIDS 2004 HIVAfrica85-03.png).

I cannot conceivably imagine they would object to the dissemination of this information and have put a {{fairuse}} tag on it. However, the copyright blerb reads:

All rights reserved. Publications produced by UNAIDS can be obtained from the UNAIDS Information Centre. Requests for permission to reproduce or translate UNAIDS publications—whether for sale or for noncom-mercial distribution—should also be addressed to the Information Centre at the address below, or by fax, at +41 22 791 4187, or e-mail:

Should someone email them and ask permission to reproduce graphs? Or does fair use cover this? It would probably be useful for the future to have their permission. UN material probably merits its own category and template notice too. TreveX 20:28, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

What's in the public domain and what's not.

If you want to know what's in the public domain and what's not, you might be interested in User:Quadell/copyright. – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 21:06, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)


thumb|50px|Ann CoulterFor a screenshot to qualify as fair use, does it need to include the entire screen, or can it be siginificantly edited down? I've seen some images which have had all the identifying marks removed that have still been listed as screenshots. thumb|50px|Tidus. Here are two examples I've run across. Thanks of any input. -Willmcw 03:03, May 1, 2005 (UTC)

Fair use does not require the entire image to be used. (For instance, one of the classic fair uses is to use a brief quote from a book - this is essentially the same as cropping an image.) – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 13:42, May 7, 2005 (UTC)

Thanks. But can any screenshot, edited down to remove identifying text, be freely used? If there's a copyrighted image that is on a website, computer game, etc., which is then isolated on its own so that it no longer aqppears as a screenshot, haven't we basically just copied that photo or artwork? What would keep us from going over the Corbis website and taking screenshots of their collection to add to articles? On a second issue, should all screenshots, since they are a form of fair use, be at the lowest usable quality? Thanks for your time and attention. Cheers, -Willmcw 22:10, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
The screenshot tag is currently kind of a mess. For example, if I take a screenshot of the open-source video game nethack, it's difficult to see how the screenshot can be non-free, but it's classified along with screenshots of copyrighted programs. Moreover, there are three different possible sources of copyright on a screenshot: copyright on the program, copyright on the data displayed, and copyright on the screenshot itself. The last of this is probably void, since there is so little creative expression involved in taking a screenshot (although this involves selecting data, UI themes, cropping, rescaling, and so on). A screenshot of copyrighted data (for example, a screenshot of the GIMP displaying a copyrighted image) is certainly a derived work of the data. A screenshot of free data but a copyrighte program is pretty ambiguous - on the one had, you could view it as a photograph of a new model of car, for which the car maker doesn't get copyright, but on the other hand any modern program contains a number of custom images and layouts as part of its UI design.
For this reason, screenshots are just treated as fair use here. So yes, they should be of just-good-enough quality. This is true for practical reasons too: screenshots rescale badly. --Andrew 22:59, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
How would the Corbis example be fair use? Just because it's a screenshot doesn't make it fair use. Fair use is applied on a case-by-case basis. Image X may be fair use if used in article X but not article Y. The article on fair use does a fairly decent job of explaining it, I think. kmccoy (talk) 08:07, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Copyright labeling

I'm trying to label an image Image:Bahai.jpg which was uploaded by someone else however I'm struggling. I found a page which specifies the copyright and its certainly legal to use, even available for making profit with etc, but I can't find a tag that matches. I contacted the original uploader and he didn't get permission but thats not required according to the copyright page (

I've left the details in the description page.

Any help would be nice. -- Tomhab 15:22, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

In this case, I think you should use {{logo}}. (I've tagged it.) For other images on the page, it's quite possible that, while the terms for re-use are quite generous, they're not compatable with the GFDL, so we can't use them. – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 13:39, May 7, 2005 (UTC)

General non-free licenses

Under the section General non-free licenses it says: "Do not upload images for which one of the tags in this section applies." This includes both the copyrighted tag and the permission tag. So if we're not supposed to upload images we have permission to use, then what images are we supposed to use? And why did someone go through the trouble to create tags that can't be used anyway since we're not allowed to upload such images? This seems confusing, and therefor my guess is that I have completely misunderstood these instructions. I would appreciate if anyone could clear this up for me. Maver1ck 09:29, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

The {{Permission}} and {{Copyright}} tags both say essentially the same thing: that the copyright holder has said that Wikipedia can use the images, but other sites that copy Wikipedia content can't. Since Wikipedia, in its entirety, is released under the GFDL, those images are violations of the GFDL, even if Wikipedia has permission to use them. (If, instead, Wikipedia has permission to use the images under the GFDL, then we use the {{GFDL}} tag, not the permission one.)
These tags were created in order to tag existing images. They may eventually be deleted, but it's good to organize them first. For instance, some kind soul might wish to look through all the images tagged "Permission" to see if any of these also count as fair use (in which case we can use them), or to see if we want to write the copyright holder to ask permission to use the images under the GFDL. – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 13:34, May 7, 2005 (UTC)

Pics donated to US government

A few pics from here have been uploaded for an article on fish parasites. The pics were donated by the maker to the US Fish and Wildlife service. {{Attribution}} was the best tag I could think of, can someone suggest something better? --nixie 00:25, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

Non-free pictures

What is to be done with all the pictures that have been tagged with non-free licenses? There are hundred and hundreds of images tagged {{copyrighted}} and in the Non-commercial use only images category. I'm sure that this has all been discussed before, but are these images allowed to remain? — Asbestos | Talk 10:51, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Non-derivative issue

What is our stance on licenses that do not allow derivatives. On the one hand, Creative Commons No-Derivs is banned. Yet, Crown Copyright is allowed, despite requiring "accurate reproduction." Clarification requested. Superm401-Talk 17:54, May 22, 2005 (UTC)

Tagging sounds?

I've uploaded some short (30-second) audio clips of songs for The Supremes for some music articles I have worked on. The moderator I worked on the page with informed me that featured music articles should have sound samples. How do I go about properly tagging the sound samples? --FuriousFreddy 03:42, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I suppose you should ckeck whether it's fair use here. Superm401 | Talk 01:31, Jun 4, 2005 (UTC)


Can one of yall tell me what is the image tag if you want an image to be requested to be renamed? Thanks. Zscout370 (Sound Off) 02:10, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Sure thing. Use {{ifr}} (Image For Renaming). — EagleOne\Talk 19:11, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)

Indian public domain

I've made a template for the Indian public domain images. Indian copyright info can be read here: [5], [6], [7], [8], [9]. Someone familiar with legalese terms may want to fully decode it.  =Nichalp (Talk)= 18:53, Jun 12, 2005 (UTC)


Is there a reason why there is PD-user but not GFDL-user or just noone needed it so far? 33px helix84 19:25, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

See: {{GFDL-self}}. --ChrisRuvolo (t) 19:50, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
-self and -user are different things. 33px helix84 20:24, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Doesn't seem that different to me. See Template talk:PD-self. --ChrisRuvolo (t) 22:49, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Logos / Coats-of-arms

Hi. Does the fair use rationale behind the "logo" and "coatofarms" tags apply to the arms or logo as a conceptual idea; or to the specific artwork inherent in them; or both? Obviously the "conceptual idea" is in most cases governed under some sort of trademark law (or heraldic law in the UK) while the artwork is presumably regular copyright. If the rationale only extends to the idea, then that would mean that we'd have to redraw many logos/coats-of-arms from scratch ourselves; if only to the artwork — well, that would be pretty pointless & we'd really be up the creek!; and if to both, then we're OK and all the thousands of arms and logos can stand as they are. Thanks, oh legal experts, for your help. Doops 21:55, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

salem witch trials – actual documents

The University of Virginia is posting these on the Web at ... ... and they are all original documents.

As I understand, all court documents – be they either from the present Government or a former "overthrown" government that has been amalgamated into the present – are public domain UNLESS they have been officially labeled: classified, confidential, secret, or top secret.

If this is not so, please explain else-wise. I have already uploaded one of the images to a webpage that I started entitled Mary Walcott.

WB2 07:34, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Several questions about licensing

  1. What I would ideally like for my images (and other contributions) is to release them as copyleft. In other words, they can be used by anyone for any purpose as long as derivative works are released the same way. Initially I tried wading through all this nonsense and just decided to be lazy and left them as PD, which allows people to modify them and release the derivative in a non-free way, correct? I would like to change my licensing to a copyleft license, but I can't figure them out! Why are there so many different licenses that do the same thing and are incompatible with each other?? So what do I do? License them under GFDL, CC, free art, and BSD license all at the same time? I don't see a tag for that...
  2. Is it even legally possible to change a tag after you have put one on an image? Isn't the version that I originally tagged PD forever and ever? I can't revoke that, can I?
  3. I thought all images uploaded to wikipedia were implicitly under the GFDL as well as whatever tag people put on it. Is this not true? So if someone puts their own picture up that has a {{cc-nd}} tag on it, they are also implicitly releasing it under the GFDL, so this image is still ok, right? - Omegatron 18:38, Jun 19, 2005 (UTC)

AP photos

I am curious what tag you would use for photo's off of Associated Press? --ZeWrestler 01:00, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I would use {{imagevio|url=Associated Press}}. dbenbenn | talk 14:17, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
There's no way it could classify as fairuse at all? -- ZeWrestler 20:09, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
If it qualified as fair use, you would tag it as {{fairuse}}. Superm401 | Talk 00:56, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)
Sounds good, but how would a user know to put one or the other? -- ZeWrestler 12:02, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Read Wikipedia:Fair use, there are really limited situations where fair use can be claimed.--nixie 12:33, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)