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Wikipedia:Media copyright questions

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[edit] Concerts and sport events

Hi all,

I've been reading around, and I'm still not sure if i have the rights to share the following:

Pictures of a famous person (musician) taken in a concert by myself (say Tina Turner, Joe Cocker...) Videos of songs performed in this concert (both full and partial), also taken by myself

Pictures and videos of sport events.

Also theese were taken in England, France, Spain and Germany. Do the laws of theese countries apply, or those of the U.S.A.? And how do i know if that's legal in those countries?

Thanks a lot! Ibon. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Obibon (talkcontribs) 01:35, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

For pictures, if you have signed no contract, and are not at work, then you should own copyright on the pictures that you take at a concert or sports event. For video, the song music and words would have copyright, and the performer would have some rights too, so for concerts we could not count this as something that you exclusively could grant a free license on. For a sports event your video may not have any other copyright material in it. So you should be able to upload your static images here and grant a free license. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:11, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
If the event required a ticket to enter, then it is possible (likely?) for the ticket to carry conditions regarding photo and videos recording. While you generally own the copyrights to photographs taken by you, whether you are free to release those photos for commercials purpose for example are not so easily stated. Then there's the question of whether third parties are legally okay to use any photos released by a ticket holder against the condition of their ticket. KTC (talk) 12:37, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
No privity of contract exists between third parties and the entertainer/venue—so there are relatively few causes of action available. However, it would theoretically be possible for the ticket to be interpreted as a contract you agreed to, and for it to include an express term assigning copyright to the entertainer/venue. (Does it specifically say that?) Then, under the right circumstances (actual knowledge of & material contribution to the infringement), the third party might conceivably be held secondarily liable. That suit is a complicated, expensive proposition.

In other words, suing third-party re-users or the WMF would be a long shot; it's instead you that needs to watch out for yourself, depending on the applicable copyright law. U.S. law applies to Wikipedia (and to you if you subject yourself to its jurisdiction, or if the U.S. Justice Department feels like it), and foreign law applies to you (but not to Wikipedia, unless it subjects itself to that jurisdiction—which it probably does not).

In the U.S., there may be a copyright on a choreographed performance (explanation), but it's unclear if this applies to the material you have recorded.

One other thing to (briefly) consider is de minimis (incidental) reproduction of copyrighted material. For example, the logo painted on a soccer field might be copyrighted, but there would be no finding of infringement if it only played an incidental role in the overall photograph (subject to a judge's ruling). I suppose freedom of panorama might be in play as well, if there are permanent artistic works installed there.

As a practical matter, many images on Wikipedia (and on the Internet for that matter) have only the uploader's declaration to prove that they are unencumbered by others' copyrights—and that's satisfactory because in the vast majority of situations, there's little likelihood of undesirable consequences. If you accept our explanations, and don't mind risking the one-in-a-million chance of getting sued, then I think it's a net positive to upload the images. TheFeds 09:17, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

It is not about whether there's a small risk of being sued; we need to assure our media is freely redistributable, period. If the concern venue or group says no photography is allowed, then a photo taken is not free. --MASEM (t) 09:47, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
I think my last paragraph may not have been fully clear: the low risk of suit isn't itself a justification for uploading—it's just a consequence of holding a strong claim to the rights in the first place.

As the "no photography" principle you cite, that's not generally true. We're mainly concerned with the freedom to reproduce the photo on Wikipedia and in other third-party works. This isn't about contract rights, which are only enforceable by the venue upon the photographer. Absent a valid assignment of copyrights in the contract, the venue's displeasure is for the most part not our problem (but it is the photographer's problem, as I mentioned). TheFeds 20:24, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] list

What is the copyright status of the list of the top entry of a (series of) lists released on a regular basis? (There is something about a compiled list being copyrighted.) The question refers to the list at Top 20 Countdown. RJFJR (talk) 20:12, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

If the list is compiled from factual data (such as records sold, etc.) it cannot be copyrighted. If it is compiled from any subjective factors, then the list is copyrighted and we cannot recreate it in whole. --MASEM (t) 06:43, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
That explanation follows the Feist v. Rural line of reasoning, and is generally correct. However, the decision there isn't absolute—for example, fair use might be a valid reason to reproduce the material entirely. In that case, absent a well-developed policy on exactly what may be considered fair use of text on Wikipedia, we should discuss the proposed use (probably on the article's talk page). TheFeds 08:45, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia does have a well-developed policy on non-free text; it is WP:NFCC (the same as for media). Fair use is really not very relevant, for the policy is intentionally more restrictive than fair use law. It is difficult to see how the use of a whole list could satisfy this policy. It would require a very strong non-free use rationale, addressing in detail why no free substitute could be created, why use of a portion would not suffice, and why the use significantly increases reader understanding of the article. The non-free text guidelines envision brief quotations. —teb728 t c 09:41, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
We actually had input from the WMF on this and they definitely want us to err on caution on wholesale inclusion of creative lists (barring where permission has been saught, as in the AFI lists.) As TEB states, this is more restrictive than fair use but allowed since we're on their servers. --MASEM (t) 09:44, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Fair use is relevant, because it sets an upper bound on what a text-appropriate application of the NFCC must look like. I agree that the NFCC apply, but I don't agree that they're well-developed with respect to text. We have a detailed procedure for dealing with non-free images, which includes a medium-specific policy, and for which consensus has developed around what fair use means in the context of that medium; that's not nearly so clear for text. (Furthermore, just look at the list of enforcement actions: they're all about files, despite being in the generic NFCC. The history of the NFCC as a policy for images before it was generic also bears this out.)

As to the question of brief quotation, the analogue in images is minimal extent of use. If the entire image is needed to serve the purpose, then we wouldn't crop it arbitrarily. The same could be argued for textual quotations, so I don't think we should presuppose that quoting an entire creative list is always forbidden. But I don't disagree in the slightest that a strong non-free content rationale would be beneficial. (And there, again, we don't even have a widely-accepted standard for what a text FUR should look like.)

As for the WMF's (official?) position, I wasn't aware of that input. (Is it documented? A link on the guideline page would be useful.) TheFeds 20:21, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── By the way, I admit ignorance as to the method by which the "Top 20 Countdown" is established. Is this an example of a creative list or an algorithmic list? If algorithmic, then I can see why you might be annoyed that I brought up fair use—without creativity, there's no copyright, and hence no need for fair use. TheFeds 20:31, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Overwriting an existing non-free image with one that is not a different version of that image

Is overwriting an existing non-free image with a non-free image that is not a different version of that image an acceptable practice? I don't know of any guideline prohibiting it, but I fear it could lead to all kinds of trouble down the road. I'm asking because of recent changes to this page. Am I justified in objecting, or am I just being paranoid? Goodraise 22:36, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

You're correct. Unless presented with a good explanation of why this replacement is necessary, it should stand alone under a separate filename. After all, nothing says that there can be only one image. Instead, the issue of whether fair use rationales can be sustained for both of them comes down to the merits of those rationales in the context of the articles in which they're used. TheFeds 08:31, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Er, no. If the replacement is meant as a drop-in - with necessary changes to the rationale - you should overwrite the existing non-free, as to keep the total number of non-free media down. This prevents the need to delete the old, unwanted version. --MASEM (t) 08:33, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
By combining the two files under one file history, you would complicate the assessment of their copyright status, because the fair use rationale applies to all media uploaded under that name. (Thought experiment: if it did not, one could theoretically justify Wikipedia's hosting of infringing material by having a valid FUR for only the most recent image in the history.) By contrast, if you keep two separate files, the moment one becomes unsustainable per the NFCC, it gets speedily deleted without impinging on the other.

Alternatively, extraneous versions could be revision-deleted, but that doesn't address the issue of different users wanting to use each version independently. (If the images are split into two filenames, extraneous versions should be revision-deleted to maintain the applicability of the FURs to the content depicted.) TheFeds 09:34, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Sure, if there was a second use of the image, then a separate file name makes sense, but we have the case here of one use of the image, and the replacement seems to be serving the same purpose but using updated art. Yes, the rationale (specifically source) needs to be updated but there's no concern that a second article will need to use the older version, and thus uploading over the image is perfectly fine and encouraged. --MASEM (t) 09:49, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
But the replaced non free image will have to be deleted as an unused non-free media. THis can be done by administrators. Use this template to mark them : {{subst:orfurrev}}. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 10:47, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
By the way, the rationale at Commons:Overwriting existing files may be instructive (though not directly binding here). TheFeds 01:20, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Third World Traveler: cleanup project

Thanks to Bobrayner for finding 100+ articles with copyright problems due to linking Third World Traveler. I created a list of articles affected and invite anyone/everyone to help restore citations/articles using other references or restoring citations without the offending URLs. Thanks, groupuscule (talk) 04:30, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

A note: I don't think this is contributory infringement as mentioned on the linked page. (My further comments are here: User talk:Groupuscule/Third World Traveler.) Instead, this looks like a plagiarism problem—and I agree we should avoid citing plagiarizers. TheFeds 08:25, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

i dont belive that because i have seen differnt answers so if you would like go to www.facebook.com/molly melloy.and message me! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:05, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Author of image depicting Yutaka Taniyama

A while ago I uploaded the non-free image File:Yutaka Taniyama.png. I am not sure about the author of the image (which is the reason why I succeeded the author name in the rationale with a question mark). Can someone confirm that Shimura is indeed the author of the image? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 12:53, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

If you reply, please drop me note on my talkpage as otherwise I might forget to check back here for your reply. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 12:03, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Brazilian Supreme Court Question

Hello. I have just uploaded an image File:Min Celso de Mello.jpg and it was questioned about its copyrights. That picture was taken from a photographer from the Brazilian Supreme Court, and the Legislation states any content produced by a Brazilian public agent (as it seems the case) is to be considered as of public interest and fruition, proper credits granted. How would I proceed from here? Many thanks in advance. Etp01 (talk) 01:41, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

The supreme Court webpage that you linked in the permission field refers to the public nature of the informations. It does not say that copyrighted works are released from copyright. My impression is that that webpage refers to something like the Access to information act of 2011, which is something entirely different from the Copyright act of 1998. The type of works of the Brazilian public institutions that are excluded from copyright are works such as texts of laws, texts of court judgments, etc. Other types of works from governments are copyrighted. See also Commons:Template:PD-BrazilGov. Anyway, the Creative Commons BY 1.0 license that you put on the description page does not seem to be at the source and it looks like it comes from nowhere. I think how you might proceed is one of the following options: A) request the speedy deletion of this file with the Template:Db-f9, or B) do nothing and the file will be deleted in one week, or C) contact the copyright owner and obtain a free license from him. -- Asclepias (talk) 05:21, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

OK, I think I've actually mixed the Acts you have mentioned. I chose to proceed with the option C mentioned, sending an e-mail to the Court, and they replied, stating "(...) all photos in our image bank are public domain. We only ask the photographer's credits to be given. (...)" (the e-mail was originally sent in Portuguese, if you want I can reproduce it in full text). This sounds to me to meet the Attribution license category. In this case, which is the right way to upload this file to Wikipedia? Many thanks for your attention. Etp01 (talk) 23:37, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Copying Non-Free Images from He-Wikipedia

I'd like to use a non-free image, from Hebrew Wikipedia, on an English Wikipedia page. Specifically, I'm referring to using he:קובץ:Joshua_Zetler.jpg, on the Yehoshua Zettler page. Am I allowed to do this? If so, how should I do this?

Thank you, Inkbug (talk) 10:31, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

You would have to upload the image here at the English Wikipedia and provide a fair use rationale that states how this image meets our criteria for non-free use and why it is beneficial to the article. There are two templates {{Non-free use rationale biog}} and {{Non-free biog-pic}} that you can use on the file page with some additional input. Specifically it should be noted that the person is deceased and so a freely licensed image cannot be made any more. De728631 (talk) 14:27, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Question about non-free content use on a specific page

The article Nude photography contains the copyrighted image File:Nude (1936) - Edward Weston.jpg. I am concerned that this use of that image does not meet the non-free content criteria. (This is not its only use, so I haven't considered proposing it for deletion.) Is there a centralized location to obtain further opinions, or is the local discussion on the article's talk page the primary venue? Powers T 19:34, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Nonfree content review is perfect for situations like this. --MASEM (t) 21:15, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Question about the copyright status of an image

See my talk page. Maybe someone can help figuring out if the image is freely licensed or not? --Stefan2 (talk) 11:16, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Picture given to me for use

I have an image that was taken by my significant other to use for a wikipedia page, taken by him. It is not copyrighted, and he is okay with it's use on Wikipedia or anywhere else. What is this picture classified as and how can I upload it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brandijo26 (talkcontribs) 14:04, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

You can upload the image using the {{PD-release}} license but your significant other would have to send an email to the Wikimedia Foundation as described in WP:Consent. Please note though that waiving the copyright will also allow for commercial reuse of the image, as in "anywhere else". De728631 (talk) 14:14, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] File:David D. Hale.jpg

Dear Wiki team,

I am having trouble describing the media copyright for a photograph in an article.

The article is 'David Hale (economist)' and the photograph is File:David D. Hale.jpg.

This photo was provided to me directly by Hale's company following my request to them.

Can you please advise me on what steps I need to take to ensure it complies with Wiki policy.

Many thanks, Atlas255 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Atlas255 (talkcontribs) 02:01, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Ironic as it may seem, Wikipedia does not accept permission for use only on Wikipedia. Acceptable permission must allow reuse by anyone for anything. This is because Wikipedia has a goal of producing reusable content, and the content is in fact reused. If they are willing to grant acceptable permission, see WP:COPYREQ for how to handle permission. —teb728 t c 03:03, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] mughalprince muradbuksh

question no1 whateis the name of mughalprince muradbuksh son name — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:15, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

mughalprincemuradbuksh childrenname — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:17, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

This page is for media copyright questions. Do you have a media copyright question. —teb728 t c 07:41, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Help! From Someone Who is Lost trying to Tag A Photo

All help would be appreciated, truly.

I found this photo here: http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/4974996

And uploaded it to Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martanda_Sydney_Tondaiman

I was kindly informed about copyright convention by SFan00 IMG and set about finding the relevant information.

The page, just under the photo in its original place, says: You may save or print this image for research and study. If you wish to use it for any other purposes, you must declare your Intention to Publish.

Clicking on the link at the end of that sentence brings one to this page: http://www.nla.gov.au/copyright-and-the-pictures-collection

Where I found the following:


The Australian Copyright Act defines a variety of periods of copyright protection. The main category that applies to the National Library's Pictures Collection is:

Life of creator plus 70 years, for

■Artistic works
■Photographs taken from 1 January 1955

Photographs taken before 1 January 1955 are all out of copyright.

The photo was taken in 1930, as per their own labeling of it.

Advice re this and the tags, with which I have little to no experience, would be greatly appreciated. I am not an everyday inhabitant of Wikipedia but still want to do this right.

Many thanks. Funambules (talk) 07:47, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Use {{Information}} and {{PD-Australia}}. Here an example: File:Buna.jpg. Goodraise 12:24, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
It also needs a PD-1996 tag to explain why it is in the public domain in the United States. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 20:40, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
Actually it seems we don't need to consider the URAA here since there is the bilateral Australia–US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) as described in this sheet by the Australian Copyright Council. The key year for this agreement is 2005. Prior to 2005, published works of Australian origin lost their copyright protection 50 years after the death of the creator.
Funambules, the problem with your image might be though that the source site states it was previously unpublished [1] so the official copyright status is uncertain. I think it would be best to keep the current fair use rationale. De728631 (talk) 23:42, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
I think we've been through the AUSFTA point before. The text of the PDF is explicitly about "This information sheet with duration tables is for people who want to work out whether or not copyright has

expired under Australian law." There is no question of that when asking about the URAA. The works affected by the AUSFTA are in the public domain in Australia. When the question of AUSFTA has returned anything to copyright, as addressed int he document, is all about the work's status in Australia and not the United States. I couldn't see anything in that document that addresses Australian works under United States law. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 11:50, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

my heartfelt thanks to everyone for all their help!! (and i hope this is the right way to do it!  :) (talk) 11:29, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Copyright on File:Office-15-screenshot.png

Hi. In the above screenshot, the license tag used was Template:Non-free Microsoft screenshot. However, the license currently states that in order to benefit from Microsoft's automatic permission grant, "you may not use screen shots of Microsoft product boot-up screens, opening screens, "splash screens," or screens from beta release products or other products that have not been commercially released." The screenshot is about a pre-release software. Is the tag alright, or should it use another tag instead? Pizza1016 (talk) 03:27, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

I've changed it to {{Non-free software screenshot}} which covers all copyrighted software. The fair use clause is still valid anyway. De728631 (talk) 15:28, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Image taken in 1916 published later, PD?

The photograph on this page was taken on July 22, 1916 the day of the Preparedness Day Bombing. The image is exceptionally notable because it vindicates Thomas Mooney. The earliest published version of it that I have found is on the link I mentioned which was published in August 4, 1936 by someone other than the copyright owner. It writes that police suppressed the file for 20 years and that the August 4, 1936 appearance was the first time it was reproduced. Is the image in the Public Domain or must it wait another 13 years? Ryan Vesey 04:28, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

These are fun to track down, once in a while. The work you've linked to is The New Masses, vol. 20, no. 6 from August 4, 1936. The copyright notice is properly formed. The work is American and from the period in which registration and renewal were needed to maintain copyright. It was registered properly in 1936, but not renewed when it came due 28 years later, in 1964 (note its absence from [2] & [3]). This is also corroborated by its absence from this list. That means the magazine is in the public domain in the U.S. due to copyright expiration.

Here's the problem: in theory, the photograph could have been copyrighted separately, or published without consent of the copyright owner. In fact, in theory, the article could have also been copyrighted separately (e.g. if it was published elsewhere first). The former will be difficult to track down without knowing who the newsman was; the latter would be easier, but I haven't investigated that.

Instead of doing that, let's consider that this problem comes up all the time: works inside other works (like photos) are frequently treated on Wikipedia as if the overarching work's copyright status applies. Since we don't actually know the terms of licence, that may be a bad assumption. (U.S. government works are a great example of this: U.S. government papers are in the public domain w/r/t copyright, but the government might have licenced the constituent work for government republication only.) It is very improbable that we (or a court) would be able to decide whether or not the photographer 96 years ago licenced, assigned the rights to, registered, renewed or previously published the work, since he remains anonymous. It is less improbable, but still remarkably unlikely, that a plaintiff would have the information needed to prove standing and copyright status, and sue a re-user of the work.

So how hard a line are we actually willing to take on Wikipedia? Precedent seems to indicate that a preponderance of the evidence is enough when the risk of harm or suit is infinitesimal. But if you want to make 100% sure that the work is unencumbered by copyright, you're inherently out of luck for the vast majority of works. I vote to maintain a state of pragmatism: tag it as {{PD-US-not renewed}}. TheFeds 10:06, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Just to be the devil's advocate for a second: what if the police seized the newsman's film, rather than asked for and received a print of the photo? That would fly in the face of consent, and indicate that the magazine had no licence to republish the image, because the police couldn't grant one for that which they didn't own. Under today's fair use law, the magazine would have no trouble republishing a newsworthy photo. But I don't think that would be valid as first publication under the 1909 Copyright Act. There are various annoying implications of that situation, but I trust you get the picture! TheFeds 10:14, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Copyright questions and notability aside I would not use your current source for uploading the image to WP or Commons. The quality of the image is just too poor to be of any use in an article. De728631 (talk) 15:22, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
I was hoping to find someone who could try to improve the quality somewhat. Ryan Vesey 15:39, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you very much the Feds. Question, where do you go to figure out if copyright status was renewed? Ryan Vesey 15:41, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
I typically apply the criteria summarized here, and consult resources that reproduce the U.S. copyright renewal register: [4], [5] & [6]. TheFeds 01:25, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] File:Pet Shop Boys - Yes cover.png

Is this image copyrightable in the UK, despite its ineligibility in the United States? --George Ho (talk) 04:32, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

To my knowledge, this is in the public domain everywhere. Usually, there will be a comment in the template that says it only applies to a certain country if that is in fact the case. com:Commons:Village pump/copyright would be a better place for that question. Ryan Vesey 04:36, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] copyright options

I am trying to upload an image for a company who asked me to create a page for them, which means that they have given me the permission to use their logo. Do I still need to provide the license agreement or equivalent statement in order to upload the image? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Espresso99 (talkcontribs) 01:51, 13 November 2012(UTC)

We actually don’t need their permission to use the logo under our restrictive non-free use policy. One image is generally acceptable to identify the subject of an article. For a logo use the {{non-free logo}} tag, and for the required non-free use rationale you can use {{non-free use rationale logo}}. (Click on that link for the required and optional parameters).
I am concerned, however, about your statement that they asked you to create a page for them. Please read WP:COI. We find from experience that many people who are asked to create articles for a subject do not have the required neutrality and write unacceptable articles, wasting their time and ours. —teb728 t c 07:40, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
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