Wikipedia:Media copyright questions

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    Media copyright questions

    Welcome to the Media Copyright Questions page, a place for help with image copyrights, tagging, non-free content, and related questions. For all other questions please see Wikipedia:Questions.

    How to add a copyright tag to an existing image
    1. On the description page of the image (the one whose name starts File:), click Edit this page.
    2. From the page Wikipedia:File copyright tags, choose the appropriate tag:
      • For work you created yourself, use one of the ones listed under the heading "For image creators".
      • For a work downloaded from the internet, please understand that the vast majority of images from the internet are not appropriate for use on Wikipedia. Exceptions include images from flickr that have an acceptable license, images that are in the public domain because of their age or because they were created by the United States federal government, or images used under a claim of fair use. If you do not know what you are doing, please post a link to the image here and ask BEFORE uploading it.
      • For an image created by someone else who has licensed their image under an acceptable Creative Commons or other free license, or has released their image into the public domain, this permission must be documented. Please see Requesting copyright permission for more information.
    3. Type the name of the tag (e.g.; {{Cc-by-4.0}}), not forgetting {{ before and }} after, in the edit box on the image's description page.
    4. Remove any existing tag complaining that the image has no tag (for example, {{untagged}})
    5. Hit Publish changes.
    6. If you still have questions, go on to "How to ask a question" below.
    How to ask a question
    1. To ask a new question hit the "Click here to start a new discussion" link below.
    2. Please sign your question by typing ~~~~ at the end.
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    Note for those replying to posted questions

    If a question clearly does not belong on this page, reply to it using the template {{mcq-wrong}} and, if possible, leave a note on the poster's talk page. For copyright issues relevant to Commons where questions arising cannot be answered locally, questions may be directed to Commons:Commons:Village pump/Copyright.

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    BLP Image Copyright Question[edit]

    I'm currently working on a BLP over at User:Silver seren/Mary Lake Polan for a scientist. She has an article in the National Library of Medicine over here that has an image I would like to use. Normally, government published images are public domain, but that isn't true for all images in the NLM, sadly. There are no copyright notes listed in this source, however. Additionally, there is a journal article published 7 years later that uses the same image. And several other images of the subject. If you click into the gallery for the images, you'll see that all the other ones of her have a note saying "Photo courtesy of Dr Mary Lake Polan" or some other copyright notice. Except for the first lede image, the same one from the NLM profile. Nothing is listed for that one image.

    Does this indicate the image IS a public domain one taken during the course of her public government work? Is there any way to properly confirm this? SilverserenC 00:06, 3 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    I'm not as experienced as many others, but I wanted to point out two caveats from the NLM, both from the "Copyright" link at the bottom of that page:
    However, a copyright notice is not required by law and therefore not all copyrighted content is necessarily marked in this way.
    User Responsibility: It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when using materials that are not in the public domain. NLM cannot guarantee the copyright status for any item.
    The journal's contents are copyrighted, as are submissions to the journal, so I don't think that's any help, even though there is no copyright statement there either.
    It seems to me that using the NLM page as a guide to public domain status is problematic. Most images on that page do have copyright notices, but the one you're referring to obviously doesn't, not does the one at the very bottom of the page. Neither photo has any information concerning its status. My weakly experienced opinion is that we should be cautious, and I think the onus is on us to actively determine for ourselves, as the "User Responsibility" caveat states, what the copyright status is, unless the image is to be used under a fair use exemption, which is not available here. Good luck, and I appreciate editors who take as much care as you have to protect our wonderful Wikiworld! Dcs002 (talk) 05:48, 3 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Similarly to Dcs002, I'm not nearly as experienced as others, but I noticed that the list of asset credits (linked from here, which is in turn linked from here) for the NLM exhibition in question makes an attribution (on page 15) to:

    Mary Lake Polan, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
    Courtesy private collection

    All the best, ‍—‍a smart kitten[meow] 12:46, 4 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    "Courtesy private collection" clarifies it then. It's copyrighted. Good news though! I see I misspoke in my comment above. I said Fair Use is not available here. I meant to say Fair Use IS available here. There are restrictions on the image size (something like 100,000 pixels) and how it may be used, but a picture of the subject of an article can be used for that article under certain conditions, like no free image being available. All the painstaking details are here at WP:Fair. I've done this before. It's not difficult. You just need to write out a Fair Use justification when you upload the image, and make sure you upload it to Wikipedia, NOT Wikimedia. (They don't allow Fair Use because files are stored there, not used.) Good luck! Dcs002 (talk) 05:30, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I didn't realize such fair use rationale was allowed with BLP subjects, Dcs002. I've used such a rationale with BDP subjects instead, where I put it under historical photographs for other scientists where every picture of them was either related to their university work or were in newspapers (or with decades old deceased actors where all images of them were in papers as well). But I thought BLP didn't allowed for such arguments. If they do, then it does seem clear that all pictures that exist of Mary Lake Polan are those taken during the course of her work or from interviews. SilverserenC 05:34, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This would not meet WP:NFCC#1. -- Whpq (talk) 05:44, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That's what I thought. Since, if they're alive, the argument is you could always reach out to them to request a CC licensed photo. SilverserenC 05:49, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thank you for clarifying. I've done this for album covers and for one pic in an air crash article. I've never done a BLP article, but back in my memory I do recall encountering something like this standard. If the subject is alive, there's a possibility of taking your own photo. Yeah, it's on the WP:FAIR page: "...for example, in most cases, a photograph of a living person can be taken and released under a free licence." Dcs002 (talk) 18:24, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    copyright tagging[edit]

    I've received a note saying that an image that is in my draft article has not been tagged. I have found what I think is the appropriate tag but I cannot figure out how to attach it to the image.

    Draft: Anna Istomina 57.140.161

    Copyright tag

    {{PD-US-no notice}}

    Is this the correct tag? It is a photographic portrait with no information about creator, date, or place of creation. Based on what I know about the person in the photograph, my best guess is that it was taken about 1943. How do I proceed from here? Boat Scherzo (talk) 01:12, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    I assume you mean this file: File:Audree Thomas, c. 1943-2.jpg. First, as you say you got the photo from a relative, you can verify that there were no copyright markings on either side of it. Assuming its all good, in the Summary section of that page, replace the "untagged" template with what you have above and that should be good. --Masem (t) 01:22, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Boat Scherzo: That template "PD-US-no notice" would work only if it is known that the photo was first published in the United States. Otherwise, the absence of a copyright notice is not decisive and you may need to consider the URAA, which implies taking into account the copyright status in the country of first publication. The problem is that, as you say, you have "no information about creator, date, or place of creation" or place of publication. Based on the look of the person on the photo, it looks from probably the late 1940s. It could as well be from Canada or from her years in Argentina. First published in Canada would be fine if the photo was taken before 1946 (Template:PD-Canada). First published in Argentina would be even better (Template:PD-AR-Photo). Another copy of this photo on the internet also suggests that it is probably from her years in Argentina, based on printing on the back of the photo [1]. Argentina seems a good guess. I suppose you already know of these other photos probably from the same era, but just in case: this first group photo in the collection of the New York Public Library might be "PD-US-no notice", the publication history of this second photo could possibly be documented with some research, and the person who was your source might be able to tell something about this third photo. -- Asclepias (talk) 15:23, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Moved to Commons with a PD-Canada. Canadian pictures from before 1949 are in the public domain. Yann (talk) 13:20, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks for your comments. You actually found some photos that I had not seen. The Worthpoint site ( says the picture is stamped Made in Brazil on the back. Hopefully that is true though there is other information in that write-up that is not true. Moreover, there is no evidence that Istomina ever lived in Brazil though she likely toured there with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo between 1940 and 1945. The best guess of my informant, Istomina's neice, is that she was about 18 when the photo was taken, which would date the photo about 1943. So assuming the photo was taken in Brazil in 1943, what copyright tag should I use. Boat Scherzo (talk) 23:56, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Boat Scherzo: From what I understand from the Worthpoint page and from additional research elsewhere, the stamp on the back of the photo is "Carmen U. T. 35-8104 REPRODUCCIONES FOTOGRAFICAS". We can see an example of it on the back of this photograph of an Argentinian singer. The thing about Brazil is only in the text written by the person who wrote the Worthpoint webpage. Apparently, that person was confused about geography (and also about languages and spelling) and believed that Buenos Aires was in Brazil. Another photo apparently from the same origin is this photo of an American signer who was in Argentina in 1952. So we have at least three photos, by "Carmen", of three people who were in Argentina and who were at the Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires. I guess that Carmen was probably the identification of the photographer or of the photo studio, probably in Buenos Aires, and the number may have been the telephone number at that time. To me, on the photo, Audree Thomas looks like a person possibly in her early to mid 20s, more than like a person in her late 10s. That matches well with her Buenos Aires years in 1947-1948. Considering all that together, in my opinion, the photo could be attributed to Carmen, dated from circa 1947-1948 and tagged with the template for Argentina PD-AR-Photo, plus the template PD-1996 for its status in the United States. -- Asclepias (talk) 16:29, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks for your help. You clearly have spent a lot of time on this. i will go with your suggestion and see what happens. Boat Scherzo (talk) 18:42, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Public domain? 1928 advert[edit]

    File:HSApolloMinksy.jpg is in Apollo Theater and is listed as CC-BY SA 4.0. However I'm pretty sure that it's either PD-ineligible because it's just text, or public domain due to its age. Which one applies? Reconrabbit 20:36, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    How do you know it's 1928 when no source is given? If it is from 1928 and was published in a newspaper then yes it is PD and {{PD-US-expired}} is the applicable licence. Nthep (talk) 20:52, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Minsky's Burlesque operated in the theater that would later be known as the Apollo from only 1928 to 1929, so that's the only applicable time frame this could be from, based on the sources in the article. Thank you. Reconrabbit 20:57, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    so it could be 1929 in which case it's still in copyright. Try and find the source, that'll give a conclusive result. Nthep (talk) 21:11, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Is this even eligible for copyright? -- Herby from Vienna (talk) 08:08, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Why not? There's a creative effort to the wording. Nthep (talk) 09:58, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    No, I don't think there is enough originality for a copyright here. I moved it to Commons. Please add any relevant information there. In addition, this is "PD-US-no notice". Yann (talk) 12:30, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I've requested the publication info from the original uploader @Plummer; thanks for your help. Reconrabbit 14:57, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Can this logo be uploaded to Wikimedia to be used in an Infobox?[edit]

    Can this logo on the english Wikipedia be uploaded to Commons? Since it was marked in 2017 as being under non-free use, can it therefore also be uploaded to Commons to be used on other language-Wikipedias' infoboxes?

    Thanks, - Tobost06 (talk) 12:38, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Sorry, it's clearly tagged as not free use, so not eligible. --Orange Mike | Talk 00:59, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Orangemike and Tobost06: well, it's clearly below both US and Germany's threshold of originality so I've converted it to a free licence. I'll request undeletion of the old revision at RFU, and move it myself. Please ping if I forget. —Matrix(!) (a good person!)[Citation not needed at all; thank you very much] 20:45, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The "B" and the surrounding artwork around it seem to me clearly too distinctive to be exempt for lack of originality. --Orange Mike | Talk 21:55, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Given the examples at C:COM:TOO USA, I don't think it meets the threshold of originality for the USA, and my reading of the Germain guidance indicates it likely isn't eligible for copyright there either. -- Whpq (talk) 22:17, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Tobost06:  Done see c:File:Bigpoint logo.pngMatrix(!) (a good person!)[Citation not needed at all; thank you very much] 11:34, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks for the help! Tobost06 (talk) 11:42, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Photo of Czech souvenir collectables[edit]

    I'd like to upload a photo of an assortment of various Czech souvenir collectables. I took the photo. Trouble is, I obviously don't own the copyright for any of the photographs or artwork depicted on them, nor the tradermarked names/logos that appear on some. There's stickers, magnets, rubber stamp imprints, a badge, a postcard and a laser-engraved wooden medal. The postcard specifically is just a print of hand-drawn artwork, without any additional features. I am probably out of luck, huh?

    Thanks, - Vtipoman (talk) 11:33, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Unless the artwork itself is PD, then yes, you are out of luck. -- Whpq (talk) 22:18, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Alright, thank you. Much appreciated. - Vtipoman (talk) 19:11, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Originality of the Love & Loss Sculpture[edit]

    While going through Category:Non-free files with orphaned versions I noticed File:Love & Loss by Roy McMakin, Seattle.jpg, which is a photo of a sculpture of a red ampersand (& symbol). It seems to me like that would fail to meet the threshold of originality, and we could mark this image as free. The Quirky Kitty (talk) 12:56, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    The Quirky Kitty, the amount of creativity necessary to pass TOO is pretty minimal, so I don't think we can definitively say this fails it. That said, I have serious doubts about whether the work is notable to start with, so it may not matter in any case as the article may need to be deleted. Seraphimblade Talk to me 09:40, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Originality of File:MNRK Music Group.svg[edit]

    I also found File:MNRK Music Group.svg which is probably below the threshold of originality but I figured to ask here for a second opinion first. The Quirky Kitty (talk) 12:57, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Agreed that this does not pass the Best Western test. I've changed the license to {{PD-textlogo}} accordingly. Seraphimblade Talk to me 09:42, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks. The Quirky Kitty (talk) 09:44, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Threshold of originality in Turkey[edit]

    I asked on Commons but no one answered so I thought I'd ask here as well. What is the threshold of originality in Turkey? In some countries CCTV/automated footage that has no human input is not considered copyrightable because again, has no human input (this does not apply in some cases if the footage has a human touch with regard to camera placement/ after the fact, but this does not apply here.

    Basically would a CCTV frame in Turkey be public domain? Is there any precedent either way? I can't find any on either side. PARAKANYAA (talk) 19:18, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    PARAKANYAA: This seems to be all the commons has on the subject. ww2censor (talk) 23:01, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Hm. Well, I'd bet it's almost certainly PD, but I don't want to risk getting yelled at about it given the subject matter when I have no good backing for it being public domain or not public domain. Dang. PARAKANYAA (talk) 23:05, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    For use only on the English Wikipedia, it would be sufficient for the file to be PD in the US only. However, c:COM:Threshold_of_originality#Pre-positioned_recording_devices suggests that even in the US the situation is not clear cut, so I'm afraid I wouldn't call that "clear backing" either. Felix QW (talk) 07:56, 16 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Archived newspaper copyright question[edit]

    I've been researching Tracey Emin's 'My Bed', and recently came across a picture I hadn't seen before, on this website

    The picture is a scan from a 1999 'The Gaurdian' article covering the event where two men jumped on the artpeice. The wikipedia page for the bed contains a description of this same event, but it and the rest of the internet are lacking the image.

    I thought it would be a good idea to make an account and add the image, but im currently unsure on what the rules are for images like this, as from what I can find, some sources are saying small parts of larger articles, atleast in the UK, are ok? but maybe not? I am a bit out of my depth and would appreciate some guidance on this, thanks ! 100fish (talk) 06:32, 16 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    100fish, what use would you plan for the image? While we do allow some use of nonfree content, its use is quite strictly limited. If you could be more specific about what article you might foresee this being used in and why, it would help in evaluating if your proposed use might pass those criteria or not. Seraphimblade Talk to me 07:31, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Is this photo of a recent model a breach of copyright?[edit]

    Vasas hull profile

    Is this a breach of copyright? It is a photo of a modern model. So I am wondering if this breaches the copyright of the maker of the model. I am hoping that it does not, as images like this are in short supply. ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 17:51, 16 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    As it is a Commons picture, it would probably make more sense to ask over at the appropriate Commons forum. In any case, Swedish freedom of panorama is complicated, as it is (a) not necessarily even applicable to online publication and (b) restricted to works exhibited outdoors. As far as I can see, the Vasa Museum is itself a ship, so the model may well be on deck or otherwise "outdoors". If it is indoors for the purposes of that ruling, then there is little chance of it being admissible unless the model is considered a "slavish reproduction" of the original ship that lacks the requisite originality to attract copyright. I personally find that doubtful, though. Felix QW (talk) 18:22, 16 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks, I have asked on commons. ThoughtIdRetired (talk) 19:39, 16 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    File:LouisTikas.jpg public domain?[edit]

    This file is marked as nonfree. However, as Tikas died on 20 April 1914, and this photo depicts him alive, it must clearly have been taken on or before that date. While its exact source is not known, would anyone see a reason not to mark this as {{PD-old}} due to its obvious age? Seraphimblade Talk to me 07:27, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    1. It can't be stated that the photographer has been dead for more than 100 years if the photographer is not known.
    2. The photo doesn't look like a selfie.
    3. It fails PD-old-assumed.
    4. The publication history is not known.
    -- Asclepias (talk) 14:13, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]