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Can we think of incorporating copyright tags with Template:Header?--Jusjih 14:39, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Anonymous works intended for copyright-free distributionEdit

Hi, I want to put the following poem on Wikisource but there seems to be no appropriate tag. The poem was distributed in Eastbourne, UK, in 1956. It is about a serial killer John Bodkin Adams - and it was distributed anonymously because at the time it was libellous. It was copied, changed by further copiers, and handed around Eastbourne and read in pubs... The link here is from an author whose book states that it came from a copy found in the Scotland Yard archives. Does that make it UK government property?

Either way, it was published anonymously and intended to be distributed and recopied - no copyright was ever intended or claimed. What tag should it have? Advice appreciated. Malick78 15:47, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Hello. Wikisource only accepts works that are in the public domain or that have free licenses. What you describe is called 'presumed public domain', but this has previously been rejected. Publication, even if anonymous, does not show an intent to release all rights in perpetuity. For historical discussion, see Help:Licensing compatibility#Presumed licensing.
Therefore, we must apply copyright law. The copyright law of the United Kingdom sets a copyright term for anonymous works published before 01 June 1957 as 70 years after publication (until 2026). Assuming this work was not published in the United States within 30 days of UK publication, copyright law extends this copyright in the United States to 95 years after publication (until 2051) due to the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. —{admin} Pathoschild 18:58:19, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the advice. I checked the link you gave and one of the two allowable instances is:
"Manifestos or open letters that are not explicitly or implicitly copyrighted and are intended for widespread distribution."
Now, the poem in question seems quite similar: it was intended for widespread distribution (and more importantly, reproduction) and the writer specifically did not want copyright (s/he could have been prosecuted for libel) - hence it was not explicitly or implicitly copyrighted. I realise this is a difference case from that intended by the rule, but I feel the inclusion of the poem here would be keeping pretty closely to the letter and the spirit of this rule. What do you think? Malick78 12:05, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
The writer may not have want attribution due to the libel, but that doesn't mean they wanted it to be redistributed, reproduced, altered, translated, etc. For {{PD-manifesto}} to apply, you would need to show that there was a concert effort to distribute it widely. Have you investigated whether the author now known? It sounds like this could be acceptable as a manifesto, however that license requires the contributor does a lot of background checking. Any chance you have an image of an edition that was distributed? John Vandenberg (chat) 12:56, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Cullen, Pamela V., "A Stranger in Blood: The Case Files on Dr John Bodkin Adams", London, Elliott & Thompson, 2006, ISBN 1-904027-19-9 - describes at length how the police went round public houses where the poem had been read out for the enjoyment of the regulars. They had to track various versions of the poem, because as it was copied changes were introduced, but finally they tracked it down to a printing firm where an employee had run off a few dozen copies for himself and friends. This employee, not the writer, said that he had been passed a previous copy of it by someone else... The writer, the police suspected, was probably a Fleet Street journalist (since the poem required some literary talent and there were dozens in Eastbourne covering the story) and could easily have been in a position to claim some copyright at the time or later. The writer was, however, never firmly established. It is clear from the book though, that distribution was undoubtedly intended by the author (after all, what real journalist would write for as limited a readership as possible?;) ). Does that help? Malick78 17:14, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Furthermore, Adams died in 1983, so there has been 25 years for someone to claim copyright without the threat of being sued for libel. Perhaps that's relevant too. Malick78 17:21, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the extra detail. This text looks safe from copyright limitations; go with {{PD-manifesto}}. If the book contains a copy of this poem, could you note that on the talk page of the text. John Vandenberg (chat) 17:41, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Will do so. Thanks for the advice and pointing me in the right direction:) Malick78 13:37, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Template:PD-JapanGov createdEdit

Template:PD-JapanGov has been created, probably people familiar with Japanese copyright giving it the once over before it is added to the Help page. -- billinghurst (talk) 11:43, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

PD-country and 1996Edit

Would it be worthwhile to add a small notice like the ones on {{PD-South Africa}} and {{PD-Russia}} about the whole US 1996 thing to all the PD-country tags? May also be a good idea to check the works that use those licenses and make sure they qualify. Prosody (talk) 23:27, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

A notice would be good. It would also be helpful to document how someone checks that it wasnt registered in the US. We could also add a ruleUS1996checked = yes/no to indicate that a work has been checked for compliance against the 1996 rule. And all works without 'ruleUS1996checked = yes' would be placed into a hidden maintenance category. John Vandenberg (chat) 03:34, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
We have {{PD-1996}} which could be used in conjunction with a PD in country of origin tag. Given that there's some discussion about the conditions of the URAA thing it seems best to wait until that's settled before changing things. Prosody (talk) 15:16, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
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