Wikisource:Copyright discussions

(Redirected from Wikisource:COPYVIO)
Copyright discussions
This page hosts discussions on works that may violate Wikisource's copyright policy. All arguments should be based entirely on U.S. copyright law. You may join any current discussion or start a new one.

Note that works which are a clear copyright violation may now be speedy deleted under criteria for speedy deletion G6. To protect the legal interests of the Wikimedia Foundation, these will be deleted unless there are strong reasons to keep them within at least two weeks. If there is reasonable doubt, they will be deleted.

When you add a work to this page, please add {{copyvio}} after the header which blanks the work. If you believe a work should be deleted for any reason except copyright violation, see Proposed deletions.

If you are at least somewhat familiar with U. S. copyright regulations, Stanford Copyright Renewal Database as well as University of Pennsylvania's information about the Catalog of Copyright Entries may be helpful in determining the copyright status of the work. A search through or Google Books may also be useful to determine if the complete texts are available due to expired copyright. Help:Public domain can help users determine whether a given work is in the public domain.

Quick reference to copyright term

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Scan localisation RequestsEdit

@Languageseeker: You uploaded all but one of the below works. Please pay attention to copyright status before uploading: all four of these works are wholly or partially by UK authors with no evidence of first or concurrent publication in the US. This means they are still in copyright in the UK, even if their US copyright has expired. Since Commons requires uploads to be in the public domain in both the US and the country of origin, these will be deleted there eventually. Works that comply with the enWS copyright policy but not the Commons policy should be uploaded locally.

@ShakespeareFan00: There's no special magic for moving files from Commons to here: just download the file from Commons, upload it here, add the description page from Commons, tidy up any template differences, and add {{do not move to Commons}}. --Xover (talk) 13:10, 23 March 2021 (UTC)

I am UK based, so me uploading them locally would potentially be a copyright issue for me. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 15:51, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
Exactly. If outside the USA, better ask here first.--Jusjih (talk) 04:17, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

Index:One Increasing Purpose.pdfEdit

Work is by Arthur Stuart-Menteth Hutchinson (1879–1971). It is not PD-UK, and so the scans should be locally hosted. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:50, 21 March 2021 (UTC)

Index:Rebels and reformers (1919).djvuEdit

Contains contributions from Dorothea Ponsonby (1876–1963) ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 12:18, 22 March 2021 (UTC)

Index:The war history of the 1st-4th Battalion, the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, now the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire), 1914-1918 (IA warhistoryof1st400grea).pdfEdit

Localisation requested as specfic UK authors could not be identified on a quick scan of the works initial pages. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 18:57, 22 March 2021 (UTC)

Index:The way of Martha and the way of Mary (1915).djvuEdit

Work by British Author - Stephen Graham (1884–1975) , so not PD-UK. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 18:59, 22 March 2021 (UTC)

Index:When we were very young.pdfEdit

London publication, Author Alan Alexander Milne (1882–1956) - Not PD-UK ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 20:34, 22 March 2021 (UTC)

Index:The ABC of Relativity.djvuEdit

Index:Pyrotechnics the history and art of firework making (1922).djvuEdit

  • Work by British Author who died in 1956 - Not PD-UK. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 22:10, 23 March 2021 (UTC)

Index:Machine-gun tactics (IA machineguntactic00appl).pdfEdit

  • Work by british authour who died in 1956 - Not PD-UK and this appears to be a London published edition ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 09:45, 24 March 2021 (UTC)


Philosophical Writings: Translators modern unpublished translation, or possible gifted translationEdit

This work was provided in 2010 by an IP address. The author is a known modern translator [1] though the source is unknown, and unproven that the translation has been published, and if published whether it is in the public domain, or not.

It is possible that the translation has been done and gifted to the web. I can see that the person has edited at Wikipedia and from an IP address. If we do wish to determine that is the case and determine to retain the work, then I would suggest that we move the work to the Translation namespace, and de-identify the author. — billinghurst sDrewth 23:58, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Since Larrieu is a published author, and the uploader is anonymous, I would assume copyvio over gifted translation. I would suggest reaching out to the translator, but he died in 2015. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 02:23, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
Larrieu made several edits to Wikipedia in 2006, and the IP address geolocates to roughly the same area that the IP address that added the text here does, albeit from a different ISP (Verizon vs. Cox). In their edits on Wikipedia they exhibit a level of competence with wiki editing roughly commensurate with the text added here. They also expressed interest in finding online verified copies of certain old texts, in response to which a Wikipedia editor referred them to Wikisource!
Based on this I am actually personally convinced the text was added by Larrieu himself, and that he intended it to be freely available.
However, despite this conviction, I don't think we can keep this work: simply because the necessary formalities were not observed. We don't know that it was Larrieu that added it, and we don't know that they understood the licensing consequences; because there is no OTRS ticket confirming the identity and intent, and the added text did not contain explicit copyright tags. So, reluctantly, I think we need to delete this.
We could reach out to Larrieu's heirs, but the odds of them knowing anything about his wiki activities are pretty poor. --Xover (talk) 08:48, 24 July 2019 (UTC)
Suggest we move it to Translation: namespace and make appropriate notes on talk page. — billinghurst sDrewth 13:11, 6 August 2019 (UTC)

I believe the participants so far are in disagreement over how to best handle this issue due to the uncertainties involved (I don't believe a clear-cut right—wrong answer is obtainable with the available information). I would therefore request that other community members (the more the better!) chime in with their opinion so that we can more accurately gauge the community's consensus on how to handle this. --Xover (talk) 10:32, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

My opinion is still   Delete: assume copyvio over gifted translation without evidence to the contrary —Beleg Tâl (talk) 13:15, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
I agree and thus also   Delete. But I take billinghurst's above proposal of "move to Translation:" as an implicit {{vk}}. Since the issue is not clearly settleable on the facts, I think we need wider input to determine our course of action. --Xover (talk) 06:58, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
  •   Keep 2010! They met our requirements at the time, and we didn't have a translation: ns back then. There is suitable evidence that the author did edit, and with this translation left their name on the work appropriately to our style. The text is not findable on the web, so it is unlikely to be a copy and paste job. If anyone had done that in the Translation ns: today, then no one would be batting an eyelid about keep it unsigned comment by Billinghurst (talk) 09:15, 24 August 2019 (UTC)‎.
  •   Keep per billinghurst --Zyephyrus (talk) 09:39, 20 June 2020 (UTC)

Index:Civil Rights Movement EL Text.pdfEdit

2014 work that has been sitting tagged as having insufficient licensing information since 2016. The issue was raised with the uploader at the time, and an alleged email from the author was provided on their talk page, but the OTRS procedure was not apparently followed. The work as such is clearly in copyright, both by the author and by other contributors (cover design etc.), so the question is whether we consider the (unverified) emailed statement on the contributor's talk page sufficient.

e-mail from John Duley to Willl Loew-Blosser 10/9/2014

"Will: Thanks so much for following up on this. The answer to your two questions at the end of your email is yes--​ I would be pleased to have it widely circulated so do not intend to copyright it and would be willing to have it published as you suggest. John"

e-mail to John Duley from Will Loew-Blosser 10/4/2014

"Hi John,

Leslie and I have were very pleased to learn so much of East Lansing history from your monograph. As we mentioned at breakfast I’m looking into putting your monograph entitled "The Civil Rights Movement in East Lansing and Edgewood Village” onto wikipedia. There is a section of wikipedia called wikiSource that holds original works that may be then used in the encyclopedia articles as a source material.


The first question is about copyright. WikiSource does not accept copyrighted works. You do not have a copyright notice on the title page but there is no explicit permission to reproduce or republish either.

My view is that iff we were to accept this as a valid {{CC0}} {{PD-author-release}} dedication, which we would then move to Commons, the chances of it avoiding deletion there would be slim. We need proper verification through OTRS for these cases, not least in order to ensure that the copyright owner understands all the consequences of PD dedication or free licensing. --Xover (talk) 12:21, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

  • I think that the release into PD is clear, and the work could be tagged {{PD-author-release}}. I do not think {{CC0}} can be used because the copyright holder did not explicitly link the work to the Creative Commons Zero deed and legal document. I would perhaps have accepted the notice on the talk page if the editor who posted the notice was themselves the copyright holder. However this is not the case and I am inclined to disallow it without proper OTRS. Is it at all possible to contact Duley directly? —Beleg Tâl (talk) 12:46, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    In 2014 the situation was that The author is in his late 90's, quite poor health, and has stopped using e-mail. so I hold that unlikely. And if no followup was forthcoming in 2016, I would tend to think that for internet people to now intrude on an old man with copyright questions would border on being immoral. At least my take is that we have to decide this issue based on the information we already have. --Xover (talk) 12:58, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  •   Keep I also understand it as a clear release into the public domain. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 20:11, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
    @Jan Kameníček: If this document was tagged {{PD-author-release}} it would be eligible to be moved to Commons. Pragmatically, how do you rate its chances of surviving a deletion discussion there? --Xover (talk) 06:10, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
    @Xover: I have almost no experience with deletion discussions there, but if we are afraid that it will not survive there for some reasons, we can keep it here. Or, if we move it and they decide they do not want it, we can move it back here then. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 09:20, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
    @Jan.Kamenicek: The question was meant to probe the logic behind your conclusion, specifically in terms of the standard of evidence we apply. If we are confident that the available evidence is sufficient to conclude it has been released into the public domain, then we should also be confident that it will survive a deletion discussion at Commons. Since I am not confident that is the case absent confirmation through the OTRS process (and neither is Beleg Tâl based on their comment above), I wanted to check whether you deliberately wanted to apply a different (lower) standard of evidence or whether there was some confusion behind it.
    In practice, in these circumstances, if the consensus is to keep this as {{PD-author-release}}, I would not personally transfer this to Commons because I believe it would be against policy there and would be deleted. But another user very well might move it to Commons at any time, unless we used {{do not move to Commons}} to mark it to keep local. But if we do that we are essentially saying that we do not believe this is properly licensed (i.e. that our {{PD-author-release}} tag is a lie). This is unlike the typical situations where a file is PD in the US but not in its home country: in that case there is a genuine difference in policy between Commons and enWS. In the case at hand the policy is ostensibly the same on enWS and Commons, but we are (I suspect) applying a different standard of evidence.
    And if we are doing that then we should be very conscious and clear about that fact. It sets precedent for future such cases, and it impacts the risk to our reusers, so it is something we should approach with deliberation and eyes open. --Xover (talk) 10:10, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
    Well, neither our nor Commons discussions are legally binding, they are in fact both just lay opinions and it is no wonder that our lay opinion can be different from their lay opinion. As written above, I have almost zero experience with these discussions in Commons, but often heard others saying that they are sometimes trying to be more Catholic than the Pope... So by not moving it we are not saying that we are lying about the license, we are simply saying that our lay opinions about some border cases are different than theirs. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 10:26, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
    Ah. Thanks! --Xover (talk) 10:50, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
yeah, i would keep it as PD-author-release, here. commons would view failure to follow OTRS as a deletion rationale. i.e. [2]; [3]; [4]. Slowking4Rama's revenge 16:29, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

Bethesda Statement on Open Access PublishingEdit

2013 statement issued by multiple parties on OA publishing, each holding copyright in the collective work. The statement is published at under the terms set forth in the Terms of Use for DASH Repository. These include -NC and -ND restrictions, and so are not compatible with our copyright policy. --Xover (talk) 07:26, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

  •   Delete per nom —Beleg Tâl (talk) 14:12, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  •   Keep pending further investigation. The fact that the work was posted in DASH does not mean that DASH holds the copyright to the work. Indeed, the work has appeared in multiple locations online which purport to apply different policies: for example, at this site which states that all content is CC-BY 3.0 unless otherwise stated. Different repositories have different copyright policies, but only the actual copyright holder’s views (usually meaning, those of the author or authors) govern. I agree that it most likely makes sense to view the statement as a work of joint authorship by the conference participants (rather than the work of an individual author), although the document does not actually so state. More information about authorship and the provenance of the work seems to be needed here. Tarmstro99 17:18, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
    Suber also states that he is not an official spokesman for this document, so his claim of CC-BY is no more credible than the DASH claim to NC and ND restrictions. If any organization owned the copyright it would be HHMI, who convened the meeting and invited the participants. However, as the text itself states, the authors contributed as individuals rather than as representatives of their organization, so joint copyright seems to be the correct assumption. Because of this, in order for us to keep the text, it will be necessary to find an explicit release issued by all contributing authors. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 19:59, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Tarmstro99: If we agree that all the actual licenses provided in the different repos and sites in which this appears cannot be trusted, then we need to examine the known facts to determine its status for ourselves. Do any of the observable facts support a free license or a copyright exemption (public domain)? If not, the default state is that it is protected by copyright owned by its authors. --Xover (talk) 06:17, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
    it is not a matter of trust, it is a matter of standard terms that are added to all content. you should not imagine that organizations will make copyright determinations for you, they will present a "no known copyright" or "for educational use" or NC, as a fallback. we have seen some progress with our partners, but legal departments remain recalcitrant. Slowking4Rama's revenge 13:08, 3 November 2019 (UTC)
    An observation..."find an explicit release" (per Beleg Tal) and "examine the known facts" (per Xover) seem to me to be mere restatement of what Tarnstrom originally suggested, i.e. "further investigation." -Pete (talk) 17:51, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Peteforsyth: Not quite. I'm saying that the default assumption for all works are that they are protected by copyright. Tarmstro's argument that we cannot trust the copyright statement provided by the hosting repository (by pointing at a different statement in a different repository) simply means that we have no credible indications to support a deviation from the default. The available facts are that it is a work of joint authorship by the conference participants, who hold copyright in the joint work, and who failed to actually license this particular work in line with the goals of the statement itself (the irony). Unless someone can unearth facts that credibly support compatible licensing, this is clearly copyvio. --Xover (talk) 18:35, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
  •   Keep pending further investigation, to which I'm happy to contribute. Per what @Tarmstro99: says, I believe the original license was one acceptable to Wikisource, and it may be that the statement has been republished in other places which apply licenses that are not. I will see what more I can learn and report back. -Pete (talk) 17:48, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
    Thanks. My own research did not suggest any likelihood of finding information credibly supporting compatible licensing, but I am very grateful for all contributions towards the best possible determination we can achieve. --Xover (talk) 18:35, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
  •   Comment For what it's worth, version 3 of the CC licenses launched in 2007, several years after the publication of this statement. Version 3 is the first version compatible with Wikimedia TOU. -Pete (talk) 18:53, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
    @Peteforsyth: Have you been able to unearth any further information on this? --Xover (talk) 17:54, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
    @Xover: Thanks for the ping. I'm sorry, I realized that I had this document confused with a related one, and got stuck. Reviewing it again now, I do know several of the signers, and I will reach out to them. If you feel it should be deleted in the meantime, I don't object, assuming that an affirmative outcome would mean it could be restored. Or, if you're OK with waiting a couple-few weeks to see what responses I get, that's cool too. Sorry for the delay. -Pete (talk) 18:16, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
    @Peteforsyth: It's been sitting open since September last year: a few more weeks makes no difference. Please keep in mind though, that we'll need something more than just one or more of the co-authors saying they think that X is the case. If we can't find anything solid that's been published, we'll need the full OTRS dance for all the co-authors (which is a pretty tall order 7 years after the fact). --Xover (talk) 19:09, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
    @Xover: Yes, I fully understand that -- I'm looking for either (a) clarification that there is a provable compatible copyright license or release from 2003 that we've somehow overlooked, or (b) somebody from that group organizes a poll of all authors and can generate a new license. (I don't know whether all signers were authors or not...possible that the number of authors is lower than it appears, so I wouldn't totally rule that out as a possibility.) I realize it's a tall order, but because of the irony you acknowledge, I think it's worth the effort. Thanks, -Pete (talk) 19:27, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
    I've had a helpful reply already, though no "quick fix." Still looking into it. -Pete (talk) 21:55, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
    Just a small update for now -- emails are underway, my inquiries have been redirected to more appropriate recipients twice now, and I hope for a definitive answer by the end of this week. Peter Suber did confirm to me that the initial publication (as far as he knows) was on his personal website, predating the DASH publication. Also, as far as he knows, the NC and ND provisions of DASH would apply only to materials subject to Harvard's open access policy, which as far as he knows would not cover this document. So it would seem that the current status is "unclear, perhaps no general license was ever formally applied" rather than CC-BY-NC-ND. Again, hope to have clear affirmation of a general license, or at least affirmation of the status quo, in short order. -Pete (talk) 17:03, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
    Small development, and @Xover: you may be interested in this part: The leader of the institution representing the original lead author has stated their understanding is that under U.S. copyright law any one copyright holder may assert a non-exclusive license (like CC BY) for a work. That position is spelled out in some detail here. (Hat tip @Bluerasberry:.) They have not yet made that formal assertion of CC BY (which I expect will entail some internal deliberation) but that is the theory they will be working under. -Pete (talk) 23:15, 14 August 2020 (UTC)
    @Peteforsyth: Far be it for me to argue with the Berkman Center, but I am not unreservedly willing to buy that theory for this purpose.
    An "undivided ownership share" is a concept related to title to land and ownership of real property, where selling your part or letting someone else use it does not deprive the other sharers of their economic benefit from the land (and when you let someone else use it you must account to the other sharers for the profits). In a traditional copyright situation a similar mechanism applies: each joint author may license the work and derive economic benefits from it, and it does not deprive the other sharers of their benefits beyond that implied by multiple parties owning a share to begin with. But when we are talking about intangible property (digital intellectual property, where you can make perfect replicas at effectively zero marginal cost) a copyleft-style license has the same practical effect as an exclusive license: it deprives the other sharers (authors) of the potential for economic benefit. Think of it as analogous to trespass to chattels or even conversion, if you like. And copyright is primarily an economic right (the right to commercially exploit, with some moral rights tacked on to various degrees in various jurisdictions).
    In fact, I believe (but don't hold me to it) that in the UK (and probably other Common law jurisdictions, but I haven't checked) such ownership constructions are held to legally create a trust, regardless of whether you take other affirmative steps to create or act like one, for the specific purpose of imposing a duty for the trustees to always act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. I believe the standard example is the house you own jointly with your spouse: for legal purposes both of you have the roles as trustee and beneficiary and neither of you can unilaterally sell the house (as a trustee) unless it is in the best interest of the other (as beneficiary).
    But the above is strictly speaking just a hypothetical right now. We'll have to assess the actual facts if and when they are presented. I would be much much more comfortable with an assertion from a trustworthy source that all the joint authors had agreed to the licence. And what counts as a trustworthy source for this purpose would be either directly from each author (like a joint statement), or some inherently trustworthy institution (roughly by the same assessment as a "reliable source"-type assessment on enwp), or something similar. The same claim from just one of the authors I would be less comfortable accepting (no offence to Suber, but I don't know him from Adam and there are far far fewer checks and balances in place for individuals then there are for organisations, and much greater incentives to misunderstand, misrepresent, or skimp on due diligence).
    PS. Not trying to draw any bright line here, by the way. I'm just outlining my thinking and understanding now so that it's clear going in, rather than pop up like a moving goal post after the fact. The actual facts and intervening arguments may alter my thinking significantly before the end.
    PPS. I just noticed that Diane Cabell was one of the signatories of this, while she was a Director at the Berkman Center, and until 2014 she was at Creative Commons. If she's not one of the people you're talking to it might be worthwhile to reach out. I imagine she'll see the problem immediately, and identify potential solutions. And, speaking only for myself, she is someone I would be extremely hesitant to argue a legal question with (appearances to the contrary aside, I don't actually enjoy looking like a blithering idiot). :-) --Xover (talk) 10:21, 15 August 2020 (UTC)


  • I see two issues here - one is the general case of whether one copyright holder has the authority to issue licenses when there is a group of equal stakeholders. I think the answer is yes, and I think that the above legal explanation from DMLP / Berkman / Harvard confirms any one copyright holder has the right to issue non-exclusive licenses of any sort, and I think that Xover is taking a minority position in opposition to that by saying that individual copyright holders in a group cannot issue CC licenses without unanimous group permission. Responding to group copyright does seem like a common situation in the Wikimedia space, and we should have clarity on how to respond, and I am unaware of any published on-wiki guidance for addressing this. Xover, positions aside, are you aware of any established wiki guideline on how to manage copyright from groups? Is this idea of requesting permission from everyone in a group documented somewhere? If not, we should write something to clarify, right? Should we go to Commons Pump Copyright, or what would you propose?
The other issue is this particular case. I see this case as unique because this particular document is foundational to Wikipedia's copyright licensing practices. The copyright license for this document is the document itself. The document itself defines what a free and open license is, and it does this in the modern sense of understanding this, and the signatories are all understood to be the founding experts who defined the concept of the free and open license for creative media including the output of Creative Commons. The correct copyright license for this document is this document itself. There are a lot of signatories, and while we have not talked to all of them, the ones we have talked to obviously support free and open media including for this document. Noawadays the Creative Commons licenses themselves have Creative Commons licenses upon them, but 20 years ago when the Bethesda Statement came out, the explicit language of this document calling for free and open media everywhere was self explanatory enough for it to freely go into circulation with many people taking action with the understanding that they should republish, translate, and remix this document without anyone even imagining that the text of the document would not apply to the document itself. To question the license of the document now is to apply a contemporary reimagining into a time and situation where obviously subject matter experts of the time did not feel a need to comment. I am comfortable treating this document uniquely and recognizing its open license as a special case, even while for other cases we seek other opinions about the general case in Wikipedia for how to respond to shared licenses.
Xover, can you make a proposal of how to proceed? Pete and I have talked with a few people already. Among all the signatories, is Diane Cabell really the person whose authority you would accept, even after we already have a license from the copyright holder which hosted the meeting which produced this document? I support getting this in order, but I want to avoid a situation where the asking proceeds indefinitely without an identified end. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:58, 15 August 2020 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: I get the feeling you are ascribing to me positions and stances that I do not actually hold. But I am out of time to respond in depth just now, so I'll just quickly address a couple of key points.
Regarding the Cyberlaw guidance on joint authorship, they do not actually address this situation directly. They have certain implicit expectations about the context in which their advice will apply, and copyleft deliberately subverts those expectations. It may still be valid, but we cannot just assume that it applies.
Regarding we already have a license from the copyright holder which hosted the meeting which produced this document, this is the first I'm hearing about this. Details?
Regarding The correct copyright license for this document is this document itself… Keep in mind that if we accept the document itself as its own license, it cannot be hosted here for at least two reasons: 1) unlike the CC licenses, it is not actually an approved license (and unlikely to ever be so, due to…), 2) the terms of that license are incompatible with our licensing policy since it imposes -NC style limitations on reuse. Open access and copyleft are related and overlapping, but their interests are not identical; and absent clear licensing we cannot just assume that all the signatories would agree to use the terms in our particular copyleft licenses. For the same reason you should not assume that I would license my open source software under the GPL: I have philosophical objections to some of its terms even though I for the most part agree with its goals. --Xover (talk) 19:43, 15 August 2020 (UTC)
@Xover: Excuse me me for attributing any position to you - there never was a reason for me to do that, and if I misstated something then it was my own lack of understanding.
  1. About the license - yes, we have a license statement for this particular from someone at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. This is a recent development since the start of this conversation. They say CC-By. Is there a Wikisource OTRS process, or do you use the Commons OTRS process here? We could tag OTRS permission on the talk page of the document, assuming that you would recognize a representative of that org as suitable permission.
  2. I disagree with the claim that copyright licenses need advance approval for acceptance into the Wikimedia platform. We have a standard for compliance, Commons:Commons:Licensing, but anyone can meet that standard with the license of their choice without pre-approval. I recognize that anything uploaded should meet that standard, but I would not agree with dismissing by default a license which lacks pre-approval. Wikimedia projects have always had tolerance of a lot of weird homebrew licenses at Commons:Category:License tags. I would support you or anyone else contesting a license, if it comes to that, but maybe having the above described permission is sufficient.
  3. This might be a tangent if the above described permission is sufficient, but I do not see the NC restrictions in the Bethesda statement. I see no restrictions except attribution of copyright holder. I agree that the text is weird in places, but to me, the Bethesda statement seems CC-By interoperable. If it ever happened that we had Bethesda-licensed text to import, then that seems fine to me.
Blue Rasberry (talk) 21:00, 15 August 2020 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: Still short of time but trying to squeeze in some responses in the interest of not stalling progress. Apologies.
On OTRS, so far as I know we don't even have a separate queue in OTRS, and definitely not our own procedure. But I have to admit to treating OTRS as a bit of a black box so I may not be entirely up to date on that.
On the restrictions in the document… First I think it is important to stress that this isn't actually a copyright license (at best it is an indication of intent), so the issue is rather hypothetical. But with that caveat, the restriction is in the first section or thereabouts where they place a limit on "printing out a reasonable number of copies for personal use" (an entirely reasonable limitation when talking about open access to research and journal articles). I haven't checked in detail what else is there, so this is just an example of why we cannot simply assume that the interests of people concerned mainly with open access will always align 100% with those concerned mainly with copyleft and free culture. They may, but it's not certain and it may vary from case to case.
On the license statement from Howard Hughes Medical… That's great news! I am, personally, not immediately convinced that's sufficient, for the reasons outlined previously, but that's something concrete and it is not at all unlikely that the community will consider that sufficient to retain this document here (I tend to the more conservative end of the spectrum on these issues). At the very least if we make it contingent on the outcome of some kind of process to clarify this issue in general. Preferably involving WMF Legal, or at least people like Clindberg or Michael Maggs over on Commons, but something with broader attention and input than an individual copyright discussion on enWS. As you say, the question isn't specific to Wikisource; and it would eliminate a lot of uncertainty and needless back and forth to have specific guidance either way on these cases. As a practical matter, enWS tends to rely rather heavily on the guidance on Commons for copyright issues (modulo the direct differences in the respective copyright polices). --Xover (talk) 15:15, 17 August 2020 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry, @Peteforsyth: I have still not found the time to really dig into this issue. But I have managed two things: 1) thinking at it from a few different perspectives, and 2) a superficial search for any legal precedent or case law that address this situation directly.
To take the latter first… I have found absolutely zilch in any of the sources I have access to that actually addresses this issue. I feel this must be my failure and that surely this must be an issue that has cropped up somewhere at some point, but finding it would take someone more qualified than me (hence my desire to get WMF Legal on the case). Which means that my analysis above is a prima facie novel legal interpretation; and novel interpretation from some random Internet person (even if that person happens to be myself) is not a good basis for decisions on legal issues. So, with my community member hat on I'm going to change my !vote to neutral on this.
Which brings me to the #1 mentioned initially. Putting my admin hat on and trying to look at this from a "how do we progress this towards a resolution" perspective, my assessment is that the community has not shown itself willing to accept the document itself as its own license (and keep in mind the pitfall I sketched previously for that) , but… based on previous discussions I hold it very likely that they would accept your proposed OTRS license statement from one of the co-authors' institution. The devil is in the details (which institution, under what circumstances, what are they actually saying, etc.) but my guess is that the general principle is one the community would consider sufficient.
So, absent other input, my suggested way forward is that you proceed to get OTRS permission as you have been planning. Once that is in place we make a new subsection of this discussion with a brief summary (so people don't have to wade through this mess), and ping previous participants. If over a week or two we either get no feedback, or a normal consensus assessment of what !votes we do get supports keep, I close this thread as keep. (I propose a short-circuit in there because it's really hard to get sufficient numbers of participants to properly assess consensus in these complicated threads).
Once we've landed this specific case I would like to try to get some guidance on the general issue. First by trying get WMF Legal to look at it, and failing that (or if their statement on it is not clear cut), in a discussion on the Commons `pump. The goal of the latter would, to my mind, be to establish clear guidance, and not primarily the legal issues. And I would very much appreciate your involvement in that effort, if for no other reason then at least to make sure more perspectives are reflected in the formulation of the issue.
Thoughts? Does that sound like a sensible approach? --Xover (talk) 10:23, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
  • I agree, the argument about "this document is its own license" is odd. I will table that one.
  • I started a discussion at the Commons village pump some time ago and it has answers. See commons:Commons:Village_pump/Copyright/Archive/2020/08#Multiple_copyright_holders;_one_person_grants_CC_license. My read on consensus here is that any one copyright holder can apply CC licenses without permission from other copyright holders. Please look that over and tell me the extent to which you think my phrasing and question apply to this case.
  • About expert opinions and precedent - We have a few opinions from Commons. That is a start. I started to compile Commons:Commons:Joint authorship. Would you please post any comment to the talk page there about the extent to which that essay addresses this issue? My view on Commons noticeboards and WMF legal is that they will not draft text, but they will respond to drafts. People are more likely to respond as a proposal is more developed. I did that first draft and got a little response. We could escalate this if need be, but my feeling is that WMF will not respond until and unless there is some community development. I agree with you - either Creative Commons or Wikimedia Commons past discussions should have raised and addressed this issue many times. I have been unable to find prior documentation and discussion. I have not looked extensively, but I think that at least that essay page I drafted is the first guideline-style documentation anyone has made on wiki. If anything exists off-wiki, maybe I have not found it, and I have not searched wiki discussions at all.
  • The permission we have is from a person who was hosting the Bethesda conference. I do not want to send this to OTRS prematurely, but yes, my view of their statement is that they understand CC licenses and said they right now apply one to this document. If you / consensus can accept that, then I can either send it into OTRS or we can discuss more details if there is anything ambiguous.
All of this is conversation trying to get to a resolution. What do you think of all this? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:01, 6 September 2020 (UTC)
@Bluerasberry: (and courtesy CC to Pete) Meh. I wish I'd been aware of that discussion when it happened. I disagree with your assessment that that discussion demonstrates consensus that any one copyright holder can apply CC licenses without permission from other copyright holders: of the four people participating, Asclepias and King of Hearts jump straight to the same concern I outlined above (it was apparently not so novel after all), and Brainulator9 expressed a different but related concern, so only Jeff G. unequivocally supported that position.
On that basis I would say we definitely need to pursue a general resolution to this issue, including both what (if any) position WMF Legal takes and a community-anchored guideline for applying it. And I think that process properly belongs on Commons: we don't have the capacity or expertise, and in most cases we will be working based on files hosted on Commons anyway. In the mean time I'm in no rush to close this discussion (beyond providing progress and resolution to those who care about its outcome specifically), so my proposal is to just leave it open until we have some actual guidance to base a close on. --Xover (talk) 06:23, 7 September 2020 (UTC)
  •   Keep consistent with established Commons and OTRS practices of accepting licenses from anyone who we can show has a right to issue them. It's a little late to do otherwise and require licenses from all copyright holders, heirs, successors, and assigns; doing so without input from WMF Legal would be reckless and foolhardy, would waste much volunteer time, and could bring accusations of "copyright paranoia" and being "more Catholic than the Pope". Doing so retroactively could cripple the movement. @Xover: Thanks for the mention.   — Jeff G. ツ 13:50, 7 September 2020 (UTC)

Errors Made in Jutland BattleEdit

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
Both works deleted as copyvio.

1932 work for author that died in 1935. Copyright in the US. — billinghurst sDrewth 15:21, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

Probably much of the rest of Category:PD-old-70 too? E.g. The Times/1927/Letters to the Editor/The Late Dr. Jackson, author died 1933, so copyright in 1996 → copyright in US until 2023.
This URAA thing is rubbish. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 15:49, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
I have been cleaning up the others, which is how I tripped over the nominated work. The nominated work was unpublished until 1955 so is an egregious case which cannot fall under PD-old-70 and it doesn't fit under PD-posthumous. — billinghurst sDrewth 00:11, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
For The Times/1927/Letters to the Editor/The Late Dr. Jackson, was it not copyright in 1996 in the UK? Huxley died in 1933, so 70 pma is 2003. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 00:28, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
  This section is considered resolved, for the purposes of archiving. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Xover (talk) 07:06, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

Jakob Jakobsen portraitEdit

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
The photo was first published in or before 1918, so it is in the public domain due to expiry of a pub. + 95 term. The book was published in the UK and Denmark in 1928 without a copyright notice. Since both are pma. 70 countries and the author died in 1918, the work was in the public domain in its country of origin on the URAA date (1 January 1996 for both). Hence the work failed to gain copyright protection in the US due to failing to comply with the required formalities, and its US copyright was not restored by the URAA.

The frontispiece to Jakobsen's Norn dictionary has a portrait of the man himself, but the quality of the NLS's scan is pretty poor when it comes to the images. I have found a much better copy of the exact same portrait here. Would I be allowed to replace this image on Commons with this hi-res version, or would the copyright on this be separate to what's in the book scans? — 🐗 Griceylipper (✉️) 19:50, 6 February 2021 (UTC)

Because one of the authors died in 1961, this photograph cannot be uploaded to Commons, regardless of whether you take the copy from the frontispiece to the book or from the digital collection. However, if the photograph were first published more than 95 years ago (anywhere, not necessarily in the dictionary), you can upload it here, to the English Wikisource, as we follow only US copyright laws, according to which material published more than 95 years ago is in the public domain.

However, there might also be a problem with the dictionary as such. You have uploaded it to Commons, stating that it was released under cc-by-4.0 license. This license is usually used only when the author of the work released it under such conditions, which does not seem to be the case. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 21:16, 6 February 2021 (UTC)
I have just had a closer look at the book. The author Jakob Jakobsen died in 1918, but the English edition was published for the first time in 1928, and so I am afraid that it is not going to enter the public domain in the United States until 2024 :-( --Jan Kameníček (talk) 21:27, 6 February 2021 (UTC)
Jan.Kamenicek I had this same discussion previously on my talk page - the reason I placed the work under CC-BY-4.0 is because the National Library of Scotland released their scans under this license (see here). I am not aware of the circumstances under which this has been allowed to take place, but presumably a national institution such as themselves would have done the due diligence to have released it with the correct permissions.
Assuming that it is indeed released under CC-BY-4.0, does that change anything relating to this image?— 🐗 Griceylipper (✉️) 23:27, 6 February 2021 (UTC)
I would say the photograph is a simple photo and only covered by the shorter term in Danish copyright. commons:Template:PD-Denmark50 would apply, and that one of the mentioned photographers died in 1961 is not necessarily a problem with regards to uploading to commons. This version is attributed to two different photographers, the previous owners of the same photography company. But I am also concerned about the copyright status of the book in the USA. I suspect the National Library of Scotland only checked the copyright status in the UK, ignoring the status in USA, and that the only thing they have released is their own rights to the scanning process (which would usually be ignored on commons anyway). (A quick side note on the text at the bottom of the frontispiece: In "Pacht & Crone's Eftf.", Eftf. is short for Efterfølgere = successors so that last letter is unlikely to be an A.) Peter Alberti (talk) 11:25, 7 February 2021 (UTC)
I just stumbled on a publication of the photo in a 1918 newspaper. So the portrait is not a problem. You can use commons:Template:PD-Denmark50 and commons:Template:PD-old-auto-expired on commons, regardless of which photographer is the right one. Peter Alberti (talk) 13:35, 7 February 2021 (UTC)
@Peter Alberti: Thanks for finding another version – that appears to be more closely edited to the version in the book. And thanks for the advice, I'll put both up on Commons seeing as it was published in 1918 (or possibly earlier).
As for the dictionary itself, I have contacted the National Library of Scotland to confirm the licence on it, and I'll share the response I get. I hope this is not a mistake as I have probably poured several hundred hours into the transcription so far. Here's hoping.— 🐗 Griceylipper (✉️) 15:13, 7 February 2021 (UTC)
I have a reply from NLS:
"The CC BY 4.0 licence that you're seeing was applied by the Library in relation to the digital images created by the Library, rather than in respect of the 'underlying' work (which, in this case, is the writing by Jakobsen...). There is some debate in the UK as to whether 'faithful' digitisations like these are protected by copyright. The Library's position on this matter has evolved over recent years and during this time we have applied increasingly open licences to our digitised images. However, we are aware that this approach still does not provide the clearest and most accurate information, namely because it does not communicate the copyright status of the 'underlying' work. Therefore, we are currently working to update our rights statements, to provide a more accurate portrayal of the copyright status of the work itself, rather than our digital images. This process will take us some time to complete, as the current CC BY 4.0 licence has been applied to virtually all of our digital images. Therefore, we are working through our digitised collections to identify the correct rights statement to apply to different works. Over time, we will update the rights information displayed in our Digital Gallery, for example from changing 'CC BY 4.0' to 'Public Domain', in cases where we know the underlying work is out of copyright.
In terms of your immediate use of this material, I have not personally investigated the copyright status of this work. However, based on the information you have provided regarding authorship and translation, it sounds like the writing will be in the public domain (out of copyright) in the UK, where copyright in a published written normally survives for 70 years after the death of the last living author of a work. The CC BY 4.0 licence relates only to the digital image, so if you are not re-using the image, you do not need to take it into account (I see you note that you're making a transcription). Even if you do wish to re-use/re-publish the images, you are very free to do so - under the CC BY 4.0 licence you can effectively do anything you wish with the images, as long as you cite the licence and attribute the source (the Library, in this case). Precise details of the licence are available at
You are welcome to share this response with other users of Wikisource.
With kind regards,
Fredric Saunderson
Rights and Information Manager
National Library of Scotland"
I can't help but feel this CC license applied only to the images, but not the work itself, seems pretty disingenuous to me. How is it possible to share the images without sharing the work itself? The notice next to the download links on their website says "Unless otherwise stated, these images and transcriptions may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence". How is any reasonable person with good intent such as myself meant to know that that only refers to the images of the pages, and not the work itself? This notice is unreasonably unclear.
Anyway, I suppose my hundreds of hours of work here so far are now in jeopardy because of this. I hope you can understand I'd like to exhaust any option that may allow my work to stay up. Would the work be eligible under Template:PD-1996? It was first published (in English) in London, as far as I am aware the work has never been published in the US (only in London and Lerwick in the UK), it was first published in 1928/1932, and if you go by Jakob Jakobsen's death in 1918, that would have put it in the public domain in the home country (the UK) in 1988, before the URAA date. Would this be deemed acceptable? Apologies if I have any of this wrong, I'm trying to learn these copyright rules as I go.— 🐗 Griceylipper (✉️) 21:30, 8 February 2021 (UTC)
Do not apologize for anything, copyright laws are really confusing for most people, myself included. As far as I understand it, Jakobsen was the author of the English text, and so (based on the date of his death) PD-1996 seems OK to me. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 21:45, 8 February 2021 (UTC)
@Jan.Kamenicek: I'm glad to hear it's not just me struggling with this sort of thing! I have replaced the copyright template with Template:PD-1996 for now. If there's any change in opinion it can be swapped out again, hopefully without the removal of my work so far. Thanks to you both for your advice.— 🐗 Griceylipper (✉️) 22:41, 8 February 2021 (UTC)
  This section is considered resolved, for the purposes of archiving. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Xover (talk) 07:24, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

Landmark Education suffers humiliating legal defeat in New Jersey Federal CourtEdit

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
All 20 pages covered only by this OTRS ticket, along with their associated talk pages, have been deleted. Since the author page (Author:Rick Alan Ross) was then empty of compatibly licensed content, it was also deleted. If compatibly licensed content from that author surfaces it can be undeleted.

My attention was drawn to this page due to an IP removing text and changing a couple of words. On digging into the linked website I find the statement: “Unless otherwise noted, all material on this site is Copyright © Rick Ross.” This makes the page a copyvio. However, as the page has been here for seven years (tomorrow), I thought it best to have a discussion rather than a speedy deletion. Beeswaxcandle (talk) 06:22, 15 February 2021 (UTC)

Can we verify OTRS ticket#2014012710014942? Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 06:37, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
Hello @Inductiveload, I’m Martin, an OTRS volunteer, and I was asked by @Jan.Kamenicek, an English Wikisource administrator, to validate the OTRS ticket in question.
Ticket#2014012710014942 is a forwarded permission, ie. it is an email sent by a Wikimedian, forwarding a release that came into their own mailbox. The forwarded conversation contains only the release, and there is no prior conversation with the copyright holder.
Forwarded permissions are generally hard to validate, because they do not have any technical information attached that could be used to confirm the authenticity of the release. I personally would not accept that permission were I the handling agent, and I do not recommend to rely on them when in doubt, especially since the Wikimedian who forwarded the release is no longer in good standing.
I hope this helps. Best, Martin Urbanec (talk) 13:04, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
  Delete Honestly, I quite wonder why the contributor bothered with obtaining permission for this particular article which is written very one-sidedly as a part of some dispute between two obscure educational institutions, and adding this text to Wikisource seems to me like somebody wanted to make us a part of one of the sides of the dispute. If it were something more important or interesting and an OTRS volunteer were not able to confirm the authenticity of the permission, I would try to contact the copyright holder and ask him for the confirmation again. But this text does not seem worth the exertion, it is on the very verge of being elligible according to WWI, and so when I sum everything up, I agree with the deletion. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 15:34, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
Note: The page creator, User:Cirt, has been indefbanned on Wikipedia for sockpuppetry. They have been dormant on this project since 2016. I have taken the liberty of removing all of their long-out of date administrator userboxes from their user page, as they are no longer an admin on any project. BD2412 T 21:32, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
  •   Delete In light of Martin's information, and based on my own experience investigating misrepresentations by contributors about such things, we should definitely not accept this. --Xover (talk) 17:30, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
  •   Comment How many other works by this Author do we suspect may fall under the same issues? --EncycloPetey (talk) 18:10, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

The following pages…

Deleted pages

…were all affected by the same OTRS ticked and have been deleted. --Xover (talk) 07:55, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

  This section is considered resolved, for the purposes of archiving. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Xover (talk) 08:01, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

Index:The principle of relativity (1920).djvuEdit

The Historical introduction is by w:Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis (1893 – 1972) meaning this is NOT PD in India.

One of the translators is listed as Author:Satyendra Nath Bose (1894–1974) also not PD-India

At the very least the scans should be localised.

ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 23:29, 20 March 2021 (UTC)

Mind, Character and Personality (1977)Edit

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
No plausible argument for compatible licensing found.

The following discussion is being made in response to a DMCA takedown of this work by the Wikimedia Foundation. In this post, I intend to dive into what I know about the work, and I want to discuss the issue of whether or not this is copyrighted. I want to discuss the original edition from 1977 only and not any subsequent editions that might have followed thereafter.

...because I have found quite a few versions available online that have 2010s copyright dates. Any content that is original to those versions will definitely still be under copyright.

Now would be a good time to note that this book came in two volumes, so we'd have to conclusively prove that both of them failed to comply with required formalities in 1977 (not containing a notice), or else the whole game is over.

Copyright Office record

I am not finding any evidence of a record of this book at the Copyright Office. The Copyright Office should have accepted a record of this book had it had a valid copyright notice, and would have (presumably) rejected it if it didn't. However, the fact that there is no apparent record doesn't necessarily mean the original didn't have a copyright notice; I say it just increases the likelihood of that being the case.

Copyright notice?

As the book was first published in 1977, if the original version contained no copyright notice, then it can probably be assumed to be in the public domain.

I can't find any scans online of anything that is even a candidate of being the 1977 original (all the PDFs I found are of 2010s editions of the book). However, I have found some places where a few hardcover copies are being sold online, on Amazon and eBay (look yourselves, I can't link it), and some of those may be originals, but I can't be certain. So someone will have to 1.) Buy both 2 volumes of the book and 2.) Verify that it really doesn't contain a copyright notice. Any candidates for this job? If it doesn't (and we have confirmed beyond reasonable doubt that this version really is the 1977 original) ​then we can move onto the next section.

Possibility of being a derivative work

The maybe toughest aspect of all of this is that, especially since we got a DMCA, we will probably want to check just to make absolutely sure that the original content of Mind, Character and Personality didn't derive from some other work, that it doesn't contain images from other works that are still copyrighted, or storyline elements/long passages for example.

So, if the original is in the public domain

...then that doesn't necessarily mean that their DMCA was unwarranted; like User:Languageseeker pointed out in the Scriptorium, the non-scanned-back Wikisource transcription for this work was probably copied from one of the 2010s PDFs I found which are later editions, which could have contained 2010s content that would inherently be copyrighted regardless of notice. So if we do determine this is in the public domain, we should scan the original version, upload it to Wikimedia Commons, and produce a scan-backed transcription of the work. As I'm interested in doing transcriptions of more modern works, 1977 included, if it can be proven that this is in the public domain I'd be happy to transcribe it. But if it isn't, I say it should certainly be deleted, until the year 2073 comes around.

Pinging users in previous discussion: @JSutherland (WMF), @Jan.Kamenicek, @Prosfilaes, @Languageseeker: As mentioned by the WMF member, as IANAL, someone legally qualified may want to get involved with this because of the severity of a DMCA notice being involved here. PseudoSkull (talk) 01:07, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

It's possible that the 1977 work is in the public domain. If you do verify that, I'd be willing to help check if it is distinct from the uploaded text. I'm personally completely apathetic towards the work, though, and see no need to put much work myself into it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 06:15, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I hope that WMF legal department had already checked the copyright status of the work including the possibility of missing/present copyright notice before they deleted it here. What I am disappointed by is that they did not tell us which steps to verify the status of the work they made exactly and with what result: they simply appeared here like deus ex machina and deleted it as if we were not able to solve copyvios when we get proper information.
As for the effort to check the copyright notice: it is imo not necessary to buy the book, it should be enough to write to a library where they have a copy and ask them about it. However, the deleted work was not scan-backed and without the scans I am not sure if it is worth that effort. I was not protesting against the deletion as such, I was protesting against the way their employee treated us. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 08:09, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
@Jan.Kamenicek: The WMF is here acting exactly in compliance with the DMCA: in exchange for giving the site owner some indemnity (the "Safe Harbour" provisions) for what users upload, the law requires them to honour takedown requests made in the requisite fashion within a given timeframe. WMF Legal assesses such requests to make sure they are plausible, but the law effectively requires them to act on any properly formed takedown request. (The WMF also strongly recommends copyright owners use the community processes rather then send DMCA takedown requests, but that's up to the copyright owners) That the WMF steps in an deletes files or pages on the projects is surprising only in the sense that it has happened extremely rarely on enWS. On enWP and Commons, WMF Office actions are a well-known quantity and in the main uncontroversial. That we have seen so few here on enWS (I can't recall any previous instances) can probably be attributed to a combination of our relative obscurity and what is evidently a reasonably efficient community self-policing of copyright.
In other words, I understand that it is upsetting when apparently the WMF swoops in out of nowhere and completely sets aside the community's governance. But their ability to do so is absolutely necessary and well-known (just rare on enWS), and the actions they took in this case is mandated by the law in the jurisdiction in which they are incorporated. I can't fault them for anything in this particular instance. --Xover (talk) 15:52, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Yep, this is basically the LDS church having no chill (as the kids these days say) and reaching for the DMCA nuclear option as a first resort. Once the DMCA comes out, there's nothing one can do without a formal counter-claim (which is made, essentially, on pain of perjury, so it something you do right).
Ironically, had the LDS asked here on the 17th Feb, rather than going via the legal route, this would have probably been deleted weeks ago due to a de facto presumption of copyright for a work from 1977. Could have saved them a lawyer's time and gotten a quicker reaction! Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 16:32, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
  •   Comment @PseudoSkull: Is there any reason to assume this work is not in copyright? There are only very specific (narrow) circumstances where a 1977 work is not protected by copyright, which only come into play for a small fraction of published works (publishers big and small have religiously added copyright statements, whether required or not, for well over a century). Absent specific reason to believe differently, the reasonable presumption is that such works are protected by copyright.
    Incidentally, even if your above proposed process was successful we wouldn't be able to host the work once the DMCA is in play (the Office would just delete it again). To get anywhere we'd need to go through the process of filing a DMCA counter-claim first (which is what Joe offered to help us with). --Xover (talk) 16:01, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
@Xover: You're right; there is no reason to assume it's not in copyright, which is why we shouldn't just undelete it on such a baseless assumption. Unfortunately as you say it most likely is under copyright due to the circumstances you describe. But it's not completely impossible that it didn't fall out of copyright, especially because of the fact that I'm not seeing any record in the Copyright Office of this work at all. Rcrowley7 might have been right in this case, although maybe for the wrong reasons—regardless of if by happenstance they were right or wrong about this one they still probably shouldn't have gone and copypasted from that site every White work in existence, without at least checking the copyright status of each thoroughly. From the looks of it, they may not have even been aware that this work was posthumously published.
I made this discussion mostly because I'm interested to find out whether or not the DMCAer was really right in this case. If they were wrong, it would be interesting to have a work that was previously DMCA'd, but checked out in the end with the party basically proven wrong, hosted on Wikisource. So that's my stake in the whole thing. My suspicion that this actually didn't receive a copyright is very low, but I'd like to be absolutely sure, so that maybe some level of contribution to Wikisource could come from this unfortunate incident. PseudoSkull (talk) 16:16, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Comment: I found a college textbook just the other day from 1972 that just said "All rights reserved" but had no formal copyright notice, which would count as an improper notice at the time. So if Mind, Character and Personality just had the copyright symbol with a missing year, or the word "Copyrighted" or the statement "All rights reserved" that would also place that work in the public domain. Forgot to mention that before. PseudoSkull (talk) 16:23, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
hard copy at university of alabama [5] not in library of congress. Slowking4Farmbrough's revenge 09:50, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

  Comment we can link to the existing work online—it has been a a well-established practice to link to online works that are legally held. You can go to a hell of lot of work on a matter of principle/umbrage or you can do some productive maintenance and some transcription of works clearly in the public domain. — billinghurst sDrewth 12:39, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

  Comment The copyright was helpfully shown by an eBay auction for the 1977 edition. It reads: "Copyright © 1977 by the Ellen G. White Publications". Since this counts as a copyright notice, this discussion could probably be safely closed. -Einstein95 (talk) 12:29, 9 May 2021 (UTC)

  This section is considered resolved, for the purposes of archiving. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Xover (talk) 08:25, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

Works by Ellen G. WhiteEdit

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
All listed works deleted as being of unknown provenance and dubious copyright status; but if someone comes up with a scan with a plausible claim of compatible licensing there are at least several of these works that could conceivably be hosted.

In light of the DMCA takedown of Mind, Character and Personality discussed above, I took a quick peek at the other works listed on her author page.

In other words, barring two incomplete texts and one uploaded by a different user, all of these are cut&paste jobs from the Ellen G. White trustees' website or ebooks by the same user. Most of the text is probably public domain due to being first published in White's lifetime, but since they are clearly cut&paste from modern editions we have no guarantees about what copyrightable changes may have been made by the trustees'. The modern forewords are clearly copyvios, but the rest of the text is just "dubious provenance".

So what we have to do (and which I'll start on as speedies pretty soon) is delete the modern forewords. I am also inclined to just nuke all of them to get a clean slate, with no prejudice to recreating them iff proofread from a scan of a clearly public domain edition (pre-1925). --Xover (talk) 17:46, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

Nuke it from orbit. We don’t need to deal with DMCAs. Languageseeker (talk) 19:18, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Delete all content, including the forewords. All of this is not scan-backed anyway, and our works that lack scans are a problem at this site anyway, an unholy mess from past technological limitations that we've been spending years cleaning up. I may invest time myself into this particular author, since we lack genuine content from her. (I'll think about it.) PseudoSkull (talk) 20:56, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
yeah, if we had Early Works , with a scan from library of congress, i might keep that. might want to revisit, whenever someone gets scans of first editions with copyright page. (it is not an unholy mess, merely a large backlog) Slowking4Farmbrough's revenge 10:04, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  Delete Modern forewords definitely have to go. At the same time the presence of modern forewords suggests that also the text of the works was copied from modern editions and we do not know, how much they were edited, and so I have nothing against deletion of all the works. Cut-and-pasting does not add any value, such contributions are just next to useless. Besides, I like non-scan backed works less and less, because without scans it is very difficult and often impossible to check various changes that some contributors (especially novice contributors and IP addresses) make to them, claiming them to be justified corrections of mistakes and typos. So the fewer non-scan backed works we keep, the better. Absence of the work here may as a result induce somebody to add a scan backed transcription. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 17:36, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
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Our current Gutenberg-sourced version of Winesburg, OhioEdit

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Deleted as modern(-ish) edition. Original scan-backed edition would be most welcome.

User:Quadell pointed out on Talk:Winesburg, Ohio in 2008:

I'm a bit concerned about this Gutenberg edition, to tell the truth. The original edition was published in 1919, and is public domain; but the introduction by Irving Howe says that he first read it when he was 15 or 16. Howe was born in 1920, so he must have written this introduction after 1935--probably 1950 or so. I can't find any solid information about which edition first had Howe's introduction, but the introduction is quite possibly still under copyright.

I did a bit more research on where this particular version came from, and unfortunately, according to Irving Howe's Wikipedia article, the source of this version appears to be "Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio. Washington, D.C.: Voice of America, 1964. American Novel Series #14". As this was presumably published in 1964 (at earliest), the original copy of this version would have to have lacked a copyright notice for the introduction to be considered public-domain (I consider this possibility very unlikely).

Furthermore, this isn't the original version anyway. It should be moved to Winesburg, Ohio (1964) very soon. If any evidence can be given here that this introduction is in the public domain then I say a full scan of this version should then be provided and that a proper transcription project of this version should be started. Otherwise, I think this full thing should be deleted. Either way, we need to make way for other versions of Winesburg, Ohio including the 1919 original, which I myself will be doing very soon (I'm on Windy McPherson's Son now). PseudoSkull (talk) 15:46, 29 April 2021 (UTC)

(I would personally prefer that non-scan-backed versions just be deleted outright for that reason alone, but the community doesn't appear to be on my side on that point.) PseudoSkull (talk) 15:51, 29 April 2021 (UTC)
@Billinghurst: Can we delete this now as a probable copyright violation? At the very least, it ought to be moved to Winesburg, Ohio (1964) if the evidence isn't compelling enough for you. I estimate ~22 days from tomorrow I will get to work to transcribe the original of this work. PseudoSkull (talk) 05:16, 21 May 2021 (UTC)
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1933 unregistered dual US/UK published work.Edit

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Work is for copyright purposes a US work and was published without a copyright notice, and with no evidence of renewal.

I'm looking at one of the Loeb Classical Library volumes from 1933: L272:

This has a publisher in the UK and one in the US, and does not appear to have been registered in the US in 1933 (though this particular scan is of a UK printing). William Henry Samuel Jones died in 1963, so pma 70 is a long way off yet, and obviously 1996 was still well in copyright in the UK.

Can someone remind this dope of the rule here? URAA restoration assumed → no go, or dual publishing + no reg → PD (and if so, Commons-friendly?)? Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 19:53, 4 May 2021 (UTC)

@Inductiveload: In terms of copyright, it is clearly in copyright in the UK (as you say). In the US, copyright status depends on whether it contained a copyright notice etc.. And, sadly, we cannot trust the Digital Library of India for that: I've found multiple instances where their scans have been actively modified to either leave out a copyright notice, insert a colophon from a different book to make it look like it's PD, and even outright faking the year of publication in an existing colophon.
In terms of the URAA, if a foreign work was in copyright in the source country on that country's URAA date (usually, but not always, 1996) then its US copyright was restored to whatever the usual term would have been if it had been a US work (i.e. usually pub.+95 for the stuff we deal with).
However, in terms of Commons policy, the requirement is PD in the US and in the country of origin. Works that were simultaneously (within 30 days) published in a foreign country and the US, however, are explicitly not eligible for URAA restoration. So for works that are truly simultaneously published in the US Commons policy treats them as US works, and you can determine US copyright status in the usual way.
So, for this particular work, you need to find out first publication date; where that first publication occurred; and, if simultaneously published, whether the version published in the US contained a notice. Don't trust the DLI scan for anything related to copyright; and publication details are best researched in newspapers (ads by publishers, "books received" by newspapers, or actual reviews). Xover (talk) 06:25, 5 May 2021 (UTC)
@Xover: Darn, that's what I was afraid of. So a quick prod turns up:
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Works of ICJEdit

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No action necessary.

Hello! May I ask if judgments, orders, etc, of the International Court of Justice are copyrighted (and can be hosted here)? Does Template:PD-UN applies to those works? Thanks a lot! --Miwako Sato (talk) 00:56, 7 May 2021 (UTC)

The 'default' for works of the United Nations is that they are copyrighted, the only exceptions are documents covered by Administrative_Instruction_ST/AI/189/Add.9/Rev.2 ..... generally, that means that only works that were released under a "UN document symbol" (such as ST/AI/189/Add.9/Rev.2), are specifically PR material, or are actual 'treaties' can be automatically assumed to be PD. Any document that is 'offered for sale' by the UN is not PD, which covers works like the Handbook of the court.
I would expect that the actual judgements, advisory opinions, and orders of the court itself, are not copyrighted... I can find nothing to specifically indicate they are, and while they don't have a 'formal' document symbol, they don't have a copyright notice, and are "written material issued simultaneously or sequentially in the form of documents and publications".... they all have a "General List No." in the header.
I think the most definitive answers come from Part II.A.7., the "general rule", and in Part III of the Admin Instruction, on procedures, that clearly implies that any copyrighted UN document will have a copyright notice, and possibly a sales number. The procedure seems to be that the Publication Board has to specifically approve the copyright registration of individual works. Jarnsax (talk) 17:25, 8 May 2021 (UTC)
Digging around a bit more, it appears they handle the matter the same as other UN bodies, that the working documents themselves (judgements etc) are released to the PD as they are issued, then printed annually in a copyrighted yearbook (which presumably contains other material as well). Jarnsax (talk) 17:54, 8 May 2021 (UTC)
Speaking of 'treaties', please note that more recently published volumes of the United Nations Treaty Series, i.e. Vol 1242 in 1994 and all in 1995, are copyrighted with all rights reserved, so transcribing the whole volumes is limited to earlier ones not claimed to be copyrighted. Later volumes cannot be fully transcribed here, so we may only transcribe underlying texts of the treaties not being copyrighted. See also c:Commons:Copyright rules by territory/United Nations#General rules--Jusjih (talk) 04:13, 27 July 2021 (UTC)
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Index:The Mesnevī (Volume 2).pdfEdit

A Monthly Challenge work flagged up on the MC discussion page. This volume was published in 1926 (though v1 was published in 1925), in the UK, by an author who died in 1945.

I think that makes it URAA-restored and it's (very annoyingly) copyrighted in the US until next year (despite having being PD in the UK for 6 years, jsut to rub it in >_<)? Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 18:05, 14 May 2021 (UTC)

  • The work is not transcluded, so it's not really exposed to the public; and it'll enter the public domain in ~5 months. Deleting the multiple Page:-pages now and undeleting them in 5 months is a bit more hassle than I want for a formality. Anyone object to just leaving the fragments sitting there until new years? We shouldn't transcribe more of it yet, and it shouldn't be linked anywhere prominent, but I don't see much use in the delete/undelete dance for this one. --Xover (talk) 11:15, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

How Today’s College Students Use Wikipedia for Course–related ResearchEdit

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Deleted as incompatibly licensed.

This is licensed under a CC-BY-NC-SA-3.0 license, as can be seen in the transcribed text under the "Creative Commons License" section and at This isn't considered a free license because it prohibits commercial use and isn't a permissible license in Help:Licensing compatibility as it does not meet the definition of free content in Wikisource:Copyright policy. The transcribed text has a CC-BY-SA-3.0 license template at the bottom, but this is evidently incorrect. Dylsss (talk) 22:46, 30 May 2021 (UTC)

  Delete. I also want to note that "Course-related" in the title uses an en dash instead of a hyphen. This is counterintuitive (because en dashes are hard to input) and also grammatically incorrect. So even if this is kept which I doubt, the page should be renamed with a hyphen. PseudoSkull (talk) 23:52, 30 May 2021 (UTC)
I think we've standardized on the ASCII hyphen-dash in title names, though the Unicode hyphen would be more correct here.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:19, 1 June 2021 (UTC)
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Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile DisorderEdit

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This appears to be a copy from which took their copy from Volume 31 of the Collected Works of Lenin published in 1966 in the Soviet Union by Progress Publishers [[6]] so the translation is still copyrighted as it was published abroad and then restored under URAA... MarkLSteadman (talk) 14:49, 13 June 2021 (UTC)

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The Estate of MarriageEdit

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I saw this was pending for 9 months, Walter Brandt died in 1958, the work seems to have been published in 1962 in the US with renewal [[7]]. MarkLSteadman (talk) 15:37, 13 June 2021 (UTC)

@Vkem: Do you have any comment about this nomination as copyright violation? — billinghurst sDrewth 16:16, 4 July 2021 (UTC)
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The KhōnEdit

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Deleted per nom.

I propose the deletion of this work, as it is apparently a copyright violation.

The author, Dhanit Yupho (Thai Wikipedia article), died in 2004. It is still not over 50 years after the author's death according to the Thai copyright law.

And the tagged license, Template:PD-TH-exempt, does not apply at all, because this work is not a constitution, legislation, judicial decision, etc.

--Miwako Sato (talk) 03:56, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

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Ponniyin SelvanEdit

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Deleted per nom. Work is a modern translation by a still-living author, and contributor has not responded to requests for a rationale.

Putting this here whilst I try to get some extra information from the contributor. At first look, this would appear to be a modern translation of the state dwork, and I have no confidence that the translation is in the public domain and able to be reproduced. This article would indicate that the translator is living. — billinghurst sDrewth 16:13, 4 July 2021 (UTC)

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Old Mrs Chundle (Hardy)Edit

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Deleted per nom.

Moved from WS:PD

Header says "A short story written by Thomas Hardy about 1888-1890 was never printed at his lifetime and was first published in Ladies Home Journal February 1929." As it was published prior to 2003 in a magazine from 1929 that was renewed it is still under copyright: see c:Template:PD-US-unpublished. The magazine issue would be "February 1929 (v. 46 no. 2), © January 31, 1929", source: Evidence of renewal: PseudoSkull (talk) 13:39, 2 July 2021 (UTC)

  Delete (until end of 2024). Publication after death does annoying things to copyright terms. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 16:07, 5 July 2021 (UTC)
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Waldorf public school trial transcriptEdit

I… don't really know what to make of this. It is a transcript from a court somewhere, and it seems most likely to be public domain, but I find myself unable to articulate precisely why or how to tag it. Help? Xover (talk) 15:56, 5 July 2021 (UTC)

  Delete I'm fairly sure the verbatim speech of lawyers within a court is not automatically PD, even if the judgements of that court are? Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 16:03, 5 July 2021 (UTC)
Looked like impromptu speech / off-the-cuff remarks to me, but I didn't read all of it so the later parts may have more preparation. Xover (talk) 17:56, 5 July 2021 (UTC)

Vincent Van GoghEdit

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Deleted per nom.

French original by Octave Mirbeau (1848–1917) is PD, but I have been unable to track down any source for the English-language translation. Xover (talk) 16:03, 5 July 2021 (UTC)

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Un Canadien errant (Gibbon)Edit

English translation by John Murray Gibbon (1875–1952) first published in England in 1927. pma. 70 means its UK copyright runs until 2022, which means it was in copyright in the UK on the URAA date and its US copyright term expires at the end of 1927 + 95 = 2022. Even if one presumed a Canadian copyright term (Gibbon was "Scottish-Canadian") of pma. 50 it would have been in copyright on the URAA date and have its US copyright restored. Xover (talk) 18:09, 5 July 2021 (UTC)

  • An OCLC/WorldCat record indicated a simultaneous publication in the U.S., which would make it in the public domain, assuming a lack of renewal and/or notice. I don’t think that there would be any differences between the editions to make a London song version versus a New York song version. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 17:18, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science/Volume 270/The Engineering of ConsentEdit

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Copyright for the issue was renewed in 1978 with (Renewal: RE0000001363) --Einstein95 (talk) 12:35, 11 July 2021 (UTC)

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Gates of EmpireEdit

"Gates of Empire", aka. "The Road of the Mountain Lion", is a short story by Robert Ervin Howard (1906–1936) first published in Golden Fleece in January 1939. The issue or story may or may not have had a copyright notice, but searching Stanford I've been unable to find a renewal for the story, under either title, or for the magazine. In other words, it seems likely that this is {{PD-US-no-notice}}{{PD-US-no-renewal}}, but I would like to have the community's take. Xover (talk) 19:18, 12 July 2021 (UTC) [edited to correct template link: --Xover (talk) 20:37, 12 July 2021 (UTC)]

  • I also can't find any renewals for Golden Fleece from 1966 or 1967. Agree that Stanford seems to show no relevant works renewals (for "Mountain Lion" or "Robert Howard"). So I think it's safe. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 19:44, 12 July 2021 (UTC)
For what it's worth, there was a reprint of works from the Golden Fleece available on that claims it's in the PD.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:22, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

Georgia versus Russia (Hague court application, 2008)Edit

A 2008 submission to the w:International Court of Justice from Georgia. Georgian copyright law is more restrictive than {{PD-USGov}} and only exempts "official documents (laws, court decisions, other administrative and normative texts), as well as their official translations;". A submission to the court does not obviously fall within any of those example categories. In the US, the works of foreign governments are copyrightable unless they fall under {{PD-EdictGov}}, but a submission to a supranational court does not seem to fit that definition either. My initial assessment is therefore that this is a copyvio. Xover (talk) 19:45, 12 July 2021 (UTC)

  • While an interesting text, it does appear to fall outside of both Georgian and U.S. government-copyright laws. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 17:18, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

The Ghost of Camp ColoradoEdit

"The Ghost of Camp Colorado" is a short story by Robert Ervin Howard (1906–1936) apparently first published in The Texaco Star, an employee magazine published by Texaco's marketing department, in April 1931. Earlier issues of this magazine were published with a copyright notice (I haven't found a scan of this one), but I haven't found any renewals for this magazine (Texaco did renew other publications in which they had a commercial interest). As such it is probably {{PD-US-no-renewal}}.

An additional complication is that our text was apparently taken from The End of the Trail: Western Stories (2005), a modern collection with unknown changes. In other words, it is possible our text is a derivative work whose copyright we'd then be violating. It doesn't appear particularly likely, but it is possible, so it'll depend on your standard of evidence for copyright issues… Xover (talk) 20:35, 12 July 2021 (UTC)

  • I have found no renewal of either this work or of relevant issues of Texaco Star. Ideally, this work should be backed to a scan of that magazine, but failing that, I do not think the collection’s changes warrant copyright. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 17:18, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

ISN 043 -- statement of 2006/10/23Edit

Samir Naji's written statement to the Guantanamo Administrative Review Board dated 23 October 2006. This was previously possible to host due to a lack of copyright relations between the US and Afghanistan, but since Afghanistan's WTO membership in 2016 and accession to the Berne convention in 2018 this is no longer true. Naji's statement is subject to a pma. 50 copyright term in Afghanistan, and through the URAA a pma. 70 term in the US, meaning this will be in copyright in the US until at least 2077 or thereabouts. @Geo Swan: pinging by request. Xover (talk) 12:36, 16 July 2021 (UTC)

The Letters (Wharton)Edit

Apparently a short story by Edith Wharton (1862–1937), and almost certainly first published in the US, so there are numerous ways this could be public domain now. But I'm not having much luck finding out where and when that first publication took place, and so we can't really tell what side of the line this falls on. I would be happy if someone could dig up the details so we could know for sure though. Xover (talk) 13:24, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

Harper's monthly magazine v.108 Dec. 1903-May 1904, page 781 (HathiTrust link) has an edition of the first half of this, called "The Letter", and we're missing the first line of that edition. I suspect a similar search for text from the second half in HathiTrust would turn the other half. It's still problematic, as it looks like another edition.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:20, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

The French Declaration of War against Austria (1792)Edit

No source provided, and I have been unable to find one. The original is obviously long out of copyright, but this was also definitely not originally in English. The English translation bears the hallmarks of a modern translation (and it is definitively not a contemporary translation). Xover (talk) 13:45, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

The Edmeston Local/Question Over Famous Run Is Finally Solved and The Edmeston Local/Scout's Run to Warn Of Peril To Be MarkedEdit

1937 and 1939 articles from The Edmeston Local. They were apparently copied here from a ~2000 book as part of a bigger History of Edmeston project that was subsequently deleted. Someone needs to come up with valid licensing for these since they're way past the 95 year cutoff. Xover (talk) 16:52, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

  • I can only find the first article here (App. H), but I believe that there needs to be a greater look at the Edmeston Local, as there are several more articles marked as “Doubtful Fidelity.” TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 17:18, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

Tagore's Letters to M. K. GandhiEdit

Letters written by Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941) to Gandhi in 1919 and 1932. The letters were not, afaict, published at the time. The first publication I have found is the one given by the cited source, Selected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol. IV in 1968, which includes (as best I can tell) the English translation by Jitendra T. Desai. For unpublished works the term in India is pub. + 60 years (so until 2028), and the translation would be pma. 60 from Desai's date of death (which I've not found but it is definitely even later). Xover (talk) 17:23, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

  Delete Regardless of the original publication, the translator death data sounds like a slam dunk. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 18:05, 26 July 2021 (UTC)

Swift's EpitaphEdit

"Swift's Epitaph" is a poem by W. B. Yeats (1865–1939), first published in the collection The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1933).

The UK edition (London: MacMillan) was published on 19 September according to The Observer (and corroborated by multiple reviews in early October).

The US publication, though, is a bit harder to pin down. The first mention of it in a newspaper comes from The Baltimore Sun on 17 September when Collected Poems by Yeats is listed as forthcoming (published in November) and noted as including the content from The Winding Stair and Other Poems. And on 10 December, the Oakland Tribune reviews the Collected Poems noting that The Winding Stair and Other Poems has previously only been available as a limited edition.

The catalog of copyright entries shows a registration for Collected Poems on 14 November, and for The Winding Stair and Other Poems on 25 October. The entry for The Winding Stair is supported by the the one scan I could find of the US edition (New York: MacMillan), which contains a copyright statement and claims to have been "Published October, 1933".

Checking renewals for 1960–1962 (1933 + 28±1) I can find no renewal for the work (and the Stanford DB gives no hits).

Based on this I would say The Winding Stair and Other Poems was first published in the UK on 19 September 1933, and not published in the US within 30 days (registered 25 October 1933). Its country of origin is therefore the UK, where its copyright term ran until the end of 1939 + 70 = 2009. It was thus in copyright in its country of origin on the URAA date (1 January 1996) and subject to a US copyright term running until 1933 + 95 = 2028. Xover (talk) 07:53, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

Summer MornEdit

The page contains two poems—"Summer Morn" and "Am-ra the Ta-an"—by Robert Ervin Howard (1906–1936).

"Summer Morn" was first published in Kull: Exile of Atlantis (2006). As it was never published before 1 January 2003, the applicable copyright term is pma. 70. Since Howard died in 1936 this duration would have expired after 2006. In other words, it should now be public domain under {{PD-US-unpublished}}.

"Am-ra the Ta-an" was first published in A Rhyme of Salem Town and Other Poems (2002). Having been created before 1978 and being published before 1 January 2003, it is in copyright until the greater duration of pma. 70 and 31 December 2047. In other words, it is in copyright until 2048.

So, bottom line, I propose we remove the latter and revdel the old revisions, and keep the former as {{PD-US-unpublished}}. Xover (talk) 08:52, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

Statutory Resolution CM/Res(2007)6Edit

A 2007 "Statutory Resolution" of the Council of Europe (the other CoE). I'm inclined to just tag this {{PD-EdictGov}} without digging much farther, but I'd like to hear from the community on this. Xover (talk) 08:56, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

Muhammad's lettersEdit

The following texts, all purporting to be letters written by Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh to various Middle-Eastern dignitaries, were added in 2018 by Muhammad Umair Mirza.

None of the texts specify a source, and they were obviously not originally written in English. I'm not sure how I would track down a definitive source for such short texts, and I am disinclined to expend a lot of time on it since in my experience these tend to end up being from one modern website or another with incompatible licensing ( being the usual suspect). Without a source and surrounding context they are also somewhat suspect, so I would suggest we delete these and if readded make sure it is through a suitable scholarly edition or edited collection. Xover (talk) 09:11, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

  • Sources of these translations could be found, but it seems tiresome to do so, when so little of there source is known. (The Muqawqis letter has existed since 1907 (with Arabic source here), and so it definitely could be kept; at least, so Muhammad can have one work to his name.) As for the other letters, absent a further search, they should probably be deleted. (It may be noted also, Xover, that the Web-site which held the other works of Mohammed took those (at least the sermon) from a book published in the 1990s; they were not original.) TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 00:03, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

National Anthem of the Soviet UnionEdit

For all three translations listed there: irrespective of the licensing status of the translation, the Russian original lyrics were written by Sergey Vladimirovich Mikhalkov (1913–2009) and Gabriel El-Registan (1899–1945). Since the USSR successor states ~all have pma. 70 copyright terms, all versions of the original are still in copyright until at least 2080. Xover (talk) 11:59, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

  • Oppose. The lyrics were the official anthem, and thus were published in an order declaring them official. This order is an edict of government, and is thus in the public domain in the United States. [An abuse filter has prevented me from providing a hyper-link.] TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 00:03, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
    @TE(æ)A,ea.: Thanks for looking into this. Could you email me the link, or otherwise point me in the right direction?
    The issue there is that while EdictGov exempts laws from copyright, the mere inclusion of a previously copyrighted work in a public domain work generally does not automatically invalidate the preexisting copyright. This is similar to the inclusion of copyrighted material in a public record or a work by the US federal government: essentially it is "used by permission" in those cases and does not allow reuse. The usual way national anthems or other national symbols are exempted from copyright, or provided extra protection, is through exemptions or special regulation in the relevant copyright act or an adjacent law (e.g. in NZ the Ka Mate is specially regulated in the Haka Ka Mate Attribution Act 2014). It is highly unusual for a copyrighted work to be included verbatim in a law, so this creates a novel situation and the details will be essential to determining where to fall down on it. Xover (talk) 07:46, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
    • Re: Email—I’ll try sending it to you soon; and if I can’t get it sent then, you’ll have to wait a few days. Re: mere inclusion—this seems to disagree, and I don’t really find anything pushing the other way. In the Ka Mate case, I believe that to be more New Zealand’s way of protecting its Maori heritage, than an attempt to vitiate the copyright of a work in one specific case (especially so, looking at sec. 10 of that act). Publishing a law including a work is different from reprinting something in the Record. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 14:26, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
      The model building code case is slightly different, in that the original work there essentially was the law that was adopted and not an independent artistic work. The providers of the model building code also sold the states a license to the work specifically for them to adopt it into a law. The challenge was that the state itself then tried to use copyright to prevent a third party from hosting the text of the law. But, yeah, we're down to splitting pretty fine hairs there.
      The Ka Mate thing isn't a direct equivalent; it's just the example closest to mind of special regulation of national symbols of various kinds. There are lots of jurisdictions that have similar special regulation for flags or traditional folklore or… The point was just that these usually do not themselves include the artistic work regulated, which is making this a lot more complicated. Xover (talk) 14:53, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
      • For the model code, the license was sold with the (false) assumption that they would retain the copyright to the law after it was sold. I think the case with a national anthem is more obvious, really, as the writer/composer (as the case may be) is giving the anthem to the country, so to speak, and the country makes that gift real with the law declaring the national anthem (which thus includes the music). As for splitting fine hairs, isn’t that what copyright discussions are all about? If only things could be easier. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 20:02, 31 July 2021 (UTC)

Kerry vs. PickensEdit

These are by a sitting Senator, but the whole swiftboat thing with Pickens and the SBVT are hardly obvious parts of his official duties. Kerry was at this time a candidate for the Democratic nomination (he hadn't yet dropped out and endorsed Obama), and the SBVT attacks targeted Kerry personally, so these are pretty obviously him acting as a candidate and not a Senator.

On the other hand, we've traditionally given waaaay wide latitude to what we consider to fall within the scope of a Senator's duties (way too much, and I think we should tighten that up going forward).

In this specific case I'd be comfortable with deleting under the former rationale, or tagging them as {{PD-USGov}} under the latter, but I'd like to hear where the community sits on this. Xover (talk) 13:00, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

  Delete I'd definitely agree that these letters were not within (or even remotely discussing) his official duties... they are completely irrelevant to, and don't even discuss the topic of, any legislation that was under consideration at the time. The SBVT thing was purely political theatre, on both sides. Given that I see no way in which these letters would be any different if Kerry had been a candidate who was not in office at the time, it seems obvious that it's not exempt. Jarnsax (talk) 17:25, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
The whole SBVT thing was asking about his service in Vietnam which was part of his official duties as a Navy Officer. If it were written at the time as an officer it would count no? If he were an admiral coming up for senate confirmation would we reach the same conclusion it wasn't part of his official duties? MarkLSteadman (talk) 21:26, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
@MarkLSteadman: The exemption is specifically for "works of the United States Government...prepared by an officer or part of his official duties." This implies a 'work for hire' (it's a corporate author), so we can also pull in "a work prepared as an employee as part of his employment."
  • Kerry was no longer a serving officer at the time, and thus had no "official duty" to comment about his previous service. While he was still serving, the work would still have to be explicitly "part of his official duties," so something that he was actually obligated to prepare.
  • An officer seeking confirmation from, or testifying before, Congress, would do so only under direction from the Commander in Chief, so it's part of their duty. As the law currently stands (getting into untested ground a bit, here, but as it seems to stand in the US) an Officer of the United States (and thus part of the Executive Branch) they cannot be compelled by the Legislative to testify when it relates to their official duties, as when carrying out those duties they are using "a portion of the Sovereign Power of the United States" delegated to them by the President and are thus eligible for qualified immunity from contempt of Congress for refusal to testify.
  • There is no exemption under statute law for works of Members of Congress.. they are neither officers nor employees of the United States Government (specifically prohibited from being so by the Ineligibility Clause of the US Constitution)
  • The relevant exemption for Congress is instead from the common law, is for "edicts of government, broadly construed" and dates back to an 1830s court case, but was addressed quite recently by the Supreme Court

    For purposes of the Copyright Act, judges cannot be the “author[s]” of “whatever work they perform in their capacity” as lawmakers. Because legislators, like judges, have the authority to make law, it follows that they, too, cannot be “authors.” And, as with judges, the doctrine applies to whatever work legislators perform in their capacity as legislators, including explanatory and procedural materials they create in the discharge of their legislative duties.

    —Georgia et al. v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc. (2020)

  • The definition of "law" in this case in extremely broad (this is a principle of the common, not statute law).... "non-statute" materials prepared by Members in the course of drafting legislation, that could be used by judges to construct the meaning and sense of Congress behind the words actually enacted, are "law" in the sense intended, as is the 'administrative law' in the Code of Federal Regulations. The concept is that "actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea" - essentially that you have to be able to know what the law is to commit a crime. Jarnsax (talk) 15:58, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
Thanks. My main question was thinking through this in a more rigorous way given that it all seemed a bit wishy-washy. My inclination was that it didn't apply and I was pushing to nail down why it doesn't apply. For example, that {{PD-US-Gov}} is not for legislators. MarkLSteadman (talk) 17:05, 29 July 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, I kinda took it as a request to try to really explain the reasoning behind it... it's why the Constitution starts "We the People" though we know what specific people actually wrote it: because our representatives, when acting as the legislative, are essentially us, we (as a people) are the collective authors of the works it creates, that we give our implicit consent to when electing congresscritters. WE are the swamp, lol. Jarnsax (talk) 17:57, 29 July 2021 (UTC)

Russian Federation. Law on Copyright and Neighboring RightsEdit

A 1993 version of the Russian copyright law. All the sources for the English text found in notes/talk/revision history are non-official sources (i.e. the translation would not meet PD-EdictGov). However, the WTO hosts an English-language version of this here without mentioning a specific third-party translator.

The original Russian law would be clear {{PD-EdictGov}}.

I am inclined to slap a {{PD-EdictGov}} on this and deal with it later if anybody complains. Xover (talk) 13:24, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

Resolution of the Information Bureau Concerning the Communist Party of YugoslaviaEdit

A resolution from a 1948 meeting of a whole bunch of "Workers Parties" and "Communist Parties" censuring one of their national members.

The "Information Bureau" (aka. Cominform) is a private (political) member organisation. As such, this resolution would be a collective work of the members and copyright held in their various jurisdictions. Since anything copyright in any of these places on 1 January 1996 would be subject to the URAA, a local copyright term would have had to be less than 1996 - 1948 = 48 years for this to have conceivably expired (and even if there was a stray ~25 year term in there somewhere, the rest were almost certainly pma. 50 or more). Xover (talk) 13:57, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

Report of Psychiatric Assessment of José PadillaEdit

A report by a psychiatrist hired by the defence attorneys for José Padilla. Copyright belongs to either the psychiatrist or, most likely, the law firm defending Padilla. i.e. it is a public record, but not public domain. Xover (talk) 14:08, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

A Program for Monetary ReformEdit

See w:Chicago plan for context.

This is the 1939 draft that was never published until 2009, and unpublished works with known authors have pma. 70 terms in the US. Since at least one of the authors lived until 1989, this will be in copyright until at least 2060. Xover (talk) 14:36, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

  • Verifying: Earl J. Hamilton, the last of the six listed authors to die, died in 1989. While I have some doubt as to the “publication” of the draft plan, it seems clear that it is now copyrighted. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 00:03, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

Proclamation of Cuban transfer of duties 2006Edit

A proclamation, drafted by Fidel Castro and subsequently adopted by the National Assembly of People's Power, transferring power from El Comandante to various people (among them Raúl Castro).

Cuban government works are normally in perpetual copyright (ironic, yes), but the way I read this it's a proclamation by the supreme leader and rubberstamped by the competent legislative body, so despite being framed as a statement (it was apparently read out on TV) it looks like {{PD-EdictGov}} applies. Unless someone objects I intend to slap that license tag on it. Xover (talk) 16:26, 27 July 2021 (UTC)

The Price of Greatness is ResponsibilityEdit

1943 speech given by Winston Churchill (1874–1965) at Harvard University. At the time, Churchill was Prime Minister of the UK.

The nature of the speech makes it plausible, likely even, that he was here acting in his role as PM. If so, the relevant term to consider is Crown Copyright. Crown Copyright in this instance would run from creation to 50 years, and would have expired in 2015 in the UK; but would have still accrued URAA copyright in the US until 2060.

It is possible that this should be considered to be Churchill acting in a personal capacity. If that is the case the relevant term would be pma. 70, and the term would run until 2035 in the UK and 2060 in the US.

In either case the issue arises of whether the speech constitutes general publication for copyright purposes. Other speeches by Churchill in the US were furnished to the press and reported verbatim nationally (and handed out to the attendees), but this is a somewhat different setting. If this speech was only a "limited publication" to 30 people in the room (or whatever) then the publication for copyright purposes was only much later in a "Letters and Speeches of Winston Churchill"-type book (and the copyright situation would in practice be a no-go for us).

And finally we have the issue of whether the speech of the sitting PM of the UK in a US university should be considered a US work or a UK work. The Berne treaty (which the US is a signatory to) uses terms like "domiciliary of" etc. in relation to the "country of origin". If the country of origin is the UK then this would be restored by the URAA and be in copyright until 1965 + 95 = 2060. If the country of origin is the US then it is very likely either {{PD-US-no-notice}} or {{PD-US-no-renewal}}.

In other words: my head hurts and I need help sorting out all the twisty details here. Xover (talk) 08:56, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

  • Normally, a work published (in this case, a speech publicly delivered) in the United States would be a United States work in Berne’s terms. However, the fact that it is a speech given by the sitting (or former) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom might make the work a UK work by the strong association with a foreign country; the terms aren’t clear (and I don’t remember them at the moment). I would not consider this a speech in his capacity as PM, but I do think his status as PM was a consideration. I’ll look over this more later, but it does seem to fall right on the line. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 14:26, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
Cf. (a modern article on the subject) and (a historical publication on and of the speech). It was a public speech to 1300 people, and published contemporaneously in the New York Times (renewed), New York Herald Tribune (renewed), and within 30 days in the Harvard Alumni Magazine linked above (not renewed). For purposes of the URAA and US law, it is clearly a US work. For purposes of the Berne Convention, it's probably a UK work, since the US wasn't a Berne member at the time, but I don't think that's relevant to us. Since it's a speech given at the award of an honorary degree, I don't think it's Crown Copyright, even if it was (according to the article above) tit-for-tat from the President of the US (having been awarded a UK honorary degree) to the Prime Minister of the UK.
Thus to me it comes down to whether the renewals on the periodicals it was reprinted in renew it, given the lack of an individual renewal. To which I'm not clear, and I'm not even sure US law is clear. I think not, since that would renew it in the name of the publisher, and which publisher?--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:58, 28 July 2021 (UTC)


The lyrics to a Canadian military march, written by Thomas Fraser Gelley (d. 1968) and first published in 1941 (Chabot composed the music).

The copyright term in Canada at the time was pma. 50, meaning its Canadian copyright expired after 1968 + 50 = 2018. It was however still in copyright in Canada on the URAA date (1 January 1996), meaning its US copyright term is 1941 + 95 = 2036. Xover (talk) 10:17, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

  • In what were the lyrics first published? TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 14:26, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
    The internal gazette for the Royal Canadian whatsits; Gelley was a professor at the publishing uni. at the time. Xover (talk) 14:41, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
    • Then the copyright has been maintained, so the work should be deleted. Is there a source for the music available, or is that also under copyright? TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 20:02, 31 July 2021 (UTC)
  Delete PseudoSkull (talk) 17:28, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

Peggy Guggenheim, New York, N.Y. letter to Betty Parsons, New York, N.Y., 1947 May 5Edit

Letter from Marguerite "Peggy" Guggenheim (1898–1979) to Betty Parsons dated 5 May 1947.

The letter, as private correspondence, was never published. It is not obvious that the Smithsonian making it available on their web page constitutes "publication" for copyright purposes (merely being accessible for study in an archive's collections usually does not count as general publication), but it in any case happened after 2003. And as a work with a known author that was unpublished until after 2003, it is in copyright until the later of pma. 70 and 2047. In other words, this is in copyright until at least 2049. Xover (talk) 15:05, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

The later of pma. 70 and 2067 actually, right? I thought it was 120 years after publication for unpublished works. In any case,   Delete. PseudoSkull (talk) 17:27, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
Works not of corporate authorship get 70 pma after 2002. The 2047 limit only applies to works created before 1978 and published in 1978-2002.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:45, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

Ormurin LangiEdit

Traditional Faroen song, originally written in 1830, but our text is a partial translation into English by Anker Eli Petersen (1959 – fl. 2009). I can find no indication that the translation is compatibly licensed. Xover (talk) 16:08, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

  Delete No way this is in the PD. PseudoSkull (talk) 17:26, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

Nigeria We Hail TheeEdit

A former national anthem for Nigeria, written in 1960 by Lillian Jean Williams (fl. 1960), apparently in English.

Nigeria is a pma. 70 country, and since Williams was clearly alive in 1960 I see no way this could be public domain. Xover (talk) 16:59, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

  Delete, clearly not PD. Will fall into the PD in the US in 2056. PseudoSkull (talk) 17:24, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
Although apparently the sound recordings of it are apparently only 50 years... Also she was a government employee at the time but not sure it qualifies as a government work than but if so it would by 2031 (creation + 70) for Nigerian copyright. Also, I imagine the law enacting it as a national anthem with the text would be covered by Edict-GOV for the US copyright? MarkLSteadman (talk) 19:39, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
  • This was proclaimed by ordinance the national anthem, and the ordinance counts as an edict of government. I believe that would disqualify this work from Williams’ individual copyright. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 20:02, 31 July 2021 (UTC)

The Nazi's Aim Is SlaveryEdit

1940 radio speech by Édouard Daladier (1884–1970), the then PM of France.

France is pma. 70 and has no PD-USGov type exceptions, so the speech as such is in copyright in France until at least 2040. In addition, it seems highly unlikely the PM of France would address the people of France in any language but French, so our text is also a translation of unknown provenance. In either case it is in copyright in the US until 2066. Xover (talk) 17:15, 28 July 2021 (UTC)

  Delete as this is clearly not in the public domain. However @Xover: a minor note, but I'm not sure where you got the year 2066. According to the Music Modernization Act, which would include radio recordings, "recordings that were first published between 1923 and 1946 are copyrighted for a period of 100 years after first publication." So therefore (at least the French version of this) would go into the PD in the US in 2040, the same year as in France coincidentally. That's barring the copyright status of any English-translated version that this might have been copied from. PseudoSkull (talk) 17:20, 28 July 2021 (UTC)
The speech has a separate copyright from the recording. I doubt the French work is copyright until 2066; it was probably published contemporaneously, making it 2036 in the US, and almost certainly wasn't unpublished until 1978, giving it publication+95.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:48, 28 July 2021 (UTC)