Wikisource:Copyright discussions

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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.

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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. [1]; [2]; [3]. Slowking4Rama's revenge 16:29, 3 December 2019 (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)
    • Jarnsax: “There is no exemption under statute law for works of Members of Congress”—actually, that’s not true. “Copyright protection under the Copyright Act is not available for ‘any work of the United States Government.’ … This includes works created by the President; Congress; the federal judiciary; federal departments, agencies, boards, bureaus, or commissions; or any other officer or employee of the U.S. federal government while acting within the course of his or her official duties.” (From the Compendium.) TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 02:30, 8 August 2021 (UTC)
@TE(æ)A,ea. You're arguing with the Supreme Court (see quote above, or look up the case). What you are missing is that Congressmen are not Officers (or employees) of the Unites States Government. First sentence of w:Officer of the United States... "a functionary of the executive or judicial branches of the federal government of the United States..." I mentioned above, the Ineligibility Clause... "no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office." They are not "employees" because they are not hired or fired, it's an elective office not a 'job'. The reasoning goes way off into too much depth for here, but 'law' is ineligible for copyright due to a lack of authorship as defined by the Copyright Act. In the specific case, the Georgia Legislature is denied copyright in 'non binding annotations' that were published along with the actual statute. Jarnsax (talk) 02:53, 8 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Jarnsax: This work was published after Public.Resource.Org was decided; it references that case in the paragraph I quoted. Here is the full quote:

“[T]he bar on copyright protection for federal works … applies to works created by all federal ‘officer[s] or employee[s],’ without regard for the nature of their position or scope of their authority.” Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., 140 S. Ct. 1498, 1509–10 (2020). This includes works created by the President; Congress; the federal judiciary; federal departments, agencies, boards, bureaus, or commissions; or any other officer or employee of the U.S. federal government while acting within the course of his or her official duties. It also includes works prepared by an officer or employee of the government of the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the organized territories under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

  • You can read the rest here (p. 36, § 313.6(C)(1)). TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 03:04, 8 August 2021 (UTC)
@TE(æ)A,ea. Now read the very next section of the Compendium regarding government edicts, 313.6(C)(2). It tells you the same thing I just did. Jarnsax (talk) 03:24, 8 August 2021 (UTC)
To explain a bit more, when it mentions "Congress" in (C)(1) it is referring to Officers and employees of the legislative branch (i.e. Congress) like the w:Architect of the Capitol, who are not Members of COngress and have no legislative authority. Jarnsax (talk) 03:32, 8 August 2021 (UTC)
Since this is probably going to go here anyhow, actual "laws" (passed by both houses, and signed by the president) are edicts of Government, as are "rules" (i.e. administrative law) written by agencies with rulemaking authority delegated by statute (like the EPA). That they are not copyrightable is a "principle", it's not written in the statutes, it's common law (England does copyright laws, but they actually passed a law post-revolution to make it that way). Congress can also (and does) create "works of the United States Government" when they do things like pass a simple resolution in the House to express condolences after a former member dies, and those are not copyrightable under (C)(1), but they are also not legislation. Jarnsax (talk) 04:50, 8 August 2021 (UTC)
@Jarnsax: This discussion is interesting, and can have far-reaching consequences for how we treat works by congressmen on the project. I have always been unclear on what exactly the copyright situation for these are.
The executive branch are fairly clear as {{PD-USGov}}, and the judiciary are usually fairly clear as {{PD-EdictGov}}. And Congress as such is normally also producing works that fall under EdictGov, especially after PRO.
But we get a lot of works by individual congressmen that can be anything from speeches on the floor, to press releases, speeches to the electorate, town halls and Q&A sessions with constituents. We have historically given wide latitude to keeping these under the theory that PD-USGov was in effect, and a congressman's "official duties" includes various kinds of schmoozing with constituents. But if there is no PD-USGov exemption for congressmen, that means only PD-EdictGov controls the issue; and EdictGov (even after PRO) will only apply in those narrow circumstances where whatever work somehow bears on a law or other edict of the government. That would eliminate a wide swathe of texts that we currently host.
In other words, this is an issue I believe it is worthwhile spending some time and effort to get right. Xover (talk) 07:56, 8 August 2021 (UTC)
@Xover Yeah, "employees" is obvious, and it's fairly easy to define an "Officer of the United States"... nominated by President, confirmed by Senate, has a physical paper commission, swears an oath to the Constitution.
What's kind of odd is the case to watch right now [4] isn't actually a copyright case, but probably will go towards the point here... if a congressman speaking at Trump's Jan 6th rally was 'acting in the scope of his duties' by addressing the public at a political event. There have been other, similar cases (like Murtha), but I think they are generally more about the Westfall Act (tort law) which has it's own definition of 'employee' that is much broader.
All the copyright compendium really says about "edicts of government" is citing cases where courts have agreed that since the Copyright Act doesn't explicitly create a copyright in them (doesn't mention them at all) then there isn't one (and people have been calling BS on Georgia for years). We're just left with that it should be 'broadly construed' in the public interest. Jarnsax (talk) 09:33, 8 August 2021 (UTC)

So, after some more digging around, I tracked down the 11th Circuit's decision in Georgia v. PRO here. [5] What's interesting about it is they get to the same place starting from first principles, and essentially create a three part test:

Because our ultimate inquiry is whether a work is authored by the People, meaning whether it represents an articulation of the sovereign will, our analysis is guided by a consideration of those characteristics that are the hallmarks of law. In particular, we rely on the identity of the public officials who created the work, the authoritativeness of the work, and the process by which the work was created. These are critical markers. Where all three point in the direction that a work was made in the exercise of sovereign power -- which is to say where the official who created the work is entrusted with delegated sovereign authority, where the work carries authoritative weight, and where the work was created through the procedural channels in which sovereign power ordinarily flows -- it follows that the work would be attributable to the constructive authorship of the People, and therefore uncopyrightable.

This test (which the SC did not adopt, so it's only precedent in the 11th Cir.) excludes a lot of Congress-proximate stuff. Jarnsax (talk) 11:09, 8 August 2021 (UTC)

  • Jarnsax: This is a test for whether a work is an edict of government, not if a work is a work of the U.S. government made by Congress (or a member thereof). “It tells you the same thing I just did”—it mentions the edict-of-government exception, yes; but it also, separately, mentions that the works of “[the] President [and] Congress” are “‘work[s] of the United States Government,’” which seems to imply there are non-EdictGov works by the President and Congress which are still USGov. In addition, I would say that all resolutions passed by Congress are edicts of government, and fall under that exception (rather than the more general government-work exception). TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 12:25, 8 August 2021 (UTC)
@TE(æ)A,ea. Wrote a bunch, and wiped it, because I think I know the difficulty here. You are looking at and referring to the Copyright Compendium, which is useful, but does not have the force of law.
From 17 USC §101, the actual statute, "A “work of the United States Government” is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties." That is the sum total of the definition. Actual elected officials are neither Officers of the US nor employees (employee is not defined, so law dictionary meaning. Who is their 'boss' that directs them how to do their job? Not employees.) The Compendium has to be read in context of what the law itself says, it is explanatory of USCO practice, but not 'proscriptive'... in context, they are trying to make clear that they are talking about any officer or employee of any part of the federal government whatsoever, but the restriction "officer or employee" cannot be expanded upon by anything but a revision of 17 USC by Congress. Officers of the United States are created through the w:Appointments Clause, and Members of Congress are prohibited from being an Officer by the w:Ineligibility Clause. Jarnsax (talk) 14:10, 8 August 2021 (UTC)
  • Jarnsax: While engaging in this discussion, I have come to agree with the concerns raised in your position. However, we are neither judges nor legislators, and so (in my opinion) for Wikisource purposes the Compendium is dispositive, regardless of any such potentially serious errors. Unless the authors and editors of the Compendium decide to rewrite it to reflect this concern, or some new law or court case declares it so, we must follow the “leading law” (as much as the Compendium is that) in this case. The introduction to the Compendium gloats about how it has been cited in court cases as “highly persuasive,” and we cannot say that a judge will absolutely disagree with the Compendium’s finding, so, until such a change happens, I say we should follow the Compendium. (Also, because it supports my opinion.) As for your comment evincing a different interpretation of the Compendium, I disagree; I believe the catch-all clause at the end (“any other officer or employee of the U.S. federal government”) would cover officers and employees of Congress whether or no the sentence mentioned “Congress” separately; and I don’t think that the reference to “Congress” was meant to refer to “the officers and employees of Senators and Congressmen but not the representatives themselves”—a distinction they could have made. Regarding the 11th Circuit’s opinion, while it is not a nationwide standard, absent a Supreme Court ruling, I see no reason why Wikisource should not (in a general manner) adopt the finding as interpretive policy for EdictGov, as being more specific than the Supreme Court’s ruling. (By the way, as a separate matter, this discussion should probably be moved to a more general forum; but that can happen later.) TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 15:06, 8 August 2021 (UTC)
@TE(æ)A,ea. Yeah, I was happy to find the 11th Circuit ruling, also they do a really good job explaining why edicts are a matter of 'authorship', even though that admittedly sounds completely nonsensical on the surface. Regarding the Compendium, though, it does also state (in the intro) that it doesn't override any statute and isn't even binding on the Registrar... it just has the 'force of argument', and doesn't set precedent. We may disagree, but I'm pretty sure applying PD-USGov to anything not authored by an 'officer or employee' would be doomed to fail (though in reality they are probably written by staffers and USGov as works for hire anyhow). I think it's the boundaries of deviant congresscritter behavior (Murtha, anyone?) and what is 'campaigning' vs 'legislative' that's more likely to be an issue. Jarnsax (talk) 15:46, 8 August 2021 (UTC)

(as a quick interjection, cases like Murtha - under the Federal Tort Claims Act - are irrelevant to us, because the FCTA has it's own, extremely broad, definition of 'employee'. The criminal case about Jan 6th I linked above is going to hang on if it was part of the MoC's 'official duties', not his 'employee-ness') Jarnsax (talk) 01:42, 9 August 2021 (UTC)

@TE(æ)A,ea. It might be helpful to look at the two relevant templates over on Commons, c:Template:PD-USGov-Congress and c:Template:PD-USGov-POTUS. Both (correctly) attribute the works they apply to as those of 'employees'... of Congress on the one hand, and the 'Executive Office of the President' on the other. Works of the United States Government created by employees of "Congress" are works for hire, and per 17 USC § 201 (b) "the employer or other person for whom the work was prepared is considered the author for purposes of this title"... so, the 'author' of works created by employees of Congress is Congress "itself" (as a corporate body) for purposes of copyright. The same logic applies in the other case.. they are employees of the President, so their 'works for hire' are works of the "President" (as an 'office', a 'corporation sole', not personal property ofc). Parsing 313.6(C)(1), they actually say "works created by the President; Congress; the federal judiciary; federal departments, agencies, boards, bureaus, or commissions; or any other officer or employee of the U.S. federal government". All of the items listed before the semicolon are 'corporate bodies' (for instance, it does not say 'judges', but 'the federal judiciary'...stuff like the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure). Jarnsax (talk) 03:20, 9 August 2021 (UTC)
  • @TE(æ)A,ea.: By my count you're outnumbered 3:1 on this one; but I don't like closing these on mere majority vote, and especially not for a delete outcome. Would you be very strongly opposed to closing this as delete now and then let the issue of the possible primacy of the Compendium shake out over time in other copyright discussions? Testing the reasoning against different facts and situation often leads to better conclusions and better elucidates an issue. --Xover (talk) 11:09, 28 August 2021 (UTC)
    • You are mistaken; I have come here to discuss copyright, not to argue for deletion or not. I have not, until after this comment, looked at the actual text in dispute here. I would think that the materials here relate more to then-Senator candidate-for-President Pickens, and thus not be relevant to the general dispute regarding what constitutes the work of a Senator. (Supposing these to be deleted, the Wikipedia page should be updated to reflect that, and also the 10-year-old discussion that deleted the other letters.) TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 13:39, 28 August 2021 (UTC)
      @TE(æ)A,ea.: Hmm. Thanks for the clarification. However, while I am somewhat prone to extended discussions in abstract myself—as you may have noticed :)—the primary goal of these discussions on WS:CV is to reach a practical resolution for the text in question. In that light, can I assume that if you do not express a direct !vote through {{vd}}/{{vk}} you are discussing abstractly rather than arguing any particular way for the specific work? I want to stress that your input is both helpful and (very much!) appreciated, but I need to try to balance the concerns so the backlog here doesn't grow any longer than it already is. Xover (talk) 06:58, 30 September 2021 (UTC)

General interest (not about a specific file)Edit

While Googling around copyright matters I found this interesting article [6].... The title "Simultaneous Internet Publication and the Berne Convention" expresses what it's about pretty quote, "This Article recommends that works of foreign origin should still be included in the definition of “United States works” when the copyright holder actively solicits customers in the United States via the Internet" and justifies it pretty well IMO. Seems like the argument (or at least points from it) could be enlightening here....I vaguely recall an Australian case (regarding slander, I believe) hinging on this. (c.e. I seem to be unable to copy a working link.... Google it, its in the "Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal.") Jarnsax (talk) 18:28, 30 August 2021 (UTC)

Yeah. I don't see where it makes any difference for us, though.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:42, 30 August 2021 (UTC)

The Net of FaithEdit

c. 1443 Czech work by Peter Chelčický (c. 1390 – c. 1460), that claims to have been "translated in 1947 as part of a Bachelor's of Divinity thesis at the University of Berkeley." The source is however specified as, which specifies no licensing. The translator is given as "Enrico C. S. Molnár", who appears to have either died in 1999 or may still be living.

@Jan.Kamenicek: I think possibly you may be interested in this work. Xover (talk) 12:52, 3 September 2021 (UTC)

  • Xover: That source is spurious, and a later attribution; that “edition” may be found on IA here. This would be PD-US-no-notice for the thesis, right? TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 13:05, 3 September 2021 (UTC)
    The source ( was probably right because the IA scan is also a 2006 reprint by What is more, as an IA contributor they mention Tom Lock who runs and with whom I cooperated when saving On Spiritual Warfare by the same author. I agree that we can assume {{PD-US-no-notice}} for the 1947 thesis (if not, then {{PD-US-no-renewal}} is a certainty). If the edition available from the IA is found satisfactory, I will be happy to proofread it. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 14:40, 3 September 2021 (UTC)
    @Jan.Kamenicek: Unlike On The Spiritual Battle, which is listed as being translated by Lock and Enns, The Net of Faith is listed as being translated by an "Enrico C. S. Molnár" (whose identity I haven't been able to establish with any certainty in a quick bit of googling, but is once listed with vital years 1913–1999). Thus Lock and Enns do not have the power to license this work, barring some form of copyright transfer from Molnár. Xover (talk) 15:06, 3 September 2021 (UTC)
    @Xover: Of course, I know. I wrote about it only to show how I know that Tom Lock is connected with and that the contributor who added it to Wikisource could really have as their source (because above it was doubted as spurious). --Jan Kameníček (talk) 15:37, 3 September 2021 (UTC)
    @TE(æ)A,ea.: A thesis submission is just limited publication. In order to be published for copyright purposes some further action must take place, for example if had gotten a license from Molnár or his estate to publish it that would then constitute general publication. Xover (talk) 14:54, 3 September 2021 (UTC)
    @Xover: Is there any official ruling that explicitely states that thesis submission is not considered fully published? I have found two sources which seem to state otherwise: Copyright and Publication Status of Pre-1978 Dissertations, p.825 (it deals primarily with dissertations, but in principle it may IMO apply to any university thesis), and especially Copyright and Cultural Institutions, p. 230). --Jan Kameníček (talk) 16:31, 3 September 2021 (UTC)
    @Jan.Kamenicek: I haven't (re)read Hirtle 2009, so it may contain something of relevance (Peter Hirtle is generally a good source for such things), but last I heard his stance was that general publication could not be assumed for dissertations. Clement and Levine 2011 is an interesting approach, but the article suffers from methodological problems and confirmation bias. For example, they quote a commercial microfilm distributor assuring university publishers that works distributed on microfilm, as a format, are eligible for copyright protection (through fulfilling the deposit requirement iff deposited with the LoC) in order to argue that the works in question can not be protected by copyright.
    But mostly, Clement and Levine do not really make a legal argument (they're mostly doing digital humanities, not law) and consequently ignore Estate of Martin Luther King. In that case the 11th Circuit found that King's I Have a Dream, which was performed before a crowd of thousands, broadcast nationally on multiple networks, and where they handed out the text of the speech in a press tent at the event, didn't constitute general publication. The court sets the bar pretty high and establishes several factors that must be present in order to find that a general publication has happened, not the least of which is that the publication has to be authorised (cf. also Diversey v. Schmidly, 738 F. 3d 1196 (10th Cir. 2013)).
    The bottom line is that while there are circumstances under which a pre-1978 dissertation could have ended up in the public domain, it cannot be assumed; and determining the actual status with any certainty would require specific knowledge of the circumstances of the particular dissertation in question. Xover (talk) 19:05, 3 September 2021 (UTC)
    • Xover: Diversey dealt with a university stealing a student’s dissertation before it was finished, making copies, and distributing those copies in the university’s library. The case also deals specifically with (unauthorized) distribution. The language in this case (which is newer, and thus may carry more weight) implies that once the dissertation was placed on the library’s catalog, where anyone could view it or check it out, it becomes published for copyright concerns. (See p. 13.) [The library can’t claim fair use for distributing copies of a work that was not legally published; by inference, a dissertation is published when placed in the library’s catalog for viewing, a claim substantiated elsewhere in the opinion.] In Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr., the issue was that his dramatic reading of his (prepared) speech was a performance, not a publication; although I may be misremembering, as I haven’t read it recently. If my memory is correct, Estate applies with less force here, and Hotaling is more relevant. (Also, thinking about this, these important and discussion-relevant cases should be scan-backed here.) TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 19:45, 3 September 2021 (UTC)
    The MLK case says:
    We emphasize the summary judgment posture of this case, which necessitates that we disregard evidence that may be important or even dispositive at trial. In other words, in this summary judgment posture, we consider only the evidence with respect to which there is no genuine issue of material fact. This evidence includes only the fact of the oral delivery of the Speech to a large audience and the fact that the sponsors of the event including Dr. King sought and successfully obtained live broadcasts on radio and television and extensive contemporary coverage in the news media. In this regard, we do not consider at this stage of the litigation two potentially important pieces of evidence brought to our attention by CBS. First, an advance text of the Speech was apparently available in a press tent on the day of the speech. According to an eyewitness affidavit submitted by CBS, members of the public at large—not merely the press—were permitted access to the press tent and were given copies of the advance text. However, the Estate has proffered affidavits which contradict the statements of the CBS witness, and suggest that access was controlled by the SCLC within reasonable means. Moreover, the Estate argues that much of the content of the Speech was generated extemporaneously by Dr. King and was not contained in this advance text—an argument that we do not consider but that can be explored by the district court.
    So the court said that if the text of the speech was available to everyone, then that might change things. Since a University library offering works via ILL does make it available to everyone, that clearly distinguishes this from the MLK case. The crowd and broadcast parts are irrelevant for this; it's understood that's not publication. In general, if a dissertion was completed at a US university and a copyright notice-free copy was given to the university for their library, to be distributed to a general audience, I'd say that's a clear case of general publication without notice.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:50, 4 September 2021 (UTC)
    That they don't rule on those points does not mean they don't consider the associated issues in their reasoning for what they do rule on. They go into significant depth on what factors would be necessary in order for a general publication to have occurred, and as I recall (I'd have to re-read it to be sure), that includes the need for the publication to be authorised.
    Which bears on this case in the sense that consensus in the area appears to be that mere deposit in a university's archive is not sufficient even if a given university is willing to distribute it through the ILL, because 1) ILL may be sufficiently restricted in who can use it and through access agreements, and 2) deposit is required in order to get your degree (I think some places they even specify the number of paper copies you have to submit) but not necessarily agreement to publish beyond academic fair use and archives exceptions. Even Clement and Levine (who, as mentioned, suffer from too much wishful thinking) found that their most optimum selection of "community of practice" saw a significant difference between microfilm distribution (which, AIUI, was a commercial service) and deposit with possible ILL access.
    If you want to persuade me that this particular thesis is PD through some path involving a general publication without notice I am happy to entertain the argument; but that all pre-1978 US thesis and dissertations can be ipso facto presumed PD is a couple of bridges too far. In addition, it would be nonsensical for us to adopt such a crude presumption that directly conflicts with what US university libraries and archives' own practice and guidance is. Xover (talk) 06:59, 4 September 2021 (UTC)
    • The publication of a dissertation is authorised, because the writer of the dissertation chooses to go to university, enter a program requiring the submission of a dissertation, write a dissertation, and submit it for approval, &c. It is, in sum, the writer’s choice to enter the dissertation program, and thus they must allow (and legally authorise) the publication of the dissertation once written and formally received. “ILL may be… restricted,” but there is no indication here that they are so restricted. That university libraries are more difficult to access than other libraries is not relevant, so long as the library is not a private (whether business or personal) one. Really, I would be more inclined to consider the deposition of dissertation copies as the method in which dissertations are published, and thus released to the academic community. I don’t think that such a policy is in such great disagreement with (then-)contemporary university library practice, either. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 18:28, 6 September 2021 (UTC)
    I tried to contact Tom Lock but did not get any answer. However, I still think that this work is in public domain, per above. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 21:58, 25 September 2021 (UTC)
  • Xover: Looking through the Compendium, I find some choice quotes, which I believe rather dispositive: “[P]ublication occurs when one or more copies … are distributed to a member of the public who is not subject to any express or implied restrictions concerning the disclosure of the content of that work” (§ 1905.1). “Lending, renting, or leasing copies of a work constitutes publication of that work” (Ibid.). “[P]ublication occurs when copies … are distributed to the public by means of a sale or other transfer of ownership … . Likewise, publication occurs when copies … are distributed by means of rental, lease, or lending” (§ 1905.2). Similarly, from here, “a work is ‘published’ if one or more copies … embodying it are distributed to the public—that is, generally to persons under no explicit or implicit restrictions with respect to disclosure of its contents—without regard to the manner in which the copies … changed hands” (p. 138). The Compendium also discusses how limited a distribution must be to qualify as “limited”—a key, recurring requirement is that the number of people is limited, which is not the case for a book placed in a library’s catalog. It seems quite clear to me that all thesis publications would fall clearly under this definition of “publication.” In addition, the Compendium clearly distinguishes Estate, which was publicly performed, not publicly displayed. Such a difference does not apply, and could not apply, to a work placed in a library’s catalog for loans. Thus, it seems clear to me that all dissertations released into university library systems (and ILL systems) were published, as there is an initial presumption against giving copies of a book to a library for further distribution being somehow a “limited publication.” (The Compendium also discusses offering a work to others, in what would be limited publication, being a general publication when the offer is made “‘for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display’” (§ 1906.1, citing 17 U.S.C. § 101). TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 03:09, 4 October 2021 (UTC)

The ransom note by Leopold and Loeb (1924)Edit

@Billinghurst: because you transcribed a work on this murder case in the past. I was going to enter a transcription of this notable ransom note by Leopold and Loeb, which is on Wikimedia Commons. However, it would almost certainly qualify as an unpublished work, so the rules may be different. According to c:Template:PD-US-unpublished, 1.) This work wouldn't apply to the death pre-1951 rule, because while Loeb died in 1936, Leopold died in 1971, which is after 1951. 2.) A pseudonym is used, so I guess it'd actually apply to the third note, which is that it should have been created before 1901. It wasn't.

So my unfortunate conclusion is that this note is not in the public domain in the US. Unless its publication of the note in newspapers and the like counts as publication...but I don't think that Leopold and Loeb themselves endorsed any of that, and I don't know that the newspapers in that case could be considered the copyright holders per se of the note. What do you think? If this is determined here to be still in copyright, we should bring the discussion to Wikimedia Commons and have them delete the image file. PseudoSkull (talk) 14:56, 26 September 2021 (UTC)

  • It was as well printed and reprinted to have found its way to The Loeb–Leopold Case (1926); which, being published after the trial, prints public record material. Criminals cannot claim their illegal acts as legitimate for infringement (counter)claims, anyhow. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:54, 26 September 2021 (UTC)
@PseudoSkull: I have transcribed a lot of works for myself, and others in passing, over the years so expecting me to remember little things that I did can be pushing my recall.

The upload comment on the file mentioned says "Chicago Daily News" so I am guessing it was printed at the time. It is one of those works over which I wouldn't normally fuss about copyright. The heirs can submit a DCMA request, and see how it goes with WMF legal, IMNSHO. — billinghurst sDrewth 23:05, 26 September 2021 (UTC)

Some of the notes by the Author:Zodiac Killer were uploaded under {{PD-Disavowed}}. Not sure this template applies here (or even if we want to encourage use it on enWS) but could be worth knowing about? —Beleg Tâl (talk) 14:48, 27 September 2021 (UTC)
@Beleg Tâl: I placed the template on the transcription of the ransom note. However, I agree something else should preferably be used. Would you say that enforcing a copyright on a work that was made illegally in the first place is virtually impossible? If so, we might want a template like Template:PD-illegal-act which explains the ginormous unlikelihood of a work made as a criminal act having any copyright enforced on it. (It might be appropriate to have this be a proposal in the Scriptorium because I feel like it's a discussion with a lot of legal nuance.) PseudoSkull (talk) 18:27, 3 October 2021 (UTC)
I am not sure that illegal acts are not copyrightable, see Eldar Haber’s treatise published by Yale Law School. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 22:11, 3 October 2021 (UTC)
Indeed. The copyright could conceivably be confiscated, as could any actual proceeds, by a court; but there is no general copyright exemption for a work based on its legality or lack thereof (unless we get into terrorism and national security: there are… special cases to consider there). And {{PD-Disavowed}} is nonsense in legal terms, and should not be used except in extremely exceptional circumstances (and I can't think of a good valid example off hand). That a suspected author has disavowed a work simply makes it anonymous, and follows the copyright rules for anonymous works; and if they have acknowledged authorship then they are the author and needs to make a legally valid and binding dedication to the public domain or release the work with a compatible license. {{PD-Disavowed}} tries to pretend that the mere assertion that someone is the author is sufficient to make it so, and that their denial ("disavowal") of authorship is the same as a valid dedication to the public domain.
Oh, and enforcing a copyright on a work that was "made illegally" (I presume we mean "produced in the commission of a crime" or "which is evidence of a crime") is neither impossible nor even particularly difficult. If the crime was notorious you may have trouble because fair use reduces the market for your copyrights, but otherwise all you have to do is sue infringers or enter into licensing contracts. Typically after you get out of jail, but that's unrelated to the validity or enforceability of the copyright. Xover (talk) 13:09, 4 October 2021 (UTC)
Has it ever seen publication authorised by the authors? If not then it is unpublished (newspapers get fair use exemptions, and public records are accessible, but none of that affects copyright). That it was published under a pseudonym isn't really relevant since the real authors are known and have been since shortly after it was written. Xover (talk) 15:16, 30 September 2021 (UTC)
"Specifically, publication occurs when one or more copies or phonorecords are distributed to a member of the public who is not subject to any express or implied restrictions concerning the disclosure of the content of that work." Copyright Compendium III, 1905.1 Distribution to the Public. There was no restrictions included in that note regarding its disclosure, nor is it reasonable to read implied restrictions into something like a ransom note. Having it published is a normal reaction, and if Leopold or Loeb wanted to use the force of the law to stop that, I'd think they were obliged to say so.
Also, cf. "DANJAQ LLC MGM UA v. Kevin O'Conovan McClory". They've had 95 years to object to the continuing exploitation of this note, and we are at great disadvantage due to what agreements Leopold or Loeb may have made, informally or formally.
Finally, we're putting in a lot of argument for something that's been published for a long time, that has no economic worth, and de minimis non curat lex.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:03, 1 October 2021 (UTC)
Much as I hate to disagree with you on matters like this… While you can make an argument based on level of risk versus amount of effort expended, claiming de minimis specifically here is stretching the concept when we're using all of the work and not as an incidental part of our own creative contribution. And why in the world would we assume any more "intent to publish" for a ransom note—documenting a criminal act—than any normal letter? The doctrine of laches is an affirmative defence, so the mere assertion of it presupposes and admits both the existence of a copyright and our infringement of it. Planning in advance to make use of a laches defence thus makes the infringement wilful, and unclean hands is a bar to a valid laches defence even if it would otherwise meet the criteria. Which this wouldn't, because the clock doesn't start until the owners of the copyright become aware of the infringement, which, barring a lawsuit I'm unaware of, has not yet happened. There is also no reasonable argument to be made that the owner's delay prejudices us in any measurable way, neither evidentially nor economically. But even worse is that, as an affirmative defence, much like fair use, latches would protect us but not our re-users. Even in Danjaq v. McClory there is no question as to latches invalidating or otherwise affecting the copyright itself, only McClury's ability to gain equitable relief for the alleged infringement of it, for the specific alleged instances of infringement by the specific named parties. Xover (talk) 12:47, 4 October 2021 (UTC)
It's not about intent to publish. It's about "distributed to a member of the public who is not subject to any express or implied restrictions concerning the disclosure of the content of that work." The receiver of the note was under no express restrictions about disclosure, and notices like this are regularly published, putting to doubt any claims about implied restrictions. I'd feel that any demand or threat to a hostile party would lack that "implicit restriction", and certainly one which public policy would against prohibiting the publication of. That's not a full-throated PD-Illegal; just that if you get a note about an illegal act, the implication should be that you should publish it, not hide it, and the copyright law read at the time that if there was no implication the receiver should not further distribute it, it was published.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:48, 4 October 2021 (UTC)
Laches may not apply to us, but note that Danjaq v. McClory was clearly not limited to past infringements; laches were applied to the 1999 movie The World Is Not Enough, for which this litigation, started in 1997-1998, was clearly timely. That ruling didn't leave any door open for McClory to sue Danjaq for future infringements.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:48, 4 October 2021 (UTC)
I would expect that while sending the letter doesn't convey copyright ownership, it does convey an implicit license to publish it since there is no expectation of privacy in this context as would affect a personal letter. It would seem similar to me as sending to a newspaper editor or magazine, we wouldn't say that a letter written in 1910 to a newspaper wasn't published because we can't find a written agreement conveying the right to publication. So Leopold and Loeb gave an implicit right to publication and the copyright would then have expired without the registration / renewal after it was published. MarkLSteadman (talk) 23:36, 3 October 2021 (UTC)
Basically, I agree with the analysis above. Mailing a note to members of the public causes publication because no implicit restrictions (such as a pre-existing relationship), and unlike other examples, such a mailing a manuscript to a publisher covered by "limited distribution": "to a definitely selected group and for a limited purpose", any purpose here is criminal and not a valid purpose and therefore ineligible for limited distribution protection. MarkLSteadman (talk) 17:39, 4 October 2021 (UTC)


As mentioned in a previous discussion on this page, this template is pretty much legal nonsense. Is there any way to fix it and retain the affected works? The works primarily affected by this template are Instruction and Advice for the Young Bride, a work that purports to have been written in 1894 but which is believed by many to be a 1964 hoax; and the writings of the Zodiac Killer (fl. 1968-1969) whose identity is not known. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 13:24, 4 October 2021 (UTC)

The Zodiac Killer letters are all scan-backed and have various licenses on Commons; they might be hostable under {{PD-US-no-notice}} since they were published before 1977. I have no idea how this would be affected by the fact that the letters were published in newspapers and police files, and not all of them with the consent of the author. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 13:28, 4 October 2021 (UTC)
  • The Instruction falls under this restriction quite readily; for the Zodiac Killer letters, they are probably considered “published;” but are likely under this doctrine, as well. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 13:35, 4 October 2021 (UTC)
    • I don't understand the "published without consent of the author." They were sent to newspapers with the clear intent to be published, but were not published with the correct copyright notice / registration. For more recent works where registration isn't an issue we can get into this debate when it happens, but I don't understand why we would say a letter to the editor printed in 1905 is under copyright because the author didn't consent to have it published when he or she mailed it to the newspaper by signing an explicit consent to publish statement. You mail letters to newspapers to have them published! MarkLSteadman (talk) 16:35, 4 October 2021 (UTC)
      • Publication without consent does not happen with letters to the editor—they are intended to be published, even if most are not published, and become subject to “general publication” restrictions when published in newspapers. The letters were sent and published without copyright notices, and are thus ineligible for copyright protection. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 16:41, 4 October 2021 (UTC)
      • "published without consent of the author" - I am referring to the minority of letters which were not sent to newspapers but which were reported in newspapers anyway, e.g. Zodiac Killer letter, December 20th 1969 or Zodiac Killer letter, September 27th 1969 or Zodiac Killer letter, December 1966Beleg Tâl (talk) 17:13, 5 October 2021 (UTC)
@Beleg Tâl: I can see the argument for "implicit consent" in the sense that if you're going to commit a serious crime like that, you probably know full well that if you ever get caught and evidence is obtained, the evidence will be published in news reports and the like, because the news reports on that sort of stuff all the time; it's their primary source of income. I'd think that's just common sense; even for the most insane of criminals I'd expect they know this. That's not necessarily a legal argument on my part, but just a comment on the psychological bit of it that I'd like to leave here. PseudoSkull (talk) 17:25, 5 October 2021 (UTC)
Oh yes for sure, and I have no moral qualms about disseminating these works freely online; but I also have to uphold our copyright policies, and I don't understand the legal ramifications of such a circumstance well enough to determine whether Wikisource can be the place where such texts are hosted. Fortunately, most of the works in question should be well handled by lack of copyright notice. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 17:35, 5 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Deletion. Instruction and the Zodiac letters to the newspapers / public officials should all be tagged {{PD-US-no-notice}} since they were published pre-1989 with no notice or registration within 5 years. Any remaining works we should discuss individually. MarkLSteadman (talk) 17:15, 4 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment: According to what we have transcribed at Instruction and Advice for the Young Bride (assuming it is correct; it is unfortunately not scan-backed), this would fall into the public domain for one of two reasons: 1.) It was actually published in 1894, and therefore is in the public domain for being so old. 2.) It was published in 1964 without a proper copyright notice—assuming in this case it is a hoax, the copyright notice of 1894 doesn't count since it is decades off the actual publication date. To retain a copyright, it would have needed a stated copyright date of 1964. PseudoSkull (talk) 18:59, 4 October 2021 (UTC)
    Should we separately discuss which works to delete? I see several transclusions at Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:PD-Disavowed.--Jusjih (talk) 05:11, 26 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Here is a list of all the works with my comments:
    • The Wiccan Rede: mentioned source is Green Egg (1975) IA which was published with copyright notice claimed over entire contents. 1974 Earth Religion News is another possible source. Published in the US but unclear whether the claimed copyright is valid. If not, then these would be PD-no notice, if so then it would be copyrighted until 95 years.
    • Instruction and Advice for the Young Bride: mention about either 1894 (PD-old) or 1964 publication (PD-no-notice). Earliest link to published source is from 1989 (which would be copyrighted without notice). Ideally, find a version to verify the 1964 publication as a source.
    • Zodiac letters mailed to the Chronicle, Channel 9. These seem to me clear cases of PD-no notice as mailing to a newspaper which then published them without copyright claim.
    • Other Zodiac communications, need to determine whether published (and then no notice) or not (in which case copyright for 120 years).
    • Leopold and Loeb's ransom note for Bobby Franks: either contemporaneous publication which would have expired or it is unpublished anonymous work (and hence copyrighted until 2045 (120 years after publication).

MarkLSteadman (talk) 23:08, 16 December 2021 (UTC)

I!d add Dossiers secrets d'Henri Lobineau it is a blank page just including disscusion of weather it is in copyirght unsigned comment by (talk) .

Agreed. This page has essentially no content, and whatever discussion took place then is clearly done as of now, as it started ~ 14 years ago. I was actually inclined to speedy it until I saw how long it has been there as it is. @MarkLSteadman: What is your opinion on that work's copyright status? PseudoSkull (talk) 14:59, 29 January 2022 (UTC)
I had speedied it before I read PseudoSkull’s comment. If anybody desires to see it, I will renew it. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 15:06, 29 January 2022 (UTC)
My sense on the French work possibilities published abroad before 1977 means that the key question is whether it was copyrighted in France on the URAA date (which would imply publication +95 years):
  • If the copyright lies with the two forgers than the French copyright expire 70 years after the death of Plantard (2070) so past the URAA
  • If the work is considered pseudonymous then they are in the French public domain (2017) but after the URAA date
  • If the work is considered posthumous then it expired 25 years after publication (1992) which is before the URAA date. It would then be in the public domain
  • I highly doubt simultaneous publication in the US so we can ignore that case.
My take is that we consider it pseudonymous which means the US copyright expires 95 years after publication with the French copyright expired. MarkLSteadman (talk) 16:05, 29 January 2022 (UTC)

Amazing Stories v15n10 and v16n11Edit

Amazing Stories volume 15 issue 10 and volume 16 issue 11 didn't have their copyrights renewed, but they have a few stories (one in the first, "Invisible Men of Mars"; two in the second, "After an Age" and "Murder From the Moon") that were renewed. I've uploaded new versions of the djvu files removing the copyrighted sections (assuming 95 years after publication per the Hirtle chart), and carefully checked all other issues of this (and some other pulp mags) that are on Wikisource. These two issues are the only ones that are affected. Unsure what's the best way to deal with the pages that have already been proofread (about ten pages in total, volume 15 issue 10 only, including one page that has some text from another story at the start). --YodinT 21:31, 15 March 2022 (UTC)

I've checked them again, and these are the only affected pages containing copyrighted text (all in volume 15 issue 10; none from volume 16 issue 11 were created before the scans had the copyrighted stories removed): pp. 8, 10, 11, 12, 17, 21, 27, 29, 36, 37 (and p. 58, which is the one that also contains another story). I've replaced the copyrighted text on the pages with {{text removed}}, and guess the previous revisions of these pages should be revdel'd (or maybe full deletion of all these except p. 58), along with the previous versions of the djvu files? --YodinT 14:35, 21 May 2022 (UTC)

March of the VolunteersEdit

Due to URAA, the lyrics were removed from a Wikipedia article about the song "March of the Volunteers". The US copyright of the song was restored in either 1996 (PRC) or 2002 (ROC) when the song's Chinese or Taiwanese copyright was still intact at that time. Its PRC or ROC copyright (author's lifetime + 50 years) expired in 2019, at least fifty years after the lyricist's death in 1968. However, the US copyright still lasts until 2030 or 2031. Since the lyrics were removed from Wikipedia, the Wikisource page of the song must be also deleted. Also, the 1978 version's US copyright was restored in 1996 and lasts until 2074, ninety-five years after first publication. George Ho (talk) 19:59, 23 March 2022 (UTC)

Regardless of whether or not this is the case (IIRC, this has been previously considered, rightly or not, as {{PD-CN}} since it appears in legislation), this is not actually in such black-and-white terms implied by must be also deleted: you have neglected to mention that discussions are still open at least at w:Wikipedia:Media_copyright_questions#Whether_March_of_the_Volunteers_lyrics/sheet_music_are_copyrighted (punted from w:en:Talk:March_of_the_Volunteers#Copyright_problem_removed at your own request) and commons:Commons:Deletion requests/File:March of the Volunteers.png, which you opened. While those decisions are not necessarily the same that might be arrived at here, it is, IMO, premature to start a third deletion process at a third wiki without at least reaching consensus at the first two, considering that both of the first two have generated enough disagreement that they're not closed out yet.
Orthogonally, it would also be good to figure out what the source is of the English translation (allegedly it is a Chinese government translation), since they appear to be cloned from Wikipedia. Or scan back from a primary source (assuming copyright allows) is better still. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 20:33, 23 March 2022 (UTC)
Do you want me to withdraw right away? George Ho (talk) 23:54, 23 March 2022 (UTC)
  • Keep. This work is in the public domain, as an edict of government; you have misread the relevant caselaw. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 22:16, 27 March 2022 (UTC)

Book of Common Prayer (ECUSA)Edit

Although the ECUSA has been very clear that this work as a whole is in the public domain, nevertheless it includes a significant amount of text by ICEL and other sources which are very much NOT in the public domain. While these passages are included in the BCP with permission and/or under Fair Use doctrine, nevertheless they are not appropriate for Wikisource.

Due to the large number and size of these passages, as well as the difficulty of distinguishing them from other parts of this work, I recommend deletion of the whole work, and focus on Book of Common Prayer (1892) as a replacement. —Beleg Tâl (talk) 01:54, 16 April 2022 (UTC)

  • Keep. This book is completed, unlike the 1892 copy, and is quite clearly in the public domain, as the note at the top of the page states. I don’t know how you can doubt such an unequivocal expression as “is not and never has been under copyright.” TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 01:48, 29 April 2022 (UTC)
  • Questions for @Beleg Tâl and @TE(æ)A,ea. It looks like the 2007 work is a rework of the 1979 work. Anything published in the US in or after 1978 is automatically copyrighted. I see claims on Book of Common Prayer (ECUSA) that the copyright has been released, but I don’t see anything in the book scans that show a copyright release. Please clarify (both of you) your source for claiming all or part of this work is PD. Jeepday (talk) 16:59, 20 June 2022 (UTC)
    • Jeepday: There is a message in the “notes” on the header on the page to that effect: what more do you want? There is clear, direct statement that Wikisource can host it; what more do you want? TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 20:28, 21 June 2022 (UTC)
      • TE(æ)A,ea. assuming that the opening message from "Charles Wohlers" is someone who is authorized to speak for the work. If it was published in 1979 and/or 2007 in the US it is/was copyrighted (unless it also had a PD claim) so the statement "The U S Book of Common Prayer is not and never has been under copyright." is not accurate. If you have something showing the 1979 was in the public domain when published, that would support the argument that the 2007 is PD as well. But a note from someone is not listed in the publication, and is making a statement this not supported by evidence does not support the 2007 work as PD. Jeepday (talk) 01:09, 22 June 2022 (UTC)
        • Opps I had that backwards, have been out of the loop for a while. Help:Public_domain#Published_in_the_United_States in 1979 copyright was not automatic, you needed to actively claim copyright. The 2007 verision is still questionable until we verify the copyright status of the 1979 version. Jeepday (talk) 01:22, 22 June 2022 (UTC)
          • Jeepday: Mr. Wohlers is the man who created the 2007 ECUSA edition of the Book of Common Prayer; no man could be more authorized to speak on the matter. According to the notes, the 2007 revision only changes some factual matters, and not the text of the Book, such items not being included in the work in any case. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 02:12, 22 June 2022 (UTC)

Index:ATSB RO-2018-004 - Collision of passenger train A42 with buffer stop.pdfEdit

Minor issue. Some of the images in this report are credited to external third parties, and thus are not subject to the same Australian Government license as the text. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 16:47, 20 May 2022 (UTC)

The text/PDF can be modified so that these images are taken out, somehow or another. Not sure about the process for that though.   Keep with the copyrighted images removed from the PDF entirely. PseudoSkull (talk) 18:03, 20 May 2022 (UTC)
I'm not aware of anyone who has tooling to perform redactions like this on PDF files and is willing to handle such requests. It is also hard to identify which images are affected by this issue, since a lot of them are not clearly marked (like the photo on the cover), so it involves rather a lot of effort. Xover (talk) 13:27, 21 May 2022 (UTC)
  • ShakespeareFan00, PseudoSkull, Xover: If you, or any of you, can identify which images to redact, I can redact them. For cases like the title, page, assuming the image on the title page needs redaction, I would just redact around the text, leaving what remains of the images behind the non-redacted text as de minimis inclusions. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 17:44, 22 May 2022 (UTC)
Djvu Page Reason
7 Source: Google Images
13 Source: Reliance Rail website, Waratah delivery structure
14 Source: Sydney Trains
27 Third party diagram?
30 Third party diagram?
33 Source: Transport for NSW
37 Source: TfNSW
38 Source: TfNSW
39 Source: Downer
41 Source: Sydney Trains
42 Source: Sydney Trains
46 Source: Downer
47 Source: Downer
52 Source: Downer
I will also note that the GeoScience Australia derived map will need care to be taken when attributing on Commons or locally. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 18:22, 22 May 2022 (UTC)
  • I see no sign that GeoScience Australia has deviating licensing on any of their map products, and the general license for their stuff is CC BY.
  • The Reliance Rail-derived diagram on p. 13 is probably uncopyrightable as a simple line and box diagram of a hierarchical structure that merely visualises a set of facts: the only claims to copyrightability would be choice of colors and other visual details, but "a red line ending in an arrow" ain't exactly Picasso.
  • The diagrams on pp. 27 and 30 are simple geometric figures whose shape, text, layout etc. are given by the objects they represent, meaning it's unlikely there is anything copyrightable in them.
  • The photos on pp. 37–38 are presumably from Transport for NSW, not TransportNSW (yes, these names are dumb), whose copyright page specifies CC BY 4.0 unless specifically noted otherwise.
  • The images on pp. 41–42 are by Sydney Trains, which is a unit of Transport for NSW, so should be covered by the same CC BY 4.0 license unless specifically marked otherwise.
  • The images credited to "Downer" (a huge multinational engineering firm) may conceivably be works for hire (I think they were hired to help with the investigation), provided as part of or adjunct to reports from Downer to the NSW authorities. It takes more research than I have the cycles for just now, and may not be possible to determine with sufficient certainty, but for someone with a special interest in this text it may be worth looking into.
  • I'll also note in general, that a lot of the diagrams and drawings in this report are likely borderline relative to the threshold of originality and or being depictions of "functional objects". It is entirely possible that if tested in court none of them would actually be determined to be copyrightable. We can't really rely on this once the issue has been raised (i.e. once a copyvio discussion has been opened), but neither do we need to be quite so paranoid about it (there's no need to have a hair-trigger for copyvio-flagging texts with such diagrams unless there are extra factors, like copyright statements, obvious commercial interest, or other copyright problems in the same or rellated texts). Xover (talk) 10:18, 25 June 2022 (UTC)

Index:Arthur Rackham (Hudson).pdfEdit

According to :- [[7]] Hudson was an author working in the United Kingdom (he died in 2003).

The PDF seems to be a US reprint of a work previously published by the OUP William Heinemann Ltd around 1960.

I am not sure if this can be on Wikisource. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 07:42, 18 June 2022 (UTC)

@TE(æ)A,ea.: This is one of your's I think? Xover (talk) 08:08, 18 June 2022 (UTC)
  • It doesn’t matter if the Queen wrote it, it’s still a U.S. work, with a U.S. printing, and U.S. copyright, which, I have repeatedly confirmed, has expired. Suspicions that the author is or may be a foreigner don’t save a work from the vagaries of U.S. copyright law. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 03:44, 19 June 2022 (UTC)
    @TE(æ)A,ea.: If it was first published in the UK, by an author living and working in the UK, what makes you think it is a US work for copyright purposes? Xover (talk) 07:49, 19 June 2022 (UTC)
    • Xover: The only evidence of that is that the author was British: and the evidence that the work is a U.S. work is on the title and copyright pages: a U.S. publisher, a U.S. location, and a U.S. copyright notice. I haven’t added any information templates because the file didn’t scan correctly: it deleted everything after page 96. I wanted to wait until I could scan the rest of the book to move it to Wikimedia Commons and add the required template. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 13:31, 19 June 2022 (UTC)
      A UK author, deeply intwined in the UK publishing industry, being in fact an editor for Oxford University Press no less, working in the UK their entire life, and writing a biography of a UK artist… Meanwhile, we know works are routinely published in multiple editions, and in particular between the US and UK, and even a cursory search would have turned up a 1960 Heinemann edition labelled "first edition". This is the sort of situation where careful research is needed is what I'm saying… Xover (talk) 15:24, 19 June 2022 (UTC)
Please update File:Arthur Rackham (Hudson).pdf accordingly then. I've added a Book template. 07:19, 19 June 2022 (UTC)
I did dome more ivestigations on this: -

The earliest Amazon finds is "William Heinemann Ltd" (1960), The first edition it lists for the given publisher is CHARLES SCRIBNERS SONS LTD (1960). Unhelpfully, it doesn't go into further detail.. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 13:56, 19 June 2022 (UTC)

Let's see… The first mention I find of the publication is in the 30 October 1960 issue of The Bridgeport Post (Bridgeport, Connecticut), who describe it as "…has been published by Charles Scribner's Sons". The first UK mention is in the 11 November 1960 issue of The Daily Telegraph (London), who review an edition published by Heinemann but do not specify when it was published. Based on marketing copy I believe the sales strategy was to hit the Christmas gift market (it's an expensive and high-quality edition), so it's likely a late year publication was deliberate. The early US date is just a notice, while the UK one is an actual review (which takes a lot longer from publication to hitting print than a mere two-line notice). It is from then followed by reviews throughout November in multiple US papers. Based on this I'd peg most likely publication date as late October for both the US and UK, and there is no particular reason to assume the UK edition was earlier than the US one; quite the contrary based on the evidence so far. In other words, the most likely scenario seems to be simultaneous publication (within 30 days) in the UK and US, making this a US work for US copyright (and Commons licensing policy) purposes. So lack of notice or lack of renewal would be likely paths to the public domain here. The US edition contains a notice, but I find no renewal at Stanford. So it seems likely this is then {{PD-US-no renewal}}. Xover (talk) 15:19, 19 June 2022 (UTC)
"HUDSON, DEREK;Arthur Rackham; his life and work.London, W. Heinemann. NM: text &compilation. © Derek Hudson;7Nov60; AF18120"
(See- (Confusingly listed in the 1961 volume).

ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 16:01, 19 June 2022 (UTC)

Probably okay for local hosting, but not necessarily for Commons. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 16:01, 19 June 2022 (UTC)
What would be the problem for hosting on Commons? The registration still puts US publication within 30 days of UK publication, meaning both Berne and Commons policy treat it as a US work. In the US the copyright expired in 1988 due to lack of renewal. It's still clearly in copyright in the UK (until, what, 2073?), but, again, as far as the "country of origin" policy is concerned, this is a US work and the UK status is irrelevant. This is a pretty absurd situation, but for once it's one where the absurdity of international copyright falls in our favour: usually it's UK public domain works that are still protected in the US due to the difference in terms. Xover (talk) 05:54, 20 June 2022 (UTC)
@ShakespeareFan00: What's the problem you see with hosting on Commons? Is it something I'm missing (as we know, that happens all too frequently)? Xover (talk) 09:43, 24 June 2022 (UTC)
The concern I had was that this was originally a UK published work. I found Commons policy application can be a little inconsistent. If you think it can be hosted there, then I won't press the point, but be ready to be make it local if someone else objects to it being on Commons.

ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 09:55, 24 June 2022 (UTC)

Yeah, application of this policy is hit and miss, but that's because it's a complicated issue and one most admins there rarely run into (it's somewhat unique to books). However, I'm as certain as one can be of what the policy actually is: the policy was based on what the Berne convention says, which is where the "simultaneous publication" (within 30 days) comes from, and is specifically intended to cover this case (I've checked with people who were involved and that happen to also be familiar with Wikisource and thus the unique issues for books). So if the worry is merely about application then I think we're safe to / should push it to Commons and deal with anything that comes up as and when it comes up.
PS. After some relevant PWB bugs were fixed, transferring files from Commons to enWS can be automated fairly well, so I wouldn't worry too much about needing to do that. You'll still need an enWS admin with bot skills to do the job, and I know we're not exactly swimming in those, but mostly we should be able to take care of such requests within a reasonable timeframe. Xover (talk) 12:41, 24 June 2022 (UTC)

Index:The Production of Security.pdfEdit

This is a translation.. I can't find evidence to support a CC license claim on the link Commons provides a source. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 09:13, 18 June 2022 (UTC)

The PDF itself however, DOES say it's CC on page 5, so I am thinking that's sufficient? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 09:14, 18 June 2022 (UTC)
Speedy Kept and nom withdrawn ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 11:17, 18 June 2022 (UTC)
@ShakespeareFan00: The Mises Institute are claiming a 2009 copyright (and hence right to relicense under CC BY) for a translation first published in 1977 by the Center for Libertarian Studies. On the face of it this does not hold up: absent explicit licensing or other factors, that 1977 copyright is the relevant one (the 2009 one, for which Mises can issue a CC BY license, is at best for layout and illustrations) and for that we have no license or transfer of title. Xover (talk) 08:12, 19 June 2022 (UTC)
The Mises Institute claims to be the heir of the Center for Libertarian Studies: "the Mises Institute, as heir to the Center for Libertarian Studies" and presumably could have acquired the 1977 copyright as part of that. MarkLSteadman (talk) 14:33, 19 June 2022 (UTC)
Could, certainly. Are you saying you find it likely they actually did? Xover (talk) 15:26, 19 June 2022 (UTC)
Given that the two organizations involved many of the same people (e.g. Rothbard, Rockwell and Blumert) and it continued publication of the main journal The Journal of Libertarian Studies I would think they are the most likely owner of the copyrights given the CLS is defunct. MarkLSteadman (talk) 22:37, 19 June 2022 (UTC)
E.g. they have addresses in the same building.., MarkLSteadman (talk) 22:41, 19 June 2022 (UTC)
I'll defer to your better judgement then. :) Xover (talk) 05:23, 20 June 2022 (UTC)