Wikisource:Copyright discussions

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 Archive.org 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)

DiscussionsEdit

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.

See https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Main_Page

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 dash.harvard.edu 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)
@Xover:
  • 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

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)

Jakob Jakobsen portraitEdit

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 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
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)

Landmark Education suffers humiliating legal defeat in New Jersey Federal CourtEdit

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)

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)

Translation:The Man Who Planted TreesEdit

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
Deleted as copyvio.

Wikisource translation of a 1953 French novel. The translation as such is fine, but the original is asserted to be "public domain" due to a letter from the author quoted on the work's talk page on frWS. It has been deleted and restored multiple times due to questions about the copyright on the translation, and was finally retranslated by Wikisource contributors. However, in all this back and forth nobody seems to have actually checked the (unverified, btw) text of that letter. What it actually says is that the author has permitted several translations of the work for free (that is, the author has not charged the translators a licensing fee). There is no mention of any release of rights into the public domain, or any other sort of free(dom) license. In fact, since this is an explicitly ecopolitical work and the author permitted translations explicitly to spread their message, there is every reason to suppose that he would have been opposed to allowing anyone to modify the work in any way. In other words, this is an obvious copyvio hiding under a smokescreen of advocacy. --Xover (talk) 21:30, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

  •   Delete not only because of copyright. Wikisource:Translations clearly states A scan supported original language work must be present on the appropriate language wiki… but I failed to find any scan in fr.wiki. As for copyright, I cannot speak French so I just assume that it is as Xover has described and that there are no signs of releasing the work under a free licence. In that case I agree with his reasoning and just note that the fr.ws original should definitely go from fr.ws too, as it is not acceptable when a Wikimedia project hosts texts which have not been clearly released under a licence allowing their translation for other Wikimedia projects (see meta:Copyright#Basics). --Jan Kameníček (talk) 16:26, 2 April 2021 (UTC)
  This section is considered resolved, for the purposes of archiving. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Xover (talk) 15:10, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

Mer HayrenikEdit

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
Deleted as copyvio.

"Mer Hayrenik" is the national anthem of Armenia. Originally written as a poem in the 19th century, it was briefly (1918–1920) the national anthem, fell out of use, and was the re-adoped as the anthem in 1991. Our copy of the text has no translator specified (and no translation license), and given the history it seems most likely to be a post-1991 translation. --Xover (talk) 22:02, 2 April 2021 (UTC)

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Nocturnal (Silva)Edit

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
Deleted as copyvio.

Published posthumously in 1908, "Nocturno" is the best known poem by José Asunción Silva (1865–1896). Our text is an English translation copied from AllPoetry. Their licensing statement is "© by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes". As such it is incompatible with our copyright policy. There are other translations of this poem, but they are all modern and still in copyright. --Xover (talk) 09:50, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

  •   Delete, not compatible with our licenses. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 10:05, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
  This section is considered resolved, for the purposes of archiving. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Xover (talk) 15:14, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

The Last Sermon of Muhammad by Shia AccountsEdit

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
Deleted as copyvio.

Pasted here by an IP in 2008. Based on the footnotes it looks like it might be cobbled together from multiple partial published translations. Googling various parts of the text finds other online English versions, all of whom are asserted to be modern and in copyright (the veracity of those claims is questionable, but not obviously false). There is an issue of scope if this is indeed cobbled together from multiple sources, but ultimately it is a translation without a specified source or translator so its copyright status is impossible to ascertain. --Xover (talk) 13:00, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

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Thirty-Six StrategiesEdit

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
Deleted as copyvio.

The Thirty-Six Stratagems are ancient Chinese proverbs on the theme "devious tactics in war" (think: Sun Tzu meets Machiavelli). Our current text has no source or translator specified, and according to Wikipedia: The original hand-copied paperback that is the basis of the current version was believed to have been discovered in China's Shaanxi province, of an unknown date and author, and put into print by a local publisher in 1941. The Thirty-Six Stratagems came to the public's attention after a review of it was published in the Chinese Communist Party's Guangming Daily newspaper on September 16, 1961. It is thus extremely unlikely that any English language translation existed before closer to 1970 (and thus are all still in copyright). --Xover (talk) 13:23, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

It looks like the explanations were added in 2005 w:Special:Diff/20159025 (and seem to be of fairly crap copyright provenance, but nearly all the links from then are dead, so that'll need more research to actually nail down) and have mutated since then. But that is all moot: these explanations are not even part of the original work, which is just the 36 proverbs as we see at zh:三十六計. A Wikisource translation of these is one thing (and easy enough, but maintaining an aptly-in-this-case-named w:Chinese wall is theoretically required), but the explanations are not in our purview. Inductiveloadtalk/contribs 15:10, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
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Treaty of KarsEdit

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
Deleted as copyvio.

A treaty between the USSR and Turkey, signed in 1921 and ratified in 1922. Originally written in French and Russian. The English text was copied here in 2007 from Wikipedia, but tracing it back through revision history there shows the ultimate source to be Armenian News Network around 2004, and thus very much still in copyright. --Xover (talk) 13:39, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

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Informatics metrics and measures for a smart public health systems approach: Information science perspectiveEdit

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived:
Kept.

There is the licence {{CC-BY-4.0}} at the bottom of the page, but the given source speaks about a different licence which is not compatible with the given one, as it does not allow creation of derivatives. Maybe it can be even speedied? --Jan Kameníček (talk) 12:17, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

Huh? Says 4.0 and I don't see an NC note there.
Copyright © 2017 Timothy Jay Carney and Christopher Michael Shea. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
billinghurst sDrewth 13:54, 12 April 2021 (UTC)
  • @Jan.Kamenicek: I can't find any mention of a -ND (no derivative works) license, just plain CC BY (attribution). Can you explain where you found the mention of the -ND limitation? --Xover (talk) 15:30, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
    @Xover: I did not see any mention of an -ND licence (which explicitely forbids derivatives), I just wrote that their license does not allow derivatives. It explicitely permits use and reproduction, but it does not say anything about derivatives. However, CC-BY licences do explicitely permit creation of derivatives and so it is imo not compatible with them. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 15:40, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
    @Jan.Kamenicek: Ah, I see. Yes, CC BY allows derivative works (you have to explicitly use -ND to forbid them). The -SA (Share Alike) we usually see is actually a form of additional limitation: it requires you to license derivative works under the same license, so that you can't, e.g., make the derivative work -NC or similar. But, in any case, are we then satisfied that this work is compatibly licensed? --Xover (talk) 15:51, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
    @Xover: If we were, we would have to devise a different template, because the template that was used with this work explicitely says that derivatives are allowed, while the license accompanying the work in the source page does not say anything like that. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 15:58, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
    I have always understood that derivatives have to be explicitely allowed by the copyright owner, that it is not enough when they just do not mention derivatives in their licence. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 16:02, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
    @Jan.Kamenicek: In terms of copyright in general, yes, anything that isn't explicitly permitted through a license is reserved for the copyright owner. But the Creative Commons licenses (and other "copyleft" licenses) turn this on its head. If you look at the license deed for CC BY 4.0, you'll fid it says "You are free to: … Adapt—remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially." It doesn't use the term "derivative work", but that is what it is referring to. CC BY is the basic CC license, and on top of it you can add various limitations on what people can do with it: -NC (not for commercial purposes), -ND (no derivative works), and -SA (you have to license derivative works under the same license). -NC and -ND are incompatible with our licensing policy, but base BY (requires only attribution) and SA are compatible. SA is odd in that it is a limitation, but it is a limitation that forces reusers to freely share their work under equal terms. --Xover (talk) 16:55, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
    OK, so when they say "Creative Commons Attribution License" they mean the basic CC-BY which includes allowance of derivatives by default, and so their following specification ("unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited") does not have to include it, because it can only add other conditions. Well, I am not really sure if the authors meant it that way, because their specification in fact chooses only some conditions from CC-BY, it does not try to add anything, but I admit that your explanation is possible too. So if my point of view is isolated, I am willing to withdraw the proposal. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 17:13, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
    @Jan.Kamenicek: That's another nice feature of the CC licenses: you are not allowed to add additional restrictions (see caveat below). "No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits." So by having labelled it as CC BY the rest of the text there doesn't matter, it is the well-known terms of the license, and only the terms of the license, that matter.
    The only caveat is that there may in some cases be non-copyright limitations in play. For example publicity rights, privacy, etc. The license doesn't affect these rights since it only addresses copyright. But these are unlikely to be applicable to a work of this kind (I haven't checked specifically, it's just unlikely). --Xover (talk) 18:09, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  This section is considered resolved, for the purposes of archiving. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Jan Kameníček (talk) 00:27, 18 April 2021 (UTC)

Mind, Character and Personality (1977)Edit

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)

Works by Ellen G. WhiteEdit

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)