Wikipedia talk:Copyright problems/Archive 1

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Questions About Notices

When a site does not express any copyright notice, is it ok to use not edited content from its pages? In other words, is a resource considered public if there aren't anything stating the opposite? Please see http://www.fas.org/index.html . There are many definitions there I want to use, but i am quite lazy copyediting everything. Must I mail the webmaster? Or leaving the credits in the end of the term is ok? Thanks in advance. Yves 22:22 Sep 11, 2002 (UTC)

No, copyright holds whether you assert it or not. Unless you have explicit permission, you cannot use the exact text on the page, whether edited or not.Andre Engels 22:30 Sep 11, 2002 (UTC)
Notice was required under the 1976 Copyright Act. However, this requirement was eliminated when the United States adhered to the Berne Convention, effective March 1, 1989.
A cursory examination of http://www.fas.org/index.html would lead any reasonably prudent person to conclude that the content there is protected by copyright. Even so, copyright protection is not unlimited in scope, and there are specified exemptions from copyright liability. One major limitation is the doctrine of "fair use," which is given a statutory basis in section 107 of the 1976 Copyright Act.
Section 107 reads (in pertinent part): "In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include . . . the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole." Accordingly, copying a substantial amount of copyrighted content because you are too "lazy copyediting everything" would probably weigh very heavily against a finding of fair use. However, this is not a legal opinion.--NetEsq 4:50pm Sep 11, 2002 (PDT)

I understand, and agree. Thank you very much for clarifying this! I would only like to note that I said "lazy" because it's very difficult for me to write things in english. I know I don't need to worry very much with mistakes, but it's not easy for me to copyedit pages and pages of text - that is, formulate new text. Anyway, I am decided to do it, whatever how many (much?) time it takes.
So, I hope you don't get me wrong. I just wanted to economize efforts, so I could work in something else. Yves 00:20 Sep 12, 2002 (UTC)

Notices that say one CAN use the material

How about this from http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/about/disclaimer.asp ?

"Copyright "This WWW site and its contents are copyright to Landcare Research New Zealand Limited and may be copied for personal, non-profit or educational purposes provided that the source is acknowledged. The information must not be used for commercial purposes without prior written consent from Landcare Research."

We are "non-profit" and (we hope) "educational purposes"; we can acknowledge the source. Can we therefore copy?

Robin Patterson 01:32, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

No. The GNU license also allows commercial use. --Janke | Talk 08:20, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Old Pictures

In OLD pictures and painting, is there any copyright restriction in favor of the one who digitalized it? It doesn't, right? Can I just get them? Yes, I am lame concerning copyright issues... :-/ Yves 01:55 Sep 12, 2002 (UTC)

I'm not sure that I understand your question, but both visual images and sound recordings are protected by copyright, and if you download an image from the Internet, it's a pretty safe bet that someone has a copyright for it.--NetEsq 7:51pm Sep 11, 2002 (PDT)
I don't know the answer, but I think Yves is asking about copyright on old pictures, like photos of Buffalo Bill, Queen Victoria and so on. In this case the original copyright would probably have lapsed (>75 years after death of owner), but would the person who digitized the picture and uploaded it have any copyright?
This is a very complex question. Works originally created before January 1, 1978, but not published or registered by that date, have been given automatic federal copyright protection. The duration of copyright in these works is computed in the same way as for works created on or after January 1, 1978 -- i.e., the life-plus-70 or 95/120-year terms will apply. In no case will the term of copyright for works in this category expire before December 31, 2002.
Under the law in effect before 1978, copyright was secured either on the date a work was published with a copyright notice or on the date of registration if the work was registered in unpublished form. In either case, the copyright endured for a first term of 28 years from the date it was secured. During the last (28th) year of the first term, the copyright was eligible for renewal. The Copyright Act of 1976 extended the renewal term from 28 to 47 years for copyrights that were subsisting on January 1, 1978, or for pre-1978 copyrights restored under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), making these works eligible for a total term of protection of 75 years.
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d105:SN00505:%7CTOM:/bss/d105query.html%7C Public Law 105-298, enacted on October 27, 1998, further extended the renewal term of copyrights still subsisting on that date by an additional 20 years, providing for a renewal term of 67 years and a total term of protection of 95 years.
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d102:SN00756:%7CTOM:/bss/d102query.html%7C Public Law 102-307, enacted on June 26, 1992, amended the 1976 Copyright Act to provide for automatic renewal of the term of copyrights secured between January 1, 1964, and December 31, 1977. Although the renewal term is automatically provided, the Copyright Office does not issue a renewal certificate for these works unless a renewal application and fee are received and registered in the Copyright Office.
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d102:SN00756:%7CTOM:/bss/d102query.html%7C Public Law 102-307 makes renewal registration optional. Thus, filing for renewal registration is no longer required in order to extend the original 28-year copyright term to the full 95 years. However, some benefits accrue from making a renewal registration during the 28th year of the original term.
<< would the person who digitized the picture and uploaded it have any copyright? >>
LDC has provided an excellent overview of this issue, infra.--NetEsq 12:24pm Sep 12, 2002 (PDT)
("Infra" is lawyer-speak for "below":-)
You're safer with old pictures, because it's less likely that there will be a valid copyright on the original photograph or painting or woodcut or whatever. Also, just an ordinary scan isn't "creative expression" subject to copyright, so an exact scan of the Mona Lisa is safe, as is a plain scan of an old photo. But even something as simple as a cropped photo can be creative, or a certain photo composition such as a picture of an old statue taken under certain lighting conditions; also, the act of restoring or retouching an old photo is expressive and therefore copyrightable. Finally, there can even be copyrightable expression in a particular selection or arrangement of images. So the short answer is probably this: you generally can't go around grabbing photos on the net and uploading them here. If you think some particular photo might be safe (for example, because it looks like a simple scan of an old painting), then go ahead and upload it, and make sure you include an accurate description of where it came from so those of us who follow the law more closely can give more specific advice. If you did the photo yourself, of course, just upload it and don't worry about it. --LDC
What you said is right, but for some reason it leaves me shaking my head. It has something to do with the distinction you seemed (to me) to draw between being under copyright and being safe to use in Wikipedia. The whole point of "fair use" is that it's okay to use copyrighted images, and I respectfully suggest your explanation blurred that concept. (If you meant to, for policy reasons, that's okay, of course.) -- isis 12 Sep 2002

You're right, it isn't very clear (Gee, an attempt to explain copyright law that isn't simple and lucid? Imagine!). I'm a little unclear myself on fair use issues with images (I'm on pretty firm ground with text I think). I understand the four-prong test, and that we generally pass all of them well, except, in the case of images, the "extent of the portion of the work" test. What qualifies as a "excerpt" of an image? Or could most images be themselves interpreted as excerpts of a larger work? Or could perhaps low-resolution images be seen as excerpts of the high-resolution original? Or, alternately, do you think we're on such a strong foundation on the other three prongs that using a whole image presents no problem?

Certainly there are a lot of cases where a whole image is likely to be no problem--your videotape covers, for example, or a small album cover. Even if movie promoters sell classic posters as artworks, their market shouldn't be threatened by a tiny low-res reproduction used to illustrate an article about the movie. But let's take some more iffy examples: drawings from an online tutorial, AP photos of celebrities, paintings from a recent art exhibit (post-Berne)? I'm not sure "fair use" would cover our using such materials, but maybe I'm wrong.

Yes, I do think you may be doing 95% of your worrying about the 5% of actually questionable situations -- why don't you spend some of that effort worrying about leaving yourself liable for the unauthorized practice of law (by saying you're going to give legal opinions about copyrights) instead -- but I don't want to downplay the importance of the issues, either.

koia mokmdoxj ol ¨tsdnm xtsd,k ¨

Unlicensed Practice of Law

For one thing, nothing would make me happier than to be arrested for the unauthorized practice of law, because it would give me a chance to vent my utter hatred of that morally repugnant law and what I think of those who take it seriously; alas, since I don't charge any money for my opinions, I'm an unlikely target, so the legal momopolists will have to settle for suing Nolo Press like they did in Texas. I cannot express the degree of my contempt for those involved in that case--talk about stifling free expression. Requiring a license to express opinions about public laws we paid to create is nothing but strangling free expression for purpose of protecting a market. I view those folks who sued Nolo Press as forms of life even lower than publishers who copyright building codes and technical standards, and perhaps a rung above West publishing. But I digress...
<< Yes, I do think you may be doing 95% of your worrying about the 5% of actually questionable situations -- why don't you spend some of that effort worrying about leaving yourself liable for the unauthorized practice of law (by saying you're going to give legal opinions about copyrights) instead -- but I don't want to downplay the importance of the issues, either. >>
As set forth by LDC, what constitutes the unlicensed practice of law is a First Amendment issue of the utmost importance, much more so than the issue of what is or is not "fair use" of copyright. And in the unlikely eventuality wherein LDC finds himself indicted or sued for the unlicensed practice of law by virtue of his offering a quasi-legal opinion in the course of his work as a Wikipedian, there would no doubt be a host of real attorneys who would rush to his defense.
A number of professionals (i.e., accountants, real estate agents, insurance agents, and journalists) provide quasi-legal advice in the course of their work every day without running afoul of the law, and I'd be very surprised to see any lay person get into any real trouble for the unlicensed practice of law unless said lay person openly and falsely averred to being an attorney, accepted money from consumers for his or her services, and/or caused actual harm to said consumers by being reckless. This is not to say that people (including lawyers) should not take care to avoid expressing an opinion in a manner which others might construe as legal advice, but one is more likely to encounter serious legal liability by removing mattress tags. (BTW, please note that nothing which I have stated in this post should be construed as legal advice or as constituting a legal opinion.)--NetEsq 4:03am Sep 13, 2002 (PDT)

In Delaware UPL is not a crime but, rather, one of those sui generis offenses policed by a board of the state supreme court just like the Board on Professional Responsibility that polices lawyers. They've been on a witch hunt for several years now, ever since some citizens here starting banding together to help each other with proceedings in the family court, where there are serious problems (of constitutional magnitude) in many areas -- the first citizens' groups I am aware of were of persons who had been treated unfairly in the areas of orders for protection from domestic abuse and of property settlements in divorces. You would not believe how innocuous some of the statements were that the UPL Board successfully prosecuted.

The authorities' feeding frenzy didn't attract national attention until they went after Marilyn Arons, a special-ed advocate in New Jersey who represented a Delaware family in a proceeding here, because no one in Delaware would/does. The Del.Sup.Ct. opinion affirming the judgment against her in 2000 is at [ http://www.copaa.net/decisions/state/de_supct_arons.html ]. I won't try to describe to you the magnitude of the chilling effect that case has had here.

So, believe me, you are no more outraged about it than I am, but in Delaware these days LDC's statement, ?so those of us who follow the law more closely can give more specific advice", is actionable as UPL, and it scared me. I had hoped to slip my comment in where it could be taken as facetious but would alert him to an issue he had probably never realized existed, without making a big deal out of it. Obviously, I didn't do it right, and for that I sincerely apologize. -- isis 13 Sep 2002

Oh, no, that was no problem at all--your remark was entirely appropriate. It's just that you discovered that I was aware of the issue and that it's one of my hot buttons, so I took the opportunity to vent a little. I'm sorry you got caught in the crossfire. California's a little bit better--paralegals are given some lattitude and can handle things like routine wills, adoptions and divorces, but still can't represent criminal defendants or sign civil pleadings (or course they write all the pleadings, which are then signed by the licensed attorney they work for, who may or may not have read them). And there's still the equally idiotic rule that you can't own a piece of a law firm either. I try to make it clear when I give opinions here that they are just that--the opinions of a layman who follows the laws I paid for closely. Maybe I'll make a clearer statement to that effect on my user page, so people can follow my sig and find that out. --LDC
A cursory reading of In the Matter of Marilyn Arons leads me to the conclusion that this woman was tempting fate. Right or wrong, an objective observer would conclude that Ms. Arons was in fact engaged in the unlicensed practice of law, albeit for all the right reasons and notwithstanding the obvious conflict between Delaware state law and federal law. The fact that the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari is not surprising to me at all. The law is full of unambiguous statements of rights for which the law does not provide any actual remedy. Some people have a hard time understanding this. -- NetEsq 4:23pm Sep 14, 2002 (PDT)
Among the people who had a hard time understanding it were the U.S. Dept. of Justice, which appeared as amicus curiae for her, and several public-interest groups that either did or tried to. Her group had been representing families in New Jersey (and a few in Delaware) for years with no problem and, as far as I know, is still doing so outside of Delaware. But, as I said, that was just the case that got national attention out of the many. And the Supreme Court's denying cert doesn't mean anything, since the chief justice has said publicly that they don't take every case that has legal merit but only the ones where they want to make a point -- like we hadn't realized THAT years ago. Now that they have essentially declared the 1st Amendment a local option, Delaware has opted out of it. -- isis 14 Sep 2002
<< And the Supreme Court's denying cert doesn't mean anything, since the chief justice has said publicly that they don't take every case that has legal merit but only the ones where they want to make a point >>
Denial of cert may not have any precedential value, but it most certainly does mean something to the people who have a very hard time understanding the fact that the law routinely denies the remedies that it purports to offer. It means that the law is capricious and indifferent, and that judges can pretty much ignore the law and rule whatever way they want, as they generally do. -- NetEsq 03:49 Sep 15, 2002 (UTC)
And every time you walk into the Supreme Court building and see that big "Equal Justice Under Law" over the door, and realize it means they're going to use the law to fuck us all over, equally, don't you just want to sit down there on the steps and cry? -- isis 15 Sep 2002

Paintings

I'm not as concerned as you are about photos of paintings in art shows, because that's a core 1st-Amendment area. (There's going to be a label next to the picture giving us the info to disclose about the source, and if it's used to illustrate an article about that picture, or its subject, or its artist, or that show, or that school of painting, etc., it's going to be "fair use.") I'm more concerned (but still less than you) about drawings: A genealogical chart or drawing of a benzene ring would seem to me to be pretty much fair game as nearly 100% info and 0% creativity, but I'll give you some leeway for color scheme and typeface. More creative drawings could still be used "fairly," but that may be a slipperier slope. What does concern me as much as it does you, I suspect, is copyrighted photos, and there, the issue is not so much where they came from as how we're using them -- if we're using them fairly and giving whatever credit we have for them, then there's no problem. If we don't know they're copyrighted and don't know the source to give credit, there may be a problem, but I think it's more with our discomfort than with the law.
I have come to the conclusion that you should keep trying to warn contributors about using text that is or may be copyrighted but settle for telling them images are okay as long as they document where they came from. If somebody pops up and claims we're violating their copyright by using a particular image, we're going to stop doing that, but if we make a rule of not using appropriate images because we're afraid once in a while we might step on someone's toes, that's precisely the kind of chilling effect on the free expression of ideas that the 1st Amendment is supposed to protect us from. Isn't it? -- isis 12 Sep 2002
You're preaching to the choir about the effect of copyright on free expression, but I personally try to bend over backwards to scrupulously comply with the letter of present law, because that gives me more personal credibility for my arguments on abolishing it. But I suppose you're right that I shouldn't expect others to have the same paranoia.


Excerpts

<< What qualifies as a "excerpt" of an image? Or could most images be themselves interpreted as excerpts of a larger work? Or could perhaps low-resolution images be seen as excerpts of the high-resolution original?>>

My gut feeling is that a copyrighted image would be construed as an inherently discrete piece of work and that any significant change to an image would constitute a derivative work, but this is not a legal opinion.

<< Or, alternately, do you think we're on such a strong foundation on the other three prongs that using a whole image presents no problem? >>

Based upon my "gut feeling analysis," I think the relevant inquiry here would be whether the whole image is part of a larger work. In any event, I think that "the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole" would remain a key ingredient in any determination of fair use.--NetEsq 2:34pm Sep 12, 2002 (PDT)

Uploading Sounds

When I uploaded the copyrighted Borodin sound sample I wrote about above (under "Copyrighted sound files") I had to check a box that said "I affirm that the copyright holder of this file agrees to license it under the terms of the Wikipedia copyright." Unless I'm wrong, and samples this size are not copyrightable (which I don't think is the case), then I was lying when I checked this box, and so was everybody else when they uploaded sound samples that are probably perfectly OK under fair use. Shouldn't the message on the checkbox be changed? --Camembert 17:37 Nov 3, 2002 (UTC)

I don't know what your talking about with the checkbox, but sound samples of any size are copywritable. [1] makes for good reading. And as for "Fair Use", [2] is also good reading. There is no easy way to calculate the amount of a work you can distribute without violating the law. By distributing any of the work, you open yourself up for a lawsuit. A judge then decides whether or not you were in violation. Robert Lee

One also needs to m:Avoid Copyright Paranoia. Common sense goes a long way when dealing with fair use. There are also a lot of steps to be taken before it gets to a judge. Eclecticology 22:10 Nov 3, 2002 (UTC)

Curriculum Use

Please help> I am designing a curriculum that is going to be copyright protected. If I use a couple of pages from Wikipedia (crediting Wikipedia w/link of course), must the entire project then become "free access" or only those pages? 12.14.2002

Data Dumping

I am thinking of data dumpping from MeatBall and UseMod wiki. I found the page about http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?MeatballWikiCopyright. I think it allows matterials there to be under GNU Free Documentation License. But I am not quite sure. Please tell me if I can copy the pages in there to wikipedia. -- Taku 20:27 Jan 4, 2003 (UTC)

The copyrights there belong to the authors. You have to get permission from each and all of those quoted individually. So, basically, no. I noticed you did this for "Community Life Cycle", but that was corrected. If you have done it for any other pages, please delete them. -- User:SunirShah (24.43.17.245)

Photo of a painting

Moved from user talk:Ed Poor


  • A photo of a painting on which the copyright of the painting has expired, cannot claim copyright. As such, virtually all, if not all, photos of paintings of the Kings of Europe etc. have no copyright protection. Rarely would anyone paint a new picture today of Henri IV etc. So, as I did earlier, inserting a picture of a painting taken from the Internet of Charles IX or Balzac, or Marie de Medici, is perfectly legitimate….DW
Sorry to use your page for this, Ed, but DW, I believe your assumption here is wrong. The painting itself is not copyrighted, but the reproduction, i.e., the photograph, is. Photographing art is an art in itself. I don't have the legal background, but I did work in publishing a long time ago, and I sent many a letter to people asking for permission to reproduce photographs they took of famous people and artifacts. Check the back of any popular reference book. All the photographs must be credited. Danny 03:34 Jan 29, 2003 (UTC)
Quoth Wikipedia:Public domain image resources: Accurate photographs of paintings lack expressive content and are automatically in the public domain once the painting's copyright has expired (95 years after initial publication). All other copyright notices can safely be ignored. - Montrealais


DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT

As the owner of Wikipedia would have had to seek a legal opinion before setting Wikipedia up, he (they) would have been made fully aware by qualified counsel of the United States 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act established corollary to the Copyright Act in order to deal with the new realities of the Internet. Part of this legislation includes Title II, the “Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act,” with the primary provision being to place a limitation on the potential monetary damages that Online Service Providers and flow-through organizations like Wikipedia could face by allowing users access to copyrighted material placed on their site(s) by another party. Since the Act’s implementation, the Courts have dealt with some of these issues that upheld the liability limitations established.

Instead of being faced with a financial claim if the Wikipedia user’s material infringes someone's copyright, under the law, neither Wikipedia nor its Online Service Provider can be held liable provided they have complied with the rules established by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Those rules include:

  • Providing a notice to Users concerning copyright laws and a notice that unauthorized use of copyrighted material is prohibited on the site;
  • establish a procedure to receive statutory notices from copyright owners about infringements;
  • comply with the removal requirements from a certified copyright infringement notice;
  • create a policy for termination of repeat offenders.

The law also grants immunity for Online Service Providers and flow-through organizations such as Wikipedia from third party user claims, provided there has been a good-faith compliance with the statutory rules. Further, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act recognizes the massive volume potential through technology on the Internet and therefore the Act does not compel someone such as Wikipedia to monitor material posted on their site. The requirement states that an Online Service Provider is only obliged to take action when it has actual knowledge of an infringement by facts brought to its attention, or by formal notice from the copyright owner. The Act does not impose any requirement for an Online Service Provider or an organization such as Wikipedia to monitor or search out infringement.

Legal counsel for Wikipedia would have advised them to meet all the rules established under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Such being the case, under the law, any User posting a photo to an article has only to fulfill the Wikipedia certification requirement. Having complied, the User or Wikipedia does not have to "prove" anything to anyone until someone files a formal notice of copyright infringement. No one has the right to delete any photo placed in a Wikipedia article for copyright violation without providing proof of such violation or until Wikipedia has received a statutory notice from the copyright owner about an infringement. What has been happening is that certain Wikipedia users have gone about deleting several photos because they alone decided that the photos infringed on a purported copyright. They did this without providing the facts as required under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and, without Wikipedia having received any legally required infringement notice. That does nothing to protect Wikipedia, it only harms it.

The argument on Juliette Binoche concerning copyright is basically opinions from some individuals and is in reality a worthless discussion because Wikipedia would operate only in accordance with the law. The statement that Wikipedia will be sued if someone posts a copyrighted photo is an absolute falsehood unless Wikipedia ignores a statutory notice of infringement from the copyright owner. Even then, no party may just claim copyright, they are obliged by law to provide Wikipedia with certifications and proofs.

Beyond photos, others at Wikipedia have looked at an article and on their own and have, without fact or proof, "decided" it was a copyright infringement. On numerous occasions, the person’s reasoning behind their deletion was because it looked like a copyright violation. Written text is different than photos because of fair usage provisions. However, when the text contains direct and substantive exact quotes then there is the same limited responsibility on the part of Wikipedia but it too requires the copyright owner to provide a certified notice of infringement in accordance with the rules of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

There is no reason to have arguments such as the one at Juliette Binoche. All it did was drive a Wikipedia User away and allow someone to improperly remove a photo that had been posted by a User in full compliance with Wikipedia rules. Instead of verbal combat that is not founded by fact or by any law, these things can be avoided simply by realizing that Wikipedia is not a renegade site and has obeyed the rules established under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. As stated, Wikipedia is not required by law to demand proof of copyright ownership and/or usage rights from Users, and it does not.

Much documentation and information on this subject is available on the Web. To read the Act in a PDF file, go to:

See also DMCA, which links a plain text version at [3]
Bomis is registered for DMCA notifcations of course, also under the name Wikipedia: [4]
I think it's not clear that notifications require proof of copyright: just a written claim will suffice, unless a counter-notice of some kind is going to be made (I haven't read the sections on counter-notification provisions.) -( 19:36 Feb 10, 2003 (UTC)


MAPS

"You may freely use these maps for non-profit use, if you like. Please link to this page in the case you use them." http://dobeln0.tripod.com/maps.html

User:Jimbo Wales has stated that such "non-commercial only" images are not acceptable on Wikipedia (see his statement). Hairy Dude 01:03, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Erasmus

Erasmus is copied from [5], a URL which says "© 2001" at the bottom of it. Does anyone know if we have permission to use this? Kingturtle 05:28 May 5, 2003 (UTC)

Photos

Ron Davis advice will IMO be read as "You can post any photo you like". I still think it's bad it will lead to serious copyrights issues for distributing wikipedia on other medias than the web. I won't change my opinion. I will try to post only material that are GFDL or public domain. I think we should encourage every contributor to do the same instead of using some tolerances in the US law. Ericd 18:00 May 14, 2003 (UTC)

DMCA Again

I was not certain as to your protocol so I am posting this here for all users.

Mr. Brion Vibber,

Because of my qualifications, I was asked to take a look here and I saw where you requested a user to provide legal advice on the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act. I will say that from some of the pages in this site I’ve had the opportunity to assess, you have no shortage of people willing to give "advice." Your question makes it apparent you are not cognizant that a lawyer would never under any circumstances volunteer to give even a qualified professional opinion on your website. A lawyer might supply you with information, but never a legal opinion. I see that attorney User:Alex756 made certain to qualify his personal input. The owners of Wikipedia.org could not be operating here in accordance with its legal mandate without a lawyer having giving them full and precise advice already and would not be providing online services without the mandatory registration with the United States Copyright Office to protect themselves from potential liability under the DMCA for copyright infringement relating to content on their computer site. Too, Wikipedia.org would have obtained from the Copyright Office registry of website agents a designated agent to receive notification of any claims of infringement.

Just for the record, one part of your site’s "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" article reads:

"However, it is questionable that an open content site that willfully and outrageously flaunts the law by encouraging or condoning infringement and provides no mechanism for policing of copyright issues or dispute resolution as provided in the OCILLA would not be liable — in such a situation the courts may find even an open content site liable for copyright infringement"

You might want to assess this ambiguous statement. Section 512(c), DMCA, does not require a dispute mechanism. I’m assuming in your encyclopedia project you wish to avoid speculation. Wikipedia.org is responsible for the site, not its participants actions who might wildly flaunt the law. Of prime importance, If you access the site and read the legal opinion there and below, Wikipedia.org is not required under the DMCA to monitor or discover infringing behavior or provide the " dispute resolution" mechanism referred to. Wikipedia.org must remain passive from its users, otherwise it could jeopardize its DMCA protection. Interfere and you become liable but being passive has its advantages at Wikipedia.org when unsuspecting zealous users, or the few willing participants in the know who encourage them, help keep the "sheet clean." Unfortunately that passive requirement means a lot of disturbing nonsense can go on unchecked and carries with it certain sizeable legal risks. I have only taken a cursory glance at your Website, but it appears your Mr. Wales is very cautious to remain passive. I note that the lawyers for Wikipedia.org did not require the computer program to create any such dispute mechanismn, it was created at Wikipedia.org only by a non-certified user or users. Not to insult anyone’s good intentions, but this above statement only encourages totally invalid, unnecessary, and potentially imflammatory arguments that distract participants from making valid contributions.

I see too where a few of your users have written some sort of copyright rules that can be accessed from the Main Page. This appears, at least on the surface, to be slightly misleading and I’m not sure if it is beneficial in any way because the authors are most definitely not the owners of Wikipedia.org or its attorneys but was created by any number of unqualified volunteers who wrote the pages without a legal certification. As such, they have no legal merit and in fact are a possible endangerment to your website because they have the potential of misleading users into believing what is written is Wikipedia.org policy that conforms to all legal statutes. I do note that on the GDFL, they provided a qualification of sorts under the terminology: "what follows is our interpretation of the GFDL." However, the "fair use" statements are opinions being expressed by unqualified people and in fact they are not needed under Wikipedia.org’s registration for protection under the DMCA. They too only cause baseless arguments that waste time.

Given the aforementioned, I thought this might be helpful so that you or other users don’t waste your valuable time trying to help Wikipedia.org with copyright infringement on photos or text when it is automatically protected by having applied and registered under the law’s requirements and has set up the user requirements as part of its computer program that obliges users to comply with when placing a photo on Wikipedia.org.

I see that you have people placing photos that they label as “taken by me” or similar words but that is in fact not a problem as like all photos or text, copyright is their responsibility and they can be sued personally by the copyright holder for perpetuating a fraud against Wikipedia.org. Your users should realize that Wikipedia.org complied with the DMCA that was designed to protect it from abuses in this manner or any other way the many innovators on the Internet might find to violate the law. You do not need volunteers to interfere or interpret copyright law. While the DMCA protects innocent parties such as Wikipedia.org, it does not shield dishonest users who knowingly violate copyright and who check the Wikipedia.org required box affirming that they are not violating any copyrights by uploading the file.

The first bit of material comes from a two websites from a Washington Law Office who are providing advice to the American Library Association. The lawyer’s opinions appear to be an original unqualified overview of the DMCA so you or anyone interested can go read them and not have to ask a visitor to Wikipedia.org for legal advice. One of those conditions that this law firm points out is that when dealing with copyrighted material available through its network, a registered provider must be passive. Mr. Wales, as best I can determine, has always been careful to be passive on this issue and never interfered. What also is important that can save you the personal worry, is that the law firm states that the DMCA does not impose the burden on Wikipedia.org (therefore certainly not you, me, or any user) to monitor or discover infringing behavior. And, Wikipedia.org is only required to take action when it has "actual knowledge" of an infringement (by facts brought to its attention or by notice from the copyright owner. Note the American Library Associations statement for its members that refers to not be held liable: "if the provider acts "expeditiously to remove or disable access to" infringing material identified in a formal notice by the copyright holder." I’m sure many users will be much relieved and stop worrying about the liability of Wikipedia.org. Mr. Wales has complied with the law and must remain passive so maybe as a site developer you should explain to all users the reason the program allows them to insert a photo on Wikipedia.org solely by checking the box affirming that they are not violating any copyrights by uploading the file and are only asked to volunteer additional information. I think this will eliminate the concerns everyone has that in fact and in law, Wikipedia.org cannot be harmed because of a user’s possible copyright violation. Too, it will eliminate people feeling the need to delete photos and engage in undesirable arguments. However, I admire Wikipedia.org and its apparent goals, so please explain to everyone that they should use discretion and honesty at all times for the greater good. Potential legal costs to defend a copyright violation are almost a non issue so long as Wikipedia.org complies with the requirements for a removal notification. While your users have a virtual free hand to place their photos or text at Wikipedia.org, the real danger has several facets. Copyright abuse of text renders Wikipedia.org meaningless. Repeated abuse will lead to time consuming and costly handling by the designated agent of a flood of formal violation notices. I see where some of the Wikipedia.org users are taking action on their own or as some sort of consensus by a few, claiming they are protecting Wikipedia.org. They should be aware that if they infringe on someone’s free use on an open content site, they risk a personal action from an individual or a rights group that will see them involved in costly legal jeopardy. And, as we all understand about the court system, no matter the outcome years down the road, it is a costly and stressful situation. But, equally as important, and I stress this: because the transmittal base of Wikipedia.org users is unknown and can be under the jurisdiction of any country in the world, it will automatically draw Wikipedia.org into the legal proceedings in the state of California court, at very great expense.

I trust this information passed on is of assistance in your determinations as a Wikipedia.org user.


The Law Offices of Lutzker & Lutzker LLP, Suite 450, 1000 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005

They say this on their website:

  • The law also gives immunity from third party user claims, provided there is a good faith compliance with the statutory rules. It should also be borne in mind that it is not necessary to actively monitor material on the Internet. The limitation requires an OSP to take action when it has "actual knowledge" of an infringement (by facts brought to its attention or by notice from the copyright owner), but it does not impose the burden on the OSP to monitor or discover infringing behavior.
  • The Act makes clear that the OSP is not required to monitor its services for potential infringements.
  • The limitation requires an OSP to take action when it has "actual knowledge" of an infringement (by facts brought to its attention or by notice from the copyright owner), but it does not impose the burden on the OSP to monitor or discover infringing behavior.

Website Liability

Thank you for your detailed (if unofficial ;) opinion. However, your comments appear solely concerned with the legal liability of the owners of the website wikipedia.org for hosting potentially copyright-infringing material on the website, which is really not the matter in question; Mr. Wales and Bomis, Inc. are indeed already protected by the DMCA.
However, one of Wikipedia's goals, related to the selection of the GFDL license, is to be freely redistributable in all media: alternate document formats, CD-ROM versions, even printed books (most likely in per-subject extracts rather than the whole thing). What is the burden placed on someone who redistributes Wikipedia content, not as a DMCA-registered OSP, that may later be found to be infringing?
The strong concern of some such as myself over keeping apparently-infringing material out of the database is concern for A) the project's quality and reputation (avoiding plagiarism and dishonesty), and B) the ability for the project to fulfill its goals for third-party all-media redistribution (avoid handing off material to third parties that could get them in trouble). It is our impression (possibly correct, possibly incorrect; we are not lawyers) that non-Internet publishing is not given the protections that the DMCA provides for Online Service Providers, and that not taking efforts as users and contributors to Wikipedia to "keep the sheets clean" would lead to A) decreased quality in the project (and a reputation for academic dishonesty) and B) reluctance of third parties to redistribute Wikipedia content as intended due to fears that they will be held liable for distributing infringing material.
Finally, re: "Your question makes it apparent you are not cognizant that a lawyer would never under any circumstances volunteer to give even a qualified professional opinion on your website." Certainly not, but a lawyer willing to provide legal advice to the project pro-bono would be welcome. :) If Mr. Wales has already received a professional legal opinion on the matter that covers the above concerns, he's kept it to himself. --Brion 18:14 28 May 2003 (UTC)

Lee Harvey Oswald Photo

Hey, I'd appreciate if someone else can take a look at Talk:Lee Harvey Oswald. For the second time, someone placed the famous 1963 photo by Bob Jackson of Ruby shooting Oswald in the article (with no credits). As I see the photo has a copyright notice, I moved it from the article to talk. User:Hfastedge argues it is fair use. I'd like to get some additional opinions. -- Infrogmation 02:25 31 May 2003 (UTC)

Textbook structure copyright

A question: if I develop an online textbook on an upcoming Wiki textbook site is it copyright infringement to use the chapter order and structure of an established textbook in the area if I develop all of the content below that level ? Should I change the order arbitrarily to some degree ? Would it be enough to have several possible views of the order, one of which is the overall structure of the reference textbook ? User:Karlwick

IANAL, but I would think that only the content of a work would be significant for copyright purposes. In some cases a particular structure is the obviously correct one and claiming copyright on the structure in such cases would strike me as absurd. Hairy Dude 01:15, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Computer Screenshots

I want to upload a screenshot of a particular 1980s computer's startup splashscreen. This would come under fair use (or better) wouldn't it? Does the same apply for in-game screenshots?

A court would generally rule in favor of fair use of in-game screenshots on the basis they are used for educational means, and don't capture the heart of the content, that is they typically do not qualify as individual portraits per se, but an interactive movie. See [6]
The computer startup splashscreen should be fair use as well. See Category:Fair use screenshots -- Dtgm 03:00, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Song Lyrics

Can I include song lyrics as part of an album article? I've collected the lyrics over time and I don't know from where anymore, but since you could get them by listening to the songs, I would imagine that there wouldn't be a problem. Dori Jul 8 2003


You can quote a line or two without any problems, but putting up a whole set of lyrics is generally in violation of copyright; by default you don't have the right to reproduce the article, which for CDs covers the lyrics, sheet music, tablature etc in addition to the actual audio. Plus, see Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not: Wikipedia is not a repository for primary sources. -- Jim Regan 02:53 9 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Seeing as the official sites do not include lyrics, would it then be OK to link to sites containing the lyrics, even though *they* would be violating copyrights? Dori 03:07 9 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I don't see why not. -- Jim Regan 03:18 9 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I do see why not. from WP:EL, "Occasionally acceptable links" number 5
External sites can possibly violate copyright. Linking to copyrighted works is usually not a problem, as long as you have made a reasonable effort to determine that the page in question is not violating someone else's copyright. If it is, please do not link to the page. Knowingly and intentionally directing others to a site that violates copyright has been considered a form of contributory infringement in the United States (Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry). Also, linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on us (see Wikipedia:Copyrights and in particular Contributors' rights and obligations).
--Jon513 15:57, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

DMCA Defense

It is very important that everyone working on Wikipedia respect copyrights. Since this is a wide-open project with no editorial oversight, this sort of thing will certainly happen again.

In our role as a provider of internet services, we have a fairly strong defense under theDigital Millennium Copyright Act, and a fairly strong responsibility. We can't be held financially liable for other people's actions, so long as we follow a reasonable take-down policy.

Nonetheless, I can tell you that my charitable instincts and love of knowledge will hit the wall if someone sues me. :-( --Jimbo Wales

Notice that I have added some more words at the bottom of the page when you go to submit. I think that the problem will mostly go away with this. People just need to understand that we don't want them to cut-and-paste from copyrighted sources!

There is no way to be 100% safe. But, hey, risk is a part of life. --Jimbo Wales


Nonprofit Research Foundation

Has anyone considered starting a nonprofit or somesuch similar organization around the wiki so that it's not so legally tied (in either direction) to the folks that so kindly started it? IANAL, but it seems like it might have good consequences both ways in terms of liability, as well as for tax exemptions and such.


Policy on Redistributable Copyrighted Works

What is our policy for including copyrighted but freely distributable work? In other words, the copyright allows all retransmission but does not allow changes. E.g. I provisionally added Free Software Definition--as long as noone changes the text, it can be copied in any medium any number of times. -- The Cunctator

You should accompany such text with an article about the text (just as one might write an article about the US Constitution or a Shakespeare play), and include the exact text labelled as such. Wikipedians are free to change the article, but changing the included text specifically referenced as from an external source is clearly the wrong thing to do (though someone might want to correct mistranscriptions), so Wikipedian won't be tempted to change it. --LDC


Is everything on Wikipedia GPDL?

See Wikipedia:Copyright violations on history pages for further discussion:

Educational Institutions

If you are in the US and this is for an educational institution for a course and not a book or for fee publication, and you don't repetitively use the same work for many years, it appears that this would be fair use and you can completely ignore the provisions of the Wikipedia license. As a courtesy you should credit and link to the project and make the work from Wikipedia open - and there's nothing you can do which can make that portion anything but open. Caution: This response applies specifically to the situation I have described and is not a complete statement of law in that area. Others should not attempt to use this statement for anything other than the specific case I have described - other situations would not be able to exploit a specific exemption which is in the law.JamesDay 09:56, 13 Sep 2003 (UTC)


Scanned Pictures

I have some pictures that I scanned from a book. These are pretty old so I don't think they are in copyright, but even if they were, I don't think the book has copyrights to them as they are not the original authors. Also, these have been scanned and had their size modified (relatively small, not that great a quality), so I don't think they could be under copyright, but I want to make sure. Two of them are painting of portraits of historical figures, and two are faxes of historical documents. thanks --Dori 21:22, 2 Oct 2003 (UTC)

If they are at least simple pictures, the question is from when and by whom the original pictures are. - Andre Engels 12:55, 25 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I have a somewhat similar problem, in that I want to scan and include an advertisement (image, text) from an eight-year old issue of BYTE magazine (BYTE folded two years later, in 1998, BTW). Would such a scan of an advertisement be un-copyrighted (there is absolutely no copyright notice in the ad) and/or fair use? --Wernher 02:00, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

They would certainly be copyrighted - a copyright notice has not been necessary since ca. 1978 in the US, and since ages in Europe. I'm not making any statement about fair use. - Andre Engels 12:55, 25 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Postage Stamps

Back with another question. Can postage stamps be copyrighted? I am specifically looking at Albanian stamps (see User:Dori/Stamps) and I thought that they were public works, but I am no longer sure. Here's a document on Albanian copyright law, but I doesn't mention postage stamps specifically: http://www.uniadrion.unibo.it/judge/Archives/Albania/Albanian_Copyright_Law.pdf Anyone have a more "expert" opinion than mine (which is probably wrong). Maybe we can use them here if the government is cited as the owner of rights (see Chapter III of that document). Dori 15:20, Oct 23, 2003 (UTC)

+ In answer to your question, the answer is yes, postage stamps can be copyrighted. The USPS does copyright theirs, and beyond which, there is a law on the books in the U.S. making it illegal to duplicate U.S. postage stamps, except for special conditions (must be different size from stamp and must be black & white). A postage stamp from another country, released without copyright notice before 1978 might be okay, however.


Recording Wikipedia Content

Hi, I was wondering how this works with the license.

I want to make recordings of some of the content on Wikipedia, and I want to do it legally. My intention (if possible) is to make Compact Discs containing some of the text in spoken form, together with other text I have produced personally.

It is not my intention to make money out of Wikipedia content, but I am obviously free to charge for that proportion of the CD that is made from my own personal content.

I am very happy to reference the source of the Wikipedia in the manner outlined on the license (I could obviously not hyperlink), and the proposed cost of the CDs isn't going to be a great deal more that of the raw materials.

Can anyone advise on what I should do. Many thanks.

When selling or giving away the CDs (you are allowed to make money on it, would you want so, by the way), you should add a copy of the GNU/FDL. Also, it would be good to find the names or nicknames of the authors of the parts of Wikipedia you are using, and provide those. Give the titles of the articles and the date you took them from Wikipedia. Finally, speaking in and recording the texts gives you copyright as well, so add your own name with the previous list, and make it clear that the recorded version is under GNU/FDL as well.
If you're willing to release it to GDFL, the folks over at Project:Spoken Wikipedia would be quite happy to have any Wikipedia-based content you make. You would still be able to keep copyright on your own work, or have a dual GDFL/creative commons license on the whole thing. You also can take any of their audio, if you want to use it in your project: it's under the same license.

Copyright expiration

I own a book that I think has passed into public domain, and might be a good source for the (currently somewhat light) engineering section of Wikipedia. It's Mechanics of Materials by Laurson and Cox, 2nd edition (the Wiley & Sons edition, not the Chapman & Hall Amazon is selling). I went here and looked through the renewals for 74, 75, 76 and 63, 64, 65 (since the copyright dates listed are 1938 and 1947), and couldn't find it under the title or either of the authors' names. Is this enough effort to consider it expired, or should I do more? Thanks in advance, Joel 03:50, 28 September 2005 (UTC)

The good folks at Wikipedia:Reference Desk sugggested I direct this question here, due to your specialized interest. So, uh...what do you guys think?--Joel 03:20, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
Seeing no response, I'm going to go ahead and post the same question on Wikipedia talk:Copyright. Feel free to answer either location.--Joel 02:42, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Print Compliance with GFDL

Since we allow linkbacks to satisfy the GFDL for uses of Wikipedia content on the web, is the same permissible in print citations? I'm thinking that, in order to facilitate use of Wikipedia content properly under the GFDL, we might stick the following below the copyright notice at the bottom of each page:

Text from this page may be quoted with the following legal notice: "This document uses material from the Wikipedia article "Foo" (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foo ), which is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html )."

Or something similar... IMHO we should make it as easy and convenient as possible for folks to use the "free" content freely and legally. At the moment, they have to dig through the legalese on the copyright page. If we just state explicitly what people must on the page itself, we be able to increase license compliance with relatively little effort. Thoughts? -- Seth Ilys 18:53, 6 May 2004 (UTC)

Would that be satisfactory?

IANAL. This fails. Firstly, the legal notice you provide is in no way sufficient to satisfy the GFDL.
Secondly, linkbacks don't suffice to satisfy the GFDL, despite what many appear to think.
Thirdly, offline "linkbacks" are on extremely dodgy legal grounds.
Martin 16:13, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Copyright claimed on Oxford Book of English Verse

Hello. I have a question about text copied from a source which I believe is in the public domain. The source in question is the Oxford Book of English Verse. Here is the bibliography data from [7]:

AUTHOR: Quiller-Couch, Arthur Thomas, Sir, 1863?1944.
TITLE: The Oxford book of English verse, 1250?1900, chosen & edited by A. T. Quiller-Couch.
PUBLISHED: Oxford: Clarendon, 1919, [c1901].
PHYSICAL DETAILS: xix, 1084 p.; 17 cm.
ISBN: 1-58734-040-2.
CITATION: Quiller-Couch, Arthur Thomas, Sir. The Oxford Book of English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon, 1919, [c1901]; Bartleby.com, 1999. www.bartleby.com/101/. [Date of Printout].
ON-LINE ED.: Published January 1999 by Bartleby.com; © Copyright 1999 Bartleby.com, Inc. (Terms of Use).

It appears that the original edition was copyrighted in 1919 or 1901. Bartleby.com is also claiming a copyright. What, exactly, is the status of Bartleby's copyright? What, if anything, does their copyright apply to? -- In asking this question, I'm assuming that this text has entered the public domain (if not otherwise covered by Bartleby's copyright). Is that correct? Thanks for any insights you may have. Happy editing, Wile E. Heresiarch 15:46, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The copyright would be on anything the Bartleby version differs from the original. In particular, it would be on the lay-out. - Andre Engels 12:55, 25 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Google news

In the es.wikipedia we are planning to set up a bot to collect news, in order to help us with our Recent Events section. We plan to use Google News as a source. They told us they do not allow anybody to take their news (even if they took these same news themselves form other online publications). We need some advice. Are we getting into trouble if we use their news? What happens if we select them and/or mix them with other news sources, the result not being a verbatim copy of their news collection? -- 4lex 15:04, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

As long as you don't automatically include everything from Google, but use a real selection mechanism after it, I don't think they have any leg to stand on to forbid you. - Andre Engels 12:55, 25 Aug 2004 (UTC)

US copyright law?

Are Wikipedias in all languages subject to American copyright law? There's currently a discussion at Polish Wikipedia where it is claimed to be subject to Polish law, despite being stored on American servers, and thus it shouldn't use fair use images. Ausir 20:20, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)

There is also a discussion on US public domain government works which definitively seems not to be public domain worldwide at:
http://blog.librarylaw.com/librarylaw/2004/09/copyright_in_go.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template_talk:PD-USGov

--134.130.68.65 18:08, 10 Sep 2004 (UTC)

IANAL. Gutnick's libel case implies that Australian Copyright law applies to any material published online if it is likely to be read by Australians. You're all under Copyright Act (1968) Commonwealth of Australia Fifelfoo 05:34, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The whole things seems to be about semantics. Let's say that foreigners are not permitted to take U.S. Government Public Domain stuff. Then that means they themselves cannot copy the data, but if an American citizen copies the data, since it is public domain, it then becomes the property of that American citizen and then he can make a derivative work which can be under any license he pleases. As such, as soon as an American citizen copies U.S. government data into Wikipedia, it becomes a derivative work under the copyright of the person who added it. It is no longer government property. Of course IANAL, but it makes sense to me at least! -- Ram-Man 20:46, Nov 16, 2004 (UTC)

Question regarding public domain

Being a new "user", I have uploaded a few photos (of my own) to Wikipedia, with the following tag:

"I hereby place this low-resolution version of the photo into the public domain. I retain the copyright to any larger versions."

Since the images are small (150-400 pixels wide) this would "automatically" preclude any commercial *print* use of the images - and my intention is to prevent only that. Using them for other purposes is quite OK.

I'd like to hear your coments on this practice, thanks! --Janke | Talk 28 June 2005 10:00 (UTC)

Former Communist Countries and Copyright

At least in my part of the world (Romania), there have been (almost) no copyright regulations until 1994 (there were few exceptions regarding records, pictures, books made for export by state companies). Are they "fair use" or "public domain"? And if such how do we treat them? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Xanthar (talkcontribs) 22:59, 7 July 2005 (UTC)

Found : Every image published in Romania before 1956 by the state of Romania or by its agencies is not protected as according to the 1923 law it fails to be "artistic content" and is "of public interest". All photos published between 1956 and 1995 are public domain according to art. 7, letters b. and c. of the decree no. 231, June 18 1956 ("protection for 10 years since created in regards with the author of a series of artistic photographs", and "protection for 5 years since created for separate images"), "non-artistic" apparently not being protected at all. All photos published prior to 1956 also become public domain after 10 years since created in accordance with art. 41 of the 1956 law which retroactively applies the terms of the law to all previous works. The law remained valid until 1996. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Xanthar (talkcontribs) 18:23, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

1923 PD Rule

My understanding is that the PD status of works published before 1923 applies only to items published in the USA. So, everything, and anything else does not fall under this rule. So, how is Britannica in the Public Domain? Peregrine981 03:14, July 10, 2005 (UTC)

Material copyrighted in Iran

I have a problem. User:Zereshk has copied lots of material (text and pictures) copyrighted in Iran to the Wikipedia, and claims that since Iran is not a signatory to any of the International Copyright Conventions, its copyright is not valid for the Wikimedia Foundation, and it can freely copy its material, which includes their redistribution in Iran. (See User talk:Roozbeh#Copyright tags are unwarranted for his claims.)

I need help in this. If his claim is true, we can freely copy information from all Iranian sources, which is lots of material. It would really help the Persian Wikipedia, to say the least. If his claim is wrong, we need to remove those materials as soon as possible. roozbeh 12:13, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

Iran is a party to the Paris convention so works of Iranian authors are protected. I don't know how long is the protection. The Iran copyright law gives protection of life+30. I believe this is the case also elsewhere. I somehow confused the treaties. The Paris convention is not about copyright. He might be right. Also read this. Nikke 19:19, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Well, Jimbo Wales answered my question and mentioned that we should respect Iranian copyright in the Wikipedia. See Wikipedia:Copyrights#Iran. roozbeh 12:25, September 1, 2005 (UTC)

Thought this might be helpful to some

As seen on BoingBoing [8] porges 08:23, August 24, 2005 (UTC)

Using "Wiki" in a domain name

As I understand it, anyone can register a domain name with the word "wiki" in it. Is that correct? I have a client who has an idea out of which they would like to create a wiki - but not in competition with any project now being undertaken (at least with public knowledge) by the Wiki Foundation.---JVian 23:49, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

Wiki is not a trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation. Feel free to use it. There will be no legal ramifications for appropriating the word, which did not originate at Wikipedia anyway. Superm401 | Talk 03:05, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Publishers' Blurb

I went to tag Michelle Paver as a copyvio - but found that the text is being reproduced by folk like amazon as blurb - does that mean that Wikipedia is free to use it? I run across this sort of thing before, and I don't want to give extra work by tagging these things if it is unneccessary. Please advise. --Doc (?) 22:24, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Canadian government copyright

The Canadian contingent is running into a serious problem at the moment. The issue is that Canadian federal and provincial government images are released under a non-commercial Crown copyright license, so under the current policy, many images within Category:Canada copyright images are being deleted.

The problem, however, is that includes images of flags, maps, government agency logos, official publicity portraits of political figures and Supreme Court judges, military decorations and badges, and other images where the subject's article requires some kind of image.

Wikipedia has to have a photograph of Adrienne Clarkson on her article. Wikipedia has to have a photograph of Bernard Lord on his article. Canadian Forces ranks and insignia has to have images of the insignia on it. And on and so forth. The informational value of the articles is severely compromised otherwise; the insignia article has no informational value whatsoever without images. But for the most part, GFDL or PD alternatives are simply not available.

Thus, two questions:

  1. Can such images be cited under fair use?
  2. If this simply isn't possible, then what the hell is Wikipedia's Canadian contingent supposed to do if we can never illustrate any Canadian government-related article? Bearcat 07:40, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
Please continue discussion at Wikipedia:Images for deletion; see comments about image of Bernard Lord. Superm401 | Talk 20:47, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
This has gone nine days without any response at all. Superm's comment at IFD just disputes my process in that individual case, and does nothing to actually answer my larger question. I have consequently initiated an RFC. See Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Crown copyright. Bearcat 00:58, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Copyright question

I placed a question here, but it occurs to me that it was not the right place. If someone could take a look, I'd be grateful. Trollderella 18:42, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Song-related opyright question

One of the features of sound editing program Audacity is to give a visual representation of the audio, apparently based on volume. I uploaded a couple of these as visual aids for song articles (Image:Layla audacity.PNG, Image:ADITL in audacity.JPG). Currently, they are tagged as fair use. However, this poses the question: Does copyright extend to a visual representation of a song's volume? Deltabeignet 05:33, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

American football team helmet images

I recently found this website and was wondering about what permissions I would need to use such images. Do they already count for fair use as corporate logos? Do I need the website admin, who created the images using Adobe Paint (or something like that) based on photographs and decal scans? I was mainly going to use his images of minor/indoor football team helmets. Thanks in advance for any help provided. Youngamerican 20:37, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

A fair use claim would be difficult, because the article is about the team, not the helmet. However, it might be possible. See Wikipedia:fair use. Superm401 - Talk 02:06, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

SparkNotes

If a Wikipedia User created some material on SparkNotes and then cuts and pastes it verbatim from that site, is there a copyvio? IANAL, and I don't understand SparkNotes' legalese here:

All Content is copyrighted as a collective work under the U.S. copyright laws, and SparkNotes owns a copyright in the selection, coordination, arrangement and enhancement of such Content. You may not modify, publish, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale, create derivative works, or in any way exploit, any of the Content, in whole or in part. [9]

To me the implication is that SparkNotes gains ownership of anything not already owned, but someone else's expertise would be welcome. Thanks. Deborah-jl Talk 14:55, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Copying text originally written by SparkNotes is definitely a violation, so tag them using {{copyvio}}. Copying only public domain text from that site is legal unless SparkNotes has made significant creative changes to the text (which they usually haven't). If you have more questions, feel free to ask (providing an example might help). Superm401 - Talk 23:05, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Withdraw of the GFDL-self license

Can you comment on the following issue, transferred from Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism?

  • Thepcnerd (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · nuke contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) Disputing GFDL on his work and making legal threats. Garglebutt / (talk) 07:08, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
    • I would think that the GFDL is irreversible, but as a good will jesture we usually delete images if requested by the uploader. Do we really need this image? Need somebody knowledgeble in copyright abakharev 07:51, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
      • I don't see any good will from Thepcnerd here and his reason for removal seems to be associated with sour grapes over having a self promotion article afd. I disagree with contributions being removed to avoid a copyright challenge. Garglebutt / (talk) 08:30, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Can these be used in the Wikipedia: namespace?

I'd like to make use of some of the following icons for a menu on a page in the Wikipedia namespace, but I need to track down information on the legalities of doing so before I proceed. What do you know of the licenses, copyrights, and trademark rights to these icons?

96 - a link is included on this page to a crude translation of the author's permission. Though it's hard to tell, because the translation is pretty rough.

Image:Finder icon.png Image:Pages icon.png Image:Apple Dictionary Icon.png Image:ICal Icon.png Image:IPhoto Icon.png Image:Apple iDisk Icon.png Image:ISync icon.png

Though it appears that these icons are from a trademarked program. So I'm still not sure if they can be displayed as menu items for a page. Any help you could provide in tracking down the information clarifying to what uses we can legally put these icons to would be most appreciated. --Go for it! 13:34, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Answered at [10]

GFDL import/export question

i've not understood well the GFDL so here are my questions

  • What are the requirement for importing GFDL content inside wikipedia
  • What are the requirement for exporting GFDL content from wikipedia
  • is there anything special about mooving content from a wiki to another(such as copy the whole historic of the page)
  • what if i want to print content from wikipedia in small quantity (less than 100)

do i only need to provide a link to tha wikipedia article(telling that the article was done with some wikipedia content) and licence the whole page as GFLD? or is there any others spedial requirement such as disposing the explanations or the link in a special place such as on the top of the page with a very big notice...do i need to provide the text of the gfdl licence on the page if this is the only page with gfdl content(for example wiki made without any notice of copyright...=>problematic for editing...lol)

i also think that adding 3 images from a commic (Lucky_Luke) in order to "illustrate a particular aspect" of the commic is fair use...i want to use that in uncyclopedia in order to tell that he is a criminal...tell me if i'm wrong...

00 tux 01:25, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Portals

What are portals logged under when it comes to fair use? Portal:Pokémon recently had all it's images removed while FEATURED portals are sitting with Olympic logos on them, such as Portal:London.. I'd just like to know what to do because this has gone through a Featured Candidacy and no one even noted it. Highway Rainbow Sneakers 20:30, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Can a group of Wikipedians vote to violate copyright?

I listed {{Indiancopyright}} on TFD as it's a license tag that says "This media file is copyrighted to an Indian domain and all rights reserved by that domain" -- basically, that our use of the image is a copyright violation. It was closed as a 2-2 no-consensus "keep". --Carnildo 01:10, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Voting is evil. I believe Copyright violation takes priority over "democracy", given that the Wikimedia Foundation could get sued - or if becomes a serious problem, perhaps censored by the Indian govt. Perhaps alert an administrator to the situation? Bwithh 21:27, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Multiple Image Copyright violations in Hwang Woo-Suk article

Bwithh 21:27, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Which tag to use as image goes through several iterations?

When an image goes through several steps, each of which is Free Use, which does it end up with? To be specific: the US government prints a stamp, which is public domain because it's a stamp. The USPS then distributes a picture of the new stamps issued; the stamps are PD, and the picture is PD because it's the work of a US government agency. I take that picture and crop it down to get just the image of one stamp. Is the final result GFDL because I "created" it, PD as the work of a US govt agency, or PD because it's the picture of a stamp which is PD because it's a stamp? Gzuckier 15:22, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

You've got a faulty underlying assumption there. The United States Postal Service is not a part of the government, so stamps created after 1978 are copyrighted.
That said, in the general case of modifying a PD image, if there's creative effort involved in the modification, you can claim copyright on the modified image. Since there's no copyright on the original to worry about, you can license the resulting image however you see fit. If there's no creative effort (removing a border, for example), the resulting image is still public domain. --Carnildo 21:29, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Winnie the Pooh

Can Image:The-end.jpg be claimed as a PD image? The copyright on Winnie the Pooh has not expired. ~MDD4696 20:09, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Printing a collection of Wikipedia articles under the GFDL

I want to print (more than 100) copies of a collection of selected Wikipeedia articles - in fact, a book. It will be distributed under the GFDL. However, I am baffled by the practicalities of proper display of History and authors. Any help would be appreciated.

As I read the GFDL I need to document the history of any article, but can do so in a separate chapter at the back of the book. What part of the revision history is required? Do I have to print the contents of the entire revision history for a given article? Who do I credit as authors when 1000 people have contributed to a given article? I realize that just printing a URL is not satisfactory. Is there a special page that can list the authors of a given page in a practical format? It is sufficent to credit Wikipedia usernames or nicknames?

best regards Schade chr 07:55, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Creative Commons Licence and Geocacher's Creed

The article Geocacher's Creed is a direct cut-and-paste of www.geocreed.info. The licence at the bottom of the article (and the website) says, "This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You may freely use and share it long as you credit www.geocreed.info and do not alter, transform or build upon the work!" From that statement, I do not believe it is a copyright violation to cut-and-paste the text from the original website to the wikipedia article, which is why I have not reported it as a copyright violation.

However, my concern is that the licence expressly forbids altering the work. Therefore, any editor who revises the wiki article is breaching the licence. This defeats the purpose of wikipedia (and the agreement made by contributors to abide by wikipedia's rules).

I have tried to find wikipedia's policies that govern this situation and haven't found it yet, or a means other than this talk page to "report" the problem. Agent 86 20:37, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

It's licensed under the CC-BY-ND license, which is not a free license, and is very much not the GFDL. Report it on Wikipedia:Copyright problems. --Carnildo 20:43, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Fair use

Can fair use images be used in templates? --83.135.96.132 10:06, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

No. --Carnildo 17:11, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Is a photograph of a movie poster from some (small) distance enough to circumvent copyright?

A user has taken this photograph of a movie poster: Image:Return of the King (Tokyo).jpg and licenced it with {{gfdl}}. I find this inappropriate, however I'd like to get others' opinions on what to do. __meco 15:27, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

I uploaded that photo. I'm fine having it removed if people deem it inappropriate for a free project. Cheers. A-giau 16:50, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Smyrna Public Library

User:Smyrnavolunteer removed my copyvio speedy deletion tag and added to the article "Content provided below with the express permission of the Friends of the Smyrna Library." I'm not familiar enough with the policies to know how to continue. --Maxamegalon2000 19:12, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Make sure that the permission is to release the text under the GFDL, not simply to use it on Wikipedia. Also make sure they understand what a GFDL release means: that the text can be edited by anyone, and that it can be copied to other places. --Carnildo 23:31, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Could someone else do this? I'm not familiar enough with this sort of thing to be comfortable discussing it with the user. --~~

It states that VfD for copyright violations are seven days. Is this in complete conformity with the DMCA? The section also known as the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act, which is made a part of the US Copyright law in sec. 512 of Title 17 United States Code, states if someone who is a copyright owner follows the rules of that section, the ISP should remove the material for which copyright is claimed "expediously" so as not to incur liability i.e. not wait seven or ten days, but take it off ASAP). Of course this requires notice to the Wikipedia:designated agent which is not what is happening in the VfD pages, but since we are trying to make sure there is no infringement shouldn't that be mentioned on the Vfd pages and in the VfD policy pages? If someone who claims copyright finds out that we are infringing shouldn't we make sure that Wikipedia is in compliance so we do not occur any legal liability to Bomis, or Wikimedia? Just a thought. Alex756 22:04, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)

We ask contributors to replace the potentially copyrighted text with the boilerplate notice - is this sufficient to count as "removing the material"? It's still in the page history, but I've seen arguments (eg on meta:Wikipedia_and_copyright_issues) that this is acceptable. What do you think? Martin 22:17, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)
I am not sure. There is a somewhat related discussion at Wikipedia:Copyright violations on history pages. I think user:Angela is making a good point. A new page should be deleted right away, so that it does not end up in the histories. That would be the idea solution; it is more problematic with material that is added to existing pages. As most Wikipedia contributors probably have a fair use defense that might be a good response, but that requires a physical or electronic signature from the person (I guess a PGP sig would be o.k., but the concept of "electronic signature" is a loaded legal term) claiming the fair use defense (this should not be someone from Wikipedia but the person posting it and stating why an information use is allowable under copyright law and not infringement). Also my suggestion on that other page that Wikipedia can directly use a fair use defense (as the ISP is Bomis, not Wikipedia or Wikimedia) but then the advantage of being able to use the OCILLA is that it prevents litigation, fair use is only a defense that requires at least a summary judgment motion (i.e. lots of legal fees). Alex756 23:12, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Read - good link.
I'm going to add something to the page, I think. Let me know what you think. Martin 23:55, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)
OK, does that help? Martin 00:04, 28 Aug 2003 (UTC)
That looks good to me. I've added the suggestion that any comments about it should be added here. Let's see what others say. Alex756 00:16, 28 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Should there also be a note about how fixing copyvio pages may create a page history that retains the copyright violations in the Wikipedia database, so editors don't convert a RfD/copyvio page to a stub with the infringement imbedded in the page history? Alex756 16:04, 29 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I'd rather not encourage people to not work! Also, IIRC, our current boilerplate text encourages violators to replace the notice with their own work, so that'd need to be changed too. But maybe it's necessary, or Wikipedia might be seen to be encouraging people to create stubs with an infringing page history? Martin 16:23, 29 Aug 2003 (UTC)
I would say Martin that this is a good reason why the policy on copyright violations might be improved, A suggestion: delete the new page ASAP (rather than wait a week) and then remake it into a stub at the same time with a note on the talk page that it was previously blanked for a copyvio. Blanking the copyright violation ASAP is more in line with the OCILLA provisions; that makes us more copyright owner friendly. If they see that we are looking out for their copyright without going through the OCILLA procedure they might see us as friendly and give us a license to their work! That is, of course, if they find out that we removed their work, but then there are lots of people watching us (). Alex756 17:02, 29 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I agree with deleting potential copyvios immediately. If it turns out to be non-copyvio, it's easy enough to undelete it. Perhaps the page could be deleted, then the page could be re-created and consist only of the boilerplate copyvio notice, which would also be deleted after a week if no-one chose to stub something in the meanwhile. Angela 18:06, 29 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Note that images cannot currently be undeleted, so we could only follow such a policy for text. I think the copyvio notice is already rather unfriendly, but if there is a false accusation of copyvio, at least the victim can restate the content from the page history, leave a note on the Talk page, and all is well. To additionally require them to contact an administrator on this page is an extra burden to someone who has done nothing wrong.
Further, some possible copyvios have been partially rephrased, or may be partial, non-complete copies. I do not want the quasi-legal judgement over whether something is probably a copyvio to be restricted to sysops - it ought to be open to the whole community. However, I can see the advantages in your proposal. Martin 20:48, 29 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Just wanted to point out that some partial copying and rephrasing can still lead to a finding of infringement. See: Macmillan Co. v. King. It can be a hard call even for a jury of one's peers. Alex756 18:52, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Yep. That's precisely why the call shouldn't be restricted to sysops. Martin 21:34, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)
But it does make the problem of partial copying and paraphrasing that cannot be picked up through searching through the 'net for copied text particularly tricky, even a jury of peers will be wrong from time to time regarding such kinds of infringement. Alex756 01:39, 2 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Perhaps the policy should not encourage revisions during the seven day period except for those articles that are granted permission (and thus removed from the list). Then, at the end of the seven day period (unless the author makes a OCILLA sec. 512 demand) the article can be deleted; or deleted and replaced by a stub. However, any new deletion policy does not solve the problem of every infringement already archived on the history pages. Maybe a solution to this problem is to change the notice at the bottom each page (or add something to the Wikipedia:Copyrights page as you suggested here Martin), i.e. the history pages may include copyright infringements that have been removed from the current version of the corresponding entry. If there are infringements found in Wikipedia, no GFDL can be granted on any possible infringing sections. Any identified infringement are being saved only for archival, research, and study purposes. They are not to be copied. This could also be written to cover any infringements that have not been otherwise caught through online vigilance. Perhaps this is a good reason to create a general Wikipedia warranty disclaimer (WWD) that attaches to the GFDL via each page as stated in the last paragraph (&para 10) of section 1 of the license:

The Document may include Warranty Disclaimers next to the notice which states that this License applies to the Document.

An ideal WWD would specifically mention the paper trail on alleged copyright infringements to licensees as well as other kinds of WWDs , i.e. all information found here is "as is" and without warranty as to fitness as to any purpose, accuracy, attribution, Wikipedia is no replacement for professional advice, etc.,. Note the GFDL states that the WWDs must be placed next to the GFDL notice; a link should do. Currently all the disclaimers and proposed disclaimers available for use on Wikipedia do not meet this GFDL requirement. Perhaps another solution is that such disclaimers can be added by link to the Wikipedia:copyrights page and the head of that page should state: "This page includes specific warranty disclaimers regarding copyright and content as allowed under section one of the GFDL." Maybe the page name could also be moved to Wikipedia:Copyrights and Warranty Disclaimers. Alex756 18:30, 31 Aug 2003 (UTC)

My concern would be that GFDL-based warranty disclaimers would be viral (of course) which might make us less compatible with other sources of GFDL'd information. Also, it would mean that sub-licensees have yet more text to include, and they lose some freedom to write their own warranty disclaimers, appropriate to local circumstances/their specific use.
I prefer the ability to blank specific versions in the history, myself. Martin 21:34, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)

They are not warranties, but disclaimers. If someone downstream does not want the disclaimers, they do not have to use them. They can use their own disclaimers or they can even give an additional warranty that has nothing to do with copyright law, we call that freedom to contract. As well, disclaimers are under contract law; they are not extracontractual. If the downstream licencee wants to use a different disclaimer, or none at all, they are free to do so. There is nowhere stated in the license that the warranty disclaimers will apply to third persons. There is no privity with these third party users. What it states is:

These Warranty Disclaimers are considered to be included by reference in this License, but only as regards disclaiming warranties: any other implication that these Warranty Disclaimers may have is void and has no effect on the meaning of this License.

This keeps the warranty disclaimers to having no more third party effect, than the GFDL itself because they are just disclaimers, they prevent people from attacking the sources; basically this only means the end user always has the responsibility to check the information; if any local law is different, they just make their disclaimers broader than the disclaimers by reference; any additional added material is not covered by the disclaimer; Since it is included by reference in this License the sublicenses do not have to copy as anyone doing due dilligence will find it in the so called paper trail via the transparent and opaque copies; amyway it will not apply to them anyway. I don't see how any disclaimers are any more viral than the name Wikipedia. Perhaps I do not understand what you mean by viral.

Putting in a disclaimer is only to prevent people from saying, "hey, it's your fault you had this elaborate copyright policing system and I relied upon it, but it didn't work." The warranty disclaimer will mean that unless a downstream licencee includes the disclaimer that any third party will have to go after them for damages, not Wikipedia for copyright infringement (or any other inaccuracies in Wikipedia). I don't understand why there is so much resistance to warranty disclaimers at Wikipedia, most other open or free source people routinely include warranty disclaimers with their licenses; keeps errors and omissions insurance premiums down; after all as Wikimedia becomes more of an institution, we do not want anyone to sue it and take away our donations because there was no warranty disclaimers in the GFDL, do we? Alex756 01:39, 2 Sep 2003 (UTC)~

I think your reply has adequately addressed my concern :) Martin 09:36, 2 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Sounds a good idea to me. Also, are there any objections to changing the boilerplate copyvio text to tell people not to edit the document during the seven days? Angela 17:01, 2 Sep 2003 (UTC)
I still dislike this idea. Maybe if you added a /Temp link, with the understanding that the sysop who deleted the infringing article should move the article at /Temp to the deleted page? Martin 17:10, 2 Sep 2003 (UTC)
That should work. It makes things a bit more difficult if the article turns out to be not copyright, but I don't think it's impossible to fix. Angela 17:55, 2 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Let me try to summarize; I think this is what Martin and I have collectively proposed and you agree with Angela (please correct me if I am wrong, please): (1) put notices around that no subsequent rewrites are to be done on copyright violation pages; (2) change name of Wikipedia:Copyrights to Wikipedia:Copyrights and Warranty Disclaimers and add disclaimer about possible imbedded infringing material there; (3) when infringing article is to be deleted a copy is made for seven days on a /Temp link; (4) If copyright issues is cleared up, move /temp page back, otherwise delete Temp page; any stub then created will have a clear page history. Alex756 23:23, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I agree with those four points, as you've written them here. Martin 14:05, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC) (sorry for delay)

Cross posted on the Wikipedia:Copyright violations on history pages

I just want to point out that Brian Vibber on the Wikitech-L list has pointed out that it is possible to remove page histories manually by a developer[11] though having it done by a developer is not really a good solution IMO. I have also reviewed much of the written discussion regarding copyright and fair use around here and on MetaWikipedia and I agree with former user:isis who thinks that edit histories serve an important function to allow us to show that if there was a copyright infringement at some point, Wikipedia editors have worked to get rid of it (this is in agreement regarding the disclaimer discussion above). If it is a new page, we should now have a chance to catch the copyright infringement in the bud and at least replace it with a link to the source "The original page here was copied from: http://... it has been deleted. Please replace this with a stub or obtain permission (place the information about permission on the talk page) and replace the page from this page/Temp." or something like that? Otherwise, let's not start mucking with page histories. Alex756 02:43, 5 Sep 2003 (UTC)

titles, splitting

This page needs some cleanup. I for one dont like scrolling through two pages of indicia on a regularly used list page. Also it doesnt need to be a subpage. Suggest move indicia text to Wikipedia:Copyright violation, and the list to Wikipedia:Copyvio. Also there are listed items on Wikipedia Cleanup that are marked as possible copyvios. Check regularly.-戴&#30505sv 04:30, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I like having the instructions on the same page as the list, as it increases the chance of them being read. Since we're well away from 32K badness, I think this is fine. There is a TOC, after all.
Regards changing the title, I think this might be a good idea. wikipedia:copyvio is fine by me, and is shorter and quicker to link to. Martin 14:07, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I agree with Martin. It is useful to keep the info on this page for now. No real reason to move it. Ok with page move too. Angela 18:20, Oct 7, 2003 (UTC)
OK-Page moved. After some mishap repair. On the indicia-- maybe some of it can shortened. 戴&#30505sv

That's not a word! -- Tim Starling 06:57, Oct 8, 2003 (UTC)

Ugh, HATE the new name. Neither a word NOR a commonly used abbreviation. Why is the not-used and not-real-word 'Copyviolation' better than the at least accepted Wikipedia slang 'Copyvio'? And if that one's not good, what's wrong with saying 'Copyright violations' in full?
Not going to have a major fit about this, but I don't like it. --Morven 07:13, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Two versus one. We win. -- Tim Starling 07:19, Oct 8, 2003 (UTC)
Well have fun with the redirects. 戴&#30505sv ps-- vote!

Eh? What's going on? Hmm... I think we should use proper English for page names. All these silly slang terms are bearable in everyday conversations, but do we have to enshrine them in actual page titles? And I think that a fundamental point about what this page is has been missed. This page is for possible copyright infringements. You see, the pages in question might not be copyright infringements. They might have been put up by the original authors, or by someone else who had the relevant permissions. That's precisely why we need to list them here. If we knew that the pages in question were copyright infringements, we could just delete them straight away! So the title of the page should reflect that. I think it should be... Wikipedia:Possible copyright infringements. Logical, yes? :) -- Oliver P. 07:43, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)

P.S. - You don't have to type it in full, because you can have the shorter title as a redirect... -- Oliver P. 07:45, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Yes, there's no shortage of redirects, that's for sure. I suggested Wikipedia:Suspected copyright violations back in May. Pretty much the same as your idea. -- Tim Starling 07:49, Oct 8, 2003 (UTC)

I see... Yes, that is much the same. But even then, the word "suspected" suggests that we already suspect that the contributor is guilty. "Possible" just admits the possibility that they are. It sounds more neutral to me, and therefore more in tune with WikiLove. Maybe. And anyway, I was just going by the wording on the boilerplate notices themselves: it says "Removed possible copyright infringement" rather than "Removed suspected copyright violation". But I suspect I'm taking this naming discussion far too seriously now... :) -- Oliver P. 08:12, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I think the current name is fine. It's not a real word. It's a slang term that we use in Wikipedia to mean potential copyright violation. Angela 22:00, Oct 8, 2003 (UTC)

Eh? How can the fact that it's not a real word be an argument for using it? And no, it doesn't mean "potential copyright violation". It means "copyright violation". -- Oliver P. 22:04, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)

It does the way I use it. When I write in the edit summary field "copyvio", I mean "this page is potentially infringing copyright and is listed on Wikipedia:Copyvio. Angela 22:15, Oct 8, 2003 (UTC)

Fair enough. I should have just said that it means "copyright violation" to me, rather than implying that it meant that to everyone. However, I strongly suspect (although I haven't actually asked anyone) that it means the same thing to most people here. Even if I'm wrong about that, the term clearly means different things to different people, and that in itself is an excellent reason not to use it!

Furthermore, I'm certain that any new Wikipedian would understand "copyvio" to mean "copyright violation" - that is assuming that they understood it at all. And of course possible copyright infringements are almost invariably contributed by new Wikipedians, so they are precisely the people to whom we need to make clear what it is that we are talking about. Therefore, in the interests of being friendly to newcomers, and in the interests of eliminating ambiguity and promoting clarity, we should definitely have the page at Wikipedia:Possible copyright infringements (or something that is clearly equivalent). QED. :) Hmm, I should start a campaign against all of our silly shorthand terms, really... -- Oliver P. 23:42, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I'm not actually too bothered either way so if you feel strongly, you should probably change it, but please could you attempt to fix all the redirects, links and boilerplates texts if you do. :) Angela 23:49, Oct 8, 2003 (UTC)~
I've moved it and changed everything that needs changing, I think (sorry to deprive you of that pleasure, Oliver). --Camembert 01:05, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Why, thank you, Mr. Camembert! :) -- Oliver P. 22:47, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Out of curiosity, why is this called Wikipedia talk:Copyvio instead of Wikipedia talk:Copyviolation? Kingturtle 22:11, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Because copyviolation is not a real word and not a word we ever use here. Angela 22:15, Oct 8, 2003 (UTC)

Page later moved to "Wikipedia talk:Possible copyright infringements". --Menchi 01:33, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)


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