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Official texts, as defined in Article 2(4) of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, are texts of a legislative, administrative and legal nature and the official translations of such texts.

Works should be tagged with a template that identifies their license status according to Wikisource's copyright policy. See Help:Copyright tags for a list of templates for works which are not official documents.

Many offical texts are considered to edicts of government, and are not copyrightable in the United States. Wikisource has a general template for pages that meet this criteria, however a more specific template should be used in order to inform the reader if the official text is also public domain in the country of origin.

General license[edit]

Many offical texts are considered to edicts of government, and are not copyrightable in the United States. Wikisource has a general template for pages that meet this criteria, however for foreign works, the local laws should also be investigated in order to determine if the official text is in the public domain in the country of origin.

{{PD-EdictGov}}
Category:PD-EdictGov
This work is in the public domain in the U.S. because it is an edict of a government, local or foreign. See § 206.01 of the Compendium II: Copyright Office Practices. Such documents include "judicial opinions, administrative rulings, legislative enactments, public ordinances, and similar official legal documents."

These do not include works of the Organization of American States, United Nations, or any of the UN specialized agencies. See Compendium II § 206.03 and 17 U.S.C. 104(b)(5).


Nuvola apps important.svg
A non-American governmental edict may still be copyrighted outside the U.S. Similar to {{PD-in-USGov}}, the above U.S. Copyright Office Practice does not prevent U.S. states or localities from holding copyright abroad, depending on foreign copyright laws and regulations.
 


Copyright asserted[edit]

Wikisource has official texts from the following countries which are still copyrighted in the country of origin:

Organisations[edit]

League of Nations[edit]

{{PD-LN}}
This work is excerpted from an official document of the League of Nations. Property of the League of the Nations was transferred to the United Nations when the league dissolved in 1946. The policy of the United Nations is to keep most of its documents in the public domain in order to disseminate "as widely as possible the ideas (contained) in the United Nations Publications".

Pursuant to UN Administrative_Instruction_ST/AI/189/Add.9/Rev.2 available in English only, these documents are in the public domain worldwide:

  1. Official records (proceedings of conferences, verbatim and summary records, ...)
  2. United Nations documents issued with a UN symbol
  3. Public information material designed primarily to inform the public about United Nations activities (not including public information material that is offered for sale, which, if in the public domain in the United States due to no copyright renewal or notice as required, should be instead tagged {{PD-US-no-renewal}} or {{PD-US-no-notice}}).


United Nations[edit]

{{PD-UN}}
This work is excerpted from an official document of the United Nations. The policy of this organisation is to keep most of its documents in the public domain in order to disseminate "as widely as possible the ideas (contained) in the United Nations Publications".

Pursuant to UN Administrative Instruction ST/AI/189/Add.9/Rev.2 available in English only, these documents are in the public domain worldwide:

  1. Official records (proceedings of conferences, verbatim and summary records, ...)
  2. United Nations documents issued with a UN symbol
  3. Public information material designed primarily to inform the public about United Nations activities (not including public information material that is offered for sale).


Countries[edit]

Australia[edit]

{{PD-AustraliaGov}}
This work is in the public domain in Australia and possibly other jurisdictions. This is because it is a work of an Australian government (Commonwealth, State or Territory) and was published more than 50 years ago. The copyright has therefore expired.

See Australian Copyright Council – Duration of Copyright (August 2014) or National Archives of Australia – Copyright – Fact sheet 8


Canada[edit]

{{PD-CAGov}}
This work is in the public domain worldwide because it was prepared or published by or under the direction or control of the Canadian Government or any government department prior to 1964
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Section 12 of the Canadian Copyright Act provides a reservation for Crown rights or privileges. Lack of modern case law on the subject makes it unclear whether perpetual prerogative rights over these documents still apply, or whether these rights have lapsed. Notwithstanding, these documents are reproducible under the terms of the Reproduction of Federal Law Order
 
{{Decisions-CAGov}}
According to the Supreme Court of Canada, Law Society of Upper Canada v. CCH Canadian Limited, paragraph 35, court decisions are not covered by copyright.
Nuvola apps important.svg
The federal government references judicial decisions in the Reproduction of Federal Law Order, suggesting that they are protected by either Crown Copyright or Crown rights or privileges. Crown Copyright affects documents produced later than 1963. No evidence has been found that any Crown rights or privileges exist in judicial decisions.
 
{{Legislation-CAGov}}
This document is reproduced under the terms of the Reproduction of Federal Law Order for enactments of the Government of Canada. This document is not an official version, and is not endorsed by the Government of Canada.
Nuvola apps important.svg
Canadian legislation is under Crown Copyright pursuant to Section 12 of the Copyright Act for 50 years after the year of first publication. That section and the lack of modern case law make it unclear whether these documents remain protected by perpetual Crown rights and privileges after that term ends.
 

China[edit]

Category:PD-CN
{{PD-PRC-exempt}}
This work is in the public domain because it is exempted by Article 5 of Chinese copyright law. This exempts all Chinese government and judicial documents, and their official translations, from copyright. It also exempts news on current affairs (the mere facts or happenings reported by the mass media, such as newspapers, periodicals and radio and television stations as defined in Article 5 of the Implementing Regulations of the Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China), and calendars, numerical tables, and other forms of general use and formulas.


Egypt[edit]

{{PD-Egypt-official}}
This work is not an object of copyright in Egypt because it is an official document. Regardless of their source or target language, all official documents are ineligible for protection in Egypt, including laws, regulations, resolutions and decisions, international conventions, court decisions, award of arbitrators and decisions of administrative committees having judicial competence. (Article 141 of Intellectual Property Law 82 of 2002)


Estonia[edit]

{{PD-EE-exempt}}
This work is assumed to have been released into the public domain because according to the Republic of Estonia Copyright law (passed on November 11, 1992 and amended on December 9, 1999 and February 15, 2000):

§ 5. Results of intellectual activities to which this Act does not apply

  • 1) ideas, images, notions, theories, processes, systems, methods, concepts, principles, discoveries, inventions, and other results of intellectual activities which are described, explained or expressed in any other manner in a work;
  • 2) works of folklore;
  • 3) legislation and administrative documents (acts, decrees, regulations, statutes, instructions, directives) and official translations thereof;
  • 4) court decisions and official translations thereof;
  • 5) official symbols of the state and insignia of organisations (flags, coats of arms, orders, medals, badges, etc.) and banknotes;
  • 6) news of the day;
  • 7) facts and data;
  • 8) ideas and principles which underlie any element of a computer program, including those which underlie its user interfaces."

However, in some instances the use of this work might be regulated by other laws.


Germany[edit]

{{PD-DEGov}}
This work is in the public domain according to German copyright law because it is part of a statute, ordinance, official decree or judgment (official work) issued by a German federal or state authority or court (§ 5 Abs.1 UrhG).

Third-party translations are not covered by this licence.


India[edit]

{{PD-INGov}}
This work is the work of Govt. of India. The reproduction or publication of following Government works are deemed not to be infringement of copyright.
  • Any Act of a Legislature.
  • Any Report has been laid on the Table of the Legislature.
  • Any Judgement or order of a court.

Copy, distribute and transmit the work
No Derivative Works This work still copyrighted. Translations and modifications need to "contains a statement at a prominent place to the effect that the translation has not been authorised or accepted as authentic by the government". Use original text only. See Section 52q of INDIAN COPYRIGHT ACT, 1957 for more details.


Indonesia[edit]

{{PD-IndonesianGov}}
This work is deemed not to be infringement of copyright in Indonesia since it is a:
  1. publication and/or reproduction of the symbol of the state and the national anthem in accordance with their original nature; or
  2. publication and/or reproduction of anything which is published by and/or behalf of the Government of Indonesia and the copyright is not declared to be reserved.

Copy, distribute and transmit the work
No Derivative Works This work still copyrighted. No modification allowed. Use original text only. See Article 14 Paragraph a and b of Copyright Act of Republic of Indonesia for more details.


{{PD-EdictGovIndonesian}}
This work is in the public domain in the Republic of Indonesia according to Article 13 of the Copyright Act of Republic of Indonesia because it is an edict of a government such documents include any result of open meetings of state institutions, laws and regulations, state addresses or government official speeches, court decisions and judicial orders or decisions of arbitration boards or of other similar agencies. This work is not eligible for copyright.


Ireland[edit]

{{PD-IrishGov}}
This work is in the public domain because it is an official work of the Irish Government or Oireachtas. According to Chapter 19, §191-193 of the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000, copyright has expired in Ireland because it is:
  1. a work made by an officer or employee of the Irish Government or State in the course of his or her duties, created before 1st January 1964; or
  2. a work made by an officer or employee of either House of the Oireachtas in the course of his or her duties, created before 1st January 1964; or
  3. a sound recording, film, live broadcast or live cable programme of the proceedings of either House of the Oireachtas created before 1st January 1964; or
  4. an Act of the Oireachtas or regulation of the Government of Ireland made available to the public before 1st January 1964.


Israel[edit]

{{PD-ILGov}}
This work is in the public domain because it is a work that is not subject to copyright under Section 6 of the Israeli Copyright Law
6. Official Publications
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4, there will be no copyright pertaining to laws, regulations, Knesset publications or judicial decisions of a court or of a governmental agency that has adjudicative powers under the law.


Japan[edit]

{{PD-JapanGov}}
This work is in the public domain because, according to Article 13 of the Copyright Act of Japan, this work is not eligible for copyright. The provisions of Article 13 shall not grant copyright to a work falling under any of the following categories:
  1. the Constitution and other laws and regulations;
  2. public notices, instructions, circular notices and the like issued by organs of the State or local public entities, incorporated administrative agencies or local incorporated administrative agencies;
  3. judgments, decisions, orders and decrees of courts, as well as rulings and judgments made by government agencies in proceedings of a quasi-judicial nature;
  4. translations and compilations prepared by organs of the State or local public entities, incorporated administrative agencies or local incorporated administrative agencies of [any of] the materials listed in the preceding three items.


Kiribati[edit]

{{PD-KIGov}}
This is a work of the Government of the Republic of Kiribati. It is thought to be in the public domain because it is a government produced document, and Kiribati has no known copyright laws.


Macao[edit]

{{PD-MacaoGov}}
This work is in the public domain because it is exempted by Article 6 of Macao copyright law. This exempts official governmental works and their translations from copyright, and explicitly allows copyrighted free use on any protected work therein.


Namibia[edit]

{{PD-NamibiaGov}}
This work is in the public domain because it it was created and first published in Namibia and is is a work of a legislative, administrative or legal nature, or an official translation thereof.

According to the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Act, 1994, Section 15 part (8), "No copyright shall subsist in the official text of any work of a legislative, administrative or legal nature, or an official translation thereof."


As an edict of a government, it is also in the public domain in the United States.


Norway[edit]

{{PD-NorwayGov}}

This work is in the public domain because it is a part of a decision or a statement by an authority or a public body of Norway. The Norwegian copyright law specifies that no copyright exists in such material (§ 9).


PakistanGov[edit]

{{PD-PakistanGov}}
This work is is in the public domain because it is a work of the Pakistan government that was published at least 50 years ago.

According to the Copyright Ordinance of Pakistan, 1962, amended 1992 - Ordinance No. XXXIV of 1962, Chapter III, section 22. "Term of copyright in Government works and in works of international organizations" :

  1. "Copyright in a Government work shall, where Government is the first owner of the copyright therein, subsist until fifty years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the work is first published."


Philippines[edit]

Category:PD-PhilGovDoc
{{PD-PhilGovDoc}}
This work is in the public domain because it is a work of the Philippine government (see Republic Act No. 8293 or Section 176 of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines).
All official Philippine texts of a legislative, administrative, or judicial nature, or any official translation thereof, are ineligible for copyright.


Russia[edit]

{{PD-RU-exempt}}
This work is not an object of copyright according to Part IV of Civil Code No. 230-FZ of the Russian Federation of December 18, 2006.

Article 1259. Objects of Copyright

Paragraph 5

Copyright shall not apply to ideas, concepts, principles, methods, processes, systems, means, solutions of technical, organizational and other problems, discoveries, facts, programming languages.

Paragraph 6

Shall not be objects of copyright:
  • official documents of state government agencies and local government agencies of municipal formations, including laws, other legal texts, judicial decisions, other materials of legislative, administrative and judicial character, official documents of international organizations, as well as their official translations;
  • state symbols and signs (flags, emblems, orders, banknotes, and the like), as well as symbols and signs of municipal formations;
  • works of folk art (folklore), which don't have specific authors;
  • news reports on events and facts, which have a purely informational character (daily news reports, television programs, transportation schedules, and the like).

Full text of the Code: in Russian.


Comment – According to interstate and international compacts, the Russian Federation is the legal successor of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; therefore, this license tag is also applicable to official symbols and formal documents of the Russian SFSR and the USSR (union level. (The union level means that use of official symbols and the formal documents of 14 other Soviet Republics is the subject of law of their legal successor.)

Warning – This license tag cannot be applied to proposed official symbols and drafts of formal documents, which can be copyrighted.



Serbia and Montenegro[edit]

{{PD-RSGov}}
This work is in the public domain because according to the Copyright Law of Serbia and Montenegro ("Службени гласник СЦГ", бр. 61/2004), "Work is not copyrighted if the work is:
  1. Law, sub-law act or other kind of law act.
  2. Official materials of state authorities or materials published by any other person or institution which do public function.
  3. Official translations of materials of state authorities or translation of materials published by any other person or institution which do public function.
  4. Any of acts in judgement processes."

Hence it is assumed that this work has been released into public domain. This federal law applies for both republics, Serbia and Montenegro, as long as they do not adopt own inherent laws.


Singapore[edit]

{{Legislation-SGGov}}
This work is Singaporean legislation, which is copyrighted in Singapore for 70 years after publication pursuant to Section 197 of the Copyright Act of Singapore. However, as an edict of a government, it is in the public domain in the U.S.


South Africa[edit]

{{PD-SAGov}}
This work is in the public domain because it was created and first published in South Africa and it is an official text of a legislative, administrative or legal nature, or an official translation of such a text.

According to the Copyright Act, 1978, § 12 (8) (a), "No copyright shall subsist in official texts of a legislative, administrative or legal nature, or in official translations of such texts."


{{PD-SA-speech-1996}}
This work is created and first published before 1 January 1996 in South Africa and is in the public domain there because it is a speech of a political nature or a speech delivered in the course of legal proceedings.

According to the Copyright Act, 1978, § 12 (8) (a), "No copyright shall subsist [...] in speeches of a political nature or in speeches delivered in the course of legal proceedings."

It is also in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in its home country as of 1 January 1996, and was never published in the US prior to that date.


Nuvola apps important.svg
South African speech published since 1996 is not necessarily in the public domain in the United States; further information is required to determine its status in US copyright law.


South Korea[edit]

{{PD-KRGov}}
This work is in the public domain because, according to Article 7 of the Copyright Act of South Korea, this work is not eligible for copyright. This following works are included:
  1. Constitution, laws, treaties, decrees, ordinances and rules;
  2. Notices, public notifications, directions and others similar to them issued by the state or local government;
  3. Judgments, decisions, orders, or rulings of courts, as well as rulings and decisions made by the administrative appeal procedures, or other similar procedures;
  4. Compilations or translations of works as referred to in Subparagraphs 1 to 3 which are produced by the state or local government; and
  5. Current news reports which transmit simple facts, and digital audio transmission


Spain[edit]

{{PD-SpainGov}}
This work is in the public domain worldwide because the work was created by a public body of Spain.

See exception in the article 13 of the Spanish Law of Intellectual Property.


Sweden[edit]

{{PD-SEGov}}
This work is non-copyrightable, and in the public domain worldwide because it is a creation of the Swedish Government and is:
  1. a law or other regulation,
  2. a decision by public authorities,
  3. a report by Swedish public authorities
  4. an official translations of one of the above.

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Note that Swedish copyright law still applies to the following, should they form part of the Government work:
  1. maps,
  2. works of drawings, painting or engraving,
  3. musical works, or
  4. poetry.


Switzerland[edit]

{{PD-Switzerland-official}}
This work is:
  • a law, ordinance, international treaty or other official act
  • a decision, protocol or report by public authorities
  • a piece of currency
  • a patent or patent application

of Switzerland or the Swiss cantons. It is therefore not protected by copyright by virtue of Art. 5 of the Swiss Copyright Act.


Taiwan[edit]

{{PD-ROC-exempt}}
This work is in the public domain because it is exempted by Article 9 of the Republic of China's Copyright Act (in effect in the "Free Area"). This excludes from copyright all government and official documents and official translations, including news releases, speeches, laws, and documents. It also excludes from copyright oral and literary news reports strictly intended to communicate facts, test questions from all kinds examinations held pursuant to laws or regulations, slogans and common symbols, terms, formulas, numerical charts, forms, notebooks, or almanacs.


Thailand[edit]

{{PD-THGov}}
This work is in the public domain worldwide according to Section 7, Part 1, Chapter 1 of the Copyright Act, BE 2537 (1994) (Translation), for it is a part or whole of these followings:
  1. News of the day and facts having the character of mere information which is not a work in literary, scientific or artistic domain
  2. Constitution and legislations
  3. Regulations, by-laws, notifications, orders, explanations and official correspondence of the Ministries, Departments or any other government or local units
  4. Judicial decisions, orders, decisions and official reports
  5. Translation and collection of those in (1) to (4) made by the Ministries, Departments or any other government or local units


United Kingdom[edit]

{{PD-UKGov}}
This work is in the public domain worldwide because the work was created by a public body of the United Kingdom with Crown Status and commercially published before 1964.

See Crown copyright artistic works, Crown copyright non-artistic works and List of Public Bodies with Crown Status.


{{OGL}}
This file is licensed under the United Kingdom Open Government Licence v1.0.
You are free to:
  • copy, publish, distribute and transmit the Information;
  • adapt the Information;
  • exploit the Information commercially for example, by combining it with other Information, or by including it in your own product or application.
You must, where you do any of the above:
  • acknowledge the source of the Information by including any attribution statement specified by the Information Provider(s) and, where possible, provide a link to this licence;
  • ensure that you do not use the Information in a way that suggests any official status or that the Information Provider endorses you or your use of the Information;
  • ensure that you do not mislead others or misrepresent the Information or its source;
  • ensure that your use of the Information does not breach the Data Protection Act 1998 or the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.
 


United States[edit]

The following can be used for works of the United States Federal Government only
Category:PD-USGov-POTUS
Category:PD-USGov
{{PD-USGov}}
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).
For edicts of state and local governments in the United States, please use {{PD-EdictGov}}.

Venezuela[edit]

{{PD-VenezuelaGov}}
This work is in the public domain because it is a work of the Venezuelan government and according to the "Law on Copyright", August 14, 1993, Part 1, Chapter 1, Section 1-4:
The texts of laws, decrees, official regulations, public treaties, judicial decisions and other official acts shall not be protected by this Law.

As an edict of a government, it is also in the public domain in the United States.