Portal talk:Newspapers

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
Portal review
Portal Newspapers
Classification AN
Class A: General works
Subclass N: Newspapers
Classifier AdamBMorgan


For American newspaper articles from 1897-1910, see Chronicling America. John Vandenberg (chat) 02:57, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Papers Past is digitising New Zealand periodicals. John Vandenberg (chat) 10:12, 27 September 2008 (UTC)



Can anyone point me to some information about copyright of newspapers in Australia? I have read (at the Australian Copyright Council, I think it was; I can't find the reference just now) that copyright in newspaper articles written before 1955 has expired. Is this true? I have lots of interesting little bits and pieces to add, if it is. 03:13, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Not quite. "every author (other than a photographer) whose identity can be ascertained" must have died before 1955 too. Have you seen the NLA project? John Vandenberg (chat) 07:33, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Do you know if that applies to the whole newspaper, or to individual articles? — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 04:26, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Each article is a separate work, and "may therefore have a different period of copyright protection." John Vandenberg (chat) 08:23, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

So (and I realise you're probably not a lawyer) does that mean that newspaper articles published before 1955 in Australia, and that have no author whose identity can be ascertained, are in the public domain? And that we can add them here? The Copyright Council information doesn't seem to be very clear on this point: only saying that "copyright in a newspaper has expired if: the newspaper was published before 1955, AND every author (other than a photographer) whose identity can be ascertained died before 1955." (emphasis added). But it's obvious that there are separate works within 'a newspaper'. — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 08:14, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

There is also this from the Legal Information Access Centre, which states that "copyright has generally expired in works by people who died before 1 January 1955" — and I guess for newspapers we're interested in whether this is true of anonymously-published works (because copyright for them is taken from date of publication; see §34 of the Copyright Act). The question seems to come down to whether the author "can be ascertained by reasonable inquiry". I'd say no.  :-) Is there some sort of legal vetting place for Wikimedia projects that I can run this by? Or has it all been gone over before? — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 08:40, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

You guessed correctly; IANAL. Anyway, it is my understanding that the copyright in the newspaper is completely separate to that of the articles, and that it is clear cut for well defined works (copyright to author), and for layout (copyright to newspaper) and all the rest is really murky waters that I havent grappled with. w:Copyright expiration in Australia#Works held in Libraries explains it better than I could, but I dont understand why the info about copyright in newspaper is within a section about libraries.
Also important is whether a work that is PD-Australia is also PD in the US, which the URAA has made significantly more complicated as the meta:rule of the shorter term is now in doubt. I've not put any thought into that aspect until just now.
We dont have a copyright clearing desk, although we have thought of it at times and will probably need one for Wikisource and Commons when Wikisource grows up. At present if we are unsure and motivated, we initiate a discussion on WS:S or WS:COPYVIO and thrash out the specifics until we are all relatively sure one way or the other. The other approach, used by some in the dubious cases, is to contribute it anyway and hope that nobody notices or discuss it when everyone can see it - This can be especially handy when the text doesnt exist anywhere else on the Internet, in which case it is hard to discuss something complex without being able to see it. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:56, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I took a look at "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States" (1 January 2009) on Cornell University's copyright info website. It seems to say that anything published outside the U.S. before 1923 is in the public domain; and that anything published outside the U.S. between 1923 and 1977, and "Published without compliance with US formalities, and in the public domain in its source country as of 1 January 1996" (would be true for a work by an Australian who died before 1955 and who wasn't published in the U.S.), would be considered public domain in the U.S., too. --LarryGilbert (talk) 18:49, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

United Kingdom[edit]

I have dug up for the UK these articles in a similar vein.

-- billinghurst (talk) 11:32, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Basic guidance?[edit]

While making author pages, I have dug some obituaries from "The Times". I have transcribed a couple and copied them to RootsWeb and ref'd them into the articles. Others I have left myself place markers for the others in the Author pages.

What is our basic viewpoint in snippets from newspapers or other periodicals? As at this point in time I have no plan to start transcribing large slabs of contiguous newspaper articles. So whatever could be uploaded, may end up being less than solidly organised and possibly without the image itself. Putting the obits at RootsWeb and adding X-ref is pretty painless, and can lead into the project. At the same time it takes source material outside. -- billinghurst (talk) 11:42, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Images and organisation are not necessary.
Hopefully dumping obits is painless here too. It should be as simple as creating a page and dropping in the text with a header that includes publishing information. If the transcription isnt complete, or it is one section of a larger focus piece, tag it with {{incomplete}}.
As our collection grows, we will work out how to manage these better. But the underlying principle will always be that a contributor need only do as much as they wish to do, and it is then up to others to improve the donated text if they want to. i.e. "dont look a gift horse in the mouth"; it is the curators job to make sense out of the donated items.
John Vandenberg (chat) 23:49, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like some good boundaries. Easy to add some basic rationality to an obit, ie. newspaper > year, try and have remaining reference data readily available; other components are X-ref from within namespaces. -- billinghurst (talk) 02:16, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Using scans from the National Library of Australia's Newspapers Digitisation Program[edit]

Can anyone tell me if there is any policy regarding the transcription of old Australian newspapers on Wikisource? Given that the NLA is doing it too (in a seemingly open way), is there any point in including those newspapers here? (I think that there is, but I'm hardly active here and have probably missed any discussion there might've been about this.) Thanks. — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 04:01, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

See above discussion re. Australian copyright. In general, if it's in the public domain in Australia and was never published nor registered for copyright in the U.S., then it's in the public domain in the U.S. and can be uploaded here. An Australian work is in the Australian public domain if the author died before 1955 (that's because the copyright term changed in 2005 from life plus 50 years to life plus 70 years, but copyrights that had already expired were not renewed). But copyright of newspaper articles depends on the lifetime of each author of each article, not the publication date of the newspaper as a whole (unless the author is anonymous or cannot be determined). IANAL, and definitely not an Australian L. :-) --LarryGilbert (talk) 18:27, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

There seems to be no problem with the legality then (certainly not with the 19th century newpapers); but what about the duplication of effort? There are lots of people active on the NLA site, transcribing lots of text. Of course, we can copy that text here, or copy the scans and do the transcribing here... I'm just wondering whether anyone has talked about this yet. — Sam Wilson ( TalkContribs ) … 23:20, 23 November 2009 (UTC)


The Swedish Royal library has scanned some newspapers, and we're trying to proofread some of them at the Swedish language Wikisource. Most prominent is the official journal, Post- och Inrikes Tidningar. Other titles are small, local newspapers, such as Norra Skåne and Tidning för Wenersborgs stad och län. Since these newspapers are scanned as individual JPEG files, we decided to upload them to Wikimedia Commons with filenames like NEWSPAPER TITLE YYYY-MM-DD PPP.jpg, where YYYY-MM-DD is the date and PPP is the page number, see for example commons:Category:Post- och Inrikes Tidningar. Many projects highlight individual articles or narrow topics (such as articles about the Congo Free State). But it will take some time to figure out how to do something useful with full year runs of newspapers. --LA2 (talk) 18:13, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Later, a Djvu file has been created for each issue, named TITLE YYYY-MM-DD.djvu --LA2 (talk) 18:01, 13 November 2010 (UTC)